CIOB calls for smarter regulation

The Chartered Institute of Building has called for smarter regulation in response to the Government’s proposed changes to the Building Regulations.

Chris Blythe Chief Executive at the CIOB said, “Smarter regulation is not about diluting protection, but about making life easier for businesses who are stifled from over regulation.  Building Control plays an important role but that also needs to be resourced appropriately and we have to find ways to alleviate the pressure on them.”

As part of its call for smarter regulation, CIOB has backed the proposal for an agreed ‘service plan’ that allows better use of building control bodies’ time and resources, and that will also reduce costs and delays for construction companies.

In its response the CIOB supported the removal of fire protection provision in Local Acts, but has urged government to ensure key parts are harmonised nationally to maintain robust fire protection provisions. The Institute has also supported the removal of the Warranty Link Rule, which has proved ineffectual since its introduction in 2005.

The CIOB welcomes a greater emphasis for a ‘fabric first’ approach to Part L, though has highlighted the energy performance gap as an important issue to tackle, from both a Part L and Green Deal perspective. The Institute has strongly encouraged the use of regularly updated user guides for building occupants as a means of tackling this gap and to advise users on how best to operate low carbon technologies in buildings.

“It is vital that there is a joined-up approach across different government initiatives. Recently  the UK Contractors Group made the point that implementation of Part L should link with the work of the Green Construction Board on low carbon build and we would echo that,” continued Blythe.

He added, “It’s difficult to get a coherent direction on green policy and perhaps the government needs less cooks spoiling the broth. The recent decision to reduce solar feed-in tariffs for example impacted on contractors gearing up for an expansion of that market.”

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