Peter Folwell

Higher-Risk Residential Buildings: The need for accurate height measurement

by Peter Folwell, Director - Plowman Craven

All higher-risk residential buildings in the UK need to be registered with the Building Safety Regulator before 1st October 2023 by the principal accountable person. So, what exactly determines a higher-risk building?

What is a higher-risk building?

For residential buildings which are in-occupation, higher-risk buildings are defined as buildings:

  • with at least two residential units
  • with seven floors (storeys) or more
  • at least 18metres in height

Key criteria to determine if a building is higher-risk:

Use – What is the building used for and is it an included category? Buildings used as Hospitals, Care Homes, Secure Residential Institutions, Hotels, for Military use or Prisons do not need to be registered.

Legal definition of the building – How does the legal definition in regulations apply to the building structure, for example, relating to independent sections and access?

Height and Storeys – Does the building meet the 18metre or seven storey threshold?

There is clear methodology for measuring height and counting storeys. For example, the 18metre height is based on the height from ground level on the lowest side of the building to the top of the floor surface of the highest occupied storey. A storey that only contains plant or machinery would be excluded.

In many instances it will be obvious where a building is either included or excluded as a higher-risk building, but there could be some situations where it is uncertain.

Exactly how high is your building?

It may be critical for you to understand the building height more accurately, and this is where you need the expertise of a RICS accredited measurement surveyor.

If you are the principal accountable person, or acting on their behalf, and need the technical expertise for the height to be correctly determined, then get in touch. Remember, the deadline for registering with the Building Safety Regulator is 30th September 2023.

> Government guidance on the criteria for being a higher-risk building.

Peter Folwell

About the Author…

Peter Folwell, Director

A respected name in property measurement, Peter’s industry standing and strategic relationships with key clients has helped to establish Plowman Craven as a leading player in the fields of Area Referencing and BIM. Peter delivers consultative advice, workshops and presentations to real estate professionals and is established as one of the leading experts in the application of International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS).

01582 765566

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