Local Authority Building Control (LABC) and the Modern Masonry Alliance (MMA) have agreed to work together to produce a wider solution to the masonry construction market with a suite of 250 registered masonry construction details designed to minimise heat loss through the weak junction points in a building’s outer envelope.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), Zero Carbon Hub, many industry trade organisations and manufacturers have been pushing for packaged construction details showing how the design, specification of materials and construction of construction joints should be accomplished. “Construction joints” are those parts of a building where different elements meet and are joined together. These are the focus of attention because research has shown that these create thermal bridging, which allows heat to leak out and can also create cold spots internally.
A major reason for creating and publishing registered construction details is that small and medium enterprises may lack the technical knowledge to interpret the building regulations and create a design and specification that will achieve or surpass the required performance standard. Similarly, contractors also want a solution-based construction template that will prevent accidental flaws causing energy to leak. When the building is completed, the owner will be assured of lower heat loss, fewer occurrences of condensation (and associated mould) and a healthier atmosphere.
LABC and the MMA agreed to work together to deliver this to customers free of charge. Users will include: architects, plan drawers, developers, housing associations, SAP assessors, local authority building control surveyors, quantity surveyors, clerks of works, contractors and builders.
LABC Chief Executive Paul Everall commented:
“We welcomed the Modern Masonry Alliance when they approached us. We have many SME customers and we know they need packaged advice that has already been calculated and examined. We are able to provide help in this and it will streamline the plan checking and site inspections performed by our building control surveyors. Architects and contractors have a huge desire to get things right and this will help them in a very practical way without increasing their costs. Everybody wins, including the building owners and eventual users.”
Mike Leonard, Chief Executive of MM A, said:
“Greater participation of local builders is vital if we are to see the massive uplift in new home delivery by 2020 we need to address the growing housing crisis. This scheme will make it easier for builders of all sizes to select registered construction details that offer cost effective compliance with the recent changes to regulations. We know that LABC provides a service to many thousands of local builders throughout England and Wales and we hope to encourage those designing, specifying and constructing buildings to use pre-registered solutions.”
LABC Registered Construction Details can be found at http://www.labc.co.uk/registration-schemes/construction-details
The scheme has been launched by LABC Chief Executive Paul Everall at the MMA 2014 Housing Summit today (21st October) at ARUP, Blythe Gate Blythe Valley Park, Solihull B90 8AE.
The new LABC Registered Construction Details will be relevant in England, Wales and Scotland, though there are differences in the calculations due to variations in thermal legislation between the three nations.
LABC and the Modern Masonry Alliance intend to continue to develop further Registered Construction Details to include other elements of the building regulations so that customers can find holistic designs.