Project Building Consultancy

We provide Project Management & Building Consultancy support across all property sectors throughout the UK and globally in both the private and public sectors for a diverse range of clients.


The UK team comprises 80 professionals across 9 offices in the UK. We put your interests first. If you establish a relationship with a surveyor, then she or he will work for you anywhere.


Why choose us?

  • We have strong representation in all regions.
  • We aim to be on site within 48 hours of instruction anywhere in Europe.
  • Services that are backed by the use of bespoke project tools.
  • Delivery at senior level backed by a depth of high quality resource.
  • A highly inclusive, consultative approach.
  • A depth of technical experience allied with excellent market knowledge.
  • A commercial awareness from joined up property and construction appreciation
What we offer

We provide project management for an extensive range of construction projects, varying from refurbishment/fit out’s through to complete new build, acting for end user occupiers, owners, and developers. We combine commercial acumen with technical expertise.

Project ‘drivers’ always vary from client to client and project to project; we commit to fulfil the often difficult balance between programme, cost and quality or design integrity. We do this through project ownership and by never offering up a problem without a solution.

Cost control is essential in any project and we see active cost planning and financial control as a way to empower the architect to deliver architectural flair (where the client requires!) and quality – whilst complying with the budget constraints. We have a strong commitment to team work; and equality throughout the project team. This approach, and sharing of reward and responsibility results in higher standards all round.

Our specialist quantity surveying team provides cost consultancy services across all property sectors. We enable client budgets to be proactively set and controlled throughout the lifecycle of a project.

We do not operate regional boundaries but allocate our team according to client preference and resource needs so that our clients maintain continuity and a team they trust.

We are responsive. We respond rapidly in an accurate and understandable format, always setting risk in context. This allows our clients to maximise their commercial advantage over their competitors.

We are innovative. We report in a style suited to each client’s needs and give focused advice in relation to a client’s property interest, whether it be for investment, freehold, leasehold acquisition or disposal purposes. We provide concise, relevant information and well thought out recommendations.

We are thorough. We maintain an extensive cost bench marking data base and, supported by our research team, stay on top of market trends.

We are market leaders in providing dilapidation services on all types of commercial property across the UK. We do this for a diverse range of Clients in respect of differing leasehold interests, be it single short leases or complex multi-tenanted arrangements on individual properties or across a portfolio. Our regional network of offices make coverage on a national basis possible.

Many Clients have benefited from our ability to cover all parts of the UK and we have arrangements / frameworks in place with several well-known organisations. This includes Thomas Cook, WPP, AVIVA, CRUK and Columbia Threadneedle, and in some cases we act for these Clients exclusively providing regular advice and support as required.

We can prepare and defend interim and terminal claims as well as compiling dilapidation assessments and providing advice around lease breaks.

We can also provide technical guidance in respect of repairs notices or building disputes relating to inherent defects. Where there is a benefit to carry out remedial re-instatement works, we can organise the appropriate contract administration processes including competitive tendering to achieve cost control.

If claims cannot be settled by works or normal negotiations and result in legal proceedings, we are able to provide Expert Witness support. We can also provide technical support in other forms of dispute resolution, mediation etc.


Terminal Claims

Whether we are acting for Landlords or Tenants we are flexible in our approach and treat each claim on its own merits.

We understand & follow Court based Protocols and RICS Guidance in the formatting of claims and Quantified Demands. In doing this we can work in conjunction with client lawyers and this may be of paramount importance in the case of lease breaks especially where there is a need to achieve vacant possession and/or ensure compliance with all reinstatement and repairing covenants under a lease.

We can also advise on the impact of potential supersession relating to refurbishment and improvement works on dilapidations and consulting valuers where needed.


Interim Schedules

Commonly we are appointed by tenants to advise on complying with Repair Notices served during the mid-term of a lease. Our assistance may be to advise on a generalised list of alleged disrepairs, or to deal with a more comprehensive interim schedule, perhaps linked to the Landlord’s attempt to frustrate the lease. This can also involve investigating building defects and advising on responsibilities for those of an inherent nature.

Repair notices may be used by Landlord’s to genuinely encourage a tenant to undertake backlog maintenance works, and we can produce suitable schedules as part of this process working with legal advisers as needed.


Dilapidation Assessments

One of the core areas of support we offer is in pre-lease end assessments of dilapidations to help assist in financial planning.

This may be part of a wider approach where there is a need to provide strategic advice on the scope of potential liability with early cost assessments and other consultancy support. This is most commonly to allow a tenant to make accounting accrual or to help reach a decision on whether to stay or move. It can also be in cases of company splits, mergers or acquisitions that require dilapidations assessments to be produced or where there is a change in the leasing structure resulting in assignments or other tenancy changes.


Lease Breaks

Dealing with lease break situations requires careful consideration and close liaison with the Client’s legal representatives if the break is to be followed as these are subject to specific obligations. Interpretation of these needs, including vacant procession, is also subject to a knowledge of current case law and we can assist on these cases.

