Structural Survey

ISSN: 0263-080X

Article publication date: 30 August 2011



(2011), "Newsbriefs", Structural Survey, Vol. 29 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited



Article Type: Editorial From: Structural Survey, Volume 29, Issue 4.

Solid wall insulation

Keywords: Accreditation, Houses, Insulation, Solid Walls

A new initiative involving three leading industry bodies, designed to bring about a major expansion in Solid Wall Insulation (SWI) industry capacity whilst maintaining quality and standards has received the backing of Government. The initiative will support the mass roll out of SWI in the residential market that is needed to help deliver Government climate change targets. The National Insulation Association (NIA), Solid Wall Insulation Guarantee Agency (SWIGA) and the British Board of Agrément (BBA), will be working together in the development of a new independent installer assessment and surveillance scheme for SWI covering external wall insulation, internal wall insulation and hybrid systems (a combination of both external and internal wall insulation installed on the same property). Welcoming the initiative Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker said: “Growth in the Green Economy will play a major role in our economic recovery. Green economic opportunities benefit everyone; they support jobs and growth, defend Britain from the impact of high oil prices and help to limit climate change. British businesses need to be ready to take advantage of the opportunities that initiatives like the Green Deal provide. This partnership is an example of pro-activity which we would like to see mirrored in every sector.”

RICS condition report

Keywords: Condition, Homes, Report

This is a sister report to the Home Buyer Report which gives Chartered Surveyors an alternative service to offer consumers. As core services in the RICS Home Surveys family there are similarities between the HBR and the CR, but with distinct differences between the two. The CR is a basic, objective report which does not include a market valuation, reinstatement cost, or any defect diagnosis or advice – one wonders therefore what the point of it is!

Government boosts demand in the UK self-build sector

Keywords: Houses, Red tape, Self build

Leading self-build site insurance provider Self-Build Zone has welcomed the Government's self-build sector boost. Housing Minister Grant Shapps has called on the country's aspiring self-builders to make a house-building revolution. Self-builders are already Britain's largest house-builder, and account for one-fifth of Britain's new homes each year, but for far too long the aspirations of ordinary people to build their own home have been thwarted by barriers and red tape. Barriers that stand in people's way will be torn down – including a complex and bureaucratic planning system, regulatory burdens, and lack of access to land and finance. A new Community Right to Build will offer communities the chance to give the green light to new developments without the need for specific planning applications. This could be local people working alone to build their own homes, or entire communities coming together to build the homes the area needs.

Leading bodies to promote the professions

Keywords: Campaign, Diversity, Professions, Public

Professions for Good is a public benefit campaign launched in spring 2011 by leading representative bodies in the UK professional service sector. Professions for Good seeks to highlight the collective contribution of the professions to the public interest. Despite being the single most important source of economic output and employment in the UK, the professions’ contribution to the economy and society are often overlooked or misunderstood. Objectives include: engaging with Government, business and the wider public in order to highlight the different ways in which the professions make a beneficial contribution to society and the economy; reasserting the importance of accurate and objective evidence and insight to policy decisions; and promoting greater diversity and social mobility within the professions. The organisations are: Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Bar Council, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Law Society, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Institute of British Architects, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Science Council. These bodies collectively represent more than 750,000 professionals worldwide.

RICS UK housing market survey

Keywords: Homes, Prices, Trends

The latest RICS Housing Market Survey shows widening regional variation in the UK's housing market becoming increasingly noticeable, led by an improvement in London, while large parts of the North, East and Midlands continued to experience a more downbeat picture. Widening regional variation in the UK's housing market became increasingly noticeable, led by an improvement in London, while large parts of the North, East and Midlands continued to experience a more downbeat picture, says the latest RICS UK Housing Market survey. London was the only region to record a positive reading for house prices, with 14 per cent more chartered surveyors reporting prices rose rather than fell. This is in direct contrast to the national picture where 26 per cent more saw prices fall rather than rise. However, although negative, the headline net price balance has now improved for four months in succession and stands at its best level since July last year. Significantly, 12 per cent of respondents, nationally, reported rising prices in February compared with seven per cent in January; this is the highest proportion since June last year. Newly agreed sales – a good indicator of market activity – were most positive in London, the South West, Yorkshire and Humberside and Scotland. Elsewhere, the East of England, East Midlands and Wales experienced particularly negative readings, suggesting a more downbeat picture in those regions.

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