Peter Baker, Chief Inspector of Buildings, recently presented plans for the new Building Safety Regulator to Build UK members in a workshop attended by FIS CEO Iain McIlwee.
The regulator will oversee the new regulatory regime for high‐rise buildings over 18m, as well as the competence and safety of all buildings.
Three new ‘gateways’ will be created as part of the design and construction process to ensure compliance with Building Regulations at each stage, and the regulator will become the Building Control Authority that signs off a building at every gateway. With the Building Safety Bill expected to receive Royal Assent in the spring, Peter highlighted the rapid pace of change and the need for duty holders (aligned to CDM) to understand their responsibilities.
Beyond a little more clarity on the process and timings key points to draw are that whilst the regulatory enforcement regime and process is changing most dramatically for buildings above 18m, the changes will ripple through all of construction with secondary regulation, competence expectations and enforcement and controls enacted by the new construction products regulator and changes to Building Control impacting all buildings.
Peter refrained from comment on the new policy approach being adopted by Secretary of State, Michael Gove, in managing legacy issues that FIS has publicly expressed concern on. He did encourage companies to look to the Building a Safer Future Charter and the Code for Construction Product Information as good ways to get ahead of change.
These two mechanisms to support compliance have also been highlighted by the Industry Safety Steering Group (ISSG) has published its third annual report on the progress of culture change in construction. Whilst the ISSG was disappointed that despite all the talk there is not significant momentum across the industry.
The FIS has produced more detailed information on the Building Safety Bill here.