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Aligning the Building Safety Act through Common Assessment Standard V4

Article, Industry Insights

Aligning the Building Safety Act through Common Assessment Standard V4

The landscape of building safety in the UK is currently being shaped by significant regulatory changes and industry-wide collaborations.

The Building Safety Act (BSA), created out of the need for reform after the Grenfell Tower tragedy, underwent substantial changes in October 2023. The changes are in line with the release of Version 4 of the Common Assessment Standard (CAS) by Build UK. The release is effective from July 2024. This new version integrates a Building Safety section to demonstrate compliance with the updated Building Safety Act.

three hard hats in blue, white and yellow in a stack

What is the Building Safety Act?

The act introduced a regulatory framework aimed at improving safety standards, ensuring accountability. Perhaps most importantly it was to ensure safeguarding of residents in high-rise residential buildings. 

The main goal was to change the construction industry’s culture and practices to prioritise building safety on all projects.

The October 2023 Amendments

The amendments introduced in October 2023 mark a substantial enhancement in building safety regulations. Key changes include:

  • Establishment of the Building Safety Regulator: This new authority plays a crucial role in overseeing and enforcing safety standards.
  • Clarification of Duty Holder Responsibilities: The amendments have assigned clear roles and responsibilities for duty holders at every project stage. This is from design and construction to occupation. This ensures that key parties, including designers, contractors, and building managers, are explicitly accountable for managing and mitigating risks associated with building safety.
  • Enhanced Standards for Building Materials: There’s a stronger emphasis on the use of safe and quality materials in construction to prevent future tragedies.
  • Mandatory Safety Management Frameworks: High-risk buildings are now required to implement comprehensive safety management systems, ensuring long-term compliance and resident safety.
  • Introduction of the ‘Golden Thread’: Perhaps one of the most critical aspects of the amendments is the introduction of the ‘golden thread’ concept. This refers to a digital record of building information. It includes design, construction, and maintenance details, that must be maintained and updated throughout the building’s lifecycle. The ‘golden thread’ is intended to ensure transparency, accountability, and the accessibility of vital safety information. It facilitates better decision-making and risk management.

These amendments signify a robust effort towards a holistic and rigorous approach to building safety.

Build UK and the Common Assessment Standard (CAS)

Build UK’s proactive approach to enhancing industry productivity and safety is demonstrated by the Common Assessment Standard (CAS).

By aligning the CAS pre-qualification process with the enhanced safety standards and regulatory requirements introduced by the BSA amendments, Build UK will ensure all suppliers are evaluated against a comprehensive and consistent set of criteria.

Common assessment standard logo

CAS Meeting Supplier Relevance

The changes to the question set in CAS Version 4 incorporate assessment questions that directly relate to the expanded duties of holders and the requirements surrounding the ‘golden thread’ of building information. 

Understanding that not all pre-qualification questions are universally applicable, CAS has undertaken a thoughtful review. This is with the aim to ensure that the duty holders can be precisely defined through the new amended questions. In turn this approach demonstrates a commitment to making the assessment process as relevant and effective as possible for each supplier. It also acknowledges the varied roles they play in construction projects. This is particularly important in the context of the Building Safety Act’s amendments, which have introduced more nuanced responsibilities for duty holders.

Supporting Customised Compliance

In construction and building safety, buyers have different needs and requirements due to high risks in the sector. This means that the reality of using a standardised question set, while beneficial for baseline assessments, may not fully address the specific needs of every project. This diversity in buyer requirements highlights the limitations of a one-size-fits-all approach to supplier assessments.

Achilles Bespoke ToolsBuyer Specific Questions and Information Requests

Starting from July, Achilles’ BuildingConfidence program will also include a CAS Version 4 aligned question set that incorporates the new Building Safety Act requirements. This alignment ensures that construction companies can comprehensively demonstrate their compliance with the latest safety standards. This alignment with CAS Version 4 helps businesses navigate the complexities of the new regulations, enhancing transparency and confidence in supply chain operations. 

Achilles BuildingConfidence supports with a personalised approach while still following CAS and Building Safety Regulations. It helps to evaluate buyers and projects more specifically and accurately based on their unique needs and requirements.

Through either buyer-specific questions or project/event-based Information Requests (IRs), Achilles enables buyers to conduct targeted assessments. We make sure buyers can find suppliers who meet industry standards and their specific project needs. Customisation is important for projects involving high-risk buildings or specialized construction tasks. In these cases, supplier qualifications must be precise and relevant.

To learn more about Achilles BuildingConfidence check out our network page:

Or contact us today to discuss aligning your needs surrounding the Building Safety Act and your Construction projects:

Contact us today to discuss aligning your needs surrounding the Building Safety Act and your Construction projects: