Oil Tank

What is a VAV Box in a commercial building?

VAV stands for Variable Air Volume.  A VAV box controls airflow in commercial and can be a frequent cause of space temperature issues in commercial properties.  The VAV is basically a sheet-metal box usually hung in the ceiling which is connected to a thermostat.  If the thermostat is calling for more cooling, it opens a damper and allows more airflow through that particular zone of cooling.  If a VAV isn’t working correctly, the temperature for the zone of cooling will be uncomfortable.  The VAV box controls the flow of cool air from a central air conditioning source and, assuming it’s working properly, reduces or increases the flow of air into a particular air conditioning zone, based on the thermostat setting.

One of the more common complaints that building occupants have are temperature related.  The air-conditioning demands on and air conditioning zone with lots of window glass is much different than the temperature demands on interior spaces.  So, there is typically a separate VAV box for spaces with a large heat load from windows versus a minimal heat load for interior space.

We have seen tenants not renew their lease because of frustration with interior temperatures.  Long-term temperature issues can reflect poorly on building management.  Tenant’s may continually complain about improper temperatures to no avail.  However, if the building management understands VAV box issues, the repair can be a simple part of a good maintenance program.  In a 100,000 square-foot commercial building, there could be 50 VAV boxes, and several of them may be malfunctioning.  This issue can even cause occupancy rates to fall in commercial properties.

Sometimes, even air conditioning technicians do not address the problem correctly, causing spaces to be either too warm or too cool.

For more related information click on this link: https://safeharborinspections.com/

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Commercial Building

Commercial Building Roofing Costs

While performing our commercial building inspections, we often run across roofing systems that need replacement due to leakage and old age. Dealing with leaky or old commercial building roofs is one of the most expensive maintenance items that building owners have to deal with on a periodic basis (today’s roof materials typically have a life expectancy of 15 to 25 years.) Roof installation costs vary from $3.50 per square foot to $7.50 per square foot. So, a 15,000 SF building roof could cost in the $100,000 range (more or less). The cost can be substantially higher depending on many factors including the condition of the roof deck, the location of the building, ease of access and total square footage of the job.

There are many different types of roofing materials and methods of installation. The 3 most common types of roofs installed these days are Bituminous, EPDM and TPO.

Modified Bitumen roofing systems have been in common use for commercial properties for many decades. This type of roof is also known as “torch-down” or “built-up”.

EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) it is commonly known as a rubber roof and is a single-ply membrane that consists of a synthetic rubber. EPDM has been used on commercial facilities since the 1960s and is considered a tried-and-true system.

TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) is also a single-ply roofing membrane and is becoming a very common roofing material used on commercial properties these days. This roof is a single layer of synthetics and reinforcing material for flat roofs.

So I hope this little bit of information is helpful to to you in dealing with commercial buildings. Feel free to call if you have any questions or if there is anything I can do for you.

For more related information click on this link: https://safeharborinspections.com/

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Mirrored building

Commercial Property Inspections by Safe Harbor Inspections Inc.

I wanted to make sure that you knew Safe Harbor Inspections Inc. has been inspecting commercial property since 2004.  Non-alarmist, experienced and professional.  Reasonably priced.  Each inspection appropriately manned with the right number of inspectors for an expeditious high-quality inspection.  Verbal summary immediately following the inspection.  Detailed photographic reports online within 24hours.

In my previous career as a commercial property manager, I was employed by Cushman and Wakefield, Coldwell Banker Commercial, Jones Lang LaSalle, Schroder Real Estate Associates, and Meringoff Properties.  We have performed thousands of commercial real estate inspections.

  • Areas serviced: throughout Long Island and New York City
  • Types of Buildings Inspected: warehouse, industrial, retail, office, medical, mixed-use, brownstones
  • Types of Inspections Available:
    1. full building inspection includes:
      • roof
      • HVAC, mechanical
      • Electrical
      • Plumbing
      • Structure
      • exterior façade
      • roadways and parking areas
    2. Phase 1 inspections available
    3. asbestos inspections
    4. mold inspections
    5. termite inspections
    6. bulkhead inspections

So, if you have any questions or if we can be of any assistance, please feel free to call and we will do what we can to help you.

For more related information click on this link: https://safeharborinspections.com/

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high wall with a red arrow

Is that crack in the Masonry Block Wall of an industrial warehouse building a problem?

Hi, so you’re walking around the exterior of an industrial/warehouse building and you see step cracks in the walls.  Is it a big problem?

