EP 110

Beyond the Headlines: The Impact of Value Engineering on the Grenfell Disaster. (EP 110)



This week, Paul is joined by Samantha Mepham, Partner - National Head of Health and Safety Services at Rider Levett Bucknall, a global Quantity Surveying and Construction consultancy.

In this thought-provoking and informative episode, Samantha first explains how the Building Safety Act will impact contractors and what they should do to adapt to the legislation.

Beyond this, the conversation turns to the Grenfell disaster and how value engineering played a big part in the tragedy. From this, we talk about what Quantity Surveyors and procurement professionals should learn from this in the context of value engineering.

A truly valuable listen for construction professionals at contractors. 


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Paul Heming: Hello, and welcome to episode 110 of the Own the Build Podcast with me, Paul Heming. Before we start, just a reminder that we are doing a bit of a giveaway for our loyal own the builders. And in the podcast description today, much like last week, you will find links to three free resources, which we wanted to share with you. There’s a vesting certificate template, an extension of time template, and my very own clause by clause guide to the JCT DMB contract. You lucky devils. I know you’re already thinking about rush over and downloading that. Thank you to everyone who’s already done so and give me some feedback, really, really cool. In the studio today onto today’s show, we have got Samantha Mepham, who is partner and National Head of Health and Safety Services at Rider Levett Bucknall, who are a global quantity surveying and construction consultancy, who we’ve already had a few star guests from in the past. How are you today, Samantha? Welcome to the show.

Samantha Mepham: Thank you very much. I am very well, thank you very much.

Paul Heming: Where is that accent from, Samantha?

Samantha Mepham: So the accent is – well, I do know where it’s from. 

Paul Heming: I was going to say –

Samantha Mepham: Yeah, it’s definitely north. I’m just north of Manchester, but between Wiggin and Warrington. But my mom is from Surrey.

Paul Heming: Wow. So that is a complex and complicated.

Samantha Mepham: It is. Dad from Salford. I don’t say Samantha, she still does, but my children –

Paul Heming: Really? 

Samantha Mepham: Some of it, yes. But yeah, it’s northwest.

Paul Heming: I was going to say northwest, but you know, I was going to go somewhere in the northwest. I’m going to take that. I definitely wouldn’t have had any Surrey in there, but I do like the accent nonetheless. So I have grounded the conversation by explaining your current role and what you do, but you can do a far better job than I can. Samantha, tell us about your journey in construction, your experience and your role today.

Samantha Mepham: So in terms of construction, I think it’s about 16 years. That’s made me a bit sad to work that out the other day. So 16 years in construction, which I kind of fell into really because I’d done –

Paul Heming: Much like me.

Samantha Mepham: I’d done a few years in health and safety and a good eight years in public sector, being a civil servant in police training. That’s how I kind of got into health and safety. But yeah, I think after one role, I got offered an interview for a consultancy very similar to RLB and yeah, that’s when it started. And I started to specialize more into construction, health and safety and CDM and started with RLB in 2015. So just on the cusp of the CDM, the latest CDM change. And yeah, in the last seven and a half years, kind of worked around the northwest region growing the team here. We’ve got an amazing team of 11 in the northwest. And then more recently took on the National Head of Health and Safety Services and that’s a national team of around 40 consultants.

Paul Heming: So you are getting some Surrey accents as well as the Northwest?

Samantha Mepham: Well, I do try. Maybe, we’ll try Bristol as well, at some point.

Paul Heming: Fantastic, fantastic. So talk to me about, I’m always a bit intrigued, but what was life like? I know this is a bit off topic, but here we go. What is life like as a civil servant?

