The Building Safety Case and CPQP

After the tragedy of Grenfell Tower, the government has committed to a new regime for high rise buildings. This is centred on the requirement for building duty holders to demonstrate their buildings are safe by creating a Building Safety Case. A key aspect of this is demonstrating that the building has been designed or built to mitigate major fire and structural risks. This requires a significant cultural shift in approach and the gathering of large amounts of information to create an effective safety case.

The new legislation states that those responsible for buildings (known as Accountable Persons) must deliver a continuous preventative and proactive approach to managing building safety risks in occupied high-rise residential buildings. This means that all existing and future building owners need to understand the potential fire and structural risks associated with their buildings, record them in the context of their occupants and manage them effectively on an ongoing basis. This information is then documented, summarised and submitted to the Building Safety Regulator through a Safety Case Report on an ongoing basis.

This information will be gathered from a range of sources including operational files, maintenance records, fire strategy documents and risk assessments, statutory compliance records and more. There may also be additional surveys and inspections carried out to support the case. However, there will be gaps in the information required, especially for older buildings where this data has not been collated over time. For this reason, we have created a tool called CPQP (Create Project Quality Plans) to support the collection of this information and to help with the overall project delivery.

CPQP has been specifically mapped against the requirements of the new Building Safety Case and is capable of supporting building owners in providing the information required to demonstrate their buildings are safe for people to live in. The tool supports the creation of a ‘golden thread’ of information by providing a central repository for the full body of risk assessment and management information, where all data is gathered and stored within an accessible digital format and which is easily submitted to the building safety regulator.

As the safety case regime gets underway, we recommend that all responsible persons take a very considered and cautious approach to their submissions. It is important to remember that the safety case details provided to the regulator can be used in legal proceedings against them if they are found to have been submitted in error.

The Building Safety Case and Safety Case Report will be reviewed by the new Building Safety Regulator (BSR) as part of the application for a Certificate of Compliance to Occupy (COC). We expect that clear guidance will be issued at this stage on how to meet the new duties and how the BSR intends to assess and verify the systems in place for managing, mitigating and controlling major fire and structural risks in occupied high-rise residential buildings. Adelard is working closely with the BSR to ensure the right level of clarity is achieved in this early phase.