Following our recent announcement regarding Covid 19 and working from home, we can report that technically it has been very successful. We have been able administrate and design normally and even conduct remote site meetings and valuations through high quality video links. However, it very much looks like construction sites will be closed down soon and some contractors have taken that early decision for themselves. Our current advice is that we should put existing construction contracts into voluntary suspension which means that we accept an extension of time with no additional preliminaries and no applied Liquidated Damages.
Luckily any project in the pre-tender, pre-contract or design development stage can continue as normal. Our positive experience of video conferencing is enabling this to continue uninterrupted and we have a number of projects running that fall into this category.
Lease breaks and expires continue to happen regardless and our message is that we can take a project from inception through to a tender and beyond whilst working remotely. Contractors are still operating even if not actually on site and they will be able to respond to tenders. It may well be that we have to except a few more Provisional Sums than we would have liked but we can still help our clients identify a preferred contractor and manage the design development up until the point of signing contracts.
Nobody knows how long the current situation will last. We do know that most Cat B Fit Out projects take up to 5 months from finding a building, and 3 months of that is Pre-contract, so now is as good a time as any to undertake this process.