Building a Safer Future (BSF) was established to create a positive culture and behaviour change in the safety of the built environment.
Underpinned by the Building a Safer Future Charter, we’re focused on practical tools that support the construction industry to develop the necessary leadership and culture to put people’s safety first in how we design, build, and maintain the built environment.
The Grenfell Tower tragedy brought to the absolute fore the need to ensure safety throughout the buildings we live, work, or play in. Building a Safer Future, and the Charter that underpins it is a proactive response to Dame Judith Hackitt’s Building a Safer Future Review. As recognised in January 2022 by the Independent Safety Steering Group’s third report on ‘Culture Change in the Built Environment Industry’ and Lord Greenhalgh’s response, Building a Safer Future offers a key approach that supports continuous improvement in the areas of leadership, culture, collaboration, responsibility and accountability.
The work of Building a Safer Future is underpinned by the Building a Safer Future Charter. The Charter was established to promote culture change and to help improve building safety for all those living and working in the built environment.
The Charter was originally conceived and created by a group of ‘Early Adopters’ comprising local authorities, contractors, and housing associations, with the support of the then Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
In early 2020, the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) was appointed to take on responsibility for the management of the Charter. CCS subsequently established a new, not-for-profit independent organisation (Building a Safer Future Ltd) with an independent governance structure, to lead and develop the Charter further.
Whilst originally conceived to focus on High-Rise Residential Buildings, BSF and the Charter has extended its scope to cover buildings of all heights, and equally applies, and is relevant to, all construction activity and companies across the value chain.
In April 2020, the UK Government encouraged an industry-wide commitment to sign-up to the Charter, in its response to the ‘Building a Safer Future’ consultation ‘A reformed building safety regulatory system’.
The Early Adopters and Founders of the Charter are:
The Charter is an important step in driving forwards the systemic culture change in relation to major hazard safety that is required across the built environment.
The Building a Safer Future Charter consists of five commitments
Collaborate to spearhead culture change and be the voice of building safety across our sector.
Be transparent in the interests of safety, sharing key information with residents, clients, contractors and statutory bodies in a useful and accessible manner in the design, construction and occupation phases of the process.
Make safety a key factor of choice in who we work with, ensuring that building safety is placed at the centre of selection decisions without compromising quality or value for money.
Ensure that the voices and safety of residents, visitors and employees are central in our decision-making process.
Set out and communicate clear responsibilities within our organisation and with our partners, ensuring everyone with a stake in the building during design, construction and occupation understands their role and has the time and resources they need to achieve and maintain building safety.
By getting involved and signing the Charter organisations are making a practical first step towards putting building safety above all other considerations. We also encourage Registered Signatories to continue their building safety journey by engaging with the Building a Safer Future Champions assessment which supports organisations with practical tools to improve and advance their leadership and culture in relation to building safety.