The safety of buildings has always been a matter of critical importance. Over the years, numerous incidents have highlighted the need for improved building safety standards. The Grenfell Tower tragedy, which claimed 72 lives in 2017, was a stark reminder of the risks that exist in buildings that are not properly designed, constructed, and maintained.
In response to this and other incidents, the UK government has launched its new ‘Making Buildings Safer Campaign.’ This campaign is a landmark moment for building safety, as it seeks to improve the safety of all buildings, both new and existing.
The Building Safety Regulator (BSR) will regulate high-rise residential buildings in England. Registration for these buildings opens in April 2023.
High-rise residential buildings are defined as 18 metres tall or higher, or at least 7 floors tall, and must contain 2 or more residential units.
The campaign includes a range of measures aimed at improving building safety. These include the introduction of a new Building Safety Regulator, which will oversee the safety of high-rise buildings, as well as the establishment of a new Building Safety Fund, which will provide funding to support the removal and replacement of dangerous cladding from buildings.
The new Building Safety Regulator will be responsible for overseeing the safety of all high-rise buildings, as well as the safety of the materials used in their construction. It will also have the power to take enforcement action against building owners and managers who fail to meet safety standards.
Under the Building Safety Act, high-rise residential buildings that are 18 metres tall or higher, or at least seven storeys, with two or more residential units are defined as “higher risk.” Across England, there are approximately 12,500 of these buildings and the new regulator will require all of them to be registered from April 2023, with a named person responsible for maintaining their safety.
The ‘Making Buildings Safer Campaign’ is a significant step forward in the UK’s efforts to improve building safety. It shows that the government is taking this issue seriously and is committed to ensuring that buildings are safe for all those who use them.
However, there is still much work to be done to ensure that all buildings meet the highest safety standards. The new Building Safety Regulator and the Building Safety Fund are important steps in this direction, but more needs to be done to improve building safety across the board.
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