Is the AJ working Austin Williams too hard?
I experienced several emotions while reading your recent Attention to Detail article (AJ 14.11.02), written by Austin Williams, because I was well aware of the fun you had in the spring of this year, when the BRE/DTLR publication, now colloquially referred to as Robust Details, was issued. I was dismayed that the members of that committee had overlooked Codes of Practice, and that official references with errors were ever issued. You will doubtless recall that you held a competition to see which of your readers could spot the most faults and inaccuracies contained within.
I was at first concerned, because it was myself who had alerted the committee to the serious errors in the Flat Roof details; originally in July 2001, and again more forcefully in February 2002. Eventually, they had admitted the problem, and reluctantly re-drafted the 10 drawings for the revision pack released (with a somewhat muted fanfare) in the late autumn. The revised numbers (2.07A, 2.08A, 3.07A, 3.08A, 4.07A, 4.08A, 5.07A, 5.08A, 6.07A, 6.08A) all have suffix -A I had feared that we may have overlooked something within these, but no.
My concern changed tack at this juncture; I now fear you may be working poor Austin too hard. He notes that the revision has 19 pages, highlights two as still being incorrect, and offers your readers another prize.
However, only 10 were queried by the Flat Roofing Alliance - the other nine are merely reprints on the reverse of pre-punched insert pages for the main binder! Obviously he has assumed that all of these should contain revisions.
Finally, I felt relief. All of the details are intended as generic, so some variation should be expected in practice. The specific and major errors, which we insisted be rectified, have now been dealt with. The pages Austin poses for the competition refer to a pitched roof (no.
5.06), and a window reveal (3.09).
Paul Franklin, technical manager, Flat Roofing Alliance, West Sussex