The Construction, Design and Management Regulations 2015 (CDM).

As of the 6th April 2015, all new self build projects are required to comply with the requirements of the Construction, Design and Management Regulations 2015.

I am sure that the change to now include the ‘domestic client’ within the regulations, requiring self builders to comply with CDM has caused a degree of concern and uncertainty as to how self build projects will be managed, however, this change shouldn’t be anything that a Potton customer should fear!

In truth, the removal of the domestic client exemption should bring little change to the management of a self build project especially if you are working with Potton. Prior to the change in regulations, there were already requirements to control risks, co-ordinate activities and to ensure trades were competent to undertake the work they were carrying out. In Potton’s experience, most self builders opted to either employ a builder or project manager to control the build and those that decided to manage their own project were either already competent or took the time to acquire the necessary skills by attending courses such as those offered by the Self Build Academy.

In truth, the 2015 CDM regulations will bring greater clarity to the duties of designers and contractors and will require an effective process of managing the trades safely on site and notifying the HSE that the project exists. The new regulations should serve to benefit the self builder who should now expect a greater level of support and cooperation from these duty holders who should arguably have been offering this before.

The additional duties that will be required under CDM 2015 will be;

Domestic Clients & ‘Self Builders’

A domestic client is an individual who has construction work carried out on their home that is not done as part of any business.

The self builder is a “domestic client”, if the structure they are building will be a residential home they will live in, and is not constructed as part of a business. If the self builder is carrying out the work for a business purpose, or to sell the property directly, then the self builder is not a domestic client and the whole of CDM 2015 will apply.

The only responsibility a domestic client has under CDM 2015 is to appoint a principal designer and a principal contractor when there is more than one contractor. However, if you do not do this, your duties as a domestic client are automatically transferred to the contractor or principal contractor. If you already have a relationship with your designer before the work starts, the designer can take on your duties, provided there is a written agreement between you and the designer to do so.

Pic Monkey Collage

Under CDM 2015 the duties for domestic clients normally pass to:

The principle designer

Any designer in charge of coordinating and managing a project is assumed to be the principal designer. However, if they do not have a written agreement with the domestic client to confirm they are taking on the client duties, those duties automatically pass to the principal contractor.

The contractor

Where the project is being built by a single contractor, the contractor must take on the legal duties of the client in addition to their own as contractor. In practice, this should involve little more than what they normally do in managing health and safety risks.

The principal contractor

For projects with more than one contractor, the principle contractor must take on the legal duties of the client in addition to their own as principal contractor. If the domestic client has not appointed a principal contractor, the client duties must be carried out by the contractor in control of the construction work.


How does CDM 2015 apply if you intend to manage your own self build project?

Where the self builder acts as their own project manager, employing individual trades at different times, thereby taking control of construction work, they must comply with all the matters outlined in Part 4 of CDM 2015. The self managing self builder will in effect become a contractor and the HSE will expect self builders to demonstrate sufficient health and safety capability to meet the requirements of Part 4 of CDM 2015.

The expectation on a self builder in this position will be on co-ordination and management , not on direct supervision of contractors on site. Individual contractors will be expected to be able to advise the self builder on any specialist matters within their own work activities. The self builder is entitled to expect contractors to plan, manage and monitor their own work in compliance with the CDM Regulations.

 CDM Guidance Book

What service should I expect from Potton?

On all projects where Potton have developed the architectural design of your home, as part of our service, we will fulfil the role of Principle Designer and will communicate health and safety information to your appointed Principle Contractor or Contractor whichever may be applicable.

Where you have appointed your own designer, and we are providing only the structural frame design, Potton will act only in the capacity of designer but will coordinate fully with your appointed Principle Designer.

Potton will not act as the Principle Contractor for your build but will support the construction process by;

-          Introducing you to contractors who can build your home and fulfil the duties of contractor

-          Introduce you to project management partners who will act as your contractor thereby fulfilling the duties required under CDM 2015.

Provide training courses and workshops to assist in developing your skills and competencies to self manage your project. (Additional specialist health and safety courses will be required depending upon your level of experience and expertise).

Visit the Self Build Academy® list of courses for a list of upcoming dates

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