Due diligence and pre-acquisition surveys are usually undertaken where advice is sought by a client on the condition of the building fabric prior to an investment or purchase of a property. That investment may be an outright freehold or long leasehold purchase or it may be a short or medium term lease investment. Irrespective of the nature of the investment an assessment of risk is of paramount importance and usually this type of survey would also include the identification of defects & remedial works, advice on any proposals / planned alterations and advice in connection with on-going maintenance liabilities.
The Principal Designer is also required to prepare and provide relevant information to other duty holders under the CDM Regulations and will also continue to assist the Principal Contractor during the construction phase.
We will undertake all investigation and exploratory work and will provide advice on options for repairs and costs. Where required we arrange for other consultants to provide specialist advice. We also select suitable and approved contractors and co-ordinate the works to completion.
Our primary role is one of due diligence, to ensure that our client’s interests are not exposed to undue risk as a project develops. We carry out monitoring to ensure that quality standards are adhered to throughout the design and construction process and provide regular updates via a strict reporting procedure.
We place a great deal of stock in working closely with all parties and communicating the how, the why and the when. With both fire and flood reinstatement projects our involvement requires our teams to commit to higher than normal frequencies of on-site management and direction.
Our involvement differs from client to client but typically includes the following:
We are engaged by clients to compile and draft leaseholder guidance relating to tenants’ proposals for carrying out alterations. This service often involves re-writing existing guidance and modernising the documentation to incorporate up to date best practice, regulatory and legislative stipulations.
Lease obligations, best practice, technological advances, financial parameters, services provision and legal constraints are among the factors that need to be considered when drawing up a PMP. It is also imperative that as chartered building surveyors we are not overly dictatorial but moreover we concentrate on working with our clients to ensure that any PMP remains flexible to the clients sometimes changing priorities.
We work with other professionals, including services consultants and where possible we will assess the options available in the context of future proofing and identifying areas where changes might lead to a far more effective energy strategy.
The complexity of a specific project will dictate the detail and scale of the submissions to achieve the required consents. We have a wealth of experience in dealing with a wide range of projects including office to residential conversions, extensions, major window replacement schemes, over-cladding of 1960’s blocks through to smaller apartment reconfigurations and small scale alterations.
We also work alongside some market leading Approved Inspectors to ensure that Building Regulations standards are complied with, yet we often consider alternative solutions to satisfy the relevant guidance without compromising compliance.
The design aspect of any scheme is of course critical but is not considered in isolation. Procurements and contract considerations would also be considered at feasibility stage as well as other external factors such as location, surroundings and neighbourly matters.