Client: William Scott Abbot Trust
Task: Condition Survey
Date: Summer 2021
Description: Sacrewell Farm is a site near Peterborough with
a farm park visitor centre, shopping village, a selection of estate-related listed properties and also the Riverford organic
farm packing site. Since 1964, Sacrewell has been run as a charity by the William Scott Abbott Trust with the aim of connecting people of all ages and backgrounds to the science, heritage, and practical art of agriculture and giving insight into the trail that leads from farm to fork.
My first appointment was to undertake a full Condition Survey of Sacrewell Lodge, a Grade 2 Listed Georgian house sat within the Sacrewell Estate housing the manager of the farm site. The brief was to fully appraise the condition of the fabric of the property and provide potential costings for any remedial work required. The survey would full appraise the building internally and externally and I would subsequently present the trust with a detailed report of condition, along with recommendations for required remedial works. I was appointed following a quotation process, the client subsequently agreed to a set of terms and conditions and due diligence highlighted no reason why I should not proceed. The completed report was to be delivered to both the client and their Architect, whom I had worked with previously. I contacted them to determine what the subsequent project plans were and to ensure I was capturing any specific information and data they required.
Prior to attending site, I undertook a risk assessment. On-site the relevant Health and Precautions were taken, and a full assessment of the building’s condition was undertaken. This inspection was undertaken visually and with relevant equipment
( such a damp meter, loft ladder, camera, laser level, and torch). I so also, when required, have more invasive equipment such as borescopes to investigate dry rot, corroded wall ties and undertake investigations of hidden structures and suspected water penetration. All of the defects and observations on site are photographically recorded for use in the report and to ensure any explanations and recommendations can be evidenced and properly explained to the client in detail.
The survey and report concluded that the building required remedial works. This included a recovering of the roof, with recommendations for some of the timber roof structures also to be replaced. The roof covering here is Collyweston slate, something I have come across previously, but I did undertake further desktop research of the product to increase my knowledge of the product. The roof structure was showing day light in places and signs of water ingress and damage, the original torching was in place, but this was crumbling and degrading. In my opinion, the building had also received some inappropriate re-pointing and external repairs with a more modern nonpermeable mortar, in turn this was leading to further degradation of the stonework. Suspected Asbestos-containing materials were found in the property, the report recommended that a specialist attend and sample these materials to confirm or rule out this suspicion, the implications of such a material was fully explained within the report.
At the request of the client, I revisited site with a roofing contractor who specialised in heritage refurbishment, this was a company I had met through a CPD business showcase event. Together we discussed the defects present and compiled a specification and pricing for the proposed works. I used this specification to acquire a couple of comparable quotes through a mini tender process, this included and quality and cost element. I presented the trust with the prices and detailed information relating to their obligations regarding Listed building and planning consent and also Building Regulation approval. This along with narrative and detailed condition report allowed them to financially plan for the repairs required in the coming year. We also provided the client with a programme of proposed remedial works giving time-based priorities and indicative budgets. Following the initial condition survey the client was satisfied with the work and had provided feedback that they had found me both personable and professional, they were also pleased with the way the report was presented and wished for me to undertake two further tasks at Sacrewell Lodge.