Facebook - Birmingham Business Twitter - Birmingham Business Instagram - Birmingham Business
https://www.networktelecom.co.uk/nt-multimedia https://edgbaston.com

Warning over flat pack homes

Purchasers of so-called ‘flat pack’ homes aimed at easing the country’s chronic housing shortage run the risk of buying units that could contain unidentified defects, warns specialist development lawyer Zoe Stollard.

Zoe says the UK’s standard JCT Design and Build building contract fails to provide sufficient rights for a modular housing employer to issue instructions requiring a contractor to open up for inspection.

“While flat-pack homes, and modular housing generally, is a great idea, it doesn’t mean you should necessarily buy an ‘off the peg’ contract as well,” said Zoe, a construction team partner for law firm Clarke Willmott who have offices in Birmingham.

“The Design and Build contract – like most other traditional building contracts – is designed for construction projects where the contractor carries out both the design and the construction work. However, off-site fabrication is a very different thing.

“It eliminates the employer’s ability to quality control at the factory during fabrication, and also the ability to check safe storage as incorrect storage solutions often contribute to defects later on.”

Potential faults could include external cladding that fails to meet UK-specific planning or health and safety requirements; and mechanical and electrical service connections to interface with the on-site elements on installation.

“One of the main advantages of modular builds is the materials are put together off-site,” said Zoe. “This significantly reduces the on-site construction period and decreases health and safety risks normally associated with construction sites.

“However, off-site fabrication is a very different thing and requires some careful consideration to make the project not only legally robust, but also insurable and bankable. Without bespoke legal amendments that clearly express a right to inspect the construction phase taking place off-site, clients run the risk of installing pre-fabricated units which may contain unidentified defects.

“Even where the factory is run by a group company of the developer, there are still practical issues at stake where the build is not taking place on site. The designs, tests and inspections all need to be more detailed to make it work.”

Pictured: Zoe Stollard of Clarke Willmott


Derelict pub site will be transformed

Plan will create 22 new affordable homes

7th October 2020

Construction expert appointed by law firm

Lawyer with almost 20 years' experience in the sector joins growing team

16th August 2019

Charity boost for city foundation

Law firm raises £3k at annual quiz night

13th February 2019

Housing developer is re-accredited

Thirteen is the lucky number for Birmingham-based firm

10th February 2020

Deadline on food labelling looms

Changes required as EU trading rules change

27th November 2020

Interior design specialists secure new projects

Consultancy continues to expand with new contracts worth more than £15 million

22nd March 2021

New partner joins law firm

Clarke Willmott bolsters commercial property team

12th February 2019

Retirement living apartments on the way

Charity secures funding to provide new accommodation

31st March 2021

Work complete on new neighbourhood centre

Multi-million pound project creates four mixed-use apartment buildings

12th May 2021

HS2 hosts online meet and greet

Potential suppliers learn more about project

10th November 2020

Four new recruits join thriving team

Design practice welcomes new faces after business grows

29th April 2021

Solicitors assess firm's social impact

Advice on funding deals for new homes and 90 new charities set up

14th February 2020

Barberry will deliver manufacturing site

Company chosen as preferred developer

14th October 2020

Residential architects open new studio

City move follows record-breaking month

5th March 2021

Law firm hosts business lunch

Mayor guest speaker at Clarke Willmott in Edmund Street

23rd April 2019