Samantha Mepham: Oh, you know what, as my mom would say, they get good pensions. As a civil servant, so bear in mind I started there at 19, just 19 and it was a police training center and I was probably very spoiled. In that, it was maintained grounds, very protected, you know, had to go through gates, get in. It was a very nice place to grow up, I think. And it was very varied. I think one of my first jobs was giving out fake guns and drugs to police officers because they had to role play to practice arresting people. But I progressed into the criminal justice unit, which is where they practice writing statements and producing case files. So we had to study law and I thought, oh, I like that law. And so when it closed, I was heading up that team and yeah, so that’s like, kind of fell in love with law because like the detail. But yeah, civil service was nice. Not paid very well, but the pension. Still got it.

Paul Heming: Yeah. Happy days. So you told me actually something which kind of stuck with me when we first chatted, you said, you know, I was a civil servant. You kind of just touched on it a bit there about falling a little bit in love with the law, but you actually said this and it stopped with me. Because I thought, I wonder what she means by that. What’s the difference? You said, I love legislation, but I hate contract law. And I wanted to know kind of, and particularly there’s lots of QS’s listening, you work for a QS practice. What’s the difference in your mind?

Samantha Mepham: Criminal law, which health and safety legislation often forgotten that it’s criminal law. I like the upfront argument of it. So someone presents a case and it is then the discussion, a meeting of minds as to I present this argument, you present that and then the best argument wins. And there’s always something that then could come along and go, oh, you know what? I never thought about it like that. My experience of contract law, and I’m sure I’m doing it a massive disservice, is it’s a little bit like a word game. I’m just going to change this word ever so slightly and then you don’t get anything and it just doesn’t seem sportsman, you know? And I feel like be up upfront with it and put your argument across and whoever’s got the best argument wins. None of the, oh, I’ll just change this one word and you didn’t notice and now I’ve won that. That’s just not sport.

Paul Heming: You’re completely right, actually. Legislation is there to be absolutely understood. That’s the whole idea of it. It should be clear as anything. Contract law and playing around with words as part of a contract at times is to build ambiguity.

Samantha Mepham: At times. I’m sure it’s not.

Paul Heming: Yes, exactly. A lot of the time. Be nice to QS’s, be nice to QS’s. So I wanted to ask you how you ended up as a civil servant working in and around the police and police training, by the sounds of it at the start of your career, how you then ended up health and safety legislation and health and safety services in construction. But I think you might have just answered it, and I’m going to show my ignorance or naivety here. You said that health and safety legislation is criminal law. Most people don’t remember that. I would throw my hands up right now and say, to be honest with you, I didn’t know that that’s where it fell. Could you talk about that?

Samantha Mepham: So, obviously you can get civil claims as well, but generally to get to that stage is the criminal, you know, and I think sometimes people forget is that you can go to prison, obviously when something disastrous happens, that’s pretty obvious when it’s even like some of the smaller claims, you can’t go against them. You know, you can’t protect yourself against that reputational damage. And it is possibly like, you know, when we talk contract law and health and safety, sometimes we may be put a clause in a contract, but if you’re not meeting your legal obligations under criminal law, that contract’s not going to protect you. And I think that’s where it’s sometimes people think they can write things into contracts and then that’s the job done, but it’s not, you know, there’s a bit that comes first and that bit that comes first, is pretty significant if you get it wrong.

Paul Heming: Yeah. And I think it now completes my understanding of your journey, if that makes sense. It now makes perfect sense why you would be doing what you’re currently doing. Talking then about legislation, the importance of complying with legislation for obvious reasons, no one wants to get to prison and we want to be on high quality, safe sites. One of the reasons for this episode was I was asked by one of the listeners as well to do an episode on the Building Safety Act that came in during 2022 and just talk about that and give a bit of an update on it. We’ve got lots of directors of main contractors, property developers listening, all of whom will be the ones going to prison if things aren’t run correctly on their projects in their business. So this is Uber, uber important. You mentioned the CDM, I remember I came into the industry in 2007 and I remember one of the first things that I ever did was go to some training about CDM 2007. It then went through a number of iterations. You had 2015 as you talked about, is the Building Safety Act 2022. Is that a complete replacement of CDM?

