Building Standards Futures Board

Overview

The Building Standards Futures Board was set up at the beginning of 2019 to provide guidance and direction on the development and implementation of recommendations made by the Review Panels on Compliance and Enforcement and Fire Safety. The Review Panels were formed by the Ministerial Working Group on Building and Fire Safety following failings in the construction of Edinburgh School Buildings and the fire at Grenfell Tower, London.

Remit

The Board’s remit is to strategically advise and direct a broad programme of work aimed at improving the performance, expertise, resilience and sustainability of the Scottish building standards framework and services across Scotland.

The Board is chaired by Aubrey Fawcett. Aubrey is Chief Executive of Inverclyde Council and he also represents the Scottish branch of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE).

Work streams are being taken forward by Building Standards Division, Scottish Government, involving a range of stakeholders from construction industry organisations, professional and public bodies including Scottish Futures Trust, Skills Development Scotland, Universities and local authorities (through Local Authority Building Standards Scotland - LABSS).

The seven work streams are:

Workforce strategy

Facing an ageing workforce as well as lack of re-investment in staff and innovation of the service the principles of the workforce strategy will focus on identifying what is required to underpin a verification service for the future.

Compliance plan

Large complex projects often change during the construction journey. Recent building failures have highlighted the need to ensure that designs, receiving a building warrant, are constructed in accordance with that design (especially the safety critical features). A compliance plan approach for complex and high value public buildings is being explored.

Certification strategy

Re-appointment of current Certification bodies is ongoing and due to be completed by March 2020. A strategy for the future development of certification is being prepared to identify priorities and a range of short, medium and long term actions.

Digital transformation

An eBuilding standards national portal was introduced in 2016. The portal enables the electronic submission of applications for building warrants and other forms, such as completion certificates. This project will explore how digital technology can support and enhance building standards.

Technical strategy

Technical guidance is used to meet building regulations and assist with compliance with the mandatory functional standards. A review on how the Technical Handbooks are developed and communicated is being undertaken. The technical strategy will direct how Scottish Government updates and provides guidance in the future. The technical strategy may encompass more digital options to improve compliance.

Verification standards

A review of the Operating and Performance Frameworks to assist verifiers in assessing their service against requirements is being undertaken. Verification standards will focus on the quality with which verification work is undertaken linking with the skills and experience of verifiers and applicants.

Delivery models 

The current delivery model has the 32 Scottish local authorities appointed as verifiers, covering their own geographical area. The need for a potentially improved and reshaped verification delivery model has been identified, including a review of the need for central hubs of expertise.

Related groups

Members

  • Aubrey Fawcett, Chief Executive, Inverclyde Council, SOLACE (Chair)
  • Dave Aitken, Local Authority Building Standards Scotland (LABSS)
  • Nicola Barclay, Homes for Scotland
  • Craig Ross, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveys (RICS)
  • Ron Fraser, Construction Scotland
  • Robert Nicol, COSLA
  • Peter Reekie, Scottish Futures Trust
  • Mike Foy OBE, Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)
  • Stephen Good, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC)
  • Gordon Nelson, Federation of Master Builders
  • Graham Martin, RIAS
  • Cheryl Cox, Certification Scheme Providers
  • Scottish Government officials