Guidance

Building Safety Programme

The programme was established to make sure that residents of high-rise buildings are safe – and feel safe – now, and in the future.

COVID-19: pledge to ensure necessary building safety improvements can continue

The Housing Secretary, Mayors and local leaders have made a pledge to support vital building safety improvements continuing during the pandemic. The pledge sets out how work should continue and makes clear that this should only happen if the necessary safety precautions are being followed, including 2 metre social distancing rules.

Remediation and COVID-19: Building Safety update

This page gives links to useful sources of information which the construction industry and others with an interest in building safety may find helpful within the current context.

Government update on building safety - 2 April 2020

A summary of the announcements, including the government’s response to the ‘Building a Safer Future’ consultation and wider measures to improve building safety now and in the future.

Overview

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has established the Building Safety Programme to make sure that buildings are safe - and people feel safe - now, and in the future.

The government has banned combustible materials in the external walls of high rise residential buildings of 18 metres and over, and following a review into its effectiveness, is now consulting on extending the ban significantly further, including lowering the 18 metres height threshold to 11 metres.

With the support of local fire and rescue services and a panel of independent expert advisers, MHCLG is supporting building owners in taking immediate steps to ensure their residents’ safety and in making decisions on any remedial work that is necessary to do.

The programme is working with building owners, housing providers, schools, hospitals and the construction industry, including an Industry Response Group.

Building safety advice for building owners, including fire doors

Aluminium composite material cladding

See information and advice on aluminium composite material cladding.

Private sector ACM cladding remediation fund

On 9 May 2019 the Secretary of State announced that the government will fully fund the removal and replacement of unsafe ACM cladding on private sector residential buildings 18 metres or over, with costs estimated at £200 million.

View guidance for responsible entities who can apply for funding.

Grant funds for remediation of non-ACM buildings

On 11 March 2020, the Chancellor announced that the government will provide an additional £1 billion to fund the removal and replacement of unsafe non-ACM cladding systems installed on high-rise residential buildings in both the private and social housing sectors.

View more information on the grant funds.

Non-ACM remediation and the Building Safety Fund: stakeholder update

An update on the Building Safety Fund, and other measures regarding the remediation of unsafe non-ACM cladding on high rise residential buildings was published on 7 April 2020.

Non-ACM cladding: summary of research

Fire performance of cladding materials research - these reports summarise the research carried out by BRE to investigate the behaviour of selected non-ACM cladding products. A plain English summary has been included.

Ban on combustible materials

The government is banning combustible materials on new high-rise homes and giving support to local authorities to carry out emergency remediation work. See further details on the ban.

The government’s fire door investigation

The government is undertaking an investigation into the fire door industry following concerns about the consistency of flat front entrance fire doors against the required performance standards.

See further details about the government’s investigation and guidance to building owners and occupiers.

Local authority and housing association funding for fire safety work

Building owners are responsible for funding fire safety measures in their buildings, and should draw on their existing resources to do so.

We will consider the removal of financial restrictions for local authorities where these stand in the way of essential work being done. This does not include general improvements or enhancements to buildings which go beyond this.

In line with their co-regulatory obligations, any housing association that has concerns about its ability to meet the necessary costs must contact the social housing regulator as soon as possible to discuss the matter.

The government will keep these arrangements under review.

Housing health and safety rating system

The housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS) is a risk-based assessment evaluation tool to help local authorities identify and protect against potential risks and hazards to health and safety from any deficiencies identified in residential premises.

An addendum to the HHSRS has been produced for practitioners to provide guidance on the assessment of high-rise residential buildings with unsafe cladding (and allow for a more robust assessment).

New clarified Approved Document B 2019

Approved Document B is building regulation in England covering fire safety matters within and around buildings. It has been redrafted to clarify its language and content in line with the department’s style guide for approved documents.

The announcement is provided in the Circular published on 5 July 2019.

Advice: other fire safety concerns

See information and advice for leaseholders, occupiers and building owners about other fire safety concerns raised following the Grenfell Tower fire.

Approved Inspectors

See information on changes to Approved Inspector oversight arrangements, and new guidelines for the schemes of insurance.

Independent expert advisory panel

Following the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017, the government appointed an expert panel, chaired by Sir Ken Knight, to advise the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, on immediate measures needed to ensure building safety and to help identify buildings of concern. On 5 September the panel’s remit was extended and widened to include other building safety issues.

The panel’s members have a wealth of experience in fire and building safety, including testing processes, and are drawing in wider technical expertise as necessary to inform their advice to government.

The government is aware that local authorities and other building owners are also seeking clarification of actions they should take in relation to buildings with other external wall systems. The expert panel will consider these issues after the systems tests are addressed.

See details of the independent expert advisory panel’s work.

Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety by Dame Judith Hackitt

An Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety was led by Dame Judith Hackitt. Its purpose was to make recommendations that will ensure:

  • a sufficiently robust regulatory system for the future
  • residents feel that the buildings they live in are safe and remain so

It examined building and fire safety regulations and related compliance and enforcement with the focus on multi-occupancy high rise residential buildings.

