Brexit: What could it mean for the construction industry?
14 Mar 2019
It’s going to be interesting to see how the rest of March plays out this year.
At Energist we’re used to seeing a spike in requests for final documentation, such as Energy Performance Certificates, at this time of year as developers prepare themselves for the end-of-financial-year rush. The more dwellings that are signed off and sold before the end of the year, the better it looks on the profit sheets and the better it looks on the Government’s own housing data.
But this year the usual spike is going to coincide with Brexit (scheduled for 29 March 2019, at time of writing). Could developers decide it’s more beneficial to slow down or bring sites to a halt until the dust settles?
We can confirm it’s business as usual at Energist HQ regardless of what the politics of March throws at us. So if you want to receive your EPCs and As Built documents before the start of April, we’ll be available to help. Remember we offer a same-day service for providing EPCs and Air Leakage Test reports, so our speed of service is certainly something you won’t need to worry about.
Thinking of the bigger picture, even the best political minds aren’t able to predict with any certainty what’s going to happen from April onwards, so we’re not going to try either.
However, if you believe what you read, the UK could find itself with a shortage of imported building materials and we may end up with a shortage of trained workers to build our homes in the immediate aftermath of Brexit. On the flip side, the Government continues to chase after its own aspirations of building 300,000 new homes a year and is sure to find resources to fix these supply issues if the number of new homes being completed starts to dip.
What we do know for certain is that planning requirements and building regulations aren’t going to change overnight, so there won’t be any disruption when it comes to offering our services to the construction industry.
We are expecting an announcement in the coming weeks that will give us our first glimpse into proposed changes to Approved Document Part L in England – well overdue changes many would say. The actual changes are likely to still be a year down the line and hopefully the finer points of Brexit will have been ironed out by then!
Part L is likely to be the first post-Brexit revision to Building Regulations, so it will be interesting to see which path the Government takes once it is untied from EU-wide commitments to improving energy efficiency in our homes.
Another document currently on the drawing board is the Greater London Authority’s London Plan. The draft document included some big changes, such as tighter requirements on checking new developments for summer overheating risks and introducing the idea of Life Cycle Assessments – currently only a requirement on sites going through BREEAM.
It’s likely the GLA will wait for the release of the Part L draft before publishing further details about how the London planning system is going to change from next year.
Whatever happens over the coming months, we’re committed to providing our clients with our usual reliable, trusted and quick service. If, or when, there are fresh announcements about changes to the building regulations, we’ll add new articles to this site. In the meantime, feel free to contact our team to discuss how we can help you with your next development.