Most construction projects are faced with challenges, these challenges can manifest at any time during the project timeline. Proper risk identification and management of risk is one of the key components of avoiding negative impact on projects. However, due to the unique nature of each construction project it is evident that they can and do go wrong.
At BGD our construction professionals are able to provide diagnostic tools that can be implemented at all stages of a project to assist parties in avoiding the many pitfalls faced. These tools can also be adapted to suit projects where unfortunately things have gone wrong so as to minimise their impact on time, cost, quality and relationships.
Where BGD are requested to provide advice on a project a tailored approach will be given to suit the needs of our client. The plan provided by BGD can then be implemented according to those needs.
It is often the case that cost planning is carried out retrospectively against a design that has been sold to a client. This inevitably will lead to disappointment, either through having to “value engineer” the project, poor procurement and a drop in quality.
BGD are able to offer cost planning services throughout the design process so as to tailor a cost plan and make it an integral part of the design. Due to our extensive knowledge and contact with the entire construction supply chain, real time cost advice can be provided.This makes the cost planning relevant to facilitate informed choices for clients.
This process works hand in hand with the project diagnostics in terms of risk identification and management.
A detailed and integrated approach to cost planning which clearly identifies budgets will enable subsequent cost management and reporting to be undertaken clearly and effectively.
Whilst the importance of developing an integrated cost plan has been explained, ongoing cost management is of equal importance. Construction projects are almost always subject to change. This can be through the introduction of variations to the work and / or changes to project duration.
BGD are able to provide management tools and professionals that understand the importance of providing early and detailed cost advice throughout a project. This ensures that effective decisions can be made by the parties in a proactive manner. No one likes shocks at the end of a project. BGD recognise that a key indicator of success will be measured by the ability to provide contemporaneous cost advice and overall management from beginning to end.
The ability to accurately manage cost will also provide accurate cash flow forecasting for clients and contractors alike. Whilst not a definitive indicator dramatic shifts In cash flow forecasts may also identify delays to the construction programme.
Clear and appropriate procurement strategy is essential in the delivery of a complex construction project. The identification of risk and apportioning it where it can be best managed is the cornerstone of professional procurement management. The commercial and legal expertise at BGD is combined to identify, advise and structure the procurement path most appropriate for the project and the client’s eventual goals.
Construction management, traditional contract, design and build or a combination of these can be tailored to suit the needs of the client and the unique features of the project. This accounts for known factors, critical demands and site, time and financial constraints.
Early decisions on Procurement strategy are essential to dictate the sequence of appointments and operations and drafting of procurement documents. The procurement strategy must be reflected in the project programme identifying key procurement dates. This will set timelines for each stage of the project from conceptual design through to construction completion.
At BGD we would welcome the opportunity to discuss with you in confidence projects which you may be considering to help set out some early milestones and discuss procurement options.
Bills of Quantities remain the most transparent and readily comparable methods of securing competitive tenders providing a ‘level playing field’ for all tendering parties. They also are a cornerstone for the evaluation of variations post contract and have proved to be the most efficient and productive way to evaluate stage payments. To prepare Bills of Quantities requires a sound knowledge of building design and construction process as well as building materials properties and component assembly. They can be used at the contractual interfaces between employer and contractor as well as between contractor and sub contractor.
BGD has the experience and capability to produce Bills of Quantities, whether that is under SMM rules, CESMM or any other protocol. We also produce ‘builders’ quantities’ when these are required.
Banks and other project funders need to have certainty that their investment is being managed effectively and will deliver in accordance with their contract. That means tight controls on projects to ensure cost, quality and time are being managed. BGD can structure a reporting system to meet with funder’s requirements which captures all these project aspects and additionally, can identify specific project risks. From the outset, BGD can pre-contract progress, identify key milestones, assess the strengths and weaknesses of consultants and Contractors, comment on procurement strategy, and review the insurance programme. From project commencement BGD can provide monthly reports on progress, financial risks and changes and quality issues. We can then report back in any suitable format as directed by the lender, highlighting where divergence from the planned works is occurring.
