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The Role of a Building Surveyor

September 25, 2022 | Building Consultancy
Engaging the advice and services of a surveyor can greatly benefit your business.

Paul McLoughlin, Building Consultant at Projectsure, explores the critical role and functions of a Building Surveyor / Consultant in England and discusses how engaging with his profession’s expertise can greatly benefit businesses with multiple properties.

As Building Consultant (a term often interchangeable with Building Surveyor) you probably expect to hear me wax lyrical about the value that surveyors bring to the table. However, there are a  lot of misconceptions out there.

In a nutshell, a Surveyor/Consultant’s  specialised knowledge and skills can be instrumental in ensuring the smooth operation, maintenance, and preservation of properties, ultimately leading to enhanced business performance.

Whether “Building Surveyor” or “Building Consultant”, both professionals offer similar services related to the inspection, assessment, and management of buildings. However, there can be some nuanced differences based on individual preferences and areas of specialisation.

A Building Surveyor is a qualified professional who possesses technical expertise in various aspects of buildings and construction. They typically have a degree in building surveying or a related field and may be accredited by professional bodies such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) – Like myself.  

Building surveyors are trained to provide a wide range of services, including property inspections, condition assessments, defect diagnosis, project management, and compliance with building regulations. They have a comprehensive understanding of building construction, maintenance, and legislation, allowing them to offer holistic advice and solutions to clients.

The term “Building Consultant” is slightly broader and can encompass professionals from various disciplines within the built environment sector.Building Consultants may specialise in specific areas such as structural engineering, environmental assessments, fire safety, energy efficiency, or sustainability. They offer services related to their specific expertise and may collaborate with other professionals, including Surveyors (if they’re not RICS qualified themselves)  to provide comprehensive solutions for clients.


The Top Five Activities and Responsibilities of a Building Surveyor / Consultant

1. Property Inspections and Condition Assessments
A building surveyor conducts comprehensive inspections to evaluate the condition of properties. They assess various aspects such as structural integrity, compliance with building regulations, health and safety risks, and maintenance requirements. This diligent approach enables early detection of potential issues, allowing proactive measures to be taken, reducing risks and associated costs.

2. Defect Diagnosis and Remediation
Building surveyors excel in identifying defects within properties, whether they are related to structural issues, dampness, insulation, or any other aspect affecting the building’s performance. Their expertise enables them to recommend appropriate remedial actions and guide property managers on the most effective and cost-efficient solutions. Timely resolution of defects helps maintain property value and tenant satisfaction.

3. Building Surveys and Dilapidations Assessments
When acquiring or disposing of a property, it is crucial to have a thorough understanding of its condition and potential liabilities. Building surveyors conduct detailed building surveys, providing comprehensive reports on the property’s overall state and identifying any potential dilapidations. Armed with this knowledge, property managers can negotiate favourable terms during lease agreements and make informed investment decisions.

4. Project Management and Contract Administration
Building surveyors play a vital role in project management, overseeing construction and refurbishment projects from inception to completion. They manage contracts, monitor progress, ensure compliance with specifications, and liaise with contractors and stakeholders. Their technical expertise and understanding of regulations help deliver projects on time, within budget, and to the desired quality standards.

5. Compliance with Building Regulations and Health and Safety
Building surveyors possess a deep understanding of building regulations and health and safety requirements. They ensure that properties comply with the latest legislation, standards, and guidelines, reducing the risk of legal issues and potential fines. By implementing robust health and safety practices, property managers can protect occupants, mitigate risks, and foster a safe environment for all.


Benefits of Engaging a Building Surveyor for Businesses with Multiple Properties:

1. Risk Mitigation
By regularly engaging building surveyors, businesses can proactively identify and address property-related risks, reducing the likelihood of major incidents and costly repairs. Building surveyors’ expertise helps to ensure properties are in compliance with regulations, reducing potential legal liabilities.

2. Asset Protection and Preservation
Building surveyors play a pivotal role in preserving and enhancing property values. Through diligent inspections, maintenance planning, and defect remediation, they help businesses maintain assets in optimal condition, safeguarding long-term value and attracting quality tenants.

3. Cost Optimisation
Building surveyors identify cost-effective solutions to repair and maintain properties, avoiding unnecessary expenses. Their recommendations are based on a thorough understanding of materials, construction methods, and the market, enabling businesses to make informed decisions that maximize efficiency and minimize expenditure.

4. Project Efficiency
Engaging a building surveyor streamlines construction and refurbishment projects, ensuring adherence to regulations, specifications, and timelines. Their project management expertise minimizes disruptions and conflicts, leading to smoother operations and successful project outcomes.

5. Expert Advice and Guidance
Building surveyors provide businesses with expert advice, empowering them to make well-informed decisions regarding property acquisitions, disposals, and lease negotiations. Their knowledge helps optimize return on investment, minimize potential risks, and navigate complex property-related matters.

The role and functions of a building surveyor in England are indispensable for businesses with multiple properties. Their expertise ensures compliance with regulations, proactive risk mitigation, cost optimisation, and efficient project management. By engaging building surveyors, property managers can safeguard their investments, enhance property values, and foster a safe and secure environment for tenants and occupants. Partnering with these professionals is a strategic move that enables businesses to focus on their core operations while reaping the benefits of optimal property management.

– Paul McLoughlin, Building Consultant | Projectsure. 


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