AUST – HENDRY building surveyors recently completed a building audit, (building condition audit) on an existing 2 story public building for the building owner. The building owners were gravely concerned with the condition of the ground storey floor boards and sub-floor structure.

This part extract of our building condition audit provides building owners and managers an awareness of conditions that can cause a floor and its substructure to deteriorate to a state where major building works are required to be performed.

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BUILDING AUDIT

 
BUILDING CONDITION AUDIT

XXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXX

March 20XX

PREPARED FOR

XXXX

Hendry Group (xx) Pty Ltd        Building Condition Audit           Page x of xx


BUILDING CONDITION AUDIT TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – BUILDING CONDITION AUDIT …………………3

2. INTRODUCTION – BUILDING CONDITION REPORT………………………… 4

3. SCOPE OF BUILDING CONDITION AUDIT ………………………………………5

4. LIMITATIONS OF BUILDING CONDITION AUDIT ………………………..5-6

5 BUILDING CONDITION AUDIT – BUILDING AUDIT ……………………..7-11

5.1 Background………………………………………………………………….………..7

5.2 Extent of deterioration…………………………………………………..……….7

5.3 Contributing issues……………………………………………………………..7-8

5.3.1 Lack of effective preventative maintenance
of floor boards.……………………………………………..….………………..8-9

5.3.2 Lack of effective sub floor ventilation…..……………………9-10

5.3.3 Poor workmanship of sub floor
frame in areas……………………………………………………………………..10

5.3.4 Natural deterioration through the
age of the building and construction
components…………………………………………………………………………11

6 BUILDING CONDITION AUDIT CONCLUSION.…………………………..……12

7 REFERENCES……………………………………………………………………………………13

8. APPENDIX 1 – Floor Plan…………………………………………………..…………..…14

9. APPENDIX 2 – Photo File…………………………………………………………..….15-38

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1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – BUILDING CONDITION AUDIT

Hendry Group (XX) Pty Ltd has been engaged to undertake a Building Audit/ Building Condition Audit of the existing floor boards and supporting sub floor structure serving the ground floor level of the XXXX.

All findings and comments are contained within Section 5 Building Condition Audit and photographs illustrating the extent of deterioration can be found within Appendix 2 – Photo File.

It is estimated that the XXXX was originally constructed circa 19XX to service the growing municipality of XXXX. Taking into consideration the age of the existing building fabric and the rehabilitation works undertaken to the building, it is our opinion that the deterioration of the floor boards serving the ground floor level of the XXXX is as a result of a number of factors.

It is considered that the cause of the deterioration of the floor boards and sub floor structure are:

  • Lack of effective preventative maintenance schedule of the floor boards.
  • Lack of effective sub floor ventilation.
  • Poor workmanship of sub floor frame in areas.
  • Natural deterioration through the age of the building and construction components.

 

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2. INTRODUCTION – BUILDING CONDITION AUDIT

A representative from Hendry Group has carried out an onsite building condition audit of the property located at XXXX with the intent of ascertaining the extent and cause of deterioration of the sub floor structure and floor surfaces serving the ground floor level of the XXXX.

This building audit will assist all stake holders to ascertain the extent of works that require attention or further review.

Site Location

Photo here

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3. SCOPE OF BUILDING CONDITION AUDIT

To ensure that the building condition audit is undertaken with a high degree of independence and impartiality the Scope Building Audit is considered to be a third party special purpose property inspection. The level of inspection is extended to the ground floor areas of the building as illustrated in Appendix 1 – Floor Plan.

General Inspection criteria:

Date of Inspection Wednesday XXXX
Time of Inspection 7.30am
Weather at time of inspection 23c, Sunny, with clear sky
Specialist Equipment Protometer Moisture Measurement System
Olympus Iplex – MX Portable Vidioscope.

    4. LIMITATIONS OF BUILDING CONDITION AUDIT

An building condition audit inspection of an existing building presents various limitations. A limitation is defined as any factor that prevents full achievement of the purpose of the inspection.

