Consultation on the Higher Risk Buildings Regulations – government response

January 13, 2023

Consultation on the Higher Risk Buildings (Descriptions and Supplementary Provisions) Regulations – government response

From our colleagues at Barbour EHS.

On 9 June 2022 the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities launched a consultation on the Higher-Risk Buildings (Descriptions and Supplementary Provisions) Regulations. The consultation sought views on the government’s full proposals for the regulations.

The Higher-Risk Buildings (Descriptions and Supplementary Provisions) Regulations complete the definition of higher-risk building. Higher-risk buildings are buildings which will be required to meet the legal requirements of the new more stringent regime for building safety.

The new regime will put in place stronger oversight, clearer accountability for, and stronger duties on, those responsible for the safety of higher-risk buildings throughout design, construction, and occupation, with stronger enforcement and sanctions to deter and rectify non-compliance. The new regime places legal responsibilities on those who participate in the design and construction of higher-risk buildings, commission higher-risk building work and those who are responsible for managing structural and fire safety in higher-risk buildings when they are occupied.

There are two parts of the new regime. The first establishes a new regime for the design and construction of new higher-risk buildings and building work to existing higher-risk buildings. The second establishes a new regime when higher-risk buildings are occupied.

The Higher-Risk Buildings (Descriptions and Supplementary Provisions) Regulations, in conjunction with the Building Safety Act 2022 (the Act), will define which types of buildings will be required to meet the requirements of the new regime during design and construction and occupation. The regulations also set other technical definitions. Specifically, the regulations will:

  • Define which types of buildings are and are not considered higher-risk buildings for design and construction under section 120D of the Building Act 1984 (inserted by section 31 of the Act).
  • Define which types of buildings are not considered higher-risk buildings for occupation under section 65 of the Act.
  • Provide an overall definition for building for both parts of the regime under section 120D of the Building Act 1984 (inserted by section 31 of the Act) and under section 65 of the Act.
  • Establish how height and the number of storeys a building has is determined for higher-risk buildings.

The regulations, alongside the Act, will mean that residential buildings, care homes and hospitals which are at least 18 metres in height, or have at least 7 storeys, are subject to the new requirements during the design and construction of new buildings and during building work. During occupation, residential buildings which are at least 18 metres in height, or have at least 7 storeys, will be subject to the occupation requirements of the new regime.

The consultation sought views on all the provisions proposed to be included within the regulations. This government response document summarises the responses received and sets out its response to them.

Overall, 101 responses were received. Of these, 68 respondents responded on behalf of an organisation, 30 responses were submitted on behalf of individuals and three respondents preferred not to disclose this information.

Respondents came from a wide variety of backgrounds and organisations, including developers, building control professionals, fire engineers, local fire services, housing associations, local councils, tenants and industry trade bodies.

The document notes that some amendments have been made to the regulations based on feedback received from the consultation. As at 19 December the regulations are currently subject to the affirmative parliamentary procedure and will be debated by both Houses of Parliament in due course. If approved by Parliament, the regulations will be made and come into force in early 2023.

Please click on the url below for the full document:

Government response to the higher-risk buildings, descriptions and supplementary provisions, regulations consultation

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
December 2022

 

Our Comments

“ These final sets of regulations will hopefully complete the wider legal framework regarding designing, building and then managing high rise buildings.

 

Contact

At William Martin we have a nationwide team of experts who offer a comprehensive range of health and safety compliance services. As part of the Marlowe Software, Risk & Compliance division, William Martin also has access to a wider range of complementary services.

This content has been produced in association with our sister company, Barbour.

For all enquiries, please contact us or call our team on 0203 819 8829.

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