The question is, is the block wall supporting the structure?

If the block wall is supporting the roof structure (steel or wood beams and roof joists), then any substantial cracking of the masonry wall can be a structural problem that needs repairs.

If the block wall is not supporting the structure, it’s similar to a partition wall and a few cracks are not that significant and can likely be repointed/repaired fairly easily.

So, how do you determine which type of wall you’re dealing with?  Go to the inside of the building and look for steel columns supporting a steel structure which supports the roof and holds the building together.  That means the masonry wall is more like a partition wall and does not support the structure.

However, if you’re looking from the interior and you don’t see steel columns and beams and instead you see the roof structure supported by the masonry wall, then cracks are more serious.

We’re not suggesting that you should formally come to a conclusion about cracks, but it may be helpful information just the same. Obviously, there’s a lot more that goes with this topic, but hopefully this info can help you when you’re your walking around an industrial/warehouse building.

For more related information click on this link: https://safeharborinspections.com/

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Man in a lined parking lot

Commercial Parking Lot re-pavement costs

A very common cost associated with commercial properties is parking lot pavement.  A parking lot expected useful life is 10 to 15 years and that estimate is greatly impacted by the condition of the existing pavement and frequency of heavy truckloads.  Removal and total replacement of the parking lot is the best approach, but obviously is the most expensive.  Typically, property owners elect to apply an over-layment rather than start from scratch with a new parking lot.  An over-layment can cost between $1.50 and $2.50 per square foot.  So, on average over-laymenton a 10,000 square-foot parking lot would cost somewhere in the $20,000 range.  On top of that, parking lot striping and bumpers are extra.

For more related information click on this link: https://safeharborinspections.com/

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Indoor atrium

What is PLP and CAM?

PLP is a term used in commercial real estate and stands for PUBLIC LIGHT AND POWER. There’s usually a separate electrical meter that feeds power to the common areas of the building, such as hallways, stairs and parking lot lights. PLP is one of the components of CAM.

CAM stands for COMMON AREA MAINTENANCE. Common area maintenance also includes cleaning, landscaping, and repairs/maintenance. All this stuff gets added up and charged back to the tenants on a pro-rata share basis. There are lots of variations on this theme and it’s all dictated by the leases in effect for the tenant spaces.

You probably already know all of this, but I figured I’d mention it anyway.

For more related information click on this link: https://safeharborinspections.com/

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Trees by a roof

Commercial Building Roofing Costs

While performing our commercial building inspections, we often run across roofing systems that need replacement due to leakage and old age. Dealing with leaky or old commercial building roofs is one of the most expensive maintenance items that building owners have to deal with on a periodic basis (today’s roof materials typically have a life expectancy of 15 to 25 years.) Roof installation costs vary from $3.50 per square foot to $7.50 per square foot. So, a 15,000 SF building roof could cost in the $100,000 range (more or less). The cost can be substantially higher depending on many factors including the condition of the roof deck, the location of the building, ease of access and total square footage of the job.

There are many different types of roofing materials and methods of installation. The 3 most common types of roofs installed these days are Bituminous, EPDM and TPO.

Modified Bitumen roofing systems have been in common use for commercial properties for many decades. This type of roof is also known as “torch-down” or “built-up”.

EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) it is commonly known as a rubber roof and is a single-ply membrane that consists of a synthetic rubber. EPDM has been used on commercial facilities since the 1960s and is considered a tried-and-true system.

TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) is also a single-ply roofing membrane and is becoming a very common roofing material used on commercial properties these days. This roof is a single layer of synthetics and reinforcing material for flat roofs.

So I hope this little bit of information is helpful to you in dealing with commercial buildings. Feel free to call if you have any questions or if there is anything I can do for you.

For more related information click on this link: https://safeharborinspections.com/

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Units

What’s a “Package Unit” on a Commercial Property?

When we are doing our commercial property inspections, particularly on strip centers or industrial buildings, we are often asked what is a “package unit”. The answer is, it’sa self-contained air conditioning and heating unit typically mounted on the roof of a single-story building. The package unit is rectangular, about 4 to 6 feet high and has a cooling section, a heating section, and a blower. Usually it’s connected to a gas supply for heat, and electrical for the blower and air conditioning section. It’s clean and simple to install and has a life expectancy of about 15 to 20 years.

I know you probably already know all this stuff, but I hope this little tidbit of information helps!

For more related information click on this link: https://safeharborinspections.com/

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