This building condition audit report is not a certificate of compliance of the property or buildings within the requirements of any Act, regulation, ordinance, local law or by-law, or as a warranty or an insurance policy against problems developing with the building/s in the future.”

It should also be noted that the building condition audit may present the following limitations:

  • Possible defects contained in inaccessible sections of existing installations;
  • Removal of any type of panel;
  • Lifting of floor coverings;
  • Access to non-trafficable spaces;
  • An asbestos audit;
  • Destructive or invasive inspections of concealed areas, etc.

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Given the above-mentioned limitations, the Hendry Group must excluded in this building condition audit analysis of certain regulatory requirements.

These technical exclusions apply:

  • Termite risk management;
  • Any structural element(s) that has been, or should have been, designed and specified by a suitably qualified engineer;
  • Concealed damp-proof course;
  • Plumbing;
  • Health hazards (e.g., allergies, soil toxicity, lead content, radon, presence of asbestos or urea formaldehyde);
  • Soil conditions;
  • Concealed framing-timbers.

Where comment can be made in relation to any of the above-mentioned matters Hendry Group will include such analysis in its building condition audit report; however this analysis may be incomplete and/or inconclusive and may not be suitable for verification purposes.

There are also a number of administrative exclusions in this building condition audit which must be articulated. These include the following matters. Hendry Group may be commissioned to audit and report in a building condition audit on any of the following matters; however these matters are not addressed in this building audit.

The following administrative exclusions apply to this building condition audit:

  • Verifying statutory approval(s) for the construction of alterations and additions;
  • Identification, and/or verification of compliance, with any existing encumbrances;
  • Discharge of storm water drainage;
  • Assessment of whether the site is liable to flooding;
  • Evaluating departures from the Deemed-To-Satisfy provisions of the Building Code of Australia.

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5. BUILDING CONDITION AUDIT – BUILDING CONDITION AUDIT

5.1 Background for building condition audit

It is estimated that the XXXX was originally constructed circa 19XX to service the growing municipality of XXXX. The building has been constructed using cavity brick construction, suspended timber floor to both ground and first floor levels and a timber roof frame supporting clay roof tiles.

The original building design would have been in keeping with the demographic of that period and would have included XXXX at the first floor level. A veranda serving both the ground and first floor level extends to both the XXXX and XXXX elevations. Historically XXXX.

The XXXX has undergone substantial rehabilitation to service the needs of an increasing local population and changing demographic. The building has been opened up to accommodate an open plan between the upper XXXX and the XXXX that appears to have been XXXX. The XXXX has undergone significant modification to accommodate XXXX with the floor structure undergoing modification in the recent past.

5.2 Extent of deterioration

The building condition audit revealed that the timber platform floor serving the ground floor areas of the XXXX has significant deterioration throughout. The jarrah floorboards serving the lower and upper XXXX areas have significant wear that includes staining, scuffing, pitting and splitting. The timber floorboards serving the external veranda area have also deteriorated to the point where some of the floor boards have become loose, split or disintegrated to form holes.

A visual inspection during the building condition audit of the timber sub floor frame revealed that the timber members have been subjected to a substantial amount of moisture. The moisture appears to be as a result of liquid seeping through the floor boards. Although not all of the classic symptoms of dry rot were apparent many of the timber members appeared to have signs of dry rot including shrinking, darkening and cracking with patches of off white felt or cotton wool like sheets on the timber members and the underside of the floor boards.

5.3 Contributing issues.

It is our opinion from this building condition audit that the deterioration of the floor boards serving the ground floor level of the XXXX is not as a result of any one single factor rather a number of factors that have caused and compounded the issue.

