Building control bodies should continue to undertake regular site inspections to ensure that work continues to meet building regulations’ requirements, says the government
Under new government coronavirus guidelines, building control bodies are being urged to check building work being carried out.
The ministry for housing and local government (MHCLG) stated that for all types of building work being carried out, building control bodies should check regularly with those carrying out the work.
It said: “Given the exceptional challenges from the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak there may be an ongoing need to erect new or temporary accommodation to provide medical care, treatment, or for other supporting services.
“There may also be other types of urgent building work being carried out. It is important that this can proceed at pace without undue administrative burden.”
The MHCLG has issued guidance for building control bodies operating in England in relation to:
- Temporary healthcare buildings and related facilities.
- General guidance for operating during the current period of social distancing.
Guidance for building control bodies on operating during Covid-19
For all building work being carried out during the Covid-19 outbreak, building control bodies should:
- Check regularly with those carrying out work including its current status and any plans to continue work.
- Continue to assess deposited plans on their merits and ensure that the statutory requirements to consult with fire and rescue authorities and sewage undertakers continue to be met.
- Engage early on with both authorities including in relation to the format of relevant plans.
- Continue to undertake normal, regular on-site inspection activity where this can be done safely, in line with Public Health England guidance. Building control bodies may wish to consider the use of alternative methods of checking compliance to supplement physical inspections, for example using digital photographs and video or other remote means of checking compliance.
- Satisfy themselves within the limits of their professional skill and care that these remote inspections are used appropriately. Remote inspections should not normally be used as the sole method of assessing compliance.
- Building owners may wish to occupy part of a building even if work on the rest of the building has stopped. In these cases, bodies can issue a part final or completion certificate for that part of the building.
You can access the full guidance here.