A Steamroller of Reform


A key topic at the recent STA Conference was the Building Safety Act and how it is impacting the structural timber industry. Here, Andrew Carpenter, of the Structural Timber Association (STA), discusses and shares his views on the Act.

The Building Safety Act will be a real shake-up to the industry giving residents and homeowners more rights, powers, and protections to ensure the safe construction of homes. Creating three new bodies, the Building Safety Regulator, the National Regulator of Construction Products and the New Homes Ombudsman, the Act will be implemented over the next two years through a programme of secondary legislation.

The Act came into effect on the 1st December 2022 and the STA believe that the legislation provides even more clarity and reinforces its goal to increase the safe use of timber in construction.  It is worth pointing out that the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) will oversee the safety and performance of all buildings, as well as having a special focus on high-rise buildings.

The STA supports the direction in which the UK Government is heading with the legislation and view it as a real positive for the industry and aligns with the increased use of offsite construction inherent in structural timber systems. At the STA, we work closely with government departments including the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and other key stakeholders, which not only benefits our members, but also futureproofs the entire construction industry – placing it in the best possible position to achieve the ambitious goal of net zero by 2050.

At the STA, we also see this Act as an opportunity to continue to raise the bar when it comes to building safety and standards supporting this through our own quality assurance scheme – STA Assure. We endorse the Act’s goal to “promote competence and organisational capability within the sector including for building control professionals and tradespeople.”

STA Assure offers firm reassurances that our members are supplying products and systems to an audited quality scheme, meeting or even exceeding current legislation and regulatory requirements. The Scheme ensures that our members keep on top of the constantly increasing industry expectations on quality and competency, and as legislation continues to evolve, so too does our STA Assure programme. Continuously updated and developed, it holds the industry to the highest standards at all times, providing clients and the entire supply chain with peace of mind.

The STA technical hotline is an invaluable resource for our members, supporting them with technical knowledge and guidance on legislation, building systems and regulatory requirements.

The Building Safety Act has been introduced to make buildings safer, which is something that the STA emphatically supports. The STA will continue to work with the UK Government to provide guidance and expertise to help achieve this goal, whilst also supporting members in navigating the new legislation.                                                      

Full article on page 62

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