Nearly Half of Construction Professionals ‘Unsure’ of Building Safety Laws

A SURVEY carried out by specification and product information platform, NBS, has discovered that nearly half of construction professionals are unclear on laws relating to the Building Safety Act.

Of those surveyed, 43% admitted they were unsure or had no idea on the processes relating to the new legislation. The same number (43%) were also unclear on the responsibilities of duty holders regarding the three planning gateways.

The findings are part of a series of revelations from NBS’ upcoming Product Information Report – a study focusing on the use of construction data and its role within specification plans. The full report is set to publish in April 2023.

NBS’ research team also found that around a third (31%) of specifiers are unclear on the type of projects that would fall under the new laws. Similarly, when it came to duty holder responsibilities for the gateways, less than a fifth (18%) felt entirely confident on the details.

Low Ratings for Safety Credentials

The results of NBS’ Product Information Report did, however, offer a positive picture when it came to third-party safety credentials. Of those surveyed, 89% considered the use of verified certifications as ‘essential’ to safety-critical products. However, one in ten respondents (9%) considered them ‘useful’ but not ‘essential’, showing there’s still room for improvement.

The survey also revealed widespread reports of ‘specification breaking’ – the practice of substituting products and deviating from original specifications. Over a third of respondents (35%) reported this had become a regular occurrence, whilst nearly half (46%) had seen it happen on occasion.

The main reason of which was due to cost-cutting measures (68%), with cheaper alternatives taking precedence. This was followed by original products no longer being available within project deadlines (47%) caused by ongoing supply chain issues and the rising costs of energy and building materials. Client requests were also responsible (42%).

NBS CEO, Russell Haworth

Russell Haworth, CEO of NBS and Byggfakta Group UK, said: “The results of the study have flagged a perceived lack of knowledge around building safety laws. It’s clear that there’s confusion from within the industry – awareness on specifics is patchy. The sector now needs to invest in training and further CPDs to ensure that architects and specifiers are up to speed, across all areas of the legislation.”

For those looking to find out more, the full report will be available on the NBS website in April 2023. To register your interest and view the Product Information Report 2023 Infographic, click here.


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