Building Safety and The Golden Thread: how do we turn these ambitious requirements into a reality for the built environment?

by BIM Academy | April 27, 2023 | 3 min read

Building Safety and The Golden Thread: how do we turn these ambitious requirements into a reality for the built environment?
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Series #4 of the BIM Academy Digital Climate Podcast was launched this week, covering an extremely important topic for the construction industry in 2023 – the Building Safety Act.

BIM Academy’s Digital Director, Bola Abisogun takes up the role of podcast host for this series, during which he will be talking with some BIM Academy friends and knowledge experts around the world on the topic of Building Safety and the pragmatic delivery of the Golden Thread, enroute to a Net Zero future within the AEC industry.

It has been a little over five years since the Grenfell Tower disaster in London which tragically killed 72 people and, as a result, the UK saw the introduction of a new Building Safety Act. The Act was updated and received Royal Assent in April 2022, with the ambition of tightening up both regulation and cultural work practices within the UK’s built environment.

Over the course of this podcast series, Bola and his guests will be reviewing the demand for digital skills and the plethora of new tools available, such as the emerging digital twin solution, in addition to other new and future regulatory requirements.

Bola’s first guest is Paul Nash, Director of Paul Nash Consultancy, Past-President and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and building safety specialist.

Paul is actively engaged in raising awareness of key issues affecting the construction sector, in particular Building Safety. In 2017, Paul chaired a working group on procurement as part of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety led by Dame Judith Hackitt and he is currently a member of the Industry Safety Steering Group that was established to drive culture change in the industry in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.

In this podcast, Bola and Paul discuss the requirements of the Building Safety Act in the UK and what new regulations building owners need to put in place before October 2023.

Bola began by saying it is now more than five years since the Grenfell Tower tragedy and four years since the subsequent Hackitt review, which triggered a wave of government legislation to address building safety in the UK. But, while the government’s Building Safety Act received royal assent in April, there remains huge uncertainty about the details of the process for getting new buildings signed off as safe – and increasing concern about the legal bust-ups that could result. Bola asked Paul, in his opinion and given his experience, what does he suggest are the first steps we need to take to address these major concerns?

Paul replied that the new requirements of the Act will have a significant impact on those designing, constructing and managing high rise buildings in particular, with an emphasis on what is safe. But fundamentally, we need to see more leadership from within industry to drive understanding, education and action on what needs to be done to avoid future tragedies such as Grenfell.

Both Bola and Paul agree that as an industry we are moving forward in the right direction, but there is still a significant amount of work to be done. To hear more and gain insight into what comes next for Building Safety and the Golden Thread, listen to the full podcast here.

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