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Report on College Refurbishment Progression

Executive Summary

Glenalmond College was purpose built for boy’s education in the heart of the Strathearn valley in rural Perthshire and opened its doors in 1847. With a rich history as one of the most renowned private education schools in the UK, the College has seen expansion and alterations over the years to cater for increased numbers of pupils with the inclusion of girls in the last twenty years. This has resulted in improvements being required with the College undertaking a programme of renovation and refurbishment to halls of residences and accommodation blocks throughout the campus in recent years to cater for diversity, equality and to bring facilities up to modern standards. Harry Taylor & Co. were approached by the College as Lead Designer to undertake the next phase of refurbishments to Goodacre’s House in June 2016.

The  objective  of  this  case  study  is  to  investigate  and  report  on  the  progression  of  Glenalmond’s refurbishment, analysing both Harry Taylor & Co’s involvement as well as my personal experience of the project. I intend to examine both the methods utilised by the design team, the Client and considering whether decisions were taken appropriately for the circumstances.

Key areas of investigation;

  • Appointment – the benefits and pitfalls in adopting a bespoke form of appointment with the Client.
  • Appropriate contract selection – the advantages of selecting the SBCC Standard Building Contract (with Quantities) over other forms of Contract for application with Glenalmond College.
  • The role and responsibilities of the Lead Designer acting as Contract Administrator as well as the Quantity Surveyor in implementing effective cost and contract management.
  • Construction – The issues that occurred from working to a constrained delivery programme, internal/external factors and solutions taken to overcome the issues.

The study will provide an overview of the issues highlighted, how these were addressed as well as demonstrate my knowledge and understanding of professional procurement and management issues.

Project Summary




Project Title                                                           Glenalmond College

Project Location                                                    Glenalmond, Perthshire PH1 3RY

Project Description                                               Refurbishment and internal

alteration to Goodacres House of



Contract                                                                 SBCC Standard Building

Contract (with Quantities)

(SBC/Q) 2011, revised 2015

Client & End User                                                 Glenalmond College

Lead Designer, Principal Designer                      Harry Taylor & Co.

& Contract Administrator                


Quantity Surveyor                                                 Ralph Ogg & Partners


Contractor                                                             Marshall Construction


Total Floor Area                                                    1040 sq.m  across three floors

Contract Value                                                      £492,000  (excl. VAT)

Date of Appointment                                             01/07/2016


Site Start                                                                03/04/2017

Construction Period                                              20 weeks

Due Completion and Handover                            25/08/2017


Actual Completion and Handover                        28/08/2017

Client Background & Project Brief      

Glenalmond College,   Glenalmond, Perthshire, PH1 3RY

Given the intensive use of facilities and extensive history of the establishment, the Client, Glenalmond College has had to undertake a programme of refurbishment in buildings across the campus. In prior projects Architects were employed to cover design work and statutory consents but no Quantity Surveyor services were employed to handle contractual or manage financial obligations. This resulted in the appointed Contractor(s) managing the full scope of works during the construction stage with no design control and the submission of inflated invoices. The College ended up receiving hefty bills from the Contractors with no guarantee on cost certainty nor control on quality. With the onset of works for Goodacres the College opted for an alternative approach to procurement and project management.

The design proposals at the outset required the full refurbishment of two house of residences – Goodacres House (part of the original Quadrangle) and Cairnies House (a 1960’s addition to former staff accommodation). As part of the refurbishment Goodacres and Cairnies Houses have seen significant changes in management, with reversals in boys and girls houses necessitating full Architectural services to be carried out.

The Scope of Works for Goodacres House included; the refurbishment of the ground floor communal spaces and study room, as well as first and second floor bedrooms and alterations to sanitary accommodation.

Cairnies House has seen more recent refurbishment to Pupil’s accommodation and requires a less extensive Scope of Works. This includes; the ground floor ancillary spaces to provide improved staff management with new study areas created in existing communal spaces to the ground, first and second floors.

“As works progressed during RIBA workstages 2,3 & 4 of the project, it was decided to split the Houses into 2 separate projects with individual Building Contracts. The reasons behind this decision will be explained in later chapters.

As a result to avoid confusion and maintain clarity during the course of this report,  my investigations will centre on the larger and more extensive of the two projects – Goodacres House.”

The Lead Designer             

Harry Taylor & Co.   Melville House, 129 Scott Street, Perth, Scotland, PH2 8LU

Harry Taylor & Co. was founded in Perth in 1960 as a sole trader by the company’s namesake. The company, currently run by Chartered Surveyor, Henry Dempsey, offers building surveying and Architectural services primarily for residential, commercial and charitable sectors across Scotland. Henry joined the company after leaving school at the age of 15 and has been an integral part of the business for the last 53 years. The company currently employs 7 members of staff with varying skill sets to cater for most Client needs.

The company has a reputation for Architectural conservation with a philosophy based on “repair rather than replace”. Historic projects include Scone Palace, Altyre Estates, Rednock House and Fife Folk Museum.





