Samantha Mepham: No is the short answer. The Building Safety Act is probably one of the most significant pieces of legislation to impact the building and construction industry. And it is wider than health and safety legislation or health and safety legislation as we know it in terms of the health and safety at Work Act and CDM wrecks cause it impacts the building act, it impacts the building regulations. So it’s not a replacement, there is a clear relationship. There are some aspects that we don’t fully understand yet. Do I believe that there will be another amendment to the CDM regulations to align fully with Building Safety Act? Yes, because that’s the other thing to remember as well. This is an act, the Building Safety Act, you know, it’ll have multiple regulations underneath. CDM being a regulation, I think it will be align, the Building Safety Act, what that introduces is a lot more ownership in occupation. So developers that build and manage, there’ll be a lot more ownership of those responsibilities and don’t think – there is rumor about it being absorbed somehow in the building safety and maybe they’ll redraft a regulation that will, but the one area that CDM does that the Building’s Safety Act doesn’t because CDM is all about maintenance and use and all the way through to demolition. But CDM is also about buildability. So it’s not just about when it’s in use, it’s about making sure the people that have got to build it, can build it safely as well. So that isn’t covered in the Building’s Safety Act, but I can’t say whether it will be amended and adjusted. 

Paul Heming: Yeah. Can I ask, touching on one thing that you said there, and again pleading a little bit of ignorance, you said there’s a big difference between an ACT and regulations. Could you just explain what exactly what you mean by that?

Samantha Mepham: So the ACT is the piece of legislation. It’s very, I think to put it in simple terms, the ACT is the high level. The ACT is the main focus. That’s the high, like the Health and Safety at Work Act. Below them and because they’re enabling ACTS, health and Safety at Work Act and the Building Safety Act, they’re enabling ACTS. They allow regulations to be introduced, which then goes into the more detail. So this is how we will apply this section cause the act is so big, so wide ranging, it’s not telling you everything. The regulation will then drill down and give you more information about how to practically apply that. And then you get from regulations, you will get approved codes of practice, which will go even deeper or guidance documents, which will go even deeper. So it’s kind of like a hierarchy of legislation.

Paul Heming: Fine. That makes perfect sense. Thanks for clarifying that. And I’m sure there are an abundance, so this is a wide ranging question and you can make it a focused answer by all means. But what are the fundamental changes for contractors with the Building Safety Act?

Samantha Mepham: Specifically for contractors, my opinion, bearing in mind all of the secondary legislation hasn’t been drafted yet, but if we step away from the defective liability, you know, the extension of the defective liability period, which is significant for everyone in the industry in terms of that extending retrospectively to 30 years for all those buildings already built. If we ignore that and the quality piece around making sure your quality of your build is right, definitely competence, because that’s across the board, definitely information management. So we’ve all heard, you know, the golden thread in essence that is information management and making sure you’ve got that information and can evidence that you’re managing it. But probably the significant change at the moment with the Building Safety Act is when we look at project delivery and the gateways, so three key gateways being introduced. Planning gateway one, possibly contractors may not be involved in a project at the planning stage, might not. And it actually strangely doesn’t actually sit under the ACT planning gateway one, that comes under planning, but it’s all tied in together. But Gateway two and Gateway three, which are stock points means gateway two, you don’t start on site until you get that sign off from the building safety regulator. Gateway three, you don’t practically complete until you get that sign off. So, and then everything in between, any significant design changes that have an impact in building safety, they all have to go through sign off via the building safety regulator. So when you consider program implications, that information management piece, then the quality piece, because how are you proving that you’ve built that building in line exactly with what you said you were going to build it. And then, you know, I’ve got experience with the health and safety files and the O&M manuals and it’s been one of the biggest bug bars of any CDM professional. No more, can’t do it anymore. They won’t get practical completion unless all of that handover information and more is available at that gateway three to be assessed.

Paul Heming: Okay. And they won’t get practical completion from whom?