For all parties engaged on a construction project concerns are often raised about the accuracy of internal project reporting. An outside objective overview by a specialist with contract experience can be a vital tool in identifying where and why a project is deviating from planned progress and make recommendations on how to rectify. BGD has that expertise to provide a snapshot of a project’s position at a point in time so that senior management can know exactly what is going wrong and why.
Proposals put forward by BGD can also be reviewed at the end of the project to determine the effectiveness of their implementation such that the same challenges are avoided on future projects. BGD will be happy to assist a client in formalising the necessary strategies and reporting documents to streamline these processes further.
At BGD, the range of staff we have enables us to match requirements with the suitably skilled individual who possesses the appropriate knowledge, experience, business, management and leadership skills to fill critical gaps in client’s own organisations. Adapting to different business environments and getting to grips with unfamiliar business organisations and structures is key to successful interim management and we can deliver this through the commitment and experience of our consultants who bring years of experience in varied organisations to each new challenge, whether in the private or public sector.
Contract drafting starts with a clear understanding of the objective and the desired outcomes for a project. Liabilities, obligations, responsibilities and allocation of risk are the key subject matters of all construction and engineering contracts. Recognition of risk and its appropriate allocation to the party most able to manage it is frequently overlooked in the desire to delegate risk down the contractual chain. At BGD, we can advise on where and by whom risk is best managed and guide clients on the most suitable contract forms and amendments.
Our team has wide and in-depth experience of contract negotiation, guarantees and warranties, bonds and project finance agreements, collateral warranties and CDP elements, matching these with the project requirements.
The resolution of final accounts can become very protracted, particularly where contract variations and extensions of time have not been agreed as the project is progressed. It can become a highly analytical forensic process, at times more like an historic investigation than concluding a commercial agreement. The problems are frequently further exacerbated when project staff are no longer available to explain events. And the final account negotiation maybe subject to more formal proceedings so the account must be prepared with this as a back-stop position. There are so many variables to consider as no two final accounts are similar. Our staff at BGD has undertaken the conclusion to many such varied final accounts, professionally negotiating them to a conclusion so that commercial relationships can be preserved and possibly even enhanced for the benefit of all parties.
Because construction involves so many parties delivering their different services, it becomes a myriad of contracts, each one potentially impacting others. So, it is hardly surprising that disputes arise between parties to these contracts, even on the best managed projects. Whether it involves the employer, main contractor, consultant, sub contractor or supplier we can assist the resolution process. This can be achieved through analysis of the project history and evaluation of the costs and entitlements and the contractual positions of the parties.
Whilst not limited to time and money, these are usually the causes of contractual disputes.
At BGD, we have professionals trained and skilled in negotiating settlements. We have the knowledge and experience to assess the strengths and the weaknesses in the parties’ positions and look to find paths through disputes to find equitable and acceptable settlements.
BGD has a team of experienced professionals to represents parties, both in pursuit and defence of Adjudication actions. We will first discuss the case with you and advise on prospects and strategies and also give you estimates of costs and potential outcomes. We have extensive experience and knowledge of managing the Adjudication process and have been specialists in this complex area of construction dispute resolution.
We can provide the following specific services in adjudications
Arbitration is a widely used form of dispute resolution and its key distinction from litigation is that it is a private forum and not a public record. It is used domestically within the UK but is also popular internationally as the dispute resolution solution of choice. Litigation relies upon the courts with judges rather than arbitrators directing proceedings and issuing decisions
At BGD, we can offer the following services:
We work for employers, insurers, main and management contractors, developers, sub contractors, suppliers and insolvency practitioners.
We work closely with law firms within tight and demanding timescales to deliver the best outcome for the client.
The delivery of expert reports is a highly skilled area requiring sound knowledge, analytical skills, concise and clear report writing and all done within tight time constraints.
We have a wide range of very experienced and knowledgeable experts who can deliver reports on quantum, time and programming. We can call on a network in the fields of building surveying, professional negligence and technical construction architectural and structural matters.
