As with many things, there are a lot of answers to this question and the answer depends on the age of the building you own or control, and also on what kind of plans you have for the building in question.
If the building was built before the year 2000 (Asbestos was made illegal in the UK in August 1999), then it should already have some form of survey carried out on it. This usually takes the form of an asbestos management survey that will identify any asbestos containing materials (ACM), their extent and any damage present.
After a management survey had been carried out, the only time you will need another asbestos survey is when you have planned any material changes that are outside the scope of your original survey. These can include demolition, refurbishment and disruptive maintenance.
For the above, you will need to have either an Asbestos Refurbishment Survey or a Pre-Demolition Survey carried out. The refurbishment survey will determine whether work carried out on site will disturb any ACM, and that all contractors on site will be protected from any ACM.
The Demolition survey should be carried out, obviously enough, prior to any part or whole demolition works. It will identify any ACM that need to be removed prior to the demolition works and will provide detailed recommendations.
As the nationwide asbestos survey experts, ASI Environmental can help you with organising a survey on any buildings you own or control. Contact us to find out more.