CCPIA Articles - Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

Plumb, Level, Square and Straight

There are very few constants in construction or inspections, but one basic construction principle is that buildings should be plumb, level, square and straight (PLSS). In inspecting a structure, anything that deviates from this would be considered an issue or defect. Many inspectors are not structural engineers or architects, and a commercial property inspector is…

CCPIA Videos - Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

The Basics of Commercial Electrical Systems Video Series

This video series introduces inspecting commercial electrical systems. You can skip to any of the following videos. Video List About This Series Video Electrical Portion of the ComSOP Video Definition and Identification of a Commercial Building Video Basics of Three-Phase and Single-Phase Power Sources Video Electrical Distribution Equipment Video Branch Circuits Video Classified Hazardous Locations…

CCPIA Articles - Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

Inspecting Parking Areas at Commercial Buildings

There are various types of parking areas at commercial properties, ranging from multi-story parking structures to gravel parking pads. Multi-story parking garages can be complex and contain systems beyond most inspectors’ comfort level. In this case, the inspector can exclude the parking structure altogether through the pre-inspection agreement or by bringing a specialty consultant to…

CCPIA Articles - Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

How to Inspect a Commercial Electrical Panel

Assessing electrical panels, or panelboards, is only one part of the electrical portion of a commercial property inspection. Inspectors must fully understand the International Standards of Practice for Inspecting Commercial Properties (ComSOP) to properly and safely inspect electrical panels. As a ground rule, the inspector should verify that a panel, specifically the panel cover and…

CCPIA Articles - Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

About the Electrical Service at Commercial Buildings

Electrical service refers to the conductors, materials, and equipment that transfer power from the utility system to the wiring system that supplies the subject property with electrical power. Commercial buildings should only be supplied by one electrical service. This generally prohibits the installation of more than one set of service conductors in a building. An…

CCPIA Articles - Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

Commercial Electrical Systems: What Is Three-Phase Power?

Terms You Should Know Alternating current (AC): A current that periodically reverses direction and magnitude continuously. Direct current (DC): A current that does not reverse direction but maintains the same single steady flow. Single-phase: A circuit energized by a single alternating current. Three-phase/3-phase: A wiring system consisting of four wires and used in industrial and…

CCPIA Articles - Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

Inspecting Transformers

Transformers are used to change AC voltage levels. These can be termed as step-up or step-down, depending upon the need to increase or decrease in the voltage level. This is necessary in commercial buildings because the main service voltage is static, and certain distribution systems may require something different. A good example might be the…

CCPIA Articles - Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

Catch Basin and Manhole Inspections

Section 6.5.2 of the ComSOP titled Exteriors states that the inspector should inspect the stormwater drainage system, general topography, and parking area. To complete this part of the inspection, the inspector must first understand the role of catch basins and manholes. Technically, the ComSOP excludes the inspection of manhole covers, but an assessment of the…