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RIBA publishes architects’ guide to the Building Safety Act 2022

30 January 2023

THE ROYAL Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has published a new guide for its members on the legal implications of the Building Safety Act 2022 and other draft regulations in England. The RIBA has developed the guide in unison with law firm Simmons & Simmons LLP to help members understand key issues affecting architects from the implementation of the Building Safety Act 2022, the Building Act 1984 and related regulations likely to be introduced.

The Building Safety Act 2022: Initial Guide for Architects provides practical tips and describes where practitioners need to be aware of changes to liability and insurance cover. It will serve as an important tool for practitioners to ensure they have good practices and procedures in place so as to avoid breaching regulations.

The guide outlines new ‘duty holder’ roles that may be created, new obligations (and what these mean for how practitioners provide their services), the new ‘gateway’ process (which may apply to the design and construction of high-rise residential buildings), the new (or extended) civil actions and criminal sanctions brought in by the Building Safety Act, wow practitioners may be exposed to such liabilities for both new projects and existing properties and, last but not least, the impact on – and availability of – insurance cover.

Alex Tait, the RIBA’s director of practice and individual knowledge, explained: “This initial guide affords practitioners essential information about how the Building Safety Act will impact their work. We’re pleased to have worked with Simmons & Simmons LLP to give our members confidence that they will be able to work within the new regulatory framework and know what to expect. As the legislation develops, we will keep our members informed.”

A spokesperson for Simmons & Simmons LLP responded: “We are delighted to work with the RIBA in the preparation of an Initial Guide for Architects relating to the Building Safety Act 2022, which is one of the most significant pieces of legislation in relation to building safety to impact the industry in some 20 years. We will also continue to assist the RIBA with an updated version of the guide once additional regulations and guidance are published. There are a number of issues about which architects need to be up-to-date on at all times.”

*RIBA members are invited to download copies of the Building Safety Act 2022: Initial Guide for Architects