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White Plains, N.Y. — In an ongoing effort to maintain industry standards, the latest version of ASTM E2018-15, the standard guide for Property Condition Assessments (PCAs) was recently released. CBRE Assessment & Consulting Services has applied these changes, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2016, to their client procedures and reports, and is currently working with clients and consultants to implement them.
The changes, while not significantly different in nature to the previous standard, do address how the scope of investigative work is defined in relation to accessibility at the property. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the law that governs accessibility, although there are varying circumstances to how the ADA is applied to different building types and uses.
CBRE’s Joseph Bonifacio, a managing director at CBRE Assessment & Consulting Services group, has summarized the changes to the standard. Bonifacio addressed the fact that the original ASTM standard referenced different levels or “tiers” of investigation that would be conducted at the property, based on the clients' required level of due diligence and risk tolerance. He noted that the new ASTM Standard removed those tiers and created one required baseline of ADA investigation called “a limited visual survey, and included one comprehensive ADA checklist to use as a guide.”
“The previous standard came with some confusion over the ‘tiers’ and various levels of investigation, and that encompassed not only what was to be included and what was not. It also raised questions regarding tier levels and ADA deficiencies that may have been missed,” Bonifacio said. “We at CBRE believe the elimination of the different levels works to simplify what a standard investigation entails and enables everyone conducting PCAs to follow the same standard and helps us serve all of our client in a consistent and precise manner.”
Bonifacio also noted that the client/lender/purchaser can request additional accessibility due diligence if a specific type of project requires it. That, however, is the prerogative of the party requesting a more detailed scope.
In addition to some minor tweaks, one other item of significance that has been adjusted for the latest standard is the required inclusion of the field observer’s (project managers) and reviewer’s qualifications with the delivery of the report. Bonifacio suggests that including their credentials with the delivery of the reports will help inform the clients and other participants of the team’s deep experience and professional designations, especially given the complexity and magnitude of the properties inspected.
CBRE views the modifications to the standard as constructive. “The industry is constantly evolving; however, the demand for property assessments remains strong,” Bonifacio added.
CBRE’s Valuation & Advisory Services provides appraisal, property condition, market studies, feasibilities, underwriting due diligence, environmental, zoning, and telecommunication consulting services to a broad base of local, regional, and global clients.