Headlines: June 29th, 2006

New measures have been announced to increase compliance with building standards and improve the way that local authorities and approved building control bodies carry out their building regulations work. The new system of Performance Indicators and updated Performance Standards has been developed by the Building Control Performance Standards Advisory Group.The new measures are designed as a framework to help improve the quality of the services councils and other regulators offer and they will also measure authorities’ performance on compliance, staff development and customer service. The Government is planning to review Building Regulations because it wants to ensure they do not impose a disproportionate burden for builders while at the same time ensuring buildings meet energy efficiency, health and safety and accessibility standards.

Buildings Regulations Minister Angela Smith said the new performance indicators had been developed with the industry and they would set out the standards of conduct, service and performance for building control bodies that their customers expected 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,” she said.

This is the first time the building control industry has developed such a wide range of Performance Indicators in collaboration with the Government. The announcement of the new measures follows recent changes that will extend the time period for local authorities to prosecute against breaches of energy efficiency standards.

Copies of the new documents can be found at: http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/england/professionals/en/4000000000018.html