With the UK narrowly dodging a recession, and the supply chain showing signs of establishing an equilibrium after the Covid lockdowns, things are looking up! While we are not out of the woods just yet, construction companies can begin to look for new techniques and technologies to reduce the work time required while maximising results.

This blog covers some of the news highlights that you may have missed this month:

DLUHC to create UK standard for MMC

MMC Example
The Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities will look to create a new UK standard for Modern Methods of Construction that it hopes will result in more adoption of MMC. Ministers believe that a recognised British Standard will result in a wider choice and availability of product warranties, insurance and mortgages, which will in turn reduce costs for both MMC housebuilders and buyers.

While MMC seems like a very innovative and cost-effective concept for the construction industry, it’s important to maintain a good workflow for quality assurance

Fire safety regulations in England come into force

The Fire Safety Regulations come into effect today (23rd January). The fire safety regulations are the latest in a series of legislative measures implementing the recommendations in the Hackitt review, following the Grenfell Tower tragedy. The regulations broadly concern in-occupation responsibilities for high-rise buildings, expanding on the Fire Safety Order 2005.

There are only a few relating to all buildings with two or more domestic premises and communal areas. Those engaged in the construction of residential properties will now be expected to do a lot more to digitally record any and all design decisions and inspections that may pertain to the safety of future residents. This pertains to a concept known as The Golden Thread and the use of field apps for easy recording/sharing.

Construction faces “perfect storm” for insolvencies


Deep Cracks

Financial experts at Red Flag Alert fear more than 100 building firms will go bust every week as the total number of insolvencies across all sectors hits

32,000 this year, estimating roughly £300m in bad debt within the UK construction industry.

The name of the game for those still playing is to focus on cutting costs while improving efficiency. There are many ways of achieving this; one quick win is to use the right tools for the job:

  1. It’s easier to get the job done the first time than to explain why you didn’t. By using an easy-to-use inspection tool to catalogue any mistakes or oversights and delegate the task to the right worker, you can cut down on the chances that you’ll have to waste a day or more returning to the site to correct any issues.
  2. Good and professional documentation can prove to your client that you know your job. Collecting the right documentation can be time consuming, however, so it’s important to have an app that can save both time and effort in such endeavours.
  3. Establishing crystal clear communication between you, your client, colleagues and sub-contractors is paramount to ensuring that aims are understood and deadlines are hit in time without a hitch. Communicating by phone, text, email or even WhatsApp can be difficult, however, as they typically involve just one-on-one communication. An app that incorporates messaging in the same place that one sees the project schedule and individual tasks improves the chances that your team can see what’s going on, and who’s doing what.

Living walls and fire safety best practice guide for external cladding

Fire Safety Field Inspection

Living wall industry leaders have launched new best practice guidance to allow architects to specify living cladding with confidence.

National legislation now clearly determines the building types where external cladding can be used, which includes Living Wall installations. This means that residential dwellings above 11m high where people sleep are no longer compliant, but all other building types are.

In response, the Living Wall industry’s two biggest installers, Biotecture and ANS Global, alongside the British Association of Landscape Industries and the Green Infrastructure Consultancy, have summarised the changes to the government’s ‘Approved Document B’ and included industry recommendations on the specifications and materials to be used, including the type of plants.

MPs call for ‘war effort’ on insulation

A cross party group of MPs have called for a “war effort” to improve the energy efficiency of UK homes.House Insulation

In a far-reaching report, the Environmental Audit Committee says a “window of opportunity” was missed last summer to get more homes insulated.

“We must fix our leaky housing stock, which is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and wastes our constituents’ hard-earned cash,” says Philip Dunne, the Conservative MP who chairs the Environmental Audit Committee,