The Building Safety Act 2022 is a piece of legislation that aims to improve the safety of high-rise buildings in the United Kingdom, following the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy in 2017. The Act was introduced to the UK Parliament in July 2021 and received Royal Assent in April 2022.
The Act introduces several changes to the current regulatory framework for building safety in England and Wales, including the establishment of the Building Safety Regulator (BSR). The BSR is responsible for overseeing the safety of high-rise buildings and enforcing new building safety requirements, as well as ensuring that the industry is held accountable.
One of the main provisions of the Act is the introduction of a new building safety regime for higher-risk residential buildings (HRRBs) that are over 18 metres in height. These buildings require the appointment of a Building Safety Manager (BSM) who will be responsible for managing the building’s safety risks and ensuring that it complies with the new building safety requirements.
The Act also requires HRRBs to have a Building Safety Case (BSC), which is a document setting out the building’s safety risks and a plan to show how they will be managed. The BSC must be submitted to the BSR and reviewed by an independent assessor before the building can be occupied.
In addition, the Act introduces a new duty for building owners to actively manage and reduce the risk of fire in external wall systems of HRRBs. It also gives the BSR new powers to enforce compliance with the new building safety requirements, including the ability to issue enforcement notices and prosecute non-compliant building owners.
There is also provision for improving the competence and training of professionals involved in the design, construction, and management of high-rise buildings, and for increasing the transparency and accountability in the building safety process.
The Act represents a significant overhaul of the regulatory framework for building safety in England and Wales, restoring public confidence in the safety of the built environment.