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RHE Publishes New ‘Crowding and Space’ Worked Examples in Partnership with Leeds City Council

5th February 2020 RIAMS

In 2019 RHE partnered with Leeds City Council to moderate and score five worked examples (WEs) for the hazard profile of ‘Crowding and space’. The WEs were moderated by the HHSRS Team at RHE using the ‘Warwick protocol’ used for the original worked examples produced by Warwick University and DCLG in 2004.

The new WEs are available on the RIAMS platform and are free for RIAMS subscribers (in the Housing module). If you do not have a RIAMS Housing module subscription, please get in touch here.

Local authorities that subscribe to RIAMS can partner with the HHSRS team to develop worked examples at no cost. RHE is partnering with local authorities to update and expand the Worked Examples library for all of the 29 prescribed hazards. The HHSRS team recently completed a new worked example, commissioned by MHCLG, for the hazard of fire in relation to cladding on high-rise residential buildings. This was in addition to producing the ‘HHSRS Fire Addendum’ also concerning this.

The RHE HHSRS team has, for some years now, developed new WEs using the ‘Warwick protocol’. The process involves the development of WE case study templates which are then scored by a panel of highly experienced HHSRS trainers and professionals. The scores received are then moderated to produce an agreed final WE for inclusion on RIAMS. RHE is very supportive of expanding the availability of WEs for housing practitioners when undertaking HHSRS assessments. We are particularly interested in common hazards such as damp and mould growth, excess cold, fire and falls as examples in multi-occupied, mixed commercial and non-traditional buildings. The WEs are available here.

For all hazards, the rating score is based on assessment of the dwelling, without taking account of the current occupiers. The assessment solely of crowding may, however, require a supplemental stage to the assessment, taking account of actual occupancy to inform follow-up action that may be required under Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004.

In relation to crowding and space, the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) Operating Guidance (ODPM, 2006) specifies that there should be sufficient space within a dwelling for the separation of different household activities. The assessment should consider space for sleeping, living, cooking, dining, usable space for studying, as well as washing and sanitary accommodation, having regard to the numbers likely to be accommodated in the dwelling. The assessment should, where appropriate, consider external amenity and recreation space, including suitable and safe outdoor play space for children.

The Operating Guidance and WEs on the hazard of crowding and space include reference to other useful guidance, such as unit size and layout sections of the Housing Quality Indicator System (ODPM, 2007) and Metric Handbook - Planning and Design Data (2015). Other useful sources of guidance include the Regulation of Crowding and Space in Residential Dwellings (LACORS, 2009) (available on RIAMS), Property Measurement 2nd Edition (RICS, 2018), Housing Standards Handbook (NHF, 2016) and Nationally Described Space Standard (DCLG, 2015).

Should you have case studies or developed WEs that you would be willing to share then please contact us. We would be pleased to work with you to moderate and include these on our expanding list of WEs available on RIAMS.

Alan Davies BSc(Hons), LLM, MCIEH, CEnvH
RHE - Head of Consulting