These types of “due diligence” surveys are considered preliminary assessments and typically consist of reviewing available construction documents, site inspection, preliminary analysis and evaluation, and a report of findings and recommendations. If observed conditions are inconsistent with the available Construction Documents, and/or standard design and construction practices, or there are indications of potential failure or premature aging, then a more detailed and focused assessment should be performed. This may include more specialized nondestructive and destructive test methods. These expanded surveys should be performed by licensed professionals whose expertise is consistent with the type of systems being evaluated. The preliminary PCAs are not intended to be a detailed analysis of each facility component and most preliminary PCAs do not include operation of systems. Although a “standard of care” is exhibited by trained professionals in this type of preliminary review, it is possible that conditions may exist which will affect the value and/or performance of the facility but which will not be discovered by the assessment.
Another type of property condition assessment survey is associated with preconstruction activities on the property or adjoining properties. Preconstruction surveys are sometimes warranted to document existing conditions of nearby structures that may be affected by construction activities such as deep excavations or vibrations from pile driving or blasting. By providing documentation of pre-existing conditions, these surveys help minimize disputes over construction damage caused to existing structures. Preconstruction surveys typically include a detailed written survey with extensive photographic documentation. They might offer inexpensive protection against unfounded claims.
We hope that this “Lessons Learned” will be helpful to you in identifying and/or minimizing the potential for unforeseen costs and other forms of aggravation on your next project.
ECS SOUTHEAST, LLC