The Quantity Surveyor                       

Ralph Ogg & Partners.   King James PlacePerthPH2 8AE                                    

Established in 1953, Ralph Ogg & Partners combines decades of experience with the commitment to stay at the forefront of current and ever-changing developments in the construction industry.

The diverse experience of their professional staff allows them to provide a comprehensive range of services that can be tailored to meet a wide range of Client needs throughout Scotland.

As Chartered Quantity Surveyors qualified in the financial management of construction projects and having experience in related services such as; feasibility studies, contract documentation, project management and CDM Advisement.

Together both Harry Taylor & Co. and Ralph Ogg & Partners have shared a close working relationship over 40 years that has culminated in a rich and varied combined portfolio of work for Clients in the local area and as far afield as the Western Isles with an extensive range of services available.

The Contractor                                         

  Marshall Construction.  The Whins, Alloa FK10 3TA

Marshall Construction Limited was established in 1983 earning a solid reputation as one of the country’s foremost General Building and Civil Engineering Companies operating throughout Scotland delivering a quality service to a diverse range of clients, with jobs ranging from £50 – £20M.The company is broken down into several divisions including Contracts, General Building, Marshall Plant & Fleet, Marshall Scaffold and Marshall Homes.  The company’s construction services are provided through core operating departments giving Marshalls the capability to satisfy client demand for minor works, maintenance contracts, alterations, extensions, roads, infrastructure and new build construction. Completed projects include; Kilncraigs Development and the Speirs Centre, both located in Alloa.

Both Marshall Construction and Harry Taylor & Co. have worked together on previous projects including renovations to living accommodation at Scone Palace.

The Appointment                                               

   Employment of the Lead Designer

“The Client’s agreement in writing to all the conditions of appointment must be obtained. Any departures from standard conditions should be clearly stated in the document used. Architects should never proceed with any work until they are sure that a proper basis for the commission has been established with the Client and recorded in writing, and that they have the necessary authority to proceed…  …it is a disciplinary offence under both ARB and the RlBA for an Architect to undertake work without a written agreement.”

Architect’s Handbook of Practice Management Seventh Edition, RIBA Publications 2001


The appointment of the Architect/Lead Designer can take the form of a verbal or written agreement based on an introductory discussion with the Client. If agreement was initially agreed via a verbal agreement the Architect/Lead Designer should follow this up with a letter of confirmation accompanied by the terms of appointment to formalise the arrangement. All terms of engagement are subject to the Housing Grant, Construction and Regenration Act 1996, otherwise referred to as the ‘Construction Act.’ Forms of appointment are also influenced by the terms set out in the ARB Code of Professional Conduct and Practice – Section 4.4.  The agreement should state, where possible:

  • the contracting parties or scope for employment of contracting parties and consultants, how they are appointed and paid;
  • the scope of the work;
  • The scope of any survey work to be carried out;
  • the fee, expenses, payment details or method of calculating it;
  • who will be responsible for what;
  • advise on the obligations under the CDM Regulations 2015;
  • advise on roles and responsibilities of the Principal Designer in carrying out health and safety matters;
  • Advise of obligations in complying with statutory requirements, ie; planning, listed building consent and building warrants;
  • any constraints or limitations on the responsibilities of the parties;
  • the provisions for suspension or termination of the agreement;
  • a statement that you have adequate and appropriate insurance cover as specified
  • under the ARB;
  • a complaints-handling procedure, including details of any special arrangements for resolving disputes (e.g. arbitration).

Standard forms of appointment such as RIBA’s Standard Agreement 2010 (2012 revision) or RIAS’ Scottish Conditions of Appointment of an Architect 2014 (RIAS SCA 2014) are designed to create a fair balance of risk between the Architect and the Client by clearly setting out the obligations of the parties and encompassing the points made above.

Typically these forms of appointments are the most flexible in terms of schedule of services, which enables its application to a wider variety of projects, although this is dependent on; the size of the project, scope of works and resulting complexities as well as the procurement route chosen.

It has been the policy at Harry Taylor & Co. for many years to adopt bespoke forms of appointment for all projects.  This form of appointment was applied to Glenalmond College and agreed with the Client. The reasons for adopting bespoke forms of appointment as the company standard are as follows;


  • Harry Taylor & Co. Is not a chartered Architectural Practice, therefore standard forms of agreement from RIAS or any other Architectural governing body would not be applicable under the current chartership.
  • Harry Taylor & Co., although chartered as Building Surveyors, do offer full Architectural services and currently employs Architects to carry out such work.


Therefore the best approach in terms of form of appointment and scope of services for the company is under bespoke methods. Such forms of appointment can be high risk if not thoroughly reviewed so that the company enters into agreements that leave it in no worse position than they would have been under common law in the absence of an appointment document. Whilst reviewing the signed agreement for Glenalmond College and comparing with The ARB Code of Professional Conduct and Practice – Section 4.4 as well as the ‘Construction Act’, the written agreement entered into with the Client did not cover:


  • the provisions for suspension or termination of the agreement;
  • a statement that you have adequate and appropriate insurance cover as specified  
  • under the ARB;
  • your complaints-handling procedure, including details of any special arrangements for resolving disputes (e.g. arbitration).


