08.02.2022

Building Safety Bill: Are you getting the right advice?

Building Safety Bill: Are you getting the right advice?

The Building Safety Bill has been established by the UK Government in response to the recommendations provided in The Hackitt Report. Among the reforms is a requirement for a named Building Safety Manager / Accountable Person to be identified for all higher-risk buildings. Such duty holders shall have clear accountability and statutory responsibilities for fire and structural safety matters throughout the entire life cycle of buildings through design, construction, and operation.

The Bill, together with the Fire Safety Act will deliver a stronger regulatory system for all residential buildings classified as higher-risk (currently defined as being at least 18m in height or at least 7 storeys and have at least 2 residential units).

We have seen instances where Freeholders (including Registered Providers) are not fully aware of the requirements surrounding the change in approach and the associated fire and structural safety compliance implications.

calfordseaden has established a consolidated one stop solution assisting our clients from the initial steps of establishing the status of a building, whether in design, construction, or legacy stock already in use, through to obtaining the Building Assurance Certificate and establishing a Golden Thread of digital information.

It is acknowledged that each project is different, and our experienced project leads will co-ordinate any investigative works and identify the correct processes and procedures to create a compliant Building Safety Case.

Following this, solutions can be implemented liaising with our multi-disciplinary teams, including Architecture, BIM, Building Surveying, CDM Advisory, Clerk of Works, M&E, Sustainability, Structural Engineering and Quantity Surveying teams, as well as external parties including Building Control, the Building Safety Regulator and Fire Engineers.

Our multi-disciplinary teams include in-house RICS approved, AIFireE qualified, ABBE accredited inspectors, and areas where we can assist include the following:

  1. Audits of current building, including façades (support with intrusive investigations and review of construction against manufacturer tested and approved products and details)
  2. Internal audits of buildings and preparation of schedules of corrective works prior to submission of “Gateway 2”
  3. Development of information requirements for associated works to comply with the Golden Thread
  4. Development of Point Cloud Surveys to create accurate 3D digital models and accurate 2D digital plans, elevations, and sections
  5. Design consultancy support (e.g., design of temporary or permanent alarm system, localised sprinkler systems etc.)
  6. Provide Cost Advice throughout, including monitoring multiple funding streams as applicable e.g., Contractor, Building Safety Fund, Building Safety Levy, Leaseholder contributions etc.
  7. Assist with any applications for Government funding e.g., Building Safety Fund (or similar)
  8. Preparation of Employer Requirements including remedial scope of works, competency assessments and additional documents such as Exchange Information Requirements to adhere to the Golden Thread, and tendering to contractors
  9. Site Inspection and digital record keeping (including investigation, cladding removal and replacement phases)
  10. Act as Project Manager / Employer’s Agent / Contract Administrator and Information Manager
  11. Audit new construction for the compliance of the Building Safety Bill and Fire Safety Act
  12. Undertake CDM duties and obtain digital Health and Safety records to aid compliance with Gateway 2 and Gateway 3 requirements
  13. Aid in the creation and handover of digital information to the asset team to continue compliance with the Golden Thread
  14. Development of your Building Safety Case for submission at Gateway 3
  15. Liaise with Fire Engineers, the Building Safety Regulator and Building Control to obtain the Building Assurance Certificate
  16. Provide supporting information to assist with any third-party claims

We have developed this one stop approach as a response to the limited capacity within the market for the relevant specialists including Fire Engineers, resulting in instances where advice and reports are being obtained from unfamiliar and disparate sources, potentially leading to a lack of clarity and disjointed advice.

These reports can be of limited benefit and may simply identify problems without seeking to resolve the issues beyond steering the freeholder towards the NFCC requirement for a “waking watch”. Our multi-disciplinary approach goes beyond the identification of potential issues and provides project specific tailored advice and support to resolve any deficiencies.

Our service doesn’t end until our client has a Building Assurance Certificate safely in hand.

For more information on the Building Safety Bill, and to find out how we can help you with your schemes, please contact Partner Barry Hall.