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It is considered that the cause and contributing factors leading to the deterioration of the floor boards and sub floor structure are:

  • Lack of effective preventative maintenance of floor boards through regular sanding and sealing;
  • Lack of effective sub floor ventilation;
  • Poor workmanship of sub floor frame in areas;
  • Natural deterioration through the age of the building and construction components. In addition the building is subjected to a heavier occupant use that it would have been originally designed for.

5.3.1 Lack of effective preventative maintenance of floor boards through regular re-sanding and re-sealing

The building condition audit revealed that the finish of the existing jarrah timber floor boards throughout the ground floor of the hotel including the XXXX areas have been subjected to heavy wear and constant moisture. A sample off cut of the 110mm x 19mm Jarrah tongue and groove flooring retrieved from the subfloor space indicates that the floor boards serving the internal areas had been appropriately sealed with a durable finish in the past.

Constant foot traffic and the movement of furniture in the presence of sand and grit brought into the building act like sandpaper, resulting in the scratching and gradual removal of the applied protective finish. A water droplet test at sample areas of the floor demonstrated that the water did not bead on the surface of the timber suggesting that the applied finish is not intact. Where the water droplet test indicates that the timber absorbs the moisture resulting in localised darking of the timber it is evident the timber surface requires re-sanding and re-sealing.

The extent of deterioration noticed during the building condition audit suggests that the floor boards have not been appropriately maintained to ensure the applied finish to the surface of the timber had remained intact. As result prolonged and significant amounts of moisture due to spillage and mopping have been absorbed by the timber resulting in the progressive break down of the cellulose structure of the timber.

Due to the particular use of the building and the expectation of high foot traffic it is expected that a preventative maintenance programme would include regular re-sanding and re-sealing of timber floor surfaces.

In addition an established regular cleaning program including the immediate mopping up spills would be expected to assist in keeping floors in pristine condition. There are many aspects that affect how often the floor requires cleaning and these include the degree of grit present, the level of traffic and general conditions of the area outside the building. Regular use of dry anti-static mops and vacuuming (with well maintained brush heads) should be under taken regularly to remove dust and grit. As a general rule water and wood do not mix and therefore the use of any water for cleaning must be minimised. On smaller floor areas a mop that is damp to touch may be used while on larger floor areas ‘scrubbers’ can used. It should be emphasised that a wet mop or scrubber’ that is inefficient in removing moisture can cause floors to deteriorate. Harsh detergents and abrasive cleaners are to be avoided and therefore proprietary timber flooring cleaning products should be used.

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5.3.2 Lack of effective sub floor ventilation.

The building condition audit inspection of the subfloor area revealed that the timber structure and the underside of the floor boards have been subjected to excessive amounts of moisture. Sample moisture content readings of 9.1% on average were measured indicting that subfloor environment is dry. While this is to be expected in midsummer where well drained sandy soil conditions prevail, conditions could drastically deteriorate during winter. The pattern of moisture staining on the timber surface suggest that the moisture is coming from above, working its way through the floor boards to sub floor members below.

These results verify our findings within building condition audit section 5.3.1 in that the deterioration of the protective finish of the floor boards in combination with excessive amounts of liquid has contributed to the ingress of moisture into the sub floor space. While dry rot cannot be verified without further testing the powdery white scale and darkened patches on the sub floor timbers suggest dry rot may be evident.

Further building condition audit inspection beneath the XXXX revealed inadequate clearance between the sub floor structure and the ground. The build up of builders rubble combined with inadequate sub floor clearance has resulted with many of the members placed directly in contact with the ground. In addition the lower clearance beneath the sub floor members inhibits ventilation of the space.

The building condition audit inspection found a compounding issue is the lack of adequate sub floor ventilation openings within the perimeter walls of the building and internal walls bounding the subfloor areas. It can be seen that external pathways and regrading of XXXX have lead to the total removal or obstruction of the ventilation openings serving the building.

