Registering a higher risk building
On 12th April 2023, the register of ‘higher risk buildings’ opened and, if you are the Principal Accountable Person for a higher risk building, or the Principal Accountable Person has authorised you to act for them, you have until 30th September 2023 to register your building.
The Principal Accountable Person is the person or organisation who owns or is accountable for the building’s safety. If the building has more than one accountable person, then the Principal Accountable Person is the one who is accountable for the external walls and structure of the building.
A quick reminder that the Building Safety Act defines a ‘higher-risk building’ as a building in England that is at least 18 metres in height or has at least 7 storeys and, for the purpose of the part of the new regime that regulates occupied buildings, contains at least 2 residential units.
The registration process itself is quite straightforward and there is a fee of £251 per building which can be paid online.
For each building you will need to tell the Building Safety Regulator; the number of floors at or above ground level, its height in metres, the number of residential units, the year it was originally built, and its address.
You will also need to provide a declaration that all the information you have provided is correct.
Key Building Information
The Building Safety Act also includes a duty to provide prescribed information about the building to the Building Safety Regulator.
On 24th January 2023, the Higher-Risk Buildings (Key Building Information etc.) Regulations 2023, were laid before Parliament and set out what prescribed information, known as key building information, needs to be provided to the Regulator, which includes.
- the principal use of the building and any subsidiary uses,
- the number of staircases and storeys in the building,
- a description of the materials used in the external walls and roof and any fixtures attached to the walls,
- details of the structure, the type of energy supply to the building and energy-storage system,
- a description of the type of evacuation strategy and a list of fire and smoke control equipment.
Importantly, the Regulations also specify that the key building information must be submitted within 28 days of the application to register of a higher risk building and must be in electronic form.
If you are the Principal Accountable Person, you have until 30th September to register your building and collate and issue the key building information.
And it is important to add that this is just the start of the process.
From April 2024, the Building Safety Regulator will start to call in buildings for assessment and issuing Building Assessment Certificates.
As part of that process, the Principal Accountable Person is required to assess the building safety risks relating to the building and demonstrate how they are meeting this ongoing duty via a safety case and a Safety Case Report.
And finally, a reminder that failure to register a higher risk building and apply for and display a Building Assessment Certificate are offences under the Building Safety Act which carry a term of imprisonment of up to 2 years, a fine, or both.
Paul Nash MSc PPCIOB