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Last edited 05 May 2022
Building Safety Bill
 Building Safety Bill
The Building Safety Bill 2019-20 was announced in the Queen’s Speech on 19 December 2019 following the Grenfell Tower fire on 14 June 2017. Its purpose is to put in place new and enhanced regulatory regimes for building safety and construction products, and to ensure residents have a stronger voice in the system.
It was expected that the main elements would:
- Create an enhanced safety framework for high-rise residential buildings, taking forward the recommendations of the Hackitt review.
- Provide clearer accountability and stronger duties for those responsible for the safety of high-rise buildings, with clear competence requirements to maintain high standards.
- Give residents a stronger voice in the system and ensure that they fully understand how they can contribute to maintaining safety in their buildings.
- Strengthen enforcement and sanctions to deter non-compliance.
- Develop a new, stronger and clearer framework to provide national oversight of construction products.
- Develop a new system to oversee the whole built environment, with local enforcement agencies and national regulators.
- Require that developers of new build homes belong to a New Homes Ombudsman.
For more information see: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-8781/
On 2 April 2020, in response to the Building a Safer Future consultation, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP also announced steps to introduce mandatory sprinkler systems and consistent wayfinding signage in all new high-rise blocks of flats over 11 metres tall, legislated for through the Building Safety Bill. For more information see: Government response to the Building a Safer Future consultation.
The draft Building Safety Bill was published on 20 July 2020. Ref https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/draft-building-safety-bill
Explanatory notes were published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/explained-the-draft-building-safety-bill
The final version of the Bill was published on 5 July 2021. Ref https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-regulator-at-heart-of-building-safety-overhaul
Under the proposals, the Government is more than doubling the amount of time, from six to 15 years, that residents can seek compensation for substandard construction work. These changes will apply retrospectively. This means that residents of a building completed in 2010 would be able to bring proceedings against the developer until 2025. These reforms also include new measures which apply to those seeking compensation for shoddy refurbishments which make the home unliveable.
A one-page explaination of the bill is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/999440/Building_Safety_Bill_-_explainer.pdf
On 1 March 2022, CIAT raised serious concerns and responded to the Lords' Committee Stages as the Building Safety Bill moved through Parliament. These concerns were also expressed by other industry bodies, including the Construction Industry Council. For more information see: CIAT raises concerns about Building Safety Bill.
In April 2022, the government announced a series of amendments to the Building Safety Bill, this included scrapping the role of Building Safety Manager. This they suggest will give the Accountable Person greater freedom to implement safety procedures that suit the circumstances of their building, and will also remove the associated cost of appointing a Building Safety Manager.
On 13 April 2022 the government announced agreement with developers in England to contribute £5 billion to address the building safety issues that were uncovered following the Grenfell Tower fire. For more information see: Building safety agreement with developers.
On 28 April 2022, the Bill received Royal Assent, becoming law as the Building Safety Act 2022.
A series of factsheets are available through Gov.UK, updated in April 2022 to provide more information about the provisions in the Building Safety Bill and how they will be implemented.
- Building safety leaseholder protections factsheet
- Dutyholders: factsheet
- Industry competence: factsheet
- Buildings included in the new more stringent regulatory regime: factsheet
- Impact Assessment: factsheet
- Building control regime for higher-risk buildings (Gateways 2 and 3): factsheet
- Safety Case: factsheet
- Safety management systems: factsheet
- Mandatory Occurrence Reporting: factsheet
- Building Safety Regulator: factsheet
- Amendments to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005: factsheet
- Accountable Persons: factsheet
- Golden thread: factsheet
- Refurbishments: factsheet
- Building control registration and regulatory oversight: factsheet
- Wider changes to the Building Act 1984: factsheet
- Building Safety Levy: factsheet
- Architects Competence: factsheet
- Architects Fees: factsheet
- Building registration and certification: factsheet
- Building Safety costs: factsheet for landlords & building owners
- Ongoing Building Safety costs: factsheet for leaseholders
- Construction products regulatory framework: factsheet
- Fire Safety Order interaction with the new regime for higher-risk buildings: factsheet
- National regulator for construction products: factsheet
- New Homes Ombudsman: factsheet
- Residents’ Voice: factsheet
- Special Measures: factsheet
- Building Assessment Certificate: transitional arrangements for existing buildings: factsheet
- Redress: factsheet
- New Build Warranties: factsheet
 Fire Safety Bill
A Fire Safety Bill was also introduced in 2019 to amend the Fire Safety Order 2005, clarifying that the responsible person or duty-holder for multi-occupied, residential buildings must manage and reduce the risk of fire.
For more information see: Fire Safety Bill.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings
- Building Safety Act.
- Building Safety Alliance.
- CIAT raises concerns about Building Safety Bill.
- CIOB responds to Newsnight report - Trapped: the UK's building safety crisis.
- CIOB reviews the Building Safety Bill.
- Eight organisations form engineering services alliance.
- Fire safety bill.
- Golden thread.
- Government response to the Building a Safer Future consultation.
- Grenfell Tower fire.
- Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
- Hackitt Review.
- Leading built environment bodies call for sprinklers in all schools.
- National construction products regulator established.
- The Building Safety Bill and product testing.
- The Building Safety Bill - A Quality Response.
- The Building Safety Bill, regulations and competence.
- The golden thread and BS 8644-1.
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