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 Building Safety Management

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Developing the Building Safety Management System
(During construction and in-occupation).

We can provide clients with a comprehensive suite of digital off the shelf Buildings Safety Management tools developed within Microsoft 365 PowerApps and SharePoint which organisations (clients and PDs) can take ownership of, and adopt and develop to suit their own circumstances. In summary:

  1. Evidence the Golden Thread

  2. Safety Management (PD) Apps for:

  • Change Control (log).

  • Construction Control Planning 
    (Plan, Manage and Monitor).

  • Competence
    (Individuals and organisations).

  • Assurance
    (underpin the Safety Case and Golden Thread)

  • Mandatory Occurrence Reporting

  • Gateway 3
    BSR / FRS pre- occupation.


The headers for our model Building Safety Management System are as follows:

Building Safety Policy

Building Safety Risks


Managing Safety Risks


Existing Buildings

It could be argued that it should be the Policy of dutyholders to develop and implement a Building Safety Management System for all buildings and develop and retain a ‘Golden Thread’ of information to show that buildings are compliant with applicable Building Regulations.   

In respect of existing 'Higher Risk' buildings the duthyholder will be required to 'Register 'the building and undertake a Building Safety Risk Assessments for Fire, Explosion and the risk of Structural Collapse and prepare and submit a ‘Safety Case’ report for each building to the Building Safety Regulator.   


New Buildings

For new buildings Building Safety Risks will need to be addressed throughout the building's life from its initial design stage, during construction, subsequent operation and maintenance, to its point of demolition.

To ensure adequate consideration is given to building safety risks at each stage of the design, construction, completion and occupation of a higher-risk building all new buildings will be required to adhere to the three stage, Gateway Approval and Certification process. 

Safety Case Reports

Safety case reports are developed for ‘Higher Risk’ buildings as defined under the Building Safety Act, to identify major fire and structural safety hazards.  The safety case report also summarises risk tolerability and how risks are managed. 


For a higher risk building safety case consideration is given to single events that may:

  • Have the potential to impact occupant safety on more than one floor of the building.

  • Have the potential to cause harm to occupants across multiple compartments (major event).

  • Produce a 'domino effect'. An event that initiates a series of other types of hazard.

  • Impact others or infrastructure outside of the building.

  • Lead to a significant incident being declared.


The safety report also accounts for the risk of:

  • Single Floor Scenario events.

  • Between Floor Scenarios events

  • Multiple Floor/Whole Building events.

  • Evacuation Scenario events

  • Emergency Response Scenario events.

  • Safety System Scenario events

  • Structural Collapse: Residential Unit/Common Areas/Within Floor Scenario events.

  • Structural Collapse: Multiple Floor/Whole Building events.

Risk of Building Collapse

For newly constructed buildings the risk of collapse will need to be accounted for at the design stage within structural robustness risk assessments.  These will refelct the buildings features and take account of:

  • Loading on areas of the building or structure.

  • Type and location of primary load bearing and stability systems (horizontal and vertical)

  • Type and location of secondary systems relevant to building safety risks - for example, cladding support systems.

  • Building's (Building Regs) consequence class and the measures taken based on that class taking account of:

    • information about the building's foundations.

    • findings from any previous structural surveys or inspections.

  • Movement of the ground.

  • Other significant ongoing structural safety challenges.

  • Ongoing programme of inspections or surveys. Some buildings may have monitoring systems to provide early warning of structural issues.


For older buildings, the risk of collapse is addressed through programmes of planned maintenance and condition based surveys.  


Missing Structural Collapse Risk Assessment Information

Where limited, or no structural robustness risk assessment information is available, duthholders should account for and address the risk of structural collapse through the employment of competent persons to offer advice, and as recommended undertake structural condition surveys.  

Surveys will be outsourced to specialist surveyors and the University commits to act upon and address any highlighted significant findings identified within reports.


Monitoring, Inspection, Maintenance and Review of Structural Areas of Concern

In addition, as part of the building maintenance regime, there is a requirement to undertake a process of scheduled monitoring, inspection, maintenance and review of identified elements of structural areas of concern.  Areas of concern for Higher Risk buildings typically include:

  • Balconies and balustrades.

