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The Structural Timber Association has recently published an insurance industry guide to mass timber in the UK. The purpose of this paper is to provide the reader with sufficient information to better understand the use of timber in construction from a risk management perspective.

This document has been broken down into six main sections: Management of structural timber projects, Risk management, Compliance, Structural timber and the built environment, Building Safety Bill 2020, STA technical document library. We’ll be covering each topic in turn on this website.

5. Building Safety Bill 2020

The Building Safety Bill is a new piece of UK Government legislation aimed at reforming the regulations surrounding the safety of high-rise buildings in the UK. A major part of the UK Government’s response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy, it is currently being scrutinised in draft form, but is expected to be brought to Parliament and be passed into legislation early 2021.

Extracted from the Building Safety Bill, the following statement makes clear the need for the construction supply chain to be able to demonstrate competency. STA Assure is at the heart of the delivery of quality structural timber systems.

Clause 6: Facilitating improvement in competence of industry and building inspectors

EFFECT

160 Clause 6 states that the Building Safety Regulator must provide assistance and encouragement to persons in the built environment industry and to registered building inspectors to facilitate improvement of competence of organisations and individuals in the industry, or members of the profession.

BACKGROUND

161 This is a new provision. The independent review recognised competence as an area where improvement was needed across the built environment sector.

A working example of this clause is provided in the Bill’s accompanying explanatory notes:

Example: Functions in relation to industry competence

Under this duty the Building Safety Regulator may undertake activities such as setting the strategic direction of the competence committee (see Clause 10) to increase competence within the built environment industry, carrying out research and analysis, convening working groups, developing a communications strategy and other activities which support this duty.

For example, the Building Safety Regulator may use the insights it gains into the competence levels within the built environment industry to focus the Committee’s activities on areas where additional work is most needed and can have the most impact.

The Building Safety Regulator can also develop and implement a communications plan with the industry competence committee to encourage industry’s use of the competence frameworks and to highlight the legal requirements regarding competence.

The Building Safety Regulator may work with the competence committee to share its insights from reviewing Gateway two applications containing evidence of the competence of the Principal Contractor and Principal Designer, to improve the guidance to industry.

The Structural Timber Association’s insurance industry guide to mass timber in the UK can be downloaded here.

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