Premier Guarantee’s Facades Technical Standards Director, Clive Everett, reviews the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government regulatory reform consultation paper for residential buildings that are 30m in height or more
In June 2019, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government issued a building safety regulatory reform consultation paper applicable to both existing and proposed multi-occupied residential buildings that are 30m in height or more. The consultation further indicates that the trigger height will potentially be reduced to 18m.
The consultation is a further development and extension of the findings in Dame Judith Hackitt’s final report and considers both the structural safety and fire safety of a building. If the reform proposals are accepted, they will become mandatory requirements.
The main recommendations to come from this paper were:
- Create a more effective regulatory and accountability framework to increase the oversight into the industry.
- Introduce clearer standards and guidance.
- Put residents at the forefront of the new system of building safety.
- Create a more responsible building industry, from design all the way through to construction and management.
The consultation paper also set out a series of proposals, one being the forming of a new regulatory body called the Building Safety Regulator (BSR). It will be responsible at a national level for:
- Oversight of building safety and wider regulation.
- Oversight of operation and enforcement of the new regime for high-rise residential buildings, and setting guidance.
- Advising government on what buildings should be included in the scope of the new regime, by developing and analysing evidence on risk.
- Oversight of competence of people working on buildings, including keeping a register of those competent to take on key dutyholder roles in the new system and providing guidance on where to find qualified people to work on buildings in scope.
One of the focus points of the government’s response lies in managing the risks during the key stages of construction. From this they set out three gateways to ensure that each dutyholder is managing the build correctly in order to move onto the next stage. The three gateways are as follows:
- Gateway One – Before planning permission is granted.
- Gateway Two – Before construction begins.
- Gateway Three – Before occupation begins.
Gateway one will be part of the planning permission stage: the applicant will be required to submit a Fire Statement with their planning application. The local planning authority will then need to consult the BSR and potentially the fire and rescue authority before granting planning permission.
This gateway will require dutyholders to provide full documentation and plans of the build, showing that they are complying with the Building Regulations. The proposal being that documentations will include a 3D model of the building as it’s planned. It will also require details of all the products and materials that will be used to complete the build.
In this stage, the dutyholders will be required to hand over all the building safety information about the final as-built building to the building dutyholder, before it can be occupied. As a minimum, the client must apply for and receive a provisional registration from the building safety regulator and evidence that building risks have been appropriately assessed and arrangements are in place for it to be operated safely during the occupation phase.
No timelines have been formally announced. It’s expected that the regulatory reform will come into some time in 2021-2022, followed by a transition period.
Facades Technical Standards
Tel: 0800 107 8446
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