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Again on HIPS

by mel starrs on August 3, 2007

in Uncategorized

Thanks to Mark for this one:

“our assessment is supposed to be a purely visual one. We are not obliged to be thorough.”

Steve Younger, HIP provider

Oh dear.  As anyone who has ever tried to do a post construction heat loss calculation for any building built before 1985 will know, it is a minefield of supposition and estimation.  Which is not to say that the calculation shouldn’t be done.  Within the SAP methodology there are ways of making fair assumptions on building construction.  The issue in this case appears to be the availability and the applicability of information which would improve the building’s rating.

There is of course a bigger issue at hand here.  Does a few weeks training and a certificate prepare individuals (who may have no previous experience of assessing buildings except for dwelling in them) to make what are essentially judgement calls?  Obviously not.  Those who would be qualified to do so are in too short supply.  So the methodology needs to be absolutely water tight, with no room for subjective opinion.  Which devalues the process in itself.  Sigh.  We’ve got ourselves into a bit of a pickle with this one haven’t we…

The fact that the two assessors in the article got different answers would lead me to conclude that the methodology (or the delivery of the training of the methodology – it would be interesting to find out if the 2 inspectors were qualified with different providers) is insufficiently ‘idiot-proof’.

Of course, there is an opportunity screaming out here – differentiate yourself above the rest of the pack, charge a few quid more and market yourself as a ‘thorough’ HIP inspector, unlike poor Mr Younger.