GNcareers, from Gulf News

The importance of building inspections

Building InspectionsImage Credit: Supplied

In the world of commercial properties, there is a high demand at the moment for bigger office space, giving an indication that businesses are working on expansion and that there are new entrants in the market.

To pass an inspection, a commercial building must adhere to some prescribed guidelines. For example, the site should only be used for what it has been licensed for.

The inspection of a commercial building essentially deals with both the exterior and the interior aspects. An inspection of the interiors would include assessing the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, heating and air-conditioning systems to make sure they are working properly and do not pose any potential hazards.

Important areas related to building exteriors, such as the foundation, cladding, framing and insulation, must also be checked and evaluated. The stairways, landings, handles and all related fixtures have to be double checked as well to ensure they are sturdy and do not contain sharp edges. The accessibility and visibility of emergency exits are also vital.

Some building inspections include assessing the landscaping around buildings, e.g. soil toxicity levels, to ensure this will not cause health problems to residents and damages to the property in the long run.

In Dubai, owners of high-rise buildings are required to adopt new fire safety measures in line with the new regulations announced by the Civil Defence. The new rules demand the installation of fire-retardant panels on every three floors of existing and under-construction buildings to stop fires from spreading, alongside external sprinklers.

In case of fires, various measures need to be adopted such as installing fire exits for occupants, access for firemen, water connections for firefighting equipment and the use of non-combustible building materials at ground level. Moreover, evacuation plans must be in place so everyone knows what to do in case of emergencies.

Handy Hints
• Building inspections entail checking all aspects of a property
• Fire-retardant panels should be installed on every three floors
• Revised building codes are in place in Dubai to protect high-rises

Source: Urmila Santosh, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer