Technical condition assessment
The technical condition assessment of a property is a process of evaluating the materials, aspects of construction and technical performance of real estate. Its main purpose is to determine the safety of a property, both short-term and long-term, as well as to define possible risks in the future. It may also include the inspection of any surrounding infrastructure, such as elevators. The process is governed by the Rules on the Latvian construction standards LBN 405-15 - technical assessment of buildings (in Latvian: Noteikumi par Latvijas būvnormatīvu LBN 405-15 ‘Būvju tehniskā apsekošana’).
A technical condition assessment can be performed whenever the owner of the property wishes, including at the inquiry of a potential buyer of said property, but it also must be performed routinely during the time the real estate is used, as it is prescribed in the aforementioned law. Additionally, there is a number of special cases when it must be performed, e.g. before starting any renovation works or before continuing construction works in case they were stopped for a time.
While a basic assessment is performed by inspecting the relevant technical documents, it is also possible to order a physical and/or chemical analysis of constituent building materials. While in Latvia it is a rare occasion with buildings, it is still prominent when assessing land - one needs to be sure that a piece of land is stable and safe for building or that it is chemically suitable for agricultural endeavours.
It should be noted that, when buying an apartment, it is also advisable to perform the analysis of the whole residential complex, as the new is considered to also be a co-owner of the complex. Naturally, it is in his/her interests to ensure that not only the apartment, but the whole building is safe to live in.
Usually assessments are performed by a group of certified specialists, who are able to sufficiently analyze all the technical aspects of a building. However, if a certain part of the construction or infrastructure requires an in-depth look, additional experts (e.g. electrical infrastructure specialists) may be hired. It is very important that all the experts involved are properly certified, as in case of any legal problems in the future only a written conclusion by a certified expert will be taken into consideration.
Objects of assessment
Technical assessments can be performed on any part of a building, or on the building as a whole. Here is a list of the most common objects of such an analysis:
- parts of the constructions itself
- corners (especially in terms of permeability)
- attic and basement structures
- balconies, terraces etc.
- facade elements
- internal infrastructure
- water distribution
- fire safety systems
- heat distribution
- garbage collecting infrastructure
- gas distribution
- electric infrastructure
- safety systems
- external infrastructure
- water supply
- sewer access
- drainage systems
- heat supply
- gas supply
- lightning rods