William A Foster
Ensuring the quality of current capital and revenue projects is the best way of protecting future budgets against erosion by the unanticipated cost of the remediation of latent defects in earlier years’ schemes.
Minimise risk - Achieve funding objectives.
QA LATENT SAFE
Assured quality – backed by protection
New build, refurbishment and remediation project schemes
- Quality is assured. The identification of the designers, manufacturers and contractors that we are prepared to accept is based on compliance with demanding standards. We only work with the best so you get the best.
- The asset value is preserved. The sale or rental value potential of the completed project is delivered through the quality of its design and construction.
- Uniquely QA Latent Safe can be applied selectively to only the high risk element(s) of a project, e.g. structural concrete repair and/or weatherproofing envelope renewal.
- Revenue disruption is risk minimised. However, provision can be made for any residual potential of consequential financial deficit resulting from the loss of tenure of the building due to its defective condition and the remediation process, if this is a matter of concern.
- Concentration on core activity. Without the diversion of resources to identify the cause or causes of the sick building, the party or parties responsible, arranging the remediation procedures and pursuing recovery actions through the time consuming legal process, managers are able to concentrate on the core business activities.
- Future budgets are protected. Funding for new projects is secured against erosion due to unexpected expenditure arising from problems with those completed in the past. No nasty surprises down the line.
- The project budget can be protected. Optional Performance Guarantee Insurance can ensure that the project budget is not overrun in the unlikely event of the contractor failing to complete the works through insolvency.
The decision to protect the investment in a new build or refurbishment project is, at its most basic, the culmination of a common-sense rationalisation process.
Concern about the risks associated with the commitment of substantial funds to such a project can be alleviated by initiating measures to ensure that it will deliver the long- term objective of the investment.
These would be prudent even when contemplating tried and tested construction methods because, as many know to their cost, the sick building syndrome is no respecter of past performance.
How much more justifiable is the decision when the project involves innovative design or systems to produce enhanced aesthetics or cost and/or time economies?
There will almost certainly be no credit given for having arranged protection against bad news down the line if all goes well but inevitably condemnation for not having done so if bad news materialises.
Insuring the project against inherent defects provides more that just protection of the investment in the works. It also protects budgets for future projects by avoiding them having to be raided to fund remedial works to earlier ventures revealing problems with the passage of time.
The implications of having to vacate association property because of defects, representing a risk to Health or Safety or a threat to its long- term occupation, to facilitate the remediation process could be considerable. The disruption factor cost in terms of revenue expenditure will be quantifiable regardless of the type of building. If, however, the problems arise in multi-occupancy housing there is additionally the undeniable cost in human terms of temporarily rehousing the tenants of a block of flats, for example, and this cannot not be completely alleviated even by compensation awards.
Then there are the costs involved in endeavouring to identify the cause or causes of the problems and the party or parties responsible and pursuing recovery actions against them possibly through costly, time consuming and, at best, speculative court actions.
Finally there is the so-called “soft cost” of management time absorbed by all of these processes and those of arranging the design of the remedial works, awarding the contracts for and supervising the works and pursuing claim actions.
If the recovery action is unsuccessful the financial burden of all these costs will erode current and/or future years’ budgets for new projects.
Specifiers will know that building defects can become evident long after practical completion. The “sick building syndrome” caused by latent defects can result in unbudgeted expenditure, jeopardising the availability of funding for future projects, asset devaluation, temporary loss of investment return and in undue demands on management time in resolving the problems.
QA Latent Safe provides an answer. It takes a quality driven approach to protect the project funding. The emphasis on demanding standards is backed by long-term security that maintains its value over time.
10, 15 and 20 year single premium policies are available to provide longstop protection against the possibility of residual latent defects – those that become apparent long after the site has been handed over.
QA Latent Safe seeks to avoid problems in the future by ensuring quality at all stages in the present; from pre-contract to practical completion.
More than providing a solution to the sick building syndrome it aims to minimise or eliminate the potential of defects occurring through control mechanisms, ensuring the quality of design, specification, materials and workmanship.
QALS is selective in the members of the project team that it is prepared to accept and eligibility criteria are exacting. A commitment to the objectives and disciplines of the Scheme is demanded and compliance enforced by the inspection of all but the most minor of minor works.
Nevertheless, realistically acknowledging the daunting magnitude of the task of totally eliminating all risks in every undertaking the provision of insurance funding, index linked to offset industry inflation to maintain its value through the passage of time, is the cast iron protection against residual problem remediation financing.
Quality Assured National Warranties and Insurance Guarantee Association combined have more than 35 years experience of arranging and administering long-term single premium insured warranties for construction projects.
Our expertise ranges from the administration, on behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry, of the insurance backed guarantee element of the Government endorsed TrustMark scheme protecting the domestic consumer to major projects for local authorities, NHS trusts, FTSE 100 companies and the like.
QA Latent Safe has been employed to give those commissioning projects the confidence to adopt innovative cost saving, time saving or aesthetics enhancing designs.
In addition to accommodating new build projects, refurbishments and remedial works, we believe that we are unique in being able to accept high risk specialist trade sub-contracts in isolation or in combination.
A claim under our Scheme would mean that we had failed to achieve our primary objective of eliminating defects. We are, therefore, pleased to state that the incidence of claims is virtually non-existent. We do not have a database of satisfied claimants to offer but rather a database of satisfied non-claimants.