A dental practice in Barnsley
centre located on Huddersfield Road is soon to be sold by the owner, therefore
the structure requires a report concerning the current condition of the
external face of the dwelling. If any problems are found with the building,
remedial works and actions are to be suggested in order to help the client fix
the problems and be able to go through with selling the property. It is vital
that the solutions put forward in the report all conform to Building
Regulations and comply with Health and Safety requirements. First of all, the
first aspect of the building which has been analysed are the external envelope,
which is essentially the outer shell of the structure; this consists of
Victorian blockwork. The second aspect of the building that is included in the
report is the structure of the roofing components and the choice of cladding.
The third and final building components assessed in the report is the
fenestration, which is ultimately the windows and doors. There is an additional
part to this report entailing the history behind listed buildings, the process
of listing a building and conserving it over time and the different grades
these buildings are labelled under.

Inspection Limitations

It should be notified prior to
reading the report that there were a few constraints and limitations in inspecting
the structure. Roof access was not permitted, which did not allow a detailed
inspection to the roof and the cladding on the roof. This also meant that
masonry and the external envelope at higher levels could not be inspected
extensively. Finally, the inspection was purely down to visual interpretations
and therefore the prognosis and pathology of the problems and defects on the
building may not be entirely accurate. In spite of this, the remedial work
recommended is in accordance with the visual interpretations and assumptions

External Masonry Envelope

The external shell of the
structure is made up from Ashlar sandstone, and considering this structure is a
Victorian building erected in the 19th Century, it has withstood a
considerable amount of weathering over the years. There are very minor signs on
the external blockwork indicating that the building has suffered from a slight
case of efflorescence or salt crystallisation. The salt discolours the face of
the blocks and alters the aesthetic appearance slightly but it is nothing
major. The best remedy for efflorescence is time, but sandblasting or pressure
washing is more effective. However, with a case of efflorescence as minor as
this, it is recommended that it is left to diminish itself over time.

It is
apparent that damp or excess moisture is a problem on this structure too and
requires attention. The perimeter of the building shows signs of damp at the
ground level, and in some areas there are green moss prevalent on the face of
the Ashlar blockwork which can encourage boring insects to attack the areas. Moisture
content at a low percentage is healthy or not particularly detrimental for the
external leaf of a building, however moisture readings indicate this envelope
is around 23% (see Figure 1). This is high, which can be indicated from the red
light which signifies 23% is an abnormally high reading.





(Figure 1)





It can be seen that there is
no damp proof course on the dwelling, and considering that the dwelling was
built in the 19th Century, it makes sense that there is none
present. This is the principle reason for damp on the building, therefore it is
highly recommended that a damp proof course should be injected into the wall to
prevent further rising damp. Permagard (2016) tell us that:

“Damp proof creams are scientifically
formulated to penetrate deep inside the building material. They have a
consistency that allows the active ingredient, silane, to be absorbed into the
substrate both vertically and horizontally without running out. The silane then
lines the capillaries before curing to create a water repellent barrier”

A damp proof course cream
injected into the wall is the most advisable and effective solution to all
kinds of damp, and would benefit the wellbeing of this structure for many years
to come.

The pointing between the
blockwork can be identified as ribbon pointing, which appears to have been
repointed several times over the years with a cement-based mortar. This can be
at fault for the build-up of excess moisture. Building Conservation (2007)
state that:

use of cement mortars is widely recognised as being detrimental to such
buildings and structures as they can drastically alter the way in which a wall
handles water and water vapour. Cement mortars tend to have a consistent and
‘closed’ pore structure that traps water rather than allowing the building to
breathe (not necessarily a problem in modern cavity wall construction)”.

The dental practice is a 19th
Century building, therefore does not have a cavity walling structure, which is
why the pointing is so vitally important to the wellbeing and stability of the
wall. Some areas of the blockwork are currently in fine condition, and it is
not necessary to repoint the whole structure.  However, in order to prevent severe cases of
damp, it would mean no harm to repoint the wall with lime mortars where it is
required the most. Lime mortar is vital
in preventing water ingress and plays a key role in the movement of the
structure over its lifetime, which is why it should not be ignored. When owning
a listed or older property, it is one of the most important aspects for
maintaining; as it can be a source of mold, damp and leaks, which can cause
significant damage to the structure over time (Limetec, 2017). This
procedure is recommended for both the wellbeing and the aesthetical aspects of
the façade.

2- Damp

3 – Ribbon Pointing












Roof Structure and Cladding

The roofing structure appears
to be quite stable and currently in reasonable condition with the exception of
a few chipped and cracked roof tiles. The problem regarding this is the
aesthetic aspect of the roof as it looks slightly rundown.  (Figure 4- Missing Tiles)








The only recommendable remedy
for this is to relay the roofing tiles. It is strongly advisable that this is
conducted since further cracking and chipping could allow penetration of
rainwater through to the roofing members. Consequently, this could lead to
damp, dry rot or other severe timber infections. The procedure is very
effective and simple in concern to building regulations as recovering less than
25 per cent of the area of a pitched roof means a building application is not
required PlanningPortal (2017). Considering that 25 per cent is a quarter of
the area of the roof, this permits the dental practice roof to be recovered
without the need for building regulations applications, as far less than 25 per
cent of tiles are damaged.

