Building Inspection & Testing
The built environment has changed. It used to be that Owners would hire experienced, hard working Architects and Engineers who developed plans and specifications that were not perfect, but good enough that experienced, hard working General Contractors could hire experienced, hard working Trade Contractors to do the work of making a project happen. The construction was relatively simple, our expectations were less than perfection, so most projects were considered acceptable. Now we have consumers who expect increasing quality and decreasing prices in all products, a building industry that is not keeping pace with the quality and price advances many industries are making, and consumers who are more litigious than ever. The built-environment has been altered in the last 20 years, including increased complexity, less fault-tolerant materials, and tighter, slower drying buildings, and consumers are more conscious of building-related health issues than ever.
Although solving building problems is hard, it is not impossible. Through case studies, horror stories, standards review and open discussion we will review the fundamentals of professionalism in building inspection and testing. We will describe a framework for ensuring conformance with consensus standards like the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) E2018 Standard Guide for Property Condition Assessments, ASTM E2128 Standard Guide for Evaluating Water Leakage of Building Walls, and ASTM E 1105 Standard Test Method for Water Penetration of Windows. Visual inspection, testing, performance analysis and reporting take experience, training and hard work, but there are standards that set the bar for excellence in professional practice, and we will review them in this program.
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