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Published On: October 4, 2023 | Blog | 0 comments

New Homes: New Problems – Modern Methods of Construction (MMC)

We are living in a housing crisis. There is a huge need for new homes. Modern Methods of Construction or MMC offers an answer. Quick cheap construction. They also promise other benefits.

One system is ICF (insulated concrete formwork) construction, which promises a super warm energy efficient house. The system is made up of expanded polystyrene (EPS) panels which form a hollow core which is then filled with concrete. The concrete forms the structure. The polystyrene remains to provide excellent insulation. EPS will readily burn and so must be fully protected from fire:

  • Inside by plasterboard.
  • Outside by external covering (e.g., panels with brick slips) or render
  • At the top and bottom
  • If there is a cavity formed between the external covering by barriers within.

Unfortunately, problems happen when the system is not used exactly as designed. Problems arise as a result of construction and design. First, because of general construction carelessness. Second, because the systems aren’t properly understood.

In one case I am aware of external panels themselves were not fixed properly to the polystyrene and so are lifting and failing. This creates fire concerns as well as other issues. Remedial works are more complex because the system is not understood. Fixing the issues may well mean that the external covering will have to be removed entirely and refitted at great expense.

If you have serious problems with your property, then we can help. Leaseholders will have rights under their leases to get problems with the block fixed. Builders and developers owe responsibilities to homeowners under the Defective Premises Act and may have other obligations under sale contract. Even if your home was built much more than 6 years ago you may still have a case.

You may also have new build insurance (e.g., NHBC, Ark, LABC etc). You may still be able to claim, even though you did not report to the insurers inside the time limits.

Case involving these issues are complex and you do need to go to specialists who have experience and understand the problems.

About the author: My name is Timothy Waitt and I specialise in advising on repair issues facing residents –from leaks, damp, problems with communal heating systems to major structural issues with newly built houses and blocks of flats.

* Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*

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