Last edited 29 May 2024

Higher-risk building

The Building Safety Act 2022, defines “higher-risk building”as:

a building in England that—

In the context of the UK Building Safety Act (BSA), "higher-risk buildings" (HRB) refer to buildings that pose greater potential risks to the safety of occupants and the public due to various factors, such as height, occupancy, use, and construction materials. The BSA introduces a regulatory framework aimed at improving the safety and standards of higher-risk buildings, with a focus on addressing fire and structural safety risks.

Higher-risk buildings typically include residential buildings of a certain height or with specific characteristics that increase the likelihood or severity of fire incidents or structural failures.

Care homes and hospitals are included. Various properties are excluded including (but not limited to) those consisting entirely of a secure residential institution, hotel or military barracks. The Secretary of State has the power to flex the regime to apply to new circumstances (including new building safety risks) in the future.

The purpose of the Higher-Risk Buildings (Descriptions and Supplementary Provisions) Regulations 2023 is to specify descriptions of buildings to be included in the definition of “higher risk building” in the Building Act 1984 and to supplement that definition, as well as the definition of “higher-risk building” in the Building Safety Act 2022. Buildings defined as higher-risk buildings are included within the scope of the new more stringent regulatory regime for building safety, created by the 2022 Act.

NB BSI Flex 8670 V3.0, Built environment – Core criteria for building safety in competence frameworks – Code of practice, April 2021 Version 3, published by The British Standards Institution in 2021, defines a higher-risk building (HRB) as a: ‘building subject to enhanced regulatory requirements or where risks might be considered elevated. NOTE For example, as a result of the physical characteristics of the building, the way in which the building is used or as a result of human factors.’

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