Maintaining the Life of Your Building: The Role of a Building Surveyor

December 3, 2018

As a property owner or Body Corporate, keeping your building functioning is essential – not just to ensure happy occupants, but to see a favourable return on investment. Prendos Director Mark Williams tells us how a building surveyor can help.

“The role of a building surveyor is to understand a client’s property needs and offer specialist advice about how to maintain the building over the long term,” explains Mark. “We’ll then come up with clever, practical, cost efficient solutions to ensure the property has a long life and holds, or grows, its value.”

The Prendos Building Surveying team is made up of 22 qualified building surveyors who have come from all over the world. They work with clients on everything from new-build project design management and contract administration to project delivery, technical remediation management and building pathology/defect investigation.

“The team are experts in their field,” says Mark. “They’re trained to diagnose a building’s condition, identify issues, determine potential expenditure levels and pinpoint what actions are required – whether these are immediate, medium or long term. They’ll then offer solutions that will not only rectify and maintain the building but add value in the process.”

For many Body Corporates in New Zealand, the reality is that the long-term health of their building could be under threat from weathertightness issues or other failures.

“Thanks to some poor design, workmanship, inspection, consenting and material choices in the 1990s, many kiwi properties now suffer from what’s known as ‘leaky building syndrome’. This is when water gets past the external cladding of a building and can’t easily escape. If left untreated, it can cause the structure of the property to degrade and ultimately lose its strength.”

Many people avoid addressing the problem of a non-weathertight building, because they believe they can’t afford a solution or that going through the process will devalue their asset. But ignoring the situation will only make it worse, and it certainly won’t get cheaper to fix.

Luckily, as Mark explains, an immediate total reclad is not the only answer.

“Every situation is different. There will typically be other, less financially prohibitive solutions outside of total recladding that will prolong the life of your building.”

Prendos has worked on some of the toughest assessment and remediation jobs in the country and through this we’ve gained a real understanding of the difficulties faced by owners, body corporates and tenants. We believe that, armed with the right information and a view of all possibilities, a solution may be easier and less costly than you think.”

So, as a Body Corporate or building owner, what’s your next step if you believe your property has weathertightness issues or other failures? Mark says the key is to arm yourself with the right information so that you can make an informed decision.

“Whether you’re just finding out about your building’s issues or already have a project underway, Prendos can visit your property, offer impartial advice and provide a summary of our findings – including design and technical risks, cost advice and a prioritisation of risk areas so you know what needs to be tackled first.”

“We’ll also suggest a variety of solutions at different price points that will help prolong the life of your building. Best of all, you’ll have the chance to discuss your issues and concerns privately with an expert. What you do with our advice is up to you – but at least you’ll come out of it understanding your situation and what can be done.”

If you’d like to speak to one of our Building Surveyors, or you just want to find out more about your options, give us a call on (09) 970 7070.

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