We advise our customers in all aspects of the design, maintenance and repair of all buildings to report and make recommendations based on a wealth of experience.
ALL SERVICES OFFERED by CASTRIA ARE FULLLY TAILORED TO YOUR NEEDS TO ENSURE THAT PERSONAL SERVICE IS ALWAYS DELIVERED, WHICH YOU BENEFIT FROM HAVING THE FULL INTEGRATED RANGE OF PROFESSIONALS
Our Building Surveying Division enables us to perform a wide range of tasks, from defect analysis for individual condition reports and maintenance programmes for housing providers, charitable organisations, education providers and defence contractors.
Within Castria, the Building Surveying Division / Department / Service can work autonomously in traditional building surveying, while being an integral part of Castria’s ethos of working with its architects, engineers and surveyors to ensure that our customers benefit from a wide range of experience.
Our customers will also have direct access to the person who performs their instruction, in addition to the peace of mind that they will also benefit from the extensive experience within Castria that the surveyor can use to perform the instruction in a timely and professional manner.
Our Chartered engineers carry out or oversee structural evaluations. This service is often required in conjunction with repair and maintenance programmes, development feasibility, valuation surveys and insurance claims. Structural evaluations are usually carried out in two phases:
Stage one – Visual Assessment Survey and Report, which provides an economical first assessment of structural conditions.
Stage two: A detailed structural survey and report is carried out.
One in six homes in the UK is currently at risk of flooding, and this number is expected to rise with climate change. The frequency of floods has increased over the last decade, and brought the issue to the forefront of many people’s lives.
Government policy states that a flood risk assessment is required for all planning applications deemed by the Local Planning Authority (LPA) to be at risk of flooding or to increase the potential of flooding.
The requirements of a flood risk assessment vary considerably depending on the location and type of development, from a simple desktop assessment to a comprehensive river modelling analysis.
Our water and environment team specialises in Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) and we have the internal ability to carry out flood modelling and analysis. We can use our comprehensive knowledge of flood policy to recommend a practical planning solution to even the most restricted or high flood risk sites in Truro, Cornwall and the South West.
Quadrennial Inspections (QI’s) are a mandatory task 257 responsibility to comply with MoD Conservation Policy (Guide 026).
Castria performs tens of QIs every year. For example, the Royal Citadel in Plymouth, where 12 historic structures are inspected. Other examples include Ernesettle Fort in Plymouth (a Scheduled Ancient Monument), listed buildings and Scheduled Forts at Gosport, and listed buildings at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.
As part of their lending requirements, it is becoming a regular part of the property acquisition process that lenders require further investigation, including Visual Inspection (Mining & Ground Stability) reports.
A “Mining Search” or “Mining & Ground Stability Search” is a routine part of solicitors and conveyancers’ “requests for both property and land purchases. The purpose of these “desktop searches” is to gather known information about mining and ground features (man-made and natural) in the vicinity of the acquisition and can have an impact on the stability and viability / value of the purchase.
Usually there are three recommendations that from “Mining Searches” & “Mining & Ground Stability Searches,” which are as follows:
1. Pass/No Further Action
2. Visual Inspections (typically undertaken by our Building Surveyors) result from natural ground features or manmade activities that may create different ground bearing capabilities. These can lead to differential movement/subsidence, and in turn damage to structures built upon it. The Visual Inspection is to determine if there are structural defects or ground movement that could be attributable to the identified features. If such movement is identified, it is likely that Invasive Investigations/Further Investigations will need to be undertaken.
3. Invasive Investigations/Further Investigations (typically undertaken by our structural engineers or civil engineers) will need to be undertaken to determine if remedial work will be required. These generally take the form of drilling and/or excavations. The most common cause is manmade activities, such as mining or infilled land in the immediate area.
Radon gas is a naturally occurring and invisible radioactive gas that can form in properties, in particular where there is lower ground housing or where it is left for longer without occupation. In the worst cases, this can become a safety risk.
Finally, it is becoming routine practice that buildings are tested for the presence of radon gas, so that it does not become a problem during the sales process. If testing is required, this should be performed for three months. For more information on tests, please visit Public Health England’s site UKradon unk > Measuring radon.
Where testing is required during the sale of a property, in order not to delay the sale by 3 months, your Legal Adviser can organise a Radon Bond. If upon completion of the Radon Test, the building has a reading of 200 Bq m-3, please contact our office to discuss remediation measures.
Roped access has proven to be an effective method of inspecting and surveying a building, especially where it is necessary to keep the impact on the building material to a minimum. This is particularly useful when other means of access are either impractical or not proven cost-effective. Typically, no additional fixings are required to the building fabric. This is of special significance for historic and listed structures.
The use of modern techniques and rigorous safety practices helps ensure that this access method provides the user with high levels of safety. All work is assessed and carried out in accordance with our comprehensive health and safety manual.
Castria performs inspections of the Ministry of Defence’s assets, ranging from large buildings such as ward rooms to smaller structures such as garages and storage sheds.
We advise on maintenance and repair works to maintain the facilities and recommendations on working priorities to prevent further deterioration of the facilities.
Our practice is organised into multidisciplinary teams focused on producing intelligent,
innovative design solutions across an array of sectors.