Structural surveys: why structural health monitoring is important

Structural surveys are an important investment, as all building structures weaken over extended periods of time. A combination of factors can lead to the slow deterioration of a property these include extreme cold, salt and water corrosion or other destabilising events. Improper management can lead to catastrophic damage if detrimental changes to a structure’s stability go unnoticed.  

Why do I need a structural survey?

With more buildings in the UK suffering from the harsh effects of extreme weather and frequent flooding, structural surveys are increasingly important. Regular monitoring, evaluation and building maintenance can prevent costly disasters. Several types of surveys are available in the UK; however, a full structural survey offers a fully comprehensive inspection of a building structure and identifies its condition in greater detail than all others 

Numerous internal and external aspects are reviewed during the inspection of the property including walls, basements, roof space, conservatories, chimneys, drainage, boundaries, the list goes on. Depending on the size of the property the results of the survey will usually be delivered within a matter of days. 

Structural surveys are commonly carried out on: 

  • Buildings that are over 50 years old
  • Buildings that will undergo renovation or significant change 
  • Buildings that have undergone renovation or alteration in the past 
  • Buildings with unusual architectural structures
  • Statutory Listed Buildings – a structure that appears on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest 

What are the benefits of a structural survey?

When renovating, refurbishing or updating a property, structural surveys offer peace of mind and reassure owners that the building will remain intact many years laterThe findings of a structural survey provide clear insight into the health of a structure, while providing information that can assist with future maintenance expenditure plans.  

The surveyor not only highlights structural defects but will also offer effective solutions to fix the problem. Often, they will explain what may have triggered the structural defect in the first place. This is particularly useful for preventing repeated defects further down the line. Some repairs may require greater urgency than others, but the surveyor will guide you the most affordable resolution 

Advanced structural survey techniques 

Structural engineers are constantly searching for new methods to enhance longstanding practices and structural health monitoring (SHM) is one technique which has grown in prominence, due to the arrival of advanced technology. Structural engineers are now able to conduct deeper analyses of a structure’s health by consistently monitoring changes in structural movement and the building’s gradual deterioration. This can be extremely useful for monitoring changes to surrounding buildings, when demolition or construction work is taking place in proximity. 

Benefits of Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) 

By using stateoftheart technology to record data from fixed reference points on a building, these advanced survey techniques can ensure that buildings maintain their structural integrity for a longer duration. Through Internet of thing (IOT), any changes to a building’s structure can be tracked in real-time and allow engineers to provide quick, cost-effective solutions to prevent further structural deviations and damage, if risks are detectedAlthough increased costs are involved with this approach, it provides detailed data which can aid the design of future construction projects.  

Our wealth of experience in providing comprehensive structural surveys for construction projects, guarantees a high level of professionalism and assurance from beginning to end. As chartered structural engineers, KTA Structures uses the best technology to help you to achieve optimum quality and customer satisfaction. 

If you’d like to learn more about our structural engineering services and how we can help you with an upcoming project, contact us hereFollow us on LinkedInandInstagram to see what we’ve been working on.