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Notes from Tony's desk Random thoughts from Tony Bryer

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Old 29th October 2012, 07:33 PM   #1
Tony Bryer
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Default Another Building Regulations review

Regulations covering building standards, including fire safety and wheelchair access, could be torn up in a government plan to cut costs for the construction industry and boost the economy.

Ministers have ordered a wide-ranging review covering all aspects of building regulations, also including standards on energy efficiency. The review, which controversially includes the option of giving the building industry more scope for self-regulation, is the latest in a series of government initiatives intended to stimulate activity in the economy and drive job creation through investment in homebuilding.Its aim is to prune regulations "significantly" ...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/oct/26/government-building-standards-review-regulation

Personally I was cheered by the unenthusiastic response of Crest Nicholson's CEO:

"None of us want to go back to poor design, poor building standards and low energy efficiency. It might be good for reducing costs but this industry needs to be taking a view that a house needs to [last] 100 years therefore why shouldn't society demand very high standards?"

Another less than enthusiastic response from blogger Rory Bergin at http://rorybergin.wordpress.com/tag/...g-regulations/
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Last edited by Tony Bryer; 29th October 2012 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 28th February 2013, 02:06 PM   #2
factory-fit
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Default Re: Another Building Regulations review

[QUOTE"None of us want to go back to poor design, poor building standards and low energy efficiency. It might be good for reducing costs but this industry needs to be taking a view that a house needs to [last] 100 years therefore why shouldn't society demand very high standards?"

On structural matters I'd agree, however when putting a small mezzanine into a garage workshop recently, the project was rendered unviable by the sheer thickness of insulation demanded for what was an unheated storage room. A mezzanine project in, of all things, a Mountain Bike Shop in Pickering was scrapped as an Ambulant Disabled stair was demanded, which was too long to fit in. When the wisdom of Ambulant partially-sited folk being provided for in a cycle shop adjacent to the NY Moors, the retort was "but a disabled person may be buying one for a Christmas present". So no project or jobs created at all...
We actually queried a member of the disabled Regulations Committe, as to be why external handrail hadn't to be 'cold to the touch' in another case, prohibiting the practical use of stainless steel, to be told that disabled folk tend to be low income and cannot afford gloves that we can...

So government, as usual, have got out their sledgehammer and cracked the wrong walnut; it isn't the rules but the overly-rigid way our local inspectors apply them, sometimes through fear, sometimes for the kick of ordering us about.

Licenced Building Inspectors are vastly more user friendly than the old council ones, who were glorified Car Park Attendants, although ironically the same people!

To get a real reduction in the waste from over regulation, an over arching guideline should be added to the front cover of every standard; "this document is for guidance and represents the ideal, where impractical any item other than those affecting structural or fire safety may be relaxed, to suit local site conditions"

Not holding my breath
Cheers

Kevin Armstrong
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