Construction Unit Update – March’s top five

There has been plenty of activity in construction recently. Here are our top five:

  1. Developers, consultants, and contractors should read the Competence Framework for Project Managers in the Built Environment in England (January 2024) which gives guidance on project manager competencies and appointing principal designers and contractors. This publication was produced by Working Group 10 (Project Managers) of the Competence Steering Group (CSG) established by the Industry Response Group (IRG) formed by the government in 2017. View here: APM Competence Framework for Project Managers in the Built Environment in England.

  2. Approved building inspectors have until 6 April to apply to become registered building control approvers. Issues with transition have been recognised with a competency assessment extension period from 6 April to 6 July 2024 for inspectors who fulfil particular criteria including registration as a Class 1 Registered Building Inspector by 6 April 2024. View here: – Professional codes and standards – Building safety – HSE. For the position in Wales giving inspectors until 30 September 2024 to complete registration, click here: (www.gov.wales/written-statement-building-safety-wales)

  3. The Welsh Government published a statement of its approach and progress on the building safety front on 4 March 2024. This is a helpful summary for those engaged on Welsh projects. For further information click here.

  4. Fire escape remains a government focus. A 29 March 2024 government press release says that all dwellings over 18m in height must have two staircases. This requirement will apply from September 2026, subject to transitional provisions. For further information click here.

  5. From a developer viewpoint, we advise against accepting net contribution clauses (NCC) in contracts. Broadly speaking, an effective NCC prejudices a claimant because it side steps the usual position that where multiple parties cause the same loss the claimant can claim the whole loss against any one of the parties.

    On 25 March 2024, a net contribution clause in an appointment between a homeowner and architect was held to be void in relation to claim under the Defective Premises Act 1972 (as amended) in a case about defects in a dwelling house constructed in 2013/14. The net contribution clause fell foul of clause 6(3) of the Act: “Any term of an agreement which purports to exclude or restrict, or has the effect of excluding or restricting, the operation of any of the provisions of this Act, or any liability arising by virtue of any such provision, shall be void”. The judgement is wide-ranging and a useful read for anyone involved in residential defects disputes. Read more here.

If you have any questions about these or other construction matters, please contact Jan Grimshaw on 07702 846850 or jan.grimshaw@daviesandpartners.com

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