What is the Golden Thread in the Building Safety Bill?
In the aftermath of the Grenfell tower fire, the independent Hackitt report recommended the implementation of a golden thread to maintain fire safety in residential buildings. This golden thread was further included within the Building Safety Bill, brought to parliament in an effort to ensure the safety of buildings both old and new. In this guide, we’ll cover the essentials of the golden thread within the Building Safety Bill, and how it appears within the finalised Building Safety Act.
What is the Building Safety Bill?
The Building Safety Bill was first proposed in 2019 as part of the response to the Grenfell tragedy, which laid bare issues contained within some British residential properties. The central goals of the Building Safety Bill were to reform the regulatory system for buildings and to prioritise the safety of those within them, particularly in high-rise buildings.
It sought to make clear where the responsibility rested at every stage of the construction and maintenance process, and to strengthen sanctions for those who failed to reach the legal standards. After several drafts, and a series of amendments, the bill was made law as the Building Safety Act in April 2022.
What is the Golden Thread Within the Building Safety Bill?
First proposed within Dame Judith Hackitt’s interim report following the Grenfell fire, the golden thread is designed as a consistent line of important safety information for all buildings, covering design, building, and management. This golden thread will need to be thorough and stored at contemporary digital standards, ensuring that the original design of the building is adhered to and that the building is safe for residents.
This information would be in the hands of the duty holder, usually the building’s accountable person, and would need to be added to as necessary over a building’s life cycle. Establishing, contributing to, and maintaining the golden thread would be a legal duty. The golden thread information would also be provided to a building safety regulator at key gateways.
What Construction Information Would be Covered by the Golden Thread?
The golden thread would be started during the planning stages and would be updated with all relevant information from the design and construction processes, including all planning around building regulations and fire safety. In the Building Safety Bill proposal, the golden thread would also be retroactive, with the accountable person in an existing building expected to start a golden thread with all information available to them. In the case of a new building, the golden thread would be handed to the responsible person after the building work was complete.
All information relevant to the safety of the building and those within it would need to be added to the golden thread. This includes all registrations and certifications, safety case reports, and mandatory occurrence reports. If a building was being refurbished, all documents relating to building control applications would need to be added.
How Does the Building Safety Act Involve the Golden Thread?
The Building Safety Act is the final version of the Building Safety Bill, which was passed into law in April 2022. It contains differences from the various drafts of the Building Safety Bill, due to amendments during the consultation period. While the final version of the act does not specifically mention the golden thread as the Building Safety Bill and the Hackitt report both had, the central tenets of the idea remain in place.
The focus within the Building Safety Act is squarely on high-risk buildings (HRBs), which means residential buildings over 18 metres or seven stories, and also includes hospitals and care homes. Under the act, the owners of a building must be able to prove that safety has been at the forefront of the planning, construction, and long-term maintenance processes, and that all safety risks are being considered. This information will need to be maintained digitally. The standards required to meet these new regulations will be considerably more thorough than under previous laws.
What Else is in the Building Safety Act?
Alongside the requirements to have a golden thread of information, the Building Safety Act covers other key areas. Funding for vitally needed building changes is a key element, particularly the replacement of dangerous cladding. For cladding, there is a fund available specifically, the Building Safety Fund (BSF) which has over £5 billion available to replace non-ACM cladding. Other payments could be the responsibility of original developers, landlords, or leaseholders.
How Sentry Doors Ensures Golden Thread Compliance
We have recently launched a golden thread solution on all of our fire doors, partnering with leading fire door compliance solutions Door Data Systems to install a data tag within each door during manufacture. This means that every fire door produced by Sentry Doors will have a permanent digital record, easily accessed via an app. This full record of manufacture, installation, and maintenance will follow a fire door through its lifespan, ensuring that the accountable person within a building has easy access to the golden thread, and will be able to update it with any vital information as needed. Find out more about our golden thread compliance.
Fully Certified Fire Doors For Social Housing
Sentry Doors produces bespoke fire doors for clients across the social housing industry. We work with major contractors, housing associations, and local authorities on projects of all sizes, building every fire door at our Doncaster factory. We produce both flat entrance doors and communal doors, both of which are certified with a BM TRADA Q-Mark. They can be built in bespoke sizes, with a huge range of customisation options. In our 30 years of operation, we have worked to test our doors to extreme levels, going above and beyond to ensure the best possible fire performance. Our doorsets can be manufactured for projects both small and large, with a consistent 6 to 8 week lead time.
If you need fully certified fire doors for a new building or to bring an existing building within fire safety standards, speak to a member of our team today about what we can do for you.