Version 12 live for all sites starting April 1, 2024

The latest version of the LABC Warranty Technical Manual, Version 12, is live now. Any quotes accepted with LABC Warranty on or after 1 April 2024 will be assessed against this new standard.

Read on for a little more information on why the Manual has been updated, what’s changed, and what you need to do next.

Download a 'what's changed' document on the new Technical Manual here.

LABC Warranty Technical Manual Version 12 live now

Why launch a new edition?

What ‘best’ means in best practice never stays still – trends in design, materials and legislation are an ever-evolving matrix for the LABC Warranty Technical Team to consider when outlining the standards that will determine a warranty-compliant new-build home.

It’s also never LABC Warranty’s place to tell builders or developers what to build, but to make sure what is built meets a standard that serves the interests of the resident, builder and warranty provider alike.

As a result, maintaining the LABC Warranty Technical Manual is an ever-evolving task, a living document that reflects the best in knowledge, practice and expertise of that moment.


What’s new in Version 12?

Some of the broad strokes of the changes from Version 11 to 12 include:

Ground Conditions

Having been moved to the start of the Technical Manual back Version 11, there are two new changes to Section 1, Ground Conditions.

Guidance itself has been updated to make it easier for readers to understand. This includes a new and easier-to-use flow chart, and new guidance for a basic ground investigation which is required where the phase one site investigation doesn’t flag any hazards.

In addition, the Functional Requirements now ask for site investigations to be dated within five years of construction starting on site.



Functional Requirements on Section 2, Basements, have been updated, requiring an engineer to design integral waterproofing structures such as foundations, walls and floors. They must be designed to support vertical loading, resist horizontal loading and resist surcharges including the influence of trees and nearby topography.



Two subsections of Section 3, Foundations, have been combined. These sections are Mass Fill (sub-section 3.1) and Strip (subsection 3.2). They are now combined into a section called Mass Fill and Strip.

Other changes include:

  • Guidance on vibratory ground improvement has been updated to reflect best practice.
  • Subsection Trees and Clay has been updated to incorporate:
  • Simplified ‘Changes in Level’ guidance.
  • New guidance on heave precaution in varying situations.
  • Updated advice for rafts, and strip and fill foundation, when used on shrinkable/expandable soil.
  • New guidance around flexible and rigid retaining walls.
  • New advice on the use of helical (screw) piles.


Ground Floors

New advice in Section 4, Ground Floors, outlines guidance on stepped party walls.


External Walls

Section 6, External Walls, has been updated to include:

  • Functional requirements have been updated to clarify that means of escape, passive and active systems are not covered by Warranty.
  • Section 6 specifies that external walls are to be built to Building Regulations.
  • The table for ‘suitable cavity wall construction depending on exposure, for use with full fill cavity insulation’ has been updated.

Updated requirements are included for:

  • Spandrel panels.
  • Breather members in timber frame and light gauge steel sections.
  • Natural stone masonry.
  • Testing curtain walling systems.

A new ‘provision of information’ is added to cladding types in sub-section 6.5.
Clearer guidance on lateral restraint is also included.


Externals Windows and Doors

Section 8, External Windows and Doors, has been updated to offer new requirements for water tightness for glazing systems in developments over six storeys.

In addition, the section of stacked windows has been renamed to ‘Vertically Stacked Coupled Window Assemblies’ to better reflect the type of window being described in the guidance. This section also includes additional guidance on the aforementioned windows.



Section 9, Stairs, includes new guidance on glazed guarding.



Section 11, Roofs, now states in the functional requirements that, “Means of escape, passive and active systems are not covered by the Warranty”.  

Other changes include:

  • Sub-sections 11.1 and 11.2, pre-formed truss and traditional cut roofs respectively, have been combined into a new section, Pitched Roof Structures.
  • New guidance for interlocking tiles, plain tiles and slates have also been condensed into sub-section Pitched Roof Coverings (Tiles and Slates).
  • A new section, Panelised Roof Cassettes, has been introduced.
  • Additional guidance is provided where LR underlays are used on a fully-supported material.
  • A new table is included to provide guidance on gauge, headlap and permissible pitch for different pitched roof covering types.
  • Guidance has been added for additional testing of flat roofs after a test failure.
  • Guidance on vegetation-free zones for green roofs has been updated.
    The ‘provision of information’ for pre-formed trusses and traditional-cut roofs now includes:
    • Third-party product approval certificate for the roof underlay.
    • Details of the ventilation strategy for the pitched roof in line with the guidance provided in this section and/or BS 55250.



Section 19, Garages, has been updated to add guidance for services within a garage.

New guidance also available for garage floors – we now recommend garage flows should laid to a fall and have a step where they’re integral to the house.


Appendix C

Appendix C provides new guidance around:

  • Cavity trays and damp-proof courses.
  • Steelwork protection in varying environments.
  • Proprietary products and systems in place of a traditional construction method.
  • What we expect to see in third party product conformity certificates.
  • Service life tables.

The full change log, with all the small details on the changes between the new Technical Manual and old, is available here.


What about sites in already progress?

While you’re welcome to download and catch up on the changes in the latest edition, any site already in progress before April 1, 2024 will be held to version 11 or earlier.

If there’s ever any confusion about which edition you should be adhering to, you can check the Extranet for confirmation, or contact your risk management surveyor.


Can I have a copy?

Anyone is welcome to download a copy of the Technical Manual. Access to the full Manual is available here, or you can download the specific sections you’re interested in here.

Physical copies are sent to every site in progress with LABC Warranty, but for a nominal fee, an additional physical copy can be distributed to those who apply. Please contact your Risk Management Surveyor to submit such a request.



If you have an ongoing or upcoming site with LABC Warranty, your first port of call for technical questions should be your risk management surveyor.

For other concerns about your LABC Warranty account, contact your customer experience specialist or account manager.

If you’re not a current customer with LABC Warranty, you’re still welcome to get in touch. For a technical request, you can use Or, if you’re interested in a warranty for your next development, find your local account manager and contact them here.

For any other enquiries, you’re welcome to get in touch here.

Subscribe to our blog for the latest news

Get the latest news from LABC Warranty and the construction structural warranty sector by subscribing to our blog.
Subscribe to receive the latest news

Please Note: Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication. Any written guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. However, for the most up to date LABC Warranty technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the LABC Warranty Technical Manual.

Related Articles

What’s new in Version 12 of the LABC Warranty Technical Manual?

Find out what's changed in Version 12 of the LABC Warranty Technical Manual.
Read More

LABC Warranty appoints David Swigciski as new Managing Director

LABC Warranty has appointed David Swigciski as new Managing Director.
Read More

Have your say

Tell us what you think about this article and its contents by completing the form.