Building Condition Surveys

Focus on Building Condition Surveys Processes

A survey of any kind is to look for any issues and to analyse the status of something. Building condition surveys are undertaken to professionally state, or rather verify, what state a building or a structure is in; in other words, the condition of an existing development. In many cases this process is required when a property is being sold and a buyer wants to be aware of whether any repairs or work needs to be carried out. This is essential in making an assessment of any cost implications which may be reflected in the purchase price.

Building condition surveys may be carried out on older properties too, or perhaps where part of a structure has been renovated or redeveloped, or where some alterations are being planned in the future. Buildings that are developed with interesting features, construction-wise, or have some type of standout architectural aspect may be subject to this type of evaluation.

Intrinsically, achieving the best result from such an assessment relies on identifying where any big defects exist, if any, which require work and therefore capital outlay. With this in mind, it is critical that the right types of testing techniques are also identified as part of the survey procedure.

So, what is the building condition survey process? Since the end target is to gain complete clarity on the condition of a building or structure, the approach needs to be comprehensive, clear and concise. Initially, this will probably involve a visual inspection where any obvious problems can be spotted and crack mapping can be carried out, too. There can be a number of reasons for cracking where there is surface drying shrinkage.

Prior to this stage, there should be a pre-survey inspection with some desk-based analysis. Beyond the visual inspection stage, it is necessary to ascertain what, if any, tests are required and the level and frequency that these need to be carried out. Beyond this, the process moves onto looking at the results, creating a report and confirming and carrying out any follow-up checks that are required. Findings can then be reviewed professionally and with the client who ordered the survey. It may be that some type of system for monitoring an issue, such as cracking, is put in place.

It is only by following logical procedures that quality is achieved and an in-depth survey obtained.