Structural Survey and the Internet

Structural Survey

ISSN: 0263-080X

Article publication date: 1 December 2004



Todd, S. (2004), "Structural Survey and the Internet", Structural Survey, Vol. 22 No. 5.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Structural Survey and the Internet

The Web site information included below includes two key and other informative sites. If there are any other interesting sites or sources of information that you have found useful, please e-mail me at

The Building Research

The “Latest News” section from the BRE includes the following.

  • New social responsibility in business guide. The publication “Thinking business space: benefiting from more socially responsible decisions” will provide guidance to businesses in keeping social responsibility in mind when choosing new premises.

  • Proposed changes to Part L of the Building Regulations and implementing the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

  • Sustainable Buildings Task Group Report. Further information on the establishment of a Code for Sustainable Buildings (CSB).

  • Reducing injuries on stairs. Injuries on stairs are a serious issue for employers and building owners. Every year in the UK there are more than 100,000 injuries due to slips and falls on non-domestic stairs, and about 100 fatalities. One solution often considered for reducing slip on stairs is the fitting of proprietary nosings to steps, which include materials with slip-resistant properties. But nosings must be chosen carefully and fitted correctly, if they are to be effective in reducing the likelihood of slipping accidents. To help designers and building managers assess the quality of their stairs and choose which type of proprietary nosing they should be using, BRE has produced Proprietary nosing for non- domestic stairs (IP15/03). This Information Paper guides the reader through five simple questions that help establish the risk of large oversteps, a precursor to slipping. Suggestions are made on what to look for in a proprietary nosing for stairs, taking into account issues such as tread materials, nosing shape, going size, step variability, secure fitting and colour contrast. It can also be used by manufacturers to determine the potential demand for different types of nosings, and enable them to develop products that will meet the suggested requirements.

The Royal Institution of Chartered

The “News” section of this site gives information on the following.

  • Flood damage and the surveyor. Recent tragic events in Cornwall, Scotland and elsewhere in the UK have demonstrated how destructive heavy rainfall and flooding can be to property and infrastructure.

  • RICS wins victory on FSA Clients Money Rules. The Financial Services Authority proposes to change its rules on clients' money holding for property managers under the forthcoming regulatory regime for general insurance. Earlier this year, RICS pointed out to the FSA that their clients' money proposals conflicted with property legislation and would be unworkable for property managers, already subject to RICS' client's money rules which are compatible with existing property law.

The “Press Release” section includes the following.

  1. 1.

    Demand for rented homes high but landlords nervous.

  2. 2.

    Building time bomb. Information on a new report published by the RICS. Buildings account for an estimated 40 per cent of all world resource consumption and over 40 per cent of all waste, including greenhouse gas emissions. Developing countries have an opportunity to avoid the past mistakes of construction in the developed world, which rarely considered the impact on natural resources and the environment. Rapid industrialisation in China and India represents an environmental time bomb as energy consumption escalates. The report, The construction challenge: sustainability in developing countries, highlights the failure of any concerted attempts to diffuse this threat at an international or national level. What is needed:

  3. 3.
    • governments to lead by example with high standards for their own buildings;

    • building regulations that lay down sustainable practices; and

    • development of low cost, simple technological solutions that are feasible in developing countries - such as use of photovoltaic cells and geothermal loop systems.

  4. 4.

    Trouble in the back garden? Suburbia gets hot under the collar. The RICS has some advice about how to take the heat out of neighbourly unrest and boundary disputes without resorting to costly court cases.

The “Public Policy” and “Features” section gives further information on:

  • Residential Lettings Survey – July 2004;

  • Planning & Compulsory Purchase Bill (Part 8): consultation;

  • Housing Market Survey – July 2004;

  • Geo-UK property bulletin: latest contracts.;

  • The GEO-UK Geospatial service – latest contracts; and

  • August 2004 Monthly Round-up: arbitration.

The “Research Reports” includes:

  • The construction challenge: sustainability in developing countries;

  • PFI and the Skills of the Project Manager; and

  • The Management of Risk: Yours, Mine and Ours.

Office of the Deputy Prime

This main menu of this Web site includes information on:

  • building regulations;

  • devolution;

  • fire;

  • government offices;

  • homelessness;

  • housing;

  • local government;

  • neighbourhood renewal unit;

  • planning;

  • regions;

  • regional co-ordination unit;

  • science and research;

  • social exclusion unit;

  • sustainable communities; and

  • urban policy

The “Latest” section includes information on the following.

