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Building surveyor: Job description

Building surveyors provide professional advice on property and construction, which spans across residential, commercial, industrial, leisure and agriculture projects.

They work on the design and development of new buildings as well as the restoration and maintenance of existing ones. This is a very wide field and may include advising on various aspects of buildings at different stages.

The nature of the work may range from the design of large, multimillion-pound structures to modest adaptations and repairs, and sometimes includes working with buildings of architectural or historic importance.

Building surveyors often work on preventative measures to keep buildings in good condition and look for ways to make buildings sustainable.

They may be called upon to give evidence in court in cases where building regulations have been breached and as expert witnesses on building defects and dilapidations.

Typical work activities

Building surveyors work in many areas of property and construction so the work is diverse and rarely routine. Tasks often involve:

  • ensuring projects are completed on budget and to schedule;
  • advising clients on schemes and projects and determining requirements;
  • preparing scheme designs with costings, programmes for completion of projects and specification of works;
  • organising documents for tender and advising on appointing contractors, designers and procurement routes;
  • determining the condition of existing buildings, identifying and analysing defects, including proposals for repair;
  • advising on energy efficiency, environmental impact and sustainable construction;
  • instructing on the preservation/conservation of historic buildings;
  • advising on the management and supervision of maintenance of buildings;
  • dealing with planning applications and advising on property legislation and building regulations;
  • assessing and designing buildings to meet the needs of people with disabilities;
  • instructing on construction design and management regulations;
  • negotiating dilapidations (when there is a legal liability for a property's state of disrepair);
  • carrying out feasibility studies;
  • advising on the health and safety aspects of buildings;
  • advising on boundary and rights of light disputes and party wall procedures;
  • preparing insurance assessments and claims.

There are 27 jobs available in property and construction

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Written by AGCAS editors
August 2014

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