Understanding the Building Safety Bill
Building A Safer Future
Fire Consultancy Specialists evolved in order to provide solutions to navigate the Building Safety Bill. We have been providing these services for the last 6 months prior to the BSB royal ascent. As a signatory of the Building a Safer Charter, we are commited to a culture change within the industry. FCS has specially configured engineering teams and resources to ensure compliant navigation of the new BSB.
Changes in legislation made by the Government aim to improve building standards and fire safety practices. With this fundamental change in the law, building owners and managers, as well as property developers need expert fire consultants to assist with compliance.
Legislative Response to Tragedy
Dame Judith Hackitt conducted an independent review of the then-current regulations for buildings and fire safety as a result of the tragedy at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017. The review revealed that the regulatory system for high-rise buildings at the time was not fit for purpose. Thus, building safety legislation as well as the supplementary guidance were due for much-needed reforms if similar tragedies are to be prevented from happening in the future. Ultimately, this fundamental change in legislation will drive subsequent positive shifts in the fire and construction sectors.
Buildings that belong to the Higher-Risk Building category are now regulated in the new regime under the Building Safety Bill. This new regime covers higher-risk buildings, which are defined according to height and use.
Buildings that fall in this scope are at least seven storeys or 18 metres in height, and contain at least two residential units (i.e. serviced apartments, flats, or residential rooms such as in the case of student accommodation or supported accommodation). This applies to both existing buildings and proposed new builds. Hospitals and care homes of similar height are also covered under this regime.
Gateway Stages in Design and Construction
The Building Safety Bill requires that higher-risk buildings undergo a stringent process from planning, design, and throughout their construction in what is called Gateway Stages. A building project has to meet all requirements in one stage before it can proceed to the next.
Gateway 1 (Pre-Planning)
On 1 Aug 2021, Planning Gateway 1 came into effect. In this stage, the building project will be required to incorporate fire safety schemes necessary for high-rise buildings.
At this stage we provide design and fire strategy review.
Gateway 2 (Construction)
The Gateway 2 stage is where plans submitted demonstrate that building regulations requirements are met, as well as strategies to support compliance with building regulations and reduction of risks are in place. These documents include the Construction Control Plan and a Fire and Emergency File.
At this stage we provide physical inspections on all facets of a new property build. Including wall build up & passive fire installations. This ensures they are installed in accordance with manufacturers detail which has been reviewed in gateway 1.
Gateway 3 (Pre-Occupation)
Application for this stage involves documentation containing the updated “as-built” data about the building. Together with the prescribed documents and signoffs at Gateways 1 and 2 stages, these documents in Gateway 3 will form what is called the “Golden Thread” of information. All of these must be handed over to the building’s owner to ensure that they have current and accurate information about their building, which will help them in managing safety risks once the building is in use.
At this stage we ensure that the O&M, Building Safety Cases & Regulation 38 info is all present and can also provide a suitable & sufficient FRA to occupy the building.
A new building can be registered with the Building Safety Regulator for occupation only when Gateway 3 has been passed.
Why Choose Us
Required Documents In The Building Safety Bill
Here are a selection of documents that we can help to produce to ensure your compliance with the BSB and to help Build A Safer Future.
A Fire Statement is one of the requirements necessary to complete the building’s planning application as it reflects that fire safety matters have been incorporated therein. The fire statement must be specific and proportionate to the scale, complexity, and type of the development’s proposal. It should include information about the site layout, the local fire safety policies that have been taken into account, any consultation on issues that relate to fire safety undertaken, access for emergency vehicles and available water supplies for firefighting, and the fire safety principles and approach applied to the building.
Fire and Emergency File
The Fire and Emergency File holds critical information that is part of the “Golden Thread” of information. This file builds on the current requirements under Regulation 38 of the Building Safety Regulations, setting key fire safety information about the building. Some of the standard information contained in the Fire and Emergency File include fire strategy documents, fire rating details, active and passive systems installed, construction details and materials used on external walls, etc. This file will be passed on to the building owner and responsible person to help them manage the building concerning fire emergency events.
Safety Case Report
The Safety Case Report is a document which summarises the fire and structural hazards identified in the building and how these risks are being managed or controlled. You can find a fully explanation of this service and what is involved here.
Fire Risk Assessments are an essential part of this document. Safety Case reviews are undertaken at each Gateway stage. This report is also a requirement even for existing buildings that are under the higher-risk category.