Selecting the right commercial builders for any business-related refurbishment, development, new build, or renovation can be complex. There are myriad considerations around timeframes, budgets, expertise and professional accreditations, alongside compliance with commercial building regulations.
Safety and compliance are fundamental successful commercial projects, whether you are constructing new office premises or wish to upgrade your existing site. Working with skilled building contractors with a proven track record in the commercial property development industry can make a significant difference.
In this guide, the commercial master builders at Pinnacle Works provide insights into how a property build or renovation works, what to expect from your chosen contractors, and essential tips to ensure your building work meets your requirements.
An Introduction to Commercial Building Services
One of the first aspects of beginning any commercial building project is to ensure the professionals and contractors you collaborate with have expertise in the full range of services and building techniques necessary.
Residential and commercial building projects vary considerably, and an experienced company with a comprehensive understanding of the regulatory frameworks and building standards will be a valuable partner.
Crucially, commercial builders operating to high standards of professionalism can offer advice, planning assistance and guidance as you navigate the process, including:
- Help with identifying the range of commercial services required to meet your brief, from groundwork to traffic rerouting, project budgeting, liaising with local authorities to secure the necessary permissions, and monitoring progress.
- Communication with architectural services providers, working through your detailed construction plans and technical drawings to identify potential cost savings, efficiencies or challenges.
- Analysing the applicable regulations and safety standards, which are essential to ensure any commercial construction is compliant, approved by the local inspection team, and adheres to best practices.
We will discuss standards shortly, but this is an important element.
The relevant regulations will depend on the nature of your commercial construction, with specific requirements related to industrial sites, commercial new builds in the city and commercial medical facilities, as a few examples.
Our dedicated commercial building team can provide further advice on request if you would like independent support with planning your construction services.
Types of Commercial Building Projects
The scope of commercial refurbishment services is vast, and the right building contractor will differ with the nature of the premises or the type of building work involved.
UK commercial building projects could comprise:
- New builds – constructing offices, retail spaces, storage facilities, industrial warehousing and manufacturing sites, automotive buildings, hotels, and catering builds for restaurants.
- Building repairs and renovation services – addressing structural defects, renovating tired properties, restoring commercial sites, and upgrading the current style of newly acquired facilities.
- Property Extensions and additions – in the same way homeowners opt for loft conversions to increase their usable space, businesses often look to maximise their operating capacity by adding new storeys or expanding their premises outward.
Business clients might require anything from small to medium refurbishments to improve the value of their property assets to full-scale renovations and new constructions, each of which commands a different range of commercial skills and knowledge.
The Importance of Planning and Design in Commercial Construction
Every great commercial building project begins with detailed specifications, budgeting, research and site selection. The planning phase directly impacts the success of any building scheme.
As a reputable commercial renovation expert, Pinnacle Works invests as much time and energy into your design and planning as necessary to ensure you have a thorough understanding of the resources required, costs and other aspects of your building project to proceed with confidence.
Before we undertake any commercial projects, we assign one of our accomplished project managers to liaise with our commercial clients to understand the following:
- The core objectives, in terms of budgeting, deadlines, aesthetics, and functionality.
- Your expectations from your new or renovated commercial space.
- The current stage of the project – whether you have appointed architects and engineers, need assistance securing permits and planning permission approvals, or would like us to collaborate with third parties to keep things moving forward.
Thorough planning is vital, allowing our team to identify possible issues or delays, recommend approaches or techniques, and ensure all the work is properly scheduled, monitored and overseen by capable commercial building managers.
Incorporating Project Management Into Commercial Building Work
We’ve touched on project management, another all-important part of our building services. Following the planning and design stages, when we proceed to implementation, Pinnacle Works provides ongoing project management, which ensures our clients have the assurance of robust site controls.
Commercial buildings must comply with standards, building regulations and quality requirements.
An experienced project manager represents your interests and deals with a wide range of tasks, including:
- Budgetary control – ensuring work is completed on time, to your specification, and within budget, often signing off each phase before the next can begin.
