For the last three months, the CPA has been heavily engaging with members and a wider group of companies in the cladding and insulation sector. We have worked with a sincere desire to answer the Secretary of State's request for the built-environment industry to contribute to a cladding remediation fund. CPA members strongly agree that tenants and homeowners receiving enormous bills for cladding remediation is unacceptable. We have been striving to suggest how we can stop this from happening and informed the Government of those discussions.
Equally, the CPA has been pro-actively working across a wide range of reforms to ensure the future homes to help meet the near-term needs of existing buildings. Both ourselves and our members are fully committed to changing the practices and culture within our sector and the wider construction industry will be just as critical in the longer term.
- Assisted and fully supported Dame Judith Hackitt in her Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, including officials and the Industry Response Group.
- Designed, developed and are now on the eve of launching the Code for Construction Product Information which we believe will prevent misleading marketing information about products produced in future.
- Developed a competence process to raise the bar for all who work with construction products, including architects, builders, and manufacturers.
- Contributed to your team working on the new regulations and supporting Publicly Available Specification (PAS) documents.
- Continued to help across a wide range of activities, be that through the Construction Leadership Council, Building Regulations Advisory Committee, the British Standards Institution, Industry Safety Steering Group, and now with the Office for Product Safety & Standards.
- Developed with others a digital information process to ensure construction product information is reliable, clear, and available to those who need it.
- Worked with colleagues through the CLC in respect of the current insurance issues that affect the whole sector because to process the remediation work, we need solutions in that area.
Despite our considerable effort and numerous lengthy detailed discussions to get actions moving, it has not been possible to gain widespread support to enable the industry to sign up for a voluntary funding scheme.
There are many unknowns even at this stage, many highlighted by the recent Select Committee report:
- The number of dwellings affected is unknown thereby the level of work for each is unknown.
- The Government's focus has been on cladding and insulation to ensure homeowners and occupants are truly safe all aspects of building safety need to be considered.
- The need for a robust and trustworthy assessment of each dwelling to an agreed standard
- An agreement in the financial sector that once works are completed, normal market valuations will return.
These are among the significant issues creating uncertainty and concern over who and how any fund could be established and maintained.
While the housebuilders have been in similar discussions their direct connectivity with their buildings is far more manageable than that for product manufacturers that will be at the end of a long supply chain. In addition, product manufacturers will be involved in the developer’s remediation programme as they call on their supply chain.
Though product manufacturers remain concerned about the quality of evidence showing unsafe situations, they are also concerned over the lack of detail and focus on ensuring remediation is addressed where it is needed.
Several companies have come forward to assist in the remediation process. It has also been acknowledged by several product manufacturers that where products they have produced are found to be at fault, they will replace them at their own cost.
We continue to offer our assistance in ensuring industry and Government are working together to make all homes robustly safe.