Readers consider how groups or organisations could improve. Building inspection, the RICS and housebuilders all come in for criticism this week
Shoddy eco work
Regarding your article “Who’s to blame for our lack of zero-carbon homes?” (30 September, page 22), inspection by Building Control and the NHBC needs to tie with the design specification, with better drawings and training required for installation, and link to BRE guidance. I moved into a new house in 2008 and we couldn’t understand why it was so cold even with a huge energy bill. A tour of the roof space discovered that most of the roof insulation was missing with none at all to the coombes and dormers. We were out for four weeks getting the upper floor ceilings and dormers stripped back and redone at the NHBC’s expense, as the builder had gone bust. Both Building Control and NHBC had signed it off, though …
Adrian Shilliday, via www.building.co.uk
In reference to your story “Top QS qualification in doubt” (30 September, page 14), this is what happens when a committee makes decisions with no reference to the members, with no mandate or understanding of the profession. Another RICS disgrace.
When are surveyors going to be allowed just to have a practice certificate to keep their qualification, while leaving behind this irrelevant RICS expensive baggage that few people want or need?
TL Morgan, via www.building.co.uk
The job centre beckons
The latest UK labour market statistics provide worrying evidence of worsening economic conditions as 10,000 Scottish construction workers lost their jobs between April and June this year - a 5.5% reduction in Scotland’s construction workforce compared with a 3% reduction for the UK as a whole.
Since March 2009, official figures now show the Scottish construction industry has shed 30,000 jobs. Based on these figures, the longer term trend in construction jobs remains downwards and that should be a matter of real concern to our politicians. To reverse that trend, governments at Holyrood and Westminster need a strategy to protect and consolidate capital investment so the industry can start rebuilding employment, skills and capacity.
Michael Levack, Scottish Building Federation
Drop your prices
In reference to your story “National Trust accuses housebuilders of ‘conning’ business leaders” (20 September, www.building.co.uk), finally someone [Simon Jenkins] speaks the truth on this issue.
Housebuilders are amassing thousands of plots for their land banks at reducing prices with no intention of developing them until the economy recovers.
You can’t blame housebuilders for not building when no one has the funds to buy. The market is stagnating but to blame the lack of supply on the planning system is outrageous.
Until house prices drop another 20-25% and the banks start to lend again, people will not be in a position to afford to buy houses.
Housebuilders need to down-value their stock for recovery to take place. Obviously they will fight against this as long as they can but it will have to happen eventually.
Dave Cooper, via www.building.co.uk