Eastbourne Borough Council, Lewes District Council

Stock Condition Surveys for Eastbourne Borough & Lewes District Councils

The Project

Faithorn Farrell Timms was appointed to undertake a stock condition survey covering the entire portfolio of 7,500 dwellings and 575 blocks of flats in Sussex.

Our Role

FFT conducted surveys to all blocks of flats and inspected a 69% sample of the 6,900 rented dwellings collecting the following information;

  • Asset characteristics, age, construction form and archetype
  • Component age, condition, quantum and remaining life
  • Energy data in RdSAP format

The survey was conducted via tablet PCs loaded with the Keystone Foundation data capture software. A highly representative sample was gained across all archetypes in each scheme and regional area.

The Challenges

The provision of the Keystone Foundation data capture software was delayed by several months and we had already assembled the project team, consisting of our Keystone expert and locally based surveyors. We had agreed a sample percentage of 80% of rented dwellings but the software delays meant that the project was affected by a greater extent than if it had been started on time.

The Solution

We liaised with our Client over timescales and managed the survey team’s existing workload on other projects to keep them occupied in the meantime. However, as it was imperative that a start was made due the high volume of stock condition work in the sector and the demand for surveying resources.

We designed our own survey forms adhering to the Client’s Keystone configuration and started by inspecting blocks of flats. However, even this strategy was impacted by the first Covid lockdown restrictions. The data for blocks was returned in KGI format for loading to Keystone and we also conducted completed works checks to ensure that exact installation dates were not overwritten by our externally captured data.

We made several attempts to gain access to dwellings and although the 69% sample returned was lower than the 80% desired, this was regarded as a major achievement considering the software delays, problems encountered with the software once provided and fewer tablet licences being made available than first envisaged. The Covid restrictions throughout 2020 and 2021 were also a major factor.

Added Value

The setup phase of the project was initially planned to commence in December 2019 with surveys starting in January and completed in July 2020. In the end, the project was completed in April 2021 after 70 weeks (more than double the time for the original programme). We provided continual support to our client throughout this period without additional survey management fees being applied.