Building Safety Act 2022 Summary
The Building Safety Act (BSA) 2022 is now in full force, bringing sweeping changes to how firms are planning, designing, constructing and managing high-rise, residential buildings.
With so much information out there, our Building Safety Act (2022) summary brings together everything you need to know about BSA in one, easy-to-digest guide.
What is the Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA)?
Described as ‘the biggest change to Building Safety regulation in a generation’, the BSA transforms the law relating to the design, construction, and management of high-risk, residential buildings.
The Building Safety Act focuses on:
- Ensuring the safety and standards of buildings
- Improving the competence of the people responsible for overseeing, managing, and delivering work to higher-risk buildings
- Puts residents at the heart of a new system of building safety
Its purpose is to assure the safety of higher-risk buildings, both in construction and occupation.
Who does the Building Safety Act impact and apply to?
It will have an impact on the work of everyone in the construction and management of high-rise buildings, creating a change in responsibility and culture within the industry.
This will include building owners and managers, those who commission building work, and those involved in the design and construction process, such as designers, clients, and contractors.
What are the key Building Safety Act dates?
All buildings in the scope of the Act need to be registered with the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) before 1 October 2023.
The BSR will start to call in buildings from April 2024. Once your building is called, you will have 28 days to reply. So, it pays to get ahead and be prepared.
How much does it cost to register the building?
A registration fee of £251 will be payable to gov.uk upon registration.
What is a Building Safety Regulator (BSR)?
The BSR is a newly created role responsible for overseeing safety/performance systems of all buildings with powers to enforce rules and act against those that break them.
The three main functions of a BSR are to oversee the safety and performance of all buildings, encourage increased competence, and lead the implementation of the new regulatory regime for higher-risk buildings.
The Accountable Person is a named, responsible individual who is required to assess all building and safety risks in an occupied, high-rise building. This means they’ll take all reasonable steps to prevent such risks materialising, and to minimise their impact if the risks do occur.
The AP has the following responsibilities:
- Register the high-risk buildings (HRBs) and apply for a building assessment certificate
- Conduct an assessment of fire and structural safety risks and keep them under review
- Prepare the safety case report
- Comply with mandatory occurrence reporting requirements
- Prepare a Resident’s Engagement Strategy and keep it under review
- Keep and update prescribed information about the buildings
What does the Golden Thread of information mean?
Under the BSA owners/managers must keep safety information about how a building has been designed, built, and managed up to date. Known as the Golden Thread of information, it allows anyone to understand a building and the steps needed to keep both the building and its inhabitants safe, now and in the future.
The Golden Thread will be stored digitally for the entire life of the building. It will hold all of the information needed to identify, understand, manage, and mitigate building safety risks. This is in order to prevent or reduce the severity of the consequences of fire spread or structural collapse throughout the lifecycle of the building.
Included in the Golden Thread of information are the building safety case and building safety case report.
A safety case is a process of pulling together any information and supporting evidence used to manage the risk of fire spread and the structural safety of your building. It provides a compelling, comprehensible, and valid case that a building is safe.
The building safety case report summarises the arguments and evidence of the safety case and documents the progress against the safety management plan. It identifies the major fire ad structural hazards associated with your building and shows how any risks are being managed as far as reasonably possible to prevent a major incident.
What happens to those who don’t comply with the Building Safety Act?
As stated above, the deadline for registering occupied higher-risk buildings is 1 October 2023. Failure to register your building could lead to criminal prosecution.
Owners and developers of higher-risk buildings who fail to comply with the BSA are at risk of breaking the law, which could result in imprisonment of up to two years and/or a fine.
The BSR has power to either serve a compliance notice, or in more extreme situations, charge an AP with the offence of giving rise to a risk of death or serious injury, if any of the responsibilities outlined above have not been properly carried out (potentially leading to an AP facing a custodial sentence).
Next steps – where to begin with BSA compliance?
The first step is to appoint your Accountable Person, who will take responsibility for your BSA compliance and register your building with the BSR.
With the registration window deadline in the not-too-distant future, it’s crucial that all owners of HRBs collate the key building information as soon as possible to allow sufficient time to register before the deadline.
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