Top construction tips for businesses
Most clients are not regular purchasers of construction work and it can be a steep learning curve, so whether you are considering a new building, expanding your existing premises, or fitting out your building to suit your particular business requirements, there are a number of important elements you should consider:
1. Planning permission
Most developments of new and existing premises will require planning permission, but there are exclusions and certain projects, classed as ‘permitted developments’ under The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, will not require planning permission. Permitted development removes hundreds of thousands of domestic and business projects from the planning system each year, so it is important to ascertain whether your project requires the time and cost of a full planning application, or meets the criteria of ‘permitted development’.
2. Building control regulations
Building Regulations are a set of minimum building standards that provide acceptable levels of health and safety for all people who live, work, visit or are in the vicinity of buildings. Like planning permission, building regulations approval is needed when you construct a new building, extend or alter an existing building, or install services or fittings in a building e.g. washing and sanitary facilities, hot water cylinders, foul water and rainwater drainage, replacement windows and fuel burning appliances.
3. CDM (Construction Design and Management) regulations
The CDM 2007 Regulations apply to most common building and civil engineering work. You must notify the Health & Safety Executive if the construction work is expected to either (a) last longer than 30 days; or (b) involve more than 500 person days of construction work. The HSE should be notified in writing before works starts using for F10, and a CDM Co-ordinator and Principal Contractor should be appointed to develop the health and safety plans for the project.
This stands for Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology and is the world's longest established and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings. This can be a voluntary option selected by the client or included as a mandatory planning condition. In either case, it is of vital importance that your project manager and BREEAM consultant are involved from the outset of the project because there are few elements of a build into which BREEAM does not have some input.
5. Design and build
Design and build projects account for an ever increasing percentage of the construction market. A design and build company will be your single point of contact and responsibility. They should understand the specific requirements of your industry and be able to provide positive input into all aspects of the building project. They will develop drawings, handle planning permissions and building regulations approval, compile specifications and tenders, and manage the construction, health and safety and cost management for you. They will be your advocate and can save you time, cost and many sleepless nights.
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