The final as-built check is often the most difficult part of any certification process. This is often the point at which any changes from design stage certification come to light with the additional complication of short timescales and commercial pressures during the handover process. The difficulty assessors face is that the required documentation needs to be in place prior to certification.
Planning conditions often require final certification to be in place before handover. This is unrealistic in many cases and we have to provide a “letter of comfort” to discharge the planning condition ahead of final certification.
To get around these issues:
- Plan ahead. Completion activities including air-tightness testing and EPC production need to be programmed. We have noticed that site time constraints also complicate the sound testing that is being carried out at the same time as construction activities which contribute to more negative test results from increased background noise. To reduce any delays, our advice would be to ensure that any final requirements are clearly thought-out through a well-considered programme.
- Where possible check and provide available documentation well ahead of completion. We think that a quick check at 6 weeks before completion provides a very useful milestone and allows us to take the pressure off many of the final completion checks. However items such as drying lines, recycling bins and water butts are often not installed for practical reasons. This creates an issue for the assessor during Site Inspection as substantial evidence cannot be gathered that is needed to complete the Post Construction Report.
Information is therefore left outstanding until it can be provided through other means, tending to prolong the completion of reports. Items that need to be installed at a later stage of the construction should be stored safely and securely on site for the assessor to gather as much evidence as they can as confirmation that they are to be compliantly installed.
- Don’t leave it all till the end in the hope that everything will work out. We are seeing too many cases where expensive remedial action has to be done to meet the required standards. This can be very expensive.
Posted on October 1st, 2013
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