Balancing act: Integrating sustainability practices in building surveying

5 minutes read time

There's an ever-increasing need to integrate sustainable practices into every facet of the construction industry. 

The building surveying industry, which traditionally focused on assessing and maintaining the structural integrity of buildings, is undergoing a significant transformation. With the escalating climate crisis and growing awareness of environmental responsibility, there's a pressing need to integrate sustainable practices into every facet of the construction and maintenance process. In response, the industry is increasingly embracing sustainability as a core principle, revolutionising its approaches and methodologies. We take a look at how the building surveying sector is evolving towards a greener future.

The shift

Historically, building surveying primarily concentrated on inspecting buildings for compliance, safety, and maintenance needs. However, with the global emphasis on sustainability, this role has expanded to include evaluating structures through an environmental lens. Building surveyors are now tasked with assessing the energy efficiency, carbon footprint, and overall environmental impact of buildings. Building surveyors play a pivotal role in driving the adoption of sustainable practices and creating buildings that are environmentally responsible, economincally viable and socially benefical. 

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Adopting sustainable techniques

One of the key ways in which the building surveying industry is advancing sustainability is through the adoption of green building techniques. This involves incorporating renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and wind turbines, into building designs. Sustainable materials like recycled steel, reclaimed wood, and eco-friendly insulation are being prioritised to reduce environmental impact. Clients are also advised on effective and environmental waste disposal methods and demolition techniques. 

Enchancing energy efficiency

Improving energy efficiency is a paramount concern in sustainable building practices. Building surveyors play a crucial role in this aspect by conducting energy audits to identify areas of inefficiency and recommending solutions to enhance performance. This may involve upgrading insulation, optimising HVAC systems, or implementing smart technologies for energy management.

Life cycle assessment

Another trend in sustainable building surveying is the integration of lifecycle assessments (LCAs). Rather than solely focusing on initial construction costs, LCAs consider the environmental impact of a building throughout its entire lifespan, including materials sourcing, construction, operation, maintenance, and eventual demolition or repurposing. By conducting comprehensive LCAs, building surveyors can make informed decisions to minimise environmental harm and maximise sustainability.

The industry is increasingly embracing sustainability as a core principle

Bumps in the road

While the adoption of sustainable practices in building surveying is gaining momentum, it's not without its challenges. Resistance to change, upfront costs, and the need for specialised expertise are hurdles that must be overcome. However, these challenges also present opportunities for innovation and collaboration within the industry. By investing in sustainable technologies, fostering interdisciplinary partnerships, and educating stakeholders, the building surveying sector can drive meaningful change towards a more sustainable built environment.

Our clients & candidates

The collective efforts of stakeholders across the industry are paving the way for a greener, more resilient built environment.  Many of our clients are already on this path and are actively integrating sustainability into their building surveying practices.  Our candidates are often interested where clients are on these journeys and are keen to know what clients are doing to mitigate their environmental impact but also to foster healthier, more sustainable communities for generations to come. We would be pleased to discuss this further with you. 

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