Project: Apartments, house/ coach house conversions & modern villa
Location: Lisvane, Cardiff
Client: PHG Capital
TC Consult was approached by private developer PHG Capital to act as employer’s agent and quantity surveyors administering a JCT design and build contract for this £3.5m project.
An executive development of two houses and 14 high-end apartments, it included the conversion of a Victorian house and coach house and a modern five-bedroom villa, in a large private former garden in the affluent village of Lisvane on the outskirts of Cardiff. The mainly two-bed apartments were designed by local architects c2j with an eye to the luxury “downsizer” market.
TC took the planning consent already in place, went to competitive tender, drew up a contract and managed and delivered the build right up to handover of the completed units – on time and in budget, in under 18 months.
Sales for the remodelled garden flat in the original house, the extended coach house and the new Lozelles House on the market for £895,000 – have gone well.
Lisvane lies on the edge of Cardiff, a busy bottleneck, but the narrow road past Lozelles often sees heavy traffic heading out of the village. Working collaboratively with the main contractor, Intelle Consulting, and the design team, we tackled the challenge of planning traffic calming measures and improving the pavements.
Services – gas, electricity and drainage – had to be channelled through the single lane road, which called for road closures. But through careful management and consultation with local groups, the local authority, the main contractor and the highways department. TC was able to ensure these were put in place with minimal disruption to local residents.
On the site, the redbrick Victorian house was to be remodelled rather than demolished. This required specialist surveys to establish structural integrity and to check for asbestos, which can be found in any building over 50 years old – in old linoleum floor tiles, wrapped around heating pipes, or in cement roof tiles.
Clearing the gardens, too, required specialist attention to comply with the local authority’s environmental and ecological standards. The grounds were overgrown with high hedges, and landscapers had to work around mature trees subject to tree preservation orders.
Even when the first contractor pulled out as contracts were about to be signed, TC’s expertise, groundwork and reputation meant we could quickly appoint a replacement, Intelle, without any delay to the client.
TC focuses on “de-risking” every project by meticulous upfront due diligence many months before the contractor breaks ground and by ensuring the contractor has the right information.
“For Lozelles, we procured ecological surveys and a type 3 pre-demolition asbestos survey,” Director Paul Tambini explained.
“Whereas a builder may add in significant risk allowances in case they find asbestos, our specialist report allowed us to go back to the contractor, confirm the presence of asbestos and fix a price for its removal.”
Proactively managing challenges is central to TC’s service. In this case, the main one was closing the road. That involved community liaison as well as meetings with the highways and utilities bodies.
This is primarily the responsibility of the design and build contractor, but TC provided a guiding hand to ensure that if a problem were to arise later, the project would stay on track through effective collaboration with all the stakeholders and suppliers.
“TC is all about forward planning and risk management before anyone sets foot on the site,” said Paul. “We look ahead, identify challenges and get discussions and dialogue under way before they have a chance to become problems.”