With reports suggesting that the construction sector will continue to grow over the next two years, Bureau Veritas has been quick to assert that an industry shift towards earlier engagement with compliance partners is vital when it comes to raising quality and safety standards for all.
Despite a momentary downtime, largely the result of a post-Brexit slump in confidence and weakening pound, the consensus is that commercial construction will regain pace in the coming months. According to the latest Construction Products Association report, UK construction output will increase by 2.3% in 2019, primarily due to major infrastructure projects.
Concern focuses on the fact that an increased pressure on commercial and residential developers to build more properties, despite a declining workforce, presents a risk to ‘deliverability’ and quality control. A recent study, for example, estimated that over half of all new build properties have ‘major faults.’
Andy Lowe, director for building control at Bureau Veritas, commented: “Amid incredibly tight construction deadlines, cost pressures and a raft of legislation, it’s understandable that the modern builder and developer has a lot to come to terms with. That’s why we always advocate early engagement with a certification specialist. Without the ability to influence the wider project, it can be incredibly difficult to optimise quality control procedures and enhance safety measures, while at the same time enabling developers to achieve stated targets.”
Lowe continued: “In some cases, it can even help streamline proceedings and improve efficiencies, and particularly so when it comes to ensuring that the design aspect correlates with the compliance requirements. Without the approver’s early input, for example, any decisions made by a design team could be borderline in terms of interpretation and, upon review, it may be that items such as the fire strategy or the number of staircases are questionable, thus affecting the design as a whole and even resulting in the need for a redesign.”
In conclusion, Lowe stated: “In this way, we believe an industry shift towards earlier engagement is core to not only increasing quality and safety standards, but also optimising efficiencies on current major projects going forward.”