Specialist trades must not be forgotten in the Building Safety Act, TICA warns

Marion Marsland, CEO of TICA.
Marion Marsland, CEO of TICA.

The new building control regime introduced under the Building Safety Act does not begin and end with higher risk buildings, with some fundamental changes applying more broadly, the Thermal Insulation Contractors Association (TICA) has warned.

Addressing the Building Safety Regulator starting its role as the new building control authority for higher risk buildings in October, TICA says the Act’s effect has a much wider impact and includes evidencing that individuals and organisations appointed to undertake work are competent to do so, regardless of building type.

It says there is an inherent understanding that Tier 1 and Tier 2 contractors cannot be experts in every specialist trade required on a construction site. However, Tier 1 and Tier 2 contractors will need to evidence that they understand specialist trade competence and specification compliance, and that they are therefore competent to award contracts to specialist trade contractors.

In many cases the expectations placed upon specialist contractors by the Building Safety Act does not reflect the situation on the ground and the reality facing many TICA members is that they either lose out to a non-spec compliant bid or are encouraged to alter the specification to remain in the race.

TICA explains here what Tier 1 or Tier 2 contractors should consider when appointing a thermal insulation contractor:

  • Compliance with specification (for example, thickness and type of insulation)
  • Correctly Carded Workforce (TICA CSCS Thermal Insulator Card)
  • Evidence of additional training where required, such as a heat network awareness certification for heat network projects.

Build UK chief executive Suzannah Nichol MBE recently emphasised the importance of co-operation, trust and teamwork throughout the supply chain and offered the following analogy: “Just like in a relay race, the baton for building safety needs to be held by someone at all times and properly handed over; if dropped at any point, the team is disqualified. To make it round the track, the team needs to work together, rely on each other, and fine-tune the handover points.”

Marion Marsland, CEO of TICA, added: “The Building Safety Act will generate a huge amount of secondary legislation that specialist contractors must understand. TICA continues to work hard, ensuring our members have the relevant information and knowledge to comply. Our role in specialist ‘Super Sector’ defining our sector competency continues, and we hope to complete this work by the end of 2024.”

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