News: Safety case principles for high-rise residential buildings

The Building Safety Bill has now entered Parliament. It proposes changes to building safety law that will place new duties on those who are responsible for the safety of high-rise residential buildings.

Fires and serious structural incidents in high-rise residential buildings are thankfully rare. Nevertheless, when they happen their consequences for people in or around the building can be catastrophic, and a single incident can affect a number of people and their homes. The Bill therefore proposes a proportionate and systematic regulatory approach to prevent and reduce the severity of a serious fire or structural failure.

It includes more stringent requirements for residential buildings that are seven storeys or more, or 18 metres and above, in height. This document aims to give early insights into some of these potential changes to help those who may have new roles to prepare for the reforms. As you read this material, you must keep in mind that the law has not yet been settled, so the points covered may be subject to change.

This document outlines the new approach proposed in England for the management and control of fire and structural hazards in buildings and the first steps towards understanding and preparing a safety case under the new regime. Residents, developers, other stakeholders such as property insurers, and building users may also have an interest in the potential role of safety cases in ensuring building safety. The document is the outcome of ongoing collaboration between Government, HSE and partner regulators, and industry.

(The above is an extract from the foreword by Peter Baker, Chief Inspector of Buildings)

You can read the full document here; you can also email any views and comments to the Building Safety Programme at BSP@hse.gov.uk by 22 October 2021.