Building Pathology

Online Product
Course Hours
2 day course
A forensic approach to inspecting, investigating and problem solving in buildings and finding solutions.
£495.00 + VAT
CIOB Academy

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Problems in buildings are often misdiagnosed and therefore a building pathological approach is essential to arrive at the correct diagnosis in solving problems. Buildings are complex and evidence indicates that often inspections of them do not provide enough information on the condition, performance and suitability for their intended use. Building pathology ensures a forensic approach. A proper understanding of a building is essential for many reasons ranging from decisions on purchasing a building to decisions on major investment in terms of adaptation or retrofitting. It is therefore important that the inspection can be relied upon and only with a building pathological approach can this be ensured.

This course provides the essential principles and practices of building pathology and the principles of building failure. It will describe the inspection process as well as monitoring and the equipment that is necessary along with the level of competencies required. It will focus on looking for the symptoms of problems externally and internally including the effects of use and the environment, including the changing environment due to climate change and how to determine the cause of problems and deal with their remediation. It will also consider how to determine suitability for different types of uses of a particular building. Ascertaining problems caused by adaptation and retrofitting of buildings will also be covered.

Those attending this course will understand the importance of detailed analysis of buildings and how to go about those analysis’s and the implications of not undertaking a detailed analysis for both the sake of the building and its occupants. Attendees will also have a good idea what to look out for and looking out for the changes which have taken place in a building which is becoming particularly relevant when analysing buildings which have been adapted and retrofitted. It will also enable course participants to come up with solutions that deal with the causes of problems.

**Multiple dates? when booking, please specify what date you are booking for in the notes section**
The Next Available date is:
4th and 5th January 2023 (9:30 start)

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By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Take a forensic approach to analysing buildings
  • Locate and determine problems and issues with uses
  • Understand what equipment should be used
  • Identify a range of common problems and defects
  • How to determine solutions to problems


Construction professionals required to undertake inspections and surveys of buildings in order to determine reported problems, understand an overall condition, suitability for adaptation, retrofit and change of use. This course is also vital for any construction professional who is working an existing building.


An online classroom with live tutor and interactions.


Course Delivery

Our courses are delivered using a platform called GoToWebinar, please follow the links below to test your system and download the software, prior to your course starting.


The course will cover:

Day 1

  • Identifying different building types of different ages and uses – referencing their construction, materials, and components.
  • An introduction to building pathology, a description of what it is, its value, principles and practice.
  • The processes and practises in the understanding of buildings including inspection and analysis methodologies plus equipment used.
  • Building pathology in connection with climate change and carbon reduction.
  • Building physics and chemistry associated with building pathology and where appropriate heritage values.

Day 2

  • The inspection of buildings including decay mechanisms and a range of defects associated with building type, uses, the environment and condition  – finding solutions to all problems.
  • Adopting principles in the specification and implementation of remedial works to ensure that problems don’t return.
  • Learn the optimum care and management of buildings to maximise efficiency, sustainability and suitability for use and reduce risks of decay and defectiveness.
  • Understand the competencies required for building pathology.


At the end of the 2 days, you will receive a certificate of attendance.


Course Leader

John Edwards

The course will be delivered by John Edwards, MA, DipBldgCons, CEnv, FCIOB, FRICS, IHBC who is also the CIOB’s lead assessor on the CIOB’s Conservation Certification Scheme. John is an expert practitioner, formerly of English Heritage and Cadw and is the lead author of BS 7913: 2013: Guide to the Conservation of Historic Buildings.

Professor John Edwards, is a practising building pathologist as well as a Chartered Environmentalist, Chartered Building Surveyor and Chartered Construction Manager. First undertook detailed inspections, analysis’s and monitoring of buildings in 1981. His experience covers housing of many different kinds ranging from traditional to system built and many other types of buildings ranging from castles and cathedrals to modern commercial office buildings. Professor Edwards is principally a practitioner but has been involved in education on a part time basis since the 1980’s and includes many of his case studies as work examples in this training course. He is currently a Director of specialist consultancy practise Edwards Hart and is also professor of practice at the University of Wales Trinity St David.