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South and Vale Building Control Service Awarded Quality Mark

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils’ building control service has been awarded the quality mark ISO 9001 for their provision of public sector building control and public protection services.

Building control is a service that checks that structures and buildings are constructed or modified to meet Building Regulations standards to make sure that the minimum standards to protect people’s safety, health and welfare in and around buildings can be achieved.

Building control surveyors help to keep construction quality high by providing independent checks at key stages of a building project. They assist homeowners, builders, contractors and everyone else involved in a building project to deliver the long-term safety, accessibility and performance that’s required in properties built to a high standard. This can also help to protect people from ‘cowboy builders’ and unsafe practices.

The councils’ joint team, SouthVale Building Control, has 15 building control specialists and surveyors who collaborate with local residents and businesses throughout any building work or construction process to help them comply with any necessary building control requirements. An important part of their work is to help improve energy efficiency, protect and enhance the environment and promote sustainable development.

Cllr Anne-Marie Simpson, South Oxfordshire Cabinet Member for Planning said: “This quality mark is a fantastic achievement for our building control team and demonstrates our commitment to providing a quality service for residents. Ensuring the safety of all building work, whether on our homes, public buildings or commercial properties is a vital role for the communities we serve.”

Cllr Bethia Thomas, Vale of the White Horse Cabinet Member for Community Engagement said: “One of our corporate priorities is tackling climate change, and our team advises on how to make buildings more sustainable and eco-friendly, save energy and use environmentally-friendly materials and construction practices.”

SouthVale Building Control also work with architects, builders, contractors and other trades people, developers and landlords on a wide range of building projects.

Developers in Vale are tackling climate change in a positive way and a great example of this was a recent development of five highly energy efficient new homes in Frilford  – they achieved uplifts on energy efficiency performance of up to 46% more than current building regulation standards require. 

In Cholsey recently the team oversaw the construction of the Bloom Buildings development – the construction of five dwellings for compliance with The Building Regulations and saw the project through from its foundations to completion. This particular build achieved impressive air test results upon pre-completion testing which helps to meet energy efficiency requirements.

As well as managing large-scale projects, during the lockdowns the councils’ building control team has seen an increase in the number of people making home improvements to create more space from small and larger extensions, loft conversions, garage conversions to creating home office spaces in back gardens.