Buildings Structural Designs

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    Buildings Structural Designs

    I own my buildings freehold and have recently obtained planning consent to extend my flat into the adjacent unit, however, doing so means moving a pillar that's one of two which support the building. The other pillar was moved when the building was developed in 2010 and I have the original architects details but given that the property has been the subject to ensuing litigation I suspect that they are going to be reluctant to provide them and hence I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on how to best go about obtaining them?

    #2
    It sounds crazy to remove the pillars which support the building. I am sure it must be a criminal offence to make a safe building become unsafe

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      #3
      Bonkers:. Don't touch.

      Bet your insurance would be void.

      Repositioning is v risky. Certainly without careful structural engineer report.
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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        #4
        I'm not removing it I'm reposition it otherwise it would be in the middle of my hallway. It's already been done with one pillar and I want to do the same with the second pillar which is why I need the design

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          #5
          And are you the only person who lives in this building?

          Do you have an insurance policy that will provide indemnity cover for everyone in the building that lasts as least as long as the leases?

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            #6
            No there's two flats. I'm on the ground floor and there's a first floor property whose floor the pillar is supporting. With regard to insurance, any parties I instruct and any work done will be fully insured.

            I suppose I was hoping that someone would know whether or not I'm entitled to copies of the design as without it I'm starting from scratch and will need to spend circa £10-20k on a structural engineer, exploratory works involving a concrete consultancy and the services of a geotechnical engineer etc...

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              #7
              Being fully insured is all very well, but if the place falls down, upstairs people 'orribly dead or injured, ultimately it will be you who pays - the insurers will come after you if you've behaved daftly (which, with the greatest respect, you appear to have done).

              Get a decent structural engineer's survey: Way way cheaper than personal damages & rebuild costs. And in your shoes I'd bung up a temporary acrow prop TODAY where one you removed was. Seriously.
              https://safefence.co.uk/adjustable-acrow-props.html

              Very happy to be proved wrong (as always..)
              I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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                #8
                Thanks but the feasibility of moving it will be fully assessed by certified and insured professionals and any work will only start following their sign off as opposed to a couple of cor-blimey builders throwing up acrows and hacking away


                I keep being told that structurally you do almost anything within reason it's just a matter of how much it costs which is why I'm so keen on getting hold of the previous analysis that's been carried out. I'll ask the previous architect but I expect him to hide behind client confidentiality

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Peter68 View Post
                  No there's two flats. I'm on the ground floor and there's a first floor property whose floor the pillar is supporting. With regard to insurance, any parties I instruct and any work done will be fully insured.

                  I suppose I was hoping that someone would know whether or not I'm entitled to copies of the design as without it I'm starting from scratch and will need to spend circa £10-20k on a structural engineer, exploratory works involving a concrete consultancy and the services of a geotechnical engineer etc...
                  100+ year term insurance is not quote the same thing......

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                    #10
                    The architects don't have to let you have the plans or anything else.
                    They might, or they might sell you a copy, it's a commercial decision for them.

                    You couldn't rely on them for anything, though, because they are documents of what was planned to be done, not what might have actually been done and you'll still need a structural survey (and steer clear of any builder who would work without one).
                    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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                      #11
                      jpkeates - Thanks. That makes perfect sense and reconfirms my original thoughts since there have been build irregularities. It's a shame as it's going to be costly but I don't think there's any alternative

                      AndrewDod - I don't follow you. Any structural work will be done in concrete and steel (the same as the rest of the structure) and will last the life of the building. Do you mean taking out a structural defects policy?

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Peter68 View Post
                        jpkeates - Thanks. That makes perfect sense and reconfirms my original thoughts since there have been build irregularities. It's a shame as it's going to be costly but I don't think there's any alternative

                        AndrewDod - I don't follow you. Any structural work will be done in concrete and steel (the same as the rest of the structure) and will last the life of the building. Do you mean taking out a structural defects policy?
                        Why would they trust you? Or anyone? When you and the surveyor who approved the works are not around 30 years from now and the building collapses who is going to compensate the lessees. You are exposing others to risk with no gain or LIFELONG indemnity.

                        If you "don't follow" then I respectfully suggest that you have no business at all doing this work. It is not required structural work - it is gratuitous.

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                          #13
                          Sorry but I'm still not following you. Building control is there to ensure that the construction meets health and safety effectively taking 'trust' out of the equation

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                            #14
                            By way of example in 2004 (the most recent year I have) 215 buildings collapsed in the UK during refurbishment (a collapse is defined as collapse of more than 5 tonnes of building material). This is collapse during building alone. let alone in the months, years or decades afterwards. And most of these would have involved full structural engineering input.

                            This is fine if it is your own home only, but here you have risk involving a third party (the flat above) - So the question is what do you think happens when you remove a major structural element and something goes wrong 20 years down the line. If you think it doesn't happen, you are sadly mistaken.

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                              #15
                              Well I suspect the majority were down to lack of planning and foresight along with insufficient expertise but aside from bad workmanship the other issue is a lack of adequate building control and I would immediately question whether a build had been properly inspected prior to sign off whenever a failure or breach occurs.

                              Thanks, your point about the flat above is valid and something I'll raise it with the insurer.

                              Comment

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