Refurbishment and Repair in Construction
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 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 minimise the risk involved.
I commend this book to practitioners and would take this opportunity to
thank my co-authors James Douglas and Richard Pratley for their patience and
professionalism in making their contributions to this book.
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.
Michael Chrimes, the Head of Knowledge Transfer at the Institution of Civil
Engineers (ICE), has emphasised in a recent paper the need for the construction
profession to become more skilled at unravelling the history of existing structures
and sites before work starts. He provides guidance on how that information can be