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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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  1.  
    Discussion today re what happens if private BC co's cease trading. The example used was an ICF build where apparently no documentation at all has been received from the BC co by the client. LA BC dept is being sympathetic but quite obviously reluctant to sign off what they can't see (or see documentary evidence of).

    Tricky, and apparently, the programme said, set to be an ongoing issue as underwriters become (post-Grenfell Tower) more reluctant to offer PI cover to private BC companies.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2019
     
    Posted By: Nick Parsonsunderwriters become (post-Grenfell Tower) more reluctant to offer PI cover to private BC companies.
    Bloody gd job. What was ever wrong with the public-service Building Inspectors?
  2.  
    FT said: "What was ever wrong with the public-service Building Inspectors?"

    Desperately under-resourced, as far as I can see. Perhaps we need to steel ourselves to be prepared to pay more if we are to get really good inspections.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2019
     
    Posted By: Nick ParsonsDesperately under-resourced
    Not so, pre-Thatcher. Classic privatisation tactic - starve the public service till it creaks, private enterprise will do it better, oh yeah, Grenfell Grenfell.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2019
     
    Posted By: fostertomoh yeah, Grenfell Grenfell

    Who provided building control on the Grenfell refurbishment?

    Since the client was an arm of the council, I'd be surprised if it wasn't the LABC? According to wikipedia 'Council building inspectors visited the site 16 times'.

    So what's the relevance of your comment?
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2019
     
    a 'race to the bottom' is not likely to result in effective and proper inspections....? a change of attitude from 'distress purchase' to 'useful resource' may be required. this is just the start.....:shocked:
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2019
     
    Posted By: djhWho provided building control on the Grenfell refurbishment?
    Private, I had thought? Anyway, the main Grenfell problem was self-certification of cladding incl materials that could ingeniously be wangled through the rule book, such as it was, rather than being tested to death by the likes of a public-service Agrement Board.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2019
     
    Posted By: fostertomPrivate, I had thought?

    On what basis?

    It went wrong so it can't have been my precious LABC?
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2019
     
    Not just building control companies having problems. A recent article in Architect's Journal also reported that increased premiums and fire-related clauses in PI was hitting architects, fire engineers, façade consultants, contractors and will ’no doubt affect the design and delivery of housing generally for the next few years’.
    https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/building-control-at-crisis-point-as-inspectors-struggle-to-find-insurance-cover/10043285.article
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeJul 19th 2019
     
    Moral of the Radio 4 story is that you should take lots and lots of photos (100's). Particularly of things like foundations or drains or anything that might get covered up. My builder did this even though we were using the LABC.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJul 19th 2019
     
    Absolutely. Since cameras went digital there's no reason not to take lots of pictures. I'd even say thousands rather than hundreds. I seem to have about 3000 from our housebuild. PH requires lots of additional photos for certification to prove insulation was installed etc.
    • CommentAuthorArtiglio
    • CommentTimeJul 20th 2019
     
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: fostertom</cite><blockquote><cite>Posted By: Nick Parsons</cite>underwriters become (post-Grenfell Tower) more reluctant to offer PI cover to private BC companies.</blockquote>Bloody gd job. What was ever wrong with the public-service Building Inspectors?</blockquote>

    There was nothing wrong with LABC, but in the case of my LA , when the changes were introduced and the council of mortgage lenders required 10 year guarantees on new builds, my authority decided it was’nt willing / interested in offering an insurance backed guarantee. As a result it lost all its new build work to the private inspectors, once they had a foothold in the area they then started offering BC for smaller works. As the revenue stream declined the building control department similarly shrank and did so even faster with the austerity drive, building control being something that could be cut in full knowledge that there was an alternative.
    Even now the council won’t publish its building control fees , for fear of being undercut, instead you lodge your application and you get a bill with the approval, which is just plain daft as it wastes resources if people choose to show this to a private BC company who then undrcut it anyway.
    Lots of anecdotes of works being passed off on the back of flying visits or a few photos by BC firms that visit the area one day a week and whizz round all the sites they are “responsible” for. Its no wonder insurance companies are becoming very wary of the sector.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeJul 20th 2019
     
    Posted By: ArtiglioEven now the council won’t publish its building control fees
    Really? They're on every council website I know of - if fact aren't they standard across England?
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeJul 20th 2019
     
    LAs do set their own fees - https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200232/planning_applications/59/how_to_apply/7
  3.  
    I don't have a lot of experience of relative costs, but certainly a few ago there was a difference between Sheffield and a neighbouring authority for a Bldg Notice for window replacement.
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