A building consultant is a professional who inspects new or existing buildings in a wide variety of ways, usually before a purchase or sale. The building consultant might be hired by either the seller or buyer, but if you're thinking of buying a commercial property, you would do well to consider meeting with your own building consultant beforehand. Note a few tasks they might perform that can help you determine if any potential purchase is the right one for you.
1. Building pathology
A pathology is a detailed study of any subject, and a building pathology can help you determine if a building is a good purchase. This pathology would be something that goes beyond the standard inspection that is typically done before a real estate purchase; a building inspection checks for anything that needs to be up to certain building codes, whereas a building pathology may look even more closely for defects and needed fixes. This might mean checking on the age and condition of building materials as well as walls and flooring, noting the level of deterioration and reporting on needed or recommended fixes. This can tell you what repair work or upgrades you might face after purchasing a building, even if certain work is done to local building codes.
2. Insurance assessments
The insurance you need for any commercial building can be very expensive, which is why a building consultancy professional should be hired before you buy such insurance coverage. They can note if the building is in a flood zone, if there is special risk for fires, and if you are getting coverage that takes into account the depreciation of a building versus its actual cash value. This can mean having adequate insurance coverage but also not overpaying for coverage you don't need.
3. Accessibility audits
Many commercial buildings are required to be accessible to handicapped persons in a variety of ways; this might include the building's entrances, restrooms, and the like. These requirements might vary from one building to the next, as they may be dependent on whether or not the building is open to the public and its overall use. A building consultant will be familiar with all regulations when it comes to handicapped accessibility and will be able to conduct an audit of this accessibility in any building. They can then also note the cost and work that would be involved in order to add this accessibility, if necessary.