Building maintenance and construction costs

  1. Please indicate the average annual cost to the Council of having to rectify building construction or building maintenance works where the works have not complied with the specification

All reasonable efforts are made to ensure that all building construction or building maintenance works procured by Devon County Council are completed in accordance with the specification prepared for them.

Data that would facilitate a quantified response to this enquiry is not collected. DCC commissions in excess of 500 building construction and building maintenance projects each year. Monitoring this number of projects (particularly as the total compounds over the years) throughout their complete lifecycle, to determine if any future repair or rectification works undertaken at the site at which they may have been completed could in anyway be related to a non-conformance with the original specification would be extremely challenging and would require significant resource and cost to DCC

When Practical Completion for building construction or building maintenance works is granted and they enter the Defects Period (typically Twelve months) it is normal for any items that require rectification or repair to be undertaken, at no further cost, by the contractor as required by them under the terms of the underlying contract. The 12 month period allows for seasonal differences and therefore ‘exposes’ the works to conditions that are likely to show any deficiencies that are evident. The vast majority of projects commissioned by DCC are subject to this regime.

  1. What percentage of the above cost related to building services (e.g. mechanical, electrical, plumbing works and maintenance)?

Given that a numerical answer cannot be provided to Question One above it is therefore not possible to provide a percentage breakdown. A generic split of construction schemes commissioned by DCC would be in the order of, Building 60%, Mechanical Services 20% and Electrical Services 20%. If you wish to speak with someone regarding the above request, please contact the Information Governance Team on 01392 383445 or email accesstoinformation-mailbox@devon.gov.uk

 

  1. Please indicate, as a percentage, the extent to which the above cost was incurred because the firm(s) involved did not possess the requisite technical capability (ies).

Given that a numerical answer cannot be provided to Question Two above it is therefore not possible to provide a percentage apportionment. However, DCC does carefully review the appointment of all contractors to ensure they possess the requisite technical abilities to fully discharge the contract.

  1. Please indicate the amount of retentions held over the last 5 years by the Council for building construction or building maintenance works.

Retentions are held against building construction and maintenance works completed in accordance with the requirements of the Contract under which they are procured. Typical retention amounts will be 5% of interim applications certified and 2.5% of the contract value when Practical Completion is achieved. The retention monies held are released when the End of Defects Period (typically Twelve months from the date of Practical Completion) is satisfactorily achieved. Retentions will not be released until all defects under the Contract are rectified. Given that the average annual spends on building construction and maintenance works is approximately £20,000,000, the average annual retention amount held over this period is approximately £500,000. If an exact figure is required DCC would need to individually review all construction contracts over the last 5 years which as above would be in excess of 500 per annum which would take on average 30 mins per contract.

  1. What percentage of the above amount was used for the purpose of rectifying work because the appointed firms failed to do so?

As above given we are unable to provide a fixed numerical value we are unable to provide this information. However defects identified during the Defects Period would have to be made good by the Contractor before the final Valuation Certificate is issued approving the release of outstanding Retention monies.

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