Complex water main repair
Deep excavation repairs
High pressure water main failure
Congestion of services
External gas infrastructure on domestic building
Damage to parapet wall following RTC
Suction excavation equipment
Packed telecommunications cabinet
BHA were invited to provide an entry for the 2017 Parliamentary Review (Engineering) in recognition of our specialist expertise in the area of utility damage claims. We are hugely honoured to have been considered for this, as these publications offer Politicians, Key Policy Makers and other important industry personnel an insight in to best practice in the respective business sectors. Details of our entry are contained within this link
Alan Highfield and Ian Duncan Smith
As one of the UK’s leading Engineering Consultants in utility infrastructure damage claims, for the past 25 years Barrie Highfield & Associates Ltd has provided expertise to the insurance industry, loss adjusters, solicitors, contractors and indeed utilities themselves. With our background in engineering connected to utility infrastructure, including gas, water (incl. sewers), telecommunications and power distribution networks, we are frequently the nominated or preferred experts on such cases, offering the necessary specialist knowledge and experience to either directly seek resolution on such claims or to aid other parties to reach settlements. Over the years, we have investigated more than 5,500 claims with a combined value in excess of £100M, achieving substantial adjustments over this period.
Throughout the UK, there are vast telecommunication networks, including optical fibre, copper and coaxial cables. These networks incorporate inter-exchange cables, distribution routes and internal cabling for end users. An array of types of equipment are found on these networks, and with telecommunication cables generally being shallower than other utility infrastructure, they are prone to higher rates of damage. Our role is to investigate incidents of such damage, drawing on technical experience and expertise, allowing us to appropriately scrutinise a variety of issues, and advise clients accordingly.
Whether involving low, medium or even high pressure gas mains, including associated infrastructure, the cost of repairs can vary considerably. With safety factors, attempts to restore loss of supply or perhaps maintain service to end users, and at times involving very complicated repairs, BHA can investigate each stage from the initial incident through to evaluations undertaken to the eventual repair/replacement of the main, and cost analysis. We have investigated several high value cases in excess of £1M, achieving significant savings.
Similar to gas networks, a variety of infrastructure operating under different pressures provides mains water services to the UK, from reservoirs to the end user, through pumping stations and other network equipment, and of course a network of sewers, storm drains and culverts. Our expertise assists clients in investigating a variety of claims presented by water authorities and local authorities to mains water, whether mains water services, sewers and storm water infrastructure, and even road collapses or flooding caused by escapes of water from such apparatus. We have come across a variety of scenarios, including water penetrating in to gas networks, which can prove a very expensive process to extract, and even where parties have incorrectly connected a new service to abandoned pipework, resulting in contamination issues.
From low voltage street lighting cables to high voltage cables forming part of the national grid, we have expertise to handle all such claims. With some HV damage claims exceeding £500,000, specialist expertise is vital in order to fully investigate the methodology of repairs and associated costs. Oil filled cables especially require the right expertise, with limited knowledge and experience found within the UK.
We are regularly asked to consider other types of claims where an engineering input proves beneficial, such as road reinstatement problems, damaged parapet walls, collapsed culverts, and a variety of incidents of damage caused to highway infrastructure, including motorway barriers, traffic signalling equipment and similar street furniture.