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Draft Building Safety Bill Summarized

Published: 2020-09-09

During this summer the Government of the United Kingdom brought forward a draft bill with the intent to drastically change how safety within buildings and construction is regulated. This bill will lead to the biggest safety improvements in 40 years and expected to come into effect by 2021.

What´s happening in the UK is interesting from several perspectives. Of course, we ask us how the draft bill will influence construction, infrastructure and real estate, both in the UK and beyond. Because as the United Kingdom is leading the way for a fire safe future, other can learn from their hard work. There are some aspects in the bill we´d like to point out and look closer into.

A new regulatory body: Introduction to what kind of responsibility and mandate the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) will have. Summarizing, the new regulator is responsible for all major regulatory decisions made during the different phases of the building´s lifecycle and that buildings reach set security standards. This is done by assessing the handover between the phases (design to construction, construction to occupation, etc) and having the mandate to stop a project if it's not up to code.

Golden Thread of Information: Requirement that fire safety building information to be held digitally to specific standards. These will include requirements around robust information management therefor keeping information up to date. The intention is to ensure that the right people have the right information at the right time, making sure building safety risks are properly managed. The golden thread allows for important data such as original design intent and refurbishing updates can be used as live objects, to be managed and accessed throughout a building´s lifetime.

Mandatory Occurrence Reporting System: Obligatory reporting of structural and fire safety occurrences which could cause a significant risk to life safety to the Building Safety Regulator, this includes both construction site reporting as well as during occupation.

Duty holder: These are the persons or organisations involved in the commissioning, design, construction or refurbishment process and have formal responsibilities for compliance with building regulations.

New Homes Ombudsman: A function for residents that will make sure that they may express their voice concerning building fire safety.

High-risk buildings in occupation: For a building to be occupied it needs to be registered with the Building Safety Regulator and apply for a Building Assurance Certificate. This is done by the Accountable Person, the duty holder during occupation. The Draft Bill includes provisions allowing the BSR to take enforcement action for non-compliance.

The Safety Case Report: The Accountable Person will need to demonstrate how they are assessing building safety risks relating to their building, and to take all reasonable steps to prevent the occurrence, and control the impact, of a major incident resulting from those risk. This is done a through a Safety Case Report which will be required to keep up to date. The required golden thread supports The Safety Case Report in summarising all key components of the safety case with references to supporting documentation.

It is with great interest that we follow what will happen with the Draft Bill and the continued discussions. There´s no doubt that the proposals will fundamentally change how the UK will work with fire protection. Many countries will likely look towards the UK when reviewing their own fire safety regulatory systems.

The Bimfire Team will continue to monitor the legislative process of the Draft Bill with the aim to help you keep track of how the fire safety system will change.

Don´t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions!

"London Underground" by az1172 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.