A call for evidence was issued on 12 September 2017; an interim report was published on 18 December 2017 and the final report was published on 17 May 2018.

Building a safer future: an implementation plan was published on 18 December 2018, responding to the interim report and final recommendations of the Independent Review.

The government published the consultation on its reforms, Building a Safer Future, in June 2019. The consultation response was published 2 April 2020, and sets out the government’s plans for bringing about the biggest change in building safety for a generation. This new regime will put residents’ safety at its heart, and follows the announcement of the £1 billion fund for removing unsafe cladding from high-rise buildings in the Budget.

Industry Safety Steering Group

Chaired by Dame Judith Hackitt, the Industry Safety Steering Group (ISSG) has begun work to support and challenge industry in delivering meaningful change to building safety practice and culture.

The group of cross-sector experts meets regularly. See the Industry Safety Steering Group Terms of Reference (PDF, 151KB, 2 pages).

The group has published their first report on their findings on industry progress on culture change. The government has responded to the report and published the letter from the Minister for Housing to the Chair of the ISSG, Dame Judith Hackitt.

Announcements

See announcements from the Building Safety Programme.

Letters

See letters from the Building Safety Programme.

Published 20 July 2017
Last updated 17 April 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated the featured links with: summary of the 2 April update on building safety; COVID-19: pledge to ensure necessary building safety improvements can continue; and Remediation and COVID-19: building safety update.

  2. Added a link to Summary of research on non-ACM cladding. Added link to Non-ACM remediation and the Building Safety Fund: stakeholder update.

  3. Added section on Remediation of non-ACM buildings.

  4. Added Building safety advice for building owners, including fire doors (this consolidates the previous 22 advice notes).

  5. Added Industry Safety Steering Group information.

  6. Added further information on the ban on combustible materials.

  7. Added information about the government’s fire door investigation.

  8. Added Building Safety Programme: monthly data release - end October 2018.

  9. Added letter in response to Steve Reed MP and others on delivering building safety through the announced ban on combustible materials in the external walls of high-rise residential buildings.

  10. Added Building Safety Programme: monthly data release - October 2018

  11. We have added Advice Note 19. This is advice for owners of buildings which include spandrel panels/window panels/infill panels.

  12. Added Announcement 32 - Government releases funding to replace unsafe cladding - 17 October 2018.

  13. Added letters regarding fire door tests. Added link to 1 October announcement: Government announces new housing measures.

  14. Added 'Advice note 18 - Advice for owners of buildings which are partially clad in Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding systems - 28 September 2018'.

  15. Added Building Safety Programme: monthly data release - September 2018.

  16. Added advice note 17 on how composite fire door sets should be tested and classified.

  17. Added Building Safety Programme: monthly data release - August 2018.

  18. Added letter 23 to local authorities about recent issues arising from fire door tests.

  19. Added Building Safety Programme: monthly data release - July 2018.

  20. Added 'Announcement 27 - Action plan to accelerate remediation of private high-rise residential buildings with ACM cladding' and Building Safety Programme: monthly data release - June 2018.

  21. Added 'Announcement 26 - James Brokenshire publishes consultation on banning combustible cladding.'

  22. Added letter to local authority and housing association chief executives on the funding for removal and replacement of ACM cladding systems on high-rise buildings in the social housing sector.

  23. Added Building Safety Programme: monthly data release - May 2018.

  24. Added announcements 23, 24 and 25 following publication of the Hackitt review's final report; added letter 20 to local authorities instructing them to pay particular regard to cladding related issues when reviewing housing in their areas.

  25. Added advice note 16: advice for building owners on assurance and replacing of flat entrance fire doors.

  26. Added Building Safety Programme: monthly data release - April 2018.

  27. Information added in the section: Advice for leaseholders affected by fire safety activity

  28. Added Building Safety Programme: monthly data release - March 2018.

  29. Added Building Safety Programme: monthly data release - February 2018.

  30. Added Advice note 15 - Advice for building owners on external wall systems.

  31. Updated Building Safety Programme page; added "Information note for landlords and building owners of tall residential buildings with ACM cladding".

  32. Deadline extended to 10 November 2017 for organisations to provide information on buildings.

  33. Added legal clarification letter, new burdens assessment update letter, and letter from Tamara Finkelstein to private residential building owners requesting information about their buildings.

  34. Added Update on interim mitigation measures required pending remediation of cladding.

  35. Added update and consolidated advice for building owners following large-scale testing.

  36. Added Fire test report: DCLG BS 8414 test no.6; Added advice for building owners: large-scale wall system test 6.

  37. Added Fire test report: DCLG BS 8414 test no.7, and Advice for building owners: large-scale wall system test 7.

  38. Added Fire test report: DCLG BS 8414 test no.5 - and Advice for building owners: large-scale wall system test 5.

  39. Added Fire test report: DCLG BS 8414 test no.4 and Advice for building owners: large-scale wall system test 4.

  40. Added Fire test report: DCLG BS 8414 test no.3 and Advice for building owners: large-scale wall system test 3.

  41. Added - 3 August 2017 - Fire test report: DCLG BS 8414 test no.2.

  42. First published.