Quality Assurance

New Quality Assurance System Aims to Improve Building Standards

This will make buildings safer and more reliable for everyone.

SMEBROctober 28, 22:10
New Quality Assurance System Aims to Improve Building Standards

The Netherlands is updating how it oversees construction quality for low-risk buildings. Starting in 2024, the government will privatize some supervision under a new law called the Environment and Planning Act.

Right now, local officials review and approve building plans before work starts. They also check compliance during construction. But finished buildings sometimes don't meet all the rules.

With the new system, private "quality assurance officers" will handle supervision instead. Builders will hire these independent inspectors to review projects. This applies first to ground-level homes and shops under two floors. 

The change aims to make builders more accountable and focus on finished build quality. Having private inspectors should increase capacity and expertise too.

When a construction project requires a building permit, the person in charge must submit a notice of construction to the authorities. This notice includes information about the quality assurance officer and the plan for ensuring quality. It's important to assess potential risks and have a plan in place to address them.

During the construction process, the quality assurance officer will make sure that the building meets the required standards. If any issues or non-compliance are found, the officer will warn the contractor and the person in charge of the project. If the problem persists, the authorities will be informed so that appropriate action can be taken.

Once the construction is complete, the quality assurance officer will declare to the authorities that the building meets the technical standards. This declaration is part of the notice of completion. However, if the building doesn't meet the requirements, the declaration cannot be issued, and the building cannot be used.

It's important to note that the new system only covers the public-law aspect of construction supervision. Private-law aspects, such as liability for faults and defects, will still be governed by the Civil Code.

Critics worry privatizing supervision could weaken enforcement and safety. But supporters argue oversight improves by relying less on pre-approvals and more on finished quality.

The Environment and Planning Act will bring changes to construction supervision in the Netherlands. By involving private companies and implementing preventive measures, the aim is to improve building quality and ensure compliance with regulations. 

Overall, the Netherlands aims to modernize and strengthen building oversight. Though not without risks, independent inspectors could improve quality and accountability.

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