As such the bespoke form adopted does not cover all advisory points. This could leave the company with serious legal implications should this arise, not only with Glenalmond College but in other projects not adopting the correct terms. Although such bespoke forms have been used by company for many years without serious repercussions or conflict and any conflicts that arise are resolved on a face to face basis, it would be my opinion that the bespoke form of appointment is reviewed again to address these matters.









RIBA,  2010. Architect’s Handbook of Practice Management. 8th Ed. London: RIBA Publications.

Byrom, R., 2001. Construction Companion to Terms of engagement and Fees. London:  RIBA Publications

Speaight, A. Stone, G., 2010. Architect’s Legal Handbook. 9th Ed. Oxford: Architectural Press.

Chappell, D. Willis, A., 2005. The Architect in Practice.9th Ed. Oxford: Blackwell Science Ltd.

Wevil, J., 2012. Law in Practice the RIBA Legal handbook. London: RIBA Publications


Contract Selection

“Procurement is a generic term embracing all those activities undertaken by a Client seeking to bring about the construction or refurbishment of a building… …In every project the concerns of the Client will focus on time, cost, and performance or quality, in relation both to design and to construction of the building”.

Deciding on the appropriate JCT contract 2011 [p2]


Procurement is the method by which a building is delivered and how it brings together Client, consultants and Contractors. It may be decided before the Architect is appointed, or the Architect may be asked to advise. An experienced Client will have different priorities and strategies in place for determining a procurement route for any given project. Less experienced Clients are often faced with a daunting and unfamiliar task when considering procurement route. Familiarity can also be a key factor in the successful choice of procurement.

  • The appropriate procurement method will depend upon:
  • the nature and scope of the work
  • how the risks are to be apportioned
  • how and where responsibility for design is to be placed
  • how the work is to be coordinated
  • on what price basis the contract is to be awarded

’Three most important considerations for any Client are usually cost, time, and quality, the business of building procurement invariably calls for some compromise or conscious balancing of these priorities.”

 Clamp, Cox, Which Contract, p23

Time – Early start on site / certainty of completion dates are priority

Cost – Client must be able to fund the project and predict costs

Quality  – Project must meet Client needs and aspirations

There are many different procurement systems, but are under three main headings:



MANAGEMENT (Project management, Design and Manage, Construction Management)

The Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) produces standard forms which clearly meet defined needs and apportion risk in an appropriate manner for the procurement methods that they reflect. When the works are being carried out in Scotland, contracts issued by the Scottish Building Contracts Committee (SBCC) should be used with every contract taking into account; Intent, Capacity, Agreement, Reasonable Certainty of Terms and Consideration


For the purposes of this Experience Based Analysis and bringing together a more concise comparison I will concentrate on differences between the Traditional and Design and Build.

Traditional Procurement

Under Traditional forms of procurement one of the key factors for this choice is the design process – this is separate from construction and there is a clear divide in the construction programme. Traditional forms of procurement can be used in a wide range of situations with lump sum, measurement or cost plus contract

Full documentation is also necessary before tender, including that from specialist sub Contractors to allow the Contractor to carry out a more accurate build cost. The appointment of the Contractor usually by competitive tender, or less often by negotiation. A two stage tender can be utilised, often called ‘Accelerated Traditional Method’, so design and construction can overlap slightly, but this is a less common practice.

The Client has control over design, quality and standards through their appointed consultants – there is usually no design responsibility for the Contractor. Administrative matters are in the hands of the Client’s consultants.

The Client has reasonable certainty of cost as contract figure is known at the outset; however this may need to be adjusted through re-measurement by a Quantity Surveyor, if appointed.

The client will usually appoint a professional consultant as an independent Contract Administrator – in many cases this will be the Architect or Lead Consultant.

Changes or variations to the design are possible once construction has commenced, however the Contract Administrator will advise that there will be cost implications relating to direct and related costs and extra time.

The Contractor will rely on information and Contract Instructions being issued on time, otherwise claims for extension of time or loss of earnings may be made.

Completion within contract period is an obligation, though date may need to be revised, agreed by the Client and Contract Administrator.

The speculative risks are balanced between the parties, but are in the Client’s favour if a lump sum contract is used.

Traditional procurement choices include the following:

Lump Sum Contracts include, but not limited to;

Measurement Contracts and Cost reimbursement Contracts are also available as Traditional forms of procurement but are not as commonly used.

In Traditional forms of procurement it is assumed that the principal priorities for the Client will be; Cost and Quality over Time.

Design and Build Procurement

With Design and Build the Contractor is responsible for design and construction of the works in return for a lump sum price. There are variants of the contract depending on the degree to which the initial design is included in the Clients requirements. Variations can also include the provision of Contractor’s Designed Portions or CDP.

The Contractor can be appointed by either; two stage tendering – ‘Competitive Design and Build’ – but not all tenderers are expected to produce full proposals, or by negotiation or ‘Single Direct Design and Build’.

Evaluating tenders may be difficult as proposals need to be balanced against approximate pricing.

