THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL…
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OPERATING WITH THE NEW RULES #STAYALERT
We have been monitoring the continuously changing and evolving updates on the Coronovirus (COVID-19). Following recent public announcements from our Governmental leaders and the World Health Organisation, as well as The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and Public Health England (PHE), our Business approach has been identified as follows:
We have two top priorities. They are; ensuring the health and well being of our staff and providing continued award winning service to our clients. We are following guidance from DHSC & PHE. We have therefore taken steps to amend our standard practice operating methods and we intend to continue to restrict certain activities. Whilst lifting restrictions with mitigating measures for others. Allowing us to get one step closer to operating similar to the methods we were before Coronavirus lockdown. As mentioned in previous tweets videos and from within the practice (and from home), we believe some aspects of our business will change for ever in a positive way.
Drawing, document, and visual production is continuing, however some essential ‘Teamwork’ production works will now begin again at our studios whilst still continuing safe working distances within studios when it is not possible to work form home. However some communications still remain difficult due to other associate consultants having their own methods of operation during this time, which will be covered below. Whether working from home or in the Studio your agreed works will continue to be completed.
We are still taking on New Projects. Many new projects have been brought to us during the lock down and we are still very keen to work on them with you. To continue to operate in a safe manner we have decided that we will still restrict any site or home visits for the safeguarding of our staff and potential clients at this time. We will happily talk through the project with you via Video Chat and (or) Telephone Calls. We will also be able to continue as normal where high level feasibility studies do not require immediate access to site. It is common practice for us to conduct desktop analysis on most property development sites as normal. So we would encourage Developers, Public Sector and Private Clients to contact us and discuss your new projects with us remotely and we can hit the ground running after the lock-down is removed, whilst strictly adhering to the 2m distance rule. We will not be honouring traditional courtesy, such as hand shaking at this time.
We have experienced some level of difficulty with Local Authorities. Often Case officers and Council members are not available or not quick to respond to queries and submissions. However our 96% Planning Success rate has not been effected yet and we will continue to work with local authorities to achieve the highest of standards for our clientele. Due to the partially relaxed working rules we anticipate that a small uplift in communication may occur which will boost speed and performance of applications. We will of course continually keep you posted on progress.
Technical design is being completed as normal Our Staff are working remotely and where necessary at the studios on technical design aspects of your projects and we should not experience any delays preparing for building regulations approval or tender. At this stage all our external consultants are continuing in the same manner as us and we are able to collaborate as normal with them to keep projects on track.
Construction has definitely been impacted. Whether that is contractors choosing to shut down over the last 3 months and (or) being promoted to by government advice we have seen delays in this area. Unfortunately this has also meant delays in getting started on site with new projects. We will only encourage the re-opening of our projects sites where it can be proven safe to do so and ensuring that contractors have in place measures to protect our clients, their families and any other members who may be required on sites.
COMMUNICATIONS & MEETINGS
We will continue to host meetings virtually. If a physical meeting is required we will asses each situation independently and ensure appropriate and safe measures can be put in place to minimise risk as much as possible.
OVERALL WE ARE STILL HERE FOR YOU 🙂
Do not hesitate to contact our office. Ring the studio or mobiles of your Project Architects if you have them. Also do remember we still have emails very much working and usual business hours apply.
It’s a difficult time for everyone during the pandemic, we will continue to support you by keeping business pushing forward. From everyone at Acres Architects we are sending our thoughts and best wishes to you and your families this difficult time.