Building Safety Regulator to lead building safety improvement

The Building Safety Bill has now been published, as of 5 July 2021, and ushers in some of the biggest changes in residential property safety in generations. Following the tragedy at Grenfell Tower in 2017, Government announced that a Building Safety Regulator would be established to oversee and overhaul safety standards in high rise residential buildings. The Regulator has now begun its work.

What power does the Building Safety Regulator have?

The Building Safety Regulator has oversight of and responsibility for discharging the Building Safety Bill. They are responsible for ensuring that any building safety risks, in high rise residential buildings more than 18m in height, are managed and resolved. The aim is to allow more power to residents when holding construction professionals to account for their work. The sanctions for poor or unsafe workmanship are also much more stringent.

The view from Government

Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP, explained how the new regulator’s influence would span the full building lifecycle, from design through to construction and into occupation. “The new building safety regime will be a proportionate one, ensuring those buildings requiring remediation are brought to an acceptable standard of safety swiftly, and reassuring the vast majority of residents and leaseholders in those buildings that their homes are safe.”

Dame Judith Hackitt, author of the post-Grenfell review into building safety, also expressed her delight about the implementation of the Building Safety Bill.

New measures in the Building Safety Bill

  • New gateways at design, construction and completion phases will identify and mitigate building safety risks throughout the lifecycle
  • Identify responsible persons for safety during the design, build and occupation of a high-rise residential building
  • A ‘golden thread’ of information will be created, stored and updated digitally. This will contain full details about the building, identifying obligations on the building owner and allowing the regulator to take action if necessary
  • The compensation window for residents to claim against substandard construction work increases from 6 to 15 years

“The general sentiment of the Building Safety Bill, in improving the safety of buildings in England and Wales through increased accountability and a focus on competence, must be welcomed. It is positive that the government have now indicated a draft timeline of just over 2 years until full implementation. After this date a small sub-set of high-risk buildings will require a new route of compliance during construction through the new Building Safety Regulation.

As a competent and knowledgeable body for these buildings, we will be expanding our work as a consultant to help clients minimise cost and disruption through the new gateway process. We welcome the increased focus on accountability and competence for all building control bodies and professionals.

Stroma Building Control takes great pride in the standard of service that we provide and in doing so we are in a great place to move forwards with the future changes.”

Ian O’Connor, Managing Director, Stroma Building Control

Does your Building portfolio fall under the Building Safety Bill?

Speak to your local Building Control Surveyor about forthcoming projects. Or contact our consultancy team today to stay in touch about the changes to building safety.