Samantha Mepham: From the building safety regulator, so they need to get no one’s allowed to sign off practical completion until the building safety regulator has said yes to Gateway three.

Paul Heming: Really? Okay. So that is a pretty fundamental shift. And you were saying as well that the defects liability period has been significantly extended. I’m coming to this conversation, having not read the Building Safety Act. So, I know that you kind of said that, like rolled off the tongue, obviously that has happened. I don’t know anything about the Building Safety Act right now, so I’m coming at it completely fresh as probably some of the listeners are as well. So the defects liability period has been extended. How?

Samantha Mepham: So, the Building Safety Act enabled the defective premises, made the change and extended the liability period for certain claims. So not for every claim. So if your door handle falls off, you know, providing it’s not an emergency, I always do this to myself. I always kind of come up with a scenario and then imagine actually how it could be an issue. But, you know, we’re not talking every defect, we’re talking about defects that have an impact to being able to safely live in those properties. And it has extended retrospectively. Anything that was retrospective to the ACT coming in June last year to 30 years. And I suppose the controversy around that is because of archiving rules and how long you kept things and cause of the previous, who’s got the information to prove the quality of that build. So that is the one, and I don’t just think it’s contractors, I think it’s consultancies, developers, it’s everyone thinking about that one to see what’s going to come back. You understand why they’ve done it, because it’s to address the issue with residents having to foot the bill for the defects that has nothing to do with them. So you understand. But yeah, it is one that I believe the industry is holding its breath on.

Paul Heming: Would it be fair to say that a lot of the legislation is charged by what happened at Grenfell or is impacting the decision making, or not clouding, you know, like shaping the decision making? 

Samantha Mepham: I would say, the Building Safety Act came on the back of the inquiry from Grenfell. Whether some of us believe it was necessary beforehand, I think if we reflect, you know, if we looked at it, we’d probably say that there were issues, but yeah, it came on the back of the inquiry and this is the outcome. The Building Safety Act is the outcome from the Grenfell tragedy, you know, the inquiry.

Paul Heming: Fine. Okay. And I think in the second half of the show, I do want to talk to you about that because there’s a lot of things, not just the story of Grenfell is well understood, but in the context of value engineering, quantity surveying, I’m interested to talk to you about that and get your perspective on it. But we will do that right after this little break.

So before we get into Grenfell and the conversation about value engineering, which I want to talk to you about and get your perspective on. First, one last question on the Building Safety Act. If you were, there’ll be lots of main contractors listening to this right now and developers, but asking the question for main contractors and also contextualizing that many of them will be SMEs as opposed to Balfour BT makes the big guys. What would your single bit of advice on the topic of the Building Safety Act be to main contractors, whether SME or large?

Samantha Mepham: I think it would be the same advice that I’d give anybody working in the industry. And that is to raise your awareness about the ACT. There’s lots of publications out there, there’s lots of organizations offering awareness CPDs, it’s just raise your awareness about it because it’s coming, it’s here. There’s a lot for us to do as an industry. So if you don’t know about it, you might end up falling foul of it. So yeah, raise your awareness to understand, because you’ll be able to then apply it to your situation and how it could impact you.

Paul Heming: Who do you think within an organization, you almost just said everyone should be aware of this and you are looking at me now as if, obviously stupid. So, and I think many people are aware of things in headline and you know, what’s going on. But I don’t think it would be a fair representation to say that all the QS’s, all the project managers, contracts managers, maybe the site managers, maybe the people on site is slightly different because of the levels of training that they go through. How does it make you feel? Not that I’m pushing back on it, but I almost think like, I’m a QS, I mean I’m not in the industry now, but like, I don’t know that much about it. I don’t think I necessarily need to know that much about it. How does that make you feel? I can see you getting angry.

Samantha Mepham: No. Agitated.

