Scottish Government contacts local authorities ahead of construction restart

THE Scottish Government’s head of building standards division, Stephen Garvin, has written to local authority chief executives on the subject of construction work resuming and site inspections.

Mr Garvin said that he is aware of increased demand for site inspection work and that it is likely that demand will increase as construction activity picks up.

He wrote in the letter, “I understand that building standards verifiers are updating their site inspection protocols and risks assessments to take account of the physical distancing and hygiene measures required. I also understand that LABSS are coordinating sharing of approaches and experience and I would encourage you to take part fully in that activity.

“We would expect local authorities to use the options of remote inspection and/or alternative evidence first where it is appropriate as these routes can help to provide additional capacity as well as reducing health risks. Physical site inspections should be considered where other options are not available or where project risks dictate that they are necessary. We have tried within the guidance to define the scope of where these measures are appropriate.

“In addition, the more that certifiers of construction can be involved, there is the potential to reduce site inspection needs in the areas of warrantable work that can be certified. Certification scheme providers have indicated that there is capacity amongst certifiers in the electrical, and the plumbing and drainage schemes.

“I would stress that you will need to work with applicants so that they understand the options and provide the necessary support.”