Local Authority Demolition Orders and Approval In Principle (AIP) Submissions
When buildings become structurally 'unstable', they either have to have extensive remediation works carried out or the entire structure demolished. The determinant on which should be undertaken is on economic grounds. For if a residential or commercial building or structure becomes more costly to repair than to rebuild it, a demolition order has to be sought from the local authority to undertake this work. This statutory requirement comes under Section 80 of the Building Act 1984 with Amendments.
This 'Practice' has over the years undertaken cost-benefit analysis on several relapidated buildings to determine for the client whether it is cheaper to remediate or demolish. In most cases undertaking remedial works is the most cost-effective but where some buildings are so unsound, that there is no alternative from the standpoint of costs and safety, that they have to be taken down and a new structure of building constructed in its place.
The reasons for this vary considerably but some of the main reasons are,
Extremely leaning walls that are considerably outside the middle-third rule for stability - buildings near collapse state and near their limit state
Highly corroded steel frames where the webs and flanges have extensive perforations
Buildings making way for new developments
Buildings that are a safety threat to surrounding buildings
Redevelopment of land
Statutory compulsory purchases orders - for widening or forming new highways and council housing developments et al
Extensive economic damage to main public and utility services
Extensive subsidence and major foundations failure
Demolition vs Remediation
Remediation on the other hand can consist of a multitude of ways to restabilise a building. As an example, in the case of failed steelwork we have to resort to plating or substitute framework that takes over the structural role of the inferior frame. Indeed, on one project in Swinton near Rotherham where a steel frame was supporting the main concert hall accommodating up to 500 people at any one time, the floor beams where found to be considerably overstressed also. Added to this the external steel stanchions had deteriorated to a level of gross instability and were extensively perforated. The reason for this was that the builder some 15-years previous had built up to these main columns with brickwork that did not allow the constant drying out from rainwater to take place. This caused a chemical reaction that over a decade and half totally destroyed the structural integrity of the steel frame and put at risk the health and safety of over 500 people.
The unfortunate fact was that the client had not undertaken an annual regime of having the structure checked for faults and a programmed and organised maintenance system put in place and implemented. Indeed, if this had been the case, the remediation works costing tens of thousands of pounds would have been greatly negated. False economy in other words and where the remedial works cost far more than 15-years of applied maintenance works.
Therefore buildings should be checked for deterioration on an annual basis and clients should be fully aware of the consequences if they do not - for eventually there is a day of judgement.
This 'Practice' advises clients on structural solutions and planned maintenance programmes for their buildings and structures.
AIPs - 'Approval In Principle' Documents
Local authorities require AIPs to be put in place before construction starts that affect roads and other statutory undertakings. This process can be a long process and can delay projects for several months if they apply. Indeed on a small two-house development in the Huddersfield area the works were stopped for 8 months and where the builder had to remove his workforce from site. This delayed the construction and totally disrupted the works on site. Therefore AIPs can affect the financial pocket of the client and they cannot be dismissed lightly.
This 'Practice' can guide and advise the client in all respects of AIPs if they either affect private developments or major road works.
Office Contact - 01484.461193
Direct Contact - 07880661574
Office: 48 Market Street, Milnsbridge, Huddersfield, HD3 4HY