CCPIA Articles - Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

Inspecting Evaporative Coolers/Swamp Coolers

An evaporative cooling system is different from an air conditioning system in that an air conditioning system relies on refrigerant gases and a chemical process to cool the air, whereas an evaporative cooling system uses water to cool the air. (Here, we discuss evaporative coolers, also called swamp coolers, that utilize direct evaporative cooling technology.…

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CCPIA Articles - Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

Inspecting Hanging Gas Furnaces in Commercial Buildings

A hanging gas furnace is a cost-effective alternative to a central heating system in warehouses, garages, loading docks, and manufacturing environments that typically have high ceilings and open floor plans, as they do not take up floor space. Commonly referred to as hanging units, under most conditions, they do not require much maintenance, and have…

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CCPIA Articles - Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

Evaporative Cooling at Commercial Buildings

Evaporative cooling is a technology that utilizes evaporation and blowing air to cool buildings. It may be the sole cooling source, or it may be combined with an air conditioning system. In general, there are three types of evaporative cooling systems found in commercial buildings: direct evaporative cooling, indirect evaporative cooling, and direct/indirect evaporative cooling.…

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CCPIA Articles - Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

Inspecting Electric Baseboard Heaters

There are various types of electric heating systems. They all use electricity to transfer heat in the following three ways: forced air; convection; and radiation. Here, we are concerned with the use of electric baseboard heaters as a heating source in commercial buildings. Convection is known by most people by the phrase “heat rises.” Convection…

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CCPIA Articles - Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

Inspecting Hot Water Boilers and Steam Boilers

There are two different types of boilers found in commercial buildings: hot water and steam boilers. There are similarities between the two types of boilers, and differences as well. Both types of boilers have a fuel source. This could be natural gas, propane, fuel oil, or electricity. There are some that use solid fuel, like…

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CCPIA Articles - Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

Inspecting Restrooms at Commercial Properties

A standard commercial property inspection according to the ComSOP should include the visual inspection of permanently installed restrooms throughout the property. While this is generally a visual-only inspection, the general operation of some fixtures, devices, valves, and stoppers is typically required using basic manual techniques in order to test their normal functionality. Any fixture or…

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The International Plumbing Code (IPC) and Commercial Property Inspections

Definitions and Acronyms You Should Know: building code: rules and regulations adopted by the governmental authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) over the construction and/or remodeling of the commercial property. code official: the officer or other government-designated authority charged with enforcement of building codes. IBC: International Building Code ICC: International Code Council IPC: International Plumbing Code The…

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CCPIA Articles - Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

Annual Building Maintenance Inspection

An Annual Building Maintenance Inspection is a comprehensive, visual examination of a commercial property within a 12-month period. It is designed to identify defects within specific systems and components as delineated in the International Standards of Practice for Inspecting Commercial Properties (ComSOP) and to monitor the condition of a building over a period of time…

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CCPIA Articles - Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

Document Research: Why It Matters

by: W. Britt Treece, CMI®, SPM, with Grace Davis Bjork, PM I. Why Dig? Have you ever heard anyone say, “We bought our house blindly! We didn’t even hire an inspector – in fact, we never set eyes on it!” Of course not. Who would want to invest 30 years of mortgage payments in something…

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CCPIA Articles - Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

What to Do When the Owner of a Commercial Property Asks the Inspector for a Copy of the Inspector’s Certificate of Insurance or Asks to Be Named as an Additional Insured

by Mark Cohen, J.D., LL.M., and Nick Gromicko A commercial inspector generally works for a prospective purchaser of a property, but sometimes the owner of the property (the seller) asks the inspector for a copy of the inspector’s certificate of insurance (COI), or asks to be added to the inspector’s liability policy as an additional…

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CCPIA Articles - Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

Inspecting for Exit Signs and Emergency Lighting at Commercial Buildings

Emergencies can happen anywhere and at any time. Commercial building owners and managers must ensure the proper implementation of safety features to protect occupants. For instance, exit signs and emergency lighting are essential safety features that illuminate the path to safety in low-visibility situations. Commercial inspectors should find these features at all types of commercial…

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CCPIA Articles - Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

Types of Lateral Force-Resisting Systems in Commercial Buildings

Every structure must be designed and constructed to withstand lateral loads and horizontal loads. Structures are braced against lateral and horizontal forces in several ways. Bracing is installed perpendicular to the direction of the potential force. Bracing is often installed in every direction because forces can come from every direction. The most common bracing methods…

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