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Tips to ensure your building project runs smoothly
24 July 2019

If you have a building project in mind, planning your project from the outset is key.

People often think the first port of call is an architect to design their perfect grand design scheme. However, at Robinson & Hall we have extensive experience and are multidisciplined to prepare architectural plans and a scheme that stands the best chance of obtaining planning consent. We can design plans to ensure your requirements match your budget with practicalities and ease of construction factored in from the outset.

It is important to be aware that all projects where more than one contractor is involved (domestic or non-domestic) will require the appointment of a Principal Designer whose responsibility is to assess construction and long-term maintenance risks, whilst designing the structure and seeking to design out foreseeable and unnecessary risks.

For more information on the Construction (Design and Management) (CDM) Regulations 2015 and to understand your duties as a client visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg411.htm to download a short guide.

We can act as Principal Designer and assist you through the process under the CDM Regulations. Once your scheme has been designed and planning consent has been obtained, you then require Building Regulation consent. 

We can also develop full construction drawings to sufficiently detail the building works so that the contractor can price and then construct the structure to conform to the statutory minimum standards. It is always more costly to retrospectively obtain Building Regulation consent. This often results in the structure being exposed to ascertain the construction materials and in the worst cases, requiring completed finishes to be stripped out to allow corrective works to ensure compliance with the Regulations. 

A number of compliance issues are regularly seen by our building surveyors which with early thought, preparation of working drawings and obtaining Building Regulation consent (prior to commencement) could be prevented. 

Top 10 issues often found that can be easily eliminated by careful planning are:-

1.    The wrong foundation design to take into account characteristics of the site including trees and historical structures.
2.    The wrong damp proof membranes and measures to prevent the ingress of ground moisture.
3.     Insufficient insulation installed to meet minimum standards or substituted during construction with lesser performing products.
4.     Lack of care when installing insulation and internal linings resulting in cold bridges and increased risk of condensation.
5.     Use of substandard materials that result in poor performance of building and early failure.
6.     Poorly designed roofs with awkward details and valleys with materials used within their tested limits.
7.     Robust detailing designed to avoid noise transfer substituted for quicker, less costly construction due to lack of understanding of acoustical requirements.
8.     Poor location of extractor fans (or none fitted) resulting in conditions ripe for condensation.
9.     Sanitaryware, taps and water appliance fittings that are too inefficient to conform with the Water Saving Regulations.
10.   Heating systems installed based on economics of installation rather than correct design resulting in failure to meet efficiency standards.

Our building surveyors have often seen schemes run into trouble when either Building Regulation consent has not been obtained or the construction details have not been fully considered before construction commences. 

For more information or if you wish to discuss a project then do not hesitate in contacting me.

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