Index of Articles

Gerry McNally
Post date 24/10/2011 - 11:38
Summary of article:

If you have a risk of subsidence you will need specialised insurance
What to do in the event that your property has a history of structural movement

Ensuring your property is insured against the risk of subsidence or other forms of structural movement is absolutely crucial. Because of the high costs involved, most insurers prefer not to quote for people who wish to insure their buildings in areas that are perceived to have a high risk of subsidence, even more insurers will decline to offer a policy for properties with previous subsidence damage.  homeprotect is a specialist provider of insurance which caters for residential property with a history of subsidence.  

Peter Webster MA (Cantab)
Post date 25/07/2011 - 12:03
Summary of article:

My brief today is to share with you some recollections of six projects which turned “bad” for the professionals involved because the client was not happy. As I am sure all of you are aware, keeping clients happy is not an exact science; they can become unhappy when you have done nothing legally, technically or personally wrong. I am not therefore aiming to set out for you a systematic method of keeping clients happy (although if any of you think this can be done, I’d be very glad to collaborate with you on another paper!): rather, I wish to explore with you the challenges for professional and client together of facing the unusual.

Post date 24/07/2011 - 12:15
Summary of article:

This is a text only version of the article, to see the full atricle, including pictures, please download the PDF.


Andrew Bussey
Post date 24/07/2011 - 12:09
Summary of article:

Smithers Purslow Consulting Engineers and Surveyors have been asked to prepare a presentation on Water Damage to Buildings for CPD Conferences Ltd.
The presentation will touch upon Smithers Purslow’s experience in this field and then look at typical sources of moisture in buildings, then explain typical effects on common building materials and construction techniques.
Consideration will then follow as to how to restore water tightness to buildings and subsequent drying out that may be appropriate. This will be followed by an explanation of drying certification from specialist companies and typical qualifications in documentation that they prepare.
The presentation will then focus upon repair methods following water and moisture damage to prevent recurring problems in the future.
As the presentation continues various example projects will be referred to and in conclusion a number of interesting case studies will also be explained.

Lindsay Carrington of Lindsay Carrington Ecological Services
Post date 21/12/2010 - 11:26
Summary of article:

Professionals working in planning and development related industries are increasingly encountering the requirement to consider the impacts of proposals on the ecology of and within the vicinity of a site.
Professionals working in planning and development related industries are increasingly encountering the requirement to consider the impacts of proposals on the ecology of and within the vicinity of a site. Initially the aspects of ecology such as protected species legislation, survey effort and mitigation schemes can seem difficult to negotiate within the planning process. This paper aims to explain why ecology needs to be considered in planning applications in terms of the governing legislation and policy and to provide an account of best practice in dealing with the most commonly encountered issues.

Alastair Gill of Drivers Jonas Deloitte. - Architectural Des
Post date 20/12/2010 - 11:58
Summary of article:

Daylighting/sunlighting and rights of light
The aim of this presentation is to give you a general understanding of daylighting/sunlighting and rights of light, provide you with the general terminology used and legislation that applies.  Both daylighting/sunlighting and rights of light fundamentally deal with natural lighting to buildings. They both achieve the same objectives in that they aim to maintain good daylighting and sunlighting levels within buildings.

JJ Heath-Caldwell
Post date 27/07/2010 - 00:00
Summary of article:

Local Surveyors Direct first went live in 2005 offering a price comparison service for Building Surveys.  Over time a large number of Building Surveyors have joined the service and their details have been listed for customers searching for a survey in a particlular area.  Since then numerous other services have been added and more and more suppliers have listed their details.  The following article written by JJ Heath-Caldwell gives an overview of how this all came about.

Mike Royall ACGI BSc CEng MICE MCIArb
Post date 01/07/2010 - 00:00
Summary of article:

This document describes the types of building surveys and specialists reports which are available to, and often required by, homebuyers, mortgage lenders and relocation agents.
The UK housing stock is old and, despite an apparent boom in ‘home improvements’, the truth is that there are insufficient resources spent on maintenance and repair of older properties. Before the ‘credit crunch’ the rate of new house building was low – some say it was at the lowest since the end of WW2. Following the ‘credit crunch’ house building almost collapsed and recovery has slow and looks likely to remain so on account of difficulties in obtaining mortgages and changes to regional planning requirements.
It is a sad fact that 80% of homebuyers rely on their own (limited) viewing of the property and their mortgage valuation report, and take no other professional advice on the condition of their proposed purchase. The result is that problems are often discovered with the property after it has been purchased, and the homeowner often looks for someone (else) to blame.
There has been an increasing readiness of homebuyers to complain about what they consider to be inadequate mortgage valuation reports and other surveys. Serious complaints often lead to claims and legal action against surveyors. This has led to the professional institutions tightening the guidelines and limitations on what is, and, more importantly, what is not, covered by surveys. The result of this is that a surveyor may often be aware of, or suspect a problem (or potential problem), but is not allowed to investigate it further, or give a definitive opinion on the problem, within the limitations of the type of survey being carried out. There is however a strict legal requirement overriding this, to the effect that a surveyor must ‘flag’ the problem or concern and recommend further investigation, usually by a specialist. In most cases it is not fair to say that the surveyor is being overcautious, they are required to follow guidelines issued by their professional bodies, legal cases, and their professional indemnity insurers.
There is also an increasingly cautious stance being taken by lenders and insurers. We see many reports where minor cracks or movement have been noted by a surveyor and have been dismissed as ‘not significant’. Even so the lender or insurer has requested a structural engineers report before they would consider the property further.
The result of this is that more and more specialist reports are required during the homebuying process. ENGINEERS REPORTS began providing structural engineers reports to homebuyers in 1990, and subsequently diversified its services to include electrical, gas and other specialist reports. Since about 1998 we began to offer building surveys and the like and have now re-named the business ER SURVEYS to reflect this.
ER SURVEYS operates via its network of surveyors, engineers and other specialists, by offering a one-stop solution to obtaining all, and any kind of property survey or report. All our surveyors and engineers are required to have professional indemnity insurance, and other specialists are required to have public liability insurance – however, we also have our own contingency professional indemnity insurance as a back-up.

Steve Shutler BSc (Hons)
Post date 24/06/2010 - 00:00
Summary of article:

An overview of Asbestos in houses
Asbestos and asbestos containing materials have the potential to cause serious or fatal diseases. They can also have a significant implication on the value of a building, cause sales to fall through and in the case of commercial premises can leave the owner or employer in Court. Identification of ACMs part way through refurbishments also has the potential to cause delays and cost escalation.
Some unscrupulous contractors and so called “asbestos consultants” can however use the concerns surrounding asbestos to carry out unnecessary asbestos removal. Similarly the presence or even the suspicion that asbestos may be present can unnecessarily devalue a property. Therefore as with other aspects of building maintenance and valuation it pays to obtain impartial advice from an independent expert.

Chris Shaw CEng FICE FIET MIStructE MCMI
Post date 01/04/2010 - 00:00
Summary of article:

A case study of sustainable construction using the building of a large garden bridge as an example.
This Paper is in two parts.  The first part describes sustainable construction, why it is needed, and how to achieve it.  The second part is a case study of the design and construction of a ‘Monet’ style bridge, the design of which was required by the Client to look like the bridge over the pond in the garden of the famous French impressionist painter, Claude Monet.

The first part of the Paper includes:
Sustainability – What is it?
Natural Capital.
Think Global – Act Local.
The Sequential Test for Sustainability.
The second part of the Paper is a case study of the ‘Monet’ bridge.