Paul Heming: She’s cracking her knuckles. Exactly. Yeah. That’s the word

Samantha Mepham: I can only reflect on, say for example, RLB, all of our technical teams, all of them. Cost managers, project managers, sustainability, all of them have had training on the Building Safety Act. And because we recognize that it is going to impact all of our roles one way or the other, now it will impact some people more granted, as the secondary legislation is drafted, some people can expect more training because physically impact how they deliver their job. But that awareness hack it in, you know, she said no one should wait for the legislation. We all need to wake up to the reality of what the industry had become. And that’s all of us taking ownership. So yes, there’ll be different levels of technical knowledge and some will need to know more, you know, some can get away with the headlines. But just that awareness piece and I can only speak for ROB, where every single technical consultant has done it.

Paul Heming: I think that’s a really clear point of view and it makes perfect sense and hack it and the review that was done, perfect segue onto kind of Grenfell. Now, everyone listening, I’m sure will feel exactly the same about Grenfell. It’s like absolute horror, incredibly just wrong on so many different levels, right? For us as an industry. So I think it makes a lot of sense that in the context of that like changing perspectives and like we should all be far more responsible for the projects that we’re working on. You shared with me when we were talking about this before that the play called, I forget the exact name, but it’s Grenfell and value engineering. So I wanted to ask you about that. Like you work for quantity surveying firm, effectively. I am a quantity surveyor, loads of the listeners are quantity surveyors and value engineering is a buzz phrase. It’s something that we use constantly and it’s seen as a real positive and what you shared with me and it’s on, I think it’s on four OD, isn’t it? And that piece completely changed the perception of value engineering. It looks at it in a completely different light. It kind of is same value engineering. Awful. It is though, isn’t it? Right? So first I want to ask you –

Samantha Mepham: First, I’m laughing because as a health and safety professional CTM, it’s always been awful.

Paul Heming: Yeah. Okay. So this is precisely what I want to ask you, right? Because when I say value engineering, I think one thing, you know, like intelligent ways to change products, improve build times, improve build costs, all of those different things. It doesn’t mean how can I replace this with some crappy piece of material. It doesn’t mean that genuinely. But I do think that it’s a really interesting point that, what does it mean to you? What does value engineering mean to you?

Samantha Mepham: Look, jokes aside, I absolutely hear everything that you’ve just said and understand that that is the point of value engineering. You know, commercially, believe it or not, we are aware of the commercial. I think again, sometimes I think there’s that misconception that we’re not. But on occasion, and this even predates Grenfell, it can mean the exclusion of key things for health and safety at the sacrificed for cost. And we understand the principle of reason, you know, balance, cost versus risk. That’s kind of the point of our job is to balance that. And for me, value engineering, it involves everybody and we are included and we can be that. Oh, excuse me, did you think about, is there any implication from that or have we decided? I think there was a prosecution of a quantity surveyor for value engineering as a designer under CDM. There we go. I remember researching that when I was rolling out –

Paul Heming: Squeaky bump time for all the QS’s listening now, isn’t it? 

Samantha Mepham: Yeah. So, and I think and that was value engineering and they changed the specification of some blocks and by doing so, they increased the weight of the blocks and then people got injured on site. Now I don’t see the principal designer or probably at that time it was maybe even the CDM coordinator or the planning CFA. I don’t see their job as going now. Can’t do that. Can’t do anything. The job of the principal designer or whoever is there to kind of comment on design risk management. Their job is to find a way for it to work. So, in that circumstance with the blocks could have come up and they would’ve been the little voice in the room that went, any issues with them blocks? Oh yeah, they’re heavier. Okay, well because they’re heavier, do we have to increase labor on site because of the manual handling? Do we have to get a specialist bit of kit in? And actually then when you balance the cost, which one’s more expensive? And even if then, you know what, that is still more expensive, but we’re going to flag it, we’re going to flag it to the contractor that this has been put in and they’re heavy so now you can plan for it. And if the right people are there to have those discussions, value engineering is exactly what contracts need. You know, of course they need to be cost effective and all of that, but it just needs the consideration and unfortunately, with Grenfell particularly, I mean it wasn’t just value engineering that went wrong at Grenfell, you know, anybody that’s looked into it knows that it was just a catalog of horrible things that kind of all led to it. But particularly value engineering and the cladding decision. And the issue with that was there was no drilling into the detail of that cladding. There was no competent to make the call that that cladding was the right cladding. There was no ownership and there was no closeout. So that golden thread, the thread went, but it never got closed. And that’s why you need to have the right people at the table when you’re having the discussions about value engineering. Not to stop it, not to say you can’t, but just to give you a different perception, point of view on it.

