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Smart surveys: A review of available technologies
This paper examines the rationale for assisting parts of the investigations within a domestic building survey by using remote smart technology. Sensor equipment can identify many conditions within a building that indicate a defect. It can be located in areas that a surveyor cannot easily access, and be allowed to collect data over extended periods. Other equipment such as thermal imaging can identify defects possibly hidden from the human eye, such as a structural crack hidden behind plasterwork. Laser measurement can identify signs of even slight structural movement, and satellite technology could pre-warn a surveyor of the presence of issues such as Japanese knotweed. The data obtained from sensor technology can be used to extend the scope of current residential surveys to provide building performance and environmental information to the would-be purchaser. This paper evaluates existing technologies and upcoming devices currently in use for alternative purposes that could be adapted for use in a smart building survey.
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Simon Mclean is a Programme Director for Building Surveying at University of Salford, UK.
Richard Fitton BSc Hons, MRICS is a lecturer in energy efficiency in the School of the Built Environment at the University of Salford. He leads on energy monitoring work and is also involved in a number of projects on co-heating and U-value measurement, as well as product and retrofit package testing within the Salford Energy House. He has previously worked as a building surveyor and energy manager in the public sector and also advises on the qualification of SAP Assessors and Green Deal Advisors.