Month: January 2021

Future Homes Standard

The Government has just announced its response to the Future Homes Standard consultation which brings much-needed clarity to our industry.

The new requirements will mean new homes will need to de designed to produce carbon dioxide emissions 75-80% lower than those built to current Building Regulations by 2025. There is also interim 31% threshold that will be implemented later this year.

It also sets out proposals for a Future Buildings Standard, which provides a pathway to highly efficient non-domestic buildings which are zero carbon ready, better for the environment and fit for the future.

The changes are far reaching and will have significant impact on developers planning projects that will not be built out for the next few years. This will need to be taken into account when sourcing new deals and identifying sites, to ensure that the additional costs of compliance are factored in.

The new rules will also impact domestic extensions, and there is a completely new rule on overheating that will impact highly glazed buildings/extensions.

To download a copy of the latest proposals see this link

We ran a series of Future Building Standard webinar’s when the consultation was first released in 2019. We will be updating this training and running it again in the next few weeks. To make sure you dont miss out, sign up now to be first on the invite list.

3rd National Lockdown

Following the announcement on Monday 4th Jan 2021, Boris Johnson has placed England into a national lockdown until at least mid-February, and possibly beyond.

However, we can confirm that the Construction Industry is exempt and that we remain open for business enabling your project to continue and be checked for conformity with the Building Regulations. Wherever possible we will continue to offer physical inspections rather than remote inspection techniques in line with the requirements of the Building Control Performance Standards which explain that remote techniques are not to be relied upon.

We will of course be adhering to all government guidelines and ensuring that we continue to adapt to any changes in the future. For construction clients we will expect that you also follow the CLC Construction Sector Site Operating Procedures .

For domestic clients where we are visiting peoples homes we have adopted the following policy.

Things to check with residents in advance

Communicate with residents before going to do any inspection, to discuss how face-to-face contact can be minimised. Discussing the home environment and practices in advance helps to reduce the risks for everyone and prevent mishaps.

Find out who is resident in a home:

  • In a household where one or more family member has COVID-19 symptoms, we would not be able to undertake an inspection, and will request an extension of time as necessary from the Local Authority. Please note that any work in such a household should only be carried out if it is to address a direct risk to the safety of the household (such as emergency plumbing).
  • In a household where no one has been diagnosed with Coronavirus we will check before every visit whether anyone in the house has developed any Coronavirus symptoms.
  • Please advise if anyone else might be visiting the household, for example tradespeople or carers so we can time the visit to avoid them, where appropriate.

Discuss how you can do the job whilst keeping them and you safe:

  • We will request that householders stay away from the work area as much as possible and keep their distance; generally 2 m away from workers, and wear a mask when in the same room. In particular, we will ask that any children or pets are kept in other rooms while the inspection is carried out.
  • Social distancing applies to all aspects of work, for example when answering the door, accessing facilities and using washrooms.
  • We will bring our own hand sanitiser and mask.
  • Ask that any possessions are moved before you arrive, so we don’t have to touch them. We also ask that internal doors are left open, so our inspectors don’t need to touch door handles, and that the area is ventilated before arrival – eg a window is opened.

Once the inspection is complete, we ask clients to let us know if anyone develops any symptoms of Coronavirus within 7 days. That way our inspectors can take appropriate precautions for themselves; anyone they’ve since been in contact with, and arrange Coronavirus testing as required. Likewise we will contact you in the event that any inspector is diagnosed with Coronavirus so that you can take action as appropriate.

We believe that by adopting these measures we can keep both our staff and clients safe, and continue to offer the 1st class service that our clients have come to expect.