Our Structural Design Stage Services
We provide complete Structural Design services for residential extensions and new builds to ensure your project is built safely, structurally sound, and to the correct and required building standards and regulations. A Structural Engineer is the only building professional qualified to design Structural members, therefore you will require structural calculations and inspections if you are to attain an Opinion on Compliance on the completed project. The buyer’s solicitor will look for if you go to sell your house, to show the work complies with modern planning and building regulations. You will also require Structural calculations to comply with your legal obligation to appoint a Projection Supervisor for the Design Process. You cannot have somebody signing off that the design is safe, without having a completed design in place. Our services include:
Drainage Designs - rain water, foul, soakaway and stormwater attenuation designs
Foundation layouts and reinforcement schedules
Retaining wall design
Steelwork, lintels and timber member’s calculations and drawings
Our Construction Stage Services
We also offer on-site inspections of the builders work, health and safety, project management and signing off on Opinions on Compliances. Their services include:
Site inspections in accordance with the building control regulations
Signing off on bank forms for mortgage draw downs
Acting as Project Supervisor for the Design Process (click here for more information)
Issuing Opinions of Compliance with Planning and the Building Regulations (click here for more information)
Acting as Project Manager and Contract Administrator
Opinion On Compliance
An Opinion on Compliance is a document generally issued by an Engineer or Architect on building works to say they comply with Planning and Building Regulations. This is a legal document that would be kept with the deeds to the house, as the buyer’s solicitor will ask for this if the property is ever to be sold. If a property has had an extension put on and there is no Opinion on Compliance on the extended area, this can hurt the value of the house, hold up the selling process or force potential buyers to pull out.
An Opinion on Compliance covers two areas; an Opinion on Compliance on Building Regulations and an Opinion on Compliance with Planning. An Opinion with Compliance with Building Regulations gives the buyer confidence that any house or extended area was built correctly with the current building regulations, is structurally sound and insulated to the current standards at the time the house or extension was built. An Opinion on Compliance with Building Regulations can only be attained during the construction of any house or extension, as it involves inspections of the builders work at different stages of the building process while the work is been carried out. Trying to attain this afterwards on a complete building would involve digging up foundations and breaking open walls and parts of the building to see what way they were constructed, which is not feasible.
An Opinion with Compliance with Planning proves that all extensions are done within the planning permission and planning conditions laid out by the local planning authority. This ensures that no planning retention applications will need to be applied for relating to any extensions or alterations that were made to the property, which can be time consuming and expensive with professional fees, and also ensures that any extensions would not have to be demolished if the retention applications were unsuccessful.
The buyers lending institution will, in a lot of cases, ask for any planning issues to be resolved before they release the money for the purchase of the house. This can delay the sale of a house by months at a time.
Project Supervisor for the Design Process and Project Supervisor for the Construction Stage
Appointing a Project Supervisor for the Design Process (PSDP) and a Project Supervisor for the Construction Stage (PSCS) is a legal requirement for the home owner since 2013 when undertaking any domestic projects that take longer than 30 days, or 500 person days, or works that include a particular risk. So basically all extensions fall under this category. The responsibility to appoint the project supervisors falls on the home owner and failure to comply can result in the site been shut down and the client being fined and prosecuted.
The role of the PSDP is to identify health and safety risks in the design and to generally ensure that the project has been designed so that it can be built correctly. The person appointed as the PSDP would need to fully understand the design process and generally need to have a degree in design or architecture. An Engineer or Architect would normally carry out the role of PSDP.
The role of the PSCS is generally filled by the contractor on the build, although the client can appoint themselves as the PSCS, as long as they can establish they have the necessary competency and skillset to carry out this role. The PSCS is responsible to ensure that the on-site building work is done safely.
Click on the image below for further information on the responsibilities of the Home Owner.