  • External wall façade panels.

  • Roof and wall features.

  • Locations subject to water ingress.

  • Exposed concrete and joints.

  • Pre cast concrete elements.

  • Transfer decks and grids for structural support columns.

  • High rise access systems.

  • Car park barriers.

  • Building tendons.


Risk of Fire

Fire risks should be addressed through:  

  • Fire Safety Strategies incorporated into the building's design.

  • Development and keeping up to date of fire and emergency files for newly constructed buildings.

  • Risk assessment in line with Regulatory Reform Order.

  • Adherence to duties introduced by the Fire Safety Regulations.

  • Maintenance of fire safety engineering controls.

  • Engagement with stakeholders including the Fire and Rescue Service.

  • Development of Emergency Plans with the aim of safely evacuating all occupants.  

  • Active fire safety management.

Risk Tolerability

Our approach to risk tolerability is assessed and interpreted in line with Building Regulator guidance requirements as either:

  • Category 1: ACCEPTABLE.  Extremely good engineering and effective risk management controls.

  • Category 2: BROADLY ACCEPTABLE.  Risks are suitably managed through good engineering and risk management controls.  The risk is low enough to not adversely impact beyond the everyday risks to which students, visitors, members of the public and contractors are exposed.

  • Category 3: TOLERABLE if ALAP.  Risk are reduced SFAIR / ALARP.  Engineering and management controls are effectively in managing risk.  We can only live with this level of risk if it can be demonstrated that the risk is reduced SFAIRP / ALARP, where risk controls are being implemented and managed effectively.

  • Category 4: Risk is TOLERABLE WITH CAVEATS (Specific stipulations, conditions and limitations apply). Something needs to be done within a defined timescale to reduce risk to a tolerable managed level.

  • Category 5: INTOLERABLE. Something needs to be done immediately to reduce risk to a tolerable managed level.  A risk the University cannot live with; something needs to be done immediately to reduce the risk to a tolerable managed level.


Risk Management

As part of teh Building Safety Management System dutyholders should be committed to adopting a hierarchy of controls with the most effective control applied first and the least last.  The hierarchy is described below:

  • Elimination: Redesign such that the hazard is removed or eliminated.

  • Substitution: Replace the material or process with a less hazardous one.

  • Engineering Controls: Design measures that help control or mitigate risks such as barriers, guards, sprinkler systems, automatic ventilation systems, etc.

  • Administrative Controls: Identifying and implementing procedures to improve safety.  increasing safety signage, performing risk assessments, preparing and communicating emergency procedures.

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): PPE is specialised clothing or equipment that provides protection from health and safety hazards.


The risk management hierarchy to be adopted should be based upon:


  • Clear roles, responsibilities, and accountability.

  • Exercise of due diligence with appointment of designers, contractors and consultants undertaking work on behalf of dutholders.  They must possess appropriate collective skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours to complete their task safely.

  • Commissioning and testing competency.

  • Design standards.

  • Fire safe design.

  • Future proofing/resilience.

  • Legal framework including enforcement (may need right to inspect, monitor & repair).



  • Alternate escape routes.

  • Competency.

  • Design standards.

  • Fire safe design.

  • Future proofing/resilience.

  • Legal framework including enforcement (may need right to inspect, monitor & repair).


Engineering controls:

  • Design standards

  • Active fire protection: suppression systems (e.g. sprinklers, inerting)

  • Alarms

  • Alternate escape routes

  • Commissioning and testing

  • Crash deck

  • Fire fighter access and facilities

  • Fire safe design

  • Passive Fire protection: containment/compartmentation/segregation (e.g. fire doors)

  • Strong floors

  • Structural failure monitoring systems

  • Underpinning/propping and shoring

  • Ventilation


Administrative controls:

