A Wealth of Services, as and When You Need Them
Working as a glass & glazing consultant and on a ‘freelance’ basis, Michael Hockham is able to offer his clients expert and professional services, as and when they are in need. Below you will find an overview of services ranging from the early strategic design of a project through to completion and close-out. With an emphasis on the operational and a passion for innovation, with vast experience, proven delivery and project by project accountability, he’s well placed to assist architects, contractors and developers alike.
Michael provides a wide variety of consultancy & management services within the glass & glazing industry. Whether its evaluating specific building systems, recommending appropriate materials and manufacturers, coordinating field tests, or resolving emergency situations, he’s well equipped to provide expedient, accurate, and reliable information for use within your specific project.
Freelance Project Management
Projects can be won or lost on the outcome of a poor or inexperienced decision. Personnel sporting what employers would consider a ‘full’ skill-set are extremely difficult to find within our industry. Finding that perfect site aware individual will more than likely leave you having sleepless nights about budget control. Likewise, that less technical but academical genius, may lead to unwanted emails arriving from your clients site representative. Michael’s management experience has been vast, varied and not without it’s dramas at times however, its underlined by one common thread; he always delivers. All associated services are offered, from pre-tender through to project close-out.
Specification, Concept Development & Design
Accurate project specifications are a fundamentally important element of the façade design & engineering process. They are necessary in order to communicate the exact project requirements, the forms of constructions and the constraints under which materials should perform in order for a building to achieve the required levels of performance. In essence, it underpins the delivery of any larger project.
Michael offers concept development and design assistance for complete or partial exterior and interior areas of a building, working directly on the development of the design details that the subcontractor will use as the basis of their design. Once subcontractors have been appointed a full technical design audit will be completed undertaking drawing-specific reviews
Estimation, Tendering & Contract Reviews
Estimation assistance and finalized full tender reviews are offered, and of course, in the strictest of confidence. It never hurts to have another set of eyes cast over your bid prior to submission, and such reviews have in the past helped catch multiple counts of missed scope, machinery requirements and downright impossible installation methods. These are just a few areas of concern but they all cost money should the project be awarded and missed scope noted after the fact. Identifying risk is crucial and full specification, shop drawing and bid reviews are available to settle your mind.
As with pre-construction elements, when the contract arrives, it’s imperative that all clauses are understood and that values, scope and terms are in perfect alignment. Having had countless contracts cross his desk and negotiated effective term revisions, Michael offers a complete review service and finalized report detailing findings and possible risk factors. The report can be broken out and submitted directly to the contracts author for negotiation.
Determining best value from the content of commercial bids is a complex task and requires the technical evaluation against the requirements of the specification and the demands of a project. With Façade Procurement, carefully consideration of the technical submission of the façade subcontractors is required to identify any specific qualifications that are detrimental to the project and non-compliances of the subcontractors’ designs against the overall project requirements and performance specification. Should alternative value engineering options be offered, these will be considered such that the client can make an informed decision on whether these are acceptable. Checking the compliance of subcontractors’ bids by a Façade Engineer is a fundamentally important task as otherwise there is the danger of accepting the lowest cost bid that contains the biggest error.
Site Preparation & Project Surveying
Site preparation surveys are offered in order to make absolutely sure that contractors are 100% prepared for the arrival of the facade. Other than the basics, structural opening dimensions, possible deflection at steel or slab edge, access to and from the site, logistical requirements and letdown areas etc. can all be assessed and reports raised.
Michael has vast surveying experience and reporting of data harvested can be furnished to clients in whichever manner their teams prefer.
Field Monitoring & Installation Assessment
Field Monitoring is provided to oversee and ensure that the works are conducted with the appropriate level of expertise, craftsmanship and quality. Michael can help to see that the works are erected in compliance with the design details and specification. He can also record progress against any anticipated and potential billing. He’s also available for site attendance including any meetings that may be required with the subcontractors and professional team. Photographic records of the findings, observations and progress on site are made regularly for the duration of the façade works.
Defect & Failure Investigation
Independent expertise can be required for any number of reasons. Driving best value and the need to eradicate premature failure or deterioration of a façade from the outset is a good starting point but more often than not, problems occur post installation, and some time after the contractor has left town. When buildings have suffered with defects or major failures, expert investigations provide independent advice on how these might be corrected. Building failures occur frequently and vary in magnitude and severity. A large proportion of failures involve Curtain Walls, Cladding, Windows and Glazing. Some occur as a result of design defects, other from storms, fire and even attacks. Correction of the defects which give rise to these failures can only normally be accomplished following a structured analysis of the installation. This will usually require some form of testing on site. Michael is able to offer an investigation service for all types of facade failure. This service will typically include a close examination of the installation. A detailed report will follow which will identify the causes for the system failure, together with proposals for remedial options. Michael has extensive experience in implementing and project managing remedial solutions to failed curtain wall and window installations.
Facade Condition Surveys
Understanding the condition of a building envelope is fundamental to appreciating the cost and risks associated with the refurbishment, or possible acquisition of any building. Facade condition surveys provide contractors and prospective buyers details about the extent of any defects on a building façade and identify any major faults in need of immediate rectification. When a risk or a life expectancy factor is recognized, this will be documented and assistance can be provided with the production of an appropriate maintenance schedule that will help to manage the risks.
Historic building surveys
Having been one of only a handful of individuals trusted by English Heritage to work on numerous historic facades, some dating back 800 years or more, Michael sports a vast experience in the review, maintenance and careful planning of full historical restorations.
Dispute & Litigation
Where litigation or forms of alternative dispute resolution are contemplated, or already in progress, in-depth and independent technical assistance to the client and/or their legal team is available. Cross referencing the respective obligations and requirements of each party under various forms of building contracts and professional appointments can then be reviewed within detailed expert witness reports.
Once a fragile and rather dangerous element of the facade, glass has in recent years grown to offer strength that has surpassed most of our expectations of even just a decade ago. It still fails however, and when it does, the results can be catastrophic. Once only considered as protection from the elements, glass is now used in a multitude of industrial and domestic elements. With this in mind, the cases of glass entering a crime scene have risen astonishingly. A range of specialist support to companies, insurers, adjusters, trading standard bodies, police authorities, law firms and members of the public who find themselves in need of expert advice on the use of glass are, product standards and failures within the flat glass industry.
Clients are furnished with expert advice, witness statements and court testimony to cover the specials competencies required when a glass product comes under question or has been involved in a crime.
Your organization will be supported should a product or installation ever come into question, or escalate to legal action.
Michael has extensive experience in performing existing condition and investigation surveys, determining the cause of distress, damage and failures. Damage from water infiltration, fires, corrosion, and collapse are some of the elements previously investigated. Clients include municipalities, insurance and claim services, attorneys, realtors, private companies and members of the public.
Interior Glass Packages
It’s astonishing how many glazing sub-contractors shy away from custom, bespoke interior or seemingly complex exterior glass works. With a vast knowledge of custom point-fixed and architectural glazing, Michael is placed perfectly to assist in these areas. Having spent much of hi career in Europe where architectural glass is the standard, he can assist with the design, the choice, procurement or custom manufacture of hardware and logistical / installation assessments.
Hire a dedicated facade expert today.
Please feel free to reach out and start a conversation. It’s always a pleasure speaking with passionate business owners and their teams.