New Consultation on Building Standards Set to Cut Costs
The government has recently announced plans for a consultation to be held on proposals for new building standards. These are set to replace the current mixture of rules. Existing policies are often unworkable and cost authorities more money, whether they’re planning new homes or a commercial facility with a lamp post shield.
Unnecessary and Costly
The plans were launched by Stephen Williams, the Communities Minister. The government will consult with relevant authorities on how they can effectively combine the vast range of current standards to create a more simplified system. The aim is to increase the number of homes that are being built each year, which should go some way to reducing the shortfall. Building homes more cost-effectively and efficiently will help more families get on to the property ladder or afford a larger home.
This should help to reduce costs for both local councils and house builders by removing red tape and opening up the market. It will lead to all homes being built to the same set of standards. There are currently huge differences in which standards are actually adhered to. Local authorities are responsible for a range of construction works, from building new homes to installing a lamp post shield. This can make understanding the complexities of the standards time consuming and costly.
Some of the standards demanded of builders at present are unworkable. For example, the requirement to include alternative energy sources is impractical in many instances, and compliance procedures often provide little benefit to the actual homes.
Because of the problems with the current complex nature of building standards, the proposals set out plans for five main standards to be implemented. These will include provision to make properties safer and easier for disabled and elderly people to access, as well as solutions for energy efficiency and sustainability.
The government wants to bring into force a national system of regulations on security policies for new homes. This is intended to make them generally safer and reduce the risk of burglaries. There will also be a space standard, allowing local people and authorities to have a say in how big the new homes in their area are. There will be optional regulations for those building homes for the elderly and disabled, along with additional standards regarding wheelchair accessibility.
The idea is for the security standards to be compulsory for all authorities and house builders. Councils will then be able to make their own decisions on which of the other areas are relevant to them or particular developments.
Alongside this consultation process, there are also additions to the building regulations. These will come into force by 2016 and will include a carbon standard, reducing household energy bills even further and creating more sustainable properties.
Once the consultation has taken place, the government will examine all the technical details to establish new requirements for quality housing. A cleaner and simpler system will benefit everyone involved, from those in charge of construction through to property owners.