Title: Establishing the Standard of Care for the Evaluation of Existing Structures
Author(s): Keith Kesner and Kevin Coll
Publication: Symposium Paper
Appears on pages(s): 1-7
Keywords: ACI 364, ACI 562, ASCE, ASTM E2270, standard of care, due diligence, professional liability, façade inspection
Evaluation of an existing structure is a task commonly performed by licensed design professionals. An evaluation can be required by a façade inspection ordinance, as part of a due-diligence process prior to the purchase of a structure, or prior to the development of rehabilitation or repair measures. Each of these project types will have differences in the evaluation protocol and portion of the structure to be examined – but in each example, the licensed design professional is expected to provide a minimum “standard of care” to the client and to protect the public. Therefore, in developing the evaluation protocol, a critical question facing the licensed design professional is how much investigative effort is required to complete the evaluation and ensure the evaluation provides a minimum standard of care.
The standard of care for an evaluation of existing structures can broadly be defined as the level of effort that a reasonable and prudent licensed design professional would be expected to provide under similar circumstances. Given the range of structure types that can be encountered and the varying levels of damage and exposure conditions, determination of the scope of evaluation can be a difficult task for a licensed design professional. The following sections examine approaches used in industry codes and ordinances to help define a minimum standard of care for the evaluation of existing structures. Industry codes and ordinances to be examined will include the ACI 562-16 Code for Assessment, Repair and Rehabilitation of Existing Structural Concrete, FHWA bridge inspection requirements and building façade inspection standards and ordinances. Based upon these documents, items to be considered in establishing a “Standard of Care” in the evaluation of existing structures will be summarized.