It may be in agreeing an earlier surrender sum for a tenant to ensure the break is agreed or alternatively achieving a beneficial financial settlement for a Landlord who may be seeking to ends a tenancy for refurbishment or other reasons.

Acting on behalf of a wide range of Investor, Landlord and Tenant clients, we provide a tailored due diligence building survey service, offering succinct, detailed survey reports, across all property sectors and building types.

We undertake pre-acquisition building surveys for Freehold and Leasehold purchases. We also produce Vendor surveys in connection with sales, and for bank/lending re-financing purposes. We have extensive experience in coordinating and undertaking large portfolio instructions.

We are not just limited to the UK and undertake International due diligence instructions across Europe also.

Our reports are easy to read and written in clear English, providing clear, concise commercial advice.  Executive summaries at the head of our reports provide a snapshot of the main pertinent issues, with traffic light ratings allowing findings to be placed into context.

Our reports identify problems and solutions, with large quality photographs documented within the report, clearly explaining each issue.  Major anticipated repair costs are identified, and categorised to state where responsibility lies.  In addition to highlighting building defects, we provide summary comment on statutory compliance issues and deleterious materials, and state where specific key legal enquiries or further investigations are required.

When acting for Investors, we always assess ‘added value’ angles, analysing opportunities for increasing floor space for example.  Tenants often have additional requirements to defect analysis; how they will occupy the space, access and use buildings.  We always look at the bigger picture.

We can co-ordinate and manage your entire due diligence process, recommending and advising on the appointment of specialist reporting, and capturing their findings within our report.  We aim  to provide a ‘one stop shop’ service.   We always aim to inspect a premises within 48 hours of instruction, and report within 5-7 working days.

By choosing Colliers International you can be sure that you will receive the best advice.  As a purchaser, our aim is to ensure that we identify all issues that should be taken into account when agreeing a purchase price.  As a Tenant, your potential liabilities will be clearly identified, with practical guidance given on how best to you protect your interests.

Strategic Maintenance Planning

Historically, planned maintenance programmes could be weighty, unworkable tomes unsuited to a property holders budgetary, occupational or leasehold requirements. Each planned maintenance programme we produce takes into account the property requirements, realistic budget expenditure, statutory obligations and the requirements of any lease.

Our programmes are based on in depth surveys, reviews of available information and budgetary analysis. This allows for strategic budgetary planning and analysis– of CAPEX and maintenance works; service charge recovery and planning and overall reduction in maintenance expenditure.


Insurance Assessment & Claims

We produce Reinstatement Cost Assessments confirming the time and cost of total reconstruction following destruction, or damage, by an insured risk.

Accurate assessments are essential to ensure overpayments are not made on insurance premiums and that the full extent of any loss is properly covered: if it can be proven by an insurer that the total of your policy is underprovided for, any recompense for a claim will be reduced.

We produce Reinstatement Cost Assessments for a number of property holders through detailed measurement and cost analysis.


Feasibility & Viability Studies

Detailed analysis of site constraints, environment, town planning, statute, cost, programme and many other factors is necessary prior to the commencement of any project.

Our track record of successful project delivery of varying refurbishment, redevelopment, single and mixed use schemes means we are well placed to effectively study and report on scheme viability; ensuring early feedback on feasibility – and avoidance of abortive cost.


CDM Principal Designer

A Principal Designer under the CDM Regulations 2015 is an organisation appointed by the client to take control of health & safety issues on a material building project. Principal Designers have an important role in influencing how risks to health and safety are managed throughout a project. Design decisions made during the pre-construction phase have a significant influence in ensuring the project is delivered in a way that secures the health and safety of everyone affected by the work. We have a qualified Principal Designer in each of our offices and understand the challenges involved in this specialist role.

Our Project Monitoring experience encompasses all types of property across the whole of the UK and overseas. The works monitored range from internal fit-outs/ refurbishments through to major new developments.

We recognise the importance of the monitoring role starting at an early stage in the project to ensure that the risks in terms of time, cost & quality are managed as effectively as possible. We can also retrospectively audit works by others and are increasingly called upon to undertake ‘health checks’ on troubled developments.

We act for Commercial Banks, Pension Funds, Institutional Investors, Corporate Occupiers, Receivers and Public Sector clients.

Our clients include HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Al Rayan Bank, Bank Leumi, Qatar National Bank, Santander Knight Frank Investment Management, Aviva Investors, AIG Asset Management, EFG Private Bank, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Hypo, Handlesbanken and Metro Bank.


Main services

Development/ Fund Monitoring

Acting for the equity investor or purchaser who is forward funding/purchasing a development, typically comprising an initial up front payment, funding during construction & a final payment upon completion

Bank Monitoring

Acting for the debt provider to the developer with finance provided through a loan facility sometimes including a requirement by the developer to pay the first tranche of the construction costs from their own equity


How we add value for our clients

  • Understanding the brief – being aware of how the project is structured and how the finance is to be provided
  • Technical expertise – in house RICS qualified staff with sound technical background to ensure a complete grasp of the technical aspects
  • Experience – relevant to the project in question
  • Collaborative approach – working closely with the development team including attendance at project meetings to maintain a full understanding of the project
  • Risk review – identifying the risks at the outset and how these will be managed during the project
  • Speed of reporting – We aim to turn our reports around in a timely manner, typically within 5 days of the draw-down request

The Neighbourly Matters team sits within Building Surveying and Project Management at Colliers International and provides clients with a range of consultancy advice affecting development.

