Commercial Inspections-PCA


Property Condition Assessments (PCA) are primarily directed at noting construction defects, components that seem to exhibit less than expected service life, or systems that have been poorly maintained. They are not intended to address routine maintenance items or to develop detailed remedial plans for identified problems. Our survey will be performed in general accordance with ASTM 2018-08. The services are qualitative in nature and do not include obtaining and testing materials or performing engineering calculations to determine the adequacy of the existing design. If we have concerns about specific items that require such services, we will notify you accordingly. The Property Condition Assessment will include surveys of the following building/facility systems and information:

•·         Civil/Site Development and Amenities

•·         Pavement and Parking Areas

•·         Structure, Foundation and Exterior Walls

•·         Roofing

•·         Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing (MEP)

•·         Vertical Transportation Systems

•·         Fire Protection, Security Systems, and Life Safety Systems

•·         Limited Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

•·         Building Code and Zoning Regulation

•·         Limited Interiors

My experience performing PCA’s include the following:

  • Over 15 million square feet of retail malls/ strip malls
  • Bank portfolio of 20-300 plus unit apartment complexes
  • On-base housing, Hill Air Force Base
  • Assisted living facilities/ dementia care facilities Oregon/Washington
  • Industrial facilities

More detailed descriptions of typical tasks associated with the Property Condition Assessment are provided below.

Preliminary Reviews and Interviews

Surveys begin with preliminary reviews of available and relevant drawings, specifications, reports and records and interviews with property managers and/or maintenance engineers for the property. Typical portions of the survey are as follows: Property Survey The reviews and interviews are followed by a walk-through of the property. During the walk-through survey, observations are made to note the type of systems and general condition of the property and to locate problems and visible defects in the materials and building systems. Typical portions of the survey are as follows:

•·         Civil/Site Development and Amenities – The civil/site development survey addresses site access, parking and common area lighting, landscaping, drainage, sidewalks and retaining walls.

•·         Pavement and Parking Areas – The pavement survey addresses the pavement type used at the site and general condition of the pavement and parking areas. From a walk-over of the pavement areas and review of available drawings, the type of pavement system used will be identified, the type and extent of pavement defects present will be observed and documented, and the overall general condition of the pavement evaluated.

•·         Structure, Foundation and Exterior Walls – The structure, foundation and exterior walls survey addresses the general type and condition of these systems, and serves to locate evident defects which might suggest structural or foundation problems.  Based on limited visual observations, the constructed structural system will be compared to that shown on available structural drawings.  This survey also addresses the condition of exterior walls, exterior balcony systems, exterior stair systems, exterior window systems, patio fences, and exterior doors, along with any separate storage areas.  The types of systems used will be identified, and the type, location, and extent of visible defects in the systems documented. Available soils reports are reviewed to compare the soils engineer’s recommendations to the foundation system shown on the drawings.

•·         Roofing – The roofing survey includes visual observations of the exposed roof surfaces to assess the general condition of the roof system including flashing, penetration and expansion joints.  If readily accessible, the underside of the roof deck or the associated ceilings will also be observed for evidence of significant water leakage.  We will ask the on-site staff about the status of roof warranties.  The type of roof systems will be identified, and the type, location, and extent of visible defects in the system documented.

•·         Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) – The MEP Survey includes a walk-through of the facility to observe the age and operating condition of the equipment.  We will check the electrical systems to confirm that the facility has circuit breakers (versus fuses) and attempt to verify if the interior circuit wiring is copper or aluminum.  The type of water piping used in the building will be evaluated by checking under sinks and at water heaters or in boiler rooms, and other readily accessible areas.  If polybutylene water piping is found, we will also attempt to determine what type of fittings were used with the piping.

•·         Vertical Transportation Systems – Most property management companies have maintenance contracts with elevator and escalator companies to maintain and repair their vertical transportation equipment.  We will interview maintenance contractors concerning the condition of the equipment and review their on-site maintenance records, if provided.  We will also note the elevator and escalator capacities, rated speeds and general operating condition.  The report will describe and discuss the condition of the equipment.

•·         Fire Protection and Security Systems – The types of fire protection and security systems used will be identified, and the type, location, and extent of visible defects in the systems documented.  If applicable, at least two attic areas will be checked to determine the existence and condition of attic draft-stop walls.  While in the attics, we will also attempt to determine if fire retardant roof sheeting plywood was used by checking for exposed grade stamps.  If allowed by on-site management, smoke detectors will be checked at random for proper operation.

•·         Limited Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – A limited ADA survey of the “common” areas of the property will be performed.  A formal ADA survey will not be performed.  We will comment on the general accessibility and comment on only obvious ADA issues that are observed.  The components of the facility we judge to be non-complying will be identified.

•·         Building Code and Zoning – We will contact local authorities to verify building and zoning code compliance.

•·         Limited Interiors – Ten percent of the interior units will be observed. We will observe the appliances and flooring for general condition.

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