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Project Overview

Berneslai Homes (Berneslai) is an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) responsible for managing around 18,000 homes on behalf of Barnsley Council in South Yorkshire. Berneslai came to Pennington Choices for assistance with the development of their building safety case reports for their three higher-risk buildings, which is a requirement under the Building Safety Act 2022 (the Act). With our help, Berneslai also identified that there was no mandatory occurrence reporting system in place, so they also appointed Pennington Choices to develop a procedure and process map as an additional service.

Berneslai chose Pennington Choices because we have been at the forefront of work on the new building safety regime under the Act since it was first announced. As a result, our team of consultancy experts are knowledgeable and experienced, and remain aligned and up to date with the latest requirements from the government, Building Safety Regulator, and other enforcement bodies (such as the Regulator of Social Housing, Housing Ombudsman, Health & Safety Executive and fire & rescue services). This meant that Berneslai received the most comprehensive and practical building safety solutions tailored to their needs.

Our Approach

At project initiation, a principal consultant and supporting consultant met with the key members of the Berneslai team to agree on a project plan, terms of reference and key delivery milestones. Berneslai were also issued with a document request list to provide us with key documents for development of the safety case reports (fire risk assessments, fire safety policy, technical surveys, and so on). This enabled us to begin to understand the buildings and Berneslai’s approach to managing them, ahead of the next stage - the information gathering sessions.

The information gathering sessions spanned over two days. On day one, our consultants focused on capturing strategic and cross cutting information that applied to all three buildings. This included gathering information on roles and responsibilities and repairs and maintenance processes. Day two focused on the specific building safety approaches for each individual building. This included capturing the detail around the buildings’ fire safety measures, structural safety elements and residents.

At the end of the second day, we held a facilitated risk assessment workshop where we investigated the key risks for each individual building. By reviewing the documents and using information acquired the previous day, we had a better understanding of what the risks would be, making it easier to identify and highlight these during the risk assessment workshop.

Following the information gathering sessions, we helped Berneslai develop the building safety case reports using a collaborative approach, ensuring the process was streamlined and efficient. This was an iterative process, with Berneslai having the opportunity provide feedback, before we agreed on the final safety case reports.

As part of developing safety case reports for each building, we included an action plan to clearly highlight any gaps that we had identified with Berneslai’s building safety approach. The action plan is crucial for clients to understand the areas that require improvement and what actions they need to achieve compliance with the Building Safety Act 2022 and other relevant health and safety legislation.

Our Achievements

We finalised the safety case reports and issued them to Berneslai to manage on an ongoing basis. The reports provide a summary of key building risks and outline how Berneslai manages these to provide assurance that the buildings are safe and compliant for their residents to live in.

Safety case report development enabled Berneslai to recognise and understand any gaps in their approach and provide an action plan to address them. This included appointing Pennington Choices to develop a mandatory occurrence reporting process map and procedure, as a result of this being identified as a significant gap in their building safety approach.

By working collaboratively, this project has enabled us to develop a strong relationship with Berneslai Homes and we are looking forward to continuing working with them in future.


Client Testimonial

"We had a positive experience working with Pennington Choices and appreciate their dedication to keeping our buildings safe so we can be confident our tenants are protected. The collaborative approach, clear communication, and attention to detail demonstrated by Pennington Choices have not only supported us with the development of our building safety case reports also enhanced our ongoing partnership, and we look forward to working together again in the future."
- Dan Crossley, Head of Repairs, Maintenance and Building Safety, Berneslai Homes