Paul Heming: Yeah, I mean I think that makes perfect sense. You know, sometimes you would think, oh, typical QS architect relationship is that the architect, and I’m being facetious here, but the architect wants something fantastically designed, most beautiful thing that you’ve ever seen. The QS wants something that looks absolutely ugly, but it’s really, really cheap. That is not what either side wants. I’m being facetious as I was saying. However, there are times when, you know, on the topic of a value engineering meeting or when you’re trying to value engineer, where you wouldn’t necessarily – there’d be competing opinions there between architect and QS or designer and QS. And in exactly the same way, if there was a further voice in the room for health and safety or someone on the legislation side of things, I’m not saying that it shouldn’t be, but quite often it wouldn’t be invited into the room because there may be perceived as that might not help me get the means to my end, if that makes sense. So you talk about having the right people in the room, value engineering, who are the right people in the room in your perspective?

Samantha Mepham: The principal designer, a hundred percent. Doesn’t have to be a consultant, it can be the architect, but someone with that duty, someone with that legal obligation to think about the consequences of the decisions that are being made.

Paul Heming: That didn’t happen for Grenfell. Sorry.

Samantha Mepham: You know what’s really interesting in that, there’s not a lot of talk about CDM with Grenfell. There’s references to the principal contractor, there’s not a lot of talk about others. So cause that’s my question. I sat watching that because I watched it as a play and I’m like, who was PD? Or who was the CDM coordinator? You know, who was in there doing that? And why are they not being reviewed? So definitely for value engineering, the PD, whoever that is, a competent PD, whose priority or one of their priorities is to challenge in a productive way because no one likes the health and safety person that says the law says you can’t do that.

Paul Heming: Why not? Why don’t people like that? If I’m a director of a main contractor and I could go to prison, why don’t I want to hear that? I do want to hear that.

Samantha Mepham: You know what, some actually do. I think sometimes people like to be scared, but to me health and safety has never been about saying no. When you first start your career, all you know is the law and it’s very much, well the law says this and you’ve got to learn how to practically apply it. And then you get to a point where you are finding the solution. And I think there is a misconception that we sat there trying to, the law is this, but it goes back to my really early point about why I like the law is it’s a debate. There are some hard and fast, you can’t do this, you can’t do this. But generally, you’ve got to collect the evidence to put the argument across. So in the room with value engineering, definitely the PD cause they’ve got a legal obligation to challenge decisions to make sure that design risk is being managed.

Paul Heming: That’s really great advice. You know, my feeling about health and safety is that it’s not that people are disinterested, like I said, that example value engineering. Do you want the health and safety voice in that room? I don’t think it’s that people are disinterested in it or that they rally against it. I forget health and safety, it’s stupid, I’d love to know people’s mentalities, right? But I also don’t think people put it as their number one priority. I think it’s like priority 5, 6, 7. You know, how do we commercially make this? Is it going to be quicker? Is it going to be more efficient? What’s the quality going to be? Like anyone ever thought about health and safety? That’s how I’ve viewed it in the companies that I worked in and on the projects that I’ve worked in. It never seemed to be the forefront, never seemed to be number one priority, which is crazy when you think about it. How does that make you feel?

