Much like any physical object, the condition of a building declines over time. Normal wear and tear, abuse, or even the weather, can slowly cause the building to deteriorate both internally and externally. Conducting maintenance is critical to making sure that the building stands and functions effectively for years to come, and protect your investment in the long run.
However, performing any maintenance without a definite plan or system in place can make it a costly affair. Requesting for Building Condition Audit (BCA) from an experienced provider is needed to ensure that resources are put in the right place
In many cases, the property owner, building manager, or a member of management requests for the audit. In the UAE, getting a Building Condition Audit is also mandated by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA). The audit involves inspecting and analyzing the state of any commercial property. Individuals request for this type of audit to see what needs to be fixed, improved on, modified, or upgraded.
Whether you own property or planning to purchase one, getting an audit is critical for your business. To get a grasp of its importance, let our experts share some of the reasons why you should get one.
1. Helps you determine what to do with existing property
Think of a Building Condition Audit as a health check. A team of experts from your chosen BCA provider come to your property to examine and inspect the buildings. In some cases, they may also inspect the machines, equipment, or similar assets. Check with your chosen BCA provider to see if it is a service that is included in the audit.
At the end of the auditing process, you get a report which details the condition of your property and inspected assets, as well as any recommendations. Use the report to decide your next move. If you own a series of properties, you can determine which ones promptly need to be renovated or require maintenance.
Perhaps you are planning to redevelop a piece of land that has an existing facility. By using the BCA results, you can decide whether it would be more practical to keep that facility, or demolish it and build a new one.
2. Maintain habitability
Knowing and maintaining the value of the property is not the only reason property and building managers request for a Building Condition Audit. They also need to make sure the property remains livable or, in the case of a factory, safe to work in and occupy. This means finding any flaws, hazards, or determine which assets on the property may potentially fail in the future.
A Building Condition Audit is a technical assessment used to evaluate the physical and structural reliability of the apartment, hotel, or other types of commercial property. By having a BCA conducted on your commercial properties, you can prevent assets from failing prematurely or paying high costs for repairs. Plus, by dealing with these issues before they arise, you can reduce the chances of accidents happening on your property.
3. Allow for better allocation of resources
Each building is unique. Factors such as age, use, and location can affect its state and condition. If you have several buildings built on the same plot of land, the amount of maintenance performed on each building can also make a difference.
When you manage a large portfolio, you need to know which properties you should focus more on and how much the repairs or maintenance would cost. Having a Building Condition Audit done by an experienced provider can help save you money in the long run. Reading and analyzing the results of the audit lets you see which properties are in dire need of repairs and the cost of such repairs.
If you have several properties audited, you have a better idea of how to allocate your resources. You can use the audit to plan out when to have your facilities repaired, or which one is due for maintenance. The audit can also help you decide if it is more practical to sell or demolish the facilities, instead of having them repaired.
4. Prevent expensive repairs
Responsible car owners follow a maintenance schedule. They have their vehicles checked, inspected, and repaired at certain major milestones, or before a long drive. This is to prevent accidents during the drive or paying for major repairs.
Prevention is better than a cure, as they say, and the same is also true with managing properties. A small leak due to crumbling grout in the upstairs bathroom can damage the ceiling of the room below it. If the issue is not dealt with swiftly, you may need to consider replacing the entire ceiling in a few years.
Replacing the ceiling will cost you more than if you replaced the grout earlier. With a Building Condition Audit, you can handle issues before they get worse or become too expensive to repair.
5. Stay compliant with building codes and local laws
Conducting maintenance and repairs is not enough. Properties must also adhere to prevailing codes, standards, and laws. These vary depending on where your properties are situated, and over time as more stringent regulations are passed.
If you have properties in Dubai, for instance, your assets must comply with current building codes and regulations in the UAE. Some of these regulations may include RERA requirements, the American Society for Testing and Materials Standards, and the UAE Fire and Safety Codes, among others.
Whether you have a newly built apartment or managing an older commercial property, your assets must comply with these standards. By having a Building Condition Audit conducted, you can better determine what upgrades, modifications, or replacements you need to do on your properties to stay compliant.
What To Expect
Once you have decided to hire a Building Condition Audit, a team of experts will conduct a site visit to visually inspect the property and the surrounding area. Pictures, videos, and measurements may be taken on special request.
After collecting the data, the engineers will analyze the information and create a detailed report. The report will include the team’s observations, recommendations, and estimates. More specifically, the report should indicate what repairs should be prioritized, which ones can be done in the short term, or over a longer period of time. An estimate of costs will also be provided, to help you see how much you need to complete the repairs or maintenance.
If you would like to learn more about Building Condition Audits in the UAE, or would like to schedule for one, contact our team at Star Property Inspection today.