Building a Safer Future – Post Occupation

01.10.2020

Following the draft Building Safety Bill, published by the government in July, calfordseaden BIM Manager Varun Soni has highlighted some of the key changes to expect in a three-part series focusing on An OverviewThrough the Gateways and finally Post Occupation. The final part of our ‘Building a Safer Future’ series focus on what to expect from life after handover.

Building Safety Manager Role

The proposed changes set out in the Building Safety Bill place a much higher emphasis and responsibility on Facilities Management providers. Facilities managers have a diverse set of extensive responsibilities. These include all building and facility related services such as dealing with security, parking, cleaning, catering, technology, utilities, and budgeting. The most important aspects in this context are meeting safety regulations and health and security standards.

The new system will see the creation of the statutory roles of Building Safety Manager (BSM) and Accountable Person (AP). These roles will be performed by competent individuals who will be required to perform the BSM role. In addition, the accountability of the AP is non-transferable.

Both the BSM and the AP roles will be required to be registered with the Building Safety Regulator, requiring your facilities management team to have the capacity and expertise for these roles. A competence framework for the BSM role has already been developed but your FM team will need a person with the skills and expertise to meet the specified competence requirements. However, it would be worth investing in upskilling and training for your entire team to raise awareness of the new liabilities and responsibilities. You will need to have sufficient funding and resources available to build the competence and capacity to fulfil the new statutory requirements.

Information gathering and distribution

To support organisations in meeting necessary standards, sufficient information will be cascaded to all the relevant people. These individuals will then plan and implement actions that can be measured and evidenced to demonstrate that they meet the needs of the new regulatory body. New information requirements include the safety case for fire and risk management, the digital ‘golden thread’ of building info and the emergency services information box through the use of BIM.

The implementation of a clear engagement strategy for residents and building users will be required. This should include relevant fire safety information that will be presented to residents in order to ensure that they understand fire safety procedures and are updated the procedures periodically.

If your FM team is not yet engaged in an information-gathering exercise, this is the time to start. You should also revisit or start developing and implementing an engagement strategy that meets the requirements of the new regulations. This will include obtaining information and evidence about buildings which will be required for the building safety case.

Staying up to date

It is of utmost important that your FM team remain up to speed with all the developments as the new rules are implemented. The initial focus will be on structural and fire safety in all multi-occupied buildings over 18 metres or six storeys.

Facilities management teams in the sector will need to focus on developing capacity and skills, engagement and information gathering exercises before the full implementation of the new regime.

These recommendations include the definition of a Duty Holder. The Duty Holder will have clear responsibilities in all areas from the design through construction up to occupation of a building. Other important points are making sure that residents’ concerns are never ignored, and always recorded, as well as ensuring that stronger enforcements and sanctions and enforced in the case of non-compliance with the new safety bill.

calfordseaden are able to provide with support and guidance on creating safety cases as well as collecting the information and evidence required for a safety case on existing and new developments. Our multi-disciplined team work closely with organisations to develop their BIM and digital requirements in order to comply with the safety bill.

Get in touch with Varun Soni for more information. Vsoni@calfordseaden.com

Read part one: An Overview

Read part two: Through the Gateways