Regulatory rules should not stand in the way of housing standard rationalisation, says CIOB

In response to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) consultation on Housing Standards, the Chartered Institute of Building has called for the Government to implement a clear timescale for integrating housing standards into the Building Regulations.

Commenting on the Review, Michael Brown, CIOB Deputy Chief Executive said:

“National standards are vital to rationalise the current levels of guidance, regulation and add-ons surrounding housing. We completely agree with the view of the Review’s Challenge Panel that the coalition government’s ‘one-in, two-out’ rule regarding regulation should not be a valid reason to delay action or result in inaction; this is simply too important an opportunity to miss.

“Having a set of nationally described standards that will integrate with the Building Regulations takes the onus away from planners and puts technical issues like building performance back into the hands of building control professionals, such as many of our members, who can apply their qualifications and technical knowledge.”

Other points made in the CIOB response included:

  • The CIOB welcomes a greater focus on a building’s fabric energy efficiency applied through building regulations rather than planning guidance.
  • Some areas in the Code for Sustainable Homes would be lost if it was to be phased out, such as the responsible sourcing of materials. This and other aspects would need to be fully considered as a nationally described standard, and we believe that a specific materials working group should be established.
  • Local authorities should avoid setting prescriptive targets, and instead remain outcome focused to allow developers to innovate and building control professionals to be best placed to apply their technical knowledge.
  • Standards for daylight, sunlight and ventilation should be further investigated.
  • We are pleased to see the Review recognising the opportunities Building Information Modelling (BIM) can offer from a regulatory, verification and compliance perspective.

A full copy of the CIOB’s response to the Housing Standards Review can be found at: www.ciob.org/public-affairs/consultations.