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
Gloucester Cathedral

Project Pilgrim will improve and restore specific areas of the Cathedral to ensure it can fulfil its role as a place of dynamic spiritual, civic and heritage activity and play a key role in the regeneration of the city.

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CASE STUDY
Astley Castle

A 12th-century fortified manor which had been lying in ruins since a fire in 1978, Astley Castle had seen additions and revisions carried out in almost every century since Medieval times. Throughout its history the site has been owned by no less than three Queens of England.

The Landmark Trust boldly set out to reinstate occupancy of Astley Castle in a manner appropriate for the 21st century.  After careful recording, those parts of the building beyond pragmatic repair were taken down.  By inserting a groundbreaking modern holiday home into the shell of the ancient castle, the architects, Witherford Watson Mann, were able to both stabilise the ruin and create the next layer of the building’s history.  The results showcase how modern architecture can be unashamedly but sympathetically stitched into ancient fabric to significant effect.

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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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