Client: Gilmour Engineering & Industrial Services

 

Brief: Advising on refit of a tired 20,000sq ft industrial building in Barrow-in-Furness to meet Building Regulations and future minimum EPC ratings.

Russ Gilmour was so impressed when he first met Jonny Murton-Lavelle that Gilmour Engineering & Industrial Services’ Managing Director asked the Murton & Co boss to advise him on his building purchase. Jonny had originally acted for the vendor and produced EPCs for each of the five units in the commercial building, which were graded G – adequate for the sale, but far below the necessary grade E to grant leases.

“I was explaining my plans for the building on site and realised that Jonny’s knowledge and experience would be invaluable before I started the refurbishment work,”

Russ explains.

“I instructed Murton & Co to advise me on the specification to ensure it complied with Building Regulations and EPC regulations.”

Russ, whose company provides fabrication and metal work services, bought the run-down building which had been empty for two years, with plans to completely refurbish it and create five smaller workshop/trade-counter type premises. It was in a very poor condition, with a leaking corrugated, asbestos roof that had damaged interior ceiling tiles.

“Jonny guided me through the refurbishment process,”

says Russ.

“The curved roof meant we couldn’t just replace it with a standard roof, so he suggested introducing a double skin roofing system using composite metal-clad sheets with insulation between the two layers. We also fitted new ceiling tiles with insulation, and it now conforms to Building Regulations.”

The front walls on three of the units had to be replaced and rebuilt as the previous owner had taken down the supporting steel structure. Jonny advised using a double skin breeze block with insulation in the new walls, and Russ’s firm produced the new steels. Jonny also made suggestions about the lighting, space heating, hot water and ventilation.

The units are now transformed, reports Russ. They’re clean, tidy and modern – and most importantly, warm and comfortable for the two retail and trade tenants who have already moved in, with three others lined up. Just as importantly, the building’s EPC rating has radically improved.

“My initial calculations suggested the EPCs would achieve Es and Ds for the individual units,”

says Jonny.

However, following the work and changes to the EPC methodology in June 2022, these EPCs are now achieving B ratings. It’s a great result, as Russ has now future-proofed his investment to satisfy a likely rise in minimum EPC ratings in the next few years.”

Despite building material prices increasing around Covid, Russ reckons his spend on renovations came in on target. He’s also grateful that the process was pain-free – largely thanks to Jonny’s good advice.

“The service was second-to-none,”

he says.

“Jonny was great to work with and very responsive when I had any queries. One tenant wanted to move in earlier than planned and Jonny came along at very short notice to help with their queries.”

With the expectation that commercial landlords will need to achieve an EPC C on their buildings by 2027 for the purposes of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, followed by a minimum B rating from 2030, Russ is ahead of the game. He adds:

“I feel more relaxed knowing that I’m prepared for changes to EPC legislation. Whatever happens, I won’t need to worry.”

 

Key statistics

Property: 20,000sq ft building with five units on a Barrow-in-Furness industrial estate

Murton & Co’s role: Prepare specification and oversee works, take visual record at key stages as evidence for Building Control, produce and register EPC

Previous EPC: G

Current EPC: B

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