Consider meeting Gateway Two requirements now to aid a seamless transition to future compliance.
The Government’s Building Safety Bill and its 53 recommendations to drive culture change and safety improvements in the construction industry was published earlier this year, establishing a new regime that will overhaul the building safety system in England and Wales.
The Bill, which was welcomed by leading building control and regulation expert, Bureau Veritas, was introduced to Parliament in June 2021 and includes a three-stage ‘gateway’ process to improve fire safety standards. Gateway One regulations were enforced on 1 August 2021, requiring developments to submit a fire statement setting out fire safety considerations specific to the proposed development with a relevant application for planning permission, which involves one or more ‘relevant buildings’.
It is anticipated that the remaining two gateway regulations will come into force by 2023 as the Bill passes through Parliament – with Gateway Two signalling a ‘stop/go’ point requiring approval from the newly-introduced Building Safety Regulator (part of the HSE) before relevant building work commences.
However, according to Bureau Veritas, the industry should not wait for legislation to be introduced to implement change – but evolve strategies now to enable a seamless transition to meet the new Building Safety Bill requirements.
Andy Lowe, Technical & Training Director for Building Control at Bureau Veritas, said: “As the Building Safety Bill passes through Parliament, there will be various new regulations that developers will need to adhere to under the new plans, which are designed to create a ‘golden thread’ of information. There is no doubt that the Bill is a major milestone in reforming building safety regulations, and there is crucial need for developers to fully understand what this means for how residential buildings should be constructed, maintained and made safe both now and in the future.
“Developers are meeting the requirements of Gateway One now, but much more needs to be done in demonstrating how plans comply with the new requirements as we look ahead to Gateway Two; particularly because at this point the regulator is able to issue a ‘hard stop’ notice on projects until they are satisfied that the duty holder’s design meets? the necessary safety requirements.
“My advice to the industry, therefore, is to get ahead of the game now. Don’t wait for legislation to come into force in 2023; start adapting strategies and processes now to ensure the requirements of Gateways Two and Three are met well in advance, providing a smooth process to regulatory compliance.”
As part of Gateway Two requirements – and following Gateway One approval – developers must demonstrate how their proposals comply with the building regulation requirements. They must be considered holistically, with an outcome-focussed approach that includes appropriate consideration of building safety.
Andy continued: “Gateway Two is where the new requirements become more complex, with a series of plans, proposals and documents all needed to meet the approval of the regulator. We’d therefore urge developers to consider appointing a third-party expert to support in meeting these complex new regulations and fully understanding how best to meet new Gateway requirements head on.”
Bureau Veritas works with developers as an independent third party throughout the building lifecycle to help reduce risk and to achieve compliance. This includes supporting on the ‘golden thread’ approach, and meeting the gateway requirements. For more information on the detail of the Building Safety Bill, download Bureau Veritas’ free ‘Understanding the Building Safety Bill’ webinar.