Sanctuary Housing, Chester

Graham + Sibbald (G+S) were instructed to act as Contract Administrator to project manage and administrate the delivery of the construction programme at Walton Place, Chester. The purpose of the appointment was to;

a) Produce a detailed description of works and supporting material specifications

b) Invite contractors to tender and complete a tender analysis report

c) Produce architectural drawings to support the necessary planning applications

d) Provide post-contract services as Contract Administrator

e) Provide continual technical support throughout the project

The impact of a serious fire located within one of the flats required intensive site input to maintain control of the programme and deliver a successful end product.

The fire had caused serious damage to one of the first floor flats and the entire roof structure serving the adjoining properties. Emergency services had to extinguish the property with water cannons which also subjected the ground floor flats to heavy water ingress.

Why G+S

If you are looking for a Building Surveying team who can help you maximise the value of your property and minimise your costs and liabilities, then we are the team to come to.

We work with a broad spectrum of clients, including leading names in the public and private sectors. We represent a wide spectrum of retained clients including Local Authorities, Inward Investors, Government Departments, Major Retailers and Industrialists, Licensed Trade Operators and Insurance Loss Adjusters amongst others.

Thanks to our expertise, experience and nationwide network of local offices we are able to deliver a professional, cost-effective service with a real personal touch. We place a high priority on expertise, good communications and building long-term client relationships based on trust.


The first stage comprised of undertaking an initial site survey to identify the full extent of damage caused by the fire and to distinguish what would be covered under the Clients insurance claim.

Before works could go to tender, close communication with the insurers' loss adjustor and the Client was undertaken to apportion the costs accordingly. In addition, the client wished to undertake works under their cyclical and capital maintenance programmes which were not covered under the insurance claim.

The scope of works included new kitchens and bathrooms throughout, a full new roof, various external fabric repairs (including repair and re decoration of the external render) and new windows to the fire damaged flat. Upon award of the contract, we worked closely with the appointed contractor, the Client and the insurers loss adjustor to ensure the project was delivered according to their brief and ensured their requirements in time, cost and quality were satisfied throughout.

Key Challenges

The property comprised non-traditional construction of post-war character which required a good understanding of this construction technology, to ensure an appropriate Scope of Works was developed.

A further challenge was maintaining good communication and professional relationship between the client and the insurance team to ensure each party was responsible for the works and costs required alongside those which were deemed desirable additions by the Client. Additionally, the absence of a temporary roof cover (which was recommended to protect the underlying flats during the re-roofing phase), subjected the properties to storm Dudley, Eunice and Franklin, which further complicated the renovation and the associated drying phase to meet the contractors programme.


The project was delivered to the client's satisfaction despite the project suffering 45No contract variations, many of which were unbeknown to the project team until the down-taking phase had been completed and the storms occurred.

Key Message

G+S delivered the project and met the Clients and loss adjustors expectations within the brief. This was the result of good teamwork and collaboration between all parties. By apportioning the costs early on in the project, it provided clarity and expectations could be managed from the outset. A clear and concise description of works also played a vital role in providing the client with a high-quality outcome. Key attention to detail within the building surveying team (particularly relating to non-traditional construction) was also supported by cost management services to provide a successful project for the stakeholders involved.

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