John Callcutt, chief executive of Britain's 14th-largest housebuilder Crest Nicholson, said the NHBC must change the way it operates to pay more heed to the views of consumers.
Callcutt's comments coincide with the screening this week of a television documentary that was highly critical of the role the NHBC plays in policing the construction standards of new-build homes.
Raising the Roof, shown on BBC2 on Monday evening last week, accused the NHBC of being too heavily weighted in favour of housebuilders to represent homeowners properly.
Callcutt said: "The NHBC is an organisation that should be the watchdog of industry standards and its trade neutrality should be beyond reproach. It should be balanced with equal consumer and industry representation." Callcutt also called on the NHBC to introduce league tables for housebuilders so buyers can see which companies perform best.
"We're in an era of major accountability and housebuilders shouldn't be exempt from that. After all, schools and hospitals have league tables, so why not housebuilders?" He added: "The NHBC has already made some welcome changes, but there is still a need for greater equality and more purchaser representation." The main board of the NHBC consists of four housebuilders, two NHBC executives, two architects and a single consumer representative. The rest of the board is made up of representatives from the financial services sector.
Raising the Roof revealed a number of examples of shoddy and dangerous workmanship on the sites of top 10 builders Barratt, Bellway and Redrow. The programme claimed that 71% of cavity walls in new-build homes violated NHBC guidance, and 29% of new-build homes had defective lintels.
A spokesperson for the NHBC, which co-operated in the making of the documentary, said: "If you look into any industry you'll find mistakes. Several of the mistakes the programme picked up, our inspectors had picked up as well." She added that the NHBC had measures in place to ensure proper consumer representation, and that it had considered introducing tables.
A spokesman for the House Builders' Federation said last week: "I haven't seen a preview of the programme, but this kind of undercover operation is quite clearly against the rules of the Broadcasting Council." The spokesman added: "We will look at the programme carefully and if it's breached the rules we'll advise our members to take action."