What Is a Demolition Survey?
Anyone planning the demolition of a building, or part of it, is legally required to carry out a demolition survey. This is also know as a ‘refurbishment & demolition survey’. The aim of the survey is to locate, wherever possible, all asbestos containing materials (ACMs) in the building. Where ACMs are located, they will need to be removed prior to the demolition.
Why Does Asbestos Need To Be Removed?
Asbestos is made up of microscopic fibres which, if dispersed into the air, can easily be inhaled. These sharp fibres can lodge in airways and lungs, where the presence of asbestos can lead to a number of chronic and even fatal diseases. If ACMs are not removed prior to demolition, the asbestos could disperse and become a health hazard.
How Does a Demolition Survey Work?
Asbestos surveyors will carry out a detailed inspection of the building. The building will need to be empty whilst the survey takes place as there’s a likelihood that asbestos will be disturbed in the process. The subsequent report will state the presence, location and extent of any ACMs found.
If asbestos is located, it will need to be removed by an HSE licensed asbestos removals company before the demolition can proceed. When the removal has been completed a four-stage air monitoring process is required, prior to re-occupation.
Which Buildings Are Likely to Contain Asbestos?
Asbestos was banned for use in construction works in 1999. Prior to that it had been widely used in plasterwork, and as an insulating agent. If your building was constructed prior to 1999 you should assume that it contains ACMs. Asbestos isn’t harmful, except when disturbed, but ongoing asbestos management is recommended.
Despite the ban, the deadly legacy left by asbestos continues to impact lives. People who worked in environments where asbestos was inhaled daily are only now, 50 years later, being diagnosed with cancers and breathing conditions caused by this deadly substance. In the UK there remain over 1.5 million buildings that contain upward of 6 million tonnes of ACMs.
What are the Consequences of Not Having a Demolition Survey?
If you’re the owner, or manager of a building that you plan to demolish, you are responsible for ensuring that an R&D survey takes place. If asbestos is found, you will then need to arrange for its removal. Failure to do this means that you could expose people to asbestos fibres and be prosecuted as a result, resulting in unlimited fines and/or imprisonment.
About Avanti Asbestos Removal
Avanti is an HSE licensed asbestos removals company, with experience in an extensive range of environments and properties. The asbestos specialists on our team have been working in the sector for at least 10 years and are regularly trained and audited. Our surveys and air-monitoring processes are carried out by UKAS accredited surveyors.
Do you need to book an R&D survey prior to a planned demolition? Call the Avanti team today on 0333 0124903 and we’ll take it from there.