Due Diligence

Due Diligence

Due Diligence is essential for all aspects of the building life cycle

Surveyors play a key role in providing essential knowledge throughout a building’s life cycle. Whether a client is looking for information to inform their acquisition, an analysis for development potential, or knowledge of their buildings maintenance level and needs, surveyors help property owners stay informed and make the best decisions for their properties.

Benefits of commissioning a building survey, whether a prospective purchaser, occupier or investor in property includes:

  • gaining an understanding of the condition and design of the property;
  • establishing the suitability of the property for its intended use;
  • understanding the need for, and quantifying, future costs and other liabilities;
  • providing a level of protection for institutional investors or funders; and
  • providing a basis for negotiation with the vendor or landlord.

Due Diligence surveys in the property life cycle


Take a look at the typical building surveys that take place throughout the life cycle of a commercial or industrial property.

* Usually undertaken by a chartered surveyor

^Usually undertaken by a specialist (e.g. member of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, or Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, etc.)

Note: Some of the surveys can be undertaken during more than one of the stages. For clarity they have been placed within the stage considered most common.



  • Pre-purchase/building survey*
  • Valuation*
  • Reinstatement cost assessments*
  • Mechanical, electrical, public health and lift surveys^
  • Specialist structural inspection^
  • Material testing, e.g. concrete^
  • Cladding survey^
  • Flood risk assessment^



  • Stock condition survey*
  • Planned maintenance inspection*
  • Defects diagnosis/building pathology*
  • Insurance related*
  • Disaster recovery risk assessment*
  • Access Audits
  • Asbestos management surveys^
  • Workplace assessments*
  • Fire risk assessment*
  • Glass/glazing assessment*



  • Vendor survey*
  • Building Energy rating^



  • Development appraisal*
  • Measured surveys*
  • Access appraisals*
  • Feasibility study*
  • Environmental impact assessments^
  • Environmental assessments (Phase I and II)^
  • BREEAM assessment^
  • Asbestos refurbishment/demolition survey^
  • Contamination survey^
  • Geotechnical investigation and subsoil testing^
  • Archaeological investigation^


SCSI Professional Guidance: Building Surveys and Technical Due Diligence of Commercial Property

This guidance note has been prepared to provide surveyors and clients with a source of information and guidance in respect of commercial and industrial property surveys. Such surveys may also include large residential apartment buildings.

Download our comprehensive guide.


Surveyors providing commercial and industrial building surveys and associated services are advised to:

  • assess the needs of the client;
  • consider the extent of the investigations to be made, advise on the limitations of the agreed inspection and obtain instructions from the client for any additional services required (the life cycle flow chart opposite refers to typical building survey types);
  • undertake an impartial and professional assessment of the property and its condition, and report to the client on the detail and style necessary to provide a balanced professional opinion to the extent required by the agreed instructions;
  • comply with the agreed instructions, which should have been confirmed in writing, and form the basis of the contract between the client and the surveyor.


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