Building safety changes are months away – are you prepared?


  • Building safety

19 October 2022


From next spring, members managing residential buildings and student accommodation over 18m will need to meet new building safety requirements. First, accountable persons will need to start registering their buildings and submitting certain building information from April 2023; then, new dutyholder competence and golden thread requirements will begin by October 2023 – although some fire safety information required for the golden thread policy will need to be collected from January.

If you aren’t preparing for the changes, you should be.

What’s coming down the line

New duties coming into force in April 2023 will apply to all occupied higher risk buildings, excluding hospitals and care homes. These duties include registering buildings with the Building Safety Regulator, performing building safety risk assessments, managing any risks, and creating safety case reports for the Regulator on request.

October 2023 will see a raft of new measures brought in. Some hold the false belief that all of the new measures apply only to residential buildings (including student accommodation), but this is only the case with the new regime for occupation – Part 4 of the Building Safety Act 2022. In fact, new refurbishment rules in Part 3 of the Building Safety Act 2022 for higher-risk buildings will also apply to care homes and hospitals.

These rules will require more rigorous building control applications and stricter change control processes for changes such as fire door replacement programmes. As part of the application, when any changes are made that deviate from the original building control approval application, the new change control process will require a change control application for a ‘major’ change, or a ‘notification’ to the Building Safety Regulator for a notifiable change.

The golden thread

Also in October, the new golden thread policy should become applicable, the consultation for which IWFM fed into this month. This new policy sets out the content of the golden thread and its maintenance; however, there are still questions over how the requirements will be met, including ensuring any information is interoperable – that is, capable of being exchanged between and used on different systems. IWFM has pressed the government to mandate an information structure and data schema and outline a pathway towards a national built environment data vision.

The secondary legislation that will encapsulate these requirements is currently being re-drafted. IWFM will continue to feed into the policy development and through the Building Safety Alliance, which is working with a wide variety of industry partners to enable better information management and interoperability objectives. A dedicated working group is working on an industry-wide vision and roadmap; once published, work will commence on underpinning the regulatory requirements and vision with guidance for the occupation phase.

Get involved: contact IWFM’s Policy team

If you want to contribute towards this work, please get in touch with our Policy team on: [email protected]