Commercial Building Inspection Overview


We have put together an overview of the basics involved in commercial buildings to better explain what should be reviewed in a commercial building inspection. Take in consideration that each building is built differently depending on the nature of how the building will be used. Each region also utilizes different methods during construction as well.


Below we have listed the major concerns of any commercial building. The most costly concerns everyone should be concerned about.

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Mechanical Equipment

Inside every commercial building is a vast number of mechanical equipment components fueled by electricity, oil or gas.

Mechanical rooms typically house the following equipment:

Equipment in mechanical rooms is often operated and maintained by a stationary engineer or a maintenance technician. Modern buildings use control systems to manage HVAC cycles, lighting, communications, and life safety equipment. Often, the control system hardware is located in the mechanical room and monitored or accessed remotely.


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Roof Systems

  • EPDM

Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) roofing is commonly known as rubber roofing.

  • TPO

A thermoplastic polyolefin roof(TPO) has become a very popular option, especially among commercial building owners

  • PVC

PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, roofing is composed of two layers of PVC roof material with polyester acting as a reinforcement between the layers. The layers also include additives that make the material UV-stable and flexible, while also preventing curing. Like EPDM and TPO, it is lightweight.

  • SPF

A spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roof is made from a form of plastic that transforms from a liquid into a solid in a matter of just seconds, while also expanding about 30 times as it dries.

  • Asphalt Rolled Roofing

Asphalt rolled roofing is commonly used on buildings with low-slope roofs. It is composed of the same materials that are used to make asphalt shingles.

  • Acrylic Roof Coatings

Acrylic coatings can be applied to a variety of roof types and are the preferred alternative to replacement approximately 80% of the time. A good system will require a primer, base coat, fabric (either full roof or only on seams), more base coat on top of the fabric to embed it, and then a final top coat. The end result is a seamless, fully adhered membrane that is robust enough to withstand heavy hail and could easily last as long as TPO and PVC with proper maintenance.

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Structural

The structural backbone of all buildings is made of concrete, wood or steel.

  • Rigid Frame

Its is that type of structure in which the members are joined together by rigid joints e.g. welded joints.

  • Truss (Pin connected joints)

A type of structure formed by members in triangular form, the resulting figure is called a truss. In truss joints are pin connected and loads are applied at joints. No shear force & bending moment are produced. Only axial compression and axial tension is to be determined while analyzing a truss.

  • Beam

Beam is a flexure member of the structure. It is subjected to transverse loading such as vertical loads, and gravity loads. These loads create shear and bending within the beam.

  • Columns

A long vertical member mostly subjected to compressive loads is called column

  • Strut

A compressive member of a structure is called strut.

  • Beam-Column

A structural member subjected to compression as well as flexure is called beam column

  • Grid

A network of beam intersecting each other at right angles and subjected to vertical loads is called grid.

  • Cables and Arches

Cables are usually suspended at their ends and are allowed to sag. The forces are then pure tension and are directed along the axis of the cable. Arches are similar to cables except hath they are inverted. They carry compressive loads that are directed along the axis of the arch.

  • Plates and Slabs

Plates are three dimensional flat structural components usually made of metal that are often found in floors and roofs of structures. Slabs are similar to plates except that they are usually made of concrete.

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Foundations

  • Floating slab formation

  • Slab-on-Grade Foundation

  • T-Shaped Foundation

Foundations is what holds up the structure.Depending on the type of building you’re dealing with, foundations will vary considerably. For larger structures, such as skyscrapers, a far deeper foundation is necessary than with residential properties. This type of foundation may incorporate shafts, piles, caissons, or earth-stabilized columns to dig into the subsoil layer and provide extra stability for the larger structure. Other larger structures may have a monopile foundation, which uses a single massive structure driven to a significant depth to provide stability.

Whatever the foundation type you’re dealing with, the sheer variety demonstrates the level of experience and skill on offer in the construction and engineering communities. Concrete, after all, is a tricky business – it takes a delicate balance and a light touch.