A refurbishment and demolition survey is required before any refurbishment or demolition work is carried out.
This survey will locate and describe as far as is reasonably practicable, all asbestos containing materials in the area where the refurbishment will take place, or the whole building if demolition is planned. A refurbishment and demolition survey may also be required in circumstances such as when more intrusive maintenance and repair work is being carried out.
The survey will be fully intrusive and will involve destructive inspection as necessary, to gain access to all areas, including those areas that may be difficult to reach. It may involve lifting carpets and tiles, breaking through walls, ceilings, cladding and partitioning. Controls will need to be put in place to prevent the spread of debris which may include asbestos.
Refurbishment and demolition surveys should only be conducted in unoccupied areas to minimise the risk of exposure to employees or the public. In ideal circumstances the building should not be in service and all furnishings removed. There may be some circumstances where the building is still in use at the time the survey is carried out. In the educational sector for example, refurbishment and demolition surveys may be conducted in schools or colleges during school holidays.
For minor refurbishment, this only applies to the room involved or even part of the room where the survey only covers a small area of a large room. In these situations, there should be effective isolation of the survey area and all furnishings should be removed as far as possible or protected using sheeting.
The survey area must be shown to be fit for reoccupation before people move back in. This will require a thorough visual inspection and if appropriate, air sampling. Once again the surveyed area will need to be effectively identified and shown to be fit for reoccupation before anyone is allowed back into the area.