Samantha Mepham: So I always describe this job as a bit like a rollercoaster in terms of, there’s highs when you get engagement and buy-in and you can see it and there’s lows when no one’s listening to you, no one’s asking you, you say something and it’s not acknowledged, but in terms of, there’s not a good health and safety person that I know that isn’t determined to kind of sit in that, to shout, to kind of get their message across. And in terms of, I think that that’s how I feel as a health and safety professional. Some days I feel great about what I do, some days I feel frustrated about what I do, but regardless I’m going to keep doing it. And you know, I think I understand the cost and program, I understand why they’re priorities and I also understand because I assess risk that the greater risk of something being delayed or costing too much is more likely touchwood that than a serious accident. So, we assess risk, we understand why something is considered a higher priority, but the consequences of health and safety, I think, it can be taken for granted.

Paul Heming: I think it is, isn’t it? It seems like something that will never happen.

Samantha Mepham: My favorite is we’ve always done it like this, said the person the day before. So it depends what day it is as to how it makes me feel.

Paul Heming: Okay, that’s fair. And a final question, are you optimistic about where we are headed as an industry in the context of this legislation? Do you think that we would look back in a few years’ time at Grenfell as this seminal moment disaster, but seminal in the fact that it allowed us to pivot and change course?

Samantha Mepham: I think that some of the changes, and we call them changes and I think there’ll be some of us that think we should have always been doing it like this anyway, so it feels wrong really to say changes. But some of the, I often describe it that we had our opportunity to do it right because CDM was about construction, you know, use and maintenance. So, arguably if that was done right, why was it not being maintained? You know, why was that? We had our chance and now in a way what the Building Safety Act introduces is a little bit of micromanagement. So we’re under the spotlight, we’re all under the spotlight. We’re being tested in terms of whether we’re competent, we’re being tested in terms whether we’re doing our jobs correctly and we’re being tested at regular intervals. I am realistic enough to appreciate the significant impact that has on the industry. I mean, just recently they’re talking about how they’re going to now transition some of the changes because occasionally they do like to be, this is a line inside you doing it, they now have reflected and said, well look, we understand this is really big change, so we’ll look at this and this is when we’ll introduce this gateway. This is when we’ll introduce and if you’ve passed this point, you’ll have to do it. If you haven’t then you won’t. But yeah, I think bottom line, I’m optimistic because it introduces a structure that should have always been there. And if you like, it’s like I’ve got someone else backing me up now rather than us being the voice. Health and safety files is a great example. I have chased for 18 months for handover information on a job, 18 months with no power. Even though the regs, the CDM regs said you had to do it. With no power to get that closed out.

Paul Heming: But with PC now being contingent on it, guess what? Flipping it really, aren’t you?

Samantha Mepham: Yeah, I feel like I should stress with the gateways. We are talking about higher risk buildings. At the moment, the gateways will only be introduced in regards to higher risk buildings, which are over 18 meters, seven stories, two or more residential dwellings. Do I think that maybe that will spread out? I think it will depend on how the industry takes to it.

Paul Heming: No, it’s interesting. I’m glad that you are optimistic and I’m glad that you feel like it can, it gives you more tools if you like, in your ar artillery to make sure that the right things are happening. Because like I say, I definitely don’t. And I don’t think anyone listening thinks it’s a load of old nonsense. People want to do things the right way. People want to build great buildings. That’s why we’re all in industry. So that’s really, really positive to hear. And thank you for coming on the show because it’s been really intriguing. It’s changed, it’s thought provoking really. It’s changed a lot of my mindsets and I’m sure it will have done absolutely the same for the listeners. I’ll be leaving Samantha’s details and RLB’s details in the podcast description. Sam, thank you very much for coming on the show and being such a star guest.

Samantha Mepham: You’re very welcome.

Paul Heming: And I will speak to everyone next week. See you later. Take care.

Value Engineering – Mechanical and Electrical

As professionals, we spend thousands of pounds procuring subcontract packages each year. They’ll b...

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