Our Technical Approach
Q’s main aim is to improve the quality of construction in the UK and we achieve this by collaborating with developers & builders who really commit to building quality properties.
We believe in taking a technical approach to providing structural warranties to minimise the risk to our underwriters and to help you get the very best from your projects. With the support of our experienced surveying and technical team, we help you deliver quality properties to your customers.
Q’s Technical Manual provides practical advice and details to developers & builders to help you meet the Q Technical Requirements and comply with the Building Regulations and other industry standards.
All properties covered by The Q Policy must comply with the Q Technical Requirements in force at the time that the Initial Notice was served under the Building Regulations. Q’s Requirements form a concise list of mandatory compliance points which are necessary for insurance purposes - these are in addition to the requirements of the Building Regulations.
If you can demonstrate a different approach, which is as good or better than the guidance in the Technical Manual, we will be happy to discuss this with you – above all, Q’s approach to projects is pragmatic and sensible and we view each project on its own merits.
What can you expect?
Pre-Construction Design Appraisal
It is important to us that we understand your design proposals for projects, so part of our process is to undertake a design risk appraisal before project commencement. This involves reviewing the drawings, reports and calculations as well as specific site issues such as location, exposure ratings, ground conditions, unusual techniques or methods and any specialist materials.
To conclude our appraisal, for our risk management records we produce a Pre-Construction Defects Risk Assessment which assesses the structure and design, highlighting the high risk aspects of the project (from a structural warranty perspective) to ensure the project inspection plan developed is appropriate to the nature of the project.
While we carry out this process on behalf of our underwriters, it can be incredibly useful for making sure your project teams understand what Q requires from the outset so that the we minimise the risk of last minute surprises or potential delays further into the construction process.
Construction Phase Site Visits
Q’s approach to structural warranties is fundamentally about being on-site more often: we believe that this reduces the likelihood of defects which reduces the insurer's risk. Although these are for the benefit of the insurer, we also know that this approach can help you to keep to programme and budget, and ultimately increase the quality of the buildings you construct.
As part of our insurance risk management approach, we undertake a minimum of eight site visits per plot, although depending on the size, complexity of design or other factors, the number and frequency of visits will be tailored to suit the needs of the project.
Typically, site visit stages for new build properties will include:
Site Overview & Foundations
2nd fix Post-plaster
Completion & Snagging
Refurbishments & Conversions
At Q, we want to make it easier for you to undertake refurbishment & conversion projects; if you engage the right specialists and commit appropriate resource to the project, then we find it is easier to adopt a pragmatic and sensible approach to providing insurance cover.
We are well aware of the need for a consistent, structured and pragmatic approach to refurbishments and conversions, so that you know your warranty provider is working with you to ensure the right balance between commercial viability of your project and the risk to the insurer.
This doesn’t mean there won’t be any challenges along the way, but at Q, we work closely with you to help navigate through issues, to ensure we can be as flexible as possible and agree upon the most appropriate solution.
Q will carry out an assessment of the existing structure and provide early indications of what we will require for insurance purposes to minimise the risk of any delays in issuing insurance certification. And unlike many structural warranties, The Q Policy provides cover for the existing structure to homeowners.
We also make sure there is an experienced and knowledgeable support structure through our technical and surveying team and we believe that it is important that the person visiting your site has experience of refurbishment and conversion projects to ensure the insurer's risk is adequately managed, and ultimately we can offer the pragmatic, proportionate approach we commit to.