We are safety and assurance experts and have been assisting our clients through safety case development, consulting and mentoring for many years. Following Dame Judith Hackitt's report and requirement changes for higher risk residential buildings' safety management, Adelard has been supporting housing sector professionals with safety case deployment and adoption of the best practices.

Safety in higher-risk residential buildings

Following the tragic event at Grenfell Tower, the UK Government commissioned an Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety led by Dame Judith Hackitt. Hackitt’s final report, Building a Safer Future, concluded that the system for ensuring fire and structural safety for high-rise residential buildings was not fit for purpose. The report recommends a more stringent regulatory framework overseen by a new joint competent authority (JCA). The JCA’s primary aim is to better manage building safety (through safety cases) across the building’s entire life cycle.

The safety case

The new Safety Case Review system is the main way that the JCA will hold the Duty holder to account for identifying, mitigating, and managing the hazards and risks in their building.

Duty holders will be required to present safety case reports to the JCA at regular intervals to demonstrate that risks are being managed effectively. Safety case reviews can be requested more frequently by the JCA if a significant refurbishment is planned, or significant concerns have been raised.

The requirement for a safety case is a new concept for the housing sector but the idea of a safety case is not new. Safety or assurance cases are well ingrained in many highly regulated industries such as rail, chemical, oil and gas and nuclear energy. Adelard has over 30 years’ experience in developing safety cases and mentoring its clients in the adoption and deployment of safety cases within their organisations. Adelard consultants have a wealth of knowledge based on their experiences across varied industries that include, defence, nuclear energy, medical devices, and transport and are skilled at guiding clients in safety case best practices.

Adelard is working collaboratively with housing sector clients to increase their capability to develop, manage and maintain safety cases for their Higher Risk Building (HRB) portfolio. Adelard provides training and support on the safety case approach and the use of ASCE, our software environment specifically designed by Adelard for the creation, maintenance, and communication of safety cases. Our clients will draw on their experience in delivering safe housing for their residents and use this knowledge to help inform the content of the safety case. To demonstrate the approach, we recommend the collaborative programme focuses on the development of a draft safety case for one of our client's HRBs. This may be further developed to provide a high-level generic structure that can be rolled out and specialised for each building.

For further insight into our collaborative approach, please download our brochure Developing safety cases for Higher Risk Buildings (HRBs).

ASCE depicts an entire safety argument diagrammatically using standard safety case notations such as CAE and GSN. This visual representation makes it easy to identify areas of the safety argument that meet building safety from those needing improvement. The safety case in ASCE is a ‘living document’ that will be updated and maintained for the entire life cycle of the building. Safety case reports for the JCA can be generated quickly using ASCE’s reporting capabilities. Reports for use in resident engagement programmes can also be generated directly from ASCE.

Read our press release to learn about our work with Clarion Housing Group.

Building Safety Act

The Building Safety Act takes forward the Government’s commitment to fundamental reform of the building safety system. The objectives of the Act are to learn the lessons from the Grenfell Tower fire and to remedy the systemic issues identified in the independent review led by Hackitt, by strengthening the whole regulatory system for building safety. At the heart of the Act is a more stringent regulatory regime for higher-risk residential buildings and enhancements to the regulatory regime that applies to all buildings. It will see the creation of a new Joint Competent Authority (JCA) comprising of Health and Safety Executive, Fire and Rescue Authorities and Local Authority Building Standards, working together to assess building safety through safety cases for the entire life cycle of the building. In addition, the Hackitt report emphasised the need to move from a siloed approach to building safety to one that thinks of the building as a system, a single entity that considers all the different layers of protection that may be required to make that building safe on a case-by-case basis.

For an initial conversation on how we can help contact us.