Professional consultants are usually required to prepare the Client’s requirements. Detail can vary from simple accommodation schedule to fully worked scheme

The Client only has control of the design in his Clients requirements or pre construction phase; once the contract has been signed with the Contractor the Client has no direct control and the Contractor will appoint his own consultants during the construction phase.

The Client may request that the Contractor take on his own consultants under a novation agreement / consultant switch, if this is favourable. There is no provision for an independent Contract Administrator, but the Client may appoint an agent to advise/act on their behalf if Client decisions are necessary.

The design and construction will largely proceed in parallel, although the extent of this will vary.

Reasonable certainty over costs as contract sum is known at the outset and provided that the Client makes no changes, Contractor is obliged to provide the building for the contract sum. The Client may make changes, but cost implications will be up to the Contractor to evaluate.

The Contractor responsible for his own flow of information with little risk of claims being made for delays in information from the Client. Completion within the contract period is a Contractor’s obligation (other than delays provided for within contract). Payment and valuation matters are also largely left to the Contractor. The Client may appoint an advisor, but he will not be recognised in the contract

Speculative risks are largely with the Contractor, but theses will reduce with more design input from the Client. Therefore there is reduced risk for the Client, but little control over design or quality unless stated in Client’s requirements.

Design and Build procurement choices include;

  • Major Project Construction Contract (MP)
  • Design and Build Contract (DB)
  • NEC3

In Traditional forms of procurement it is assumed that the principal priorities for the Client will be; Time and Cost over Quality.






During initial discussions with Glenalmond College, the Project Lead, Henry, advised on proceeding with the project under Traditional procurement, specifically the Standard Building Contract With Quantities (SBC/Q) (2011 Scottish Edition, amended 2015). This procurement choice was advised for the following reasons;


  • Harry Taylor & Co. has extensive knowledge of applying SBC/Q/2011 to projects over the years. It is the contract with the most flexibility and therefore can be adopted to the majority of the company’s projects. All design work is carried out by the design team at the pre construction phase and key benefits of adopting SBC/Q/2011 include; minimising transaction costs of entering the contract, allocating risk in a fair and recognisable way and comprehensive coverage for the majority of pitfalls, which surround contractual relations in the construction industry
  • Having all design work and documentation in place prior to the start of works allows for more accurate build costs and reduces the level of Provisional Sums (see appendices for more information). This was a key point for the Client, as funds were limited and additional costs would not be available.
  • In most circumstances using SBC/Q/2011 defines clear roles and responsibilities for all parties, with no Contractor Designed Portions ensuring design work is focused on by the design team only.
  • In many cases the speculative risks in using SBC/Q/2011, although balanced, are more in the Client’s favour and alleviate many of their concerns. The Contractor is usually held liable for any costs increases not directed or influenced by the Client.


As it will be mentioned later, although SBC/Q/2011 addresses many of the concerns the Client had in relation to cost control and administration, based on prior experience, the Client’s priorities do differ from the conventions of Traditional procurement – Time and Costs take precedent over Quality – in line with the priorities of Design and Build procurement.






Chappell, D. & Willis, A., 2005. The Architect in Practice.9th Ed. Oxford: Blackwell Science Ltd.

Clamp, H. Cox S. & Lupton, S., 2007, Which Contract? Choosing the Appropriate Building Contract. 4th ed. London: RIBA Publishing

3D Reid, 2008. Architect’s Job Book. 8th ed. London: RIBA Publishing.

Green, R., 2001. The Architect’s Guide to Running A Job. 6th ed. Oxford: Architectural Press.

JCT, 2011. Practice Note: Deciding on the appropriate JCT contract 2011. London: Sweet & Maxwell

Constructing excellence factsheet – Procurement

Administration & Management                

 Contract Administrator & Quantity Surveyor

As part of the requirements with any agreed building contract certain duties have to be administered by appointed members of the design team. Such appointed duties ensure that the terms of the agreed contract are adhered to in a manner that is fair to all members of the design and build teams and bring the project within the agreed budget and timeframe. Under the terms of SBC/Q/2011 the design team can include but not limited to;


  • Architect/ Lead Designer
  • Surveyors:
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Building Surveyor
  • Structural Engineer
  • Building Services Consultants Including Electrical And Mechanical:
  • Principal Designer – CDM Regulations 2015 – see Appendix
  • Planning and or Conservation Consultant
  • Health And Safety and or Fire Engineering Consultant

Although a typical project will have a wider range of design team members/consultants involved, this chapter focuses on the most important members in relation to Glenalmond College.
