  • Signage

  • Building information/record keeping, including change control

  • Building risk assessments, including implementation of control measures

  • Communication/resident engagement

  • Effective emergency response

  • Effective procurement

  • Fire and other risk assessments, including implementation of control measures

  • General evacuation plans

  • Housekeeping e.g. maintaining clear routes

  • Inspection-based and audit preventative maintenance

  • Investigation and lessons learnt

  • Mandatory incident/near miss reporting

  • Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs)

  • Risk based inspection and maintenance

  • Third party/independent checks

  • Up to date information for FRS in form of premises and digital premises information boxes

  • Business continuity plans


PPE equivalent controls:

  • Fire extinguishers; fire blankets

  • Effective use of inbuilt firefighter facilities

  • Effective use of passive Fire protection: e.g. fire doors

  • Effective use of Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs)

  • Effective use of ventilation.


Change of use, alterations and modifications, and maintenance and repair activities

Underpinning risk management is the need to actively monitor change of use, alterations and modifications, and maintenance and repair activities that will impact a building risk profile.  These include:

  • Changes to building usage (including university, residential and commercial activities)

  • Other building changes/modifications, or repurposing

  • Routine or reactive maintenance activities

  • Potential life extension

  • Potential department or occupant behaviour that could impact on the efficacy of control measures.


Statement of Organisational Responsibilities

Strong and committed leadership and the formalisation of building safety responsibilities should form part of teh management system.  This will be required to ensure that building safety risks are appropriately managed.


Estates Operations

The Buidling Safety Management system also calls for:

  • Appointment of informed, competent and effective leaders.  Overall leadership, commitment and organisational capacity will need to be demonstrated to deliver safe buildings on behalf of its dutyholders.

  • Effectively exercise control of building safety risks through appropriate systems of governance.

  • Determination and provision of the operational and people resources needed to establish a Buildings Safety Management System.

  • Oversee development of statements of organisational arrangements for dutyholders undertaking building safety compliance activities including formally setting out the responsibilities of appointed Principal Designers, Principal Contractors and those undertaking risk assessment and management activities e.g. Legionella, Fire Door inspections etc. 

  • Formally define roles and responsibilities of accountable and responsible persons including its own staff, and designer, contractors and consultants appointed on the behalf of dutyholders.

  • The exercise of high levels of due diligence and professional discretion over the selection of Principal Designers, Principal Contractors and those undertaking risk assessment and management activities.

  • Planning, organising, monitoring and review building safety risks.

  • Adoption of a goalsetting approach to the management of risk taking account of the risk tolerability and a health and safety Cost Benefit Analysis of controls.

  • Determination of the levels of competence to manage the Building Safety management system and the appointment of a competent persons to do so.

  • Establishment of systems for risk control and publish a quarterly risk register for the buildings under its control

  • Development of strategies for maintaining and managing the ‘Golden Thread of information’ for the Estate.


Safety Management System

Those tasked with building safety management responsibilities should be tasked with:

  • Developing a robust building safety management system based on HSG65 ) Policy, Organising, Planning, Implementting, Monitoring, Audit and Review.  Alternatively Plan, Do, Check and Act

  • Preparing safety cases for all high-risk buildings.

  • Adopting a consistent approach and level of detail between different safety cases taking account of use of the building, surrounding infrastructure, building height, design/construction methods, commercial operations etc.

  • Taking account of vulnerable / special needs persons requiring development of PEEPs.

  • Identifying inception hazards and occupation risks with a designated High, Medium, Low risk categorisation.


Competence, Co-ordination, Co-operation, Communication and Control

Organisational arrangements within the Buildings Safety Management Policy should set out responsibilities for:

  • Establishing staff competency and any training requirements.

  • Setting minimum competence requirements for designers, contractors and their staff.

  • Providing dutyholders, staff, tenants, designers, contractors, tenants and students with access to critical safety information in relation to buildings including emergency plans

  • Overseeing information sharing.

  • Effectively co-ordinating activities that might have a material impact on others.

  • Overseeing co-operation across the estate between facilities management managers, staff, designers and contractors.

