Case Study

Future-Proofing Real Estate Investment Relies on Independent Certification

Ardstone is a real estate specialist that invests and develops to make a lasting, positive contribution. We invest in places to live work and enjoy. Our approach combines property sourcing and asset management with the design and development of residential and commercial properties. We often build to hold, but also buy to hold and even build for others.

Tapping into Catalyst resources makes asset compliance so much simpler.

Jessica Crowley, Investment Director, Ardstone

We have a very wide remit and have amassed 2,500 residential units over the past three years. In order to work effectively, we have relationships with specialist third-party consultants, such as Catalyst, to assist and support us.

A good example of this is our recent development at Two Oaks, comprising 590 residential units. For such a large project we needed support to ensure best-in-class technical due diligence and to achieve legislative compliance.

Catalyst was invaluable, providing Assigned Certifier services and working closely with our design and construction teams to create a bespoke inspection plan and a material submittal schedule for the entire project. They even worked to ensure the asset was compliant with EU Taxonomy for sustainable investments.

“For us, as a small team, Catalyst’s ability to provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ was indispensable”.

From technical advisory to ESG services, the Catalyst team were on hand to support us. In effect, Catalyst became an extension of our team, carrying out on-site inspections and performance testing – even attending meetings for us. Working with a partner in this way, it is essential that they understand your goals and objectives.

Their expertise enhances our reputation and their strong technical support is vital, not least because it enables us to also achieve our sustainability goals. With regulations and legislation changing so fast, it can be difficult for a small team like us to keep abreast of the detail. With Catalyst on board we can tap into their knowledge and also ensure we have extra resources available quickly.

This was certainly true in our Two Oaks development, where Catalyst raised queries during the design review, but it has also been invaluable in many other projects. Whenever we buy from a third-party developer, Catalyst can support us through the snagging and QA process, providing thorough, independent inspection services.

“Sending an impartial team to inspect property assets prior to purchase minimises the risk involved”.

With Catalyst being totally independent, there’s no conflict of interest; if there are design errors or omissions of any kind, Catalyst will flag them and work constructively to resolve issues.

Not only that, they are also very nimble and if there’s an issue, they can mobilise and be on site quickly. They are instantly on hand to provide an objective point of view and help us to resolve problems collaboratively while maintaining and managing relationships.

Ultimately, their goal mirrors ours – to create a safe and sustainable building. Long term, that helps us manage our assets in a way that is both sensitive to inhabitants and to the environment.

Keeping accurate records is an important part of this task. It’s essential that we gather all the information required to navigate complex legislation and to illustrate both compliance and performance. Having all this information to hand in an accessible format is imperative.

“Whether we retain a development or sell it, accurate information increases asset value”.

With our Two Oaks development, I knew we would be keeping hold of the asset so it was great to know that we had captured inspection and quality management data. We can also interrogate all the final certificates and test records should the need arise.

When you’re managing property funds, this level of detail makes a difference because it simplifies the disclosure process and minimises the risks involved. With Catalyst on board we can easily gather the information required, store it safely, and search records in an intuitive way.

Even if we are selling an asset ten years down the line, the information is all there, adding value for investors. With Catalyst working as part of our team, we have the resources to collect and collate that data efficiently, ensuring we can make a positive contribution – now and in the years to come.

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