Client: Local Authority Landlord
Service: Removals & Relocations

Mastering the complexities of “lift and shift”

The Opportunity

As some of these multi-storey blocks have telecoms equipment on the roof, we were engaged to facilitate the project. The local authority had previously managed a site “lift and shift” themselves and encountered significant delays from the mobile operator in question, leading to huge cost implications for their works programme. As a result, they understood that a specialist telecoms expert was a crucial part of the project team, as they simply didn’t have the necessary experience in-house to navigate this complex process.

"We would not have achieved what we achieved if it weren’t for Telemaster’s involvement. There were so many details that we would never have thought of."

What did we do?

Every local authority faces serious budget constraints and scrutiny over how that budget is utilised. Every penny must be accounted for and must achieve maximum benefit for tenants.

The refurbishment project was planned so that all short to medium term external works required at the building be undertaken while contractors and scaffolding were scheduled to be on-site. Had the replacement of the failing roof covering been carried out as a separate job, in isolation to the external re-cladding and associated works, the cost would have been prohibitive.

By working with the landlord, their appointed contractors and the various agents acting on behalf of the telecoms operator, Telemaster was able to co-ordinate a practicable project programme. Full height scaffolding was designed to include the weight loadings of the telecoms apparatus which was then temporarily relocated on to this structure to allow the works contractors to resurface the “clean” roof. Once those works were complete, the telecoms equipment was then moved back to its original position in advance of the date that the scaffold was due to be lowered.

This may sound straightforward, but it’s important to note that any such project requires an understanding not only of the legal framework governing the operator’s occupation of the building and the steps a landlord is required to take accordingly, but also how to manage the operator and their appointed representatives over the duration of the project. Each operator has slightly different internal processes and procedures which dictate how quickly they can act so, for a successful outcome, this must be taken into account in order to balance the landlord’s ideal requirements against what is realistically achievable.

On this particular project, Telemaster’s experience in the telecoms field identified an opportunity to also “add value” for the operator during the “lift and shift” works. They were required to remove an outdated large equipment cabin by crane to facilitate the roof resurfacing, a task which involved a road closure and traffic management, on top of the hire cost of the vehicle. Rather than being forced to repeat this exercise on completion of the roofing works, they used the opportunity to install new smaller cabinets within their legal demise and effectively undertake an upgrade which they would otherwise have needed to complete at a later date.

The Result

To date, we have successfully completed two “lift and shift” projects for this authority and a further three are underway.

In one of these cases, we are providing front-end advice on the tender document to ensure those tendering for the project are given as much pertinent information in relation to the equipment and the process as possible. This should allow potential works contractors to provide accurate quotations for costings and programme timelines, thereby avoiding delays and budget over-runs once the project is underway.

Over the four years we have worked with this landlord we have become their “go-to” telecoms advisor, not only in relation to their “lift and shift” projects but also all other estate management matters relating to existing or proposed telecoms apparatus.

If you have a building with telecoms equipment on the roof and plan to undertake works which might impact on that equipment, it is crucial to seek advice from a telecoms specialist as early as possible.