Architect/ Lead Designer

The Architect will normally act as design leader and as such is responsible for coordinating and integrating the work of other design consultants and specialists. In the traditional or conventional appointment, and particularly on smaller projects, the Architect will combine this role with that of Lead Designer and Contract Administrator. Typical duties of an Architect acting as design leader might include:

  • Directing the design process
  • Consulting the client about significant design issues
  • Informing the client of duties under the CDM regulations. This is crucial should the Lead Designer also be appointed as Principal Designer – see Appendix
  • Investigating the feasibility of the requirements, and reporting
  • Advising the client about any limitations on the use of land or buildings
  • Preparing outline proposals, a scheme design, detail design drawings, etc
  • Advising on the need for statutory and other consents, and preparing sufficient information for applications to be made
  • Preparing sufficient production information for consultants and specialists to develop their proposals, coordinating these and integrating them into the overall scheme
  • Bringing contract documentation to a final state for inviting tenders
  • Co-ordinating design of all constructional elements
  • Establishing the form and content of design outputs


The Contract Administrator

The Contract Administrator/Client’s agent role deals with the management of the tender process and the administration of the building contract and need not involve a direct interface with the design process – although this role can be undertaken by one of the consultants (designers). In many cases this may be taken on by the Architect/Lead Designer and if so the following duties will be added to their responsibilities;

  • Advising on the need for and appointment of other consultants
  • Coordinating the work of other consultants
  • Advising on methods of procurement, and on tendering and the appointment of the main Contractor
  • Administering the terms of the building contract and inspecting as relevant the performance of the Contractor
  • Issuing further reasonably necessary information, issuing empowered instructions, and acting as certifier as the contract requires, including issue of the final certificate
  • Arranging for the preparation of record information and manuals

Quantity Surveyor

The Quantity Surveyor can assist the Architect in assessing economic site use and advising on procurement methods. They can analyse cost information on other similar projects, local levels of building costs and cost trends, etc., and can judge whether the Client’s budget is realistic and compatible with other stated requirements.

The Quantity Surveyor should cooperate with the Principal Designer, liaise with other consultants and specialists, attend consultant team meetings, and prepare the financial appraisal for the feasibility report.

Based on the experiences of the Client, previous projects placed too much control with the Contractor and therefore cost and time constraints were not adhered to. This brings assumption that previous projects were handled under a form of Management procurement or Design and Build.


For Glenalmond College SBC/Q/2011placed administrative charge of the project with ourselves. This allowed for greater control of information between the Client and Contractor and allowed appropriate and fair action to be taken under our duties as the Contract Administrator. We also chaired weekly site meetings with the Client and Contractor, prepared and issued minutes from the meetings, issued Contract Instructions to the Contractor to carry out amendments (which the Quantity Surveyor also received a copy to ensure measurements were carried out accurately) and reviewing the Quantity Surveyor’s certificates before issuing to the Client for payment to the Contractor under the terms of the Contract.


Furthermore the Quantity Surveyor prepared a Bill of Quantities, also outlining the preliminaries and relevant clauses of SBC/Q/2011, as well as ensuring its application was met by all parties. The Quantity Surveyor also factored for unforeseen or unknown circumstances through the use of Provisional Sums and a Contingency of 10% of the Contract value was also implemented for additional works. These sums are commonplace, especially for use in jobs where the running of services or construction build ups in existing buildings are unclear until the Contractor begins their works. The Quantity Surveyor also carried out bi-monthly measurements based on our Contract Instructions and preparing interim and completion certificates for our review.


By applying these respective responsibilities to the project, the Contract Administrator and the Quantity Surveyor brought assurance through more effective project and cost management, administering fair yet appropriate action where required and ensuring all parties adhered to the terms of the Contract and Bill of Quantities.








Sinclair, D., 2011. Leading the Team, an Architects Guide to Design Management. London: RIBA Publications.

Philips, R., 2008, Plan of work: multi-disciplinary services. London; RIBA Publishing.

3d Reid. (ed). 2008. The Architect’s Job Book. 8th ed. London: RIBA Enterprises

Parkyn, N., 2000. A Guide to Working with Consultants. London. RIBA Publications.

RIBA Standard Agreement 2010 (2012 Revision): Schedules (2012 revision)

RICS, 2011.RICS draft guidance note: Managing the design delivery


On Site                                                                     


     Internal/External Issues & Conflict Resolution

“Time and cost implications of introducing variations to the contract requirements increase exponentially as you move from the design stage and through the construction stage. As such, the project should be clearly defined prior to contract signature and any changes avoided if at all possible, during the construction stage. Strict change control procedures should be applied to minimise the impact of any unavoidable changes and should include Client approvals informed by accurate assessments of time, cost and quality implications”.

With the best will to finalise design and cost decisions prior to the project reaching site, changes can inevitably occur due to a number of circumstances.Clients, in particular, may decide that they wish to vary the requirements at some point after the contract is signed. Most construction contracts contain provisions allowing the Client to vary the works to some degree. The term ‘Variation’ – (clause 5.1 SBC11) is one such provision and can be defined as:

  • The addition, omission or substitution of any work
  • The alteration of the kind or standard of any of the materials or goods used in the Works
  • Removal from the site of work or materials
  • Changes to access to the site or part thereof
  • Limitations in the working spaces or hours
  • Changes to the order of works

The contract expressly states that no such change can be carried out to that as what was agreed in the contract, nor can the Client make changes after practical completion. Changes may result in an adjustment of the contract sum and give rise to a claim for an extension of time or direct loss and/or expense. Therefore the Client should be advised on the avoidance of varying the design, quality or quantity of the works where possible and where not possible, the Contractor’s consent must be sought. Any design changes following the sign-off of a stage report or a tender return will have cost implications.

