HSE Meet With Wintech – Navigating Building Safety Compliance

In a recent milestone meeting, Wintech met with policymakers at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) this week, to gain clarity on the Gateway 2 submission requirements under the Building Safety Act 2022. This meeting aimed to shed light on the imperative need for early and robust design, which is crucial in demonstrating Building Regulation compliance, for approval of the Gateway 2 submission before advancing to construction.

The Building Safety Act has ushered in a new era, placing a premium on ensuring that designs meet the functional requirements of the Building Regulations from the outset. The pivotal shift demands that clients, architects, designers, contractors, and subcontractors proactively question the adequacy of their submissions, asking themselves if they have dutifully fulfilled their responsibilities in demonstrating compliance with the functional requirements.

Crucially, the collaborative approach between clients, architects, designers, contractors, and subcontractors is now non-negotiable. The traditional practice of prescribing design later in the project lifecycle is not only costly in financial terms but also risks substantial delays and damage to professional reputations. The meeting with HSE underscored the critical importance of a holistic, integrated approach where all stakeholders work cohesively from the project’s inception to establish the design sufficiently to demonstrate it will fully meet the functional requirements.

HSE and government guidance are unequivocal in placing the onus on clients to conduct due diligence meticulously before submitting applications to the Building Safety Regulator. The client, as the primary entity driving the project, is now tasked with providing positive assurance that all functional requirements are met. This paradigm shift challenges the prevalent practice of prioritising cost, shorter timescales over quality and performance, a cultural shift is required, as quality over cost has always been imperative but seems to have been lost somewhere along the way. Insufficiently detailed design applications face rejection, necessitating a costly repetition of the submission process, with a 12-week timescale by the BSR to review and approve Gateway 2 submissions, if not approved could prove expensive.

The conversation with HSE highlighted the need for a cultural shift within the industry. Clients are urged to adopt a proactive stance, considering compliance not merely as a regulatory hurdle but as a commitment to constructing safe, resilient, and high-performing buildings. By embracing this ethos, clients can mitigate the risk of rejected applications, subsequent repetitions, and the associated financial and temporal burdens.

Wintech, is now better equipped to communicate the long-term benefits of adhering to Building Safety Act requirements to their clients and how to navigate these challenges. The insights gained from the HSE meeting serve as a foundation for advocating a holistic and compliant approach that transcends the often-siloed practices of the past.

In conclusion, the meeting between Wintech and HSE policymakers serves as a landmark event in the industry’s journey towards enhanced building safety compliance. It underscores the urgency for a paradigm shift in project planning and design processes, demanding upfront adherence to functional requirements. As the industry adapts to this new norm, collaborative efforts and a shared commitment to safety will undoubtedly shape the future landscape of construction, ensuring that buildings not only meet regulations but exceed them in quality and performance.

Wintech have long provided and held the view that early-stage design detailing is of significant benefit to the project with regard to cost, programme and quality. This approach mirrors the new regime that is now being enforced through the Building Safety Act, and whilst it is anticipated as a difficult shift for the industry, it is likely to significantly improve quality and ultimately reduce project delivery costs. It will eventually reduce the substantial costs often associated with the remediation of defective initial works.

Our goal is clear, to make buildings safe & efficient, not just for today, but for a greener, more sustainable tomorrow. Together, we can shape a better world through responsible construction.

Paul Savidge, MD Wintech Group.

For the downloadable article and insights from the meeting, click here.