Building on knowledge, skills and experience
March 14, 2023
T&G senior director Ian Bashforth shares plans to focus his extensive engineering, industry and business experience on three critically important but often overlooked construction areas: Temporary Works, Construction Monitoring and Engineering Reports.
It’s a simple blend of ingredients and easy to understand formula.
Education creates knowledge. Training develops skills. Experience takes time. Becoming good, and then better, at what you do means continual focus on all three of these golden circles of personal development.
Over 40 years in the local construction industry, including the last 22 as director and shareholder of T&G Structural Engineers, have fortunately provided me with continual opportunities for personal development in all three circles, but particularly helped build experience. Now, I’ve reached a career point where there’s the opportunity to put this experience to good use … for myself, T&G and our clients.
For me, it’s about taking on a new challenge – putting years of acquired knowledge, skills and experience to the test.
For T&G, it’s about broadening and deepening the product portfolio – all good companies need to move with the market.
For our clients, we think it will be a welcome new area of focus – the consequences of missing knowledge, poor skills and limited experience when it comes to Temporary Works, Construction Monitoring and Engineering Reports can be significant.
Emphasising the importance of Temporary Works
Temporary Works are construction activities carried out on a building site that enables permanent works to start and then be safely carried out. This includes shoring to secure the sides of large ground excavations and specialist structures erected to support existing building parts while surrounding development takes place.
Problems arising from Temporary Works can have potentially serious implications. Alongside health and safety risks for workers and the public, there is the potential for commercial and reputational consequences. We’ve seen local examples of this – unwelcome publicity and fines after flooded evacuations led to widely reported sea water contamination.
Keeping track of quality through Construction Monitoring
Well-engineered and precisely constructed Temporary Works enable the actual construction to progress, from the ground up.
For developments reaching this point we’re starting to see increasing emphasis placed by developers on assuring the quality of ongoing building work. The focus is on minimising structural defects from the earliest stages of a project through identifying and tracking minor building issues that may become more significant over time.
T&G is providing Construction Monitoring services on major town developments for this purpose, visiting site regularly, noting any defects and recording for ongoing tracking.
The developers are seeing significant benefits – small defects are being highlighted for addressing long before they can develop into substantial structural issues.
This very positive outcome is leading to an important area of future focus for us.
Private lenders serving the local property development market are increasingly looking for security of investment through assurances primarily focussed on costs and programme. Providing regular Construction Monitoring reports, and complementary Engineering Reports, will highlight any identified defects, and tracking their rectification can help provide the certainty lenders may be looking for.
T&G is having conversations with several lenders about this option presently – I am confident it will become a popular service within our overall engineering portfolio.
Increasing awareness of Engineering Reports
Engineering Reports are specialist assessments of defects caused by faults or deviations from the planned structural performance of building components. These may include cracks in walls and ceilings, uneven floors, crumbling concrete and damp penetration, often appearing after a building’s completion.
As with Temporary Works, the consequences of not seeking expert engineering support at any stage of the building construction or subsequent management can be considerable.
A shocking demonstration of what building defects can cause is the Miami Champlain Towers collapse in 2021, which resulted in the deaths of 98 people. While an extreme example, it does underline the important need for building owners and management companies, or those involved in building sales, to adopt the precautionary processes needed.
Commitment and focus
Getting the right Temporary Works in place involves detailed planning based on a clear understanding of options and the experience to know which to deploy on a location-by-location basis.
Addressing building defects in a timely way requires early detection, monitoring and appropriate recommendations for potential remedy, which again needs the right level of knowledge, skills and experience to do well.
Fortunately for the industry and wider Island, there’s a growing awareness within the sector of the importance of ensuring construction projects have the best, safest start and buildings they produce enjoy a long, safe existence.
The focus for me is first nurturing that awareness – I’m in discussions with several companies needing specific support with Temporary Works and Engineering Reports, either on a project-by-project basis or through partnering arrangements.
My second focus is helping T&G developing enhanced solutions in this area. We already possess an abundance of relevant knowledge, skills and experience in Temporary Works and Engineering Reports – the next step is building all this into something special.
Why choose T & G?
Over more than 30 years in business, we have been involved in projects across the Channel Islands, spanning every type of construction, working on large commissions and small, encompassing the requirements of private and public sector clients. Each has been approached with the same determined, creative professionalism that drives everything T&G does.
Choosing to work with T&G in Guernsey or Jersey provides assurance of the same high quality approach. We take pride in understanding and meeting client requirements, in finding solutions to engineering challenges and ensuring satisfaction at the completion of every project or piece of work.