Standard RIBA appointments suggest that change is managed by the Lead Designer, who is best placed to co-ordinate the impact of proposed changes with the Client, Designers and Quantity Surveyor. A well-managed change control system will ensure that change is properly considered and instructed before it is implemented, and will also ensure that designers are recompensed for amending their designs where this is appropriate.

It is essential that a change control process is agreed at the start of a project.

Architect’s Instructions (AIs) otherwise known as Contract Instructions are aligned with the change control regime and that they are not used to instruct change without the agreement of the Client.

As the project progresses, changes tend to become more complex and costly (in terms of time and money) to implement as more amendments are necessary to accommodate the change.

Changes to the design or programme are not just the Client’s choice. Changes can occur for any one of a number of reasons including;

  • Misinterpretation of the type of Client and their needs
  • Failure to meet Building Warrant approval and therefore compromising the design to gain acceptance.
  • Unforeseen circumstances that only arise whilst on site works have commenced.
  • Contract Difficulties & Delay
  • Legal Disputes
  • Misconduct : Not adhering to the Codes of Conduct and therefore the Lead Designer must be held liable legally and financially. The most serious cause is that of making a mistake that can be defined as Negligence

As a result of the above, every project can present opportunities for issues and conflict to arise between; the Client, Design Team and Contractor, as well as other external factors. How people act on a project and react to potential problems will determine how well an organisation manages conflicts. Risk of conflict can be reduced by knowing your limitations, having a full understanding of your obligations, ensuring each party is aware of its responsibilities. Therefore the Contract Administrator has a pivotal role in such circumstances to identify the problem, offer solutions to relevant parties, advise on the implications this may have and alleviate concerns. The Contract Administrator should take on the following points to address issues that can occur on site;

  • If issues arise ensure all parties are aware of the issue and how it has been resolved. All changes must be consulted with the Client and Contractor in agreement and the Contract Administrator must outline what, if any, time and cost implications this may have.
  • Have a system set up to check drawings and other work before it is sent out. Problems arise from incomplete or conflicting information to which the Lead Designer has the responsibility to avoid or resolve where possible.
  • Make sure that everyone knows when deadlines fall. Failure to adhere to deadlines can result in further delays to the programme long term.
  • Have a proper document management system. The Lead Designer/ Contract Administrator must ensure that all relevant drawing revisions, minutes, instructions, certificates, specifications etc are archived appropriately. These documents may assist with any potential conflict that may arise in the future course of the project.
  • Make sure you know and comply with contractual formalities. The fact that the project is proceeding amicably at the beginning does not mean it will stay that way.
  • to the end. Everyone will benefit from a clear record of the scope, cost and time implications of work done in accordance with the contract.
  • Make sure that all projects are properly supervised. The Contractor must assign a Site Agent to carry out daily inspections of the works and instruct his workforce. The Contract Administrator should also attend routinely to ensure the work is carried out in accordance with the contract documents and drawing information.

This should be an on-going process where risks are continually monitored and reviewed throughout the progress of a project. Good communications via phone or email as well as routine site meetings can also avoid issues arising.

It was duly noted by members of the design team from the initial discussions that although every opportunity would be taken to reduce risks and concerns, the project would encounter a number of constraints, both foreseen and unforeseen, that would need to be resolved during the course of the programme, given the nature and scale of the works.


The first constraint encountered was the programme itself. The college ideally would have placed all of the works during the summer break – amounting to 8 weeks in total. This would have avoided any disturbance to staff or pupils during school term. The college had also struggled with previous refurbishment projects overrunning into term time with resulting cost and time increases due to resolving complaints from residents. However, based on an extensive knowledge of similar scale of works, project budget and acceptable timeframes, Henry had to strongly recommend that the timeframe be extended into term time. The Quantity Surveyor also agreed to the recommendation of an extended project timeframe as this would provide better cost breakdowns and accurate valuations. The College agreed to extend the start date of the project to the beginning of April, during the Easter break, with a number of site conditions. This allowed the Contractor to carry out downtakings and similar extensive works while residents were off site


Given Harry Taylor’s extensive portfolio in working with historic buildings, a policy of employing and cooperating with specialist survey contractors is key to avoiding legal and financial implications. Such surveys include asbestos, lead paint, fire strategy reports, test certificates for services and ecological reports. As experienced during previous projects, carrying out a Bat Survey is key to avoid prosecution under current Scottish Law. As works would inevitably be carried out in the attic spaces for electrical and ventilation services, we employed the services of a local Ecological Specialist to carry out a full survey of the concerned roof spaces. Over the course of two separate surveys the Ecologist did note the presence of a Long Eared Bat, most likely a breeding colony given the size. As breeding colonies cannot be disturbed during their maternal period (lasting anywhere from April to October) and any such action to approach or remove a breeding colony is a criminal offence, action was taken to overcome the issue and keep the programme on track. The decision was taken by ourselves to brander the ceilings and line in plasterboard, thereby creating a service void to run services and eliminate the need for entering the attic space with negligible impact on the size of the rooms in question. This alleviated any concerns that the ecologist had with regards to possible disturbance and ensured work could continue whilst the bats were still present.


