Building Safety Act: Everything you need to know and key actions

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  • Building Safety Act: Everything you need to know and key actions
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Samantha Mepham


Samantha Mepham


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April this year marked another significant milestone for building safety in the UK, when the new building safety regime finally became fully established in law. Like many in my profession, this felt like a watershed moment for the built environment, signalling how far we have come as an industry, but also how far we still have to go.

Although we now have a robust legal framework with the Building Safety Act 2022 receiving Royal Assent on 28 April 2022, followed by secondary legislation on 1 October last year and then further legislation this April, it feels like we still have an industry that is unsure of its responsibilities and how this new governance applies to them.

All Buildings

The most important change for most stakeholders has been in the way that projects are delivered and the responsibilities and appointment of new duty holders. This will affect the majority of building works across England and Wales. Designers and contractors, where competent, also hold new duties and responsibilities for the projects.  Additional to this, building owners of higher-risk buildings need to understand how to manage their buildings post occupation, including how the golden thread is maintained (more on that below).

This new duty holder position is not to be confused with the duty holders created by the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations. The new appointments must be made where the project involves more than one contractor and involves works not excluded under the 2010 Building Regulations.

Higher Risk Buildings

If the works are the construction of or works on a higher risk building – that is one that is classified as at least 18 meters in height or has at least 7 stories and which contains at least two occupied residential units – anyone planning building work will also need to follow the new building control regime. This means seeking approval from the Building Safety Regulator before works commence, for any changes during construction and at practical completion before occupation. New documentation and additional information will be expected for the applications and requirements for the management of the golden thread and mandatory occurrence reporting are defined.

Golden Thread

According to the government, “the golden thread involves keeping a digital record of crucial building information – starting from the design phase and continuing throughout the building’s lifecycle.” This must be stored digitally but can be on multiple systems and compromises of two parts – building work and maintenance. Ensuring that any modifications or enhancements to buildings are accurately documented enables building owners to proactively identify potential risks or hazards and take any corrective action that might be needed in the future. While only legally required for higher-risk buildings, the management of information is critical for all projects/buildings.

Occupational Management

All those in England responsible for the post-occupation management of higher-risk buildings must have a clear understanding of safety critical management systems and information, notwithstanding the requirements introduced through the Building Safety Act and the Higher-Risk Buildings (Management of Safety Risks etc) (England) Regulations 2023.

Key Legislation

Higher Risk Buildings (including new and works to existing)

The Building (Higher-Risk Buildings Procedures) (England) Regulations 2023

Came into force 1 Oct 2023

Gateways/change control/Mandatory reporting & the Golden Thread


  • Initial notice has been given and accepted or
  • Full deposit of plans has been made.

And by 6 April 2024

  • The above has not lapsed or been rejected
  • Work has sufficiently progressed (piling or foundations new build/started in existing)
  • Your Building Control is Registered.
All Building Works with More than One Contractor

The Building Regulations etc (Amendment) (England)

Came into force 1 Oct 2023

Changes to 2010 Building Regulations including the appointment of a new duty holders PD & PC (different to CDM)


  • Work started by 1 October 2023
  • Plans have been deposited
  • Initial notice has been given
  • Full deposit of plans has been made.

And by 6 April 2024

  • Nothing has lapsed or been rejected
  • Works have started.

What is needed to be done now

Anyone who owns a building, manages a higher-risk building, or occupies a building has the following responsibilities:

  • To understand the legal requirements and their responsibilities
  • To ensure they or people acting on behalf of their company to be responsible for the Building Safety Act governance, including the development of a building safety case
  • Ensure the golden thread is maintained and is digital stored, and a mandatory occurrence reporting procedure is in place.

How RLB can help

The RLB team is experienced in all areas of project delivery and building safety. Our teams can support you with your preparations to be compliant with the Act and its secondary legislation. The following is a summary of the services we can offer:

  • Pre-occupation/registration gap analysis
  • Building Safety Cases and Building Safety Certification
  • Building condition and compliance surveys with retrofit compliance support
  • Full range of Fire Consultancy Services
  • BSA compliant Information Management creation and implementation
  • Golden Thread development and digital solutions, supporting the Building Safety Case
  • Development of Building Safety Management Systems
  • Advisory and awareness services on the Act and its secondary legislation implementation
  • Improve your supply chain through auditing and competency setting and assessments
  • CDM services including Principal Designer & Client Advisor
  • Building Regulations Principal Designer for non-higher-risk buildings and advisory for higher-risk buildings
  • Quality monitoring including Clerk of Works
  • Building Safety Project Consultancy.

RLB Digital

RLB Digital is a team of experts who can help those grabbling with the Building Safety Act manage these vast data sets and prioritise actions that need to be taken. We will work with you to develop smart, practical solutions that can help with your golden thread of information and support adhering to the Building Safety Act governance.


Samantha Mepham
Samantha Mepham

Partner – National Head of Health & Safety