  • Ensuring effective safety communication between estates, departments, heads of departments, research institutions, students, staff, tenants (mixed occupancy), visitors, designers, contractors, and the emergency services.



Estates management should be responsible for managig information.  This includes:

  • Review and retention of building safety information including CDM health and safety files.

  • Keeping up to-date any Building Information Management models

  • Creating, updating, and retaining material building safety information .

  • Retaining building information relevant to a building's life-cycle.


Risk Identification and Control

In terms of risk identification and control estates / facilities management should be formally made responsible for:

  • Ensuring safety risks are suitably identified, controlled and reduced to prevent significant incidents arising.

  • Identifying potential contributory causes, or pathways that may contribute to risk propagation and  escalation.

  • Setting standards for risk control including detection, warning, suppression, emergency response including policies, procedures, wayfinding, adoption of life safety systems including automatic ventilation systems, emergency response teams, access and facilities for emergency services etc.

  • Ensure risk controls are fit for purpose, function effectively, and suitably maintained.

  • Recording action to address any serious safety concerns.

  • Requiring users, staff, tenants (mixed occupancy), visitors, designers and contractors to implement any Estates requirements or advice given.


Change Management

Estates management are responsible for:

  • Maintaining a Change Control Log.

  • Co-ordinating the management of change across the estate including occupancy and departmental processes and activities.  Department heads are responsible for giving Estates adequate notice of any planned change before it takes place.

  • Assessment of any change and subsequent approval or rejection before any planned change takes place. 


The ‘Golden Thread’

Estates management are responsible for maintaining a Golden Thread of information is avilable for buildings to enable those responsible for buildings to:

  • Show that the building was compliant with applicable building regulations during its construction 

  • Provide evidence of meeting the requirements of the new building control route throughout the design and construction and refurbishment of a building

  • Identify, understand, manage and mitigate building safety risks in order to prevent or reduce the severity of the consequences of fire spread or structural collapse throughout the life cycle of a building.

Information stored in the Golden Thread is stored digitally, and consistently maintained, retained, reviewed and managed so that the information retained, at all times, achieves these purposes.

The golden thread covers both the information and documents and the information management processes (or steps) used to support building safety.

Golden thread information management approach applies through design, construction, occupation, refurbishment and ongoing management of buildings.


Principal Designers

As part of the Building Safetyu Management System, Principal Designers must be appointed in writing for all in scope building works including constructing new buildings, making buildings bigger, altering buildings and changing what they are used for. It also covers installing a ‘controlled service’ or a ‘controlled fitting’ such as a boiler (controlled service) and a replacement window (controlled fitting).  ‘Renovation of thermal elements’ is also building work. This includes roofs or external walls.


The Principal Designer is required to be part of the design team and not a third-party without any influence over design decisions.

They are required to keep a record of designs, their responsibilities and all other designs by specialist contractors that form part of the overall project:

Principal Designers duties are specified within tender and contractual documentation.  They set out Building Safety Act Principal Designer's duties including those relating to:

  • Meeting appropriate competency requirements in accordance with PAS 8671: 2022.

  • Making a 'Fire Safety Statement' (Gateway 1), evidencing thinking on fire safety matters, has been incorporated into the planning application.

  • Planning, Managing and Monitoring design work in the pre-construction phase.

  • Co-operating, co-ordinating and communicating appropriately to ensure design work complies with the Building Regulations and Approved Document B.   

  • Ensuring the design is in accordance with requirements set out in Approved Document B and that materials incorporated into the design have the appropriate fire and structural performance requirements / specifications to meet the intended design brief.

  • Determining whether specialist sub-contractors undertaking designs possess relevant detailed design skills (e.g. fire detection and warning system design specifications)

  • Having in place appropriate Quality Systems including maintaining a change control system for design plans.

  • Referring all major changes in Designs to the Building Control Authority in the form of a 'Change Notice'.

  • Retaining in an accessible format complete, accurate and reliable design documentation including 'as built design information' that are passed over at the end of the project.

  • Providing at the end of the project a 'Compliance Declaration' that building work is in compliance with Building Safety Act as set out within the Building Control Body approved Designs, Specifications, British Standards and Approved Document B.


