Illustrative of the aforementioned project profile, new build projects are more prevalent as one would expect to be the case, however Stephen’s construction sector background with the refurbishment contractor Walter Lawrence/Hall & Tawse City on projects including the Palace of Westminster (St Stephen’s Tower) refurbishment, The London Planetarium, former BBC HQ at Bush House and His Excellency, The Sultan of Brunei’s Kensington Palace Gardens home refurbishment have provided an invaluable understanding for specifications on these types of project. On all the refurbishment sector projects cited, Stephen visited the site at times on more than one occasion to liaise with specialists to ensure that their expertise and reports were cogently conveyed within the specification to yield the most comprehensive portrayal for tenderers and cost consultants.
Dovetailing to a certain extent with the previous paragraph, Stephen whilst being a self-confessed menace with any tool capable of craftwork, has had considerable exposure to joinery both during his first career with Digby Shopfitting Ltd and also by virtue of a five year spell with Hall & Tawse City where he developed and managed the firm’s in-house joinery facility. This understanding of timber and joinery fabrication enables Stephen to imbed a level of detail for fixed furniture, doorsets and joinery trim that might otherwise not be able to be captured. This fact was generously acknowledged by the Contractors on the Criminal Courts of Justice project in Dublin in 2008.
Determination of design responsibility can be a vexing subject depending upon the prevailing procurement route, and it is something viewed as an integral part of the service provided by NSUK in the form of advice and counsel as to which elements would benefit from specialist subcontractor input and which can safely be undertaken by our client architect. This is often a negotiation whereby it is on occasions necessary to lose the odd battle in order to win the war.
Working with Façade Consultants
It appears that increasingly our client architects prefer to enlist the expertise of façade consultants (FC) as part of the stakeholder consultant team. Particularly on complex and innovatory facades that is a prudent strategy, however in terms of specification, this can bring about something of a disconnect in the following respects:
- The FC spec is often a bespoke animal which whilst technically adroit, may very well be written with without any empathy with the principal project specification.
- It will often have a dissimilar terminology.
- It will often have different Section A / Division 01 clauses and therefore sit outside of the protection afforded by your counterpart sections.
- Codification may be unique.
- There may be grey areas of scope inclusion.
Stephen has developed approaches as to how these issues can be mitigated by early engagement and a clearly delineated dispersal of responsibility which again forms part of the NSUK consultancy service.