Gateway 3 applications are to be introduced in October 2023 as part of the Building Safety Act roadmap. The Act specifies that regulators will require building information and evidence to support these applications including building safety cases. This can be particularly challenging if the information is scattered across disparate systems and stakeholders. In some cases, documents haven’t even been digitised yet and are still in hard copy or are in electronic form such as pdf, and it can be unclear what information may be missing when you don’t have a clear picture of what you have.
This blog discusses Gateway 3, what is required at the application stage, and how best to collate information ready to submit to the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) and secure a Completion Certificate, all within the context of the Building Safety Act 2022.
The Building safety Act 2022 marks a groundbreaking step change in the construction, maintenance and safety of higher-risk residential buildings. The Hackitt Report and resulting enquires after the Grenfell fire recognised that the UK was in a building safety crisis, and that competency, quality assurance, and roles and responsibilities across every stage of the building lifecycle were falling short.
The changes to regulation aim to promote better building management by owners, and offer the home-building industry a clear and effective framework to deliver high-quality homes that are safe to live in. This new regulatory framework requires that those responsible for the design, construction and completion of higher-risk buildings must:
Implementation of the Act’s detailed provisions is occurring over an 18-month period through secondary legislation. For example, on 6th April 2023, ‘The Higher-Risk Buildings (Key Building Information etc.) Regulations 2023’ legislation came into force.
Now, the Principle Accountable Person (PAP) — the person responsible for the repair of the structure and exterior of a building — will have a duty to both register Higher-Risk Buildings (HRBs) and provide high-level information (Key Building Information) to the BSR. For in-use buildings this has to be done by the 30th September and information must be digital. As a result, we’re finding that asset owners are trying to painlessly digitise all their building information in one place so that they can easily account for all their information and submit it to the regulator to demonstrate compliance.
As stakeholders prepare for upcoming changes in legislation including Gateway 3, come October 2023 they are having to define new ways of working to fulfil their obligations, and this is across the construction value chain. Three gateways were established as part of the BSA 2022 to provide three key stages or checkpoints for delivering against requirements in design/planning, pre-construction and handover.
In order to gain more oversight and regulatory control over higher-risk buildings (residential buildings, care homes and hospitals which are 18 metres or more in height, or at least seven storeys), the Building Safety Act introduces the implementation of three gateways strategically placed at crucial points of design and construction.
Gateway one: at the planning application stage
Gateway two: before building work starts
Gateway three: when building work is completed
Crucially, Gateways two and three act as a stop/go decision point. All construction must be verified and demonstrate that it has been completed according to the as-built design, as well as required standards and regulations.
Having a Gateway review system in place ensures that safety is prioritised at every stage of the design and build. Critical safety considerations must be taken into account, addressed and met. By introducing stop/go decision points, the gateway process enables effective risk management throughout the project lifecycle. It allows for thorough inspections, evaluations, and assessments of the design and construction process, minimising the potential for safety and quality-related risks, as well as facilitating early identification of issues of non-compliance. This way, any potential safety risks can be identified and rectified before they become a major issue or prevent delays and additional costs that could arise in later stages of construction.
Most importantly, gateway consultation and oversight strengthen competency and accountability among all stakeholders involved in the building process. The involvement of specialists, technical experts, industry veterans, local authorities and fire and rescue services ensures that the right competencies are in place among accountable persons. While regulatory oversight safeguards compliancy with established codes and requirements.
In addition, gateways not only serve as vital checkpoints for assessing compliance with regulations, but it also sets new standards and best practices that will help maintain and improve the overall quality of design and construction reducing the likelihood of errors and ultimately providing better homes for people to live in.
This results in safer buildings for occupants and demonstrates a commitment to building safety and quality so residents can feel assured that the place in which they live is safe and prioritises their wellbeing.
Gateway 3 acts as the final checkpoint at the completion stage of a building acting as the decisive stop/go point before asset owners can start moving residents into a higher-risk building.
When all building work has been done, contractors must submit a Gateway 3 application including a building safety case to the Building Safety Regulator to demonstrate that the completed construction aligns with building regulation requirements and that a high standard of construction has been delivered. Additionally, signed declarations from the principal designer and principal contractor stating that the building is compliant with regulations must be submitted.
Once all accountable parties are on the record and the Building Safety Regulator is satisfied that the design and construction of the building are compliant or any breaches of building regulations have been addressed, they will issue a Completion Certificate, therefore, deeming the building safe to occupy and fulfilling the requirements set forth by the Building Safety Act 2022. After this, information must also be handed over to the building owner so that a building can be registered, and key building information submitted ahead of occupancy.
The Gateway 3 application should contain as-built drawings of the building, including records of on-site changes to engineer and architect drawings, as well as what has been installed on site including locations of all the mechanical, electrical and public health systems and components installed.
Additionally, as part of handover, contractors must prepare a Safety Case Report that demonstrates that a building is safe and meets all the relevant safety standards. This should include a building’s major fire and structural occurrences to ensure potential risks have been identified and mitigated and detail on how they are being managed and controlled.
All this information must be kept up to date and handed over to the building owner to support a golden thread of information and ongoing safety management.
In order to submit the Gateway 3 application, the contractor is responsible for providing the key building information, as-built records and safety case documents in a digital format to the asset owner. This information is crucial for the contractor to obtain a Completion Certificate, as well as ensuring that when information is handed over to clients, they always have access to accurate, high-quality, and up-to-date details about the building to help them manage building safety risks.
Traditionally, handover information is captured in various formats, systems, and platforms, including Common Data Environments (CDEs) or Quality Management systems. While these systems effectively manage construction project data, they do not offer a consolidated data set specifically tailored to the Building Safety Act requirements and Gateway 3 or have a template for bringing together a building safety case and the golden thread of information. Having a dedicated platform for this means they can readily understand the information they have and how compliant they are.
The digital handover service by Createmaster provides a streamlined approach to managing building safety information and helps contractors bring together and understand the information required to fulfil obligations set out by the Building Safety Act at the handover stage of an asset. By working closely with our customers and information management consultants, we have defined a template to deliver requirements set out in Gateway 3. Our team will manage the data upload for the contractor into a dedicated Gateway 3 platform and dashboard extracted from all data sources, including their own CDE, so they can focus on project delivery.
Bringing all Gateway 3 data together in one place, using the Gateway 3 template, contractors and building owners can get access to a holistic view of all building information and deliverables in a single dashboard that demonstrates how compliant your documentation is, and aligns with building safety and a golden thread. Embracing innovative technologies and digital solutions with a fully managed service like this can significantly enhance the handover process while making Gateway 3 approval management simple.
Stakeholders can obtain real-time visibility of a project via the Gateway 3 dashboard to track progress and compliance, while also being able to identify and analyse gaps in information so these can be filled to manage risk.
With this instant overview, contractors and developers can quickly identify what is expected, what’s in progress, or validated, and the level of compliance reached. Ultimately, this will simplify gaining Completion Certificates while enhancing overall project success and building safety management.
To take a tour of our Gateway 3 Solution, book a demo with one of our experts or download our Gateway 3 booklet for more information. You can also catch up on our webinar, ‘Mastering Gateway 3 Compliance’ to learn how you can streamline digital handover and building safety case collation and approval.