Happy New Year - our first newsletter of 2021! Throughout this year we will continue to bring you news and developments relating to the charities sector.
On 26 November 2020 further changes to the 'Building Regulations: Fire safety - Approved Document B' will take effect.
These changes were announced earlier this year as part of the Government’s on-going response to the Grenfell Tower fire. Updates to the Building Regulations will obviously be of significance to social housing providers planning the construction of new high-risk residential buildings (“HRRBs”) or carrying out material alterations to existing HRRB stock.
The key changes include:
- Extending the requirement for sprinkler installation for residential or mixed-use buildings, to include buildings of 11m in height; and
- New guidance and requirements for the provision of consistent wayfinding signage for fire and rescue service personnel in residential buildings with a top storey more than 11m above ground level.
It should be noted these amendments apply in England only, and will apply to all building works for residential or mixed-use buildings where:
- A building notice or initial notice has been given to, or full plans deposited with, a local authority on or after 26 November 2020; and/or
- Works commence on or after 29 January 2021 (including where a building notice, initial notice, or full plans were deposited with a local authority before 26 November 2020).
These changes will therefore apply to both the construction of new residential buildings of 11m or higher and also to existing buildings where works which constitute material alterations are being undertaken.
The updates require that sprinkler systems are installed to individual dwellings, but not to corridors or stairs, providing that those common areas are “fire sterile”. There are also clear requirements for the wording, location, visibility, size, font, colour and mounting (to name but a few) for wayfinding signage, with similar requirements also being established for flat indicator signs.
The adoption of an 11m threshold for sprinkler installation is notable because current definitions of HRRBs generally assume an 18m height. Given that the new regulatory regime envisaged by the Building Safety Bill (the “Bill”) will apply to the owners of HRRBs, the updates to the Building Regulations do raise questions as to whether a lower threshold height of 11m may be adopted for HRRBs under the Bill. The potential for HRRBs to encompass a greater number of buildings will be of real interest and significance to social housing providers.
For more information
Our fire safety experts are experienced in advising social housing providers on building safety issues. We also provide bespoke training programmes for registered social housing providers regarding preparing for the Building Safety Bill becoming law.
If you have any questions in relation to this ebriefing, please contact Kieran Binnie. If you would like to find out more about our bespoke training programmes, please contact Kieran Binnie or Lorna Kenyon.
This is the seventh in a series of ebriefings on this topic. The full list can be found below:
- Prioritising building safety: The Building Safety Bill
- The Building Safety Bill: Duty holders
- The Building Safety Bill: Charges to leaseholders
- Prioritising building safety: The Fire Safety Bill
- The Building Safety Bill: The golden thread of information
- The Building Safety Bill: The golden thread of information - part 2
- Fire safety changes to the building regulations now in force
Local authorities should be wary of reserving contracts for local suppliers, as recommended by Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 11/20. Other contracting authorities may want to maximise their use of this
Most housing practitioners have perhaps been waiting for this news since the latest lockdown was announced by the Prime Minister on 4 January 2021.
Climate change and biodiversity is an area where significantly faster changes are needed on a global and local basis.
Chris Lloyd Smith, Adrian Leonard and Lisa Whitehouse discuss the planning opportunities available to owners of businesses and how to prepare for unforeseen events.
In their 3rd podcast of the series, Chris Lloyd-Smith and Maria Ramon discuss a number of problems with and difficulties that can arise in mediation and the mechanisms they use to overcome them.
Our previous round-up began by sharing the news that two vaccines had shown very promising test results. Here we are, not even a month later, and the first vaccines have already been administered!
The Covid-19 crisis has demonstrated that there is great resilience and innovation in the housing sector across Greater Manchester, it has also brought shortfalls and other priorities sharply into foc
For part 5 in this series of short podcasts, Chris Lloyd-Smith interviews associate Kadie Bennett on how she has been coping during these unprecedented times.
The first report of Donna Ockenden and her team into the review of maternity services at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust has been published today.
To receive invitations to our events, as well as information and articles on legal issues and sector developments that are of interest to you, please sign up to Newsroom.