Importance of Building Diagnosis Report

August 16, 2021

What is a Building Diagnosis Report? Why Should I Get a Building Defect Diagnosis Report?

Table of Contents

*Updated on 6th September, 2023 (Published on 16th August, 2021)

“Why do we need a Building Diagnosis report?”

“What content does building diagnosis report need?”

Perhaps, some of you do have those kinds of questions and concerns?

Catering to project managers in charge of carrying out construction projects, this website summaries information pertaining to types of Building Survey, Why do we need a Building Diagnosis Report , common issues discovered during the building diagnosis survey.

This article is produced by Plus PM Consultant Sdn. Bhd. who provides project management and construction management expertise in construction projects in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The company also provides assistance for the companies who are looking to enter and expand their business/ manufacturing/ plants into the ASEAN market.


A Building Diagnosis contains a wealth of information both in term of width and depth regarding a property and provide the most benefit to the client at a situation where the complete information regarding a property is required.

When a Building Diagnosis Report is required?

  1. When an Investor is looking for a property/ properties to invest; and
  2. When a property owner or developer is looking to assess the overall condition of their building for the planning of maintenance and repairing works.

Building Diagnosis Report is normally conducted by a consortium of consultants and specialist contractors to ensure that a thorough and professional survey is conducted.

There are other types of survey which serves different purpose and it’s necessary to understand the difference between these surveys in order to be able to select the one which best fit the purpose.

What is Property Valuation ?

Property Valuation is a form of survey which is conducted in order to estimate the market value of a property. The survey is conducted by a licensed valuer and the final report bears the stamp of the licensed valuer. A property valuation is commissioned for several reasons, mostly due to financial reason or due to the requirement from the bank and for the use in feasibility study.

Currently in Malaysia, all the property valuation report shall be based on the 6th Edition of the Malaysian Valuation Standards (MVS 2019). In general, the property valuation report will consist of the following details.

  1. Purpose of valuation.
  2. Subject property (the property being valued).
  3. Date of valuation.
  4. Title particulars.
  5. Details of property (location, property market condition, state of repair, lease details and others).
  6. Basis of valuation (market value, forced sale value, fire insurance value and others).
  7. Appendix (location plan, floor plan, photographs of property including internal, external and surrounding).
  8. Copy of documents (Sales & Purchase Agreement, Title and others).

Nowadays, clients may have valuation instructions that are increasingly dictating the way valuers do property valuation. The logic is that by insisting in the valuation instructions, the valuer will follow certain property valuation process and its relevant standards. In short, they will be able to complete the valuation exercise.

A professional well prepared valuation exercise requires a clear instruction from the clients with transparent sharing of relevant information for valuers to conduct a thorough due diligent on the Subject Property and derive an objective Market Value in compliance with their professional standards.

What is Dilapidation survey?

Dilapidation survey is a detail process whereby a detail record of the condition of the building is made at a given time. Dilapidation Survey is generally conducted by the means of visual inspection only with no functionality test. A Dilapidation Survey usually only contains information of the state of building, such as defects and damages and usually does not contain any recommendation for further actions.

Dilapidation Survey is a very important survey before the commencement of any construction or demolition works. Prior to excavation and piling works of a development or construction, normally it is the responsibility of a contractor to appoint a Professional Dilapidation Surveyor to carry out a physical inspection to existing adjacent buildings. A contractor shall ensure that the buildings likely to be affected by the construction/ development works are covered by this dilapidation survey or inspection.

The main purpose of a dilapidation survey report (with photographs) is to record the original and existing condition of properties around a construction site. If any dispute on building damages in the later stage of a construction project, the report with the photographs will be strong evidence to solve disputes.

What is Engineering reports?

Engineering reports are technical reports which consists of detail analysis and is produced by an engineer. Additional test would sometimes need to be undertaken in order to obtain additional information for the analysis of the engineer. Test can be in the form of destructive and non-destructive test depending on the types of information required.

What is Building Diagnosis Report?

Building Diagnosis Report is generally conducted by a consortium of consultant or specialist and covers a wide range of aspect on the condition of the property. Building Diagnosis Survey is generally conducted by the means of visual inspection; however, additional test can be included as part of the report to expand the detail and the analysis certain aspect of the property.

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Why do we need A Building diagnosis report?

For Property investor

The aim is to reduce any uncertainty and potential additional cost from the feasibility study.

Investing in property is a huge risk, especially investing in older/existing buildings, especially for some existing buildings that going to be purchased by the Property Investor, especially for business operation/ manufacturing, may not comply with the latest Local Authority requirement, especially BOMBA requirement, which become more stringent throughout recent years.  

In their feasibility study, investors should include any potential cost associated with the restoration, renovation and maintenance of the building to its optimum condition. Additional works required in order to comply with the authority requirements should also be included in the feasibility study.

For Property owners & developers

Pre-existing properties is usually managed and maintained by the property owners’ property managers or the developers’ own maintenance team and usually they only perform day to day maintenance work. The nature of the maintenance is usually reactive rather than proactive and may at times cause inconvenience to the occupants and even interruption to daily operations when problems occur.

In additional, the maintenance teams may lacking of the necessary knowledge and experience to detect and resolve technical related issues before the problem escalates. Conducting a Building Diagnosis Survey will enables help the property owner to have a fresh eye on the property to detect any issues which may be left undetected and also at the same time provides the property owner with information and professional advice on the next course of action.

