Sustainable homes and places

Build quality

We aim to lead the industry in quality standards. We invest in training and process improvements for our teams and our sub-contractors to ensure consistently high standards and to prevent any issues occurring.  We make quality inspections throughout the build process.


How are we rated?

The independent NHBC CQR score measures build quality at key build stages. In 2023, our average score was 4.89 out of six (2022: 4.81) compared to an industry benchmark group average of 4.67 (2021: 4.6). We met our target to achieve at least a 4.5 rating in each regional business. 95.7% of build stages scored 4 or above in all regional businesses, exceeding our target of 94%. All our regional businesses exceeded our minimum target of 90%. 

We rank second nationally against housebuilders that have more than 100 build stages (which excludes self build and very small housebuilders). 

Our target for 2024 is for at least 94% of build stages to score 4 or above in all regional businesses.

Our approach was recognised by the NHBC Pride in the Job scheme which celebrates the role of site managers in building high quality new homes. The results are based on independent site inspections. We received 51 Quality Awards (2022: 62) and 13 Seal of Excellence Awards (2022: 15).


Roles and responsibilities

Build quality on site is overseen by our UK Head of Production, who works closely with our Group Customer Director. We have recruited Quality Managers across the majority of our regional businesses. They work closely with Production Directors, Customer Directors, site teams, contractors and suppliers to review performance and address quality issues. Our Group Management Team (GMT) of executive leaders overviews progress on our quality standards and quality KPIs. This includes a monthly review of progress at sites with quality improvement plans.

Our technical, safety and procurement teams review the quality of products used to build our homes.
Quality and customer service are integrated into our incentive schemes.


Quality at every stage

We embed our quality assurance processes at every stage of the build. Our approach includes:

Product quality and safety

When we specify a new product for use in our homes it must first go through a rigorous review process involving our safety, technical, sales, procurement and production teams.
We assess whether it meets our technical performance requirements (such as performance, durability and longevity, warranty, efficiency and ease of installation), whether it is safe to install, maintain and use, and whether it can be procured in sufficient quantities. Our Functional Interface Group, chaired by our R&D Manager, oversees research and trials of new products. 

The products we use in our homes are manufactured and tested in line with relevant British and European Standards. In addition, most products have also undergone a third party independent assessment in line with the NHBC Standards – Material Requirements. 
Contractors working on our sites, principal contractors and design contractors must obtain third party H&S accreditation to demonstrate they have an adequate HSE management system, training process and risk assessment.


Investing in the skills of our production teams

Our Academy of Production Excellence helps to upskill our workforce and keep improving our build quality. Participants, including our Assistant Site Managers, Site Managers and Production Managers, complete an NVQ at the relevant level, from construction site supervision to construction senior management. They can also complete technical courses developed by the NHBC and adapted to reflect our business on topics such as the NHBC warranty, effective snagging, defects prevention, site environmental management, leadership skills, commercial awareness and project management. We’ve also integrated development programmes to support progress to more senior roles and enhance our succession pipeline.

The Academy supports improved employee engagement and retention by providing clear career and development pathways for production employees. Since its introduction we have significantly improved our quality scores as determined by independent NHBC inspections.

There were 117 employees enrolled on the Academy of Production Excellence in 2023.