Foundation work for homes surges to beat stricter Part L regs

Aaron Morby 1 month ago
Share

House builders are racing to get foundations laid on sites so plots can be registered as housing starts to beat more stringent part L building regulations requirements on builds.

Race is on to get plots registered as starts before June 2023 deadline
Race is on to get plots registered as starts before June 2023 deadline

Evidence of the sudden surge in foundation work activity is being seen by construction materials suppliers. They are reporting increased sales above seasonally expectations.

The new Building Regulations covering energy performance of new buildings came into force this June. But house builders have been given a grace period where stricter part L requirements will not apply to homes started before June 2023.

This has fuelled the race to construct foundation slabs for new homes, which allows plots to be registered as starts.

One source told the Enquirer: “House builders are quite blatantly focusing on foundations before next summer’s deadline for builds to reduce carbon emissions by 31%.

“On one site I was on a Bellway site manager pointed to a row of concrete slabs saying we are getting our ducks in a row ahead of the new Building Regulations.”

In the latest construction product availability report by the Construction Leadership Council, aircrete block manufacturers are said to be reporting strong sales of foundation blocks.

Historically this leads to increased sales of above ground blocks 4-6 weeks later.

“This year there is less correlation, and the increased below ground activity is likely due to builders seeking to get new starts registered before changes in Part L regulations next June,” said John Newcomb, CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation.

Pre-cast concrete pile and ground beam manufacturers are also seeing increased activity, above the level of predicted seasonally starts.

The surge in foundation work comes at a time when construction activity is showing the first signs of softening in house and commercial building.

According to the latest product availability report as the industry moves into the fourth quarter of 2022, all regions are reporting the best product availability in two years, both in the range and volume of products available and delivery/lead times.

Availability of bricks has significantly improved. And softening demand has led overall product price inflation to moderate slightly, dropping from 25% to around 17%.

Nonetheless, concerns remain over inflation tied to energy costs for manufacturers, despite the Energy Bill Relief Scheme announced by government last month.

Energy intensive products such as bricks, blocks, glass, steel, cement and ceramics that have already seen sustained price increases are already announcing further increases from January.

Timber prices have fallen amid extensive restocking of standard softwood sizes.  There are, however, gaps in speciality markets such as birch plywood, which is affected by sanctions against goods from Russia.

The report warns that firms sourcing birch plywood should request full due diligence documentation to ensure it is legally sourced from Finland and Latvia.

It said: “We are aware of cheap birch plywood coming from China and Vietnam, where there are no birch forests, and is likely sourced from Russia.  Russian birch logs processed elsewhere cannot be legally sold in the UK.”

Latest news

Worker killed on £683m waste power plant site

Fatal collision involving heavy good vehicle on giant north London site
40 mins ago

Go-ahead for £200m lithium refinery on Teesside

Work to start next year on Europe's first lithium hydroxide processing plant
15 hours ago

HS2 agency workers paid the wrong wages

Payroll software problems leave workers out of pocket
16 hours ago

Electric car whizz joins O’Rourke

Contractor looking to learn tech lessons from other sectors
15 hours ago

Electrical contractors still confident despite staff shortages

Order books healthy but worries grow over margins
13 hours ago

BAM to deliver £44m Yeovil College campus build

BAM will submit a planning application next month to start work later next year
17 hours ago

Bouygues starts London 700-home council estate rebuild

Developer Linkcity seals financial close on Old Kent Road Tustin Estate job
16 hours ago

Construction’s “Leading Lights” recognised

Full details of latest winners of Considerate Constructor Scheme's latest awards
16 hours ago

ISG wins £600m Hertfordshire Hollywood film studio job

Holywood studio Sunset awards pre-construction contract for 90-acre studio complex in Broxbourne
4 days ago

NAO calls for road programme cuts as costs soar

Public spending watchdog calls for roads programme review amid project delays and cost overruns
4 days ago

Kier hires Laing O’Rourke veteran for London office push

Gus Wright takes up new London regional director role in January
4 days ago

VolkerFitzpatrick lands starring role on £174m film studios

Contractor to start main works on Eastbrook Studios in Dagenham
4 days ago

Wates poaches Balfour director to lead North West operation

Sarah Cooke to lead Wates Construction in the North West
4 days ago

£3.4bn Sellafield infrastructure race delayed to New Year

Contest to start in January for four partners in infrastructure delivery shake-up
4 days ago

Rebuilt TBM launches into second HS2 tunnel drive

Balfour Beatty Vinci TBM Dorothy starts second Long Itchingwood HS2 drive
5 days ago

Materials lead times back to pre-pandemic levels

Pinch points around gas boilers to persist until mid-2023 because of shortages of semiconductors
5 days ago

Bond strength helps TClarke towards £500m turnover target

Building services giant predicting a record year in 2023
5 days ago

All-clear for £125m Guildford Debenhams redevelopment

Native Land's St. Mary’s Wharf will comprise 185 homes
5 days ago

Thompsons brings down historic Redcar blast furnace – video

Redcar demolition clears the way for new net zero future
5 days ago

Wolverhampton picks McLaughlin & Harvey for £50m learning campus

Main construction to start next spring on City Learning Quarter
5 days ago

Michelmersh buys offsite brick cladding and chimney maker

Pre-built brick products producer Fabspeed sold for over £6m
5 days ago

Pagabo acquires mental health monitoring business

Framework giant makes move after Moodbeam goes into liquidation
5 days ago

Green light for London timber office block

Construction to start next year on six-storey cross-laminated timber block
6 days ago

Government pushes ahead with £3bn building safety levy plan

Affordable homes projects and small schemes developed by SMEs will be exempted
6 days ago

Rejigged £340m Museum of London plan approved

McAlpine tipped to take £340m job for new museum at Smithfield market
6 days ago

Ex-construction minister joins cladding repair firm

Intelligent FS appoints Lord Richard Harrington after government contracts send turnover surging
6 days ago

Willmott Dixon limbers up for £18m Rainham sports centre

Work to start in April on New Splashes Sports Centre in Rainham
6 days ago

Plans in for BBC’s new home in Birmingham

Project will be one of the first net zero carbon in construction office buildings
6 days ago

McLaughlin & Harvey wins Lowestoft harbour design

Lowestoft Eastern Energy Facility is expected to cost around £25m to build
7 days ago

Van Elle first-half revenue hits record £81m

Piling specialist upgrades full-year profit forecast after strong first-half trading
7 days ago

Contractor services