Half of industry unclear on BSR gateway system

Half of construction-industry professionals are unclear on the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) gateway system, with only one in 10 having a plan for storing building information, according to a new survey.

Half of around 500 respondents to a survey carried out by specification information provider NBS said they were “not that clear” or “not clear at all” on the responsibilities of dutyholders for the gateway system defined in the Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA).

Just under half – 44 per cent – said they were clear about what they needed to do to carry out a project that falls under the BSA.

Since October last year, higher-risk-building (HRB) projects must pass through each of three gateways overseen by the BSR before they can be built and occupied.

HRBs are defined as buildings higher than 18 metres or seven storeys that contain at least two residential units.

Russell Haworth, UK and Ireland chief executive at NBS’s parent company Byggfakta Group, said: “At our Construction Leaders’ Summit last October, Dame Judith Hackitt told the audience, in no uncertain terms, that regulatory change is coming, and it’s unstoppable, so the construction industry needs to be fully prepared.

“All designers must have the correct approach to specifications if the industry is to raise the bar on building safety.”

In addition, less than half of respondents (45 per cent) said they were clear on how they would manage building information to fulfil their golden thread obligations. Only 10 per cent said they had a solid plan.

The ‘golden thread’ refers to the duty of principal contractors, principal designers and clients working on an HRB project to keep an up-to-date digital record of information on the building that people can access and use. It is required for a building to pass through gateway three, which enables it to be occupied.

The government has ruled out mandating a single approach to golden-thread obligations, although industry leaders have warned that a lack of digital standardisation is creating confusion within the industry.

During a consultation on the BSA in 2022, one in four respondents supported mandatory compliance with a particular standard or language.

The government has also said it will not set a time limit on when accountable persons must share golden-thread information with the BSR.

NBS innovation director Stephen Hamil said: “The level of understanding around the golden thread of information is worrying. As well as providing a continuous flow of information throughout the entire lifecycle of a building, it is necessary to ensure all relevant safety-related information is readily accessible and up to date.”

NBS, a digital platform for built-environment professionals, will launch its report on industry views of the BSA in April.

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