Building managers now expected to have a Building Safety Case Report in place. As of the 1st April 2024, your report can be requested by the Building Safety Regulator with only 28 days notice.

Our April article “Preparing a Building Safety Case” explains how to build and compile the Building Safety Case for your block. Today, we’ll be discussing what is expected in terms of locating the documentation needed- whether that be searching paper-based records, requesting paperwork from local authorities or contacting previous owners of the block.

A Quick Re-Cap – Who Needs A Building Safety Case

A high-rise building towering against a clear blue sky in Birmingham, UK. The vibrant blue sky contrasts beautifully with the sleek architecture of the building, showcasing the urban landscape of the city.

The Building Safety Act is the result of Government investigations into all aspects of high-rise building safety, with a focus on structural failure and fire safety. A Principal Accountable Person must now be responsible for the implementation of the Act’s requirements.

One of the responsibilities faced by the Principal Accountable Person is to produce and maintain a Safety Case for any “Higher-Risk Buildings” they manage (buildings that are over 18 meters or seven stories in height and contain 2 or more residential dwellings).

In essence, a safety case is a collection of information and records that demonstrates how the principal accountable person will manage risks such as the spread of fire or structural failure.


What is Expected of Principal Accountable Persons

A large part of preparing your safety case report will involve gathering the relevant information and documentation. For many, this may be a simple task. For others, it may be trickier.

For those who have managed a building for a long time, much of the paperwork should be on hand. For those who have recently inherited a block, especially one whose previous manager didn’t embrace an online filing system, it may be very challenging.

The advice from the Health and Safety Executive is to get genuinely curious. Their non-exhaustive list of information you may need to acquire regarding your building includes:

  • The date it was built and what the relevant standards were at that time
  • Plans for the building at the time it was built
  • Details of the building’s construction, including facade and insulation materials
  • Details of common parts and any underground levels
  • Details of any shared facilities such as utilities, car parking or access
  • Details of any refurbishment or changes to the building since it was built
  • Your building’s height and number of storeys
  • The number and type of flats
  • Information about the building’s structural condition
  • Your fire prevention and protection measures
  • Maintenance and inspection details including assessment reports and follow up works
  • Your arrangements for managing and monitoring the building
  • Information about services and utilities associated with the building
  • A profile of your residents

As far as your responsibilities are concerned, if the documentation is hard to come by, you must at least evidence that you have “made every reasonable effort” to obtain what’s needed.

This may mean searching archived, paper-based storage, requesting planning authority records, accessing building control records or even contacting previous owners or managers. As far as your responsibilities are concerned, if the documentation is hard to come by, you must at least evidence that you have “made every reasonable effort” to obtain what’s needed.

How Can We Help?

Our team has been deep in thought about how we can support high rise block managers as they get to grips with the Building Safety Case requirements. We’ve recently launched a support service that will assist with compiling, maintaining and sharing your safety case reports.

Feel free to get in touch with us if this is of interest, or if you’d like to discuss the new requirements in any more detail.