Since the devastating fire of Grenfell in 2017 we have already seen a number of regulation changes to address the shortfalls identified by Dame Judith Hackitt for building safety with a focus on high rise residential buildings. Now our latest addition is the Building Safety Bill which was published on the 5th July 2021 comprising of 218 pages. It is anticipated to obtain Royal Assent in 9 – 12 months’ time which will provide the new HSE building regulator with the necessary powers to support the enforcement of this new bill which aims to; –
- Implement a new, more stringent regulatory regime for high risk residential buildings.
- Promote competence among industry professionals and regulators to raise standards in design, construction and the management of buildings.
- Oversee performance systems of all buildings, so one regulator can provide guidance on building performance as well as building safety.
This should provide our customers with assurance via the use of surveillance of construction products which will be underpinned by the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS). This will support the national regulator to remove construction products from the market that present safety risks and prosecute or use civil penalties against any business that break the rules and compromises public safety. A non-exhaustive list of other duties includes; –
- Provide market surveillance and oversight, including maintaining a national complaints system
- Undertake or commission its own product-testing to investigate non-compliance
The term ‘duty holder’ will become commonly referred to, which relates to someone who commissions, designs and undertake building work to which building regulations apply which includes; –
- Principal Designer
- Principal Contractor
What is clear, those who commission building work, and those who have key roles in the design and construction process, are responsible for ensuring that the building is designed and built (or refurbished) to be safe and compliant with building regulations. Therefore, the building safety regulator will have a range of assessment and enforcement powers to ensure that those participating in the design, build and refurbishment of buildings will be held to account and to ensure compliance with the building regulations.
There are specific offences under the new Building Safety Bill for failing to, or providing misleading information, in addition to existing offences under the Building Act 1984 for failing to comply with building regulations
There are another couple of important items to be aware of; –
Under limitation periods for damage or defects in relation to buildings for leaseholders has been extended to 15 years and Construction products regulations may repeal, amend or re-enact other associated regulations.
One thing for certain, this is only the start of a new revolutionary enforcement for compliance and further regulation changes are not too far away.
INCA Board Director
Insulated Render and Cladding Association (INCA)
The recognised trade association for the external wall insulation (EWI) industry in the UK.
66 Bondgate, Castle Donington, DE74 2NR
Tel: 0330 124 6585 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org