One key factor that differentiates successful businesses from their competitors is the availability of specialist consultancy services. At RLB we group these services under the term Advisory.

RLB offers the following specialist Advisory consultancy services:

Our commitment to our customers is based on our core strengths and passion for delivering quality projects, often operating behind the scenes providing services that protect and enhance the outcome of a Project, its Architect or End User. Our services have been developed, tailored and applied to many high profile projects across the globe working with some of the world’s most prestigious customers and designers.

We can provide high level expert advice as well as more practical support with documentation, contractual matters, sustainability assessments, whole-life cost modelling, project or office wide design team set-up, hands on project administration, reporting, and planning.

We deliver specialist services and our thought leaders apply their knowledge to achieve the optimum result. We deliver with pride and professionalism, based on the foundation of expert practical advice.

For more information on any of our Advisory services please contact 

Design Management

RLB offers Design Project Management services to help designers deliver more with less. Design Teams can concentrate on their core service while our Design Project Managers focus on the program of deliverables and contract commitments. We include an option to co-locate with the Lead Designer to be at the heart of the design team.

Our Approach is based on a clear understanding of the design process, through our experience of working closely with and as part of design teams. We bring good management techniques without stifling creativity, and tailor our scope to meet the specific needs of a project.

Our Personnel are familiar with the problems experienced by design teams. We understand that this is different to traditional project management. We integrate into your team, acting as both a buffer and a link. We filter and respond to queries and issues, and facilitate solutions.

Our Services typically commence upon appointment to the design team, but can begin with bid preparation and/or cease on the issue of tender documentation. We perform the essential monitoring role, coordinating the delivery of all design team members and bringing our bespoke toolkit to deliver a wide range of services.

Please contact Mark Schumann for more information 

Specification Consultancy

RLB is a market leader in the field of Specifications. In 2016, RLB merged with Schumann Consult, bringing the world’s largest and leading independent Specification Consultancy business into its suite of Advisory services.

Our service is tailored around protecting the architect and customer through the preparation of robust and powerful specifications, whilst also by improving the construction industry and the standard of design documentation.

Through years of practical project experience, we have learnt and understood the complexities and intricacies of what is required on projects, ensuring that our specifications reflect the complex world of procurement and adhere to local specification formats and standards. We are fully BIM conversant, with solutions that seamlessly integrate the specification into any BIM model.

Our key services are:

  • Preparation of Architectural Specifications, to suite any form of procurement, produced in any format used around the world, such as CAWS – Common Arrangement, CSi Masterformat, NATSPEC, QCS – Qatar Construction Specification etc.
  • Outline and Tender Architectural Specifications.
  • Manufacturer Product Specifications, with compliant BIM models where required.
  • Standard Specifications for Developers.
  • Standardised office-wide system and product libraries and strategies to Architects.

A well prepared and coordinated specification communicates what the project customer is buying from the contractor. It deals with scope, quality, activity, and responsibility, and as such complements the contract conditions and other documentation. During construction, the specification is used to check the adequacy of the contractor’s work on-site, as well as providing a reference point for the determination of variations.

One size does not fit all when it comes to specifications. Every project is different, as is its project location. Because of this, we offer a range of different specifications to suit the specifics of your project. We can produce specifications in CAWS, CSI and various other local specification formats. As part of the process, we will always discuss with you which specification is appropriate. We do not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach.

Our job is to provide you with a specification that gives you the confidence that your risk has been mitigated. We take away the task of specification production, allowing you to focus on the design.

Our team of experts will ensure that each specification is tailored specifically to your project, the procurement route, contractual process and location, in whichever format is the prevailing requirement.

Please contact Mark Schumann for more information 

Facilities Management Consultancy

Facilities Management is a multi-billion pound industry that organisations around the world rely on to be successful in achieving their objectives. Yet it is rarely implemented to ensure optimum workspace efficiency and value for building owners and occupiers.

RLB has built its reputation on providing world class advice on the built environment when our customers wish to develop and improve the spaces they are responsible for.

Our Facilities Management Consultancy service covers the entire life cycle of property, aimed at maximising the performance of built assets and delivering best value.

Our customers develop structures and space in the built environment for many reasons, be it commercial, functional, aesthetic, inspirational, or out of necessity. What is common to all is the need to get the most value from that space, and understanding how that should be measured.

Effective and focused Facilities Management is the key enabler to ensuring this happens, supporting customers throughout the entire asset lifecycle. RLB’s FM consultancy team offers the benefit of many years of experience and expertise in strategic asset and facilities management.

We have all worked in operational roles in our careers, and have experience of working in a wide range of private and public sector organisations, giving us a holistic view of your built asset requirements.

We understand your property and FM challenges and know how to support you in achieving your objectives.

