Many of us in the built environment recognise and understand the importance of the Building Regulations that were introduced in 2010.
However, the secondary legislation, that came into force on 1 October 2023 and brought in five new regulations applicable for all buildings, and not just higher risk ones, are less widely understood.
With breaches resulting in a maximum punishment of unlimited fines and up to two years imprisonment, the secondary legislation shows that the government is, rightly so, serious about building safety in the UK.
What has changed and what do estates stakeholders need to consider?
The key difference from 1 October is that the registered duty holder/s of a building now have obligations in respect of compliance with the Building Regulations and not just the CDM and health and safety legislation.
Duty holders will also need to ensure that there are arrangements and systems in place to plan, manage and monitor design work and building work to ensure compliance with Building Regulations.
This change applies to all projects, not just residential or higher risk buildings.
Key implications to consider are:
- Additional or updated competency checks for retained design and contractor teams.
- Adjustment to terms of appointment and main contracts to make clear the additional obligations in respect of the Building Regulations as well as CDM Regulations.
- A review of client processes to ensure that they demonstrably “make suitable arrangements for planning, managing and monitoring a project (including allocation of sufficient time and other resources) so as to ensure compliance with all relevant requirements.” (New regulations, Part 2A, Chapter 1, 11A – (1)).
- Including in preliminaries and contracts for any obligations that then flow from the review of those processes.
- That the requirements will be more stringent for Higher Risk Buildings.
Cross service impact
The updated governance needs a cross-service approach looking at the impact of the changes that flow from both the Building Safety Act, its Secondary legislation, and the updated Building Regulations. This includes suggested updates to mandatory practice, advisory practice and proformas including compliance, sustainability, cost and project management, life cycle management building surveying and design specifications and BIM as well as health & safety teams.
Built environment stakeholders need to be asking themselves:
- What will be the cost implication and life cycle cost of adhering to these changes?
- How will it affect our sustainability planning?
- What impact will this have on timeframe for refurb programmes?
- How can I prioritise and manage these changes within existing programmes?
At RLB we have a multi-disciplinary service team that can advise what this means, how to interpret the impact on your estates and alongside our RLB Digital team and Sustainability teams work to help you prioritise these impacts and align them to your business objectives such as net zero and other sustainability goals. To find out more, please contact RLB’s National Head of Health and Safety, Samantha Mepham at firstname.lastname@example.org