It is also evident from the
naked eye that there is no soffit on the roof structure, which indicates there
is insufficient ventilation in the roofing structures. Manthorpe Building
Products (2017) inform us that:

“If there is insufficient ventilation the
water vapour condenses, leading to rotting timbers, the rusting of metal
fixtures, felt damage and mould growth”.


This could prove to be
excrementally detrimental to the structure of the roof and the build-up of
condensation. Condensation in the compartments of the roof is natural, but too
much can cause problems. Manthorpe Building Products (2017) state that:

use of central heating, double glazing and insulation can cause a temperature
differential between living space and the cold air outside. Warm air, carrying
high levels of water vapour, is drawn by a process of convection to cold areas
of the building including the roof void”.

To deter extremities such as
trusses rotting and overwhelmingly excessive condensation, it is advisable to install
ventilated slates from Manthorpe Building Products. Manthorpe Hooded Slate
Vents are an unobtrusive, economical roof ventilator providing 10,000mm² of air
flow per unit, Manthorpe Building Products (2017). The airflow of 10,000mm² per
unit is permitted by building regulations, which eliminates the need to apply
for any further permission when installing the units. The units can be easily
and suitably retrofitted into the existing roof structure.


Figure 5- Slate Vent

(Source: Manthorpe Building







To the
rear of the building, there is an adjoining outhouse. The roof itself appears
to be sagging inwards (figure 6). This is a serious problem which needs
addressing immediately. The three
main reasons why roofs sag is: the roof materials that were installed were
faulty, the roof sustained major water damage, or there is too much weight on
the roof. (Madison Roofing, 2017). It cannot be discerned without further
examination which of the three reasons is the cause for the sagging in the roof,
but it can be assumed from perception that water damage is partially the reason
why. The roof, without remedial work, will only continue to sag more and more
until it collapses. Considering the area of the roof on this adjoining
structure is reasonably small, the best advice is to replace the entire roof.
Replacing or repairing individual roof members may not remedy the roof as
effectively as fitting a new roof, and it would be extremely time-consuming to
do so.

6- Sagging Roof)

The timber fascia board on the
adjoining building appears to be in a very poor condition. (See figure 7). The
timber just above the PVC window frames is especially in a bad state and it is
clearly visible that the timber is rotting or decaying. This could prove to be
perniciously damaging to the structure of the roof and the internal area of the
room. The timber, in its current state, is highly susceptible to fungal attack,
insect attack and will encourage the ingress of excess moisture and rainwater.
Progressively, the timber will become worse and worse mainly as a consequence
of weathering, which in turn will increase the likeliness of the timber
contracting fungal attack, insect attack and other forms of decay. For this
reason, it is advisable that the timber is replaced with timber treated with
preservatives and that the fascia boards are repainted cyclically to prevent
fungal attack from harming the internal roof members. This is an affordable and
simple solution to a problem which could gradually benefit the structure of the
roof, so it is recommended greatly.





















principle problem concerning the fenestration on the dental practice is the
fact that it is entirely uPVC. The combination of Victorian style masonry and
modern uPVC windows and doors is slightly odd and the two designs are not
really compatible with each other. The overall condition of the fenestration is
in decent stead, but the style of the windows especially needs to be amended to
provide an all-round 19th century Victorian style. It is recommended
that the building is refitted with timber framed windows and doors or modern
uPVC Victorian Style windows. Roseview Windows (2017) manufacture a unique uPVC run-through sash horn,
providing homeowners with an unparalleled degree of authenticity that ensures
they benefit from historic-style sash windows that look great and performs to
an excellent standard.

(Source: Sash Windows UK)

It should be notified that the
large window on the structure at the rear of the building is bending inwards
slightly, potentially due to poor craftsmanship and also because of expansion
and contraction in fluctuating temperatures. It is evident that the window
urgently needs replacing because it is subject to water ingress at the corners
and the joints where it is fitted, especially if it continues to warp. Furthermore,
the Upvc frame has slightly discoloured and the white has diminished leaving a
yellowish tone and looking poor aesthetically. It is advised that the window is
replaced with windows manufactured by Roseview Windows too. 

Figure 9 – Warped Window






The timber lintel above the
window at the rear of the building is decaying and rotting really badly and
requires attention. The paint is flaking, there are cracks in the timber and it
appears that moss has begun growing on it. It is openly susceptible to fungus
attack, insect attack, rotting and water penetration, thereby it needs to be
replaced. Otherwise, it could jeopardise the structural stability of the window
and be the cause for internal leaks and heavy condensation. It is recommended
that the timber is replaced with timber treated to repel water and that the
paint is maintained to prevent insect and fungus from attacking the flaky and
rotting timber.

has been advised that windows should be replaced with windows to suit the style
of the building. However, it is important when making amendments to an existing
building that Document LB1 of the Building Regulations should be taken into
deliberation. A replacement window should achieve a minimum U-value of 1.6w/m²K.