  • Creating a new legacy of rural design for 21st century. Refers to the publication of the revised Planning Policy Statement 7 (PPS7) for rural areas of England.

  • Preparing for Emergencies – What You Need to Know. All 25 million UK households have received practical advice on how to prepare for a range of emergencies following the publication of a new public information booklet on 26 July.

  • Independent Inquiry to advise on Council Tax Reform.

  • Council Tax – The Facts.

  • The Housing Bill, which is proposing important housing reforms in the private sector, is currently before the House of Lords.

  • Government sets out capping decisions.

The Building Regulations section includes:

  • proposals for amending Part L and Implementing the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

DIAG – EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive Implementation Advisory

The (EU) European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) Directive Implementation Advisory Group has been established to advise the UK Government on the energy performance of buildings and the implementation of the EU EPBD.

DIAG's key aims are as follows.

  • To clarify the requirements of the EU EPBD and to highlight any ambiguities concerning the Directive.

  • To provide guidance on possible clarifications and their implications when working with the Directive on building energy performance.

  • To establish and support working groups to address specific aspects of implementing the Directive on the energy performance of buildings.

  • To ensure that the Government receives robust and comprehensive guidance concerning the detailed implementation of the EU EPBD and its implications.

The SMARTWaste™

This Web site gives information on best practice guidance on the reduction, reuse and recycling of construction waste.

BRE has developed the SMARTWaste (Site Methodology to Audit, Reduce and Target Waste) system for a step-by-step evaluation of waste and its generation. The system has four core tools which are SMARTStart™ (simple overview), SMARTAudit (detailed audit), SMARTStartLG (local government performance) and BREMAP™ (resource exchange). The SMARTWaste system can be applied to any waste generating activity, and has already been adapted and used for the construction, demolition, refurbishment, manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries. SMARTWaste is a Web-based selection of integrated tools.

The tools will help the construction industry to identify cost savings, improve resource use, improve productivity and demonstrate continuous improvement through:

  • waste benchmarking;

  • identifying key demolition products for reuse or recycling;

  • identifying key waste products for reduction, reuse and recycling;

  • sourcing local resource and waste management facilities;

  • sourcing local supplies of reclaimed and recycled building products; and

  • demonstrating continuous improvement in resource efficiency.

The Construction Industry

This newly designed Web site includes:

  • organisational structure, secretariat and members;

  • current activities within the CIC, including work in the areas of lifelong learning, innovation and research, and sustainable development;

  • the various services that the CIC provides, including adjudication, appeals tribunals and approved inspectors; and

  • publications, news and events.

askTRADA – The Timber Research and Development

The Timber Research and Development Association's Web site can be accessed at three levels.

  1. 1.

    Level 1. Anonymous user gives free access to:

  2. 2.
    • the supplier's directory;

    • training information;

    • commercial services; and

    • the bookshop.

  3. 3.

    Level 2. Registered user gives free access to:

  4. 4.
    • technical information;

    • the timber species database; and

    • research information.

  5. 5.

    Level 3. Trada member gives full access (subscription required) to the site including:

  6. 6.
    • timber design software;

    • detail design drawings;

    • NBS specification clauses; and

    • business information sheets.

Provides up to date cost information for insurance reinstatement and rebuilding cost assessment for residential properties. The BCIS now offers the rebuilding cost guidance through the Rebuild Online service. This allows the user to calculate reinstatement costs and generates a table showing the selections made which is useful in providing a record of assumptions.

The Resin Flooring

FeRFA, the Resin Flooring Association, represents the major product manufacturers, specialist contractors, raw material suppliers and specialist service providers within the UK Industry. The Web site allows the user to download guidance notes and access the FeRFA handbook which gives further information on:

  • guide to the specification and application of synthetic resin flooring, which includes the classification system categorising all formulations into groups, based on the nature of the product and the way in which it is applied;

  • typical characteristics of all eight classifications of flooring types;

  • minimising slips in the workplace with the use of resin floors; and

  • osmosis in resin floors.

Accreditation for residential surveyors, and services for Home Inspectors and Home Condition Reports.

SAVA promotes and supports quality standards in residential surveying. SAVA is actively involved with Government initiatives to reform the home buying process, including the development of the new Home Inspector qualification and the Home Condition Report.

Stephen Todd

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