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Standard of Care: Investigation of Existing Building Structure for Alteration or Addition

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IBC Section 3409.4 states "The owner shall have a structural analysis of the
existing building made to determine adequacy of structural systems for the
proposed alteration, addition or change of occupancy. The existing building
shall be capable of supporting the minimum load requirements of Chapter 16."

The Code goes on to state that a report detailing the results is to be
submitted to the Building Official, who will then "determine whether the
existing building" including the alteration or addition, is in compliance.

The questions I have in this regard are as follows:

1. What is the minimum standard of care that should be observed in gathering
the data used to perform the afforementioned structural analysis? Put
another way, what level of data gathering should be performed? Destructive
investigation where necessary, including core testing of concrete or coupon
testing of steel, among other things?

Or is it sufficient to make certain reasonable, perhaps conservative,
assumptions?

2. How should this data be gathered? Has anyone performed this kind of thing
on a low-rise commercial building of venerable age--say fifty years or more?
How did you do it? Did you employ, say, a surveyor? Or a material test
company?

Does anyone have any suggestions as to who I might contact to gather this
level of data?

Thanks in advance for your input.


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