New Structural Compendium published for the assessment of Higher Risk Buildings in the UK

Author: IStructE

Date published

1 May 2024

New Structural Compendium published for the assessment of Higher Risk Buildings in the UK
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New Structural Compendium published for the assessment of Higher Risk Buildings in the UK

Date published

The Institution of Structural Engineers’ guidance will help with an important process for managing structural safety risks.

The Building Safety Act 2023 requires that some 12,500 higher-risk buildings (HRBs) are to be assessed over 2024 to 2029 to inform a safety case about how fire and structural safety risks are managed.

With an additional 2,000 HRBs being constructed each year, this five-year process makes for a considerable workload.

To help building assessors with this significant assignment, the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) has published new guidance Assessing higher-risk buildings under the Building Safety Act: a compendium of structural typologies.
The Act defines a HRB as a development of at least seven storeys or 18 metres high, containing at least two residential units.

This compendium details 16 common HRB typologies. The guide focuses on UK buildings constructed or adapted between 1920 and 2020, with a description, a schedule of applicable building codes at the time of construction, and possible defects and other issues to be aware of.

The guide therefore assists in assessing compliance with codes at time of construction and assessment of structural safety as required by the Act.

Patrick Hayes, IStructE’s Technical Director and author of the Compendium explains: “The Building Safety Act aims to make dutyholders manage significant fire and structural risks, particularly in combination, to prevent significant incidents happening. Our Compendium is written with these in mind.

“It’s designed for use at the initial part of a building assessment, in conjunction with other IStructE guidance and is very much a starting point for assessments carried out by competent assessors to allow important safety issues to be concentrated on.”

Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) is covered in the Compendium, which is especially relevant and important given the recent prevalence of RAAC-related issues reported in schools, hospitals, and other public buildings.

Patrick Hayes concludes: “While the Compendium lists the common issues, risks  and problems, it must be remembered that well-designed, constructed, maintained structures are safe, and regular assessment ensures safety and guards against  deterioration.”

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For further information please contact:
The Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) Newsroom on +44 (0)7930 53 45 43.
Notes to Editors
About the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE):
The Institution of Structural Engineers dates to 1908 and is now the world’s largest membership organisation dedicated to the art and science of structural engineering.
It has over 29,000 members working in 138 countries around the world. Professional membership is one of the leading global benchmarks of competence and technical excellence. Members undergo rigorous technical assessment and commit to continual learning and development.
The Institution drives higher standards and shares knowledge because its members’ work is vital to public safety and meeting the challenges of the future. The Institution provides a voice for its members, promoting their contribution to society as innovative, creative problem solvers and the guardians of public safety.