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Bristol Warehouse Survey: Example project

Our surveyors were able to advise our client on which works were mandatory in the short term, and which were desirable and not needed for a few years. This allowed them to decide on refurbishment plans and budget accordingly.

Brief: Building survey of several warehouse units.

Property: Single storey warehouse of approx. 1000 sq m, dating from the 1960s/70s near Bristol.

Instructed by: Prospective purchasers.

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Project specification

  • Our client asked us to carry out a structural building survey of several units of a single storey subdivided warehouse
  • The warehouse dated from the circa 1960/70s.
  • The units were built using structural steel portal frame.
  • The floor slabs were in situ concrete throughout, and roof coverings were a mixture of factory finished profiled metal and profiled cement board.
  • External walls comprised facing brick and factory finished profiled metal panels.
  • There was an Asphalt yard to front with parking and scalped yard to rear.
Warehouse commercial surveyors

Key survey findings



  • Electrical installations and lighting needed to be updated across all the units to meet emergency escape lighting requirements.
  • A fire alarm system was not present, and we recommended that it be installed as a priority.
  • Roof repairs were required, including cleaning of coverings, sealing and replacement of roof lights, and clearing of gutters. Localised repairs were also recommended for certain units. We noted a number of corroded metal cappings and damaged panels that needed to be replaced.
  • In addition to these short-term repairs, we also advised the client that upgrading the roof in the medium-to-long-term, while costly, would improve the thermal efficiency of the building and improve its energy efficiency rating.
    • As a medium-to-long-term upgrade, we recommended that the cement board roof covering be overclad with a thermally improved composite roofing system or replaced entirely.
    • Because these roof replacements and improvements to the building fabric would be expensive, long-term guarantees should be sought for materials and workmanship.


By unit

  • The units were occupied by different tenants, and the condition of each unit varied considerably.
    • One unit was in a fair condition, but minor repairs and refurbishments were noted and detailed throughout.
    • Two of the units had been combined. Internally, concrete blockwork and fixtures and fittings were in poor condition and needed repair and refurbishment. Externally, roof junctions were corroded and needed repair. We also found evidence that the guttering had leaked, and recommended that the gutters are sealed/lined and repaired.
    • One of the units had suffered because routine maintenance and refurbishment had not been carried out.
      • Complete internal refurbishment was recommended.
      • Doors, shutters and window casements required overhaul or replacement, and we noted that electrical installations were dated.
    • The final unit was in fair condition, but again had several areas that required refurbishment.
      • Our surveyors also noted that bespoke heavy lifting equipment had been installed, which was bolted to the concrete slab. Removing the equipment and reinstating the floor slab would be costly. We recommended that the lease was inspected to understand whether a Licence to Alter was appended.

Read more about our commercial building surveying services here.

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If you would like to discuss a potential project with our consultants or get advice on any aspect of building surveying or engineering, please don’t hesitate to complete our contact form, call us on 0333 202 6386, or contact one of our regional offices.

Looking for residential / home survey services?

Looking for a RICS Level 2 or Level 3 Building Survey or Specific Defect Survey for a privately-owned residential property? Our team of residential surveyors and engineers can help. Visit or Get an Instant Quote.

Alternatively, Allcott Commercial provides surveying services for housing associations and other residential property owners.