The UK Government has launched a draft Building Safety Bill which will take forward reforms to the building and fire safety system following proposals confirmed in the response to the Building a safer future consultation, published in April 2020. This Bill will bring the Building Safety Regulator under the HSE.
The consultation detailed how the government intends to deliver the principles and recommendations for reform set out by Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety.
Of particular interest to Northern Irish architects will be provisions which relate directly to Northern Ireland. Proposed changes to the Architect’s Act will allow disciplinary orders made against architects by the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) of the Architect Registration Board to be listed alongside an architect’s entry in the Register of architects which will aid transparency for those commissioning architectural services. The Architect Registration Board will also acquire powers to scrutinise competence after initial registration, subject to consultation and review.
The draft Bill also proposes the establishment of a New Homes Ombudsman scheme and additionally proposes the creation of a list of ‘safety critical’ construction products.
The draft Building Safety Bill can be reviewed in its entirety here.