Step 4 – Structural Investigation and Site Appraisal

When undertaking demolition, dismantling or structural alteration of a building, the risk of injury and danger is drastically increased due to the potential of unplanned structural collapse. Because of this, The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 states that a thorough Structural Survey and Assessment must be carried out by an experienced contractor before work can begin.

What is a Structural Investigation?

Although structures may initially appear safe and secure, structural instability can be a problem in buildings that are old, poorly maintained or badly constructed. These factors affect how they will react to demolition and dismantling activities and can not always be easily determined.

A structural investigation is designed to be completed by a competent surveyor and is particularly important when carrying out partial demolition of buildings. Surveyors will identify the overall structural integrity of a building, checking it for faults, poor design and ascertain specifics of any temporary works which may be required to facilitate a safe demolition.

The structural survey should consider:

● The age of the structure in question
● What its previous use was
● The type of construction
● Any nearby buildings or structures

Having this investigation completed by an experienced professional will reduce the risk of structural collapse, workers or passers-by being injured by premature and uncontrolled collapse of structures, flying debris and at the most severe consequence, loss of life.

What is a site appraisal?

When a potential site for development has been identified, it’s important to understand and identify limitations and key site logistical and space constraints at an early stage. A site appraisal is a survey and evaluation carried out by a surveyor which will look at the existing characteristics of a site and its surroundings. They also provide consultant teams with the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the site and assess any necessary surveys.

The level of detail that will be necessary for the appraisal will vary depending on the scale of the project and its characteristics but will help to highlight site information that may not have been initially provided by the client.

In order for the site to be considered ready for demolition, the appraisal will help to identify risk factors to both the project and the surrounding areas. For example, by evaluating current and existing patterns of movement around the site, it will help to highlight appropriate traffic access needs as well as the impact increased traffic caused by the project will have on the surrounding network.

Other examples of what a site appraisal could include:

● Level of protection required for the public
● Access restrictions on plant size and equipment
● Site Planning Policy issues which can cause project delays
● Whether the site is within a flood risk area
● Potential site contamination, subsidence or presence of asbestos containing materials

A site appraisal should be undertaken for every development to determine whether the demands of planning can be achieved. It will also help when needing to make project cost considerations and provide a clearer completion time scale estimation.

Weaver have extensive experience, collaboratively working alongside consultants, planners, architects, engineers and all key stakeholders to help add value to projects from the outset.
We endeavor to de-risk every project in terms of cost, programme and most importantly, from a health, safety and environmental point of view.

Are you planning a project that involves demolition? Weaver Demolition’s dedicated and highly competent and recognised team have over 50 years experience in the demolition industry and can offer advice on how best to proceed. For more information, please contact us here.

Demolition services in the South West, Cornwall & Devon since 1968

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