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Building Safety Act: How ready are we?

Chris Chennell \ 31st May 2022

Chris Chennell, Director of our Fire Safety Division, recently featured in an article in Building, where he discusses the introduction of the Building Safety Act, new legislation to ensure high-rise homes are safe and built only to the highest standards. Specifically, Chris describes the three separate gateway points developed to ensure building safety regulatory requirements are met at each stage of a building’s lifecycle.

With planning applications now required to name an accountable person at the beginning of the project, the cultural change demanded by Dame Judith Hackitt is truly coming into fruition.

The Building Safety Bill, an outcome of Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent review of building regulations and fire safety, promises to “create lasting generational change” to the way in which we design and build all future buildings. In this article, Chris shares his views on how getting a head start is key to this new safety act, reflecting on the implementation of the first gateway in August 2021, and the anticipated requirements of gateways two and three.

A recent pilot study from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities found that up to 8,890 residential buildings in England require work to fix “life-threatening fire risks” at an estimated cost of between £3.1bn and £5.3bn. Chris says it’s time to understand how we can deliver the golden thread to prevent this happening in the future.

The new obligations put in place by this legislation will hold individuals criminally liable… With the act introducing several more layers of responsibility to different duty holders during the design, construction and operation phases, accurate modelling at each gateway phase is vital.

This involves finding the right people for the job and ensuring they are equipped with the correct training, and investing in information management technology to ensure we rethink how we use building data for the better.

Chris touches on Hydrock’s development of a golden thread service offering that will provide clients with end-to-end consultancy in response to these forthcoming legislation changes.

Read the full article on the Building website.