One of the key points of the government’s consultation on a far-reaching building safety reform is the scope of the proposed new regime. It now includes multi-occupied residential buildings of 18 meters and higher (as opposed to previously 30 meters and higher). A Building Safety Certificate must be issued for any high-rise residential building within scope.
What does the Building Safety Certificate include?
The Accountable Person (AP) needs to register the building with the Building Safety Regulator and secure a building safety certificate. This document identifies the AP, the building safety manager (BSM) and the obligations and conditions for ensuring the building is safe for residents. It needs to be displayed in a prominent part of the building.
The registration process will ensure that the AP has sufficient control of the building to safeguard that the obligations of the building safety certificate may be met. In addition, the process ensures that
- The accountable person is complying with the requirements of the building safety regulatory regime and the obligations attached to the building safety certificate;
- The building safety manager is competent and suitable to perform the role;
- The building safety manager is discharging their functions competently and in accordance with the obligations in the building safety certificate.
There are a variety of conditions that apply to all buildings in scope. Some are mandatory, some are voluntary and there are also special conditions imposed by the building safety regulator under certain circumstances.
The mandatory conditions will set out the key requirements of the new regime. This includes engaging with and delivering key information to residents as well as maintaining the golden thread of information. In addition, it includes the delivery of the safety case.
Voluntary conditions would be proposed by the AP as additional conditions under which they will operate to mitigate identified safety risks. These volunteered conditions will be agreed with the building safety regulator.
Special conditions may be imposed by the building safety regulator and will be specific, measurable and time bound. These could be imposed as a result of an industry-wide issue or because the building safety regulator feels there are specific risks within a building that the accountable person must act on. A special condition can include a requirement which the goes beyond that which accountable person had volunteered to do.
The duration of the building safety certificate is linked to duration of safety case.
As mentioned above, one of the mandatory conditions is to maintain the Golden Thread of information.
What is the Golden Thread of information?
As part of the proposal, Dame Judith Hackitt talked about a “golden thread” of building information which is created, maintained and held digitally to ensure that the original design intent and any subsequent changes to the building are captured, preserved and used to support safety improvements. The important part here that this promotes openness, transparency and accountability throughout the life cycle of the building. In addition, a key dataset must be kept in a specific format that will enable the building safety regulator to analyse data across all buildings in scope. The golden thread of information and key dataset will enable building safety information to be available to the right people at the right time during design, construction and occupation.
For new buildings, it includes information collected through gateway points which will feed into the safety case. For existing buildings, it includes information collected during the building safety registration process as well as information required to build and evidence the safety case.
This article is the second in our series covering the ongoing government consultation on building safety. You can find part 1, all about the critical role of the Building Safety Manager, here. In part 3 we talk about the new role of the Building Safety Regulator and explain the Safety Case.
How MGR Consultants can help
We can advise and guide on all building safety related issues and provide physical solutions where required. Please contact us for a complimentary 30minute telephone consultation by calling 0116 260 8630 or 0782 444 2159 or email us at [email protected]