University Case Study

This case study offers an overview of the works carried out by Thames Laboratories at one of the top Universities in the UK. The initial contracted works expanded substantially due to the discovery of non-compliance with Health and Safety laws.

The Client

One of the oldest surviving universities in the world with a prestigious history is situated in the South of England.

The Job

The original tender for the works overviewed within this case study was for the completion of re-inspection surveys to a CLASP (Consortium of Local Authorities Special Programme) structure operated by the University. Upon inspection, it was discovered that the building did not comply with the Health & Safety Executives CLASP guidance.

Thames Laboratories were then commissioned to complete a formal review of the building and management systems that were in place. Alongside this work, a major project was about to commence on the site that included significant elements of asbestos work. We were asked to act as the Asbestos Consultant as well as the Quantity Surveyor for the asbestos elements of this project; this involved the preparation of all the necessary supporting documents.

What We Did

We have undertaken a number of key projects for this High Profile University and continue to work for the University. The range of services we have provided to this client are set out below:

• Re-inspection Surveys
• Asbestos-related Design Management
• Tender Document Creation
• Asbestos Removals Project Manager
• Quantity Surveyor
• End-user liaison

We were originally commissioned to undertake re-inspections of the CLASP buildings and update records, but early in the process, it was apparent that a number of elements of the Health and Safety Executives CLASP guidance were not being followed by space users, and at this point in time our remit was expanded to encompass a review of compliance along with a detailed analysis of the measures needed to be put in place to ensure compliance with the guidance.

It was during the final phase of this works that the department identified that a significant project was to commence to replace the experimental chilled water installation and that given the extent and nature of the asbestos upon the site, detailed planning processes would be necessary to ensure the smooth operation of the building whilst achieving the project on time.

We were approached by the university to assist with the design of the asbestos elements of this project and to join the Project Management team as the Asbestos Project Managers. Our work commenced with a detailed review of the requirements for the chilled water installation, followed by an analysis of the areas that would need to be accessed and the impact the works would have upon and asbestos materials.

Following this detailed process, we were able to produce tender documentation for the asbestos removal works. Using the Universities approved list of contractors, prices were sought for the works and alongside the client, we undertook both quality and cost-based assessments to determine which contractor would be successful.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by Stephensons Solicitors LLP sent to 106 universities in England has revealed 74% are understood to have the potentially harmful building material present in the fabric of their buildings, a total of 78 higher education establishments. A staggering 86% of universities who responded to the FOI request contain asbestos on their estates, according to the official figures.