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Party Wall etc. Act 1996 : How the form of project procurement impinges on the role of party wall surveyors
Design and build contracts have become increasingly popular over the past two decades. Such contracts offer many advantages, but, to the party wall surveyor, they can create difficulties. Under traditional procurement routes, ‘upfront’ design detailing provides party wall surveyors with the information they need to formulate and agree awards with adjoining owners; under a design and build contract, that information is provided much, much later in the project’s programme. This can leave very little time for awards to be put in place in time for the commencement of notifiable works, potentially causing project delays and also raising risks and costs. The undiminishing popularity of the design and build contract means that building owner’s surveyors must seek to proactively guide and influence projects to secure successful — and timely — completion. Client education, engaging fully with the project team and the careful use of reserved matters and phased/addendum awards can all play a part in ensuring awards are agreed in time, particularly on large/complex projects.
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James Adam is a senior associate and head of the party walls and neighbourly matters service at Hollis. He is a chartered building surveyor with over 14 years’ industry experience, specialising in neighbourly matters, with a particular focus on the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and rights of light. He is also member of the Pyramus and Thisbe Club.