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A substantial redesign of an existing home in Warlingham for which we provided the building control service recently featured on the national Home & Build website. Westview is now a contemporary fully accessible home for the owners and was also highly commended in the LABC SE Awards 2016. 

Considering a self-build project?

If you are considering a self build or custom build project are you aware you can register  with the local authority in which you wish to build?  LABC Warranty explains how to register and has produced some useful tips about buying land for self-build.

Tandridge building control supports new council homes in district

For the first time in over 25 years, Tandridge District Council has built new Council properties to help address the need for affordable rented homes. The first two projects at Acorn Gardens, Oxted and Eldon Road, Caterham were completed in August and provide 8 new dwellings, with the next development in Bletchingley also at planning stage.
 
Support from our Building Control team has been key to taking these projects forward. We formed an excellent working relationship with the team at developer William Lacey Group Ltd and made regular site visits along with the LABC warranty surveyor to ensure the build met with the current regulations and to offer any on-going advice as work progressed. 
 
This has been a great opportunity for us, as a team, to support the development of quality, safe, affordable homes and provide essential protection and confidence for both landlord and tenant through LABC’s structural warranty.

Contact building control for any advice on building regulations on 01883 732871 or email buildingcontrol@tandridge.gov.uk

The rules on domestic smoke alarms

Most properties in the UK have battery-operated smoke alarms, but mains-wired smoke alarms interlinked between floors are the most reliable method of giving early warning in case of fire and must now be installed in all new homes.

Mains-wired smoke alarms are also required in certain types of alteration and extension work. Mount them in the circulation space at every floor level:

  • In loft conversions
  • When adding new habitable rooms (bedrooms, kitchens, living or dining rooms) above ground floor level
  • When adding a new habitable room at ground floor level that doesn’t have its own exit leading outdoors

Installing new interlinked smoke alarms can be disruptive, so think about the need for detection before you start work. Radio-linked alarms are acceptable; as long as the manufacturer can guarantee the battery back-up will last for 72 hours.

DO:

  • Ensure there’s at least one alarm on every storey of the dwelling
  • Ensure there’s an alarm within 7.5m of the door to every habitable room
  • Provide a heat detector to the kitchen if it’s open plan to the escape route
  • Mount them 300mm away from walls and light fittings
  • Ensure the electrical installation of the units meets Part P requirements
  • Provide instructions to the end user

DON’T:

  • Install them above staircases where testing and maintenance is dangerous
  • Site them in places where they can become very hot, cold, or subject to a lot of moisture or fumes (bathrooms, kitchens, garages - use a heat detector if need be)

Remember, there are additional requirements for large houses of two or more storeys where one of those storeys exceeds 200m2, so bear this in mind when working on footballers’ mansions! If in any doubt, contact your local authority building control team to discuss.
Article provided LABC November 2015

Part P electrical work is the homeowner’s responsibility

It is now ten years since the Part P Competent Persons Scheme was introduced requiring certain electrical work to homes and other buildings to be self-certified by a Part P Competent Electrician or an application made to building control.

New research carried out by LABC (Local Authority Building Control) and ACAI (Association of Consultant Approved Inspectors) to assess electrical contracting in homes needing to comply with Part P shows that the system is now understood and has “settled down”.  Results show that the majority of work goes through with little or no intervention by building control but if serious issues do occur building control has been helpful in intervening.electrician One area of concern highlighted in the survey however relates to DIY work and work carried out by non-registered traders which still needs to be checked and certified by a Competent Person or an application made to building control. It was clear that this was not widely understood by home owners who often have a muddled idea of their responsibilities and what the building regulations mean. This work often remains invisible as anyone can buy everything required from retailers and it is only when problems arise or it turns up when the property is being sold.

Research showed that 73% of homeowners are unaware fitting an electric shower and 55% that fitting a new electrical circuit are covered by the building regulations compared to only 2% who were unaware that work involving connection to a gas supply is regulated under Gas Safe.

 Under the law the property owner is ultimately responsible for ensuring relevant work complies. Whilst the best option is always to use an electrician registered under the Scheme if this is not the case an application should be made to building control before the work starts or have a member of a Part P Competent Persons Scheme check it and issue the covering document.

To help build awareness about this important safety issue LABC has committed to run future information campaigns.  If you are unsure about what work falls under Part P visit www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk

LABC South East Awards honour local construction achievements

Tandridge building control team celebrated success with its customers when two Tandridge building projects and one local building company nominated by the team won in their categories when more than 250 contractors, architects, designers and local authority building control representatives gathered to celebrate construction achievements at the South East regional LABC Building Excellence Awards.  Individual home Small development  TH Smith Construction
Scandia-Hus won the best individual dwelling, Millwood Designer Homes won best small development and TH Smith Construction were presented with a winner’s trophy for best local builder/traditional craftsmanship at the Awards dinner held at The Grand Hotel in Brighton.

The LABC Building Excellence Awards recognise excellent building and design and celebrate the results that can be achieved through collaborative working of designers, contractors and clients with their local authority building control teams.

Changes to current Building regulations - effective 6 April 2013

In December 2012 a written Ministerial Statement to Parliament, was published which focuses on the deregulatory changes and publication of responses to the consultation.  Below are the key changes within the Statement. Decisions on matters relating to the energy efficiency of buildings (Part L), additional radon protection measures and referencing of British Standards for structural design based on Eurocodes will not be announced until next year.

Changes announced to come into force on 6 April 2013 include:

Part P: Reduction in notifiable work, but retaining a duty for non-notifiable work to comply with safety provisions of the regulations which have been updated. Regulations to allow third party certification of electrical work will not be introduced until later next year.

Part B: Guidance updated in relation to lighting diffusers in line with the consultation together with changes to classification of wall coverings to align with European classifications.

Parts M, K & N: Changes to address areas of conflict and overlap to be reflected in a revision AD to part K with amendment slips for M & N.  Improved guidance on the use of access statements to promote a more proportionate risk-based approach.

Warranty Link Rule: Removed

Regulation 7: A new AD will be published shortly to update information on materials and workmanship in line with the European Construction Products Regulations to be implemented on 1 July 2013.

Fire Safety: Regulations to repeal unnecessary fire provisions in local acts will be made shortly.

Revised statutory guidance in the Approved Documents will be published shortly at: http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/buildingregulations/approveddocuments/

BuildSurrey event - building new business relationships

Tandridge Building Control as part of LABC Surrey attended as a BuildSurrey Partner at the launch of this initiative by Surrey County Council. Construction/built environment businesses working within Surrey were invited to the launch at Epsom Racecourse on 7 February. 40 exhibitors took part and delegates numbered almost 400.

The event was very successful and an excellent opportunity for Surrey-based businesses to forge new business relationships with key decision-makers, learn about current and upcoming work opportunities and find out how to get involved.

For information about further free events visit  www.buildsurrey.net

LABC library

LABC has its own LABC LibraryThis link will open in a new window (This link will open in a new window). It contains helpful guides and useful documents about our services, from guides for small builders to homeowner guides and technical guidance.