It’s important to ascertain how well your stock is performing, says Brian Moore at BBA CIT
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Damp, mould, cracked walls, poor workmanship, abandoned installation projects, failing housing stock. These issues are a nightmare for an ever-growing number of people, including local authorities and housing associations.
Staff in these organisations will have all the administrative expertise required to fulfil their obligations to local communities, but understandably some may not have all the technical expertise needed to get to grips with the often complicated causes and issues associated with potentially damaged properties.
So as these problems become exacerbated, there is a growing need for an independent third party to help local government departments and housing associations when they are considering making important decisions about individual properties and overall housing stock.
Impartiality is crucial because advice offered by firms and operatives within the building industry can sometimes be conflicting, with different agendas and motives causing confusion.
“If the person making an assessment for insulation suitability is also responsible for commissioning the retrofit, that assessment can hardly be described as impartial.”
Naturally, all works carried out on community housing should be subject to scrutiny and meet accepted building best practice standards for products and workmanship, but independent assessments are needed to avoid potentially damaging inconsistencies.
For instance, a wall cavity must be cleaned to an acceptable standard before it can be deemed fit for filling with insulation materials. Someone has to make that assessment.
If the person making that assessment is also responsible for commissioning the retrofit, that assessment can hardly be described as impartial.
Solutions should be about making sure issues are resolved correctly and the right decisions are made when remedial works are being planned and executed. Fortunately, services are available to accommodate these needs.
Part of the British Board of Agrément, the new Consultancy, Investigation and Training (CIT) arm offers a comprehensive range of services, tailored to meet the needs of people dealing with these sorts of issues.
BBA CIT has already worked with a number of local authorities providing inspections, advice and conclusive reports that help them make the right choices that lead to the best outcomes for local authorities, housing associations and residents alike.
The company also provides training sessions to educate housing staff on the dos and don’ts when confronting retrofit issues. Classroom and field-based training provides attendees with a basic technical knowledge of insulation systems.
The aim is to provide a solid, fact-based understanding of what to look out for when considering housing stock investments or dealing with property insulation retrofits.
It is our hope that BBA CIT will light the way for housing staff operating within tight budget constraints who need to make the right decisions based on expert and independent advice, ultimately delivering the best outcomes for current and future home dwellers.
Brian Moore, operations director, BBA CIT