When the new Building Safety Bill is implemented, property owners and managing agents will have a lot to consider for residential buildings that are over 18 metres (or six storeys) in height.
The Safety Case
Underpinning the regime will be a requirement for a Safety Case and the Safety Case Report, which the Accountable Person (AP) must produce, and the Building Safety Regulator must approve before issuing a building safety certificate.
The safety case for a new building will need to include:
- A comprehensive description of the building and the preventive measures and protective systems
- An understanding of the life-critical risks (for fire and structural safety) and evidence as to how they will be proactively and proportionally managed for safe occupation
- Mandatory occurrence reporting
- Evidence of emergency preparedness, continuous improvement and compliance with legislation, standards and policies
- Reference to documents such as a resident engagement strategy, fire and emergency file, and structural or fire safety inspections
Additionally, the Safety Case Report will consist of a summary of the Safety Case elements. This is intended to be a brief document, perhaps 12-20 pages long, that makes the safety case for the building and is supported by a range of documents.
It should summarise how the fire and structural risks are being managed by the BSM, followed by a written explanation and justification for this approach, referencing the supporting evidence in the safety case. Below are some of those supporting documents.
What to do now
Dame Judith Hackitt, who led the independent review of building safety regulations, said in 2020, upon
the draft Bill’s announcement that it was “not enough to wait for the Bill to become law” before implementing changes and that the industry should “start taking action now.”
You should start tackling the gaps in building information that currently exist for many existing buildings in occupation that will fall into the scope of the Bill.
How we help
Tetra is at the forefront of these building safety reforms. Our team is highly experienced and includes a member Working Group 8, who developed the competency standards for the Building Safety Manager role.
We have also signed the Building a Safer Future Charter alongside numerous other organisations who are committed to protecting life by putting safety first, ahead of all other building priorities.
We have already started working with a number of our clients to begin building the Safety Case.
A final suggestion
It will be necessary to use technology to keep important information safe and accessible. The golden thread will be a vital part of managing the lifecycle of high-risk residential buildings and providing those in charge of a building’s safety with visibility and accountability. Proptech can be used to address a number of areas within the Building Safety Bill, particularly around making it easier to report issues and provide a clear audit trail.
If you would like to explore using a system that can assist with this, Tetra’s own property risk management software, PRISM, is leading the way with bringing visibility to compliance management.