Evaluating a Year in Construction - Changes to the Building Safety Act

Following the release of the new Building Safety Act in early October, the team have been discussing how this is likely to affect low risk projects, and what project teams will need to do to comply with these new regulations:

Why have the regulations been altered?

The new regulations have been amended to remove any ambiguity in terms of who is responsible for compliance with regulations.

When and how do these regulations apply?

The amended regulations do not apply where an initial notice has been accepted by the Local Authority before the 1st October 2023 and work commences before 6th April 2024.

What has changed for clients?

A new body, the Building Safety Regulator, will oversee matters of safety including the regulations and building control.  All Approved Inspectors will need to register with the BSR and become registered Building Control Approvers by the 6th April 2024.

This will be a regulated profession and will require demonstration of experience and qualifications to qualify.

If they are not already doing so, clients should appoint an Approved Inspector at project inception to ensure full compliance with the BSA.

Clients must also now appoint a principal designer (PD) at project inception, this is not the principal designer for CDM, but a lead designer that is responsible for managing, coordinating, and applying the building regulations to the design. It is suggested that this ought to be the Architect on building projects, but ultimately the PD could be any designer / duty holder within the design team with sufficient competence. It is important for the client to check that whoever is being appointed as the PD is both competent and adequately insured for this role.

It is now the clients responsibility to notify the Approved Inspector when :

  • The appointment of the Approved Inspector is in place and provide their details
  • The appointment of the Principal Contractor (PC) is in place and provide their details
  • Any duty holders change and the dates of their appointment
  • Building work commences

As with CDM, the description for other duty holders is the same, i.e. any person who carries out, arranges for, or instructs design. However, duty holders within the team are now required to be formerly assessed for competence prior to appointment. The regulations ask that clients formerly carry this out and keep evidence of this assessment.

When work is complete, the client shall be required to notify the Approved Inspector with the following information:

  • The clients details
  • The principal designer and principal contractor details
  • A Completion Statement for the works
  • A signed statement to the Building Control Approved Inspector that says, “to the best of your knowledge the works complies with Building Regulations”
  • A signed statement from the principal designer and principal contractor that they have fulfilled their duties under the Building Regulations

Without the above signed statements, a completion certificate cannot be issued by the Approved Inspector.

Under the Amendment Regulations, the person carrying out the work is required to make a statement on the Final Certificate confirming that Regulation 38 (below) has been complied with.  It should be noted that the Approved Inspector cannot issue the Final Certificate without receiving confirmation that Regulation 38 has been complied with.

“The person carrying out the work shall give fire safety information to the responsible person* not later than the date of completion of the work, or the date of occupation… whichever is earlier.”

What are the consequences of not complying?

Failure to comply will be a criminal offence and could result in an unlimited fine, a table of the penalties are below:

We hope this article helps to clarify the new responsibilities for clients within the Building Safety Act.   If you are still unsure of your responsibilities, please get in touch with our team via the details below:

01604 859859

hello@goodrichllp.com 

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Posted by: Olivia Smith

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