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HVCA questions building control survey

The Heating and Ventilating Contractors’ Association (HVCA) has disputed the findings of a survey which claimed Part L is being enforced effectively.

Bob Towse, HVCA head of technical and safety,  said the survey by LABC - which represents all local authority building control departments – was too focused on the new build sector and argued there were on going problems of enforcement regarding refurbishment projects.

He said: “The survey looked largely at new build and it appears that when enforcement officers are on site they are picking up Part L issues. Unfortunately new build is just a small part of the work which is going on.”

He said refurbishment work including new air conditioning, boilers and windows often fell through the net and added: “We have been consistently saying to Government that unless something is done on improving compliance levels we will not hit targets on carbon reduction.”

The LABC survey was conducted over a 20 day period and 38 surveyors were tracked. During that time they were involved in 1,986 projects and identified 3,807 contraventions and intervened to explain the problem and find a solution. Legal enforcement was not pursued in any incident.

The most Pre-Contravention Interventions (PCIs) were undertaken regarding Part A – structure, but Part L was the second biggest source of issues with 620 PCIs.

LABC said the survey showed surveyors were using the “co-operative model” of enforcement which looks to stop contraventions before they occur and identify solutions in partnership with architects, surveyors and tradesmen.

LABC chief executive Paul Everall said: “I’ve always challenged those who say that LABC isn’t enforcing Part L.

“We know that it is a huge part of our work and it generates many enquiries from building professionals on how to achieve the right result. This survey proves that LABC is not biased in enforcing only those parts of the Building Regulations that only protect the public from death and injury.”