Building Surveying is a specialist facility of the Surveying Profession which has emerged and evolved through a sustained and expanding demand for property professionals with specialist knowledge in relation to design, construction and maintenance of building structures.

Graham + Sibbald have an established Building Surveying/Architectural Division with in-house design resources providing space planning and a full design service for both new build and refurbishment projects throughout the UK. We represent a wide spectrum of retained clients including Local Authorities, Inward Investors, Government Departments, Major Retailers and Industrialists, Licensed Trade Operators and Insurance Loss Adjusters amongst others.
The core services provided by the Building Surveying Department can be summarised as follows:-

Building Surveys / Defect Analysis

Building surveys are required for a variety of reasons, however, principally they are required to identify shortcomings within the building fabric and consequently to provide advice on appropriate remedial measures/action. Such reports can be instructed by either individuals, companies or their lending institutions prior to purchasing for either maintenance works, building disputes, defects or indeed snagging inspections. We will provide a comprehensive document detailing the construction and condition of all elements of the building fabric.

Professional and Legal Surveys

Property owners and occupiers have legal and statutory obligations and responsibilities in respect of the property they own or occupy.
We can offer experienced professional advice, to assist in protecting the interests of building occupiers, be they landlords or tenants.

Examples of services which can be provided in this regard are as follows:

1. Preparation of Schedule of Condition document to protect the Tenant’s interest by recording the physical condition of a building, generally prior to a lease agreement.

2. Preparation of Schedule of Dilapidations document or negotiation where items of disrepair become evident during a lease term, with regard to the landlord or tenant.

3. Expert Witness Advice and Property Related disputes.

4. Arbitration

Property Care and Maintenance

Building structures which are neglected and do not benefit from the implementation of a regular maintenance regime can prove extremely costly to repair and disrupt the operation of the internal occupier. A poorly maintained building will also have a negative effect on the commercial value. Planning a proper maintenance programme can therefore prove invaluable and result in substantial long term cost savings by preventing small problems becoming much larger. Graham + Sibbald has widespread experience in both preparing and implementing strategic maintenance policies for numerous public and private sector clients.

Disability Discrimination Audits

The Disability Discrimination Act was introduced in 1995, with a deadline of October 2004 having been set for building owners to take all reasonable steps to remove physical barriers to disabled persons, when both accessing and utilising building structures. Graham + Sibbald can provide a service which can advise clients on their obligations together with giving practical advice via survey on the problematic areas within their properties, together with providing advice on remedial measures which should ideally be implemented and the costs associated with same. Thereafter, projects can be procured and supervised in a similar manner to those identified under Building Design and Refurbishment Contracts.

Insurance Assessment and Claims

Building owners and tenants are obliged to keep their properties adequately insured to ensure adequate funds are available in the event of an incident occurring causing loss. Graham + Sibbald are able to carry out fire insurance reinstatement valuations on all types and sizes of property, whether these be individual or part of a larger portfolio. We are also experienced in undertaking all manner of fire and flood damage reinstatement works/procedures following similar routes to those highlighted in building design and refurbishment contracts. Our role usually involves liaising with insurance companies, their loss adjusters and other interested parties to ensure our client’s properties are reinstated with the minimum of disruption and to a standard which existed prior to the loss occurring.

Architectural Services, Building Design and Refurbishment Contracts

Graham + Sibbald have widespread experience in the new build development and refurbishment of all types of property from inception through to completion stage, with the full range of design services available in-house in conjunction with our Architectural Department. Graham + Sibbald perform all financial, design, contractual and site monitoring functions to ensure projects are taken through to a successful conclusion.

1. Initial liaison with the client to determine objectives and requirements

2. Preparation of feasibility studies and budget costings where appropriate

3. Preparation of contract documentation including working drawings, tender documents, building warrant, planning and listed building consent applications

4. Procurement via competitive tendering procedures

5. Contract Administration including quality and financial control through conclusion

6. Provision of full design service from initial concept through space planning to full design and detailing of projects

7. Preparation of title plans, retrospective building warrants, the licence court application

Project Management and Development Monitoring

Any form of building project, whether new build or refurbishment of existing structures, requires sound management to ensure that the projects are delivered on time, in budget, and to an acceptable quality of workmanship to achieve a satisfactory standard. Graham + Sibbald provide this service to developers and funding authorities such as Banks to ensure that the developments are controlled and monitored from inception to completion.