This year’s conference will focus on the issues pertinent to housebuilding in a post-recession climate,
questioning the financial pressures affecting insurance, assessing technical approaches, reviewing customer satisfaction around the globe and investigating how to incorporate green agenda developments.
This year, the IHHWC will highlight the rise of sustainable housebuilding, encouraging the warranty sector to consider how it will incorporate the different techniques and materials into its future standards and insurance cover. While the challenges facing the industry will continue to change, the IHHWC will encourage warranty organisations to share their knowledge to develop the highest standards for housebuilders and the most effective cover for homeowners, while meeting their country’s specific needs.
THE BEGINNING OF HOME WARRANTIES
NHBC was established in response to a very specifi c problem – a pattern familiar in housing industries around the world. In the 1930s, the UK faced a jerry-building crisis, as untrained and inexperienced builders built poor quality homes quickly and cheaply. To counter this, NHBC’s forerunner, the National House-Builder Registration Council (NHBRC) was established to raise standards across the industry.
As well as inspecting and certifying new homes, NHBRC operated a register of approved housebuilders who committed to build according to the first standard specification for new build housing – the predecessor to NHBC’s Standards, which continue to protect homeowners today.
NHBRC developed an innovative warranty, stating that where defects arose within two years of the date of purchase as a result of a builder’s failure to comply with these specifications, they must be fixed by the builder responsible. In 1965, this evolved into today’s well known ten-year NHBC Buildmark warranty.
NHBRC was renamed NHBC in 1973, having become financially, politically and governmentally independent. Its warranties now cover over 80 percent of new UK homes, with some 1.7 million currently protected. Around 30 percent of the UK’s current housing stock has been covered by an NHBC warranty when first built.