Quality. Supply. Skills – three critical words in housing. The industry must improve the quality of house building, increase supply and tackle the skills shortage.
Three significant areas, especially given the Government’s ambition to build more than one million homes in England by 2020. To achieve this target and bridge the gap between supply and demand, new thinking is required from the industry, including the Government, local authorities, homebuilders, housing associations and investors. Consultants, including calfordseaden, must play their part too.
An All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment has recently taken evidence on Quality of New Build Housing in England and is examining the potential for improving every aspect of the product handed over to new home-owners.
Publishing the results of their inquiry in early 2016, the remit includes:
- Improve design quality and spatial standards, both at the level of individual new homes and estates of new housing
- Ensure better quality workmanship
- Ensure the effective control and implementation of regulations impacting on the construction of new homes
- Have the potential for implementing smart housing with inter-operable services and the provision of better and smarter information to new homeowners
- Bring forward the opportunities afforded by offsite manufacturing, 3D printing, BIM and other new technologies
- Provide new innovative ideas for design quality improvement
How do you, however, define and achieve quality?
calfordseaden endorses the British Standards definition of quality as ‘the totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bears on its ability to satisfy a given need of the Client.’ One guardian of quality standards in housebuilding is Clerk of Works and our team at calfordseaden has many years of experience in the construction industry, across all site disciplines.
Their early appointment enables them to interact with the design phases to incorporate strong and viable design details, prioritise the use of best materials and utilise their product understanding. Their continued involvement, reviewing and monitoring construction on site leads to a significant reduction of defects and certainly improves the product handover at practical completion.
For more information, please contact, Paul Doman, on 01689 888 222 or email@example.com
Redressing a skills shortage
A lack of skills in the housebuilding industry and falling standards of workmanship are a concern. Apprenticeships offered by clients, contractors and consultants encouraging trainees to enter the construction industry will improve skill levels and should, over time, help redress the skills shortage.
Our senior Clerk of Works, for example, have recently assisted the Construction Industry’s Council to promote industry training & apprentice schemes and is working with the CITB to develop a new National Vocational Qualification, along with the National Occupational Standards, which should be rolled out nationwide for Site Inspectors in 2016.