A Building Condition Assessment (BCA), also known as a Facility Condition Assessment (FCA), is a systematic inspection, review, and report on the state of a commercial building’s structure and systems. It is often compared to a home inspection, but it provides more detailed information and is necessarily more complex due to the nature of and requirements for commercial facilities.
The BCA may stand alone or be part of a comprehensive Property Condition Assessment (PCA). A BCA begins with a detailed inspection of the building’s:
Based on the inspection, the BCA provider delivers a report including:
The BCA enables building owners, managers, and potential buyers to forecast their costs of ownership and ensure timely and appropriate maintenance.
Most banks will require a BCA/FCA, or PCA, prior to final approval on a commercial property loan. The assessment gives both the bank and the owner valuable information about the likely cost of ownership, and may become a basis for further purchase price negotiation. When severe problems are identified by the BCA, the loan may not be approved or the buyer may back out voluntarily.
As important as a BCA is prior to a purchase, it is not the only time you may want to invest in one. A BCA can also provide valuable information when:
Many of our clients schedule regular BCAs over the expected useful life of their facilities, in order to stay ahead of maintenance. This helps them to save money by ensuring routine maintenance is not delayed and enables them to budget for these expected costs rather than having to scramble when a system or structure fails. It also creates safer conditions for occupants.
Not all BCAs are created equal. Many home inspectors, on discovering that they can charge more for commercial assessments, may bill themselves as professional building condition assessors. But a home is not the same as a commercial building, and a home inspection report is very different from a BCA report.
A commercial BCA should be conducted by a professional firm with extensive commercial experience to ensure the report reflects up to date knowledge of the needs of commercial buildings, and provides the level of detail you need to make smart decisions.
To ensure your BCA provider gives you everything you need, look for these qualities:
At GLE, we’ve been providing Building Condition Assessments as well as FCAs and PCAs for nearly 30 years. We’d love to work with you on your next project.