Renovating a commercial property? You might need an asbestos refurbishment survey

Asbestos-refurbishment-survey

Many of our country’s older buildings contain high levels of asbestos, and with the common change of building use we’ve seen over the last few decades – banks into restaurants, for example, or warehouses transformed into craft centres – an asbestos refurbishment survey has become an integral part of the renovation process.

These vital surveys protect the health and safety of construction workers and site visitors, and ensure compliance with important health and safety regulations. The Control of Asbestos Regulations, 2012, places a ‘duty to manage’ asbestos in non-domestic building on certain individuals, typically those in charge of building maintenance.

Asbestos use in the UK

The use of this carcinogenic substance, which historically took precedence in the construction industry as a fireproofing and insulating material, is now banned in the UK but its continued presence in the general fabric of many buildings is a matter of great concern.

So if you’re planning to renovate a commercial property, how do you comply with the law and what do asbestos refurbishment surveys involve?

Asbestos refurbishment surveys minimise the risk to health

To comply with asbestos legislation you need to find out where all asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) lie within the areas of your building to be refurbished, and identify their type. Materials might include asbestos cement products, for example, or partition walling that contains the substance.

An asbestos refurbishment survey is intrusive and destructive by nature, and will disturb any asbestos present, which is why the building must be unoccupied until certified fit for reoccupation.

Key aspects of an asbestos refurbishment survey

Detailed scope of works

This is needed to inform the extent of the survey.

Confirmed refurbishment plans

Refurbishment plans will determine the specific areas for surveying. This is likely to include ‘hidden’ areas such as within the building’s walls or floor voids, behind cladding, and underneath floor coverings.

Removal of furniture and other items

Removing furniture and other items from the areas to be surveyed allows easier access for surveyors. Steps should also be taken to minimise the spread of debris wherever possible.

Examination and air-testing

Following a survey the area will be checked for the presence of asbestos dust and fibres, by visual examination and potentially air testing, prior to the area being certified fit for reoccupation.

Asbestos testing

Any samples of materials suspected of containing asbestos will be tested to confirm their makeup.

Refurbishment survey report

All findings are detailed in a comprehensive report, allowing you to develop an asbestos register and an asbestos plan if you don’t already have them.

Asbestos remediation

A consultation takes place, and professional advice provided on asbestos remediation where necessary.

An asbestos refurbishment survey may also be needed if specific parts of your building require extensive maintenance or repair that affects its fabric. Acorn Analytical Services are asbestos experts and offer a full range of asbestos surveys, including a management survey, an asbestos refurbishment survey, and an asbestos demolition survey.

Neil Munro

I work in a dual role at Acorn Analytical Services focused primarily on growing and leading the business from our Northampton office base. My focus is on overseeing all sales, marketing and financial activities from Northampton. I assist clients with high-level asbestos management strategies and training. Together with Ian Stone I host our weekly podcast – Asbestos Knowledge Empire and I'm Co-author of Asbestos The Dark Arts and Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety.

Need Help? Request a Call Back

Request a call back from one of our expert Asbestos Consultants who will help you identify what you need

More Asbestos Articles

England star Stuart Pearce has helped to raise awareness of mesothelioma

Mesothelioma: How an England footballer is bringing home the dangers of this hidden killer

THIS afternoon, England’s Three Lions made a winning start to their World Cup campaign beating Iran in their first match in Qatar. But one footballing legend fears he could be in danger of developing mesothelioma after starting his career as an electrician in the 1980s. While former England legend Stuart Pearce is now undoubtedly best … Read more

Viviana, one of the newest members of Acorn's team

Team talk: Meet Viviana one of the talented new recruits at Acorn Analytical Services

WITH the UK in the grip of an asbestos epidemic, recruiting talented, experienced staff to join the award-winning team of experts at Acorn Analytical Services has never been more important. Despite being banned in new buildings more than 20 years ago, asbestos remains a huge problem for many businesses and, as a result, demand for … Read more

It's time to learn your asbestos ABC

Asbestos: How learning your ABC could help us to save lives

At Acorn Analytical Services we have one very simple message – ABC – or Asbestos Before Construction. It’s a simple message but it’s also an important one. Before carrying out building work of any kind you must check for the presence of asbestos first. Not doing so could have potentially serious implications for the health … Read more

Our Movember heroes, Lewis, Dave and Dan

Meet Dave, Dan and Lewis – Acorn’s amazing Movember heroes

AS we start November, Acorn Analytical Services is very proud to be supporting Movember, the annual charity event which shines a spotlight on men’s health, in particular, mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. We pride ourselves on being at the heart of our community and we always try to give back … Read more

Asbestos management company is growing

Acorn Analytical Services: An ambitious asbestos management company which continues to grow

FROM small acorns strong businesses grow – something that everyone at Acorn Analytical Services is extremely proud of. Even in turbulent times, Acorn Analytical Services continues to lead the way, offering reliable asbestos management services to a wide range of businesses and organisations – from well-known high street brands to local schools and colleges. In … Read more

Asbestos training

Asbestos training: Acorn Analytical Services launches free session to build knowledge among architects

ASBESTOS has once again dominated the headlines this week reaffirming our worst fears that the UK is in the grip of an asbestos epidemic. Many older buildings, including factories, schools and hospitals, contain this dangerous material which over time is starting to degrade. It’s a ticking timebomb and, as one of the UK’s leading consultancies, … Read more

Mesothelioma dangers in the classroom

Mesothelioma: We must protect our teachers from any hidden dangers

BEHIND every statistic we read about mesothelioma there lies a story – the story of another life lost from prolonged exposure to asbestos. Sadly, over the years it’s a story that has become all too familiar. Despite being banned in the UK more than 20 years ago, asbestos is still all around us – in … Read more

Asbestos industry turbulence: Acorn remains strong

Asbestos industry turbulence: Acorn Analytical Services is strong, dynamic and well-placed to weather the storm

WHILE economic uncertainty may be starting to bite in the asbestos industry, Acorn Analytical Services continues to go from strength to strength offering essential support to clients right across the UK. With more than 20 years’ experience in the asbestos and health and safety industry, we’ve become a trusted partner to a growing number of … Read more

Mesothelioma day 2022

Mesothelioma Day: Shining a light on the work of Mesothelioma UK

TODAY, September 26, marks Mesothelioma Day in the US, an important day to raise awareness of the disease and of the dangers of asbestos worldwide. Even though asbestos was banned from new buildings in the UK more than 20 years ago, it is a problem we all still live with. Many buildings, including factories, schools … Read more

Behind the scenes of our laboratories

The science bit: Putting the important work of our laboratories under the microscope

AMONG the experts at Acorn Analytical Services is a dedicated team of laboratory analysts who work in our in-house laboratories in Northampton and Cleckheaton. Their work involves supporting our consultants, and our clients, by analysing samples of materials which are found on-site or sent to us to be investigated. Here we take a more detailed … Read more