A Common Misconception about Building Control

Why supervision of the work is important and source of a common misconceptions.

As architects we administer contracts and make a reasonable number of visits to site to inspect the work, we do not supervise the work, nor does the Building Inspector.

At Jubilee Garden Party I heard a common misconception repeated about Building Control, “I pay them but it turns out they aren’t there to protect my investment” and “they side with the builder” someone said, Building Control are there to protect you and your agents from your self. The builder is your agent and someone who you are at least partly responsible for! Work is being carried out in your name. Beyond basic compliance with the Building Acts, which is the legislation the Building Regulations are made under the Building Inspector, is not there to ensure quality of finish. It can be a surprise just how basic the quality of workmanship is required for compliance.

Though I am sure Building Inspectors add value and take a pride in ensuring that work is carried out to a reasonable standard, clients are not paying them to protect their interests. The inspector is there to make the client and his or her agents including the Architect or designer and the Builder comply with Building Acts, however the Employers Agent; an architect or surveyor undertaking contract administrator is there to monitor progress and quality control.

The good news is that most building control problems can be solved, there is almost always a technical solution, a fix  for virtually everything is possible at a price, planning however is much more difficult, sometimes very little can be done.

Planning officers are not normally seen near a building site unless there is an alleged breach of conditions or the approved design / drawings are being varied on site.

However because of official  ideas of sustainability Planners are being encouraged by the ‘nanny state’ politicians to get into areas of design and technical matters such as “on site renewables”, “energy assessments” in the name of the fake environmentalism and the revenue raising carbon tax, for the global off shore global banking cartel, but that’s another story http://www.prisonplanet.com/agenda-21-to-be-discussed-at-bilderberg-confab.html. Technology which usually doesn’t really work and or which is so expensive it will have worn out before payback and which generally has a high environmental costs in manufacture, involving; rare earth metals & minerals from the other side of the planet, a lot of energy and dangerous hard to dispose of chemicals used in the manufacturing process. Trendy products the green propaganda machine has sold politicians on which will still turn a profit for someone in the post industrial sustainable economy.

Even small residential extensions will need to reach Code 4 level Sustainability in 2014, which Building Control and their private sector alternative will be guardians of and the Planners will probably make it a condition of the approval, then who’s is looking after your interests?

Geoffrey Middleton RIBA architect and man made globe warming skeptic.

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