Considerations for conversion and adaptation

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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?
Our service streams are Project + Development and Commercial Building Surveying. We therefore offer the desirable benefit to clients of delivering projects from feasibility stage through to completion.