As part of the pre construction phase we advised the client to ensure all relevant information that may affect the timeframe of the project, was received for Contractor consideration. Any impact on the timeframe could result in delays in finishing the project on time. We also advised the Client on avoiding changes to the design as this would also have significant cost increases over the agreed contract sum. As the project progressed a series of Client based issues arose that potentially jeopardised the course of the project and placed strain on the agreed completion date.


During the Pre Start Meeting with the Contractor the Client divulged that the agreed scope of works, split into two phases, required alteration to account for a’ ‘miscalculation in accommodation numbers.’ This resulted in two bedrooms previously arranged for handover to the Contractor being subsequently removed from the agreed schedule without our

acknowledgement. Upon hearing this we stressed to the Client that such changes were not acceptable and a compromise would have to be made as the Contractor had priced and programmed for set rooms during set periods. We agreed with both the Client and the Contractor that if all of the refurbishments could be carried out during the 2 week Easter break whilst the pupils were away from school, the affected rooms could be returned to the College for adequate accommodation upon the pupil’s return. This was only possible thanks to the flexible nature of the Contractor, while other firms may not have been as amenable.


As works progressed during the first phase of the programme, the Client informed us that a number of complaints had been raised with regards to noise. The complaints were raised from; pupils, staff as well as parents who we later found out were not adequately informed by the College that works would have to be carried out during term time. We were also not aware that pupils would still be present in the floor below the Contractor’s first phase works, with no alternative arrangements for accommodation available. The resultant complaints were chaired by an individual member of the parent’s group who seeked an audience with the College to discuss alternative measures for works on site. As the parents were clients of the College and had considerable influence over the reputation of the College, Glenalmond were duty bound to be proactive during this situation. The College in response asked that Henry and I attended the meeting in support of the Client to explain the reasons for works occurring during the College semester. After a lengthy conversation to discuss options for alleviating concerns and a brief walk around of the site, the member of the parent’s group left satisfied that the College and Harry Taylor & Co. would take action.


The conclusion being that the Contractor was limited to carrying out all noisy work to lunchtimes every day and afternoons on Tuesdays and Thursday. This coordinated around the timetables of the affected pupils. After the meeting with the member of the parent’s group, Henry had advised the Client that although concerns had been addressed for the parents and pupils, this arrangement may have consequences with regards to the timeframe and on the Contractor’s obligations to the project.


Shortly after the resolution of the parent’s concerns, the Contractor did contact us to advise that a potential claim for loss of time/ acceleration of works was warranted given the major constraints placed on the Contractor’s working day and programme. Based on the hours lost due to the new working routine as well as the errors incurred with bedroom numbers, the Contractor claimed that project completion would be delayed by a minimum of 2 weeks. As the College had a fixed budget with no additional funds available to cover such circumstances and the programme could not be extended into the new semester as the pupils would be requiring the house for this time, Henry had arranged another meeting with the Contractor, Client with myself minuting the meeting to discuss the concerns and agree to alternative arrangements to alleviate the Contractor’s concerns. As more pressure was now being placed on the Contractor to carry out more of the works during phase 2, Henry sought to alter the agreed scope of works to transfer rooms into phase 1 and thereby relieve pressure at the end of the programme. The Client agreed to transferring rooms into the first phase as well as also agreeing that the Kitchen could have a 10 day extension period, allowing the Contractor to better organise the time and resources available, thereby dissolving potential claims for loss of time/ acceleration of programme and ensure the project was still on track for completion prior to the new semester.


3d Reid. (ed). 2008. The Architect’s Job Book. 8th ed. London: RIBA Enterprises

Sinclair, D. 2011. Leading the Team: An Architect’s Guide to Design Management. London: RIBA Publishing.

Lupton, S., 2011. Guide to SBC11. London: RIBA Publishing.

Speaight, A., ed., 2010. Architect’s Legal Handbook. The Law for Architects. 9th ed. Oxford: Architectural Press.

Philips, R., 2000. The Architect’s Plan of Work. London: RIBA Publishing.

3DReid, 2010. Architect’s Handbook of Practice Management. 8th ed. London: RIBA Publishing

Speaight, A., ed., 2010. Architect’s Legal Handbook. The Law for Architects. 9th ed. Oxford: Architectural Press.

Wevill, J., 2012. Law in Practice. The RIBA Legal Handbook. London: RIBA Publishing.

Chappell, D., 2007. Understanding JCT Standard Building Contracts. 8th ed. Oxon: Taylor & Francis

Clamp, H. Cox S. & Lupton, S., 2007, Which Contract? Choosing the Appropriate Building Contract. 4th ed. London: RIBA Publishing

RIBA Good Practice Guide – Keeping Out of Trouble














   Evaluating the Glenalmond Experience

As indicative for a large scale refurbishment project on a grade A listed building, Goodacres House at Glenalmond College presented significant challenges in terms of our handling of the design, key stakeholders as well as operating a construction site within an active College campus.


