Welcome to the second post of our series on the three gateways introduced in the Building Safety Act 2023. In this series, we are taking a look at each of the three newly introduced gateways and detailing what it means for the industry going forward. In this post, we are delving into the details of Gateway 2, which came into effect on 1st October 2023, and exploring the differences between this new system and the old Building Control Process. So, read on to learn more.
Gateway 2 vs the old Building Control Process
At first glance, Gateway 2 shares some similarities with the old Building Control Process. Both systems require applicants to submit an application for approval, satisfy pre-start conditions, and notify the regulator of their intended start date. However, the implementation of these steps introduces substantial differences in practice.
- Change of Regulatory Authority: One of the primary distinctions is the shift in the regulatory authority. Under the new process, the building control application for higher-risk buildings is made to the Building Safety Regulator, whereas the old system involved the local council Building Control Department.
- Detailed Information Requirements: Perhaps the most significant change in Gateway 2 is the increased level of detail required in the application. In addition to basic drawings, applicants must now include all necessary information demonstrating compliance with applicable building regulations. This requirement necessitates a much more comprehensive submission.
New Documentation Requirements for a Gateway 2 Application
To comply with Gateway 2, applicants must include the following documentation:
- Competence Declaration
- Construction Control Plan
- Change Control Plan
- Mandatory Occurrence Reporting System
- Building Regulations Compliance Statement
- Fire and Emergency File
- Partial Occupation Strategy (if applicable)
- Signed statement by the client.
Upon submission, the regulator has 12 weeks (or a longer period if agreed) to determine whether to approve or reject the application. During this time, the regulator must consult with relevant third parties for their comments.
Application Rejection Criteria
The application may be rejected if:
- It is incomplete, or the correct process has not been followed.
- Key details are missing, such as how specific Building Regulations requirements will be met.
- Contraventions of the Building Regulations are identified.
- There are likely contraventions in areas like document changes, the Golden Thread, mandatory occurrence reporting, or the competence of duty holders.
In certain cases, the regulator may approve the application with conditions requiring further information at specific stages of construction or by specified deadlines. Proceeding without meeting these conditions can result in legal consequences.
Initiating Work and Design Changes
After approval, applicants must provide a minimum of five working days’ notice to the regulator before starting construction. It’s important to note that all design changes are subject to change control and record-keeping requirements, categorised as Recordable, Notifiable, or Major Changes.
Major Changes include alterations to building materials, use, dimensions, number of storeys, staircases, evacuation lifts, external walls, and more.
Notifiable Changes encompass adjustments to construction and change control plans, apartment layouts, openings in walls, and changing a construction material to one of the same or better fire safety classification.
Recordable Changes are typically minor, like switching one building material with another of the same specification and fire classification.
Record-Keeping and the Golden Thread
To maintain transparency and accountability, the Golden Thread of Information must host all design changes and notifications from the regulator. This record must be electronic, accessible to all relevant parties, and seamlessly transferred when duty holders change, such as when there is a shift in the Responsible Person.
Does Gateway 2 Apply to Existing Buildings?
Gateway 2 isn’t exclusive to new constructions. If an existing building falls within the higher-risk residential category or the proposed works would elevate its risk level, Gateway 2 applies. Existing building applications require the same documentation, and work is not considered commenced until at least 15% of the proposed work is completed.
Supporting Clients with Gateway 2 Application
The MyDek® team, composed of experts in specification, compliance, and innovation, is dedicated to crafting non-combustible decking systems that perform in line with our ethos of Smart, Smart, Sustainable. We draw from diverse backgrounds within the construction industry, bringing forth a wealth of experience, creativity, and passion to create secure and welcoming balconies and terraces. We are informed of the latest regulations, and our experts can help provide the information you need to ensure your decking specification adheres to the Gateway 2 application process. We also offer site support, training, quality checks, and other comprehensive assistance throughout your project.
Reach out to our team at [email protected] to learn more.