Our services include the following:

  • FM and Estates Strategy Review and Development
  • Asset Management Strategies
  • Service Improvement Programs
  • FM Services Procurement
  • Services Design Review
  • FM cost reduction and rationalisation
  • Supplier Review and Benchmarking
  • Contract Monitoring, including PFI
  • Interim management support
  • Contract Performance Review and Audit
  • FM Technical Adviser
  • Whole Life Cost Adviser and BREEAM support
  • BIM and Soft Landings Adviser

Please contact David Quirk for more information

SKA Consultancy

SKA rating is an environmental assessment tool for fit-out and refurbishment projects. Operated by RICS, SKA rating offers a credible, established alternative to BREEAM for benchmarking sustainability.

Our service is tailored around ensuring sustainable project delivery, with expert knowledge provided every step of the way. The SKA Rating system allows for bespoke assessments, targeting achievable sustainability that contributes to the wellbeing of building occupants.

Communicated through a Bronze, Silver, Gold rating system, projects are rewarded for addressing elements applicable to the project and the assessment refrains from penalising schemes for elements that are outside of the schemes control, including the base build.

RLB has RICS qualified SKA rating Assessors for all three schemes; Offices, Retail and Higher Education. Our SKA rating Assessors can assist through each stage of the project:

  • Design Stage: Specification reviewed by our qualified SKA rating assessors and feedback provided to allow the design to develop in line with SKA.
  • Construction: Project monitored through regular site visits by our qualified SKA rating assessors.
  • Handover: Evidence collected from contractor and certificate issued.

As experienced practitioners the RLB team has helped customers achieve sustainable results and benefit from:

  • Reduced operational and maintenance costs
  • Improved CSR
  • Employee engagement and churn reduction
  • Enhanced health and well-being for building occupants
  • Recognised level of achievement in sustainability

SKA comprises more than a hundred ‘good practice’ measures covering energy and CO2 emissions, waste, water, materials, pollution, wellbeing and transport.  We understand that all fit-out projects are unique in terms of employers’ requirements, the building or site, and scope of works. By applying SKA rating to a project, the assessment scores the project only on the basis of those measures that are relevant to the project.

RLB works closely with our customers to tailor the service to suit your needs, including in-depth workshops, presentations to the wider stakeholders and provision of expert advice on specialist areas. We engage at the earliest possible stage with design team and contractors in order to facilitate achieving the targeted SKA Rating.

RLB is a market leader in the SKA field, being a Development Partner for the RICS on the new SKA Higher Education scheme and developing the Good Practice Measures that projects are now rated against. We were also part of the team that helped secure the first SKA Gold rating in the North West.

Please contact Heather Evans for more information

Contract Advisory

Setting up and managing construction contracts can be a challenging and complex process. Having a clear understanding of what obligations a contract imposes on the parties and the risk allocation are important aspects to appreciate, which will go some way towards delivering a successful project outcome. RLB’s Contract Advisory service supports clients in their projects during all stages, from inception in developing and setting up contracts, to providing advice during the project delivery phase and assisting in the event that problems are encountered.

Our Contract Advisory service includes:

  • Specialist Procurement and Contractual Advice
  • Dispute Avoidance
  • Dispute Resolution

Specialist Procurement and Contractual Advice

RLB’s approach is to ensure that sufficient and proper attention is applied to the pre-contract strategy at the outset of each project.

We support our clients in developing suitable procurement and contract strategies on their projects based on the client and project specific needs and the appetite and willingness to accept certain level of risks. Our experience within the public, private, infrastructure, utilities and nuclear sectors and in the use of varying forms of contracts enables us to provide considered advice on individual projects and large programme of works.

Our services under Specialist Procurement and Contractual Advice provides for:

  • Procurement and contract strategy advice;
  • EU Procurement advice;
  • Bespoke contract drafting ;
  • Contract negotiations;
  • Contract risk management;
  • Due diligence; and
  • Contract procedures and training

Dispute Avoidance

Dispute avoidance involves clear understanding of parties’ contractual obligations. It is essential that all parties to the contract are provided with the appropriate training and have a clear understanding of their roles, responsibilities and obligations. Our experts provide project specific training in management and administration of contracts. This training is provided not only internally to RLB project delivery personnel but also to our  clients in order to provide a better understanding of the contractual processes and obligations and embed best practice across their organisations.

With our technical and contractual knowledge we are able to offer to our clients’ reassurance through appropriate management procedures that are required to deliver a successful project. Using our experience gained from working with major clients and contractors, we offer assistance in the development of project specific Contract Management Plans aligned with the parties’ contractual requirements.

Furthermore, any clients on current live projects have the added benefit of referring any questions on contractual matters to our resident Contract Advisory subject matter experts and seek specialist contractual advice and potential course of actions in order to mitigate risks.

Dispute Resolution

We recognise that parties in certain instances will become involved in disagreements and will sometime require specialist advice and help in the formulation of, or reviewing and responding to claims. Our Contract Advisory team includes experts in the field of claims preparation and defence and, working alongside parties’ lawyers, our specialists can provide strategic advice, management, negotiation and resolution of claims either through adjudication or through alternative dispute resolution (either through mediation, arbitration or litigation).

Please contact Aziz Mehtajee for more information