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Building Safety Bill summary 2022

The Building Safety Act 2022 was approved by law as the Building Safety Act 2022. But what is it?

What is the Building Safety Act 2022?

The Building Safety Act was created after the Grenfell Tower tragedy. This was to address concerns over fire safety in multi-occupancy buildings.

It was designed to increase the powers of residents. This was to help residents hold builders and developers accountable for dangerous or defective building work.

It also improves legislation regarding the safety of building materials, design, construction, and building maintenance.

What is the point of the Building Safety Act 2022?

The Building Safety Act 2022’s main focus is on the responsibility of building designers, building owners, and developers.

The legislation ensures that residents’ concerns are heard, and any required action is taken.

Some of the main points of the Building Safety Act are:

  • Detailed legal framework for managing high risk buildings
  • Using a Building Safety Regulator (BSR) to manage safety standards
  • Protecting leaseholders from building safety responsibilities
  • Incorporating a Home Ombudsman Scheme
  • Improving fire safety regulations

Certain construction work always needs to adhere to this legislation. So, it’s important to know about, as well as legislation around building near trees and lime mortar building work.

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Who does the Building Safety Act 2022 apply to?

The Building Safety Act 2022 applies to building designers. This includes architects, building owners, and property developers.

It’s also created an Accountable Person (AP). This is the person responsible for building safety once the building is occupied.

  1. An AP can be an individual, a corporation, a partnership, or a management company.
  2. The AP must assess the building safety risks and appoint a Building Safety Manager. They’ll also need to apply to register the building as a high-risk building.

Is the Building Safety Act 2022 law?

Yes, the Building Safety Act 2022 became law on the 28th April 2022. It is now known as the Building Safety Act 2022.

The Building Safety Act 2022 was first published as the Building Safety Bill on the 5th July 2021. The bill then passed through a committee stage where it was examined in the House of Commons.

On the 19th January 2022, the report stage of the bill took place where MPs were able to propose further amendments.

The key pledge agreed by MPs was that ‘no leaseholder in a building over 11 metres (four storeys) have to pay to fix cladding problems’.

It’s placed responsibility solely on building owners and developers to protect councils and leaseholders.

What work is subject to the new legislation?

The new legislation contained within the Building Safety Act 2022 applies to all buildings considered to be of higher risk of fire or structural failure.

All multi-occupancy residential buildings are covered by the legislation if they meet the following criteria:

  • Are at least 18 metres in height
  • Contain at least seven storeys
  • Contain at least two separate residential units

Care homes and hospitals that are at least 18 metres in height are also covered by this legislation.

Parts 2 and 4 of the bill apply to properties owned or occupied by the Crown. This includes all buildings owned by Crown Estates or Government Departments which are at least 18 metres in height.

Building Safety Act 2022 fact check

The Building Safety Act 2022 has taken several years to develop. It has gone through numerous revisions and consultations to ensure that it’s as effective as possible.

The Building Safety Act 2022 has:

  • Improved access to the Defective Premises Act 1972
  • Strengthened fire safety under the Regulatory Reform Order 2005
  • Implemented a new Home Ombudsman Scheme
  • Created a Building Safety Regulator as part of the Health & Safety Executive
  • Implemented three regulatory gateways to improve building standards
  • Allocated an Accountable Person to liaise with the BSR and air residents’ concerns

It is important to remember that the Building Safety Act 2022 doesn’t apply to buildings under 18 metres in height. As fire safety is also an integral part of the bill.

Fire safety in the Building Safety Act 2022

The Building Safety Act 2022 directly changes the FSO (Fire Safety Order). The Fire Safety Clause in the Building Safety Act 2022 strengthens fire safety requirements for high-rise residential buildings.

There have been significant changes to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Fire Safety Clause 134 amendments have been implemented, and a Responsible Person (RP) is now selected for every eligible building.

The Responsible Person (RP) has numerous obligations for maintaining a building’s fire safety standards.

These include:

  • Completing fire risk assessments
  • Keeping full records of all fire safety documentation
  • Being responsible for the safety of all people who use the building
  • Keeping residents updated with the latest fire safety information
  • Maintaining direct contact with an Accountable Person regarding any duties covered by the Building Safety Act 2022
  • Keeping records of any people who assist the official RP

During the consultation stage, over 250 organisations were involved in developing the fire safety clause improvements.

Local authorities, construction experts, RPs, and residents all contributed to help ensure that the new fire safety standards would improve a building’s safety.

Fire risk assessment cost

Retrofitting and new-build properties

New buildings that are subject to the Building Safety Act 2022 have to pass through three regulatory Gateways.

These assess the building’s safety standards:

  • At the planning stage
  • At the final design stage (before construction begins)
  • When construction is complete and before occupation is allowed

Once occupied, buildings need to be registered with the Building Safety Regulator (BSR). An Accountable Person (AP) then has to maintain contact with the BSR by establishing a ‘Golden Thread of Information’.

The AP are required to listen to any resident concerns regarding building safety and cooperate with local regulators (and the HSE when required).

Since the Building Safety Act 2022 became law, it can be applied retrospectively for up to 15 years. This means that claims of defective work can be submitted on buildings constructed up to 15 years before the Building Safety Act 2022 became law. So, your company should always have insurance for builders.

Building Safety Act 2022 FAQs

What buildings are subject to the Building Safety Act 2022?

The Building Safety Act 2022 applies to new multi-occupancy residential buildings, care homes and hospitals that are at least 18 metres in height.

Residential buildings must also have at least seven storeys and at least two residential units.

The bill can also be applied retrospectively for defective works carried out over a period of 15 years.

Is the fire safety Bill the same as the Building Safety Act 2022?

The purpose of the Building Safety Act 2022 is to reform building safety through newer, stricter regulations.

The Building Safety Act 2022 makes changes to the FSO (Fire Safety Order). The Fire Safety Clause in the Building Safety Act 2022 strengthens fire safety requirements for high-rise residential buildings.

What are higher risk buildings?

A higher risk building is one where the impact of a fire could be disastrous.

These are deemed higher risk buildings:

  • Residential buildings over 18 metres in height
  • Hospitals
  • Care homes
  • Schools
  • Hotels
  • Student housing

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