Award winning chartered building surveyors

Our commercial team operates across the office, retail and industrial sectors.  Understanding our clients’ business needs and being clear on what is important (and not so important) to our clients, allows us to mould our services to suit each situation.  If we understand the businesses we are advising, then we can better serve our clients and consequently achieve outstanding value by providing bespoke approaches, rather than adopting a one size fits all approach.

Building Surveys & Due Diligence

Building Surveys are undertaken for a variety of reasons including for the assessment of overall condition of a property, through to investigating causes of movement, cracking, leaking, dampness and so on.

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.

CDM Principal Designer

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) came into force on 6 April 2015, replacing CDM 2007.  A Principal Designer is required to be appointed by a Client where a project involves more than one contractor and are responsible for the planning, monitoring and coordination of health and safety in the pre-construction phase of a project.

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.

For more information please contact Paul Stratful (paul@harrisassociatesuk.com).

Contract Administration & Project Management

A core part of our service provision involves us running capital works projects.  These range in value from sub £10K up to £3M+ across the residential and commercial sectors.  Typically, our involvement is split into Pre-Contract and Post Contract phases.

Pre-Contract

  • Detailed site inspections and investigations
  • Preparation of a detailed specification of works
  • Selection of suitable contractors for tendering
  • Collation of tender documentation
  • Tendering
  • Full analysis & recommendations

Post Contract

  • Placement of contract
  • Collation of formal contract documentation and overseeing signing
  • Chairing meetings and carrying out regular site inspections
  • Monitoring & administrating the contract works
  • Monitoring contractor (against parameters of programme, cost & quality)
  • Contractual financial management including valuations
  • Contract certification (including variations, payments, time related certificates)
  • Final accounting & sign off

For further details please contact Shaun Harris (shaun@harrisassociatesuk.com).

Defect Analysis

Our services in respect of this area of our business range from identification of a building defect, through to its remedy which will often require the preparation of schedules of repairs and overseeing the implementation of the works to completion.

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.

Development Monitoring & Clients Agent

Acting on behalf of funders, investors and other project stakeholders, we advise and report on all aspects of a project including technical, financial, statutory, programming and legal issues.

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.

For further details please contact Shaun Harris (shaun@harrisassociatesuk.com).

Dilapidations

We act on behalf of landlords and tenants, primarily in the office, industrial and retail sectors.  We have a detailed understanding of the legal aspects and coupled with our flexible and commercially savvy approach to negotiation and tactics we are able to advise our clients early on in the process, giving our clients the best possible opportunity to achieving a successful end result.

For more details please contact Shaun Harris (shaun@harrisassociatesuk.com) or Steven McCormack (steven@harrisassociatesuk.com).

 

Fire & Flood Reinstatement Advice and Works Coordination

Working on behalf of freeholders and landlords and in close harmony with the insurance companies and the loss adjuster community we have over the years built a reputation for calm heads and efficient administration.  Whether a property has been fire damaged or flood damaged the key is to follow the process of reinstatement methodically whilst instilling a sense of steady speed.

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.

For further details please contact Liam Horton (liam@harrisassociatesuk.com).

Historic Building Expertise

With a large proportion of our work carried out in London, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to historic buildings.  Over 50% of the buildings that we are engaged to advise on are in excess of 100 years old, a high proportion will be listed and most are located in conservation areas.  Our Team is passionate about historic and listed buildings and about how best to maintain and conserve their architectural heritage.  Finding a balance of maintaining the old and making them accessible and relevant to modern lifestyles can be challenging and at Harris Associates we use our skill and expertise to iron out these conflicts.

When it comes to historic buildings we will always aim for the preservation of historic fabric and support the notion of repair rather than outright replacement.  External renovation comprising of façade repairs, cleaning, maintenance and restoration requires careful and appropriate specification of works, execution by a skilled workforce and using techniques and materials that fit with the buildings heritage and design.

Internal alterations and refurbishment will very often require careful integration of modern services and lifestyle and layout requirements with minimal intervention of the original fabric.  Specifically, satisfying modern statute (relating to fire escape, detection and alarm, building regulations and issues of accessibility) can be the toughest of conundrums to solve.  We have the experience of working with local heritage officers, building inspectors and risk assessors to find a workable solution that goes someway in satisfying all parties.

For further details please contact Shaun Harris or Steven McCormack (shaun@harrisassociatesuk.com) or (steven@harrisassociatesuk.com).

Party Wall Matters

We act as the Appointed Surveyor on behalf of both Building Owners and Adjoining Owners and our expertise sees us active in the commercial office, retail and residential sector.  We have a dedicated Neighbourly Matters team that takes the lead on our party wall and other boundary related dispute services.

For further details please contact shaun@harrisassociatesuk.com

Planned Maintenance Programming (5, 10, 15 & 20 years)

The formulation of a Planned Maintenance Programme (PMP) gives the building owner and / or maintenance provider a management tool which can be used to set in motion a maintenance and improvement strategy.  Having a PMP in place is the keystone to ensuring that the requirements of the property are understood, the necessary works are planned for and a sustainable financial plan is adopted.

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 dictorial but moreover we concentrate on working with our clients to ensure that any PMP remains flexible to the clients sometimes changing priorities.

Reinstatement Cost Assessments (RCA’s)

The regular and cyclical review of the sums insured for fire reinstatement purposes is vital to ensure that the property rebuilding cost is accurate. Under or over-valuation can result in over exposure to unnecessary risk. We have the experience and expertise to carry out fire insurance valuations whether the building be a grade 1 listed townhouse, a mixed use town centre office and shopping centre or an out of town science park.

Statutory Approvals – Planning/ Building Control/ Listed Buildings

Our core services see us working on some fabulous buildings, many of which are listed and / or architecturally outstanding.  Our Design team will very often take the lead on projects where statutory consents are necessary including building control approval, listed building consent, conservation area consent and planning permission.

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.

Design