Housing providers, estate and facilities managers and social landlords keen to explore how they meet new building safety requirements in advance of the government’s major new legislation are invited to help test two new compliance products – for free.
UL is seeking building safety professionals and consultants in housing and estates management for input into two new products, including a groundbreaking digital platform and third-party certification scheme closely linked to the requirements in the Building Safety Bill that is due to be laid before Parliament this autumn.
Neither product is yet commercially available in the UK, and UL is looking for partner organisations to test drive them, free of charge. Partner organisations will then be able to ready themselves for the implementation of the new legislation and reassure residents, investors and other stakeholders of their safety systems.
UL’s Built InForm software tracks and manages ‘the golden thread’ of information, as outlined in the Hackitt Review, including helping safety managers keep on top of building features, certification, testing schedules, professional competencies and other activities across single buildings or whole portfolios, empowering effective safety monitoring and management. It will also mean information is easily accessible to regulators and residents when requested.
Alongside this, UL’s Building Safety Management (BSM) Certification Scheme is aligned to the requirements of the Building Safety Bill’s Building Assurance Certificate, thereby providing independent third-party audit and certification of fire and structural safety management systems, offering conformity assurance for the accountable person and stakeholders such as residents.
Simon Ince, project engineer at UL, said: ‘Within 12–24 months, the Building Safety Act will fundamentally change the way the country manages its properties, and housing providers/estate/facilities managers/social landlords need to prepare. This is why we’re seeking those who may be looking to get a head start, to help us ready Built InForm and the BSM Certification Scheme. Both will help accountable persons build their safety case, develop the golden thread and stay compliant.’
The use of outdated tools, such as paper-based fire-safety logbooks and operations and maintenance manuals, is widespread and will no longer satisfy the new legislation. Digitisation is inevitable. Additionally, meeting the requirements of the proposed new legislation will be a complex process, which can be eased with independent third-party audit and certification; this will also enable organisations to publicly demonstrate best safety practice.
UL is one of the first registered signatories to the Building a Safer Future Charter, which promotes a culture change in the built environment to help ensure buildings are safe for those living and working in them. The Charter was created by a group of local authorities, contractors, housing associations and property developers with the support of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
For more details on Built InForm and the BSR Certification Scheme, and to express an interest in trialling them, email: EU.BuildingLifeSafety@ul.com