Remote support in building control: how to take back control in challenging times
4 mins read
It’s safe to say that the world is in a state of flux right now.
Despite being faced with uncertainty and change, businesses are doing all they can to make the best of things.
Like me, you’ve probably come across a wealth of stories in the news about how different types of organisations are adapting. From universities to gyms, everyone’s learning to deal with new obstacles – and finding new ways to provide the best possible service for customers.
And, like me, you’re probably trying to figure out what these new challenges mean for local authority Building Control services. Because, of course, you’re used to travelling around to buildings and sites. Meeting people face-to-face to assess information and situations. Making decisions in person. And relying on your team to deal with workloads accordingly.
So now that travel’s limited …
… and you can’t always meet customers and gain access to inspect sites…
… and your people are working from home…
… what’s your best option?
The answer is: delivering your services remotely.
Fortunately, there are many different channels that Building Control Inspectors can use to do just that. With the exception of inspection information and some specialist data, almost all of the facts and figures you deal with are available digitally. Living in a paperless world makes it quick and simple for you to find, use and share information, progress through processes, make decisions and get hands on deck when you need them. In addition, you can use photography and videography to get applications and assessments moving forward. And continue to support customers across phone and email.
However, using these channels to effectively achieve your aims can be a complex and demanding endeavour. That’s because you’re statutorily required to continue providing your service across a number of functions. Namely, receiving and administering Building Regulations applications. Checking plans. Inspecting statutory stages of work. And dealing with dangerous buildings and structures to keep the public safe. What’s more, the government has recently ruled that remediation of buildings with unsafe cladding is critical, and can continue during the coronavirus crisis. You may therefore need to provide support in this area too.
All of which makes your remote requirements a lot more complex than, say, a university professor looking to lead a seminar, or a gym PT hoping to cheer on a client. But complex needn’t equal impossible. Providing exceptional Building Control support to citizens and businesses is still possible when you have the right IT, expertise and capacity in place.
But what if, like many public sector organisations , you don’t have exactly what you need to face the challenges of today? Well, if you don’t have the right IT capabilities in place, your Building Control Inspectors might be struggling to do their jobs remotely.
And if you don’t have adequate capacity and expertise, you might be finding it hard to keep up with incoming demands. At Capita, we’ve been supporting local authority Building Control services with expertise, capacity and capabilities for over 15 years. All from our Planning and Building Control hubs across the UK.
Historically, we’ve helped you deliver your services remotely and on site. However, in light of recent challenges, we’ve put a fresh focus on how we can best provide relevant, remote support. As such, we offer a number of off-site services, but are still visiting sites when we need to inspect dangerous buildings and ensure public safety. In addition, we’re conducting in-person inspections when virtual information is not enough. We’re also following strict risk assessment processes before agreeing to attend sites. And making sure that the appropriate safeguards are in place when we do.
These measures mean we can continue assisting local authorities with everything from checking plans to clearing application backlogs. From carrying out virtual inspections to assessing fire risks. And from answering general enquiries to advising on complex enforcement cases. (If you’d like to see the full list, there’s one at the end of this article.)
Whatever the requirement – be it for a day or a year – we can provide capacity and expertise when and how local authorities need it. Of course, this support might only be required on a temporary basis. That’s why we offer complete flexibility, with clients able to switch our service on and off immediately.
What’s more, our service can be procured through public frameworks (or our standard Terms and Conditions), and tailored to suit different budgets. We’re ISO 9001 accredited and have worked with local authorities for many years. This means we’re familiar with all the relevant software and procedures, and can start adding value immediately.
So, while we’re living in uncertain times, it is possible to provide your Building Control service remotely, remain effective and take back control.
Our remote services in full:
- Pre-application advice
- Plan checking
- Full Plan and Building Notice application validations
- Structural design assessments for simple and complex projects
- Fire Risk Assessments
- Fire Engineering analysis
- Energy Assessments – SAP, SBEM and EPC
- Practitioner-led service reviews (health checks)
- Legal enforcement dispute and resolution
- Building Control administration
- General advice and technical queries
Director of Building Control
Patrick is a Chartered Building Control professional with over 25 years’ experience in the professional construction industry across the private and public sector. Patrick has worked 17 of those years in Building Control, in various technical and managerial roles, managing services and operations. He has therefore developed an extensive understanding and knowledge of the Building Control market.