Refurbishment and Repair in Construction

Refurbishment and Repair in Construction

David Doran, James Douglas and Richard Pratley

Preference :

Refurbishment and repair of a building or structure can be a daunting task – probably a more difficult enterprise than is generally realised. It may be necessary to reconstruct a building for modern use but to preserve its appearance to match
its original style. To achieve success it is often necessary to have a deep knowledge of the
construction history and of the materials used in the original work. Seeking this knowledge can be difficult, even tedious. There is a great deal of available data but a major problem is to know where and how to look for this information. Any new work has to be carried out within a complex maze of legal frameworks which probably did not exist at the time of the original construction.
This book seeks to assist those embarking on such work, highlights possible pitfalls and suggests strategies which will minimize the risk involved.

It is generally accepted that approximately 50% of construction work involves repair and refurbishment (figures from the Building Cost Information Service, BCIS). Recent estimates have put the total value of construction at £80bn per annum, so the value of refurbishment must be in the order of £40bn. More surprisingly, it has recently been stated that more than 30% of new build contracts require remedial repairs before contract completion. This essentially practical book has been designed
to meet the challenge of this type of work and is a companion to Site Engineers Manual, which was first published in 2004.

All construction is risk intensive but it is the contention of the editor that repair
and refurbishment may carry risks in excess of those facing a developer building on
a green field site (see also Chapter 2). The book, inter alia, explores some of these
risks and suggests ways in which they may be minimised. Chrimes, in the above
mentioned article, lists the following questions to be answered before proceeding
with work on existing structures:
• Where is it?
• How old is it?
• Is it the first building on the site?
• Who designed it?
• What were the original ground conditions like?
• What kind of foundations has it got?

This book attempts to provide clues to answer these questions and many others.
Advice is given on sources to approach to find records of existing construction.
Regrettably, in recent years, many records have been destroyed and only intensive
survey investigation employing non-destructive and invasive methods can reveal an
accurate picture of the construction and condition of a structure. The penalty for not
so doing can be penal. In a recently reported case £30,000 of additional cost was
incurred for repairs to undisclosed, defective roof timbers. This amounted to 30% of
the original budget for the project.

Refurbishment and Repair in Construction


Content :
  • Introduction
  • Risks
  • Discovery: including sources of information
  • Types of contract
  • Types of construction: disasters, defects and potential solutions
  • Legal Restraints
  • Case Studies


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