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LABC president addresses commencement of work concerns

Homes built in 2013 and 2014 could still be built to 2006 standards, warns LABC, the member organisation representing all local authority building control departments in England and Wales.
LABC president addresses commencement of work concerns
Speaking at the 2010 LABC President's reception recently, Andy Hardy, the outgoing president and head of building control at London Borough of Brent, focused on change in the industry, particularly the change LABC wants to see regarding the commencement of work rule.

It has been the policy of LABC to follow the guidance given by Circular 03/2002 which described commencement and stated that, for the purposes of a site of multiple buildings, such commencement was for individual buildings, not the whole site.

In contrast, the guidance issued to building control bodies last May in relation to the introduction of amendments to Part G stated commencement on the first building within an application for an entire site determines whether all of the building work can follow the transitional provisions.

LABC believes that improved thermal efficiency of new buildings should be introduced with minimum delay. Building control bodies have worked tirelessly learning the new regulations relating to Part L; introducing this 'artificial delay' will compromise the climate change agenda, which the entire building industry is working towards.

'The previous commencement of work rule allowing individual units to continue under existing standards was fair. But now developers are being encouraged to pre-register whole sites that will be carried out in different phases for years to come.

'This means new homes will still be being built to 2006 standards in 2013 or 2014.

'Purchasers won't understand why, commentators won't understand why, and we don't understand why,' Hardy insisted

'The whole industry has been gearing up for zero carbon and higher standards, so everyone knows what needs to be done. My plea is to go back to the old transitional arrangements so that we don't fail the end purchasers.'

After his speech, Hardy presented a cheque to representatives from his chosen charity, Pancreatic Cancer UK. He thanked everyone for their support and efforts, which raised a grand total of £27,500.

Hardy also welcomed the incoming president, Mick Henman, building consultancy manager at Derby City Council. Henman will become president at the Annual General Meeting on September 23.
15 September 2010

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