Challenges such as the Client’s change to the Programme in removing rooms from agreed Contractor dates at the outset of the contract period led to significant alterations to the first phase works to allow the Contractor to maintain their schedule. In hindsight we should ask ourselves whether we placed enough emphasis towards the Client on the avoidance of changes after the Tendering period was completed. However as we had emphasised on numerous occasions that the project timeframe was extremely compressed and would be difficult to carry out, our level of advice to the Client was proven to be consistent and continuous.


The rise in noise complaints from local residents and staff also placed further burden on an already constrained timeframe where every day mattered. For ourselves as Contract Administrator to approach a Contractor and instruct them that noise level had to be reduced and therefore the only way to achieve this was by halting works for large periods of the working day. This situation was brought on by poor communication from the College to their clients – the pupils and was outwith the control of the design team and Contractor. We at Harry Taylor & Co. felt that this question could have been raised to the College by ourselves as under our obligations as Lead Designer and Principal Designer. However, why the matter of pupils still being present in the house whilst works were being carried out was not disclosed to us by the College as part of the site conditions for the tender documents is baffling. Assumptions could be made that the Client may have had previous experience on other projects and resulting noise issues, this should have been brought to the attention of the design team earlier, rather than presuming that this was an obvious element of construction work, which the Client would expect.


There is also the question over the terms and conditions embodied into our bespoke form of appointment. Although there is good reason that a bespoke form has been used over standard appointments such as RIAS’ SCA 2014 and that a significant number of terms as noted under the ARB’s Code of Professional Conduct and Practice – Section 4.4 are included in our appointment, there are areas of weakness including; suspension or termination of services and stating appropriate insurance cover – which can leave the company open to liability and possible disciplinary action during disputes. This is an item that has been raised with management who have agreed to review our appointment documents for future revision. Furthermore it would be my recommendation that should the company continue to offer full Architectural services to Clients, company management should refer to such publications as RIBA’s ‘Good Practice Guides’ on Employment and Risk Management to address omission in the terms of the appointment letter.




However, due to the selection of SBC/Q/2011 during Glenalmond College, the Client did have the reassurance that ourselves as appointed Contract Administrator provided fair and impartial instructions during the course of the project and maintained a regime of quality control. Furthermore, by adopting SBC/Q/2011 our recommendations to the Client to appoint a long established Quantity Surveying firm ensured the contract was handled appropriately and provided effective cost management of the project.


One of the most significant advantages during the course of the project was working under the tutelage of Henry Dempsey. Given the changes to the Programme imposed by the Client as well as handling the Contractor’s potential claim for loss or time or applying acceleration to the Programme, Henry’s long held experience in the construction industry paid dividends in his ability to handle situations of conflict and liaise with individuals and organisations in a professional and timely manner.


In short Glenalmond College was a successfully handled project, with a huge effort by the Contractor to bring it on budget and only over time by 2 days. Our ability at Harry Taylor & Co. to administer the project as well as could be expected given the initial constraints imposed and subsequent Client adjustments. This level of professionalism and confidence did not go unnoticed by the Client, as we are now in the early phases of the next significant project for the College – the refurbishment and alteration of their Medical Centre.


As we have now gained an understanding of the dynamics of Glenalmond College, working relationships with key staff members as well as site conditions, we are now better equipped to understand the needs of the Client and ensure we ask the appropriate questions with regards to site constraints etc, thereby avoiding the similar issues experienced during work at Goodacres House. 





























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Chappell, D., 2007. Understanding JCT Standard Building Contracts. 8th ed. Oxon: Taylor & Francis

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Chappell, D. & Willis, A., 2005. The Architect in Practice.9th Ed. Oxford: Blackwell Science Ltd.

Constructing excellence factsheet – Procurement

Green, R., 2001. The Architect’s Guide to Running A Job. 6th ed. Oxford: Architectural Press.

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Philips, R., 2008, Plan of work: multi-disciplinary services. London; RIBA Publishing.

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RICS, 2011.RICS draft guidance note: Managing the design delivery

RIBA Good Practice Guide – Keeping Out of Trouble

Sinclair, D., 2011. Leading the Team, an Architects Guide to Design Management. London: RIBA Publications.

Speaight, A., ed., 2010. Architect’s Legal Handbook. The Law for Architects. 9th ed. Oxford: Architectural Press.

Wevil, J., 2012. Law in Practice the RIBA Legal handbook. London: RIBA Publications



CITB CPD Course on CDM Regulations 2015 – Edinburgh – 21 August 2017

Henry Dempsey – Sole Trader & Employer, Harry Taylor & Co. Chartered Building Surveyors, Perth

Robbie McDowall – Architectural Technologist & Senior Colleague, Harry Taylor & Co. Chartered Building Surveyors, Perth

Angus Simpson –  Partner, Ralph Ogg & Partners, Quantity Surveyors, Perth

Doug Meikle – Quantity Surveyor (retired), Ralph Ogg & Partners, Quantity Surveyors, Perth

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