Building work carried out in existing higher-risk buildings (refurbishments)

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Closes 12 Oct 2022


Dame Judith Hackitt identified in her final report the need for a continued and determined focus on driving improvements in fire safety in the existing housing stock.  Not only is it fundamental that we have a robust gateways process for the design and construction of higher-risk buildings, it is equally important that we have stringent processes in place for building work (as defined in regulation 3 of the Building Regulations 2010) carried out in existing higher-risk buildings (refurbishments). This means having appropriate building control oversight to ensure that the building is considered holistically, taking account of initial construction and any other works that have been undertaken.  It is also necessary to ensure the safety of residents during building work as residents will often occupy the building whilst building work is carried out. 

It is therefore essential that residents and occupants of higher-risk buildings feel safe, and are safe, from building safety risks when building work (as defined in regulation 3 of the Building Regulations 2010) is carried out in their building, particularly as building work is often carried out while the building remains occupied.  

We are therefore introducing a new, more stringent building control regime for building work in existing higher-risk buildings (refurbishment) to ensure such work is subject to appropriate regulatory oversight.  

Building work in existing buildings follows different building control routes depending on the work that is being carried out. Many refurbishment building works are carried out either by a person certified under a third-party certification scheme or under a competent person scheme. These works are carried out by a certified person and the local authority is notified of the work, notifiable building work that is carried out under these two routes is sent to a building control body for approval.  We propose to take a similar approach for higher-risk buildings. 

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