Importance of High Quality Cameras

The Importance of a High Quality Camera and Interchangeable Lenses to The Survey Process

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Windmill during demolition phase of conversion in 1981

I was recently commissioned to carry out a full structural survey on a converted windmill in Nottinghamshire. I’ve surveyed a water mill before but this is my first windmill. Having said that the building was reduced in height as part of the residential conversion that took place in 1981 and no working parts were retained. Once the height was reduced a cut timber conical roof was installed that was fully covered with butt jointed timber planks prior to being covered with a bitumen and felt roof coating. This would not have been my choice of roof covering and perhaps it was a commercial decision taken by the developer or perhaps it was a more reasoned decision based on the buildings height and local  exposure to high winds? After all, windmills are generally sited in windy locations and we have to consider the potential for roof chatter or even tiles being ripped from the roof in high winds. Roof chatter derives its name from wind uplifting the tiles so they make a chattering sound in high winds; usually caused by insufficient nail fixings.

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Conical roof nearing completion in 1981

It is difficult to inspect a roof at this height from the ground and this is where the zoom lens and a decent camera really pays dividends. By walking a good way from the property I was able to zoom in and take shots of the roof from all angles and the resultant images when blown up on a computer screen provide valuable information with regards to final advice that is included in the full survey report. In fact the roof looks to be in reasonably serviceable condition but it has already overstretched its expected life cycle by quite some years. Without the images obtained I’d have been extremely uncomfortable in providing accurate advice relating to the roof condition and as a general principle I find the high quality zoom lens and camera to be an essential part of my surveying kit. For an unusual building of this height, it was absolutely critical.

Zoom Lens Reveals Enough Detail to make Informed Decisions about Condition. Note lightning protection system to left of RWDP.

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