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  • Writer's pictureJohn Russo

The Important Role of Existing Conditions Surveys and As-Built Records



Navigating the maze of property acquisition for development, from the spark of an idea through to completion, requires a lot of due diligence from industrial developers. These dangers, from safety mishaps and budget surges to operational hitches, threaten to veer projects off course and bloat expenditures, however they can be avoided with the correct risk mitigation procedures. Amidst these challenges, the question arises: How can these risks be effectively curtailed? The answer rests in the thorough charting of existing site conditions and the meticulous curation of as-built documentation before a final purchase decision is made.


The Role of Existing Conditions Surveys

Understanding the site's current conditions is at the core of any successful industrial project. Existing conditions surveys provide this essential insight, serving as the foundation for all subsequent planning and execution. By documenting the physical state of the project area—including structural configurations, utility pathways, environmental considerations, and any potential obstructions—these surveys offer a detailed snapshot of what currently exists on site before developers officially acquire the property for industrial development.


ARC specializes in conducting these surveys with unparalleled accuracy and detail. Using state-of-the-art high-definition survey (HDS) 3D Laser Scanning technology and advanced photographic methods, our product allows industrial developers to capture all dynamics of the site's existing conditions, ensuring that project stakeholders can identify and address potential challenges during an industrial developer's due diligence period before they evolve into costly setbacks later down the line. An existing conditions survey lays the groundwork for informed decision-making, risk mitigation, and the strategic allocation of resources before the site is even acquired by the development team.


As-Built Records and Risk Management

As-built records serve as the definitive record of the project upon its completion, detailing the precise conditions as they were built, including any variations from the original plans. This documentation is crucial for ensuring that any future modifications, maintenance, or expansions are undertaken with a complete understanding of the facility's current state.


Industrial as-built records are instrumental in identifying discrepancies between the designed plans and the actual state of the property. These discrepancies, if unrecorded, could pose significant risks to the industrial facility's safety, functionality, and compliance. By documenting every aspect of the prospective property’s condition, as-built records help project stakeholders manage these risks proactively, before making the initial investment.


ARC leverages advanced technology and extensive experience to provide accurate and detailed industrial as built documentation and assessments. This not only facilitates efficient project handover but also aids in the long-term maintenance and operation of the facility should the project proceed.


Understanding the Risks in Construction

The property development industry, particularly within the industrial sector, is fraught with risks that influence for project success. Safety hazards, cost overruns, and project delays are among the most common risks, but the consequences of poorly conducted surveys and inaccurate industrial as-built records can be particularly catastrophic.


For instance, an adequate existing conditions survey might need to be conducted to identify underground utilities or structural weaknesses before work begins. Existing structural problems could lead to dangerous accidents during construction, such as gas line explosions or building collapses, all which could be avoided the correct assessments are carried out before the site is selected for development. Similarly, incorrect as-built records can result in future modifications that compromise the structural integrity of a facility, endangering lives and necessitating costly repairs.


Projects based on flawed surveys may encounter unexpected existing conditions requiring expensive adjustments, dramatically inflating budgets. Legal risks also loom large; discrepancies between planned and actual construction, documented in the industrial as built records, can lead to non-compliance with regulatory standards, resulting in fines and legal disputes. These examples underscore the critical nature of rigorous risk management practices in industrial development, highlighting the need for precise and thorough documentation at every project stage to mitigate these substantial risks.



Incorporating Surveys and As-Built Records into Risk Management Strategies

Integrating existing conditions surveys and as-built records into risk management strategies is critical in ensuring the success and safety of industrial development projects. By thoroughly surveying existing conditions, industrial developers can identify potential risks early in the planning phase, allowing for adjustments before construction begins. These surveys accurately assess the site, highlighting any issues that could lead to delays, cost overruns, or safety hazards.


Once property developers have made the decision to acquire a site, maintaining detailed as-built records becomes essential. These documents reflect the project as built, including any deviations from the original design. This real-time documentation helps manage changes effectively, ensuring that all modifications are tracked and evaluated for their impact on the project's overall risk profile.


Together, these practices enable a proactive approach to risk management. By understanding the current site conditions and accurately recording changes, stakeholders can mitigate risks more effectively, ensuring that projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the highest safety standards.


Why Should You Choose ARC?

At ARC, we understand the complexities and risks involved in industrial construction projects. Since 1997, we've dedicated ourselves to providing professional building documentation services, helping our clients minimize risks before they become costly. Our focus on employing the latest in documentation technology and our commitment to excellence, honesty, and responsiveness have made us a leader in the industry.


Our team is trained to adhere to the Level of Accuracy (LOA) standards established by the U.S. Institute of Building Documentation, ensuring that every square foot we document meets the highest standards of precision and accuracy. This commitment to quality helps our clients avoid the pitfalls of unforeseen conditions and ensures that their projects are built on a foundation of reliability and integrity.


Using Existing Conditions Surveys

Choosing ARC means partnering with a team that prioritizes your project's success from start to finish. We believe that accurate documentation is the best insurance policy against project risks. Our mission—to assist those who recognize the complexities of existing conditions and wish to minimize their risks—is more than just a statement; it's a promise to deliver peace of mind through unparalleled service and expertise.

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