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Building Facade & Building Envelope Inspection & Consulting
Why Inspect Building Facades?
It has been estimated that loose masonry falls off a building somewhere in the
United States about every three weeks. This is caused by years of freezing, thawing,
expansion and contraction or by atmospheric pollution as well as rain deteriorating
the facade. In the last few years, 49 masonry building collapses have killed 30,
injured 81 pedestrians, and damaged adjacent buildings
Improper design and/or construction that permit water and air intrusion, failure to
conduct timely inspections, and failure to perform scheduled maintenance can result
in facades that pose a hazard to pedestrians. Facades that fail and cause injury pose
a potential loss to owners and insurance companies.
Why Does This Affect You?
Building Owners, Facility Managers and Facility Engineers are responsible to ensure
their building facade is free from unsafe conditions. If injury or damage is caused
to occupants, visitors, passers-by, or adjacent property by part of the facade falling
off the building, then lawsuits by the injured parties are probable.
There are currently five cities which have local ordinances requiring periodic
inspection of facades on buildings to identify unsafe conditions. Requirements
generally involve all buildings at or greater than 6-stories high, and include a
visual survey and scaffold drops for hands-on inspections of exterior walls.
Our Building Facade & Envelope Inspection Approach
The Fournier Robson consultant takes a multi-part approach to masonry problems
with Industrial building facades and commercial building facades:
- We review the available original construction documentation and drawings from
any previous building restoration and renovation.
- We perform a preliminary critical observation with binoculars and infrared
imaging to determine the most likely areas to inspect prior to establishing an
- The building Facade is inspected utilizing an aerial platform or articulated
boom following the predetermined inspection plan, in accordance with ASTM Standard
E 2270-03 guideline for building façade inspections and the local municipality's
building Facade ordinance, where applicable.
- The Building Envelope Inspection includes the following:
Non-destructive and destructive testing is performed if necessary, such as "in-place masonry shear tests" to identify failures and deficiencies.
A detailed building envelope inspection report including photographs summarizing the exterior condition is provided.
A building repair specification is provided if desired.
A cost estimate for repairs can be supplied if desired.
We also provide Project Management of repair and restoration projects if desired.
- Movement of parts; bulging, bowing, separation, delamination, and displacement
- Deterioration of materials, like sealants, water repellents and glazing
- Presence of openings, cracks or gaps
- Condition and functioning of expansion joints
- Loose attachment of appurtenances
- Efflorescence or staining from rust or chemicals
- Evidence of moisture behind the Facade
- Evidence of improper past repairs
If you are in need of the services of an expert witness for litigation, please visit our sister company, Robson Forensic, Inc. using this/these links:
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