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Building Regulator

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  • The below is an extract from an advertorial feature in The Guardian, published 1st February 2024. 

    ‘The Building Safety Regulator was set up in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire and aims to give greater protection to residents of high-rise buildings. One of its building safety leads explains his role in the drive to improve standards in the design and management of tower blocks:

    It’s completely different from the Health and Safety Executive’s usual focus,” says BSR’s building safety regulatory lead, Daniel Lewis-Hickinbotham. “Classically, HSE is business-focused, but by creating BSR, it’s now protecting people in their homes. For me, it’s a much more emotive area of work, because people’s homes are where they feel the most comfortable – it’s their safe place.”

    BSR is tasked with assessing the safety of approximately 12,500 higher-risk buildings – those that are seven storeys high or at least 18 metres tall, with two or more residential units – over the next five years.

    Once we’ve received the required information [for the Building Assment Certificate application], we’ll form a multidisciplinary team with the fire service and a structural engineer to make an assessment of the building and a decision on whether or not to issue a building assessment certificate,” says Lewis-Hickinbotham. “Our focus is on making sure residents are safe in their homes, and that the people managing these buildings are responsible for doing it appropriately.

    There’s a big learning curve ahead. “It’s a completely new regime, and these are standards that haven’t been in place before,” says Lewis-Hickinbotham, but he and his team are excited about the challenges to come.

    Read the full article here: https://www.theguardian.com/working-for-the-building-safety-regulator/2024/feb/01/our-focus-is-on-making-sure-residents-are-safe-regulating-high-rise-buildings-after-the-grenfell-tragedy

     

    • Building Safety Regulator
  • New Public Register of HRBs launched

    A new online system to allow residents to inquire whether their HRB has been registered has gone live today (8 February 2024), by searching the register with a building's postcode. 

    The facility provides anyone the ability to look up a defined set of information relating to successfully registered Higher Risk Buildin via the portal page here. Users will be able to search for buildings by postcode, and the system will return registration information relating to a single building at a time.  The system is designed to prevent users gathering data on multiple buildings in a single search and to prevent data scraping of the records.

    If users are unable to find information relating to a building they expect to be registered, they will be directed to use the Contact the BSR digital service. The BSR Customer Service Team (CST) team will then support them to find their building on the register.  If a building is not identified on the HRB Register, CST will capture basic information regarding the building and pass this information through to the BSR Investigations Unit for review and action as appropriate.

    Access the website here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/find-a-high-rise-residential-building 

    • Building Safety Regulator
  • The BSR has today published a ‘Safety Case Toolkit’ guide which is accessible here.

    The information within the guide is aimed at accountable persons (defined under section 84 of the Building Safety  Act 2022) to assist them in preparing a safety case report. A safety case report must demonstrate that all reasonable steps have been taken to prevent building safety risks happening and reduce the seriousness if they do.

    • Building Safety Regulator
    • Safety Case & Report
  • The government has made and laid before Parliament the Building (Registered Building Control Approvers etc) (England) Regulations 2024 (SI 2024/110), which come into force on 6 April 2024, in England only. 

    The regulations set out the procedures that apply when a registered building control approver supervises work under the building regulations in England.

    From 6 April, the role of the approved inspector under the building regulations will be replaced by that of the registered building control approver (except in relation to some transitional projects).

    These new regulations effectively perform the same function for a registered building control approver as the Building (Approved Inspectors etc) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/2215) performed for an approved inspector. As such, practitioners will recognise much of their structure and content.

     

    • Building Safety Act
  • The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), under whose auspices the BSR operates, has now published three resources to assist with mandatory occurrence reporting (MOR). 

    The Building Safety Act 2022 introduced a stricter safety regime for higher-risk buildings (HRBs), encompassing work to an existing HRB, work to an existing building that coverts it into an HRB or the construction of an entirely new HRB.  Among other things, this requires the principal designer and principal contractor on an HRB construction project to operate a mandatory occurrence reporting system during the works and to report any "safety occurrence" to the Building Safety Regulator (BSR).

    A safety occurrence is an aspect of design or an incident or situation relating to the structural integrity or fire safety of an HRB that would be likely, unless remedied, to present the risk of a significant number of deaths, or serious injury to a significant number of people. Outside the construction phase, an accountable person or principal accountable person must submit a mandatory occurrence notice in relation to those parts of an HRB for which it is responsible.

    The new MOR system guidance resources can be accessed below: 

    • Building Safety Regulator
    • Mandatory Occurence Reporting