Published January 20th, 2021
What is a Facility Condition Assessment?
A Facility Condition Assessment (FCA) is a detailed evaluation of a facility’s condition. It involves a thorough visual inspection performed by architects, engineers, and skilled-trade workers. Its primary purpose is to help owners or managers of real estate portfolios to identify areas of the facility that need maintenance and repair investments.
This article covers:
- the importance of performing facility condition assessments;
- what is a building condition assessment?;
- what is the difference between a facility condition assessment and building condition assessment?;
- what to check when performing facility condition assessments;
- software to help streamline facility condition assessments;
- how to conduct facility assessment with iAuditor; and
- free featured facility condition assessment templates you can download, use, and customize.
Knowing beforehand what to prioritize for repair and maintenance gives clients time to prepare a budget. It also allows them to save money since proactive maintenance costs are significantly lower than reactive repairs. An FCA also informs clients of the best practices in maintaining and maximizing the lifespan and performance of their facilities.
A Building Condition Assessment (BCA), also known as a Property Condition Assessment (PCA) is an investigation or evaluation of a building or property. It seeks to provide details regarding the property’s building systems and structural condition.
Both assessments involve conducting thorough inspections, however differ in purpose. A Building Condition Assessment or Property Condition Assessment is ordered as part of a due diligence process when a property is being sold. This is either requested by a lender before issuing a loan, or an investor/buyer before purchasing. Meanwhile, a Facility Condition Assessment is requested for owners or managers of real estate properties to help them understand and maintain the condition and value of their assets over time.
An effective facility condition assessment thoroughly evaluates each aspect of the facility required to function. In doing so, issues and errors can be identified before they become a problem. Here are the top 3 things to check when performing a facility condition assessment:
A strong building structure is required to support the facilities, equipment, and systems it houses without collapsing. Inspect foundations and columns for cracks, hairline fractures, concrete flaking, and ruptures. Check the welding in steel joists and take note of gaps and damage. Inspect if floors are uneven and check if any ceilings are sagging. Review the building’s interior and exterior elements for damage and any signs of decay. Early detection of problem areas is essential to maintaining a strong building structure and will help ensure that the building complies with regulatory building codes such as the International Building Code (IBC) or the International Existing Building Code (IEBC).
The area determines the overall accessibility of the establishment, and it also complements a well-structured building by providing protection against natural catastrophes. Inspect roads, pavements, and parking for cracks and uneven surfaces. Ensure that storm drains have been installed to protect against flooding during storms, and erosion control measures are put in place to prevent building damage.
Systems (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Safety)
Systems are necessary to keep facilities functioning. Inspect piping and plumbing fixtures and check for clogging, low water pressure, and leaking. Ensure that heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems produce consistent airflow and take note of poor indoor air quality and uneven temperature throughout the building. Review electrical systems and take note of tripping breakers, dead power outlets, and unprotected wiring. Inspect elevators and ensure that sheaves and ropes are in good condition, shafts are aligned, and they are energy efficient. Make sure that fire alarms and fire suppression systems are installed and working.
Using paper-based building condition assessment forms can be burdensome to construction professionals as it is prone to damage and loss. It can cause repetitive works and put the business at risk. Technology can provide enhanced speed, accuracy, and convenience for building condition assessments. A digital solution like iAuditor by SafetyCulture can replace paper-based building condition assessment forms with a mobile app and cloud-based solution.
iAuditor can help architects, engineers, and other construction professionals to perform paperless facility condition assessments using a smartphone or tablet. With iAuditor they can:
- customize the facility condition assessment template to fit the client’s requests;
- take photo evidence of structures, assets, and systems in need of repair and maintenance;
- generate electronic building condition reports to instantly share with clients;
- take advantage of unlimited cloud-based storage for all photos and reports; and
- spend less time on paperwork and more time completing facility condition assessments.
Top 3 Facility Condition Assessment Templates
Facility Condition Assessment Template
A Facility Condition Assessment (FCA) Template is used to evaluate the condition of a building, its assets and its systems needed to perform its intended function. This template can be used by architects, engineers, skilled-trade workers and other construction professionals in performing FCAs to accurately assess a facility’s condition and help clients create a repair and maintenance plan.
Building Condition Survey Report
This general building condition survey report can be used for all building types. Use it to assess the physical condition of a building including structural, mechanical, and electrical systems as well as room level inspections.
Condition Survey Template (Commercial)
This commercial condition survey template can be used by chartered surveyors, architects, and engineers to assess a building and generate a condition survey report to aid construction, repair, and renovation plans.