Buildings Regulations Minister Angela Smith has unveiled new measures to increase compliance with building standards and improve the way that local authority and approved building control bodies do business.
A new system of Performance Indicators and updated Performance Standards, developed by the Building Control Performance Standards Advisory Group, give building control bodies a framework to help improve the quality of the services they offer and will measure their performance on compliance, staff development and customer service.
The new measures were unveiled at a senior roundtable meeting of industry experts yesterday discussing the building regulations. The Government is looking at a review of the regulations, to avoid disproportionate burdens for builders whilst ensuring that buildings meet energy efficiency as well as health and safety and accessibility standards.
Angela Smith said:
“We must ensure that new buildings are healthy, safe, energy efficient and sustainable. These new performance indicators and standards, developed with the industry, will set out the conduct, service and performance for building control bodies that their customers expect to receive.
“We are also looking at the building regulations and how they match the way that buildings are constructed and inspected. We are determined to make them easier to understand and to ensure compliance, so we can deliver further improvements to standards including environmental efficiency as soon and as stretching as possible.”
This is the first time the building control industry has developed such a wide range of Performance Indicators by working with the Government. This collaboration demonstrates a wide ranging commitment across Government and industry to continue to raise standards in this crucial area of the construction industry.
The announcement follows recent measures that extend the time period for local authorities to prosecute against breaches of energy efficiency standards from 6 months of completion, to 6 months from discovery of breach, provided proceedings began within 2 years. The Government will also measure and report compliance with energy efficiency standards to Parliament to allow greater public scrutiny.