Regarding your piece on defects in new homes (9 September): the research undertaken within the School of the Built & Natural Environment, at Glasgow Caledonian University, is based on more than 100,000 pieces of data relating to defects in a broad range of house types, constructed by more than 200 NHBC-registered builders throughout the UK.
The analyses of the data show quite clearly the underlying trends and, when plotted against time, the movement in the average number of defects found.
This research is currently the only work that provides a view of the national picture. We would welcome sight of any other analysis of defects data carried out within the UK in order that comparisons could be made, and of course a much broader view of the problem made visible.
The industry players have a substantial amount of data, which they have always kept to themselves: there is now a need for the problem to be fully aired and a radical approach to a solution of the underlying process problems adopted. If the industry would care to make data available for analysis, we would be happy to engage with them in developing solutions that deliver a 21st-century approach to customer care.
With the forthcoming implementation of the Home Information Packs legislation, the industry needs to be ahead of the game, rather than engaging in a blame culture. Analysis of the underlying sources, causes and effects of defects will allow the industry to collectively solve the problems and fully provide the customer with the care and quality of new home they crave. If the example from the London Evening Standard is anything to go by, the customer is buying a high-priced commodity that fails to live up to expectations and is not a credit to the industry.
Professor James Sommerville, Glasgow Caledonian University