Technical Due Diligence

Technical Due Diligence in Commercial Property

The Building Safety Fund is set up to support the replacement of unsafe cladding

Technical due diligence (TDD) enables those involved with the acquisition, occupancy and disposal of commercial property to understand and manage risk, make informed decisions, and future-proof their investments. Building services installations are more dynamic – and their associated issues often result in greater disruption and cost – than the building fabric elements, so M&E technical expertise and advice is a fundamental part of the TDD process.


TFT provides TDD on 300-year-old Sheffield site

TFT has provided Technical Due Diligence (TDD) as part of the sale of premium gardening, agricultural and giftware products Burgon & Ball to Canadian company Venanpri Tools.

Burgon & Ball has been making hand sheep shears on the same site in Sheffield since 1730 and have produced around 25 million pairs in that time. We are delighted to have been involved in assessing this historic, landmark building. Our TDD rigour, experience of working with heritage building fabrics and commercial outlook have been invaluable for informing the transaction process. TFT were instructed by Environmental Consultants Delta Simons.

TFT wins mandate for M&G

TFT has been appointed onto the M&G Building Surveying Term Consultancy Agreement. The national framework will extend over three and a half years and will cover core Building Surveying roles, including: Project Management; Technical Due Diligence; Development Monitoring; Dilapidations and Neighbourly Matters. It will also entail Mechanical and Electrical Services, Employers Agent and Cost Consultancy.

Alan Pemberton, Managing Partner, Tuffin Ferraby Taylor, said:

M&G is now a slightly different business to how they were when we lasted worked for them. Today there is a major emphasis on investing in large, high quality assets across the UK and Europe. Naturally we are delighted to have been instructed by such an internationally important investor. We expect to be very busy indeed.

TFT gets star billing at Newcastle’s premier leisure complex

The Gate, situated in the heart of Newcastle city centre, trades over three floors and is anchored by a 16-Screen cinema, a casino and nightclub. The complex was originally constructed in 2001. Since then has undergone minimal refreshment which had left the interior design of the mall dated and cold. Sightlines through the circulation spaces were poor, and were impeded by poor lighting and signage, and an abundance of exposed metalwork.

Following the pre-acquisition TDD we undertook for The Crown Estate, a number of refurbishment opportunities were identified, which in partnership with the tenants, could help reposition and rejuvenate the centre.

TFT were appointed as Project Manager to manage the £3.5m refurbishment scheme and has worked closely with The Crown Estate to deliver its vision of making The Gate an aspirational, edgy and relevant destination in Newcastle. In May 2016, works began to declutter the existing site, improve lighting levels and remove block columns and steelwork to open up areas with new balustrades and feature bulkheads.

A new lobby has been constructed to the main entrance at ground floor level and a new first floor mezzanine has been created, with an impressive two-storey high feature light. The new feature chandelier and centre lighting scheme has given the centre control over the lighting themes. This means The Gate has complete control over the centre’s visuals and can create themes for specific events.

All retail walls have been refurbished along with the toilets, lift lobby and staircases. Signage has also been overhauled to include new wayfinding throughout and feature signs to both internal and external facades.

All works have been completed out of hours so that the main retail area could remain open as usual. As a result of the mall’s refurbishment, the EPC rating of the centre improved from E to D. TFT continues to support The Gate with the creation and implementation of a 10-year Maintenance Action Plan.

TFT flushed with success

Image: Business Leader, 2017

TFT have just completed Technical Due Diligence on behalf of Korean clients of Knight Frank Investment Management ahead of their acquisition of 10 Canon’s Way, a landmark office building adjacent to Bristol’s Floating Harbour. This is one of the largest office spaces in Bristol, providing 16,408m2 over 5 floors, including a central atrium. TFT also undertook an M&E review as part of the TDD work and provided a reinstatement cost assessment.

What is really unusual is that 10 Canons Way is cooled by water extracted from the Bristol Floating Harbour, which is the non-tidal reach of the River Avon. It is believed to be the only building currently cooled in this innovative and sustainable way on the harbourside.

However, it is unusual but not unique. TFT Partner Paul Spaven, who undertook the due diligence work at Canon’s Way also provided Technical Due Diligence for the recent acquisition of a new headquarters building for a private bank in Geneva. This was interesting in that there are seven storeys above ground and seven below ground although the real interest is that it is also cooled by water from Lake Geneva nearby.

TFT advises Grainger on £22.1m scheme

TFT has provided Technical Due Diligence (TDD) advice to Grainger for their acquisition of the 233 apartment PRS element within the Rock Shopping Centre in Bury. The interest was acquired from JV Kennedy Wilson Europe and Fairfax Financial.

The 140,800sq ft residential scheme includes a mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom flats and sits in the heart of the 550,000sq ft retail and leisure complex.

Grate Expectations

TFT was the proud provider of Technical Due Diligence as part of the sale of The Leadenhall Building on behalf of British Land and Oxford Properties. This iconic landmark on London’s skyline was the second largest UK property investment deal.

Our clients have high expectations: commercial awareness, a comprehensive understanding of technical detail and a swift response.

Our clients expect. We deliver.

Taking selfies to new heights

TFT is now deploying another device which sits alongside our existing use of drones for peering into hard to access sites. We’re finding the camera pole much faster than a hoist for intricate sites and without all the issues of working at height. The hi-resolution camera has good wi-fi range from an iPhone and we can achieve multiple shots from the same location, with controllable tilt and zoom.

All in all, a worthy addition to our armoury and part of our continual drive for elevating technical due diligence.

TFT at MIPIM for the 20th year

TFT will once again be out in force at MIPIM this year. David Mann, Alan Pemberton, Dan Henn and Paul Spaven will all be in attendance at Cannes and putting their best foot forward along the Croisette.

On the agenda for meetings this year will be Technical Due Diligence (TDD) and how we deliver objective advice to manage risk, inform the transaction process and establish the inherent worth of the property or portfolio on acquisitions in the UK and across Europe. We will also be discussing Project Management, combining the discipline of project management with a thorough understanding of building construction; helping investors, lenders, developers, owners and occupiers achieve best value from their property assets. Get in touch if you would like to meet up.

TFT advises Unite Students and GIC on Aston Student Village

A 50-50 joint venture between GIC Real Estate and Unite Students appointed TFT to undertake Technical Due Diligence as part of its preparations to acquire Aston Student Village.

ASV, Unite’s first major on-campus acquisition, has around 3,000 beds across five separate buildings on Aston University’s campus in central Birmingham.

ASV takes Unite’s presence in Birmingham to over 5,000 beds. The group is planning to invest in the accommodation over the summer. TFT’s Technical Due Diligence work was led by Richard Aitchison, Partner.