Jane Embury reflects on the Building Safety Bill
The Building Safety Bill has passed its committee stage. It now proceeds to its final Commons stage before moving to the House of Lords.
The Bill gives residents more power to hold developers to account. A building safety regulator will also ensure the management and resolution of risk.
The Bill aims to ensure the highest standards of building safety in so-called high-risk buildings, and comes following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
The building regulator will have responsibility for oversight at every stage of a building’s lifecycle from design to completion.
At Wrightstyle, we have welcomed the Bill as an overdue means of enforcing the highest of safety standards.
Over the years, in our area of expertise, we have seen many examples of building safety being compromised.
Examples include improperly fitted fire doors and screens, or advanced glass being installed into the wrong framing system.
It’s why we offer free training for fabricators who want to install our systems. Simply, we believe in providing end-to-end safety.
As we have pointed out many times, an advanced glazing system is only as good as the sum of its parts. Our advice is always to specify an advanced glazing system as one unit – with proven compatibility between the glass and its frame.
We have also recently completed a milestone fire test to deliver dual-directional fire safety – an important development in fire safety.
Significantly, the Bill’s provisions are retrospective. Residents of a building completed in 2010 would be able to bring proceedings against the developer until 2025.
It will also strengthen the regulatory framework for construction products, making the specification trail less complex and more transparent.
One of the issues that Dame Judith’s report highlighted was how some building products can be marketed for applications where they may be unsafe.
The Bill will apply for the design and build of high-rise residential buildings, hospitals and care homes.
The government has published several factsheets to help developers and specifiers understand the changes the Bill will introduce.