Smith and Wallwork are working on a number of projects to refurbish, re-model and extend existing buildings – ranging from historic structures through to modern buildings constructed just 10 years ago.

Working with existing buildings can be challenging, especially as 8 times out of 10 no record drawings exist. Can you add a floor, remove a column or insert a mezzanine floor? Not an easy question to answer with no building data. Smith and Wallwork have been tenacious in their search for building records recently, tracking down drawings from 1850, 1975, 1992 and 2002 that have unlocked opportunities that would have otherwise been lost.

In the past, records storage was space and labour intensive but with modern digital methods a national database of building structures could be realised. Who should lead the charge….building control, national government, Google….surely it should be our profession, something for our institutions to lead?