Our experts deliver clear, succinct reports to provide clear and unambiguous evidence for consideration in a court, in arbitration or most commonly in adjudication. They also provide oral evidence clearly and robustly where that is required.
Through our highly trained and qualified staff members we are able to deliver quality training to suit our client’s needs. You can select from our standard modules or we can design and deliver bespoke training to meet the requirements of our clients and their staff, at locations to suit them.
These might include:
Planning is an essential discipline in the construction process. Sequencing building operations and understanding the links between them is a skilled undertaking. We have planners and programmers able to provide planning services on any construction project, no matter how complex. Our planners work from the initial feasibilities right through to the preparation of tender and contract programmes. Once a project commences, BGD can monitor progress linking with trade contractor’s programmes. We can plot the effects of variations and delays to demonstrate the responsibility of each party for the effects on the contract or base line programme. The construction programme will also determine procurement periods, critical path(s) and will be intricately linked to the cost plan, management and cash flow of a project.
Retrospective analysis of programmes is frequently used in dispute resolution to determine how delays occurred and who was responsible. This involves comparing the actual progress against the baseline programme and redrawing the critical path of construction activities. It is a skilled task, especially on complex projects and we have extensive experience and expertise in this field. All forms of recognised delay analysis can be undertaken, depending on the requirements of the project and the form of contract being used.
A Building Survey is a comprehensive inspection of a property, reported upon in a style to suit the property and a client’s specific requirements. At BGD we can carry out bespoke surveys for all types of property including commercial property, listed buildings, buildings constructed in an unusual way and properties where renovations are planned or have been carried out.
Our full Building Surveys include an inspection of all accessible areas of a property tailored to meet any specific requirements of a client. The report is detailed and provides an analysis of the construction and condition of all elements (or those elements instructed to be analysed) within the structure. The report is far more detailed than a RICS Homebuyer Survey. The exposure and testing of services are however not included, but we can arrange for the commissioning of any specialist third party inspections and surveys on behalf of clients on their request.
We also offer various other surveys such as Intermediate Building Surveys (more cost effective than a full Building Survey), Condition Surveys or specific surveys to meet a client’s requirements.
An elemental or specialist investigation can be carried out as part of a Building Survey or it may be instructed as a separate survey by a client. This type of survey is usually instructed where concern exists over specific parts of, or defects in, a property. Examples of this specialist work are the detailed study of movement, cracking, bulging or timber decay.
Pre-acquisition and feasibility surveys are particularly useful in identifying inherent defects and expected expenditure in the rectification of defects prior to the purchase or planned refurbishment of a property. Formal reports are produced at the completion of investigations and inspections, and these will include recommendations for the rectification of any defects identified. If required this can include preparation of a Specification of Works for the client to seek competitive builder quotations themselves or we can provide a full Project or Contract Management service.
At BGD, we can offer a full dilapidation service with regard to any aspect of a leased property whether it be a landlord or tenant requirement. We offer pre-lease dilapidations advice for tenants prior to formal agreement of a lease (normally at heads of terms stage). This ensures that the tenant is not signing into an onerous future dilapidations liability that they are unaware of. We can undertake Condition Surveys prior to lease completion for incorporation into the lease for either the tenant or the landlord.
Dilapidation surveys are bespoke to either the tenant or landlord to identify the repairs required to a property in relation to the tenant’s obligations under the terms of the lease. The Schedule of Dilapidations may be an interim, terminal or final report which is prepared for the landlord to be served on the tenant and sets out the respective lease obligations. To minimise costs and potential disputes we advise that both landlords and tenants are proactive with the dilapidations process . An exit strategy should be formulated at least 12 months before the end of the lease or a lease break opportunity. BGD can manage the whole dilapidations process for tenants or landlords seamlessly to ensure that the required outcome is in accordance with the lease requirements and dilapidations protocol.
The Party Wall Act 1996 applies throughout England and Wales. It provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes between neighbours in relation to boundary walls, party walls and excavations within 3m or 6m of a neighbouring building or structure.
