The Life of A Building Surveyor – Part 4

Posted by on Jul 31, 2018 in Building Surveying

The Life of A Building Surveyor – Part 4

There are several contract suites used within the UK, each of which produce several different contracts for different types of construction project.

Many of these contracts require the role of a Contract Administrator (CA). Put very briefly the CA impartially manages the contract between two parties, the employer and the contractor. Typical duties include chairing meetings, inspecting the works, authorising payments and giving instructions including variations or change orders.

Traditionally an Architect fulfilled this role within contracts. However, the scope of who can be a CA has widened and is now one of the fundamental roles of a Building Surveyor. Building Surveyors are perfect for this role given their technical expertise and integrity in keeping with RICS Professional and Ethical Standards.

One of my current projects at GLM involves a CA role at a large country estate near Longtown, Cumbria. More specifically, the works include the full restoration of dilapidated Victorian stables back to their original condition but with some internal adaptation to provide accommodation for guests.

One of the main challenges with this project is that the stables are sited directly on top of Roman remains from Hadrian’s Wall. This involves a careful and skilled build along with a close working relationship with Historic England.

What makes this particular project special is that although the stables were dilapidated and unsafe, several original features have remained relatively intact, including fireplaces and the cast iron stalls. The project will eventually see the stables returned to their glory and brought back to full working order. Wherever possible, the original materials have been retained and reused. Including a rotten oak roof truss which despite being unfit structurally, is fascinating to look at and radiates character. This truss is being retained and supplemented by a discrete steel frame to provide excellent stability and historic interest.

Progress on site has been affected by a particularly harsh winter but is catching up due to the fantastic summer we are all enjoying and completion is anticipated by the end of 2019. Whenever the finish date, no one can deny the excellent workmanship which has gone into the project thus far along with the enthusiasm and commitment of the owners.

Of course, not everyone has the luxury of owning a country estate and this is one of the more glamorous and unique projects we are involved in at GLM. Nevertheless, the Contract Administrator performs a vital role between the employer and contractor on contracts of all sizes, protecting the interests of all parties at all times. GLM are highly experienced in this role, including knowledge of the best contract to suit your circumstances and are ready to assist with your next project.

Neil Dickson

Building Surveyor

Check back in Mid-August for the next installment