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Schools & Education Sector

Client: National Contractor
Situation: Our client was a national contractor who had constructed many PFI schools. One such school was allegedly suffering a number of problems in terms of performance, particularly regarding the roof design and construction, classroom lighting and ventilation, and security. Probyn Miers was commissioned to investigate and to review the detailed design and construction of the building and to provide an overview in respect of remedial detailing.
Action: We were involved in extensive negotiations with the school and their advisors, and we continued to advise the contractor as they undertook remedial works.
Result: Our client undertook extensive remedial works to the school and the matter was ultimately settled.


Client: Insurers for the architects
Situation: A Cambridge University college had commissioned a new library which was designed and constructed to achieve a lifespan in excess of 100 years. The roof was substantially clad in lead, using high quality materials throughout. After Practical Completion, problems arose in relation to water ingress which gave rise to a check on the design of the library roof. This in turn led to concerns for the rainwater drainage capacity of the roof in the event of heavy storms. Probyn Miers was commissioned by the insurers of the architect to investigate the position and to report on the design and construction of the roof.
Action: In conjunction with the other parties’ experts we investigated the design and had various parts of the roof opened up for further inspection in order to ascertain the construction. This ultimately led to the roof being stripped and fully redesigned and relayed.
Result: The dispute was ultimately settled by negotiation.


Client: Solicitors for architect and PI insurers
Situation: New accommodation had been built for a well-known secondary school with a large residential campus in the south of England.  Water ingress occurred around window openings and through brickwork features.  The Claimant was mainly concerned with faulty construction by the Contractor, but also alleged faulty design and inadequate inspection by the architect.
Action: Probyn Miers was appointed to give expert opinion.  This raised issues of brickwork detailing and weathering and the extent of the architect’s inspection duties.  Probyn Miers prepared a report for the client.
Result: The case was settled at mediation.



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.

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