NEW BUILDING SAFETY AND FIRE REGS – OPPORTUNITY OR THREAT

Threats

Tackling the “threats” first, Clients/Trusts, SPVs, FMs and Contractors are now legally (not simply contractually) required to provide “digital records” of any works that could impact on safety.

The legislation calls this the “Golden Thread” and we have led the work to define exactly what is required to deliver what the Regulator needs.

There are three new or revised statutory Acts, plus the updates to Building Regulations.

This represents a lot of change that (very) few people fully understand – but they can lead to projects being delayed, stopped or Responsible persons being prosecuted.

There are many misconceptions:

  1. It is only about Residential high-rise blocks.

  2. It is only about new-build.

  3. It is only about the Gateways.

  4. Clearing Building Control is enough.

  5. The risks can be transferred.

It seems that many types of relatively minor works that FMs manage every day now require the appointment of a Building Regulations Principal Designer and a Building Regulations Principal Contractor.

Opportunities

Most projects are plagued with incomplete as-built records and asset/product information.

Given that the new legislation requires building owners to provide their FMs with the information they need to manage the building safely, there may be an opportunity to secure additional funding to improve baseline asset information.

Where there is a threat of penalties and/or the need to prepare for Handback, this provides a great opportunity for a reset.

Our experience with Residential has shown that 70% of the work that is required can be standardised, making a seemingly overwhelming task more achievable.

But that needs a much greater level of collaboration.

This isn’t theoretical.

Activeplan has been supporting many PFI projects in healthcare and education for many years, so we know how this Better Information Management can be applied to reduce the risk of penalties and enable buildings to be managed more efficiently.

We are now able to use what we are learning to help make buildings safer – and demonstrate that fact.