In addition to our specialist Party Wall, Rights of Light and Daylight Sunlight consultancy services, we assist with a range of other neighbourly disputes. Acting on behalf of developers, estates, trusts and individuals we provide professional advice on:

• Crane and Scaffold Oversail licence and agreements
• The Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992
• Ransom strips
• Subterranean development issues
• T-marks
• Zone of Influence surveys
• Noise abatement advice
• Rates rebates as a consequence of nearby development
• Expert Witness
• Pre-acquisition neighbourly advice

By choosing Colliers International you can maximise your development potential and minimise project risk and unknown costs. Conversely, if you are affected by nearby development, we can assist in reducing your property tax/business rates and help protect your asset. We keep up to date with all recent case law, amendments to Acts, and policy changes to ensure we can give the best and most current advice to our clients.


Party Walls

Our nationwide team is led by Michael Cooper, widely recognised as a market expert in the field of party wall legislation and boundary dispute resolution. Michael has a long and successful career in this area and was chosen to co-write the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) guidance notes for party walls, which much of the profession use to define their role within the legislation.

Michael has acted on the developments at the Shard and 20 Fenchurch Street (the Walkie Talkie) towers in London and several other high profile buildings in his career.

Building works undertaken in close proximity to adjacent structures often lead to dispute, damage, disturbance and business interference if not properly controlled. Colliers Party Wall experts act for developers and those affected by development to ensure that development work causes minimal disturbance and that appropriate agreements are put in place to enable legislative compliance and control where appropriate. We act on major projects nationally for a range of clients and have a proven track record in the administration of the Party Wall etc Act 1996.

Early action and identification of potential issues is the key to preventing dispute and future conflict. Colliers offer expert advice on these issues throughout all stages of development, and will advise on appropriate actions to mitigate or remove risk from the scheme.

A recent interview with Party Wall Pro featuring Michael can be viewed by clicking this link.

Rights of Light

Specialists in the field of Rights of Light, the Colliers International team pride themselves in providing clear strategic advice and guidance to both developers and neighbouring owners. Cathryn Buckland is a dedicated expert and has gained extensive experience from working on a range of small projects to Masterplan led developments.

Although an archaic Common Law matter, Rights to Light is one of the key constraints for developers and can have a significant impact on the buildability of a Site. If not addressed, a Right of Light injury can have significant cost and delay implications to a developer and can result in an injunction being served.

A Right of Light is a negative easement, which benefits a property (dominant tenement) by allowing access to natural light over a neighbouring piece of land (servient tenement). If a development should block this access and cause a light nuisance, then the affected party is entitled to remedy and potentially removal of the obstruction.

Our advice is often the first step in a developments design as we can assess the client’s position and likely level of infringement. Using the latest digital scanning and 3D modelling technology, we are able to guide the design process to mitigate any potential infringements.

We also advise neighbours who have suffered an infringement due to a neighbouring development and ensure that they are fully informed of their position and the options available to them in order to seek redress.


Daylight Sunlight

Daylight & Sunlight assessments are commonly requested by Local Planning Authorities to aid a planning determination; particularly in City centres where there is increased population, density and development as light is viewed as an increasingly valuable commodity.

Colliers International are at the forefront of change and are able to advise both the developing party and potentially affected neighbouring owners. Colliers International’s assessments are in line with the Building Research Establishment (BRE) document ‘Site Layout Planning for Daylight & Sunlight: A Guide to Good Practice’. This being a ‘flexible’ document and the numerical standards set by the BRE Guidance are not to be used rigidly.

Using market leading software, we are able to analyse a development proposal, ensuring that the principles of the BRE Guidance are followed to form our baseline approach. We are also able to provide expert support on light related issues at planning appeals and public enquiry.

Success Stories

Project Management - Sea Containers
Instructed by WPP to provide project management, contract administration and cost management services in relation to the 226,000 sqft CAT A and B refurbishment of the iconic Sea Containers House.The design incorporates a large amphitheatre and roof terrace which are capable of hosting large congregations of people for business and social events. A number of new staircases were designed into the building to increase connectivity.The project won both the BCO Regional and National awards for innovation in 2017.
Dilapidations - Tower 42, London
We were instructed by our Client to advise them on their lease end liabilities in the last few months of their lease of three office suites in this prominent office block. Works in the building were not practical, but in our assessment process we explored the costs of a strip out using the single goods lift available for such works. A claim was finally received from the Landlord on the day the lease expired, and we were able to reduce this to a minimal amount representing less than 10% of the original claim.
Project Monitoring - The Mansion
The project currently comprises the demolition of the existing six storey office building and the construction of a new seven storey building with three basement levels providing 23 residential units, swimming pool, spa and car parking facilities. Total construction cost is circa £38 million. Anticipated completion is 31 August 2019.

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