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New Chief Inspector of Buildings to deliver upon risk-based regulatory system

In the biggest shake up of building safety and regulatory enforcement for 40 years, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has this week announced the appointment of a Chief Inspector of Buildings to establish and lead the new Building Safety Regulator (BSR).

Peter Baker, HSE’s current Director of Building Safety and Construction, will take up the post with immediate effect.

The government asked HSE to establish a new building safety regulator in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster and following recommendations in the ‘Building a Safer Future’ report by Dame Judith Hackitt.

In his role as the Chief Inspector of Buildings, Peter will:

  • head up the Building Safety Regulator to deliver the new regime for high risk buildings,
  • oversee work to increase competence of all professionals working on buildings; and
  • ensure effective oversight of the entire building safety environment.

Peter will also be the first head of the building control profession, and lead the work to provide independent, expert advice to industry, government, landlords and residents on building safety.

This is certainly one to watch, with the new BSR set to lead an overhaul of the existing building compliance, safety and performance enforcement regime; spawning a new ‘risk-based regulatory system’.

What’s interesting from a Build Test Solutions standpoint is where as-built energy efficiency, ventilation, indoor air quality, health, well-being, whole life CO2 emissions and operational performance all rank on the risk scale. Our view of course is that the measurement and verification of all of the above is key and that buildings are only ever likely to be wholly compliant and fit for purpose when fire safety, structural integrity, thermal performance, air tightness, ventilation, access, materials and the whole raft of other factors are all given an equal weighting and considered together as a whole.

Further information on the HSE announcement can be found here: https://press.hse.gov.uk/2021/02/16/hse-announces-new-chief-inspector-of-buildings/

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