Retention of Structural Engineers and Chartered Surveyors

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, City Building (Glasgow) LLP should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear City Building (Glasgow) LLP,

Can you please confirm whether City Building (Glasgow) retains fully qualified and accredited Structural Engineers within its employee roll? If so, can you confirm how many fully qualified and accredited Structural Engineers are currently retained?

Can you please confirm whether City Building (Glasgow) retains fully qualified and accredited Chartered Surveyors within its employee roll? If so, can you confirm how many fully qualified and accredited Chartered Surveyors are currently retained?

If Structural Engineers and/ or Chartered Surveyors are not retained by City Building (Glasgow), can you confirm the designation of the employees at City Building (Glasgow) who would inspect and assess the report of structural damage or a structural problem in a residential building managed by Glasgow Housing Association for whom you are the chosen contractor? (Please note, I am not requesting the identity of individuals, merely the designation they hold and the role they they perform within City Building.)

Can you advise the action that you would take if one of your employees determines that a Structural Inspection and Assessment is required at a property that they have inspected as they are unable to offer an assessment or suggest a repair themselves because they do not feel suitably qualified to do so? Specifically, if your inspecting employee reports to you that a "structural engineer is required*, would you appoint an engineer in this instance? If not, can you confirm what action you would view as appropriate and can you also confirm that you would follow-up on this reported concern imminently?

Yours faithfully,

P McGinty

McGrath, Sharon,

Dear P McGinty

Further to your request for information under FOISA (Scotland) 2002 received on 29th February and noted below, I would advise you as follows:

Point 1 – City Building does not retain any structural engineers.
Point 2 - City Building employs 3 Chartered Quantity Surveyors who would deal with finance and valuations etc on our behalf, they do not carry out Building Surveys.

Point 3 – In circumstances where structural damage assessment is a requirement, City Building will engage with specialist Structural Engineering Consultants, these are often client appointed or Novated under Design & Build Contracts, and who are deemed competent to undertake this role in line with the requirements of the Construction, Design & Management [CDM] Regulations 2015.
City Building have numerous technically qualified and experienced building professionals who have a variety of titles, including Service Manager and Operations Manager who will engage with the client and the consultants.

Point 4 – Refer to point 3 above. If City Building professionals are unable to competently undertake the type of assessment required then engagement with suitably qualified and competent Structural Engineers, as deemed competent under the CDM Regs 2015, will be the expected route. With regard to structural matters, these are always given prompt attention and reported to the client with a request for further instruction.

In providing you with this information I believe City Building has complied with your request in full.

Review procedure

If you are dissatisfied with the way City Building has dealt with your request you are
entitled to require City Building to review its decision. Please note that for a review
to take place you must:

• Lodge a written requirement for a review within 40 working days of the date of this letter
• Include a correspondence address and a description of the original request and the reason
• why you are dissatisfied
• Address your request to the Executive Director:

The Executive Director
City Building (Glasgow) LLP
350 Darnick Street
Glasgow G21 4BA

E mail: [email address]

Yours sincerely

Sharon McGrath

Sharon McGrath
Head of Corporate Services

Tel: 01412872177
[mobile number]
Email: [email address]
Website: www.citybuildingglasgow.co.uk

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Dear McGrath, Sharon,

Thank you for your reply. With regard to point 4, can I ask that you explain why a suitably qualified structural engineer was not engaged at 42 Northland Drive on 19 December 2014 when your own tradesman and inspector (John McDonald) stated that "we don't have a repair for this" and the repair note states, "cannot start this job structural engineer is required"? To date, you have failed to properly assess the situation, which flies in the face of your response to my FOI.

Yours sincerely,

P McGinty

McGrath, Sharon,

Dear P McGinty

In response to this enquiry I would advise you that my response clearly states that we will revert to the client for further instruction. In respect of this address a report was sent to the Client with an option to carry out a concrete repair. The option of a structural engineer was offered to the owner of the property by the Client at a later date but no consent was given for this.

City Building are purely the contractor for and carry out work as instructed by the Client, I would therefore refer you to our Client (Your Place) as I can add nothing further to this matter which I am viewing as a complaint rather than a Freedom of Information follow up

Regards

Sharon McGrath

Sharon McGrath
Head of Corporate Services

Tel: 01412872177
[mobile number]
Email: [email address]
Website: www.citybuildingglasgow.co.uk

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Dear McGrath, Sharon,

Thank you for your clarification. If I may confirm, at this juncture I do not have a complaint, but I do have a concern.

In February of this year, a Structural Engineer inspected this property and stated, categorically, that there is water ingress and NO condensation in the property. Your own tradesman stated this in December 2014 and recorded the fact that 'a structural engineer is required.' Your own Inspector, John McDonald, stated that 'We don't have a repair for this.' He then decided that 'condensation' was the cause of the problem. Mr McDonald, quite clearly, is neither qualified nor competent to assess this matter properly.

My question in follow-up to your response is quite simple: how can you, as contractor, provide repair options for an issue that you have wrongly diagnosed as 'condensation'? Why did you not follow your employee's advice to appoint a structural engineer, as required? How can you even consider repairing a property when the source of water ingress, which has been stated as the problem in the Engineer's Report, has not been investigated or identified? No instruction was given for a repair by the property owner because you premissed the 'repair options' upon a very clear misdiagnosis of the matter on your part.

I shall raise concerns with Your Place, but my concern at this juncture is in the apparent negligence of City Building in respect of this matter. Are you aware that very similar problems exist in the flat next door to this property and to the two flats directly above on the first and second floors?

Yours sincerely,

P McGinty

McGrath, Sharon,

Dear P McGinty

I note your response, however this is a matter that requires to be directed to Your Place, under FOISA I have provided the information you requested about how we would engage with structural engineers. I am not able to comment specifically on the issues around this address nor can I pass your enquiry to Your Place as it was raised under the FOISA legislation.

I would encourage you to make contact with them to get the issue resolved

Regards

Sharon McGrath

Sharon McGrath
Head of Corporate Services

Tel: 01412872177
[mobile number]
Email: [email address]
Website: www.citybuildingglasgow.co.uk

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Dear McGrath, Sharon,

Thank you. I shall do so in due course. Can you confirm that you did refer the matter to Your Place with a suggestion that a specialist inspection be carried out and that they determined this to not be necessary? It would seem strange that your employees suggested this as a necessary course of action which was not then followed through. As for Your Place, they appear to take the view that their preferred contractor - City Building - confirmed a diagnosis of 'condensation' which has been disproved by the Structural Engineer's Report. As the preferred contractor, you did offer repair options based on a false diagnosis that, according to Your Place, you assured them was the cause of the problem. It would seem that the property was inspected by an employee of City Building who was in no way qualified to assess the issue he was faced with. Perhaps you would be kind enough to confirm whether your Inspector, John McDonald, is professionally qualified and accredited to inspect and assess concrete disintegration and its cause? That is, is Mr McDonald qualified as a Structural Engineer which your own employees determined was required to inspect the property?

There are issues to be raised with Your Place. It is your own role in this matter as a chosen contractor that is in question at this point. For the record, you have already discussed this property and details relating to it in a public forum, and I see no reason for you not to do so now.

Yours sincerely,

P McGinty

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