Your Guide to the Building Safety Act 2022

Officially becoming law in June last year, the Building Safety Act 2022 is a landmark legislative response to the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in 2017. Designed to overhaul the safety standards of buildings, especially high-rise and multi-occupancy residential structures. With key provisions taking effect in October 2023, this exploration delves into the pivotal changes that construction companies, developers and clients need to be aware of.

 

Addressing the Grenfell Tragedy:

The Grenfell Tower fire exposed critical deficiencies in building safety standards and regulations, prompting a demand for more robust measures to ensure the wellbeing of residents in high-rise buildings in England and Wales. The Building Safety Act 2022 emerges as a legislative framework designed to rectify these shortcomings and prevent similar tragedies in the future.

Understanding the Building Safety Act's Impact

Understanding the Building Safety Act's Impact

For construction companies and developers, the Building Safety Act signifies a fundamental shift in working methods, placing a heightened emphasis on safety. The act creates a framework that not only mandates compliance but also introduces measures to enforce it.

Under the act, clients bear specific duties related to the new building control system. These duties underscore the client’s role in ensuring that building projects comply with safety regulations. We have broken down the clients key responsibilities in the following document.

Comprehensive Building Act

Comprehensive Building Act

The new legislation is all-encompassing, addressing the following aspects:

  • Obligations applicable across the entire life cycle of the building
  • Requirements concerning the competency of individuals engaged in the building process, including residents
  • Sanctions and enforcement methods for breaches, coupled with an extension of the limitation period for civil actions
  • Financial costs related to construction, including a mandatory developer levy to be settled before commencing construction

Support for Existing Initiatives

Support for Existing Initiatives

The Building Safety Act 2022 aligns with other post-Grenfell initiatives, including the Fire Safety Act 2021 and guidelines provided by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for high-risk structures. These initiatives collectively contribute to a comprehensive approach to building safety.

While the Building Safety Act 2022 imposes increased responsibilities, potential liabilities and costs on clients in the construction sector, it also aims to enhance building safety. By closely following the regulations and seeking professional advice, stakeholders can navigate these changes effectively, ultimately contributing to the long-term safety and wellbeing of property owners and developers. For further clarification and guidance, reach out to our Principal Designer Lead, Steve Wood, at steve.wood@db3group.com

Date Published: 12 December 2023
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