The content of a Building diagnosis / Building inspection

A building diagnosis report is a compilation of a wealth of information for the client’s perusal.

the core content of the Building Diagnosis Report should be as follow.

1  General Information of the property
2  Document and Drawing Check List
3  Compliance issues detected from document and drawings checking
4  Compliance issue detected during site walk
5  Submission to the authority on any changes to the building
6  Defects and damages detected during site walk
7  Safety issues and other potential issues detected during site walk
8  Recommendation

Additional content as listed below can also be added to the report as required.

9   General description of the M&E system.
10  Analysis of soil investigation report
11  Copies of relevant documents and drawings
12  Site history
13  Maintenance Schedule
14  Cost Estimation for rectification work
15  Rectification proposal

As mentioned above, Building Diagnosis Survey is in nature conducted by the means of visual inspection only, however, if the Client requires additional specific information, additional test can be conducted, analyzed and included in the report. Below is an example of list of additional tests which can conducted for the survey.

16  Functionality Test (Smoke testing, Sanity testing, Regression testing, Usability testing
17  Concrete core drilling test(report on seismic diagnosis ,concrete core compressive strength test)
18  Other

Common issues discovered during the building diagnosis survey.

PLETE DOCUMENTS AND DRAWINGSThis issue is particularly common among older buildings which is constructed before the popularization of digital files and storage.
Incomplete document and drawing will limit the survey team’s ability to analyse the compliance of the property to the current authority regulation and the potential issues of the building in terms of design.
RENEWAL OF FIRE CERTIFICATEFire Certificate is a certificate issued by the fire department and the property owner is mandatory to apply and renew their Fire Certificate on a yearly basis.   The process requires the property owner to submit their application with updated documents and drawing. Upon reviewing the documents, the Fire Department will visit the property to conduct an inspection and if everything is in order, the Fire Department will issue the Fire Certificate.   During this inspection, the Fire Department may comment on fire risks which was detected on the property and may request that authority requirements which was overlook during the approval process or during previous visits to be met. The property owner needs to comply with the requests in order to obtain their Fire Certificate.   As a prudent investor or property owner, obtaining the Fire Certificate should be made the key area of concern or as the top priority. Having a valid Fire Certificates proofs that the property is complying with the Fire Department’s requirement and the system is working as intended. In the unlikely event of a fire, the process of insurance claims for damages can proceed smoother and the property owner would not be prosecuted for negligence.  
RENOVATION WITHOUT AUTHORITY APPROVALSThe process of obtaining authority approval in Malaysia is a tedious process.   For minor renovation work on the property, many property owners may choose to renovate first and obtain approval later, some may even operate for years without applying valid approval for the renovation.   From the standpoint of an investor, the property in consideration should always comply with the authority requirements and obtain the necessary approval promptly, regardless of the scale of the renovation work.   The Building Diagnosis Survey checks for the condition of the authority approvals and provides this information to the investor so that the appropriate time and cost could be estimated and included in their feasibility study and risk assessment.  
WATERPROOFING ISSUESWaterproofing works in Malaysia normally carries between 10 to 15 years warranty for the performance of the materials but due to the exposure to the weather, the waterproofing for reinforced concrete roof top, often deteriorates much faster than the other area of the building and requires special attention to be paid during the site inspection in order to detect any signs of failure. From a standpoint of an investor, this is a significant cost to be invested if the waterproofing work for the roof top needs to be reapplied and any potential cost involved need to be allocate in the feasibility study for a more accurate analysis.  
CRACKSCracks can manifest on a building for numerous reasons. Most of the cracks discovers from surveys are surface or architectural crack and does not have an impact on the performance of the building. Repairing works are usually not urgent and done progressively. Our focus should rather be put on potential structural cracks which at its worst case might affect the performance of the building and even cause catastrophic failure in the long run if left unattended.  
SOIL SETTLEMENTSoil settlement is commonly found at property which is constructed at areas with soft or unstable grounds. The problem arises when the perimeter road or setback area undergo settlement at a different rate and magnitude compared to the building which resulted in a difference of level between the building and the perimeter roads.   Even worse, if the perimeter areas settle and a different pace and in great magnitude, it may cause damages to the underground service and drainage system. On above ground, ponding water may occur at localized area and hasten the dilapidation of the roads and other services.  


  • Building Diagnosis Report is an important tool for both investors, building owner and developers alike.
  • Its main function is to provide the client with a complete, fair and unbiased report, so that the client can utilize the information for their feasibility study, financial planning, developing project cost management, maintenance scheduling, priority repairs and rectification works.
  • A good Building Diagnosis Report empowers investor to make informed and better decision and assist property owners in managing their property better.
For those who are considering to invest into Malaysia’s construction market, we at Plus PM Consultant Sdn. Bhd. , are more than happy to utilize our construction management approach in offering our project management services to those interested.

We handle factory construction, condominium construction, hotels, among many others.

In addition to construction, do also consult with us regarding construction consulting affairs across all construction investments.

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This article is produced by Plus PM Consultant Sdn. Bhd. based on Malaysia’s local information obtained through news coverage, as well as the links and references stated below.

We go to great length to ensure that the informational contents on this website and article are as accurate as possible. However, the accuracy of the contents of the article is not always guaranteed. Unauthorized reproduction of these contents is not allowed

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