Consultation on implementing the new building control regime for higher-risk buildings and wider changes to the building regulations for all buildings

Closes 12 Oct 2022

Opened 20 Jul 2022

Overview

There are 12 consultation sections in this area. These consultations all relate to the proposed changes to Building Regulations under Part Three of the Building Safety Act 2022. A HTML version of this consultations can be found here.

Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the Government appointed Dame Judith Hackitt to lead an Independent Review of Building regulations and Fire Safety. In her final report, Dame Judith Hackitt outlined a new approach to managing fire and structural safety risks in high-rise multi-occupied residential buildings. Overall, 53 recommendations were made for government and industry to drive the cultural change and behaviours necessary to improve building safety.  

The Government has committed to implementing Dame Judith Hackitt’s recommendations and in July 2021 the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (then the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) introduced the Building Safety Bill in Parliament. The Bill received Royal Assent and became an Act of Parliament on 28 April 2022. 

The Building Safety Act 2022 brings forward a package of legislative changes to make buildings safer. It aims to deliver improvements across the entire built environment and strengthen oversight and protections for residents in high-rise buildings. Its focus on risk helps owners to manage their buildings effectively, while giving the home-building industry the clear, proportionate, framework it needs to deliver more, better, high-quality homes.   

The Government’s objective is to improve the whole system of building safety regulation. We intend to use delegated powers to provide the procedural and administrative detail of the regulatory changes, including the new regulatory regime for higher-risk buildings. Through secondary legislation, the Secretary of State will be able to make regulations that support the Building Safety Regulator and other building control bodies in driving up performance and safety across the built environment while providing clarity to the sector on its responsibilities and duties.  

The Government aims to ensure building regulations are fit for purpose across the built environment and where appropriate will apply the new approaches in the Building Safety Act 2022 to all building work, not just those in scope of the new regulatory regime for high-rise residential buildings.  

In the reforms to building regulation, we are introducing a new more stringent regulatory regime for certain buildings overseen by the Building Safety Regulator, known as higher-risk buildings. The requirements of the new regime are brought forward through Part three of the Building Safety Act 2022 and will be supported by the proposals outlined in this consultation.  

The Building Safety Act 2022 defines higher-risk buildings for the new design and construction regime as buildings which are at least 18 metres in height or have at least 7 storeys and are of a description specified in regulations. Government is proposing to specify in regulations that only buildings containing at least two residential units, hospitals or care homes that meet the height threshold will be higher-risk buildings. A consultation on these proposals can be found here

The proposed requirements include the procedural and administrative detail underpinning new building control procedures to provide strengthened regulatory oversight and rigorous inspection of building regulations requirements before, during, and on completion of building work. These proposals aim to ensure that building regulations compliance, including building safety is considered by dutyholders at each stage of design and construction. The Building Safety Regulator will enforce the new more stringent regulatory regime for higher-risk buildings; overseeing compliance with the new regulations once they come into force. 

Development of these proposals 

In June 2019, the government published the ‘Building a Safer Future’ consultation detailing proposals to achieve long-term reform of the building safety system. In April 2020 the government published the response to the consultation and its proposals for a more rigorous approach to building control applications and oversight during building work. 

Alongside the introduction of the Bill to Parliament, the government published draft secondary legislation covering a number of the proposals in this consultation document, to ensure the public, industry and Parliamentarians had sight of key proposals whilst the Bill was being scrutinised. We are now seeking views on the technical detail of these proposed regulations. 

We have worked closely with the Building Safety Regulator (in its shadow form), industry and other external partners to develop the provisions underpinning the new, more stringent building control regime. 

The Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC), the Joint Regulators Group (JRG) and the Early Adopters Group have supported our work devising these procedures. We are extremely grateful for the advice and assistance provided by the members and partners of these groups. 

Timetable for implementation  

The transition plan is published here:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-bill-transition-plan/outline-transition-plan-for-the-building-safety-bill 

Economic Annex

Please click here to access the economic annex for the proposals covered in this consultation. 

Focus of the consultation 

This consultation focuses mainly on the changes that will be made to the Building regulations to implement the new building safety reforms. These changes will be made using powers in the Building Act 1984 as amended by the Building Safety Act 2022. This consultation is pursuant to section 14(3) of the Building Act 1984 and is also a full public consultation. 

Whilst this consultation is split into sections, Dame Judith proposed a system of reforms all working together to deliver real and meaningful change. We therefore encourage you to read all the sections before answering the questions.  A HTML version of this consultation in full can be found here

All the changes we are seeking views on through this consultation on implementing the new building control regime for higher-risk buildings and wider changes to the building regulations for all buildings can be found linked below. Please use the links in the box below to navigate to the sections you would like to respond to.