Building Pathology

Building pathology (defect analysis) describes the inspection, investigation, diagnosis and reporting of defects within buildings. As such Chartered Building Surveyors are better placed than any other profession to undertake building pathology reports and to oversee the necessary remedial works. 

Ellis Belk only employs highly experienced Chartered Building Surveyors to undertake building pathology reports and we believe that our reports are second to none. 

Our investigations usually start with the collation of any historic and background information - essentially a desktop survey. We then inspect the property and carry out our investigations and measurements. Sometimes we have to re-visit the property if we discover something unexpected or if we need to take and/or obtain further readings etc. 

We use specialist equipment to undertake surveys, including electronic moisture meters, borescopes, hygrometers, callipers, lasers and so on. We can also undertake dye-testing to find the source of water leaks. 

As well as acting for private individuals, we are regularly employed by Housing Associations, Managing Agents and Commercial Clients. We are experienced in dealing with tenants and special needs groups and are always respectful of their privacy and understand the importance of minimising disruption. 

Building Pathology covers subjects such as:

  • Structural physical failure of components (especially roofs and balconies).
  • Penetrating dampness, rising dampness, cold bridging and condensation.
  • Thermal insulation
  • Deleterious materials such as asbestos 
  • Wood boring beetle infestation e.g. woodworm - the common furniture beetle (Anobium Punctatum), death watch beetle (Xestobium Rutovillosum), house longhorn (Hylotrupes Bajulus), etc.
  • Wood rot e.g. dry rot (Serpula Lacrymans), and wet rot (several varieties of fungus).
  • Moisture movement and thermal movement.
  • Ground movement/subsidence, settlement
  • Trees resulting in structural failure of foundation and wells.

Building Pathology Reports 

Our reports are written in plain English and we include footnotes to explain any technical terms. We write our reports with the reader in mind and we include annotated photographs. 

Expert Witness Reports 

Unfortunately, we can sometimes unearth problems that could have been avoided and that can result in legal action against the builder or designer. We are highly experienced in developing our Pathology reports into full Expert Witness Reports.

 

Projects

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Architectural

Ellis Belk is a diverse practice, working in a wide range of construction sectors. Projects undertaken range from the traditional, including refurbishment, extensions and new build in all sectors of the market, to the diverse including public art, town centre regeneration, logistics and training facilities.

Building Pathology

  • Structural physical failure of components (especially roofs and balconies).
  • Penetrating dampness, rising dampness, cold bridging and condensation.
  • Thermal insulation
  • Deleterious materials such as asbestos 
  • Wood boring beetle infestation e.g. woodworm - the common furniture beetle (Anobium Punctatum), death watch beetle (Xestobium Rutovillosum), house longhorn (Hylotrupes Bajulus), etc.
  • Wood rot e.g. dry rot (Serpula Lacrymans), and wet rot (several varieties of fungus).
  • Moisture movement and thermal movement.
  • Ground movement/subsidence, settlement
  • Trees resulting in structural failure of foundation and wells.
 
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Contract Administration

From inception to completion we can take the stress out of managing your project for you.

 

Expert Witness

As Chartered Building Surveyors, we are fully conversant with, and adhere to the RICS Practice Statement ‘Surveyors Acting as Expert Witnesses’ and the various protocols attached to this. 

In addition, we are also fully conversant with Part 35 (Experts and Assessors) of the Civil Procedure Rules upon which the RICS Practice Statement is based. 

The Chartered Building Surveyors at Ellis Belk Associates collectively have over 75 years experience between them on a huge range of building types, of all sizes and ages. 

Our experience of Building Pathology and study of building failures (others – not our own!) have given us an insight into what does and does not work in various situations and environments. 

The primary duty of an expert witness is not to the client but to the court. This means that the expert evidence provided must: 

  • be unbiased and independent;
  • fall within the area of expertise, experience and knowledge;
  • state the main facts and assumptions upon which the report is based;
  • not omit any material facts that may be relevant to any conclusion;
  • be impartial, unbiased and not influenced by those instructing or paying for the report.

If you wish to discuss this further please contact Rod Mathieson.

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Building Surveying

We can act on behalf of the client as the contract administrator for design and build contracts (such as the Joint Contracts Tribunal JCT DB 16).