Reflections on the new Building Safety Bill

Earlier this month, the Queen’s Speech detailed a new Building Safety Bill which is being introduced with the intent to ‘strengthen the regulatory system for building safety, changing the industry culture and introducing rigorous safety standards for construction products and a clearer path to redress for homeowners’.¹

Reflecting on the new Bill, our Associate Director Deb Kilvington provides an insight into what it means in practice for the construction sector.

“The Building Safety Bill is the biggest overhaul in the industry for over 40 years and is relevant to new and existing buildings fitting the criteria of being 6-storeys or 18m in height, whichever is first to be attained. 

“In our opinion, it is long overdue as an instrument which requires a high level of health and safety compliance to be demonstrated as part of the ‘Golden Thread’ of accurate retained information.

“We are therefore delighted that the Building Safety Bill and the incoming Fire Safety Bill, which is an amendment to the existing Fire Safety Order, will strengthen our CDM provision for clients, since both Bills refer significantly to the CDM2015 Regulatory role holders and the mandatory duties which each must discharge to achieve occupier  health (residential and workplace), building safety, and fire safety compliance with immediate effect.

“The Fire Safety Bill deals with specific fire safety issues, while the Building Safety Bill will tackle wider issues and is intended to put in place new and enhanced regulatory regimes for building safety and construction products, and also ensure that residents have a stronger voice in the system.

“As Technical CDM professionals, we await inclusion of the changes that the Building Safety Bill and the Fire Safety Bill have brought being updated into the CDM2015 Regulations. It is reasonable to expect that they will cross-refer to each other to bolster compliance and remove ambiguity.

“The sector is keen to see what role the new Fire (enforcing) authority Inspectors will have in policing the new Bills.

“The Building Safety Bill will further strengthen the powers of the Office for Product Safety and Standards, as well as establishing a new framework to provide national oversight of construction products.

“Ensuring that lessons have been learnt from the Grenfell Tower tragedy remains another priority of the Bill, with the legislation set to make provisions to support the removal of unsafe cladding for buildings over 11 metres high.”

If you have any questions about the new Building Safety Bill, please contact Debra Kilvington at DebraKilvington@macconsultingltd.com or by calling 07376 360319.

 

¹ https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/986770/Queen_s_Speech_2021_-_Background_Briefing_Notes..pdf

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