Principal Designers are deemed competent to assess and challenge, 'designers' whom constitute the build design team and ensure consensus on overall design compliance.


Before any building work commences a Building Control Application is made to the Building Safety Approval Body (Gateway 2) including key documentation.  This includes competency declaration and building regulations compliance statement.   


Principal Contractors

Principal Contractors are appointed in writing for the whole of all in scope building works including constructing new buildings, making buildings bigger, altering buildings and changing what they are used for. It also covers installing a ‘controlled service’ or a ‘controlled fitting’ such as a boiler (controlled service) and a replacement window (controlled fitting).  ‘Renovation of thermal elements’ is also building work. This includes roofs or external walls:


Principal Contractors duties are specified within tender and contractual documentation.  They set out Building Safety Act duties including requirements to:

  • Meet appropriate competency requirements in accordance with PAS 8672: 2022.

  • Adequately resource the project with persons (including sub-contractors) with the necessary Skills, Competencies and Behaviours to undertake work to required standards.

  • Assess and challenge design team competence to achieve Regulatory compliance.

  • Have in place appropriate Quality Systems to enable them to plan, manage, monitor and record the works including approval of alterations or deviations of the build from original design details.  

  • Suitably manage information flows with designers and sub-contractors Co-operate, co-ordinate and communicate with other duty-holders.

  • Demonstrate that elements are built properly.  This includes identification, assessment, inspection and testing of safety critical materials, components and building systems to evidence work meets structural and fire safety design standards and complies with the law. 

  • Retain in an accessible format complete, accurate and reliable 'as built' documentation that is passed over at the end of the project.

  • Provide at the end of the project a 'Compliance Declaration' that building work has been completed in accordance with Approved Designs, Specifications, British Standards and Approved Document B.


Contractors are assessed and appointed on the basis of possessing appropriate competencies or organisational capabilities, appropriate to the design brief.  Where work is on a ‘design and build’ basis, they are not appointed to assume the Principal Designer role.  This is recognised as a separate function.


Construction Control Plans

Estates management are responsible for:: 

  • Retaining a schedule detailing each Company appointed to work on the project, the Principal Contractor (or sole contractor), and the Principal Designer (or sole or lead designer) and a summary of individual responsibilities. 

  • Developing arrangements to assess the Competence of those designing or carrying out building work, as initially described within signed declarations of competence.

  • Strategies, Policies and Procedures detailing steps to control the work and facilitate suitable and sufficient recording of necessary information to support Golden Thread Information requirements. 

  • Capture of information to evidence completion in accordance with the design intent and Building Regulations with specific reference to Guidance, Standards and Design Codes.

  • Management arrangements to ensure ‘as Built Information’ is captured to support the completion certificate application. 

  • Arrangements for the provision of information, instruction and training to those carrying out building work.

  • Arrangements to support Co-operation between Designers, Contractors and Others.

  • Procedures to review the Construction Control Plan.


Development of Emergency Procedures

Estates management are responsible for:

  • Developing emergency plans for all buildings.  Not just those deemed high-risk.

  • Communicating emergency plans to interested parties including fire and rescue service, all dutyholders, staff, students, residents, other interested parties, etc.


Mandatory Occurrence Reporting

The Estates Department is responsible for Mandatory Occurrence Reporting (MOR) to the Building Safety Regulator when:

  • There is a safety occurrence (structural safety or fire safety) in relation to the design of a building or an incident or situation during construction for which the building, if occupied without the risk being remedied, is likely to present a risk of a significant number of deaths or serious injury to a significant number of people

  • During the occupation of a higher risk building related to structural failure or spread of fire. 


Failure to provide a report when required is an offence.    


Monitoring Auditing and Review

Estates management are responsible for actively monitoring, audit, review, and evaluation of the building safety management systems performance.

Monitoring also includes:

  • Recording and learning from near miss events.

  • Action to mitigate risks from near miss events. 

Building Safety Management System 2
Building Safety Management System 1

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