As the government announces the introduction of a new building safety regulator, Bureau Veritas has welcomed the move for giving confidence to residents of high-rise buildings, while stating it further deepens the ‘biggest period of change’ facing the construction industry.

Earlier this week, the government set out plans to establish a new building safety regulator within the Health & Safety Executive, until legislation giving it statutory powers is passed, after which the body will act independently. Unveiling a tougher stance on combustible cladding, a consultation has also been launched on lowering the height threshold over which buildings cannot have combustible cladding from 18 metres to 11 metres.

What’s more, going further than the original Hackitt recommendations, hotels will also now be included within this regulatory scope alongside residential flats, student accommodation and institutions such a hospitals and prisons.

Commenting on the announcement, Andy Lowe, Director of Building Control at leading Building Control Authority, Bureau Veritas, said: “As part of its commitment to implement the Hackitt recommendations, the government has provided clear direction on the remit of the new building safety regulator and how the body will operate.

“This is a welcome move for residents and the industry alike, giving confidence to occupants of multi-storey residential buildings while further strengthening building safety as a fundamental principle for the construction industry.

The announcement follows the recent closure of a consultation to reduce the trigger height for sprinkler provision in new high-rise blocks of flats in England, alongside other fire safety measures.

Andy adds: “In light of these new measures on everything from lowering the height threshold over which buildings cannot have combustible cladding to exemptions on cavity trays, we’d encourage architects, developers and building owners to take swift and urgent action to prepare for these changes in the pipeline.

“As we enter a new era of competency, compliance and accountability on building safety standards, this latest announcement will only intensify the biggest period of change facing the construction industry. The direction of travel is clear and well-documented – in the Hackitt recommendations, the multitude of subsequent government consultations and RIBA guidance.

“Hence, by taking the time now to implement these best practices in all aspects of design, construction, maintenance and certification of buildings, we will not only set a new standard for building safety but ensure we are all well-equipped to enact the new regulations.”

As a leading testing, inspection and certification company with vast experience of the building control sector, Bureau Veritas’ Building Control UK division combines technical expertise and market-leading systems with unrivalled industry experience to deliver building control services to some of the biggest names in construction.


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