Build-Zone Survey Services (BZSS)

Specialist support throughout your build

All new builds must comply with building regulations. With a good quality 10-year structural warranty, technical audits are needed too.

These are a series of technical inspections that are carried out throughout construction to reduce the risk of any defects. They are often more thorough than building control, and only when your insurer has received satisfactory results will they issue your warranty. That’s why we have our own independent technical services team to make it easier for you.

Build-Zone Survey Services – saving you time and money

Build-Zone Survey Services (BZSS) is our specialist in-house auditing and project management division – designed to help you meet your structural warranty terms. By partnering with a number of approved inspectors, specialist surveyors and assigned certifiers throughout the UK and Ireland, we can offer you an impartial, reliable and economical way to manage the technical inspection process.

Our team can arrange for building control inspections alongside your technical audits – reducing the number of site visits you need to save time and money. Plus, with BZSS involved from the start, you can save on your structural warranty premium too.

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Ease and expertise tailored to you

Our dedicated and multi-disciplined team offer a bespoke service built around your needs – all at competitive rates. Through the use of our partnered approved inspectors, assigned certifiers, structural engineers and specialist surveying network, we can facilitate a number of services to help deliver your project on time and on budget. These include:

  • Building control
  • Technical auditing
  • Structural appraisal reviews
  • Bespoke services including EPC/SAP, APT, Sound Testing, Party Wall, and Health and Safety (CDM).

If we identify any problems throughout the inspection process, our network of experts in the insurance and construction industries will be on hand to help resolve the issue – enabling you to continue with your project in the majority of cases.

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How the inspection process works

The technical audit process should ideally begin before construction to give your insurer complete oversight of the build. If building has already begun or you’ve finished, we can still provide technical auditing services so you can buy a retrospective structural warranty if you need. Please ask us for more details.

1. Initial notice

The process starts with letting your local building control department know that you plan to carry out building works with an approved inspector, who will undertake the building control process and act as your Building Control Body (BCB). To do this, you need to fill in a statutory form called the Site Notification Initial Notice for your local authority to accept.

2. Building regulations

You can apply for building regulation approval either with the local authority or via your approved inspector. There are a few ways to do this but the recommended route is a ‘full plans application’, where detailed plans are produced and supplied to your BCB for review and approval.

Alternatively, you can apply under a ‘building notice’ – but this is mainly intended for smaller projects, as there’s no need to submit any plans or for a formal plan check. If you wish to proceed with his form of auditing, you may find it impacts on the quality and price of your structural warranty.

3. Plan check

Plan check is a vital part of the audit process and should be carried out as soon as possible, preferably before the build starts. Essentially, it’s when your approved inspector or assigned certifier reviews the drawing and specifications for your project against the requirements of the Building Regulations, and requests details such as the Design SAP.

As your warranty provider, we need you to comply with building regs as the minimum standard for your build so we can safely issue your policy.

4. Inspections

Depending on the services you have selected, we carry out a series of inspections at different stages throughout construction to review your progress. All inspections for our technical audits, combined building control and technical audit inspections, and completed house surveys are carried out by our approved inspectors.

If our inspectors identify any issues, they will work with you to make sure they are rectified and signed off. Once building has finished and we’ve received satisfactory surveys and completion certification from the approved inspector, we will issue your structural warranty.

Some of the services we offer

Technical audits

Key to ensuring we can issue your warranty, technical audits take place both in the office and on-site throughout construction to review build progress, using one of our partner approved inspectors, assigned certifiers or specialist surveyors.

Combined building control and technical audits

A partnered approved inspector will work with you from the start to the end of your build – making sure both building control and warranty audit inspections are carried out and helping you meet warranty standards, while taking some of the pressure off you.

Introduced technical audits

If you’re using one of our partnered approved inspectors as your Building Control Body (BCB), we can work with them to undertake the warranty audits we need. In these cases, we can facilitate audits even if construction has already begun.

Completed housing/structure surveys

If a building has already been completed, we can still offer a structural warranty. To do this, we need to carry out a complete house / structure survey via a single visit to the site, comparable to a homebuyers survey.

Interim stage certificates

When lenders are involved, they may ask for interim stage certificates (also called architects’ or professional consultants’ certificates) to enable the release of funds. We can facilitate this on behalf of your warranty provider at no extra cost to you.

Stage completion certificates

Often, construction contracts require stage completion certificates, especially where finance is involved, to enable the release of funds. These are sometimes referred to as architects’ or professional consultants’ certificates and we can facilitate them for you.

Environmental surveys

To help you meet today’s rigorous environmental standards, we’ve joined forces with a number of partnered approved inspectors to provide a bespoke New Build Certification pack. This meets the testing requirements of building regs and includes SAP assessments, EPC certification, air pressure testing, water calculation and extractor fan testing.

Health & Safety and CDM

Revised Construction Design and Management (CDM) regulations have an impact on how health and safety and other legal duties are managed on construction sites. Our network of surveyors and specialists can not only provide CDM advice but, in some cases, act for you.