Award for excellence

David Brain Partnership recently won the 2010 National Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Building Excellence Award in the "Best Partnership with a Local Authority" Category. We fought off the likes of Architects such as Pick Everard and The Saunders Partnership and contractors like Kier London to win the award, a great achievement for a small practice such as ours!

We have been working 'in partnership' with Bath & North East Somerset Building Control (BANES) for over five years. The relationship satisfied a need that had been identified by our clients for a more pro-active approach to the Building Regulations process than that sometimes available from approved inspectors. BANES were put forward following many years of involvement with traditional Building Regulations applications in Bath.

The partnering process essentially allows us to work with our local authority at the plan checking stage of a project with the site inspections carried out by the local authority where the site is located.

From our point of view this has enabled us to build upon an existing working relationship with the local officers at the critical early project stages. Amongst the benefits of the system are the readily available pre-application advice, the provision of pre-application checklists and the prompt discharge of conditions later in the project programme.

In recent times there has been a tendency for developers and contractors to favour approved inspectors over local authorities and we are sure that this alternative can produce good results although we have some reservations about the builder having too close a relationship with the inspector. The partnering system provides for almost a third eye from that of the plan approval and our own site visits.

From concept to completion the communication, cooperation, open discussion and teamwork that exists in this type of partnership can and has lead to the achievement of "excellence."