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What changes can the construction sector expect in 2018?

Construction / 17 January 2018

Cash Retentions Bill
You may recall from our previous article in November (which can be found here) that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy announced a consultation to investigate the common use of cash retention in construction contracts. Whilst this consultation is not due to close until 19 January 2018, a Cash Retentions Bill has been laid before Parliament which aims to amend the Construction Act 1996 to ensure that retentions are held in a third-party trust scheme.  The Bill has its first reading at some point in January 2018 so we will follow up on this further in due course.

Construction Industry Advisory Network (CONIAN)
The HSE has launched a new “stakeholder network” aimed at sharing best practice within the construction sector, and to provide support to those that need to improve health and safety performance.  This will run alongside the Help Great Britain Work Well strategy to change behaviours and provide organisations with advice on how to manage construction risks.  More information can be found on the HSE’s website here.

Pre-Action Protocol for Construction and Engineering Disputes
Having come into force in November 2016, the Civil Procedure Rule Committee has announced that the review of this Pre-Action Protocol will now take place after February 2018.  Watch this space…

Construction Skills Shortage
This issue was tackled in the Autumn 2017 Budget with the suggestion of various measures to address the shortage including:

  • The National Retraining Partnership focusing in particular on construction skills;
  • £204 million of funding for innovation and skills in the construction sector, to focus on building new homes;
  • A new “Construction Sector Deal” aiming to support innovation and skills through investment.

We hope to hear more about these measures during 2018.

Grenfell Tower and Building Regulations
The Grenfell Tower fire on 14 June 2017 showed the inadequacies of the Building Regulations 2010, and its relevance to high rise buildings where a local authority both owns the building and is the building control body.  An independent review has since been set up alongside the public inquiry, with its final report due by spring 2018. Please see a copy of the interim report here.

The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) was launched back in 1990. An industry working group has now been set up to develop a merger with the Civil Engineering Environmental Quality Assessment and Award Scheme (CEEQUAL) to devise a new set of joint standards.  These are due to be released in early 2018.

Whole-life carbon assessment

RICS’ Whole-life carbon assessment for the built environment, 1st edition, becomes mandatory for use by its members on 1 May 2018.  This will require RICS members to assess carbon emissions from construction projects and will be applied to the built environment, including infrastructure.

We will continue to keep you up to date with any key developments in the construction sector in 2018.

In the meantime, if you have any construction queries arising out of the above, or any other issues you would like to discuss, please do get in touch.


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This update is for general purposes and guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should seek legal advice before relying on its content. This update relates to the prevailing circumstances at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments. If you have general queries about our updates, please email:

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