Building Condition Surveys are also known as a Due Diligence Inspection or structural engineering survey. These are the physical evaluation of an existing building’s systems, components, and site improvements. Building surveys typically include items such as site characteristics, structure, roof, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire/life safety, and access and egress. Most commonly building condition surveys are performed prior to a real estate transaction for commercial property. EMA Structural & Forensic engineers utilize the ASTM Standard E2018-99 as a guideline for conducting Property Condition Assessments.
EMA has Structural engineers committed to providing our clients with detailed, impartial reports which are certified by Registered Professional Engineers.
We provide a full range of inspection services including:
Building Condition Surveys
- Roof inspections & studies
- Construction I Building Defects
- Commercial Construction Monitoring
- Demolition and Plans Review
- Construction Draw Inspections
- Facility Asset Management
EMA observes the condition of structures by examining five different evaluation criteria. The criteria included:
• Stairs, rails, and porches
• Roof, gutter, downspouts, and chimneys
• Exterior surfaces
• Windows and doors
Evaluators utilized the same building surveys & assessment criteria for building condition surveys Houston found in the Linden Gateway analysis; the foundation of which was based on the University of Oregon’s Community Planning Workshop. The evaluation matrix assigned a numerical rank to the observed condition of the aforementioned housing criteria. The numerical ranking corresponds to the following short explanations; well maintained, moderate maintenance, minor repair, moderate repair, major repair, and not salvageable. A more detailed explanation of the evaluation criteria can be found in the chart in Appendix F – Building Condition Survey Evaluation Criteria and Definitions.
Developers, property owners, landlords, investors and others with vested interest in commercial properties can be vulnerable to flaws and problems in existing buildings. Prior to purchasing, renovating or building, conducting a building condition survey will delineate immediate and potential problem areas so that informed decisions can be made and priority areas can be set. Essentially, a building condition survey “looks for trouble” before any construction initiative begins. Building condition surveys will apply to potential owners whether they are purchasing, selling, re-financing, renovating, or maintaining a property.
Conducted primarily for commercial and industrial projects, a building condition survey is critical because it outlines and evaluates architectural, structural, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, roofing, fire protection, utilities, layout, water management, safety, code compliance and soil erosion elements of a design-build project. Integrated design-build firms especially benefit from this work because it gives them a clear view of all systems, as well as structural elements, prior to designing, planning, and executing a building project.
A building condition survey has several important elements. We’ll talk about each in this blog post to provide a better understanding for those who are planning commercial construction projects in the near future.