Peter Norris Managing Director

BA (Hons), FRICS, FCABE, MIFireE

Peter is a Chartered Building Surveyor and Building Engineer with over 40 years in the profession. He qualified in 1980 and worked initially for West Dorset District Council before moving to Bath City Council in 1986. Peter has been working as an Approved Inspector since 1997 when he co-founded Rexon Day Building Control, which he became the sole owner of in 2008, re-launching the company as Oculus Building Consultancy.  He has worked on a large variety of buildings during his career but generally focused on major construction projects and historic buildings.

Peter lectures on fire safety and the Building Regulations at the University of Bath to undergraduates on the architectural degree course and to postgraduates studying the MSc Course, Conservation of Historic Buildings, MArch and the RIBA Part III course.  One to one studio tutorials are also provided to the 4th and 6th year architectural students.  He is also involved in a research steering group at the University.

During his Local Government career, with a proactive approach to the problems associated with Bath's historic buildings, Peter has produced a number of publications to endeavour to reconcile the conflicts that arise between the Building Regulations and conservation. He is also a contributing author of Structures & Construction (2007) and Interior Finishes & Fittings (2011) for the Historic Building Conservation series published by Blackwells, Oxford. 

Peter is a founding member of The Institution of Fire Engineers’ Heritage Special Interest Group which monitors, instigates and develops fire safety research in relation to heritage assets.  The Group has also produced a number of publications in relation to historic buildings.

Peter has been retained for the preparation of expert evidence and opinion in connection with Building Regulation related matters and for personal injuries occurring within the built environment.  This has involved a number of significant investigations relating to personal injuries resulting from falls from mezzanine floors, scaffolding, windows, staircases and balconies, and injuries from glazing, woodworking machinery and powered hand tools.  Peter's Local Authority experience in inspecting premises involving Public Entertainment Licences has proved invaluable for investigations involving personal injuries occurring in related premises.  He has acted as expert on behalf of Local Authorities for proceedings involving their Building Control Departments.

As an aside, Peter is also an art historian and has written the definitive book on the artist Arthur Henry Knighton-Hammond.  He has lectured on the artist in the UK and the USA.

Publications

  • Joint author of Fire Safety in Historic Dwellings in Bath – A Fire Engineering Approach produced by Bath City Council
  • Access Map and Access Guide for Bath published by Bath City Council
  • Upgrading Existing Doors for Fire Protection – personal publication
  • Arthur Henry Knighton-Hammond; Lutterworth Press, Cambridge; 1994
  • Contributing author of Structures & Construction in Historic Building Conservation published by Blackwells, Oxford (2007)

Highly qualified and experience building surveyor with over 40 years in the profession dealing with high end projects

CASE STUDY
National Museum of the Royal Navy

Storehouse 10 at the historic naval dockyard in Portsmouth was constructed in the mid-eighteenth century, during an upsurge in naval building prompted by events such as the Seven Years War. It was originally used to store everyday supplies for working ships plus some naval items.

During the Second World War, Storehouse 10 was hit by an incendiary bomb, which destroyed the clock tower and most of the roof and upper floors. More extensive damage was prevented due to a strenuous firefighting effort to save the radar sets within, which were to be some of the first installed in Royal Navy ships.

Restoration of Storehouse 10 was gradual and was eventually completed in 1992. It has now been converted to form part of the National Museum for the Royal Navy complex. 

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CASE STUDY
Farmiloe Building - London

This spectacular Grade II listed Victorian building nestled in the borough of Islington was formerly a glass and leadworks completed in 1868 and owned by the Farmiloe family. For the past decade the building has been used as a filming location for movies such as Dark Knight, Inception and Sherlock Holmes as well as an event space.

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CASE STUDY
Airbus - AWIC

The new £40m Aircraft Wing Integration Centre is arranged to maximise opportunities for departments to share spaces, equipment and ideas and will provide an innovative, highly flexible and easily adaptable physical test environment that forms a proving ground for the future technologies. This includes Airbus’ Wings of tomorrow programme, part of which focuses on exploring how wings can be more efficient, lighter and easier to make and assemble, looking at the best materials to use, assembly techniques and new technologies in aerodynamics and wing architecture. Covering 9,050m2 the scheme comprises hangar facilities including a 'Strong Floor' and relocatable ‘Strong Wall’, a high capacity hydraulic system to power multiple test rigs, three overhead cranes, laboratories, testing control rooms and open plan offices. As this facility is to be used to develop new technologies it was clearly important to build in flexibility for future uses. The delivery team was involved through this period and translated the design development into physical form with the same mind-set.

The ‘Strong Floor’ itself is 40 metres long by 18 metres wide and is housed within a building over 25 metres tall to allow the testing of full size wings from the largest Airbus aircraft including long term fatigue testing. A total of 1,440 cubic metres of concrete was used for the floor which took some 23 hours to cast to a total depth of two metres. The steel reinforcement amounted to a total of approximately 280 tonnes of rebar, estimated to be around 54 km laid end-to-end.

The 'Strong Wall' is 14 metres long, 10 metres high, 4.5 metres deep and has a total weight of 220 tonnes. It is made up of four modules and can be configured in two separate two module walls or a single four module wall. The mounting surfaces are machined to a close tolerance and when erected on the strong floor all points on the flange faces are within +/-1mm of a flat vertical plane. The structure is designed to cope with billions of load cycles so resistance to fatigue is the determining factor as well as its immense strength.

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