The new Building Safety Bill was introduced into the House of Commons yesterday (5th July ‘21). It outlines legislative changes that will affect owners, developers, managers, contractors, and leaseholders of buildings that fall into the high-risk category.

The bill is heavily influenced by the findings and recommendations of the Hackitt Report, published in May 2018.

The Building Safety Bill aims to protect leaseholders and inhabitants from fire risks and the financial implications of corrective works required to be completed on existing residential buildings. Some of the most extreme cases could render homes unmortgageable and unsaleable.

Key changes outlined by the bill

  • Leaseholders will have a significant extension of time (from 6 to now 15 years) to seek compensation for shoddy building work. This also applies in retrospect to existing buildings.
  • It will be mandatory for all contractors to join the New Homes Ombudsman Scheme.
  • Building owners will have responsibility for managing safety risk with clear lines of responsibility for safety from design, construction, completion, and occupation. They will be required to demonstrate that effective proportionate measures are in place to manage safety risks, and may face criminal charges if they fail to meet their obligations.
  • A stronger construction products regulatory scheme will be developed, with the introduction of a national regulator ensuring products available on the market are truly fit for purpose.
  • A developer tax will be introduced to ensure the industry contributes to setting things right.


High-risk category buildings

A high-risk building is defined within the bill as those reaching either a height of 18M or 7 storeys (whichever is reached first), with at least two residential units. Hospitals and care homes also fall into this category.


Competency requirements

The BSI (British Standards Institute) will be working to create a suite of national competency standards for high-rise buildings, including fire/life safety.

You can read more about the principles set out for competency requirements under the duty holders fact sheet.


Transition plan timescales

 The transition plan lays out key milestones as follows:

  • 9-12 months for Royal Assent (RA)
  • RA+12 months for fire safety regulations to be reformed
  • RA+12 months for tightened regulations of fire products
  • RA+18 months to establish the competency committee.

You can see the proposed transition plan as a visual roadmap.


We can support you on your journey to passive fire safety competency

With these changes pending, now is the time to ensure you are compliant and competent.

We can support your journey to competency with our passive fire stopping training courses in conjunction with our reputable product partner Nullifire.

We are here to advise and support you with your technical and product queries and you can contact us anytime for advice.

You can also call us out to site to help you ensure your work is meeting the correct standards.