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Building Safety Act ‘higher-risk’ criteria now includes education premises

Building Safety Act

Building Safety Act updated; outlines educational establishments in the higher-risk buildings category.

ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland is highlighting new guidance recently published within the updated Building Safety Act, which has outlined educational establishments in the higher-risk buildings category.

Building Safety Act “higher risk” classification

To be classified as higher-risk, buildings must be at least 18 metres in height or at least seven storeys, contain at least two residential units, and meet certain use criteria – with educational usage such as university halls of residence and boarding schools included.

Buildings within this category are subject to the requirements of the new higher-risk regime directly overseen by the Building Safety Regulator.

Paul Thompson, BIM Manager for ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions, comments: “Enabling the ‘golden thread’ of information is crucial to the Building Safety Act. Buildings need to be constructed and managed as holistic systems, enabling people to use information to design, construct and operate them safely and effectively.

“It comes as no surprise that educational buildings have been highlighted as meeting the criteria for higher-risk, and it’s critical that those involved in the construction and management of these premises uphold their duty to keep the building’s safety and standard under review.

“This includes facilitating improvement in the competence of industry and building inspectors, and a duty to establish a system for the giving of building safety information.”

Deadline looming

Those responsible for higher-risk buildings must be registered and have their building safety regime in place by October 2023, or face investigation and potential prosecution.

Thompson added: “Building Information Modelling (BIM) is the ideal platform to enable the ‘golden thread’ of information and create an effective safety regime. It can create greater transparency and allow building elements such as door sets to be managed through a single platform – from specification to installation and ongoing inspection.”

ASSA ABLOY solution

For example, ASSA ABLOY’s Openings Studio BIM application integrates with design software to create and visualise openings for complete door, frame and hardware schedules and specifications.

This enables seamless extraction of door design intent and all relevant interfaces to assist fabricators to develop complete door requirements that meet building regulations. Product information, performance data and budget information are captured within the BIM design environment.

Through real time, collaborative working, these designs can be validated for compliance, functional performance, and aesthetics plus presented as 3D views that can be fully re-integrated into the overall project design.

With linked internal systems, ASSA ABLOY uses this final schedule of information to manufacture the complete doorset solution including the leaf, frame and all specified hardware.

The Openings Studio mobile app can also directly access this data for use during the door installation process, ensuring full validity of the finished product prior to project completion. The app also offers an easy to use ‘check box’ system to carry out and capture detailed inspections based on the specific details of each door included in the schedule.

This report validates if a door has remained compliant, or identifies what elements need to be corrected or replaced to return the product to the standard required, providing full traceability and ownership of all changes at all stages.

Thompson concluded: “Openings Studio is a collaborative tool for all project stakeholders, helping to minimise costs and streamline the data sharing process throughout the entire project lifecycle – from the initial design, right through to construction, delivery, asset management and beyond.

“For those managing a higher-risk educational building, this can be used as a tool to create an effective safety regime, which can be managed easily to comply with the Building Safety Act and ensure life safety of the occupants.”

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