Considerations for conversion and adaptation
In the second of three columns, William Rogers, head of complex projects at Anderton Gables, details the issues surrounding the conversion and adaptation of a building, the importance of understanding how a building works and how they can be altered.Conversion is defined as a change in function or use, such as converting an office block and making it suitable for residential use, whereas adaptation means the process of adjustment and alteration of a building to meet new requirements.It is key that before embarking on the conversion or adaption of an existing building that there is a thorough understanding of its properties, both structural and building fabric.
With this knowledge, correct diagnosis is achieved and remedial works can be undertaken. The following issues require careful consideration:
- Building Construction: Identifying the method of construction in conjunction with the materials used to understand the implications of alteration.
- Building Condition: Possible defects requiring rectification that will prevent the proposed works being feasible from a cost point of view.
- Statutory Compliance: Is change of use planning consent required? Have Building Regulations been taken into consideration?
- Building Suitability: The size and shape of the building requires careful examination to ensure it will meet the client’s requirements.
- Legal issues: Is a Party Wall Notification required? Do the works fall under CDM (2015) Regulations / The Equality Act (2010)?
- Clients Project Brief: Essential that the client’s requirements and expectations of time, cost and suitability are clear and concise from the outset.
- Budget: All important before getting too far with matters – Do the proposed works fit with the client’s budget?