Beyond Covid: Building change of use and asbestos management

With COVID changing our daily lives and the way we work, it’s highly likely that many commercial buildings will be changing use. As part of this process, it’s crucial to evaluate our health and safety duties, and in particular manage asbestos.

Paul Phillips, Technical Director - Asbestos

New norms

Covid-19 has brought about many challenges and caused permanent adjustments to normal life. The stay at home message has resonated throughout businesses across the UK and left typically bustling city centre hubs lying fallow throughout 2020 and into 2021. Where there may have been doubt about the efficacy of working from home, it’s forced many businesses to adapt and has proven to work well.


Changing building use

So, what does this mean for the future of thousands of offices laid empty for months? Chances are the more agile business is looking to change the use of their building – perhaps converting commercial property into housing. 

When preparing a building for change of use, it’s important to consider the associated legislation, particularly the change in structure and more specifically the hidden dangers of asbestos.

You have a duty to ensure that you are managing asbestos and protecting everyone that enters your building. This is a good opportunity to evaluate your essential health and safety duties regarding this dangerous material.


Asbestos management checklist

We’ve assembled a checklist to help you move forward that prompts you to consider:

  • Is my management survey up to date and reflects current regulations?
  • Do I have an asbestos management plan in place and is it actively reviewed?
  • If I am changing the structure internally or updating the utilities do I have the appropriate asbestos survey?
  • If I only want the land do I have an exhaustive demolition survey?
  • If I am purchasing property what does a thorough survey look like?
  • I know I have asbestos but where do I start in having it removed?

The chances are if you are involved in the acquisition of land, refurbishments, fit-outs and property purchasing you have encountered some of these questions.

We can provide a thorough gap analysis depending on your needs. The method is a cradle to grave approach ensuring that the whole process is managed from start to finish, leaving you with a project that’s safe and viable.

Our services

  • Initial gap analysis/risk review
  • Asbestos management plans
  • Management surveys
  • Refurbishment surveys
  • Demolition surveys
  • Project management (licenced contractor liaison and site escorts, tender evaluations, method statement reviews)
  • Air testing including four stage clearances
  • Survey evaluations (peer review)

Here to help

If this is of interest, then please get in touch for an informal conversation with one of our project managers to get the ball rolling.


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