We’re running a short blog series on the legal changes and events that we expect to see in the construction industry over the course of 2019. In part two, we take a peek in our crystal ball to see how regulatory changes could impact the industry this year…
Impact of Grenfell on the construction industry to continue
Towards the end of last year, in response to the Grenfell Tower disaster in 2017, the government announced a ban of aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding and made funding available to social sector landlords and owners to remove it from their buildings. It also allowed local authorities to remove external ACM cladding from privately owned residential tower blocks, and reclaim the costs from private landlords. With government support and funding in place, and an apparent 289 such buildings across the UK identified as needing this work, it’s expected that the pace of external cladding removal will now start to pick up.
The next big fire risk has been identified as spandrel panels, with the government calling for combustibility tests to be undertaken on high-rise buildings.
Building regulations external cladding - More changes to building regulations
Following the ban of ACM cladding on buildings over 18m tall, the government is likely to take steps in 2019 to implement further changes to building regulations. These are likely to come from the interim report made by Grenfell Tower Inquiry Chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick, as well as wider recommendations by Dame Judith Hacker in her independent review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety.
With these changes on the horizon, consultants and design and construct contractors are starting to see their professional indemnity insurance (PII) premiums rise. Some insurers have already quit the PII market and those left are likely to increase premiums. For those finding their premiums increasing, we suggest taking a proactive approach and taking the time to identify and provide key information to insurers.
If you would like more information, please contact our Construction Team.
Disclaimer: Anything posted on this blog is for general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any general or specific matter. Please refer to our terms and conditions for further information. Please contact the author of the blog if you would like to discuss the issues raised.