Forensic Engineering: Everything You Should Know About Property Condition Reports

08 March 2022

There are various branches of engineering in the construction industry that property owners should know. One of these branches is forensic engineering. It helps in locating the cause or causes of building failure. Upon pinpointing the causes, they can be utilised in improving the life or performance of the structure. Forensic engineering likewise covers investigations about the details of a property.

Investigations that involve building details are often conducted under property condition assessments. Once these assessments are done, the consultants would generate property condition reports, which are given to clients who will be purchasing, leasing, financing, or maintaining the involved property.

Conducting Property Condition Assessments

Property condition assessments, as previously stated, are real estate investigations that uncover all the important details and conditions of a building or property. These assessments have been very useful for clients who want to purchase a specific property. They can also be maximised by clients who want to know which part of their building or property can give the best return in the future. Clients who will potentially acquire a building can likewise utilise property condition assessments.

There are multiple steps involved in conducting a property condition assessment. 

  • Document Review: The first step in conducting a property condition assessment is to review documents. The consultant would normally retrieve and ask for documents such as Certificates of Occupancy, Fire Code Compliance, accessibility surveys, architectural drawings, and other publicly available documents so they can review them. Aside from reviewing documents, they will also give the current building owner a pre-survey questionnaire for assessment purposes.
  • Walk-Through Survey: Upon reviewing the needed documents, the consultant would subsequently conduct a walk-through survey. This survey involves the physical visit and inspection of the property, helping them pinpoint any deficiencies. Some areas of a building that they would often visit and inspect are the structural frame, building envelope, interior elements, roofing, plumbing, HVAC system, electrical system, and fire protection.
  • Opinion of Costs: Once the property is surveyed physically, the consultant will then proceed in preparing the opinion of costs to resolve any physical deficiencies. They will compile all the physical deficiencies of the property and calculate the estimated costs of remedying them. These costs often cover the price of materials, labour costs, overhead and profit, and others.
  • Property Condition Report: The last step in conducting a property condition assessment is to generate a property condition report. This report obtains all the findings by the consultant while conducting the document review and walk-through survey. It can likewise be comprised of deviations to the standard guide, documentation of any physical deficiency, opinion of costs, and many more.

The Essence of a Property Condition Report

There are various reasons why clients want to obtain a property condition report. For one, they might want to know the property condition first before finalising a property-related transaction. This report can likewise help clients bring the building up to code, change the use of the property, determine its life-cost cost analysis, and identify any health or safety hazards. Ultimately, a property condition report can resolve any dispute about damages that may have occurred during a specific time.

If you have some questions about this type of report, you can call us at Fairdinkum Technical Services.

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