December 2015

When early humans built their shelters from earth, grass, leaves, sticks and stone, they worked out which materials worked better than others and became more sophisticated.

They may not have understood the science but they learned, for example, that if organic materials like timber remained wet they would deteriorate quickly requiring replacement, so it was important to keep them dry. 

Today’s buildings are a great deal more sophisticated than those of our early ancestors. They incorporate a complex array of materials including steel, plastics, concrete, carbon fibre, rubber, glass and aluminium and now stretch hundreds of metres.

Nevertheless, even with rigorous testing methods and high manufacturing standards, modern materials can still prematurely stop performing.

Failures occur for a variety of reasons including the use of a material in an environment for which it was not intended, poor manufacturing, poor installation or sometimes because of an adverse reaction between adjacent material types.

The inspection, investigation, diagnosis and reporting of building defects is known as building pathology. It requires an in-depth understanding of how construction materials behave, how durable they are and the types of failure that they can be subject to.

At Babbage Consultants, the building surveying team is experienced in investigating and reporting on a wide range of complex building defects. Using site-based investigation and laboratory analysis by specialists, they are able to provide building owners or operators with detailed advice and remediation proposals.

If you believe your property is subject to some type of material failure, contact the experts at Babbage Consultants for advice and further information.

To learn more about other services our building surveying team can provide visit our building surveying page here: 

Building Surveying

Different building materials can behave in different ways greatly affecting the functionality and lifespan of your building.