Ken, The text below comes from a typical PCA performed by an engineering company. Like the example below they state they generally follow ASTM E2018, but they include a scope of services and provide some clarification and limitations spelled out in the report.
1.1 Purpose and Scope
The purpose of this Property Condition Assessment was to observe and document readily visible materials and building system defects that might significantly affect the value of the property, and determine if conditions exist which may have a significant impact on the continued operation of the facility during the evaluation period.
In addition, this property condition assessment is to assist Mr. XXXX in evaluating the physical aspects of this property and how its condition may affect the dependability of Mr. XXXX’s decisions over time. Representative samples of the major building components were observed and physical conditions evaluated in general accordance with ASTM E 2018-01 including general site, exterior, representative interiors and an appropriate percentage of representative sampling of tenant spaces.
The observations were performed without removing or damaging components of the existing building systems. Consequently, certain assumptions have been made regarding conditions and operating performance. If any additional information is encountered concerning the facility, it should be forwarded to Continental Consulting for possible re-evaluation of the assumptions, conclusions and recommendations presented herein. The recommendations and opinions of cost provided herein are for observed deficiencies based on the understanding that the facility will continue operating in its present occupancy classification.
This assessment included a site visit, limited interviews with property management personnel and tenants; inquiries to the local building department, zoning department and fire department; a review of available construction documents (drawings and specifications) provided by the property management; and visual, non-intrusive, non-destructive observations of the following system components: site development; building structure; building exterior and interior areas; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems; conveyance systems, life safety/fire protection, and general ADA compliance.
**1.2 Evaluation Definitions **
The following terms are used throughout the report and are defined as follows:
Excellent: New or like New
Good: Average to above-average condition for the building system or material assessed, with consideration of its age, design, and geographical location. Generally, other than normal maintenance, no work is recommended or required.
Fair: Average condition for the building system evaluated. Satisfactory, however some short term and/or immediate attention is required or recommended, primarily due to the normal aging and wear of the building system, to return the system to a good condition.
Poor: Below average condition for the building system evaluated. Requires immediate repair, significant work or replacement anticipated to return the building system or material to an acceptable condition.
Unless stated otherwise in this report, the systems reviewed are considered to be in good condition and their performance appears to be satisfactory.
**1.3 Statement of Limitations **
The report represents a statement of the physical condition of the buildings and property based upon visual site observation, professional analysis and judgment, and is current only as of the date of the site observation. The report applies only to those portions of the property and/or items and equipment, which were capable of being visually observed. Walls and ceilings were not opened to observe covered, hidden, or concealed conditions. In addition, no sampling of any property components or testing of non-functioning equipment at the time of the walk through survey was conducted. Drawings and specifications were available only to the extent described in the report.
The following activities are Out of Scope Items and excluded from the scope of this PCA as described in ASTM 2018-01. These activities should not be construed as all-inclusive or imply that any exclusion not specifically noted below is a requirement of this PCA:
• Utilities: Operating conditions of any systems or accessing manholes or utility pits.
• Structural Frame and Building Envelope: Entering of crawl or confined space areas (however, the field observer should observe conditions to the extent easily visible from the point of access to the crawl or confined space areas), determination of previous substructure flooding or water penetration unless easily visible or if such information is provided.
• Roofs: Walking on pitched roofs, or any roof areas that appear to be unsafe, or roofs with no built-in access, or determining any roofing design criteria.
• Plumbing: Determining adequate pressure and flow rate, fixture unit values and counts, verifying pipe sizes, or verifying the point of discharge for underground systems.
• Heating: Observation of flue connections, interiors of chimneys, flues or boiler stacks, or tenant owned or maintained equipment.
• Air conditioning & Ventilation: Process related equipment or condition of tenant-owned/ maintained equipment.
• Electrical: Removing of electrical panel and device covers, except if removed by building staff, EMF issues, electrical testing, or operating any electrical devices. Process-related equipment or tenant owned equipment.
• Vertical Transportation: Examining of cables, sheaves, controllers, motors, inspection tags, or entering elevator/ escalator pits or shafts.
• Life Safety/ Fire Protection: Determining NFPA hazard classifications, classifying, or testing fire rating of assemblies.
• Interior Elements: Operating appliances or fixtures, determining or reporting STC (Sound Transmission Class) ratings, and flammability issues/regulations.
Activity Exclusions - These activities listed below generally are excluded from or otherwise represent limitations to the scope of a PCA prepared in accordance with this guide (ASTM 2018- 01). These should not be construed as all-inclusive or imply that any exclusion not specifically identified is a PCA requirement under this guide.
• Removing or relocating materials, furniture, storage containers, personal effects, debris material or finishes that obstruct access or visibility;
• Conducting exploratory probing or testing of materials, dismantling or
operating of equipment or appliances;
• Preparing engineering calculations to determine any system’s, component’s or equipment’s adequacy or compliance with any specific or commonly accepted design requirements or building codes, or preparing designs or specifications to remedy any physical deficiencies;
• Taking measurements or quantities to establish or confirm any information provided by the owner or user;
• Reporting on the presence or absence of pests or insects unless evidence of such presence is readily apparent during the field observer’s walk-through survey or such information is provided to the consultant;
• Reporting on the condition of subterranean or concealed conditions as well as items or systems that are not permanently installed or are tenant owned and maintained;
• Entering or accessing any area of the Property deemed by the field observer to pose a threat to the safety of any individual or to the integrity of any building system or material;
• Providing an opinion on the operation of any system or component that is shut down as the field observer will not operate any system or piece of equipment;
• Evaluating any acoustical or insulating characteristics within the Property;
• Providing an opinion on matters regarding security of the Property and protection of its occupants or users from unauthorized access;
• Operating or witnessing the operation of lighting or any other system controlled by a timer, operated by the Property’s maintenance staff or operated by service companies;
• Providing an environmental assessment or opinion on the presence of any environmental issues such as asbestos, hazardous wastes, toxic materials, the location and presence of designated wetlands, indoor air quality, etc. unless specifically defined within this PCA’s scope.
The report is not to be construed as a warranty or guarantee of future building conditions or as an estimate of value. Cost estimates used in the report are preliminary in nature and represent a range of probable costs. Firm price quotations from contractors, vendors, or suppliers would be required for more detailed costs, and would be based upon a detailed definition of the proposed scope of work
This report is to be read in whole. Information provided in the various sections is complementary and in some instances provides additional explanation of information concerning the assessment. Therefore, interpretations and conclusions drawn by reviewing only specific sections are the sole responsibility of the user.
The representations regarding the status of ADA Title III compliance were based on visual observation and without any physical measurement and, thus are only intended to be a good faith effort to assist Mr. Murphy by noting obvious non-conforming conditions along with estimates of costs to correct and are not to be considered to be based on an in-depth study.