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In control of your building work

Unless you're an architect or builder or have had building work carried out on your property in the last 14 months, you're probably not aware of the major changes that have taken place recently in the provision of Building Control service in Hertfordshire.

Seven out of the 10 Hertfordshire councils including East Herts have set up a new company called Hertfordshire Building Control. It covers the basic role of checking designs and inspecting work to ensure conformity with Building Regulations.

But that's not all it does; the economies of scale and additional resources brought about by the merger have enabled it to be greatly enhanced with a range of additional services.

Dangerous structures 

That includes 24/7 cover to deal with emergency dangerous structures, design and supervision of home improvements for people with disabilities plus a menu of other construction related activities. Examples of these are air leakage and sound testing for buildings, SAP energy performance calculations and warranties to assist property owners, builders, developers and architects.

Before the merger, recruiting suitably qualified and experienced surveyors had been increasingly difficult but the greater size of the new organisation makes it far more attractive to work for.

Managing director Simon Heywood said: "All the improvements we've made are in line with the company ethos which is to help our customers by leading the compliance process and to do that in a way that is honest, respectful and responsive."

Get advice 

If you're planning a building project and need advice on Building Control or the Building Regulations then why not check www.hertfordshirebc.co.uk or call 01438 879990.

That change has resulted in the formation of three area teams; A1, A10 and M25, each led by a manager and deputy and covering the districts around the roads after which they are named. The majority of work in East Herts District is covered by the A10 team.

As a company that's wholly owned by the seven councils, it doesn't look to make a profit. Any financial surpluses are returned to the councils to be used to the benefit of their communities; so in effect the residents have a genuine stake in its commercial success.