After years in the making, and months of debate, the long-awaited Building Safety Act has gained Royal Assent and has passed into UK law.

Gaining Royal Assent on Thursday 28 April, the bill has been passed a month and a half shy of the devastating tragedy the prompted its urgent creation – the disastrous fire at Grenfell Tower.

The Act is the largest change to building regulations in more than a generation, and through the secondary legislation passed to enforce the Act will bring significant changes the regulation and practice of building.

Read on for more information on the bill itself, and initial reaction from LABC Warranty and LABC themselves.

Building Safety Act gains royal assent – LABC Warranty and LABC react

What's in the bill?

The bill promises to overhaul the UK’s tall building regulation framework, and has been described by building safety minister Lord Stephen Greenhalgh as, “bringing about the biggest changes in building safety legislation in our history.”

The bill’s main focus is to bring changes to the system of regulations for high-rise buildings, based on recommendations originally laid out by Dame Judith Hackitt in 2018 in response to the fire at Grenfell Tower.

Alongside protections for leaseholders, the bill mandates the creation of a new construction products regulator, a new building safety regulator, and other regulatory and safety-led positions.

The legislation will also introduce a new “waterfall” chain of responsibility, where the burden for paying for block repairs will fall first on developers, then building owners, before being passed on to leaseholders and residents.

This is just to scratch the surface of a wide-reaching and complex bill. The legislation itself runs to more than 260 pages, and many of its full implications will take years to come into effect – in turn, the construction industry’s response to these new powers, new changes, and new regulatory functions, will form over a similar period in response to the Act’s secondary legislation.

Which begs the question, will anything change for LABC Warranty in the near future? 

 

How will LABC Warranty react?

While the building regulations and building control will have some big shifts as a result of the Building Safety Act, the benefits of working with LABC Warranty won’t change.

Because we partner exclusively with Local Authority Building Control (LABC) to provide a building control function, we’re still able to focus our services on providing high quality warranty services to our clients regardless of changes to the regulatory environment.

The perks of early engagement, introducing LABC Warranty to the earlier stages of a major project, will remain as vital and accessible to clients as ever. Our Major Projects Team make sure your project leaves the design phase with the full confidence of your team, building control, and LABC Warranty. This prevents challenging complications from popping up down the line.

When there is any issue, LABC Warranty enjoy best-in-class technical support to help our clients, remedy and problems within a build and stay compliant with warranty requirements.

On top of that, our technical guidance remains consistent with the regulatory framework that affects a new building. Legislature might change, but LABC Warranty doesn’t do surprises, especially not when we engage early with your developments.

 

What about LABC themselves?

If you’re already with LABC Warranty, and LABC for building control, the news is still good. LABC are welcoming of the changes in the Building Safety Act, and have pledged their support for the secondary legislation that will support the initial bill.

In an article hosted on their website, they outline many of the benefits they expect to see as a result of the legislation.

Among the positives, they point to -

  • A focus on improving competence across all sectors engaged in the design, construction, maintenance, management, and regulation of residential buildings.
  • Registration and regular competence assessments of everyone in the building control sector.
  • Improvement in building standards, safety of residents, and protection of leaseholders from the costs of any remedial work.

“The Building Safety Bill is the most significant piece of legislation affecting the built environment in decades,” said Lorna Stimpson, Chief Executive of LABC.

“The new safety regime means more duties for local authorities and a requirement for registration of the building control profession.”

“LABC will ensure that our public service building control teams are both ready for these changes and most importantly are able to demonstrably prove their competence.”

Read the full statement from LABC here: https://www.labc.co.uk/news/labc-welcomes-new-building-safety-act

 

Get in touch if you have questions

The full implications of the Building Safety Act will take years to materialise through secondary legislation, but initial reports from LABC Warranty and LABC are positive.

However, if you do have any concerns or questions about your LABC Warranty project, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your account manager. We’re always happy to help.

 

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Please Note: Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication. Any written guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. However, for the most up to date LABC Warranty technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the LABC Warranty Technical Manual.

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