LIFE OF A TYPICAL PROJECT :
This is a simplified breakdown, more detailed explanations can be discussed as needed, but at this stage the primary elements of the process are covered.
ALD offers a free first visit to prospective clients. Every job is different because the clients and the property location are different in each case, also client expectations vary.
As client needs vary in each new case, this affects the fee proposal which is individually developed once the first meeting is complete and the scope of the project is assessed! Agreeing terms up front will set out the expectations and ensure a smoother process through the project, especially regarding timelines and costs. This stage develops the initial design brief.
Once appointed, the first stage is the gathering of physical data, the existing building or site! A building and site survey can last from 2 to 3 hours at its most basic, to a full day if topographical and/or tree surveys are required. This measuring and recording of the existing building/site is the key element to developing a good workable design proposal, without accurate information at the beginning the final design proposal may prove more difficult than necessary to achieve.
The CDM Regulations 2007 are under the control of the Health & Safety Executive. The summary of the requirements are noted below, but full details can be downloaded off the HSE website.The CDM Regulations place duties on clients, planning supervisors, designers and contractors to plan, co-ordinate and manage health and safety throughout all stages of a construction project. Anyone who appoints a designer or contractor has to ensure that they are competent for the work and will allocate adequate resources for health and safety. Five key parties (firms or individuals) have specific duties:1. The client: who should be satisfied that only competent people are appointed as planning supervisor and principal contractor. This also applies when making arrangements for the appointment of designers and contractors. They should also ensure, as much as they can, that sufficient resources, including time, have been or will be allocated to enable the project to be carried out safely. Duties on clients do not apply to domestic householders when they have construction work carried out. 2. The designer: who should ensure, as much as they can, that structures are designed to avoid or where this is not possible, to minimise risks to health and safety while they are being built and maintained. Where risks cannot be avoided, adequate information has to be provided. Design includes the preparation of specifications - it is not limited to drawings. 3. The planning supervisor: who has overall responsibility for co-ordinating the health and safety aspects of the design and planning phase and for the early stages of the health and safety plan and the health and safety file. 4. The principal contractor: who should take account of health and safety issues when preparing and presenting tenders or similar documents. The principal contractor also has to develop the health and safety plan and co-ordinate the activities of all contractors to ensure they comply with health and safety legislation. Principal contractors also have duties to check on the provision of information and training for employees and for consulting with employees, and the self-employed on health and safety. 5. Contractors and the self-employed: who should co-operate with the principal contractor and provide relevant information on the health and safety risks created by their work and how they will be controlled. Contractors also have duties for the provision of other information to the principal contractor and to employees. The self-employed have duties similar to contractors. WHEN DOES CDM APPLY? The CDM Regulations will generally apply to construction work which is notifiable, i.e. lasts for more than 30 days or will involve more than 500 person days of work. CDM also applies to non-notifiable work which involves five people or more on site at any one time. However, CDM will apply to any design work no matter how long the work lasts and how many workers are involved on site. If the work includes demolition, CDM also applies, regardless of the length of time or the number of workers. If construction work is carried out on the residence of a domestic householder, so long as the residence is not used in connection with a business, CDM will not apply, except for the requirements on designers and for the project to be notified to the Health and Safety Executive. The Regulations do not apply to very minor construction work carried out in occupied premises, e.g. offices, shops, restaurants, etc. The term ‘construction work’ has been widely defined in the CDM Regulations and includes many activities within the building, civil engineering or engineering construction sector of the construction industry.
Once the survey is complete the information gathered is then “drawn up” in our CAD (Computer Aided Design) software to provide a computer version of the existing, ready for development into the new design proposal.
Based on the original design brief, this stage is where the client’s desires are mixed with the constraints of the existing building and site, along with a helping of design skills the first design option(s) are developed.
Once the initial designs are developed there is then a meeting to discuss and tease out the elements of the design(s) that work for the client and establish possible solutions to achieve the objectives – at this stage the design brief may also change as the clients are now thinking in more depth about their requirements. Depending on the size and complexity of a project, there could be 2 to 5 design review meetings before a final scheme is agreed.
Once the client commits to a final design, we usually like to review the scheme with the Local Authority Planning Department. This is entirely optional but can be useful to gauge the approach that is taken when submitting the application.
Planning Applications are seeking to gain permission regarding the Use of the building and the impact the design will have on its surroundings.
Andrew Lashley Design (ALD) acts as the Agent submitting the application so that any planning related queries can be dealt with directly and also protect the client from any undue stress when queries are made that are out of the clients normal sphere of knowledge. Any fees due to the local authority are paid direct by the client and are not part of the fee proposal prepared by ALD.
During the submission procedure there is an initial 21day consultation period which starts on the day that the Local Authority registers the application, we at ALD, will liaise with the planning officer once the 21days have passed to ensure that any matters of objection raised are addressed and also canvass the opinion of the officer once they have visited the site.
This is an ongoing process of negotiation which can run right up to the point of decision. Planning application duration is usually 8 weeks, but there are cases where they can be 13 weeks or longer depending on the impact the proposal will have on local infrastructure.
Once permission is granted work can commence
Building Regulations or Building Control is a secondary statutory process that needs to be carried out, it is the process by which the construction detail of the design is approved to meet the required standards. A permission to construct the building by a specific method and materials, meeting a minimum national and European standard.
This can be submitted either to Local Authority Development Control or government sanctioned Approved Inspectors - such as the NHBC.
The information at this stage is more detailed than for planning, and includes general specifications that enable the Officer/Inspector to establish the basic elements of the construction and ensure that the proposal is meeting or exceeding the required standards.
ALD usually prepare the drawings at this stage to a higher level than normally required, so that on small to medium projects these can assist more accurate costing by contractors, which will benefit the client when considering this element of their build.