What Are Building Investigations?

Specialising in the change of use and refurbishments of buildings including historic and listed structures, our building investigation services and support surveys include commercial and domestic buildings, multi-storey car parks, and both clean and wastewater industry infrastructure.

Working with structural engineers or surveyors, we identify the construction details of buildings giving engineers vital details of the building fabric particularly where there is a lack of accurate or incomplete records. 

By carrying out opening-up works to the fabric of the building and performing material analysis, our building investigation services help reduce the cost risk for the property developer prior to tendering for costly refurbishment contracts.

Building Investigation

Building and Investigation Services

Our building investigation services include the assessment of the current condition of concrete or steel framed buildings, offering advice on the grade of steel used, details of cast iron columns and beams, as well as physical dimensional surveys, material sampling, and foundation sizes, through the most up to date techniques and using the very latest technology.

Our range of building investigation services includes the following:


  • Structural fabric surveys
  • Foundation surveys
  • Reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) surveys
  • Endoscopic cavity wall inspection
  • Non-destructive concrete condition assessments – half-cell potential, cover meter, depth of carbonation, rebound hammer
  • Concrete coring and sampling, masonry sampling, steel, cast iron, paint, and timber materials sampling for analysis
  • Visual defect and delamination surveys
  • In-situ and laboratory metallography surveys
  • Pull-out testing
  •  Load testing
  • Chemical and fire damage surveys
  • 2D/3D reinforcement scanning (Ferroscan and GPR methods)

Experience and Standards

At CTS our teams undertake our specialist building investigation services in occupied buildings, where carefully orchestrated surveys are unobtrusively undertaken, with extreme care taken to protect the surrounding environment.

Our expert team of technicians and engineers are highly skilled in providing building investigation services and working within derelict buildings where the safety of personnel is paramount, and environmental conditions are often challenging.

We pride ourselves on providing accurate and reliable building investigation services ensuring that all regulations and safety standards are being met.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is corrosion of reinforcement steel?

Reinforcement corrosion is an electrochemical process where steel combines with oxygen to form iron oxide (rust).

What are the causes of corrosion of reinforcement?

The most common two processes that can initiate corrosion of reinforcement in reinforced concrete:

  • Carbonation of the concrete forming the protective cover to reinforcement leads to a reduction in the alkalinity of the concrete. The high alkalinity of concrete creates a passivised layer to the reinforcment which as the pH drops, breaks down allowing corrosion to initiate.
  • Ingress of chloride ions (or chlorides present in the original concrete mix) will disrupt the passive layer on the surface of the steel even in conditions of high alkalinity allowing corrosion to begin. 

What is concrete corrosion?

Corrosion in concrete most commonly refers to corrosion of the reinforcement within reinforced concrete. However, deterioration of the concrete itself can also occur. Deterioration of concrete is usually categorised into three principal types: mechanical, physical or chemical exposure, i.e.

  • Mechanical impact, blast or abrasion damage.
  • Physical attack from Freeze-Thaw action or the Expansive Alkali Aggregate Reaction (AAR), also known as the Alkali Silica Reaction (ASR).
  • Chemical attack is caused by aggressive soft water leaching, acidic liquid or gaseous attack, or other adverse chemical exposure.

What is corrosion of steel reinforcement in concrete?

Corrosion of steel reinforcement is an electro-chemical process where the steel combines with oxygen to form iron oxide (rust). The most common causes for reinforcement are from the carbonation of the concrete or from the penetration/presence of chloride ions. Corrosion may be visible at the surface evidenced by cracking and rust staining, or in the case of pitting corrosion no evidence may be apparent to the concrete surface. 

Why Choose CTS for Building and Investigation Services?

At CTS our specialist, expert engineers and technicians offer a comprehensive range of building investigation services with a history of over 30 years of experience in providing thorough and accurate reporting.

To find out more about our building investigation services, please get in touch with a member of the CTS team today, and we’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our services and how we can help you.