Commercial Case Study

This case study offers an insight into another sector of which we have been working within for in excess of 20 years. This particular project was the conversion of a large 3 storey 1950’s office block into 100 luxury 2 two-bed apartments.

The Client

One of the UK’s leading building surveying consultants with offices from the South of England to the North. We have been working with this client for 8 years undertaking works that range from half-day refurbishment and demolition surveys to the management of large-scale asbestos remediation projects.

The Project

The conversion of a 1950s, 3 storey office block into luxury apartments. The project would take into account the entirety of the property utilising the existing layout and structural elements of the property. The main skeleton of the property would remain the same with all non-integral walls being removed allowing for the development of a free-flowing luxury complex.

The Planning

With all projects, the planning is as vital as any other element. Prior to providing our clients with prices on jobs such as this, we will always look to complete as a minimum, one site visit. On this project, we were offered the luxury of 2 site visits even before quoting for the works. Through the completion of these site visits, we were able to seek clarification over a number of concerns that may have limited the survey.

The Site Conditions

Prior to the undertaking of the survey, we were provided with an existing management survey report of the property, along with additional area-specific Refurbishment and Demolition (R&D) survey reports. Upon our initial site visit, it was identified that the reports held little resemblance to the site conditions in reality. With this in mind both our quotation and the eventual survey were based solely on the visits, we had completed.

The Survey

Due to the extent of the works and the levels of planned refurbishment, we were able to take the ideal approach with any R&D. Our surveyors were able to work as intrusively as required with no concern for making good. The ability to survey with no limitations resulted in the provision of a report that was complete with no caveats, this in turn enabling works to begin where possible and planning to commence in areas containing asbestos.


To enable the full completion of surveys of this nature communication, preparation and client understanding is vital. Some surveys can be completed more quickly, but our clients have found that when a company rushes in they are left with a report that doesn’t meet their requirements. Through not taking the time to fully appreciate a project at the beginning, time delays are encountered further into the project where potentially missed asbestos can cause major delays.

According to Health Business, there are up to six million tonnes of asbestos in schools, hospitals, ships, offices, factories, and the homes we live in. In the UK between the 1950s and mid-1980s asbestos was used extensively as a building material and any type of building built before 2000 could still contain asbestos.  You can find asbestos in many places, for example: as a sprayed insulating coating on steelwork and concrete; as lagging on pipes and boilers; as insulation board in walls, on doors and ceilings; as asbestos cement for roof and wall coverings, pipes, and tanks; and in other products, e.g. floor tiles, sealants, textured decorative coatings.