Government responds to NIC's reports

The government has published its official responses to the National Infrastructure Commission's (NIC) three reports:

  • High Speed North, which covered transport needs in the North of England, aiming to deliver improvements in east-west links, including across the Pennines (find the government response here)
  • Transport for a world city, which considered London's transport needs, in particular Crossrail 2 (find the government response here)
  • Smart Power, which aims to save consumers up to GBP 8 billion a year by 2030 and help the UK meet its 2050 carbon targets (find the government response here)

The government accepted the recommendations of the NIC reports in its 2016 Budget. These responses provide some information on how those recommendations will be implemented, although they do not appear to commit any additional funding beyond what has already been announced.

National BIM Report 2016

The National Building Specification (NBS) has published its National BIM Report 2016. The report is based on a survey of building information modelling (BIM) adoption in the UK. Findings include:

  • 54% of respondents were aware of BIM and using it in at least some of their projects, with a further 42% at least aware of BIM
  • 86% of respondents expected to be using BIM within a year and 97% expected to use it within five years
  • 65% of respondents believed that BIM is not yet sufficiently standardised

The report also highlights the launch of an EU BIM Task Group, which aims to "normalise the use and specification of BIM by European public clients and policy makers".

Building Regulations changes

Approved Document L (Conservation of Fuel and Power) has been updated to reflect the changes to the Building Regulations made by the Building Regulations &c. (Amendment) Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/285), which came into force on 6 April 2016.

The updated Approved Document reflects the fact that requirements relating to energy performance certificates for new and converted buildings are no longer part of the Building Regulations regime. (They were consolidated into the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/3118) by the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/284).)

The Building (Amendment) Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/490) have been laid before Parliament and come into force on 9 May 2016, amending the Building Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/2214).

The amendments:

  • Require new construction and major renovation works to provide in-building physical infrastructure (such as ducts and distribution services) to enable broadband services to be easily connected to the building
  • Introduce a new Approved Document, R1 (In-Building Physical Infrastructure)

The changes implement Article 8 of the EU Broadband Cost Reduction Directive (2014/61/EU), following a consultation exercise that began in November 2015. There are transitional provisions for works notified to a local authority before 1 January 2017.