Safety Bill will deliver biggest reform ‘in living memory’

Bill introduces new safety regime for higher-risk residential buildings

CIBSE has welcomed the introduction into parliament of the long-awaited Building Safety Bill, which it said would deliver the biggest reform of regulation across the construction and residential property sectors ‘in living memory’.

The more robust safety regime will take a proportionate, risk-based approach to building work, including remediation. It will introduce new requirements for the competence of those who design and build as well as operators of higher risk residential buildings, the Institution said.

The Building Safety Bill has been drafted to reshape how the industry designs, builds and renovates all buildings in future. It introduces changes to the Building Act, Architects Act and Building Regulations and will reform the building control system.

It will also attempt to dramatically increase digitalisation through the whole life-cycle of buildings and includes stronger regulatory powers for construction products, with a new market surveillance and enforcement regime led by the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS).

‘This is the most fundamental reform of building-related legislation in decades,’ said CIBSE President Kevin Kelly. ‘CIBSE is totally committed to working with our members, the firms that employ them, with government, with BSI as the National Standards Body and with all interested parties to deliver a system of building legislation that delivers safe and sustainable buildings.’

Technical director Hywel Davies added that the trigger for this legislation was the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in 2017, which cost 72 lives and blighted many more.