- What We Do
Having a detailed understanding of the condition of your estate is the backbone of effective asset management. Rob Gould explains what condition surveys are, the benefits of undertaking them and how to commission them.
Condition surveys are designed to assess the physical condition of the buildings in an estate. These surveys are usually non-intrusive and they can provide you with a better understanding of your buildings. Barker undertakes a variety of surveys and inspections for both public and private sectors, and all of our reports clearly present our findings. Our professional services include condition surveys, pre-acquisition surveys and measured surveys.
Comprehensive condition surveys are commonly required in the Education sector. Academy trusts and local authorities alike carry out surveys of their estates, including schools, trusts, colleges and universities, and they can benefit from the insight provided. Every building in an estate can be assessed during a condition survey to help you manage your whole estate effectively. These surveys can also benefit several other sectors and commercial properties, such as the Housing sector.
Surveys and inspections can be utilised throughout the property life cycle. From conducting due diligence to assisting with pre-development planning, they are a versatile tool that can help you to make informed decisions about your estate.
Condition surveys should be undertaken by building surveyors who are suitably qualified, experienced and carry the necessary professional indemnity insurance.
The surveys should indicate the condition, deficiencies and maintenance requirements for:
The condition survey should also highlight areas that require further investigation or more specialist advice. Normally, a condition survey will include both a condition grade and a priority rating for each element being surveyed.
A – Good, performing as intended and operating efficiently
B – Satisfactory, performing as intended but exhibiting minor deterioration
C – Poor, exhibiting major defects and/or not operating as intended
D – Bad, life expired and/or serious risk of failure
1 – Urgent, immediate or 1 year remedial action required
2 – Essential, 1 to 2 year remedial action required
3 – Desirable, 3 to 5 year remedial action required
4 – Long term, outside of a 5-year planning period
There are several reasons to undertake condition surveys on your estate. Getting some assistance from a building surveying team offers a wide range of benefits to different sectors, including the following;
Quality data should inform effective decision-making when it comes to your estate – this data needs to meet the ‘Four Cs’; Current, Correct, Complete and Consistent. To achieve this, someone needs to take responsibility for controlling the data (this could be someone in your estates team or a partner like Barker), and the data needs to be stored in a central database which is easy to interrogate.
For small estates, your central database might be a spreadsheet, but for large buildings or multi-building estates, a more intelligent system will be essential. There are many tools, including Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) packages and simpler, more cost-effective solutions such as Barker’s EO Portal.
When choosing which tool is right for you, you need to consider the following questions:
Barker can help you to get the most from your data. When using the EO Portal to manage your estate, you can efficiently analyse all of the information provided by surveys and inspections to make informed decisions. Our experts can also provide you with advice and guidance, helping to find solutions to any issues identified. Once a plan has been created, it can be put into action and we can project manage the work required.
Barker provides professional building consultancy services to a number of sectors, helping clients to really understand their estates. Our building surveying team has decades of knowledge and technical expertise, and can undertake a variety of surveys and inspections.
For an informal chat about our surveying services and how condition surveys can help you to get the best from your estate, call Rob Gould at Barker on 01279 647111. Barker can design a bespoke condition survey plan for your business, university, college, academy, school or trust.