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Building A Safer Future - Quick Guide

Posted by wilkinsoncc on July 23, 2019 at 8:30 AM

This guide tries to explain the key points from the Governments huge 198 page consultation on fire safety in high rise buildings (see https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/806892/BSP_consultation.pdf)

The government are particularly keen to hear what people who live in high rise buildings think about the proposals, and you dont have to use the official response document, as they have promised that "All responses will be read and analysed, regardless of the format used". To help we will also publish our draft response over the next few days that you can cut and paste for your own response. Please take the  time to do this as we need as many people to respond so that its not just the same old voices being heard.

You can respond online using this link if you dont want to wait https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BuildingSafetyConsultation

Heres a quick overview of the consultation

Chapter 1: Introduction and progress to date

This chapter sets out what the government has already done and is currently doing to make buildings safer - you can skip this bit.

Chapter 2: Types of buildings we want to include in the new system

The new building safety regime will only be for buildings that are

• lived in by multiple households; and 18 metres high (roughly 6 storeys) or more.

To answer a question on this proposal, see Question 1.1 at paragraphs 28 to 34 on pages 28 to 29 of the consultation document and Questions 1.2 - 1.8 at paragraphs 35 to 52 on pages 29 to 33.

Chapter 3: A new dutyholder regime

Part A deals with proposed buildings

Dutyholders will be responsible for ensuring that building regulations – the minimum standards a building must meet – are complied with at new ‘gateway points’ before they can continue with the different stages of the building process.

o Gateway 1 – before planning permission can be given, the dutyholder will need to submit a ‘fire statement’ to the Fire and Rescue Authority.

o Gateway 2 – before construction can begin, the dutyholder will need to get full plans approved.

o Gateway 3 – before anyone can move into the building, the dutyholder will need to hand over building safety information about the completed building. They will need to apply for and receive a provisional registration of the building and tell the regulator that building risks have been assessed and arrangements are in place to make sure the building is managed safely while people are living there.

To answer questions on this proposal, see Questions 2.1 - 2.33 at paragraphs 59 to 107 on pages 35 to 48.

Part B deals with existing buildings and requires a ‘safety case’ setting out how the building is being kept safe and it is clear who is responsible for keeping the building safe.

The accountable person may also employ a ‘Building Safety Manager’ who would be there to deal with any safety problems they find or are reported by residents in the block(s) they are responsible for.

To answer questions on this proposal, see Questions 3.1 - 3.22 at paragraphs 108 to 194 on pages 49 to 65.

Part C sets out the duties that run through the building’s life cycle and requires a set of key documents held digitally on building information. This could include information on the structure of the building and any changes made to the building through refurbishment.

A system of ‘mandatory occurrence reporting’ to the regulator which will ensure that the client, principal designer, principal contractor and accountable person must ensure that anyone involved in the construction of a building can report fire and structural issues.

The new system will make sure that all dutyholders employ people who are suitably qualified and competent eg has the necessary skills, knowledge and behaviours to make informed decisions and carry out their job effectively.

To answer questions on this proposal, see Questions 4.1 - 4.20 at paragraphs 195 to 243 on pages 66 to 78.

Chapter 4: Residents at the heart of a new regulatory system

These proposals will give residents a stronger voice and allow them to hold those responsible for the safety of their buildings to account. Residents will be empowered by having better access to information about their building and have more of a say over decisions made about the fire and structural safety of their building.

To answer a question on this proposal, see Question 5.1 at paragraphs 252 to 255 on page 81.

Residents will also be able to access more detailed information about building and fire safety by requesting it from the accountable person. The accountable person will only be able to refuse to provide information for specified reasons (e.g. that sharing the information would be a security risk or would divulge personal information).

To answer questions on this proposal, see Questions 5.2 - 5.3 at paragraphs 256 to 261 on pages 82 to 83.

The accountable person must have a Resident Engagement Strategy which sets out the way that they are going to engage with residents and how residents can get involved and benefit from participating in engagement on building safety.

To answer questions on this proposal, see Questions 5.4 - 5.5 at paragraphs 262 to 271 on pages 83 to 85.

In some cases individual residents may put themselves and their neighbours at risk. The government are proposing that there is a clear obligation on residents to co-operate with the work of the accountable person to keep the building safe and are asking for views on the obligation and what safeguards would be needed.

To answer questions on this proposal, see Questions 5.6 - 5.8 at paragraphs 272 to 278 on pages 85 to 86.

To make sure that residents can raise safety concerns, the accountable person will need to have a clear process for how they will respond to residents’ concerns.

To answer a question on this proposal, see Question 5.9 at paragraphs 282 to 284 on pages 87 to 88.

Residents will be able to take urgent safety concerns to the new regulator if the accountable person fails to deal with them properly.

To answer questions on this proposal, see Questions 5.10 - 5.11 at paragraphs 285 to 291 on pages 88 to 89.

Chapter 5: A more effective regulatory and accountability framework for buildings

The Government propose a new building safety regulator to ensure these changes are enforced robustly and effectively.

The regulator will also oversee the wider building and regulatory system and work to drive high standards of competence for those working on buildings.

To answer a questions on these proposals, see Questions 6.1 - 7.4 at paragraphs 300 to 334 on pages 91 to 98.

The government are also proposing that there should be stronger regulation of construction products – eg insulation and cladding products

To answer questions on these proposals, see Questions 8.1 - 8.15 at paragraphs 335 to 356 on pages 99 to 104.

Chapter 6: Enforcement, compliance and sanctions

Through strong oversight by the new regulator, those responsible for the safety of buildings must comply with their responsibilities or be held to account if they do not.

The government are proposing to:

• Create new criminal offences to make sure that those responsible for the safety of a high rise residential building during the design and construction of the building, as well as when residents are living in the building, comply with their responsibilities;

• Give the new regulator the power to take quick and effective action, through monetary penalties such as fines, when the requirements of the new regime have not been met.

To answer questions on these proposals, see Questions 9.1 - 9.4 at paragraphs 357 to 364 on pages 105 to 107.

The government are also proposing to make it easier to take action for all buildings where building work does not meet required building regulations standards by:

• Giving local authorities more time to serve enforcement notices, so that they can take action where problems are uncovered later; and

• Enabling private individuals to make a claim for damages where work on a building has not met building regulations standards, and they have suffered harm as a result.

An enforcement notice is a legal document requiring a particular action to be taken when there has been a breach of planning rules.

To answer questions on these proposals, see Questions 9.5 - 9.6 at paragraphs 365 to 373 on pages 107 to 108.


Categories: Technical

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