The Impact Of The Building Safety Act 2022

Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP


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The Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA 2022) has introduced a number of changes in regulation, with a particular focus on high-risk buildings.
UK Real Estate and Construction
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The Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA 2022) has introduced a number of changes in regulation, with a particular focus on high-risk buildings.

The Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA 2022) introduces various amendments to the previous guidance of the Building Act 1984. The new legislation was sparked by the 2017 Grenfell Tower tragedy and aims to extend the government's power to regulate and enforce works in order to remedy and improve safety aspects of high-risk buildings.

What is a high-risk building?

Part 1, Section 31, of the Act defines buildings as "high-risk", when under construction, if they:

  • are at least 18 metres or seven storeys tall; and
  • contain at least two residential units; or
  • are intended to be a care home or hospital.

Section 65 states that the same requirements apply to a building when in occupation, except it expressly excludes care homes and hospitals from being capable of meeting the "high-risk" definition at that stage.

High-risk buildings must also follow the three-step gateway approach, including:

  • providing a fire statement;
  • gaining building regulation approval; and
  • receiving a completion certificate.

Building Safety Regulator control

Part two of the BSA 2022 establishes that high-risk buildings are subject to the control of the Building Safety Regulator.

The Building Safety Regulator operates as a branch of the Health and Safety Executive and is tasked with overseeing and enforcing the new legislation. They are entitled to issue a compliance or stop notice to ensure that the obligations of the BSA 2022 are being followed.

Duty Holders and Accountable Persons

BSA 2022 also places new legal responsibilities and competency requirements on those who:

  • commission building works;
  • participate in the design and construction process; and
  • are responsible for managing structural and fire safety in occupied high-risk buildings.

These people are called Duty Holders during the design and construction phase, and are identified as Accountable Persons once the building is occupied.

During the design and construction phase, Duty Holders are required to provide a "golden thread" of information. During the occupation phase, the Accountable Person must keep and maintain this "golden thread". The "golden thread" refers to creating and sharing up-to-date, accessible documents containing safety information throughout the building's life cycle.

Remediation Orders

Sections 123 and 124 of the Act permit a wide scope of people (known as an "interested person") to apply to the first-tier tribunal for a Remediation Order. This requires the relevant person, typically the landlord, to carry out remedial works to any defects that are creating risk of fire or collapse in a self-contained building of at least 11 metres or five storeys.

The relevant landlord is also required to cover the costs of the works. For example, in the case of Wyatt and Others v WN Enterprises Ltd [2024], six long-term leaseholders of a high-risk building bought a claim regarding insulation issues and the use of combustible material for the construction of the balconies. The freeholder of the properties was ordered to remedy the defects to a deadline.


The BSA 2022 introduces various new responsibilities on all those involved with the construction and management of high-risk buildings in the aim of affording greater protection to the occupiers.

Research for this article was contributed by Sophie Huxley.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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