The Building Safety Act 2022


May 3, 2024

This act was implemented in response to an independent review of the Grenfell Tower fire and focuses on the structural and fire safety of residential buildings, more specifically high-rise buildings, from the point of construction to the responsibilities during occupation.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been named as the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) and will oversee the safety and performance of all buildings and act as the building control authority for works relating to higher-risk buildings, removing the option to choose which building control body oversees work.

In England a higher risk building is a building with at least two dwellings which is 18 metres or more in height, or if less than 18 metres in height, has seven or more storeys. Any building falling into either of these categories will need an accountable person who will be responsible for repair of the common parts, listening to health and safety complaints from the residents and reporting such complaints to the Regulator, as well as reporting any fire or structural problems.

Higher risk buildings and accountable persons need to be registered with the Building Safety Regulator.

In 2018, England introduced a ban on various types of combustible cladding on buildings 18 metres or more in height, which was subsequently implemented in Wales in 2020, but didn’t apply to hotels, hostels and boarding houses. The new regulations now extend to buildings containing one or more dwellings including student accommodation, care homes, hospitals, sheltered housing, and hotels.

The new regulations place a ban on the metal composite material cladding on all new buildings and buildings undergoing works regardless of height or use, removal of which may be covered by the Government’s Building Safety Fund or Cladding Safety Scheme.

Residential buildings over 18 metres need to have an Evacuation Alert System and new residential buildings over 11 metres are to include a Secure Information Box. From 2026, new buildings which are 18 metres or higher with a residential element, will be required to have at least two staircases.

Since October 2023, anyone suffering loss as a consequence of building regulation breaches can claim damages for personal injury or damage to property.

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