As part of work underway to establish a new Building Safety Regulator and reform the building safety system, HSE is urging those who design high-rise buildings to act now to prepare for the changes coming when the Building Safety Bill becomes law.
The Building Safety Bill, currently making its way through Parliament, aims to implement all of the recommendations set out in Dame Judith Hackitt’s “Building a Safer Future” report, and in places goes further. The reforms include a more stringent approach to the design and construction of high-rise buildings, clearer responsibilities on designers to ensure these buildings are safe, and new measures so that everyone doing design or building work is competent to carry out that work in line with building regulations.
People working on the design of a high-rise building, from the development of a planning application through to building regulations approval will need to understand the building’s intended use, correctly identify the risks, and own and manage those risks to determine the safety of a building.
There will be a requirement to record and provide evidence of decision-making during the design process, and a need to be engaged throughout a building project to handover to the end client. Prepare now for these changes.
Peter Baker, Chief Inspector of Buildings at the Health and Safety Executive, said:
“Designers have a strong influence on safety and standards, particularly during the very early planning and design stages of a building project. Their decisions not only affect the safety of those carrying out the building work, but also those maintaining, using, or living in a building after it is built.
“I encourage designers to act now and prepare for the more stringent regulatory regime. HSE will continue to work with the building design industry and related businesses to support them to deliver safe and high-performing buildings and ensure that residents of high-rise buildings are safe, and feel safe, in their homes now and in the future.”
Colin Blatchford, Operational Policy Lead for Gateways and Building Control at HSE, said:
“Everyone involved in the design of high-rise buildings must take a proactive approach to managing building safety from the earliest stages of the design process. These changes are coming. Those involved need to plan ahead through correctly identifying, taking ownership and managing the risks – ensuring key decisions are recorded throughout the process.
“Once the Building Safety Bill becomes law, there will be a requirement for a safety case report when a building is completed and occupied. It is important to consider this at the early design stage for your clients and future residents’ safety.
“Building safety changes are coming and will affect everyone involved in a high-rise building project beyond its design. We urge that you act now.”
Responding to this statement, FIS CEO Iain McIlwee said:
“The Building Safety Bill offers a huge lever for change, but it needs to start with a recognition that design is detailed through the construction process and for the detailing to be effective we need the specialist contractors and manufacturers involved (and contracted) at a far earlier stage. Even with tighter regs, we will still see problems being resolved on the fly in difficult circumstances and under severe time pressure on site rather than designed out of the process at an earlier stage. This has to be about changing not just the way we design and build, but vitally how we procure the services, respect specialist knowledge and collaborate far more effectively through the project.”
You can find out more about the implementation of the Building Safety Bill here
BSI has launched BSI Identify to allow permanent structured product data to be found at any stage in the design, installation, maintenance and deconstruction of the product or system.
The Construction Product Association (CPA) said ‘This unique initiative aims to improve safety across the built environment through digital product identification’
BSI Identify has been in development with CPA and its members since 2024 and was supported with Innovate funding
How does it work?
- Manufacturers are issued a unique digital identifier called a BSI UPIN for every product
- The manufacturer can mark or tag their products via QR codes, NFC or RFID tags
- The BSI UPIN, once scanned, directs users to an open-access permanent page that holds all relevant and up to date product information
- All product queries can be routed back to the manufacturer
By using this revolutionary technology, manufacturers can support the Golden Thread of Information and improve industry safety. It’s good for business and good for your customers.
FIS Technical Director Joe Cilia sai:
‘Being able to access product information at the point of installation or even years after its been integrated in the fabric of a building is vitally important if we are to maintain buildings for the safety of all occupants in future. BSI identify will allow this to happen using a data base that will be available in perpetuity even if the company is no longer in business, and that’s a game changer.’
Peter Caplehorn CEO at the CPA said
‘By moving everything into a fully joined-up digital process, we can improve overall efficiency, product performance, safety, customer satisfaction, environmental performance and profit margins, which is a good thing because some money can be put back into R&D. BSI Identify is a unique digital identification service that looks to improve industry safety by solving the challenge of product identification.’
Watch this video to see how BSI Identify helps manufacturers
Find out more about BSI Identify on the BSI Identify website or CPA website.
FIS is pleased to announce the appointment of James Parlour as its new Technical and Vetting Manager to support the technical work of the organisation and develop the membership vetting process.
With more than 16 years’ technical, compliance and design experience across a wide range of sectors, James Parlour arrives at FIS to play a key role in ensuring FIS Members are specified and selected for projects. Formerly Project Coordinator at Ergonom, James has worked as Senior Design Engineer at Komfort Partitions, Technical Supervisor at SIG (Ocula Systems) and brings more than 10 years’ experience as a design technician at SAS International and Avanti Systems.
Working with the FIS Community in this new role, James will review and upgrade current vetting processes to better embrace the risk management approach defined by the FIS Product Process People Quality Framework and ensure that the members understand and uphold the values outlined in the Code of Conduct.
He will also provide support to the FIS Technical Director in responding to technical enquiries from members, supporting the various working groups and reviewing, developing and monitoring the FIS Vetting activities.
Commenting on the new appointment, FIS CEO Iain McIlwee said:
“We are delighted to welcome James to the FIS team. James has a wealth of experience across the finishes and interiors sector, and his skills and passion will make him a great asset in supporting the FIS Working Groups and projects, as well as the vetting process.”
“Vetting is central to our values and we are keen to work with the community to test the existing process and develop it to ensure that FIS community reflect these values and meet the standards these values project,” added Iain.
“This is a fantastic opportunity. To play a part in supporting value-led change at FIS and taking this leading trade body to the next level is very exciting,”said James Parlour.
For further information or for any questions please contact the FIS at email@example.com or call 0121-0707-0077.
Building Standards Division (BSD), is developing a national Compliance Plan approach to provide greater assurance that compliance with building regulations is achieved from design to completion.
This consultation seeks to obtain the views on the development of a new Compliance Plan Manager role within the building standards system which will apply to specific High Risk Building (HRB) types, the definition of these HRBs and the level of fines where work is not carried out in accordance with the regulations.
This consultation forms part of the work undertaken by the Compliance Plan Working Group, which is one of seven work streams, being directed by the Building Standards Futures Board. The consultation will gather opinions from stakeholders on a review of the building standards system relating to the way in which compliance with the building regulations is assured and enforced to help ensure the health, safety and welfare of people in and around Scotland’s buildings and to further the conservation of fuel and power and further the achievement of sustainable development.
The consultation covers four main areas, as follows:
- Creation of a new Compliance Plan Manager (CPM) oversight role on High Risk Building types on behalf of the Relevant Person (normally the owner or developer);
- The definition of High Risk Buildings requiring a CPM;
- Fines and penalties; and
- Impact assessments.
The proposed changes outlined in the consultation aim to:
Require applicants (building owners and developers) to evidence and document how compliance with the building regulations has been approached from a ‘pre-application meeting’ (initial) stage through to completion of the building project. The intention is to strengthen compliance across all building types with the new Compliance Plan approach and also to introduce a requirement for independent professional oversight – a Compliance Plan Manager – on high risk buildings to manage the compliance process from start to finish. Initial considerations have concentrated on application to High Risk Buildings (high rise residential, high public value – schools, healthcare facilities) and also housing sites. But this may be extended, in the future, to apply to a wider range of buildings types if there is evidence to support this. The consultation also seeks views on the definition of buildings classed as ‘High Risk Building Types’ (HRBs).
You can read the consultation paper here.
Members are encouraged to read the consultation and feed back their comments to FIS Technical Director Joe Cilia via email firstname.lastname@example.org