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'PERSPECTIVE'

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Practical Completion

Client: Major contractor
Situation: Probyn Miers has worked with major national and international contractors in achieving practical completion on commercial projects. In this case a 120,000 square foot new build office project in the UK was in protracted delay, and the contractor anticipated various difficulties in achieving handover.
Action: Probyn Miers assisted by reviewing all principal areas of the works in the same manner as would an Employers Agent and advising the contractor on key areas for attention in order to achieve Practical Completion. Furthermore, we undertook detailed surveys of the condition of the new external cladding for the purpose of scheduling out the necessary repairs before completion.  We also reviewed all internal areas in order to advise on what work might reasonably be required for Practical Completion to be granted.
Result: The building was ultimately handed over successfully after remedial works were put in hand externally and internally.

 

Client: PFI consortium
Situation: An NHS Trust refuses to accept Practical Completion of a building produced as part of a large PFI hospital scheme, on the basis that it is not in accordance with contract requirements. Probyn Miers is required to give independent advice as to whether the building complies with contract requirements.
Action: An NHS Trust refuses to accept Practical Completion of a building produced as part of a large PFI hospital scheme, on the basis that it is not in accordance with contract requirements. Probyn Miers is required to give independent advice as to whether the building complies with contract requirements.
Result: Probyn Miers provided an expert opinion on the matters in dispute.

 

Client: Design and build contractor
Situation: A series of issues arose regarding design and workmanship in a privately owned apartment/commercial building, including disputes about the standard of workmanship required under the contract, about the date of practical completion of the works, and about alleged widespread defects.  Probyn Miers advice was required on the reasonableness of the employer’s position, and about the design of proposed remedial works.
Action: Probyn Miers provided advice and reports on reasonable standards to be achieved in various aspects of the design, along with advice on proposed remedial works to address admitted defects.
Result: Practical completion was achieved and the scope of remedial works agreed.

 

Client: Solicitors for the main contractor
Situation: The Contractor had substantially completed work on a new speculative commercial office building and had offered it for Practical Completion. The construction contract contained an unusually onerous, amended, clause with regard to the definition of practical completion. (PC was to be at the absolute discretion of the Client and in any event would not be granted if there were more than 4 defects which could not be rectified within 2 hours in any of the following categories: building fabric, building services, landscaping). The Developer, who had not been successful in finding a tenant for the building, had refused to certify PC and had stated his intention to levy L&A Ds
Action: Prpbyn Miers carried out a site inspection and prepared a preliminary report, which was delivered the following day so as to be available for a meeting between the contractor and developer. The report identified only one issue, (certification of lift controls, which was in progress during the site inspection), that would reasonably prevent PC.
Result: No further action was required from Probyn Miers. It is assumed that the meeting between the Contractor and Developer resulted in PC being certified.

 

Client: A Local Authority
Situation: The school, which was built to replace an ageing and outdated secondary school was being offered for PC by the contractor but the Client was reluctant to accept certification on the grounds that much work remained to be done and that a number of leaks were apparent.
Action: Probyn Miers visited the building with the client and reviewed a number of areas of concern. In a preliminary report Probyn Miers identified a number of potential problems with the roof construction, health and safety issues with regard to fire doors and balustrades and various issues related to unfinished work and poor standards of finish.
Result: The contractor responded to the Probyn Miers report constructively and positively. He involved Bauder Roofing (the manufacturer of the specified proprietary roofing system) in addressing and resolving the issues with the roof. He installed new fire doors, having established that the doors installed were too small. He completed the outstanding items of work and improved the quality of the finishes in the critical areas that the Probyn Miers report identified.The contractor documented the extent of all this remedial work and this record was included in the O&M manuals for the project.

 

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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