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10th September 2019
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Compliance and water efficiency best practice will improve safety in social housing, says BMA
Social housing providers must look for compliance and water efficiency best practice, if there is a dramatic increase in building, in response to the calls for 'millions of new homes' to solve the housing crisis, says BMA CEO Yvonne Orgill.
Yvonne made the comments in response to a report from housing charity Shelter that said 1.2 million homes are needed for families who cannot afford to buy. She warned that failure to take on board the lessons learned from Grenfell could lead to another disaster unless attitudes change.
The Government has said providing fair social housing is a priority and plans to build 250,000 homes by 2022, but this latest report from Shelter says three million new social homes must be built in England over the next 20 years to solve the housing crisis.
"If the building of new homes is to reach this scale then it is imperative that all involved are committed to adhering to current legislation, ensuring that all bathroom products are compliant and installed correctly," says Yvonne.
"Many manufacturers do undertake testing to ensure that their products comply with the law, but some fail to market this fact and others don't bother to do any testing and sell products that, when installed, break the law. At the moment, there is little redress for those that flaunt the law and that is part of the problem. The UK market is flooded with products from shower enclosures, trays and screens and ceramic-ware like toilets, bidets and basins that don't meet the required 'fit for purpose' safety and quality standards.
"We would urge all companies, housebuilders, developers and specifiers, to work alongside the BMA to improve awareness of the importance of sourcing compliant 'fit for purpose' CE marked products.
"We must also take more seriously the issue of saving water in the bathroom, if the number of bathrooms is going to increase. How much water we use in the home is becoming a burning issue, with 22% of all the water used in the home down to toilets and 25% from showers, bathroom are increasingly under the spotlight.
"A study by the Energy Saving Trust estimated that we use 840 billion litres of water each year for showers and flush more than 740 litres down the loo, equating to enough water to fill 300,000 Olympic swimming pools.
"The Unified Water Label provides a clear and simple system to identify water saving products. Choosing products from this database, which are then installed and used correctly, will deliver environmental and cost-saving benefits. Whilst it is a voluntary scheme there are currently 12,500 products and 147 brands already using it.
"Greater support for the Water Label from the housebuilding sector will drive forward much needed change in the industry."
25th January 2019