It’s fair to say that the majority of Building Consultancy’s work largely (but not solely) revolves around existing buildings.
What is a Building Consultancy?
That’s easy isn’t it? It’s a professional practice that gives expert advice in relation to buildings;
Buildings – structures with roofs and walls, such as a house or factory. Consultancy – a professional practice that gives expert advice within a field.
Still unclear? Let’s dive deeper.
As far as I recall, the term ‘Building Consultancy’ was not a common term until the early noughties, so it’s no surprise people wonder what we do – certainly compared to older and more recognisable and admirable disciplines like Architects and Quantity Surveyors. It’s fair to say most Building Consultancies professional staff are Building Surveyors, mixed in with this is typically some Quantity Surveyors, Project managers and Architectural technicians.
Before becoming ‘Building Consultancies’ we were firms or service streams of Building Surveyors (and most people don’t know what they really do either so that is maybe why the term ‘Building Consultancy’ has developed?). Less than 8% of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) membership are Chartered Building Surveyors. Building surveying is a profession that emerged in the 1970’s seemingly out of a blend of quantity surveying and architecture.
I think it is also fair to say that the majority of Building Consultancy’s work largely (but not solely) revolves around existing buildings.
Building surveyors carry out a variety of professional services but at the core of all these services is the ability to understand buildings and the mechanics of their failure. This understanding links perfectly when examining legislation which affects the occupation and development of buildings, such as landlord and tenant repairing obligations or works to one building which may affect another.
The majority (the soggy middle) of Building Surveyors spend their time surveying buildings and overseeing building projects – at the outer extremes are specialisms like Party Wall Act matters and Dilapidations (often legal disputes – let’s face it). Over the years, the nature of building advisory services has evolved as the legislative landscape becomes increasingly complex. Building Consultancies now guide clients through the regulations, technical and financial considerations of acquiring, developing, owning, occupying, maintaining, converting, refurbishing, redeveloping obsolete built assets- so services right through a building’s life cycle.
What type of clients use the services of a Building Consultancy? A huge variety –in fact anyone who owns or occupies a building – it can be public sector organisations such as the NHS, Local Authorities and Government Departments to private clients such as Pension Funds, Banks and high street retailers.
So main points to remember;
Building Consultancies provide technical and legal knowledge advice – often applied to existing buildings.
An excellent Building Consultancy (thinking AG here) combines commercial acumen with the technical and legal expertise – delivered in a practical, down to earth manner with the desired outcome always in mind.