Following the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire, Dame Judith Hackitt was appointed to carry out an independent review of building regulations and fire safety in England. In her ‘Building a Safer Future’ report, Dame Judith identified a range of areas that required reforming.
As part of the implementation of these reforms, the government introduced the Building Safety Act 2022 - paving the way for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to establish a new regulator for building safety: The Building Safety Regulator (BSR).
The BSR will create lasting change by overseeing a new regulatory regime, making it clear how tall residential buildings in England should be designed, constructed, and maintained safely. The new regulator is a positive force for change and will both support and enforce to ensure that all sectors of the built environment industry step up to their responsibilities.
The new regime introduces a new regulatory approach to the oversight of the safety and standards of all buildings. It will place residents’ safety at its heart and drive a real shift in standards across the entire built environment. The Building Safety Regulator will help and encourage industry to step up and take action, but we will also hold to account those responsible for the safety management of buildings if they put people at risk and fail to comply with their new duties.
We are also driving forward culture change, helping and encouraging industry to improve their competence and provide a consistent approach to the application of building regulations. The Building Safety Act makes it clear where the responsibility for the safety of each building lies by introducing new roles and responsibilities and giving duty holders clear accountability and statutory responsibilities. Through this we are laying the foundations for a world-leading building safety regime.
So, as more of the Building Safety Regulator’s functions and services come online, 2023 is a defining year for building safety in England – and our key message to all stakeholders is that the future of building safety is in all our hands. Industry, BSR and residents themselves are all responsible for the safety and protection of residents.
The BSR is holding those who fail to safely manage their buildings to account, and the first requirement is to register their high-rise buildings. High-rise residential buildings are defined as 18 metres tall or higher, or at least 7 floors tall, and must contain 2 or more residential units. Across England there are approximately 12,500 higher risk buildings and the regulator requires all of them to be registered by October 2023, with a named person responsible for maintaining their safety. This is a major step in a package of measures to ensure high-rise residential buildings are safe for residents and users.
Building owners can begin the process of registering their high-rise residential buildings with the new Building Safety Regulator by going to Register a high-rise residential building - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
You can also get helpful advice and guidance on registering high-rise buildings by watching this BSR video: Registering high-rise residential buildings - YouTube and by visiting our building safety microsite at buildingsafety.campaign.gov.uk .
For the latest news and updates on the work of BSR and when its different functions will come into force, please subscribe to our free monthly BSR e-Bulletin. You can sign up by clicking on this link: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKHSE/signup/15087
This article was supplied by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) - The Building Safety Regulator (BSR)