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Reflecting on Legislative Changes Post-Grenfell: A Seven-Year Perspective

10th July 2024

Reflecting on Legislative Changes Post-Grenfell: A Seven-Year Perspective

On the seventh anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, the Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) revisits the significant legislative changes that emerged from this tragedy. The fire, which occurred on June 14, 2017, in a 24-storey block in North Kensington, resulted in the loss of 72 lives and spurred the most substantial revisions to building regulations in England and Wales since 1984.

The Building Safety Act

Introduction and Key Provisions: The Building Safety Act, enacted in April 2022, aims to ensure the safety of individuals in and around buildings. It introduced new duty holder roles, affecting all stakeholders in construction projects, including clients, principal contractors, and designers. All contractors and designers must now adhere to a set of general duties.

The 'Golden Thread' Concept: A pivotal aspect of the Act is the 'Golden Thread' of information for Higher-Risk Buildings. This requires maintaining comprehensive digital records of building design, construction, and maintenance, accessible throughout the building’s lifecycle. Non-compliance can result in the refusal of completion certificates by the Regulator.

New High-Rise Residential Building Requirements

Registration and Key Building Information: From October 2022, new high-rise residential buildings must be registered, including key building information, before occupancy. Amendments to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 also came into force, promoting better cooperation among responsible persons, improved recording and sharing of fire safety information, and enhanced enforcement against non-compliance.

Enforcement and Future Outlook

Building Safety Regulator’s Enforcement Policy: In December 2023, the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) published its enforcement policy, detailing its approach to enforcing the law when non-compliance, hazards, or serious risks are identified during building or alteration works.

Anticipated Developments: The final report of Phase 2 of the Grenfell Inquiry is expected in September 2024. This phase focuses on the causes of the fire and the conditions that allowed it to spread. DHF remains committed to raising industry standards through initiatives like a new awareness course for commercial setting owners and managers, aiming to enhance knowledge of legal obligations and maintenance practices.

Conclusion

As we reflect on the seven years since Grenfell, it's clear that the legislative landscape has undergone significant transformation to prevent such tragedies in the future. By adhering to these new regulations and continuously striving for higher safety standards, we can help create a safer environment for all.

For more detailed information, you can read the full article here.

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