Building Codes: How to Ensure Your New Office Building Meets Safety Standards

Written by  //  November 14, 2014  //  Construction Materials  //  Comments Off on Building Codes: How to Ensure Your New Office Building Meets Safety Standards

Safety codes and standards are in place to ensure that a building is structurally sound and safe for occupants to spend time in. It is imperative that those who spend time inside the building or on the property are as safe as possible, and everything from the quality of the cement foundation to how the electrical wiring is run can impact safety. As a business owner or commercial real estate investor, you may be wondering if your building is up to code, and there are a number of different steps that you can take to make an accurate determination about this.

Hire a Property Inspector

Perhaps the most convenient option available is to hire a property inspector to complete an inspection of the property. This can be completed before you finalize the purchase or lease agreement, but it can also be completed on a property that you are already established in. The inspector may spend several hours or more inspecting every facet of the building, from the foundation to the roof. Typically, you will receive a detailed inspection report that indicates life-safety concerns, code violations and even basic repair and maintenance issues. Keep in mind that you may need to request more detailed or specialized inspection reports in some instances. For example, on some commercial properties, a weld inspection may provide you with better information about the quality of the construction. You may also ask for a specialized roofing inspection, plumbing inspection, electrical inspection or HVAC inspection, to name a few.

Use Licensed Contractors

If you plan to complete repairs or to make upgrades on the property, you can ensure that the contractors you engage for services are licensed and insured. Through their licensing efforts, they typically will be required to show their knowledge in local codes and ordinances. This will help you avoid any unnecessary projects and avoid unnecessary payments. They may be able to tell you if existing features are not up to code, and they can ensure that all new work is completed in accordance with safety standards.

Inquire about Code Violations

If you are purchasing an existing property, you can contact the local department in charge of code violations and permits to learn more about your property. Any reported code violations may be available to you in a report form upon request. Ultimately this will help you keep up with any building code changes and know if there is something your building is not in compliance with. This is an important step to take for existing properties before you finalize a purchase.

Whether you are moving into a brand new building that has recently been constructed or if the building is simply new to you, you want to ensure that it will provide you, your staff and your customers with a safe environment. You can follow one or more of these tips to learn more about its current level of safety and to identify any potential concerns that you may need to remedy quickly. Keep in mind that you may be fined or held liable for not following code, so it is important to learn more about this matter for multiple reasons.

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