At Obi, our building safety team works with developers, funders and asset managers to ensure compliance with client specifications and the Building Safety Act.
About the act
The Building Safety Act was passed by the UK Government so that people will be, and will feel, safer in their homes. The Grenfell Tower fire in West London on 14 June 2017 claimed 72 lives, with the tragedy exposing serious failings across the whole system of building and managing high-rise homes. The government took immediate steps to make residents safer, and asked Dame Judith Hackitt to carry out an independent review of building regulations and fire safety to understand the causes of the fire.
The review concluded that major industry reforms were needed and that the safety of residents must be of greater priority throughout the entire life cycle of a building. This should include all stages from planning and design, up to and including the entire period in which people are living in their homes.
The government accepted the review’s recommendations and the Building Safety Act, alongside the existing Fire Safety Bill, sets out how those proposals will provide the biggest improvements to building safety in nearly 40 years.
How does it impact Asset Owners?
Asset owners will be deemed the “Accountable Person” under the new bill. This means that they are responsible for managing potential risks and for procuring and maintaining a ‘golden thread’ (link to golden thread blog) of vital information about the building to be gathered over its lifetime.
Before, or within a short time frame after residents move into a building that falls under the new set of rules, it must be registered with the Building Safety Regulator and apply for a Building Assurance Certificate. The Accountable Person will need to conduct and maintain a safety case risk assessment for the building and appoint a Building Safety Manager to oversee it day to day.
The Building Safety Act applies to new and existing assets in scope i.e. residential and student residential accommodation in excess of 7 storeys and 18m in height.
It is then estimated that all key aspects of the Bill will be in place before December 2023.
Dame Judith Hackett has made it clear that industry should act in advance of these key dates and has expressed concern with the rate of change.