lizzie

Yet more bad press on mass market developers

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Scary, isn't it?

 

It does really emphasise just how poor the building inspection system is, something that I think we already know, from the many other stories of new builds that don't comply with building regulations, let alone tragedies like Grenfell, where the building inspection system should have picked up the problem of spread of fire from adding flammable cladding.

 

I think there's a damned good case for scrapping private building inspection, making it a well-policed, central government run, function, and instigating a root-and-branch reform that ensures that work is always inspected properly for compliance with the regulations.

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I take it they are talking about the fire stops that go in the cavity between a timber frame and it's outer brick cladding layer, in some cases missing or with gaps.

 

If they are found to be missing that is hardly an easy thing to put right.

 

It's not as it it is an expensive or difficult bit, and there would normally be plenty of chances to spot the problem, even the bricklayer building the outer wall should notice it, stop laying bricks and bring it to the attention of the site manager?  To not do so shows the root of the problem, NOBODY cares.

 

It's not a private BR issue as this fault has been found in Scotland where the local authority still have the monopoly on building control. But they don't make that many inspections.

 

Perhaps if the MD of the building firm faced a manslaughter charge in the event of a fatality, they might start to buck up their procedures a bit?

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Makes me even more pleased I did a self build as I KNOW it’s done properly!

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Plenty of focus on it, here. Laminated advisory supplied with the TF kit, all installed by the erectors, and then confirmed by the BCO for the blockworkers as it was a while since they'd clad a TF.

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37 minutes ago, ProDave said:

 

Perhaps if the MD of the building firm faced a manslaughter charge in the event of a fatality, they might start to buck up their procedures a bit?

 

In Joint Enterprise with the Head of Building Control? Or even the Secretary of State?

 

F

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yes they should be  built =inspected better -

but is this not the time to make sprinkler systems mandatory in ALL buildings --

not expensive to fit at build stage 

 you don't just have air bags in a car ,but seat belts as well-same would be sensible for housing 

belt +braces approach 

Edited by scottishjohn

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31 minutes ago, dpmiller said:

Plenty of focus on it, here. Laminated advisory supplied with the TF kit, all installed by the erectors, and then confirmed by the BCO for the blockworkers as it was a while since they'd clad a TF.

 

Not so here.  Firestopping is often not clearly shown on drawings and not installed by the erectors.  Often you are supplied with bags of the plastic socks of varying sizes without any instructions as to where, who and how it is installed.  Making it part of the timber frame supply / erect package, to be inspected as part of the signoff, would make sense.

 

It is even less clear what should happen with rainscreeen type cladding, as this requires airflow from bottom to top.

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1 hour ago, joe90 said:

Makes me even more pleased I did a self build as I KNOW it’s done properly!

 

to the best of your knowledge :)

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I do site inspections (not building control) on new builds in and around the south west, and more than likely have been to some of the affected sites.

 

I can't comment on this issue as its not my field, but generally in my discipline i don't find too many issues with new builds, though i will say from my inspections (of all big builders) i have been to some huge sites with limited site managers who appear to be not sure what exactly is going on on site, this maybe because of the work load or what appears to be the amount of turn over of SM's.

 

I get the impression that SM's aren't able to look over all the details as much as maybe they should, and a lot of making sure its built right is on the subbies, which is dependants on the quality of the subbies. 

 

Ideally any issues should be caught by building control (mainly NHBC) but with huge sites that are phased,  can they carry out enough site inspections or even got the appointment to do that many?

 

 

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1 hour ago, the_r_sole said:

 

If you've ever tried to get a sprinkler system installed in scotland you'd know that this just isn't possible!

sort of --yes 

I split my garage into 3 units and one of them had an upstairs  office so to get get round the protected exit issue i cleared it with BC to fit sprinklers 

no problem was the answer --but you need an approved fire engineer drawing  for us to pass it 

no problem was the answer from a fire engineer , your design is spot on, until he told me he wanted 5k to rubber stamp the design I sent him  

Its just a bit of plumbing thats all --so easy to do ..

there would soon be local fire engineers if it became mandatory +price would drop dramtically 

 

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25 minutes ago, the_r_sole said:

 

It's just a bit of plumbing, but the infrastructure to service them doesn't exist, we have looked at sprinklers all over the place and generally the Scottish water infrastructure isn't able to provide sufficient flow rates for sprinkler systems, so then you have to find room and money for water storage etc - it's a solution but it's really not a practical blanket solution

mains supplied system is fine for normal 2-3 storey house-no tank needed-if you worried fit a booster pump

tower block --different  yes

Edited by scottishjohn

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It's just a small point, but having photos of the build at the different stages has been very useful for me.

