There’s a great need to get the little things right as we move towards tighter buildings
Now that the general election is less than six months away, this is the time when we start beginning to seriously wonder what the policies that affect us will be under a new government. In my time as a civil servant this is when we started scrutinizing in minute detail everything relevant that the political parties were saying, and nearer the big day holding discreet discussions with party spokespeople.
Last week we saw an announcement from the Labour Party about making efficiency the central pillar of their energy policy if elected next year. Six policy solutions are set out, including designating energy efficiency as a national infrastructure priority in infrastructure planning, and streamlining regulations and having a long term strategy to support investment in energy efficiency in non-domestic buildings.
Here in the building control world we welcome that, although as always the devil will be in the detail and getting policies to work in practice – as the current government has found with the Green Deal.
As always the devil will be in the detail and getting policies to work in practice – as the current government has found with the Green Deal
The main political parties continue to stress their desire to move to new buildings being near to zero in their carbon emissions, and so the work of bodies such as the Zero Carbon Hub continues to be essential.
Building control surveyors would welcome a checklist of the most important things they should look for in carrying out site inspections, and I hope that LABC can work with the Hub in developing this. We also welcome the work that the Hub is doing in studying ventilation and overheating issues, for as buildings have become tighter these issues have become more important.
The increasing tightness of buildings through improved efficiency levels of floors, walls and roofs has led to greater emphasis being placed on avoiding leaks through construction joints.
To assist with this, in conjunction with the Modern Masonry Alliance and the Concrete Block Association, we have placed on our website over 250 such details, which have been accredited. These can be freely downloaded, and we hope that they will be of use to architects and builders in tackling these difficult areas.
Paul Everall is chief executive of LABC