Working On Higher Risk Buildings
Additional provisions will apply to those working on residential buildings over 18m or 7 storeys (HRBs). There will be a new Building Control approval process for new HRBs, or refurbishment of existing HRBs.
The Golden Thread
All HRBs, both new build and existing, must compile a Golden Thread of Safety information. This is a digital record of the fire and structural building safety information. The golden thread will show how building compliance with applicable building regulations is being acahived. For engineers it will therefore be based on the Building Control application in accessible, digital form.
It is also used to Identify & manage building safety risks. For engineers, an ALARP based risk assessment would be expected.
New build HRBs and alterations to existing HRBs will be subject to a new Building Control regime. Three stop-go “gateways” will operate at planning, design and completion stages. At Gateway 2, design stage, all structural (& fire) related building control information will need to be submitted and approved by the BSR prior to construction. For large and complex projects the BSR may accept a staged approach, but approval will still be required before a stage can be constructed.
The structural design will need to consider how structures perform in and after a fire. The safety of secondary elements that could cause a significant risk, such as cladding fixings, balustrades and walls and heavy ceilings in public areas will need to be considered.
There will be a robust change control procedure once information has been approved. “Major” changes must be approved by the BSR prior to implementation. “Notifiable” changes must be submitted for review by the BSR prior to implementation.
There are circa 12,500 HRBs and these will need to be assessed over a five year period. As well as developing a golden thread, existing HRBs will require a Safety Case, summarised in a Safety Case Report, to be developed.
The Safety Case Report identifies the building's major fire and structural hazards. It shows how these are managed.
The structural section should contain:
- the structural condition of the building, including and any structural surveys or inspections
- how its structural integrity is being maintained; via description of the building and risk assessment
If problems were identified these should have been assessed, along with any remedial measures.