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Building Safety Bill receives Royal Assent 

by on April 29, 2022

The Building Safety Bill has received Royal Assent. This was a Bill to make provision about the safety of people in or about buildings and the standard of buildings, to amend the Architects Act 1997, and to amend provision about complaints made to a housing ombudsman. 

The Bill received Royal Ascent 28 April 2022. The following content has been taken from the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Building Safety Regulator eBulletin. Further information about the Bill’s progress can be found here: https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3021.  

The Bill has completed all the parliamentary stages in both Houses and now becomes an Act of Parliament.   

This is an important milestone, paving the way for the Health and Safety Executive to build a more rigorous and robust regulatory regime for high-rise buildings in England.   

Peter Baker, Chief Inspector of Building said: “The Building Safety Act introduces tough new measures for the safety and quality of buildings which will be enforced by the new independent regulator being established in HSE.  

“I call on everyone involved in the design, construction and management of buildings in England to now step up, get ready for the changes, and work together to drive the necessary culture change to protect people and deliver safe and good quality buildings” 

Get ready now  

We’re already working with residents and industry to make sure everybody has a voice, understanding what information and guidance people will need so everybody can do the right thing.   

Industry now needs to play their part in making buildings safer.   

As designers, clients and contractors, you will need to collaborate to comply with building regulations and build good practice for managing information about the building – you will need to share this with each other so you can demonstrate how a building will remain safe when occupied.   

Because Planning Gateway One is live, design is being challenged – designers need to respond to the good practice that is being established so standards are raised at the start of the building’s life cycle.   

Anyone who still holds onto the idea that building safety is something that can be left to the later stages of design and construction needs to change their thinking.  Good building design starts well before the planning stages and carries on right through so that buildings are safe to build and safe to live in and use.  

Those who manage high rise buildings need to start understanding what a safety case is and examine whether the safety measures in place need strengthening to properly protect residents.   

Key dates  

There is much more to come, starting with the registration of high-rise buildings from April 2023 and the new safety management requirements applying from October 2023.  

The new regime will take shape, evolve and strengthen over the next 18 months as we build up our services and prepare for the different functions of the regulator to come online. As our powers continue to increase in the coming years, people will see fundamental changes to the safety and performance of all buildings and increased competency among industry professionals that raises standards year on year. 

An update from Dame Judith Hackitt 

This week marks a really major milestone for Building Safety as the Bill receives Royal Assent. I often think back to the early days of my review when people told me: “We’ve been down this road before”, “We’ve been saying for years that change was needed but nothing has happened”, “We need systemic change not just minor reforms”.  

For the last 4 years since my report was published, I have been determined to continue to push for implementation and not to simply walk away when the report was finished. 

Now we have crossed the threshold. The much-needed changes are going to happen because they are enshrined in law. It is also truly heartening to see that the concerns which at times have threatened to derail the process regarding “who pays” have been largely addressed. 

I commend all of those who have put in a huge effort to get this Bill over the line – it is going to make a difference to so many people’s lives – helping them to feel safe and secure in their homes and knowing that others care about their plight and will listen to their concerns. 

Of course, there is still a huge amount of work to do to get ready for full implementation, but this is the point at which all of the debate about whether this is going to happen at all can finally be put to bed. The focus now is on how we make it happen, as quickly and effectively as possible. 

Those who have taken the initiative and are driving change already can feel confident that they are doing the right things. Industry has taken a huge step in recognising the need to address the sins of the past. 

 But there are still a significant number of players out there for whom this week’s event is a final “wake up and smell the coffee” moment. The clock is now ticking and the pace is accelerating. Change is going to happen this time – there’s no denying it anymore! 

Building control 

The Building Safety Act will establish building control as a regulated profession, helping to create a unified profession, working to a consistent set of standards.  

 The role of the BSR will be to: 

  • Support 
  • Encourage 
  • Advise 
  • Hold building control bodies (BCBs) and individual building control professionals to account 

Over the coming months HSE will consult on a number of areas including: 

  • Operational standards rules, including key performance indicators and the strategic context for building control oversight 
  • Code of conduct and competence framework for registered building inspectors (RBIs) 
  • Professional conduct rules for private sector registered building control approvers (RBCAs) 

Read more about the bill

From → Building Control

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