 

Must be horrible not knowing what is behind the plasterboard in a new build home.

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2 hours ago, Moonshine said:

to the best of your knowledge

 

Yes, and that knowledge is based on being a retired builder, doing my homework on this and other forums, being the project manager on site all day, and employing a local builder for the “hard” work that has a brilliant reputation for good quality work and embraces new practices found in “passive” type builds.

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4 hours ago, JSHarris said:

I think there's a damned good case for scrapping private building inspection, making it a well-policed, central government run, function, and instigating a root-and-branch reform that ensures that work is always inspected properly for compliance with the regulations.

 

 

You assume Government inspectors are better!

 

Stafford hospital investigator berates CQC regulator

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/may/01/stafford-hospital-investigator-berates-cqc-regulator

 

Lord Turner admits FSA failures in financial crisis

https://www.pensionsage.com/pa/lord-turner-admits-fsa-failures-in-financial-crisis.php

 

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5 minutes ago, epsilonGreedy said:

 

You assume Government inspectors are better!

 

Stafford hospital investigator berates CQC regulator

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/may/01/stafford-hospital-investigator-berates-cqc-regulator

 

Lord Turner admits FSA failures in financial crisis

https://www.pensionsage.com/pa/lord-turner-admits-fsa-failures-in-financial-crisis.php

 

 

Anyone that has experience building control when it was only a public sector service will almost certainly have the same sort of experiences to recall about the way that building inspectors operated.  In general they were far, far more rigorous in applying the regulations than the lackadaisical system, we have now, where the majority of new houses are never inspected at all (because that's allowable under the relaxations that came along with privatisation). 

 

There's also the inherent flaw in any system where a builder can choose who to contract with for inspection services, in that this process will self-select for more lax inspection regimes.  Any inspection company that fails too many new builds is unlikely to win more business from that builder; they will most likely switch to a building inspection company that gives them and easier time.

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I’m not sure that the inspections being carried out by the LA in Scotland is any better TBH. There are still endless issues with new builds here including the previously discussed example below. The things I thought they might be keen to check for my build they didn’t even look at and they got hung up on what I consider to be minor points. 

 

https://www.peeblesshirenews.com/news/17566731.housebuilder-apologises-after-admitting-responsibility-for-defective-peebles-homes/

 

 

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Should it not be the inspector (private or otherwise) that is responsible for faults, heavy fines/struck off. That will focus the mind. Or fine the builder (heavily) for not meeting current regs?.

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Reading this thread reminds me I should take some unconscious bias training...

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It should really be the manufactuter who builds to a quality where an inpsector makes no difference, and the trades who catch them first snyway.

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37 minutes ago, joe90 said:

Should it not be the inspector (private or otherwise) that is responsible for faults, heavy fines/struck off. That will focus the mind. Or fine the builder (heavily) for not meeting current regs?.

 

Problem is, no one would ever get anything signed off if that was the case and the cost of inspections could be astronomical. 

 

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1 hour ago, JSHarris said:

 

Anyone that has experience building control when it was only a public sector service will almost certainly have the same sort of experiences to recall about the way that building inspectors operated.  In general they were far, far more rigorous in applying the regulations than the lackadaisical system, we have now, where the majority of new houses are never inspected at all (because that's allowable under the relaxations that came along with privatisation). 

 

There's also the inherent flaw in any system where a builder can choose who to contract with for inspection services, in that this process will self-select for more lax inspection regimes.  Any inspection company that fails too many new builds is unlikely to win more business from that builder; they will most likely switch to a building inspection company that gives them and easier time.

the present inspection system is like allowing any garage /mechanic do an mot .

 

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