Asbestos and historic buildings

Casa Environmental’s Southampton branch recently undertook a management survey of a church spire at Horsham West Sussex. It is highly unlikely that the vast majority of pre-1800s buildings will have had asbestos materials incorporated as part of their original design. However, ACMs may have been added during the lifetime of the building, as part of structural alterations, general refurbishment or the replacement of services installations, in the form of fire protection, thermal or sound insulation.

Consequently, unless it can be guaranteed that the historic building is entirely original, it cannot be assumed that it is free of asbestos, and care should be taken when inspecting, repairing, altering or demolishing it.

The real challenge is to maintain the historic identity of listed buildings whilst safeguarding those working on and visiting them. Damage to such sites increases the potential risk of any ACMs present being disturbed, with the risk of ACMs being in poor condition increasing even further at deteriorating and derelict sites, potentially causing harm to those people looking after the assets or the general public enjoying the culture heritage.

Casa’s asbestos specialists work in close cooperation with Conservation Officers to ensure that no conflict will arise between the conservation of listed buildings and the health and safety aspects of managing asbestos. Any asbestos remediation work necessary is only undertaken after consultation with the client and Conservation Officers so that the implications of the work are fully discussed and agreed between each party prior to being undertaken.

It is important to ensure that your chosen asbestos consultant has the right experience, qualifications, accreditation, and insurance to provide the level of service you require. Casa Environmental offer a wide range of services to suit all asbestos management requirements.

Want to know more about our experience in providing asbestos surveys to historic buildings? Check out our case study for The Old Soap Works here.

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