The meeting of two great minds to discuss what the future of building safety looks like

by BIM Academy | May 19, 2023 | 3 min read

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In the past year, the Building Safety Act has undergone significant transformation, and the journey so far has proved it will be an ever evolving process with far reaching implications.

On April 28 2022, The Building Safety Bill received Royal Assent and became an Act of Parliament. This landmark Act was set to bring about historical change to building legislation in the AEC industry.

The first draft of the Building Safety Bill was issued in July 2020 following an independent review of building regulations and fire safety carried out by Dame Judith Hackett. It is the main legislative response to the Grenfell Tower disaster and takes forward a selection of Dame Hackett’s review recommendations.

The Building Safety Act now contains provisions intended to secure the safety of people in or about buildings through the creation of a national framework that will, “create lasting generational change.”

Initial talks centred on safety measures during the design and construction of new high rise buildings. However, new legislation now stretches from the procurement stage all the way through to operation – which is essentially the whole lifecycle of the asset.

The Building Safety Act has introduced a new Gateway Regime, with a target that it will be fully operational by October 2023.

There are three Gateway’s in the regime which set out new mandatory key decision points at the planning, construction and completion stages of new higher risk buildings (including the major refurbishment of existing buildings).

Is there enough education and understanding within the industry to realise this target? What steps as an industry do we now need to take to fully comply with the Building Safety Act?

In this latest Digital Climate podcast episode, host Bola Abisogun OBE talks to Chris Blythe OBE about the three Gateway’s, the requirements set out in the Building Safety Act and what preparations organisations need to be deploying to meet the October deadline.

Chris, who not only helped establish the discipline of construction management as a Chartered profession, was one of the longest serving chief executives at a professional body in the UK – for almost 20 years Chris led the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) until his retirement in May 2019.

In this podcast Bola asked Chris, as Chief Executive of CIOB, what were the major challenges you saw that our industry faced when it came to building safety. And do you believe these challenges are still faced today?

Chris responded that for the past several years people in property and construction have been in denial about forthcoming change in building safety requirements and now that it is upon us, we need a fundamental culture change, and that’s going to be hard, yet necessary.

Chris added that the Building Safety Act, for him, is an opportunity for the industry to get its house in order, and concepts such as the Golden Thread, it’s not difficult, why haven’t we got this in place already?

Listen to the BIM Academy Digital Climate podcast to hear the full conversation, and learn more about how we turn the requirements of the Building Safety Act into a reality for the built environment by October 2023.

Listen now