I have been appointed to carry out a pre demolition building surveys on an old administrative building in order to identify Lead contain materials on site. The building I have visited was situated in close to city centre and was destined for partial demolition and complete refurbishment. The property was a four storey building consisting of a lower basement car park and storage facilities, ground, 1st-4th floor offices and roof top terrace with enclosed water tank and lift motor room.
The purpose of the survey was to locate and identify the presence of any Lead containing materials within all reasonably accessible areas. The extent and type of all lead containing materials found on the site were defined for the purpose of providing a Lead register in compliance with current legislation.
The lead survey are different from other hazard surveys such as asbestos mainly because they need to be timed correctly. A lead surveys is best carried out after initial soft strip of the building has been completed. That means that all the internal furnishing, carpeting, plasterboard partition walls and insulation have been removed. Timing the lead survey after the soft strip of the building allows for easy access to normally inaccessible materials and construction elements.
After an initial consultation with my client we have organised and timed the lead surveys in such a way as to maximise the accessibility of likely lead containing materials. This structured approach allows me to minimise the number of materials which needs to be presumed, due to non-access, and allows me to provide the most accurate review of the lead containing materials on site.
In this particular situation I have identified a significant lead content in the surface coating of all the windows and door frames, some skylight surrounds and protective coating to the lift motors. Some of these materials had lead content relatively low and disposal as non-hazardous material was possible. Other however had significant Lead content and had to be handled appropriately.