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Project Advisory

Brought to you by BCQS International

Interview by Stephen L France

Photography courtesy of BCQS

BCQS International are the largest development consultancy in the Caribbean.

Originally established in the Cayman Islands in 1969, the company opened its British Virgin Islands office in Road Town, Tortola in 1997 and recently celebrated ’20 years in the BVI’. The company is made up of highly skilled and professionally qualified practitioners, whom together offer the optimum balance of global experience and local knowledge. If seeking assistance with a residential construction or renovation project, they’re the one-stop shop for all your requirements.

How can BCQS help a client with their finance options for a construction/renovation project?

BCQS has a strong working relationship with all of the leading mainstream banks and can advise on the relative benefits of each with respect to interest rates, loan terms, loan to value ratios, and projected monthly payments.

Once a bank is selected, BCQS will work with the bank in preparing a comprehensive valuation that will give an opinion of the undeveloped land value, the estimated cost to construct the residence, and the projected open market value of the land and residence upon completion.

The valuation report will then be used as the basis for preparing bank drawdowns throughout the construction process to ensure interest payments on the interim construction financing are kept to a minimum.

How can BCQS assist a client with property/land purchase?

BCQS can assist in the property/land purchase in two ways.

Firstly, they would advise on the actual site selection in terms of identifying the most appropriate site with respect to ‘fit for purpose.’ In other words, tackling questions like: does the aspect and orientation of the site optimise natural sunlight and the prevailing breeze? Will the view from the completed residence be clear and unobstructed? How will that view be affected if the surrounding properties are developed? Also, how will the elevation and gradient of the site impact on the construction cost? Finally, what are the infrastructure requirements of the site, in terms of providing vehicular access and main’s utilities?

Secondly, BCQS would be able to give you an accurate valuation of the site’s market value to assist in making a realistic offer and negotiating the final purchase price.

How could BCQS aid property design considerations?

During the design process, BCQS’s main role is to ensure the design develops in line with the client’s budget. This involves the preparation of cost estimates/checks at each design milestone, which are usually established as conceptual design, design development, 50% complete construction documents, and 100% complete construction documents.

If at any point during the design process a cost estimate/check highlights a deviation from the established budget, BCQS would host a value engineering workshop to work through a serious of suggested revisions to the design to put the project back on track with respect to overall budget compliance.

What makes BCQS special when dealing with the construction details of a project?

What BCQS bring to the table during the construction phase of a project is risk mitigation and cost optimisation. Whether you choose to employ a general contractor or use BCQS as a construction manager, BCQS will manage the risk out of the project by identifying all potential risks at the outset of a project and proactively managing them out of the process as the construction proceeds.

With respect to cost, either via competitive tendering or negotiation with preferred contractors and venders, BCQS’ in-depth knowledge of the local market will ensure you achieve value for money throughout the procurement of the construction works and subsequently for any variations or change orders that arise during construction.

How does BCQS specialise in renovation projects?

BCQS believe the key to any renovation project is the upfront surveys/site investigations. Spending a little more upfront on establishing the exact condition of the existing structure—building fabric and MEPF installation—will ultimately save a lot more money during the actual renovation work.

BCQS always recommend a full survey be undertaken by a structural engineer and services consultant so that any potential surprises that could arise during the renovation process are taken off the table before the work commences. BCQS also advises using the renovation as an opportunity to upgrade the property to Dade County compliant or an equivalent enhanced building code, so that post-renovation, the property can withstand a major catastrophic event. These processes may lead to clients having to reduce renovation scope or increase budget, but it’s far better dealing with either option at the front end and not mid-renovation.

Where does BCQS’ specialisation lie in dealing with pools and landscaping?

With respect to pools, landscaping, and other site works’ components, BCQS have a huge amount of experience in dealing with the construction, design and cost control of large site work packages, given the amount of consultancy work we undertake in the resort hotel sector.

We have a thorough understanding of the constructability and design of hard and soft landscaping installations, albeit on a much smaller scale in respect of the average single-family home.

What can BCQS do with regard to painting and decorating options for a client?

With respect to painting and decorating options, again given the amount of consultancy work we undertake in the resort hotel sector, we are familiar with all of the ‘in vogue’ or ‘state of the art’ finishing techniques and materials.

As such, we know where to procure all of the latest materials and more importantly we know exactly how much they should cost.

When dealing with interiors, why would an individual choose BCQS to aid their operation?

Based upon our experience in the luxury resort sector, we are very familiar with all of the latest trends in interior design. We know what can be procured locally or what needs to be imported in terms of both speciality materials and skilled artisans and again most importantly, we know what the price points should be for such specialist interior work.

Erin Paviour-Smith

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