Kerry London News

Construction update: a year of change

Friday 22nd December
Construction update: a year of change

Neon Mavromatis, Managing Director of Construction, reflects on issues that have affected the construction industry this year.

Glenigan’s December construction results show that the construction industry continues to deal with challenging conditions. Rising insolvencies caused by economic uncertainty mean bonds are increasingly becoming a contractual requirement. Bonds provide employers with instant access to funds and guarantee that contractors will finish projects, so they can be an asset for contractors when bidding for new contracts.

The Building Safety Act

This year has seen a lot of changes brought about by secondary legislation under the Building Safety Act, so here’s a recap of events.

On 1 October, the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) became the building control authority for all building work on high-rise buildings (HRBs). Under the new legislation and regulator, developers must show how they will meet building regulations before building. Developers must also clarify how the building work will be managed and monitored and how the design meets all new BSA requirements.

At the end of November, the new Building Safety Regulator (BSR) published its first three-year strategic plan, outlining how to improve safety standards. The BSA plans to do this via the following:

  • deliver consistent building control standards
  • drive improvements across all buildings
  • regulate the planning, design, and construction of new higher-risk buildings
  • Provide transparent responsibilities for the residents of higher-risk buildings

Regulating building control professionals

The BSR will also regulate building control professionals and require them to register with the regulator starting April 2024. The aim is to support the professional competency and skills of registered Building Inspectors Registered and Building Control Approvers to enhance safety standards. Registered professionals will provide the BSR with access to all the collected building information on high-rise buildings in England. The BSR will begin to ask Principle Accountable Persons (PAPs) to apply for a building assessment certificate. The regulator aims to assess all high-rise buildings in England within five years (approximately 12,500-13,000 buildings). The National Construction Products Regulator (NRCP) will oversee the regulatory regime for construction products across the UK.

New Homes Ombudsman scheme

The New Homes Ombudsman Service helps resolve issues with new homes, which the Registered Developer has been unable or unwilling to fix during the first two years of a new home purchase. The NHOS provides a free and impartial service including complaints around the Reservation, Legal Completion, and complaints management processes, issues or defects that have arisen after they move into the property. The Secretary of State may also approve or issue a developers’ code of practice, setting out the standards of conduct and quality of work expected.

Building Safety Act training

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has launched a new Building Safety Act Awareness e-learning course following a surge in demand for building safety-related courses. Since the introduction of the Building Safety Act, the organisation has seen a rising interest in its Fire Safety and Building Safety Courses. The new course is designed to help construction professionals keep up-to-date with the latest legislative changes in the sector. Find out more about CIOB Academy courses.

Looking forward

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Let’s hope the sector can leave the challenges of the last few years behind and look forward to more positive opportunities in the future.

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