The UK Government has announced a funding package of over £42 million to support the implementation of strict regulatory compliances and standards to ensure safety in higher-risk buildings under the Building Safety Act 2022.
The package comprises two grants:
- A £16.5 million grant to the Local Authority Building Control (LABC), a building control representative in England and Wales,
- A £26 million grant to elevate the Fire and Rescue Services in England and support the National Fire Chiefs Council.
The grant will enable local regulators to recruit, train and equip Building Control Inspectors and Fire Inspectors. These well-trained experts will work alongside the Building Safety Regulator to ensure the safety and quality of design, construction, and management of high-risk buildings in the UK. The prime objective is to strengthen the Building Control Regulators.
In the 3-year specialised training programme, 110 Building Inspectors and 111 new Fire Protection Officers will be recruited and receive comprehensive training. The programme is designed to focus all available resources on areas with a higher concentration of high-rise infrastructures.
This initiative represents the UK government's commitment to rigorously enforce and maintain building safety standards to safeguard the lives and property of people living and working in or around higher-risk buildings. It will provide the necessary resources and expertise required to ensure the strict implementation of the new regulations and amplify the overall safety and quality of buildings in the UK.
What is Building Safety Act 2022?
The Building Safety Act, enacted in April 2022, aims to effectuate safety standards in residential buildings following the Grenfell Fire tragedy, one of the UK's worst modern disasters. The act aims at improving the standard of buildings and ensuring the safety of people in or around high-risk buildings in England and Wales. The key directions and regulations documented in the Act are intended to:
- Ensure that Building Safety Regulator oversees building safety regulations in England.
- Set up a dedicated building control authority for higher-risk buildings in England.
- Impose duties on accountable persons in occupied higher-risk buildings in England to ensure compliance with building safety regulations.
- Corroborate remediation and compensation for those affected by building safety issues.
- Empower the government to regulate construction products and improve their safety & quality.
- Define provisions related to fire safety in buildings and measures to regulate architects & improve the quality of their work.
- Enforce accountability and transparency in the construction industry by thoroughly scrutinising building materials, construction methodologies, and building safety regulations.
The act also requires a clear hierarchy of responsibility for safety and a new gateway system to ensure building safety is considered at every stage. Building owners, principal contractors, subcontractors, and architects will be highly impacted by the provisions and must adapt to ensure compliance.