Refurbishment Surveys

What is an asbestos refurbishment survey ?

An asbestos refurbishment survey is needed before undertaking any intrusive refurbishment work. The current asbestos survey guidance makes clear reference to the difference in the level of survey required for refurbishment works and for complete demolition of a building. An asbestos demolition survey is required when a building is proposed to be entirely demolished.

Asbestos refurbishment surveys are used to locate and describe, as far as reasonably practicable, all asbestos containing materials (ACMs) within an area or building where refurbishment works will take place. An asbestos refurbishment survey may also be required in other circumstances, e.g. when more intrusive maintenance and repair work will be carried out or for plant removal or dismantling.

What’s involved with an asbestos refurbishment survey ?

Asbestos refurbishment surveys are fully intrusive and involve destructive inspection methods, as necessary, to gain access to all areas, including those that may be difficult to reach. Aggressive inspection techniques maybe required to lift up carpets and floor tiles, break through walls, ceilings, cladding and partitions, and open up floors.

Asbestos refurbishment surveys should generally only be completed in unoccupied areas. The purpose of this is to minimise risks to the personnel on the premises. Where practicable to do the building or area should not be operational and all furnishings vacated.

In these types of surveys, where the asbestos is identified so that it can be removed (rather than to ‘manage’ it), the survey does not normally assess the condition of the asbestos, other than to indicate areas of damage or where additional asbestos debris may be present. However as the asbestos removal may not take place for some time, the ACMs condition is usually assessed so that materials can be managed.