     (Source: Building Regulations)

The replacement windows must
also be fire resistant and provide a means of escape of the same size the
previous window provided, (PlanningPortal, 2017).














Listed Buildings

of Listed Buildings

The history of listed
buildings stems back to the era of the Second World War in 1944. The
preservation and conservation of buildings became principally important,
particularly to structures such as churches and chapels. Historic England state

“The listing of buildings of special architectural
or historical interest was established in the Town and Country Planning Acts of
1944 and 1947. The basis for the first listing survey was the heroic war-time
lists, known as ‘Salvage Lists’. These were drawn up to determine whether a
particular building should be protected from demolition if bomb damaged. It was
around this time that a system of grading and specific criteria were

Buildings erected before 1700
are guaranteed to be listed, likewise buildings built between 1700-1840 are
typically listed if they are in almost intact to their original condition,
(Historic England, 2017). These buildings require more care in order to
preserve them, therefore certain requirements apply to them in regards to altering,
amending, modifying and general construction work on them. In some cases,
slight work such as decorating can cause serious consequences for the
prosecutor. However, Listing
is not a preservation order, preventing change to the building. It does not
freeze a building in time, it simply means that listed building consent must be
applied for in order to make any changes to that building which might affect
its special interest and cause detriment to its current state (Historic
England, 2017).

of Listed Buildings

There are three
categories of listed buildings, each of which determine the special interest
and concern to preserving the building. Buildings are listed and given special
interest and care to conserve due to their architectural or historical

Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest,
only 2.5% of listed buildings are Grade I Grade II* buildings are particularly important
buildings of more than special interest; 5.8% of listed buildings are Grade II*
Grade II buildings are of special interest;
91.7% of all listed buildings are in this class and it is the most likely grade
of listing for a home owner. (Historic England, 2017)Grade I
listed buildings are the array of buildings or structures that require
preserving the most due to their exceptional interest and significance in
England’s history. These buildings are notified for their exceptional interest
due to two factors: either it is historically significant or it is
architecturally significant.  To
determine whether a building is listed, information is available on the English
Heritage website, showing history, grades and all necessary information
regarding listed buildings in the land.  Process of listing a buildingIt is viable to list any
building in the UK upon application and considering it possesses historical or
architectural and meets further criteria. The principles for listing a building
consist of 5 criteria:

Age and rarityAesthetic meritsSelectivityNational InterestState of repair

If a building qualifies these
criteria it can be listed and be updated onto the national system containing
the records of listed buildings. If a building is in need of repair it will be
still listed despite its current condition (Secretary of State, 2010).














6.0 Conclusion

In summary of this
report, the dental practice does in fact require a lot of attention regarding
the external envelope, the roofing and the fenestration of the building prior
to being sold to the next owner. The main problem concerning the external
envelope is the rising damp. The moisture reading halfway up the blockwork
reads around 23% so one can imagine that it is considerably more towards to
ground. The injection of the damp proof course would benefit the building
hugely and is recommended very strongly. Furthermore, repointing the majority
of the blockwork or the areas which require the utmost attention, is also
recommended as this would reduce the likelihood of moisture ingress and
rainwater penetration. Moisture and water ingress is a severe problem in any
structure thereby it is strongly advisable that the masonry receives immediate
attention. In concern to the roofing structure, the general condition of the
roof on the main part of the building appears to be stable and currently in
decent stead. There is dilapidation to numerous roof tiles, which are made from
slate. However, it should be notified that access to the roof nor internal
inspection was not granted therefore this made it difficult to inspect the
overall roof area. The recommended remedial work concerning the roof is to
replace the roof tiles. The entire roof could be relayed but this would require
planning permission consent, therefore the most feasible solution is to relay
the tiles which only require urgent attention. It is apparent from the ground
level that less than 25% of the roof area is covered with dilapidated tiles,
which means planning permission is not required in order to replace these tiles
on a pitched roof. Further work regarding the roof concerns insufficient
ventilation which could be gradually injurious for the internal roofing members
especially. It is general assumption that the insufficient ventilation is in
consequence to there being no soffit present on the roof. It has been
established in the report that the best form of remedial work for this is to install
roof slate vents to allow the excess air and moisture to oscillate upwards and
out of the building rather than being trapped in the internal roof area. As far
as the fenestration on the building is concerned, the principle concern is with
the use of UPVC windows on a Victorian style building is not particularly
compatible. Timber windows are one option to improve compatibility or UPVC
Victorian style windows can be incorporated- either option is feasible but with
concern to the building regulations stipulated above in the report. There is
also the fact that the window at the rear is warping inwards, which ultimately
needs replacing.

The final section of the
report highlights the history of listed buildings, the grading system which categorises
listed buildings and the process of listing a building considering it meets the
criteria and required interest.






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Historic England. (2017). About the List.
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