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Ron Alalouff is a journalist specialising in the fire and security markets, and a former editor of websites and magazines in the same fields.
January 19, 2023


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building safety

Building Advisory Committee aims to support Building Safety Regulator and drive industry best practice

The inaugural meeting of the Building Advisory Committee – set up to provide technical advice to the Building Safety Regulator and help shape Building Regulations and the content of Approved Document B – has taken place, as Ron Alalouff reports.

The committee was established under the Building Safety Act 2022, and will advise and inform the Building Safety Regulator in its mission to ensure the safety of residents in high-rise buildings and keep the safety standards of all buildings under review.

The first meeting held last month provided an introduction for committee members on the objectives and work of the regulator.

In addition to assisting the regulator in addressing new and emerging issues across the built environment, the aim is for committee members to provide leadership across industry and drive culture change, including engaging with their communities and helping the industry implement the changes ahead.

“Helping to drive culture change”

Chief Inspector of Buildings, Peter Baker, provided committee members with background to the regulator, an update on progress to date, and outlined HSE’s vision for the committee.

“I am delighted to welcome the first members to the inaugural meeting of [the Building Advisory Committee] and look forward to working with them in tackling the challenges in the built environment, and in helping to drive culture change and ownership of building safety and standards by industry. [The committee’s] function is to support the Building Safety Regulator in its important work to protect residents and users of high-rise buildings, identify new and emerging risks affecting the safety and standards of all buildings, and to help develop sensible and proportionate solutions.

“Establishing the Building Advisory Committee is another important milestone for the Building Safety Regulator and the introduction of the new, more stringent building safety regime following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.”

Niall Rowan – Technical and Regulatory Affairs Officer of the Association for Specialist Fire Protection and one of the committee members – said the committee’s role is to advise the regulator about matters connected to its building functions.

“[The committee] will assist [the regulator] to identify new and emerging issues within the built environment and help develop solutions. It will also facilitate the need for industry to step up and take responsibility for compliance with the building regulations.

“It is a privilege to serve on the Building Advisory Committee, and the initial meeting was a great opportunity to meet other members and hear the HSE as the Building Safety Regulator outline the way of working of the new committee. I look forward to future meetings where specific issues will be discussed.”

An overview

The main topics covered in the meeting were the committee’s vision and operating model, the regulator’s interface with the Department of Levelling Up, Communities and Housing, the transitioning of the Building Regulations Advisory Committee working groups to the new committee, and the regulator’s strategic action plan.

Looking ahead, more focussed working groups and task and finish groups will be established to deal with specific subjects. The work of the Building Regulations Advisory Committee – established to advise the Secretary of State for Local Government, Housing and Communities on matters relating to building regulations – will continue until the committee has been consulted on the necessary secondary legislation. The Building Advisory Committee will start to provide technical advice to the regulator from this point onwards.

Two other committees established by the Building Safety Act – the Residents’ Panel and the Industry Competence Committee – will be formally set up in 2023. Both committees currently support the regulator in an interim, non-statutory form.

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