- Liaison – project managers keep in close contact with clients, architects, building inspectors, subcontractors, estate agents and other stakeholders to ensure every party is up to speed.
- Scheduling – the complexity of a large-scale project means that several professionals may need to work to carefully planned schedules, from groundwork, electrical, plumbing and joinery services to commercial interior design teams.
- Quality assurance – your project manager is responsible for ensuring your building work meets the right quality benchmarks, from checking every tradesperson on site is fully insured to assessing whether each completed phase matches your expectations.
One of the great features of working with the commercial builders at Pinnacle Works is that we have an in-house team, from plastering and decorating to project managers, interior design specialists to expert tradespeople, providing a streamlined service from end to end.
Selecting Appropriate Construction Techniques and Materials
Commercial building plans are highly detailed and include structural engineering calculations that may dictate the materials required or how your site is developed.
For example, commercial building projects where the property needs to bear heavy loads – such as having an overhead crane – will require higher-grade materials, often steel, which have the requisite yield strength. In contrast, offices may require lower-grade support, thus reducing costs.
Building engineers and designers assess factors such as the compression, tension and load exerted on each part of the building to identify the most suitable materials, gauges, dimensions and placements.
However, an experienced commercial building team will also be able to offer recommendations to maximise your value for money, including:
- Sourcing and availability – where a specific material is scarce, in high demand, or subject to rising prices, it may be more affordable to select an alternative with the same performance features but a lower cost and less likelihood of delays.
- Durability – materials with excellent longevity that are well suited to the climate and purpose of your commercial building require less maintenance, will last longer, and maintain their aesthetic appearance.
Materials such as steel framing and precast concrete are most prevalent in commercial builds. Still, you may be able to reduce your costs or expedite construction by making informed decisions based on the most available and affordable options.
Businesses may also wish to prioritise sustainability, using energy-efficient working programmes, locally sourced materials and low-carbon equipment and tooling – this can be particularly important for commercial developments with a funding or grant element related to sustainability, low energy consumption or the redevelopment of brownfield sites.
Commercial Construction Safety and Regulations
Safety regulations vary depending on the location, type and nature of your project and the materials being used.
The primary UK regulations relevant to commercial building projects include:
- Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015
- Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
- Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 2002 (COSHH)
- Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)
- Working at Height Regulations 2005
- Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
- Health and Safety (Consultation With Employees) Regulations 1996
- Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)
Pinnacle Works is fully versed in these, and all other regulations imposed by the Health and Safety Executive and ensures compliance at every phase of your project.
Commercial builders often have additional considerations from residential construction teams, with the need to ensure work sites are safe, do not pose a public health hazard or safety risk, and are well managed for tradespeople, inspectors, and contractors.
One of the core requirements when selecting any commercial builder should be to ensure they have a complete understanding of all legislation and regulations and can recommend efficient strategies to achieve the required outcomes in adherence with best practices.
Challenges and Opportunities in the Commercial Building Sector
The challenges facing commercial construction have been well publicised, where Brexit prompted shortages in skilled labour, and post-pandemic material scarcity and global inflation have meant that some raw commodities and resources have been harder to find, slower to source, and more expensive to purchase.
However, our approach is always to embrace innovation and look for opportunities to add value and efficiency to the way we operate.
Sustainability and low-energy consumption buildings are growing significantly in demand as businesses seek to invest in premises that are future-proof, low-cost to run and meet future zero-carbon production targets ahead of schedule.
Technological solutions such as blueprint modelling and simulations can assist and expedite planning, cloud-based project reporting provides always-on communications, and smart infrastructure monitoring systems can identify potential deficiencies automatically to improve safety and reduce risk.
If you would like to explore ways to improve the sustainability or energy consumption of your building or discuss options to reduce the carbon output associated with your planned commercial build, please get in touch with Pinnacle Works at any time.
Our full-service commercial teams are always happy to assist, whether you’d like to begin work on a new office construction project, need to cost out a potential commercial renovation, or wish to understand all the options available.