Navigating the Complexities of Compliance

Regulations and oversight for the built environment are undergoing a revolution, and the sector must brace itself for being held accountable where previously, it was not.

Traditional working methods have too often fallen short of delivering what clients, users, and society expect and need. As a result, the government is set to introduce new regulations for the marketing and supply of construction products in Great Britain.

At the heart of this issue, the built environment will need to work together to guarantee construction products are used correctly to fulfil their intended purpose and performance. This will ensure people feel safe and regain trust in their buildings and the industry.

The market surveillance and enforcement regime will be strengthened, meaning compliance will be monitored more vigorously and enforcement action taken where required. New powers will be created that authorise action to be taken where false statements or misleading, inaccurate claims are made about the performance of a construction product. Such powers will be exercised by local Trading Standards and the National Regulator for Construction Products, which will be part of the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS).

The new regime brings about sanctions for non-compliance or suspected non-compliance with construction product requirements. This may include criminal offences, provisions for the prosecution of such criminal offences and provisions granting powers to impose civil sanctions such as fines.

What can manufacturers and businesses do in preparation?

First and foremost, companies should identify if they will be directly affected by the new regime and subsequently recognise which parties within the business will be responsible for ensuring compliance.

Those supplying, marketing, selling and providing technical advice about construction products should be clear and demonstrable when assisting the supply chain in the use of construction products. New approaches should therefore be put in place in preparation for the advancement of market surveillance and test purchases.

One method may be for manufacturers to break new requirements into manageable components and make a plan, or rather a series of plans that address everything the supply chain ought to understand.

Very few products function on a stand-alone basis and or are reserved for a single purpose. Instead, they are almost invariably built into assemblies comprising several other construction products and quite possibly for purposes different from the manufacturer's original intent. Hence, the possibilities of how a construction product might be used are boundless. It is, therefore, vital that a full understanding informs the selection of construction products of how they will perform, individually or in combination with others.

Taking this into consideration, all those responsible for ensuring compliance should recognise and assess the risks of their products according to their intended and likely uses, reduce those risks as far as possible and provide information about any remaining risks. Effectively communicating these findings will become the foundation of competence.

Businesses across the board should publish their finalised plans and intentions, commit to these principles and, as a result, take accountability for their actions onwards.

Considerable work and effort will be required to meet new legal conditions, but more than that, industries should work to put in place the necessary checks and balances themselves.

Without completely recognising construction product competence and its relationship with responsibility and accountability, the industry will inevitably replay previous failures. The industry must demonstrate to the public its recognition of previous shortcomings and take the necessary steps to perform as required.

Businesses are not expected to produce all the plans and answers overnight. But rather, the more important thing is that those responsible for each part of the puzzle take responsibility for it and make a start.

bimstore, as a reliable partner and consultant, can support those liable for meeting the incoming legislative requirements. We build our products to the highest industry standards and provide our users with the most up-to-date technical advice. Manufacturers and specifiers can rest assured that content is built in accordance with the bimstore bible, our single software-specific guide that aligns and exceeds current industry standards.

Our platform of transparency includes manufacturer-approved content that speaks to current and prospective compliance conditions. Related documents, such as product specifications (detailing dimensions, material etc.), safety and instruction manuals, EPDs documents and more, generate trust and assurance in products. bimstore converges these attachments and places them side by side, ensuring compliance and understanding are at the forefront of the selection process.

Are you a manufacturer wanting to learn more about how bimstore increases specification, generates inbound leads and provides expert industry advice? Find out more here

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