Airmic’s new Construction SIG: What’s on the agenda?

Published on Thu, 21/09/2023 - 13:20

The latest of Airmic’s Special Interest Groups (SIGs), the Construction SIG is set to meet on 11 October, with a major case study and some prominent legal risks set to feature.

The Airmic SIGs are led by the membership and aim to form communities to share experiences, learn and let creativity thrive. They can be formed around a theme, a line of business, a risk, or even simply an industry, whose members want to come together and exchange.

The latest of these, due to meet soon, is the Construction SIG. Airmic News caught up with the Construction SIG’s chair, Richard Hoult, head of risk and internal audit at construction industry firm Portakabin.

“The purpose is to discuss common issues and risks that exist across the construction sector, from impacts of changes in legislation, to significant claims, through to common issues in meeting government targets for construction, such as for affordable housing and schools,” said Hoult.

The SIG format emphasises “willingness to discuss a variety of topics brought forward from attendees”, he explained, with agreement then made at SIG level on future topics about which to discuss and share ideas and best practices.

“Its mission is to share approaches and good practice, which will benefit all members, whilst at the same time being commercially sensitive in terms of the discussions taking place,” he said.

The next meeting

The UK’s Building Safety Act (BSA) is also on the agenda for the next SIG, Hoult explained.

“The Building Safety Act was also chosen as it’s still fairly new, and that many firms have set aside significant sums for rectification work, where others have not,” he said.

“The BSA itself hasn’t yet been challenged from a legal perspective. There are still a few unknowns regarding the BSA, so was chosen as an area for a broad discussion.

RAAC on the radar

Asked whether there one item that is most prominent on the risk radar for construction businesses, he emphasised Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC), a lightweight form of concrete used in roof, floor, cladding and wall construction in the UK from the 1950s to the 1980s.

“Right now it has to be the impact of RAAC and how the issues have escalated in such a short period of time,” Hoult said.

He added: “This will add pressure, risk and also opportunity to the sector, but the question has to be: ‘What else is out there, which is prevalent in historic construction, but may start failing in years to come, and how, if at all, the insurance market could respond?”

If you would like to register your interest in joining the construction SIG please contact