What are the Building Safety Act Gateways?

Building safety act gateways

What are the Building Safety Act Gateways?

Under the Building Safety Act, higher-risk buildings must now go through three Gateways, which act as ‘checkpoints’ for the Health and Safety Executive to assess Building Regulation compliance. During the design and construction stages of a project, higher-risk buildings are those at least 18m high, or with at least seven storeys, and which contain at least two residential units, a hospital, or a care home.

So, when do the gateways occur and how could they affect your build?

Gateway One

The first Gateway happens during the planning phase and (unlike the other two) has been in force since 2021. Its purpose is to ensure fire safety has been considered at the earliest possible stage of a project. As part of the application for planning permission, developers will need to submit a fire statement specific to the development. Building proposals must pass Gateway One, to progress to Gateway Two.

Gateway Two

The second Gateway happens before construction begins, during the detailed application process. Applicants must demonstrate that the building plans have been fully developed ahead of construction and that they comply with Building Regulations. Certain ‘prescribed documents’ will need to be submitted as part of the application, including a Construction Control Plan and a Fire and Emergency File. Work can only commence once the design has been approved by the Building Safety Regulator. If any changes are made to the original design they must be checked and agreed with the Health and Safety Executive, to ensure that the functional requirements of the Building Regulations are still met, before work continues. 

Gateway Three

At completion, the Building Safety Regulator must be satisfied that both the design and construction meet the relevant Building Regulations. A Gateway Three application will include submitting updated versions of the ‘prescribed documents’ from Gateway Two, showing the as-built position. Once a building has passed Gateway Three, it can be registered and occupied. 

Mitigating risk

With scrutiny increasing, developers need to be confident that both their designs and finished buildings will meet the necessary requirements. Fire safety is a big part of this and choosing the wrong products could have significant consequences, for project timelines and occupants. One way to help simplify the process and mitigate risk is to use non-combustible materials from the outset. Knauf Insulation’s Rocksilk® RainScreen Slab insulation for example is non-combustible, with a Euroclass A1 reaction to fire certification, making it suitable for buildings of any height.