The Building Safety Act (“BSA“) has a significant impact on building owners and all those involved in real estate development.
We set out below the top ten things you need to know about the BSA:
- The BSA provides for a new Building Safety Regulator (BSR)who will be the building control authority for higher-risk buildings in construction which will include buildings of 18 metres in height or 7 storeys which contain two residential units, care homes and hospitals.
- There are three “Gateway” points for new higher risk buildings which must be complied with before the development proceeds:
- Gateway 1 – Introduced via existing planning legislation on 1 August 2021 in relation to higher risk buildings;
- Gateway 2 – Hard stop – Approval must be obtained prior to commencement of construction. Will apply from 1 October 2023;
- Gateway 3 – Hard stop – A completion certificate from the BSR will be required prior to registration and occupation. Will apply from 1 October 2023.
- There is a requirement to register existing higher risk buildings with the Building Safety Regulator by 1 October 2023. New higher risk buildings must be registered with the Regulator prior to occupation from 1 October 2023 unless the transitional provisions apply (these will come to an end from 6 April 2024).
- A “golden thread” of building information is to be created, stored digitally and updated through the Gateway process and throughout the building’s life-cycle.
- An ongoing duty on the new Accountable Person (i.e. the building/ estate owner or entity under repairing obligations of common parts) to assess building safety risks, provide safety case reports to the Regulator and apply for building assessment certificates.
- The BSA makes changes to the Defective Premises Act to extend the limitation period to 30 years retrospectively before 28 June 2022 and 15 years prospectively after 28 June 2022.
- It creates new dutyholders (clients, principal contractor, principal designer, designers and contractors) which will be required for the design and construction of all building works but with additional duties for higher risk buildings.
- It creates a Competence requirement for any person carrying out any building or design work, including principal designers and principal contractors.
- It makes available new orders available to assist with pursuing those responsible for defects which pose a building safety risk and their associated persons.
- There will be more regulation of building control/approved inspectors. Registration for building inspectors and building control approvers.
Anyone who would like to attend future seminars on the BSA provided by Wedlake Bell, please register here or contact Sarah Elliott or Natalie Pilagos in the construction team.