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Building Surveys Guide and Best Practice

Environment, Property & Regulation

Courses Overview:

This 1 day course will focus on best practice in preparation for the survey, inspection and reporting on a structure; and consider how to assess and report on a number of issues commonly found in properties. There will be particular reference to the requirement for a property to incorporate a ‘three-dimensional box structure’ comprising the main and mutually supporting structural elements of walls, floors and roof; with some simple examples and ‘rules of thumb’ delegates can use in their every day practice.

The possibility of introducing the concept of ‘condition rating’ for each element of a property using the ‘traffic light’ system, now generally adopted as the industry standard by most surveyors, will be addressed.

There will be an emphasis on practical, group-based, exercises to help to develop your skills and knowledge of defects. There is also a free option to undertake pre-course work that can add to your learning experience.

Larry Russen – author of the RICS isurv section on building surveys


Course Content:

Terms and conditions of engagement
• Talking to the client
• Written terms and liability
• Fees

Preparation before the inspection
• Desk top study – sources of information
• Local knowledge
• RICS and other guidance

The inspection
• Safety
• Site notes and modern technology
• Methodology

The report
• Format
• Standard paragraphs
• Further investigations
• Party walls
• Energy issues

Condition ratings
• New RICS building survey service
• Using a protocol
• Services and other issues that kill
• ‘Benchmark standards’ such as Building Regulations and other industry guidance

Building pathology, common defects and their remedial works
• Performance of different materials
• Walls – ‘load paths’, cracks, bulges, slenderness ratio, rubble walls, trees and drains
• Roof structures – traditional and modern
• Floors – movement, timber defects
• Windows – traditional and modern

Group case studies
• Movement in foundations?
• Movement in roof structure?
• Movement in walls

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