Survey & Re-Inspection

Refurbishment & Demolition Survey

A refurbishment and demolition survey is required before any refurbishment or demolition work is carried out. This type of asbestos survey is used to locate and describe, as far as reasonably practicable, all ACMs in the area where the refurbishment work will take place, or in the whole building if demolition is planned. The level of competence and knowledge needed to conduct surveys is much greater than a management survey, and the intrusive nature of the survey presents increased health and safety risks.

Gaining full access is intrusive and extends the management survey to include investigations into reasonably and safely accessible sealed voids and the fabric of the building. This will involve breaking through partition walls, ceilings etc. to confirm the presence or absence of asbestos, and significant damage to fixtures, fittings and parts of the building occurs.

In some situations, where concrete or brickwork requires removal, advice may have to be sought from a competent person, such as a structural engineer. As a consequence, refurbishment and demolition surveys should only be conducted in unoccupied areas to minimise risks to the public or employees.

There may be some circumstances where the building is still 'occupied' at the time a 'demolition' survey is carried out. For example, in the educational sector where refurbishment/demolition surveys may be conducted in schools or colleges during one holiday, and the work not undertaken until the next holiday period.

In the case of all surveys: an asbestos survey team shall not disturb any suspected asbestos installation in any other way than to take a representative sample (which is usually no bigger than a thumbnail). This measure is designed to minimise the risk of asbestos fibre release to both survey staff and occupants of the building, but also means that the surveyor cannot assess what materials may be present above or behind a suspected asbestos installation.

Furthermore, the removal of an asbestos installation to investigate behind could become a licensable activity and may require the assistance of a licensed removal contractor to carry out such an investigation.

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