The Building Safety Bill has received Royal Assent becoming the Building Safety Act 2022. The Act brings into life the Building Safety Regulator, with powers of enforcement in terms of the new building regime system, a Construction Products Regulator, with new powers over construction products, and a Home’s Ombudsman, to assist residents.
Although debate and amendment of the 252 page Act has seen numerous alterations, including notably the removal of the Building Safety Manager, the substance of many of the Independent Review of Building Safety report’s other recommendations remain. The concept of the ‘golden thread’ approach to secure building information and duty holders’ requirements for accountability remain together with other clear duties for wider building safety. Secondary legislation to implement the Act’s many provisions will now follow.
The Fire Sector Federation welcomed from the outset the Bill, which outlined the intent of this significant legislative change. We have continuously worked with and through various government and industry groups, to respond to the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy. Competency, especially related to fire risk assessment, has been one feature of this work and the Act does include a requirement for those employed to assist others make a fire risk assessment to be “competent”. The expectation now is for development of the further regulations and guidance required to bring into force the Act’ provisions, which should start to emerge from this autumn.