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Building Safety

The government is introducing new building safety legislation and has asked the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to establish a new building safety regulator to:

The government’s proposals were informed by an independent review of building regulations and fire safety, commissioned by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire on 14 June 2017 which led to 72 fatalities.

The final report from the review, Building a Safer Future, was published on 17 May 2018. The 53 recommendations included specific proposals to raise the bar on the competence of people designing, constructing, and operating High-Rise Residential Buildings (HRRBs) throughout the building lifecycle. Key professions identified in the report included engineers and fire engineers.

To meet that challenge, and take forward the report’s recommendations, the Competence Steering Group (CSG) was created in August 2018. The Engineering Council has led a working group (Working Group 1: Engineers, or WG1 Engineers) as part of this initiative.

In August 2019, the CSG published its interim report, Raising the Bar. It included 67 recommendations including creating a suite of national standards and supporting documents.

Recommendation 20 of ‘Raising the bar’ stated:

Industry should lead the creation of an HRRB benchmark competence framework covering the core knowledge, skills and behaviours required to work on HRRBs as part of a suite of national standards under the governance of the national standards body against which professional and trade bodies are expected to develop their individual sector-specific or discipline competence frameworks.

The Engineering Council is a member of the Built Environment Competence Standards (BECS) Strategy Group and is involved in the development of overarching Built Environment Competence Standards, being led by British Standards Institution (BSI).

On 22 July 2020 the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) launched the draft Building Safety Bill; a complex piece of legislation that will ultimately deliver the most fundamental improvements to building safety regulations seen in 40 years. 

An overview of the Bill's contents, explaining in particular what this means for residents, leaseholders and industry, is available here. 

The second document below is the Fire Safety Consultation, published by the Home Office, which is seeking views on proposals to strengthen the existing Fire Safety Order. 

Taken together, the measures in the draft Building Safety Bill and the Fire Safety Order will improve safety standards for residents of all blocks of flats of all heights, which is something we are all keen to work towards, together.

The draft Building Safety Bill:

The Fire Safety Consultation:

The building safety regulator

WG1 Reports and annexes

In this section you will find all of the final documents from Working Group 1 (WG1 Engineers) which were used to produce the Competence Steering Group (CSG)'s interim report Raising the Bar.

… (Read more)

Useful Documents

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