A new Loft Conversion Project Guide is now available as a download from the Construction Products Association, which brings together in one volume all the building regulations and other regulatory requirements for loft conversions.
Aimed at builders, building control and the interested householder, the Guide provides an intelligent and helpful navigation through the many requirements necessary for successful loft conversions. This will be the first in a series of Project Guides, which were proposed in the government’s review of building regulations, ‘The Future of Building Control’ in September 2009.
John Tebbit, Industry Affairs Director at the Association said; ‘We responded very positively to the government’s proposals last year and decided that we would be the first to produce one of these Guides. Having completed this first one, we now invite all interested parties to respond to the work we have done and give us feedback which can be incorporated into future work. We have to update the Loft Guide in October, to take into account changes in the regulations so comments will be incorporated into that version, which will be then be available as a hard copy.’
The origins of this project lie in the Future of Building Control Consultation 2008, in which the government recognised the need to do more to help the public, industry and Building Control Bodies, to better understand and comply with the Building Regulations.
It was agreed that additional guidance, in the form of ‘Project Guides’ was needed to complement the Approved Documents and in response the Construction Products Association began researching how these guides might become a reality.
A survey was conducted through structured interviews with nine key institutions and an on-line survey with Building Control Bodies. The web-based survey was backed by Local Authority Building Control and circulated to all local authority Building Control Bodies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. More than100 responses were received, indicating a high level of interest in the guides. Overwhelmingly the highest interest (69%) was for a guide on loft conversions. These results matched those of a survey carried out in 2007 as part of the Future of Building Control Consultation.
The Association’s survey also highlighted the lack of guidance and information readily available from local authority Building Control Bodies. Only 26% of the respondents published guidance on loft conversions, of which much was out of date and plagiarised, giving further support to the need for a guide.
The Association established a Project Guide Steering Group ‘to be proactive in the selection, content, design and implementation of Project Guides’. The Steering Group agreed that loft conversions should be the subject of the first guide.
The Guide was written by Chris Derzypilskyj who was on secondment to the Association from NHBC and supported by a steering group made up of representatives from across the industry. The Guide has been widely welcomed by stakeholders including government, building control and representatives of the building industry.
The Loft Conversion Guide is available on the Association’s website at; http://www.constructionproducts.org.uk/publications/Page.aspx?Id=509