When subfloor areas supporting timber floors are exposed to the ground and the space is enclosed by brickwork, building rubble and the like, the sub-floor space must be adequately ventilated with permanent ventilation openings. Without adequate ventilation the humidity in an enclosed sub-floor space can have a detrimental effect on the performance of the sub floor structure. (Forrest & Wood Products Research & Development Corporation.) If conditions are very moist timber becomes susceptible to wet or dry rot and the lower surface of the floor boards may take up moisture, causing substantial deterioration.

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Tongue and Groove floors including their supporting substructure should be provided with sub-floor ventilation. The levels outlined in the BCA 20XX are to primarily limit the moisture content of sub-floor framing timbers, which can generally tolerate greater fluctuations in moisture content, than timber floor boards. The recommended minimum ventilation for tongue and groove timber floors is 7500 mm2 per metre length of wall, with vents evenly spaced to ensure that cross ventilation is provided to all sub-floor areas. Refer to Figure 1 attached. (Forrest & Wood Products Research & Development Corporation.)

Figure 1 Building condition audit cross section

(Forrest & Wood Products Research & Development Corporation.)

5.3.3 Poor workmanship of sub floor frame in areas.

During the building condition audit inspection it was noted that the sub floor structure has been altered to accommodate the elevated XXXX. Access to the XXXX revealed that many of the supporting members have been modified to support the changes to the sub floor structure.

Although only limited access was available during the building condition audit inspection it can be seen that many of the subfloor timber members have been altered and re-supported to an unsatisfactory standard. Although the standard of the works has not directly contributed to the deterioration of the floor boards the weakened structure will allow the floor to flex more readily under load stressing already weakened joints to the floor boards.

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5.3.4 Natural deterioration through the age of the building and construction components.

As is often the case, older building stock can be subjected to contemporary building uses and activities they were not designed to support. Add to this aging building components and assemblies and it can be seen that the structures ability to support dead and live loads is further compounded.

Although the age and current use of the building has not directly contributed to the deterioration of the floor boards the design and age of the building would contribute to higher levels of movement of the sub floor frame under load. As a result the already weakened floor boards would be subjected to additional stress.

6. BUILDING CONDITION AUDIT CONCLUSION

Based on the building condition audit site inspection carried out by Hendry Group we consider that the building is in a serviceable condition however major maintenance to the subfloor structure and the floor boards is recommended.

It is our opinion from the building condition audit that the primary cause leading to the deterioration of the floor boards is the lack of effective preventative maintenance to ensure the timber remained protected from wear and tear and impervious to moisture. The gradual breakdown of the applied protective finish and the lack of re-application has allowed liquid to seep into the timber floor boards resulting in the progressive deterioration of the cellulose structure of the timber.

The secondary contributing cause from the building condition audit is the lack of sub floor ventilation serving the building. It appears that the original building fabric had included sub floor vents however modifications to the building have effectively sealed them up. Although the sub floor environment is considered dry at present the winter season will inhibit the capacity of the subfloor to deal with the additional liquid penetrating the floor boards from the habitable space.

The building condition audit sees contributing factors such as poor workmanship of contemporary alterations, limited design capacity of building and the age of building component all contribute to excessive movement of the floor structure. The movement of the floor structure under dead and live load conditions especially in areas XXXX apply additional stress to the tongue and groove joints and nail fixings. Although the movement may be subtle the applied protective finish is progressively broken down at the fixing joints leading to the ingress of moisture into the timber and adjoining sub structure.

Prepared By;

XXXX
XXXX

XXXX
XXXX

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REFERENCES

• Australian Building Codes Board, (2010). Building Code of Australia, Volume 1. Canberra: CanPrint Communications Pty Ltd.

• Australian Building Codes Board, (2008). Guide to the Building Code of Australia, Class 2 to Class 9 Buildings. Canberra: CanPrint Communications Pty Ltd

• Timber Flooring – Version 1 – December 2005, Forrest & Wood Products Research & Development Corporation.

BCA Illustrated, Hendry Group

8. APPENDIX 1 – Floor Plan

Figure 1

Building Condition Audit              Photo here