Our team has significant experience in the administration of the Act in the capacity as Building Owner’s Surveyor, Adjoining Owner’s Surveyor, acting in a single capacity as Agreed Surveyor or acting as the third Surveyor.
If you are intending to carry out construction works near to your neighbour’s property or if indeed you have been served with a formal notice by your neighbour, please don’t hesitate to contact us for free, no obligation advice.
Download the RICS Party Wall Guidance note here.
Planned maintenance and effective spending on regular maintenance can reduce the need for costly repairs, protect the fabric of your building and save money in the longer term. Regular maintenance is the best way to ensure the continued preservation and the future cost effective use of a building.
It is often the case that buildings are maintained on an ad-hoc basis without proper planning as and when defects become apparent. This can result in inefficient expenditure with an excessive and unexpected peak to finances.
The solution is to prepare a pro-active maintenance Plan which captures and enables all property element expenditure to be planned in advance, whether it is a single property or a portfolio of properties. This approach enables correct maintenance planning over a set period of time (normally 5-10 years). This helps organisations or property management companies to predict, plan and budget for future maintenance costs or introduce capital expenditure.
Prior to a maintenance plan being prepared, it will first be necessary to carry out a detailed inspection of the property. A Schedule of Condition will then be drawn up identifying all defects in a formal report. Our team of professionally qualified Building Surveyors and Quantity Surveyors combine their skills to provide repair and maintenance plans which are presented in a tabular format. This enables the reader to gain an in depth understanding of the key issues in an easy to understand layout.
At BGD we are able to offer Clients with a full range of bespoke services on various property types that have a Listed Building Status including obtaining necessary statutory approvals and liaison with Conservation Officers and Departments.
Few organisations can afford to commit resources to a project without prior assessment of the risks involved and the likely benefits.
BGD undertakes feasibility studies to provide a thorough and independent appraisal of the commercial benefits and dangers associated with an identified project or business opportunity. The decision to implement any new project or programme must be based on a thorough analysis, and a detailed feasibility study provides the necessary information against which informed decisions can be made. We will help you to assess the risks and benefits before you commit any resources.
The CDM Regulations 2007 have now been replaced by the CDM Regulations 2015. This change has seen the removal of the CDM Co-Ordinator and also the application of the regulations to all construction projects regardless of size or complexity.
At BGD, we are able to demonstrate capability of Principle Designer and are able to guide Principle Designers and Designers through the CDM Regulations. We are able to assist in the preparation of pre-construction information identifying risks and hazards. Through a process of elimination, reduction and control factors, designers can fulfil their obligations to provide information to contractors.
We have extensive knowledge and experience in assisting Principle Contractors in both small scale domestic projects to large scale commercial projects in the preparation of Construction Phase Health and Safety Plans. We are able to attend site meetings and offer advice and guidance in the identification of risks and hazards and managing those risks.
All guidance that we offer is bespoke and tailored to each project avoiding reams of excessive unread generic paperwork. We do not quote endless lists of regulation filling files to collect dust, just clear concise useful information.
BGD has developed a comprehensive set of tried and tested client-focused project management procedures which can be specifically tailored to meet the needs of individual projects irrespective of their size or complexity.
The procedures provide a structured framework for the management of a project on behalf of a client from inception to completion through each of the recognised phases of a project.
BGD are able to undertake Contract Administration under any of the commonly used contracts to ensure that the contract terms are administered impartially.
The role is generally considered to include:
Good administration of the contract is intrinsically linked to the successful delivery of the project and maintaining control of project finances. We have the expertise to undertake good contract administration to ensure that the project delivers the employers requirements cost effectively.
The term employer’s agent is used to describe the agent acting on behalf of the client as the contract administrator for design & build contracts.
Our project managers are independently appointed by the client and have the necessary experience to be fully involved from conception to completion of the project.
In addition to acting as the contract administrator, our employer’s agent’s also carry out pre contract services. These include co-ordinating the tender process, co-ordinating the novation of consultants, collating contract documents for execution, implementing change procedures and any other requirements pre-contract.
Post contract our employer’s agent’s role will include: