Operational Phase

We provide the following services during the operational phase:

Forensic Investigations

Our building surveyors provide expert advice on how building enclosures perform. Building surveyors have a comprehensive knowledge of building enclosures. They understand the complex interaction of materials, building code requirements, legislation, design and environment. Surveyors at Alexander & Co. assist clients by identifying and developing solutions to building failure, preparing conceptual and technical solutions, and managing the design and delivery of construction projects.

Our surveying process begins with a thorough investigation. Weather-tightness issues can be caused by any number of things, from faulty workmanship to poor quality or incorrect materials. In order to resolve a building’s issues, we must first diagnose the causes. Our various levels of investigation are tailored to a building’s unique situation to help minimise the disruption and costs. Depending on your property, specialised investigation might also be recommended, such as façade testing, hygrothermic data collection or testing samples in an independent lab. 

Following investigation, our architects and design team work together designing the changes to be made to your property so that it is both aesthetically pleasing and resolves your weathertightness issues for the long run. We then support you through the process of implementing these changes. We use our expertise to minimise disruption during construction and manage things such as planning applications, monitoring and sub contractors.

Building surveying services we provide:

  • Forensic investigation of building failure
  • Leaking building investigations
  • Indoor moisture investigations
  • Assessment of buildability, sustainability and maintainability
  • Energy efficiency auditing and modelling
  • Obtaining building consents
  • Tendering, negotiation and contract establishment with contractors
  • Building monitoring services
  • Engineer to contract
  • Monitoring of compliance and quality
  • Client representative / quality review
  • Maintenance surveys
  • Maintenance planning and management

For expert building surveying services contact us today to discuss your project.

Condition Surveys and Maintenance Planning

 The objectives of our condition survey and maintenance planning service are as follows:

  • To determine the current condition of the building enclosure components and services.
  • To determine the remaining life of components i.e. roof cladding, wall cladding, joinery, plumbing and water, electrical, heating/ventilation & mechanical systems.

The output from the surveys include:

1. Risk Profiling Sheet.

2. 10-year maintenance schedule with costs.  The 10-year maintenance schedule will identify the activities required to routinely maintain the asset as a whole. The resulting maintenance schedules are priced by a quantity surveyor.

3. A report detailing the findings of the condition survey.  The report will detail the current condition of the building enclosure, a summary of defects, maintenance requirements and health and safety issues. 

Please find the case study 1 related to condition surveys by clicking here or going to Case Studies page.

Building Performance Monitoring

Hygrothermal Testing

Comprehensive investigations, while extremely useful to identify issues with a building and its components, only provide a snap shot of the building at the time of inspection. Learning how a building functions on a daily basis; its wetting and drying cycles allow us to gain insight into the quality of construction and to more accurately pinpoint current or potential problems. That is where hygrothermal monitoring comes in. Hygrothermal monitoring is essentially the collection of moisture and temperature conditions within the building assemblies over a given amount of time (this could range anywhere from one month to one year).

Sensors embedded within the assemblies take regular measurements of the relative humidity and temperature within the cavity, pressure differences across the cladding and the moisture content of timber components. This data is then transmitted to our computers in the office where we can format and analyse the information – looking for patterns to better understand how the building is performing on a day-to-day basis.

The type and number of sensors used on a project is tailored to suit the goals and scope of that project. However, we try to incorporate a good range of sensors in several locations around the structure to obtain an overall perspective of the building’s performance.

Below are examples of units that have been installed in a current project.

 

An overall view of a typical cutout for sensor installation. Moisture and relative humdity sensors have been installed in the cavity before the cutout is sealed and patched over.

An overall view of a typical cutout for sensor installation. Moisture and relative humdity sensors have been installed in the cavity before the cutout is sealed and patched over.

A sensor configuration installed within a wall cavity. Moisture sensors have been installed at the base of the stud as well as the back of the cladding, with a temperature sensor taped to the building paper.

A sensor configuration installed within a wall cavity. Moisture sensors have been installed at the base of the stud as well as the back of the cladding, with a temperature sensor taped to the building paper.

A temperature/relative humidity graph from the collected data. Raw data from the data acquisition units was exported into Excel where it was formatted and plotted for easy interpretation.

A temperature/relative humidity graph from the collected data. Raw data from the data acquisition units was exported into Excel where it was formatted and plotted for easy interpretation.