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Internal finishes

Client: International hotel operator
Situation: This case concerned a main contractor’s claim against an employer following a payment set-off in respect of defective works.  Defects in the floor construction of a hotel restaurant kitchen had resulted in extensive cracking of tiles.  Remedial works required closure of the restaurant for an extended period. Probyn Miers opinion was required on the likely causes of the defects and resulting damage, including comment on the suitability of the design.
Action: Probyn Miers produced a report for adjudication.
Result: On technical issues, the adjudicator’s decision was in favour of the employer.

 

Client: Solicitors for building owner/occupier
Situation: A new car dealership had been built, with the workshop at first floor due to site constraints.  The workshop floor was tiled as required by the car manufacturer.  Soon after occupation tiles started delaminating from the pre-stressed concrete floor units on which they had been laid.  The car dealership claimed against the architect for the cost of replacing the tiles, alleging failures in the performance of its design and inspection duties.
Action: Probyn Miers was appointed to give expert opinion on the cause of the tiling defects and on the architect’s design and inspection liability.  This raised issues of differential movement between the tiling and the supporting suspended structure, both short-term reversible movement due to temperature cycles and long-term irreversible movement due to shrinkage of the concrete.  These had not been considered adequately, perhaps because the workshop was normally at ground level with a ground-bearing slab which would experience much less movement.  Probyn Miers prepared a report which was exchanged with the other side.
Result: The case settled at mediation.

 

Client: Solicitors for building owner/occupier
Situation: A new car dealership had been built, with the workshop at first floor due to site constraints.  The workshop floor was tiled as required by the car manufacturer.  Soon after occupation tiles started delaminating from the pre-stressed concrete floor units on which they had been laid.  The car dealership claimed against the architect for the cost of replacing the tiles, alleging failures in the performance of its design and inspection duties.
Action: Probyn Miers was appointed to give expert opinion on the cause of the tiling defects and on the architect’s design and inspection liability.  This raised issues of differential movement between the tiling and the supporting suspended structure, both short-term reversible movement due to temperature cycles and long-term irreversible movement due to shrinkage of the concrete.  These had not been considered adequately, perhaps because the workshop was normally at ground level with a ground-bearing slab which would experience much less movement.  Probyn Miers prepared a report which was exchanged with the other side.
Result: The case settled at mediation.

 

Client: Solicitors for the Claimant.
Situation:
The project involved the complete refurbishment of a 5 storey terraced house. Work was completed in November 2012 and the Claimant moved in. Within a few days there was a major leak in the main bathroom which also caused significant damage to the ceiling of the room below. The Claimant called in Pimlico Plumbers to fix the leak because the Contractor’s plumber was not available. During the course of the remedial work further defects were discovered in the drainage and plumbing systems. Subsequently other defects have been discovered in the plumbing and electrical systems.In addition the Claimant was not satisfied with the quality of the workmanship generally and the number of defects apparent in the plasterwork and joinery.
Action: Probyn Miers carried out a site inspection in conjunction with an M&E expert and prepared a preliminary report. The report concluded that: i), there was no specification or other document which set out the standards of materials to be used and workmanship to be achieved, ii), the standard to be applied in the absence of such document was the reasonable industry standard, iii), the defects to the finishes were generally within the range that might be expected following an extensive refurbishment, and iv), the quality of the work generally (excluding the M&E elements) was of an average standard when judged against the standards of reasonable industry standards.
Result: Awaiting further instructions as of 08 April 2013.


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