As architects specialising in conservation, careful and thorough analysis of the condition of a building is an essential part of our work. A condition report can be prepared as a stand alone document or as part of an early stage in a full commission. A condition report is a useful tool to inform and quantify repair work or a maintenance programme. As such it needs to be clearly understood, comprehensive and accurate. Our most experienced architects, often the senior partners, undertake our condition reports because of their extensive experience in the field.
The format and contents of a condition report will be tailored to the individual client specification or funding body requirements. We are familiar with Historic Scotland and Historic England preferred methodologies. We assess the building or structure in a systematic order, often note conditions graphically on the plans and elevations as this helps the quantity surveyor to identify and quantify repairs without extensive descriptive text. When the reports are complete, we personally present our findings to the client at a meeting and guide them in prioritising the work.
Repair work is usually categorised into urgent, necessary or desirable work depending on the nature of the defect. These classifications are clearly defined at the start of the report and can inform a phased approach to remedial works.
As part of a maintenance plan, a quinquennial inspection of a historic building should be built into the long term programme. The original condition plan forms the basis of this inspection. It can be updated as a working document for ongoing maintenance of the building. The quinquennial inspection further informs the client of the extent of deterioration since the last inspection as well as discovering new issues. Comparative rates of deterioration may change the maintenance priorities.
Examples of recent reports include:-
Ford Moss Engine House ruin, Northumberland