So, you want to buy a new home for your family or you want to extend your business in a new building, and this means you definitely need a building / construction audit before you start the buying process!
The building audit (building structure audit) is the process by which a building is tested / evaluated to reveal its quality worth.
There are three types of tests during this evaluation process:
A. Visual Inspection – before you go hardcore and set the proper milestones of testing, the construction should be visualized in order to:
– recognize the structural defects;
– identify the signs of material deterioration;
– identify structural distress or deformation;
– identify extra alteration / addition in the structure that can lead to overloading.
Any crack, stress mark, damp spot or an unusual touch up on a surface, when carefully observed, these apparently minor indicators can sing a song to an expert, revealing the health of a building.
B. Non Destructive (NDT) and Destructive Testing (DT) – these tests are of great importance in order to determine the strength and quality of concrete, to determine the damage to construction structures subjected to corrosion, chemical attack, fire or other reasons.
B1. Concrete strength tests:
– Rebound Hammer Test: to measure surface hardness of concrete;
– Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity Test: to assess homogeneity of concrete, to assess strength of concrete qualitatively, to determine structural integrity;
– Core Sampling and Testing: to measure strength, permeability, density of concrete
B2. Chemical attacks:
– Carbonation Test: to assess depth of carbonation and pH of concrete;
– Chloride Test: to assess total water/acid soluble chloride contents;
– Sulfate Test: to assess total water/water soluble sulfate contents of concrete
B3. Corrosion Potential Assessment
– Cover Meter: to measure cover of reinforcement, diameter of reinforcement and spacing of reinforcement;
– Half Cell Method: to assess probability of corrosion in the embedded steel;
– Permeability Test: to assess permeability of concrete due to water and air
B4. Homogeneity and integrity Assessment
– Ultrasonic pulse velocity: for determination of cracks and discontinuities
C. Core Testing
This method is hard testing the concrete strength. In this method cylindrical core samples are taken from existing structures. The cores are visually inspected and tested in laboratory to check its comprehensive strength.
D. Overload testing
The easiest type of testing that can be used to ascertain the strength of a concrete roof is to load it with weights and check the degree of variation that it undergoes under that load on different building levels and floors.
Though this type of testing will give a direct measure of a structure’s ability to sustain weight, the building might sustain physical damage as a result of the excessive stress. Because of this, not many opt for this type of verification.
Now, that you have the basic idea of what building structure test means, you are armed with the knowledge to make the right decisions before you decide to bury your money in a nice looking cheap dump.
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