He will lead the new Building Safety Regulator set up in the wake of the Grenfell disaster to deliver a new regime for high rise buildings.
Baker, current Director of Building Safety and Construction at the HSE, will take up the post with immediate effect.
In his new role as head of the regulator, he will also oversee work to increase competence of all professionals working on buildings and ensure effective oversight of the entire building safety environment.
Baker will also be the first head of the building control profession, and lead the work to provide independent, expert advice to industry, government, landlords and residents on building safety.
He said: “I am honoured to be appointed as the first Chief Inspector of Buildings and for the opportunity to play a lead role in bringing about the biggest change in building safety for a generation.
“I look forward to working with government, industry, partner regulators and residents to shape and deliver a world-class risk-based regulatory system for the safety and standards of buildings that residents can have confidence in and that we can all be proud of.”
He brings over 30 years’ experience with HSE as an inspector and in a number of senior operational posts dealing with a wide range of industry sectors, including the role of HSE’s Chief Inspector of Construction.
Since 2017, Baker has led HSE’s involvement in the Government’s Building Safety Programme.
Dame Judith Hackitt, independent adviser to Government on Building Safety and Chair of the Transition Board, said: “I am delighted to hear of Peter Baker’s appointment as the new Chief inspector of Buildings.
“With his impressive background experience in regulating both major hazards industries and construction he brings a wealth of experience to this important new role.”