28 July, 2022

Building safety: What’s next?

HACT Digital Lead, Michael McLaughlin shares an insight into what to expect from the Building Safety Act now it has received Royal Assent.

Following royal assent in April of this year, the Government has now opened consultation for the secondary legislation covering the Building Safety Act.

This consultation provides a really significant opportunity for social housing organisations to comment and influence how the clauses contained in the Act – which will have significant impact across the sector – will be implemented.

There are key areas focusing on implementing the new building control regime for higher-risk buildings and wider changes to the building regulations for all buildings. I would urge particular focus on responsibilities around establishing greater record keeping and management in higher-risk buildings. This links closely to the consultation on the new safety regime for occupied higher-risk buildings and the creation, management, and maintenance of a golden thread of data throughout the lifecycle of each property.

As a single point of truth, the golden thread will record changes and the decision-making process that includes all information, documents and information management processes used to support building safety.

The consultation gives social housing organisations an opportunity to comment on what the golden thread of data should contain, and when it is required to be agreed and shared throughout the development handover process to ensure that the right people at the right time have the relevant information to support compliance with all applicable building regulations.

There is also a continued drive to ensure residents’ voices are part of the principles of managing building risk. The consultation calls out clearer and better processes to provide residents with building safety information, the importance of a documented residents’ engagement strategy, and the management and use of resident complaints as key elements.

With our work on the sector-leading UK Housing Data Standards providing foundational steps to underpin both golden thread of buildings data, and the promotion of customer voice through improved data governance practices in both our development handover and customer complaints and resident feedback standards, we know this is of huge significance to organisations across the sector.

Through the Building Safety Act and its secondary legislation, the Government is seeking to ensure building regulation is fit for purpose across the built environment and, where appropriate, will apply new approaches in the Act to all building work – not just those in scope of the new regulatory regime for higher-risk buildings. This consultation is designed to hear views on how to do so.

When the consultation closes on 12 October 2022, the Government will consider the comments before regulations are signed and passed through parliament.

It is important that the social housing sector inputs and influences the shape of these regulations as they will have a significant impact on existing and future construction and management of homes.

Learn more

To find out more about how HACT have been involved in the Building Safety Act and ensuring the UK Housing Data Standards align with these plans you can get in touch with HACT Digital Lead, Michael McLaughlin

get in touch