The renaissance of Building Control

Post–recession, the building industry has begun a return to rapid growth against a background of changes in building regulations, continuing technical innovation, and raised standards and expectations for developers. Building Control (the process of ensuring that buildings are safe, healthy and efficient to meet the standards set by the building regulations) is a key component in this resurgence and it’s no surprise that the Local Authority Building Control technical meeting at Nottingham University scheduled for 23 and 24 March has a packed programme and is entirely sold out.

With over 3,000 professionals working in the field and faced with competition from private service providers, Local Authorities are coming together to make infrastructure investments that will improve services and ultimately reduce costs.  A good example is the North Yorkshire Building Control Partnership formed in 2001 and now grown to provide services for five authorities.  Latest figures from NYBCP show savings of over £1m annually through this scalable and flexible shared-service platform.

The programme behind this required vision and commitment to deliver and involved hosting arrangements for a new single system, local network and IT services with support, and data migration from five legacy systems.  A case study published by NYBCP describes the programme in detail.

And the key metrics:

  • £1M reduction in salary costs
  • 55% of all applications are born digital or received digitally
  • Major reduction in processing costs
  • Remote access and remote working for stakeholders and officers
  • Improved customer service delivery as administrators are able to validate and process applications within 3 – 5 minutes

A last word to Les Chapman, NYBCP Head of Building Control, who commented, “By adopting a no compromise approach and having clear goals which have been carefully monitored I am confident that we have improved our service, significantly reduced our costs and we have de-risked the provision and maintenance of our IT systems.”

By Alan Gillies, Idox

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