Materials Costs Rise & More News

by Rebecca Foster
13th September 2016

Materials costs on the rise

The price of materials has been growing for the last two years as a result of increased demand for new construction projects, according to the Federation of Master Builders’ State of Trade Results for the second quarter of 2016.

The effect of these mounting prices could now be exacerbated by the weakening pound, following the Brexit vote. But self-builders looking to create their own dream home tend to be less susceptible to market forces. See Mike Hardwick’s blog for more information.

Eco energy

19% of England’s total electricity demand is now supplied by renewable power, according to a recent report published by Regen SW. However, the research shows that renewable heating lags behind, fulfilling only 3% of the demand for households across the country.

Slower progress in this sector means that only 5% of England’s total energy consumption is delivered by these devices. The data also suggests that recent policy changes have hindered the uptake of renewable tech.

New housing minister appointed

Gavin Barwell MP has been named as the housing minister in Theresa May’s newly-formed cabinet. “I look forward to working with councils, housing associations, developers, investors and local communities to make sure we build the homes we need,” Barwell said in a post on his website.

He has previously worked as a government whip and comptroller of HM household. Build It hopes he will be able to continue the work of his predecessor, Brandon Lewis, in promoting the cause of self and custom builders throughout the UK.

RIBA sets out action plan to tackle housing crisis

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has published a document recommending policies for the government to address the housing crisis. “Everyone has the right to live in a well-designed, sustainable, affordable home – we must work together to realise new solutions to make this a reality for the majority,” says RIBA president Jane Duncan, who also sits on the judging panel for the Build It Awards.

The report recognises the value of innovative self and custom builds as key contributors to housing delivery, and the importance of the recently-passed Housing & Planning Act in addressing barriers to finding plots for new projects. It also suggests that councils should be provided with additional resources to help them identify the land needed to fulfill demand evidenced by their custom build registers.

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