Following the devastating flood events of 2020 as a result of storms Ciara and Dennis and the subsequent establishment of the Flooding Relief Fund, South Derbyshire District Council and East Staffordshire Borough Council joined forces to nominate a list of three preferred surveying partners to help property owners gain access to the funding. Following a rigorous selection process FPS were delighted to be confirmed as one of the partners to undertake Hazard Assessments and Surveys on properties within the council regions.
Quality in Delivery
FPS influenced the combined councils’ approach to support residents. Through adopting a pre-agreed regulation to the grant, residents gained better awareness of funding and expectation of what could be achieved. Combining the scheme at an authority-level drove economies of scale, facilitated greater buying power, and allowed a pre-agreed fee to be established for the surveyors across both councils.
1) Risk assessment
In addition to standard site RAMS, Covid restrictions alongside changing Government guidelines demanded dynamic Environmental Risk Assessments. We captured a comprehensive record, reducing the potential contact sources to the property owner by supplying quality information electronically to the contractors who in-turn provided indicative quotes remotely. We changed our communication methods to phone/email which reduced the environmental impact and time delays for the client, alongside minimising project value uplift due to additional works needed.
2) Geospatial survey planning
FPS applied Geospatial planning of site visits, this optimised the daily visit schedule, reduced our carbon footprint, and maximised environmental benefits through reduced travel. Further efficiencies were obtained during delivery through geographical planning of visits, optimising the daily delivery schedule and maximising the environmental benefits through reduced travel. The scheme was operated whereby residents who enquired with the joint authorities were provided with the details of the three surveying partners with selection being determined by the property owner. Our locality and customer centric approach of guiding the property owner through the process in a knowledgeable, supportive manner, meant we were appointed to 90% of scheme enquiries we received.
Within the scheme the FPS team surveyed a total of 19 properties, adopting the Source-Pathway-Receptor model when undertaking the Hazard Assessment. During the on-site surveys accurate measurements were taken by the FPS surveyor using the latest Leica and Bosch laser measures, linked to their iPad software. This enabled FPS to build a detailed model of the property and the associated floor plan alongside mapping of routes of ingress and both video and still images for future reference.
4) Property owner collaboration
Flood events and the future risk of flooding is traumatic. As experts in PFR, we provided information calmly and professionally with empathy. Our 90%+ conversion rate is testament to our positive yet compassionate communication.
A number of the properties surveyed were listed requiring a sympathetic nature of measures for property, drainage construction and associated flood risk. We ascertained if property owners wished to contribute, enabling recommendations to be tailored.
FPS followed the Local Authority guidance and approval processes with feedback meetings and reports on project progression.
7) Post Installation Flood Risk Reports (PIFRR)
Were delivered as part of the project. Due to the COVID restrictions in place many of these were delivered remotely with images to comply with guidance.
Delivering the project throughout Covid restriction was a challenge. The FPS team instigated strict social distancing measures during surveys, wore PPE at all times and where suitable conducting consultations remotely via video conference with property owner whilst undertaking external inspection at the property location.
With an industry leading knowledge of PFR mitigation measures available in the market, the FPS team were able to support residents through a comprehensive alignment of product and necessity alongside the installation requirements. This proved to be a valuable resource as residents could freely ask questions of the surveyor and expect knowledgeable answers. FPS’s extensive knowledge of drainage systems enabled our surveyors to undertake water testing of accessible drainage systems leaving us better placed to advise on backflow protection, thus removing the extra cost that a CCTV drainage survey would require. Many surveys will state “Non-Return Valve” with a lack of understanding of whether a system is separate or combined, and how backflow can be suitably mitigated. Through working collaboratively with the Councils and property owner, FPS developed robust solutions which provided comprehensive flood mitigation whilst also accommodating any local restrictions.
“The FPS team delivered a professional service with appropriate guidance and support being provided. Reports were received on time to a high standard, allowing our residents to take advantage of the flood grants available at the time, thus reducing their flood risk.” Mark Rizk, East Staffordshire Borough Council.