Getting ready for re-occupation

Vast numbers of organisations have now put their facilities into reduced working or mothballing during the current Covid-19 lock-down. The following series of condensed guidance notes consider how and when to safely bring those facilities back to life, so that as your part of the economy gradually returns from lockdown, you can do so safely and securely in preparation for your colleagues’, customers’, and visitors’ return.

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From lockdown to recovery

Organisations are turning their attention towards how and when to begin to open and what the ramp up will look like. Many will need some sort of preparation to enable a safe and reliable start up.

We recognise the enormous challenges being faced by our customers. The readiness and functionality of a property and its equipment to start up again will be a significant element as many sites were left very quickly at lockdown.

We have identified nine key elements for consideration, dependant on site and its current readiness. Each element has been crafted by an industry specialist, who are available to assist you at any stage of your re-occupation journey. Detail is centred around a lockdown to recovery calendar, plotting out issues and timings that should be considered at each stage of the run up to re-occupation. This helps to ensure that all property risk factors are correctly managed, giving building users confidence in the safety of the sites they will be returning to.

Download the Recovery Calendar

Recovery Calendar

This recovery calendar provides a time-line of events that a building occupier should consider as they look to get ready for reoccupation.

We focus on three key stages plotting out issues and timings that should be considered at each stage in the run up to re-occupancy. This helps to ensure that all property risk factors are correctly managed, giving building users confidence in the safety of the sites they will be returning to.

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Building Compliance Simplified: Closing and re-occupation of our buildings

Bellrock are working with our customers taking them through a step-by step process for maintaining critical services during this low occupancy period ready for rapid and full reactivation when business returns to normal.

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Fire Compliance: Fire risks, regimes and regulations

Fire risks to unoccupied buildings come from external factors and from equipment failures in the buildings themselves and have impacts from both a regulatory and an insurance point of view.

From both a regulatory and an insurance point of view It is important to review Fire Risk Assessments in accordance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. These regulations require Fire Risk Assessments to be reviewed where material changes in operation occur. It is important that Fire Risk Assessments remain ‘suitable and sufficient’ at times.

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Property Knowledge: Real Estate Insurances & Leases

On 23 March 2020, the government stepped up measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and save lives, effectively advising all but “essential businesses” to close their doors for an initial period of three weeks, having now since been extended by a further three weeks. As we continue to wrestle with life under “lock down” and face the prospect of the closure continuing for as yet an indeterminable period, we ask whether each party to a lease is familiar with their obligations?

In our experience, most leases will require the landlord to insure the building, with the tenant then being obliged to pick up the corresponding premium. However, whilst the landlord would normally have the full policy information at their disposal, has this been shared with the tenant and are they aware of their obligations around vacant buildings?

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Procurement Issues: Supply Chain and Continuity

During this unprecedented time, managing our Supply Chain is more important than ever. With events changing daily, and the significant impact on all businesses and their employees, maintaining proactive communication with suppliers and our operation is critical.

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Deep cleaning guidance for re-occupation

As we turn our attention to recommissioning our estate, one of the early and key considerations will be on how we make it clean and ready to re-inhabit. What new cleaning regimes do we need to be putting in place and what are the key considerations currently, and post Covid-19?

Helping your workforce feel safe when they return to work shouldn’t be underestimated. This will require careful planning and communication to prior to opening.

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Security Considerations in Returning to Work

Our on-site managed teams can provide guidance on increased security regimes, whilst our Supply Chain management team can also recommend specialist support companies or appropriate levels of increased security to facilitate the return to remobilisation of your estate.

What should you be thinking about from a security and concierge perspective during partial or full lockdown, and what considerations should you be looking at for re-entry?

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Soft Services: Landscaping and Waste Management during Covid-19

Our on-site managed teams will be happy to provide guidance on increased landscaping and waste management regimes, whilst our Supply Chain management team can also recommend specialist support companies or appropriate levels of increased landscaping to facilitate the return to remobilisation of your estate.

For many, the return to work after approximately two months without external maintenance will coincide with the peak growing season. So what jobs are essential in the recommissioning of the site?

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Comms to staff returning to work

Bellrock’s view upon social distancing is based around the fundamentals laid out on the UK and Scottish government guidance websites as supplemented by the guidance from HSE.

Before any site should be opened there is one key question to ask:
Are you able to demonstrate and give confidence to your workforce that you can consistently practice safe social distancing and comply with ALL other standard health and safety requirements?

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Meet the Experts

Gareth Jones

Managing Director of NIFES

Gareth is the Managing Director of NIFES, part of the Bellrock group of companies.. He is considered a specialist in Estate Advisory Services which includes Consultancy, Health and Safety, Property Appraisal and Asset Management. He is responsible for the delivery of NIFES Property services across the UK.

NIFES have worked for over 80% of the NHS, 20% of Local Authorities and 50% of Higher Education across the UK and are considered market leaders in Estate and Property Consultancy Support within the public sector.

Gareth is a Certified Member of the Association for Project Safety and can be found on the national competency register (CMaPS) for CDM Coordinators / Principal Designers and has also received the coveted GradIOSH status for Health and Safety. Gareth also holds membership with International Institution for Risk and Safety Management (MIIRSM).

Russel Heath- Head of Occupied Services BIO

Russell Heath

Head of Retail, Leisure & Industrial

Russell is a Chartered Surveyor who, for the last 15 years, has specialised in commercial service charge management. Russell is an acknowledged expert in the service charge field, with long-standing blue-chip clients in the retail and leisure sectors. He provides occupiers with comprehensive service charge management advice, focused on a commercial return. Russell has been actively involved in the RICS professional statement – Service charges in commercial property, and also speaks regularly at RICS CPD seminars.

Deborah Quinn

Head of Supply Chain

Deborah Quinn is Bellrock’s Head of Supply Chain. During her Procurement career, she has achieved many successes in establishing effective and efficient working relationships with clients and creating procurement strategies that deliver the most advantageous of terms for the business. She heads up the development and implementation of the Supplier Relationship Management Programme across the Bellrock group of companies and leads the Supply Chain team to undertake SRM activity with large and complex suppliers, including performance improvement, incident management and quarterly business reviews.

Currently studying for for her MCIPS Certification, she is passionate about looking for ways in which improvements can be made to enhance quality and efficiency, whilst reducing costs to businesses and customers.

Dave Richards


Dave is an engineer by background and was one of the first winners of the BIFM FM of the Year Award. He has significant experience leading frontline operational delivery, customer relationships and sales and marketing activity. With over 28 years experience in the engineering and facilities management world Dave is now the Chief Operations Officer for the Bellrock group, managing and directing all group operations and supply chain management activity