Facilities Engineering Consultants

As a facility owner, manager, or investor, you may constantly face challenges like complying with new building codes and environmental regulations; dealing with systems and material failures in aging structures; assessing environmental hazards; and managing operating expenditures to achieve optimum building performance at a minimum cost. The physical condition of the roof, pavement, HVAC equipment, plumbing, and electrical systems are typically the most critical issues at a facility and can represent millions of dollars in repair and replacement costs. These components must be managed and maintained for maximum return on investment.

Terracon can serve as a valuable partner in property condition assessments by assisting with identifying, quantifying, prioritizing, and solving potential or existing physical risks and liabilities. Our goal is to develop solutions and strategies to enhance and increase building performance and help implement those solutions for you.

Services


Property Condition AssessmentsBack to Top

Terracon’s facilities services professionals have performed property condition assessments (PCAs) for thousands of commercial real estate properties of all types and sizes throughout the United States. Terracon understands the level of due diligence needed to properly assess and evaluate properties for investors and lenders, before acquisition and/or disposition. We provide accurate and comprehensive reports to our clients for individual as well as portfolio assignments.

Our reports furnish the information needed by investors and lenders to complete real estate transactions. Reports can be tailored to meet the specialized needs of our various clients.

Terracon’s standard PCA report includes Capital Reserve Budget estimates for each of the major property components and provides Expected Useful Life Projections (EUL), Remaining Useful Life Projections (RUL), Initial Reserves and Repair/Replacement Cost Estimates over the defined term requirements.

Terracon’s reports typically address the following major building systems and issues:

  • Document Review
  • Site Drainage
  • Site Infrastructure
  • Pavements
  • Structural Elements
  • Building Envelope Engineering
  • Roofing Consulting Services
  • Architectural Finishes
  • Life Cycle Cost Analysis
  • Vertical Transportation
  • Mechanical
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Fire Protection/Life Safety
  • Amenities
  • ADA

Terracon’s evaluations and assessments can also be utilized on an ongoing basis after acquisition by property owners to assist in capital expenditure decisions. This can include periodically inspecting and observing building conditions for evidence of excessive wear that could lead to premature and costly failure.


Forensic InvestigationsBack to Top

Unfortunately, building systems can fail, or perform at a level which is unsatisfactory to the owner, property manager, contractor or design professional. Terracon can assist clients by investigating the cause (or causes) and origin of a failure and make recommendations for corrective measures. Areas of forensic investigations can include:

  • Pavement Failure
  • Foundation Evaluation
  • Moisture Intrusion/Building Envelope 
  • MEP Evaluation
  • Material Testing and Analysis
  • Structural Failure
  • Fire Damage
  • Document Review
  • Litigation Support

Once the investigation is completed, the Terracon team can provide the necessary steps to implement the fix. These steps include construction document preparation, assistance with the bidding process, and complete construction administration.

In cases where the failure occurs to an extent that attorneys are required, then one of Terracon’s senior professionals can provide support during dispute resolution, arbitration and, in extreme cases, the trial.

In 2011, Terracon acquired Dressler Consulting Engineers, a firm with more than 30 years of experience in providing forensic engineering services to the insurance, legal, and commercial property markets.


Building Envelope ConsultingBack to Top

Terracon’s experienced professional building envelope consultants provide clients with the following services:

  • Roofing Condition Assessments
  • Building Envelope Testing and Analysis
  • Roof Replacement Design
  • Construction Material Evaluation
  • Infrared Surveys
  • Roof Maintenance/Management Programs
  • Life Cycle Cost Analysis
  • Contract Administration
  • Installation Monitoring

Our assessment services assist owners in evaluating the integrity of an existing roof or building envelope through comprehensive surveys that determine signs of deterioration, water tightness and estimated remaining life. This evaluation can be augmented by non-destructive test methods utilizing a moisture gauge, nuclear density gauge and infrared camera technology. Our primary approach to building envelope assessments is to prolong the life of the asset. If it is determined that replacement is the answer, then Terracon professionals can provide complete replacement design, bidding assistance and contractor selection review. Along with the client, Terracon can participate in kick-off meetings with the contractor, respond to contractor questions and record the meeting minutes.

Once the investigation is completed, the Terracon team can provide the necessary steps to implement the fix. These steps include construction document preparation, assistance with the bidding process, and complete construction administration.

Our staff also provides on-site monitoring of installation activities. We review product submittals, change orders, payment applications, track deficiencies, and provide the final close-out documents.

In cases where the failure occurs to an extent that attorneys are required, then one of Terracon’s senior professionals can provide support during dispute resolution, arbitration and, in extreme cases, the trial.

Terracon’s acquisition of Stafford Consulting Engineers in 2010 significantly increased our capabilities and resources in the area of total building envelope consulting.


Energy ConsultingBack to Top

Terracon takes pride in our ability to assist today’s building owners and managers with our expertise. Our engineers understand building MEP systems and the unique problems they pose. Furthermore, our engineers and technicians are equipped with the necessary tools and diagnostic skills to properly troubleshoot and monitor building systems.

  • Site Observations/Analyses
  • Testing and Balancing Review
  • Design/Capacity Calculations or Verifications
  • Energy Audits and Frequency Studies
  • Indoor Air Quality Assessments
  • Domestic Water Piping Evaluation
  • Lighting Analysis
  • Recommendations and Opinions of Costs
  • Ventilation and Exhaust (ASHRAE 62)
  • LEED Consulting and Assistance
  • Commissioning and Retro-Commissioning

We can assist clients with long-range programs for such things as the phase out of CFCs and the conversion of existing chiller units to meet the requirements of  Title VI of the Clean Air Act of 1990. The Terracon team can help you maintain and trouble-shoot your MEP building systems. Terracon’s acquisition of Energy Systems Associates in 2010 has allowed us to become a national leader in energy consulting services to clients in both the public and private sectors. 


Foundation and Structural ConsultingBack to Top

In order to provide effective repairs to a foundation or structural failure, the failure mechanism must be completely understood. Terracon’s forensic approach focuses on the cause(s) of the problem and the most economical recommendation for the repair. Our more than 40 years of experience with soils, plus our in-house resources of civil, structural, mechanical and materials engineers allow us to determine and recommend practical and effective repairs. We have experience with a wide range of issues that include:

  • Slope Stability
  • Ground and Surface Water
  • Erosion
  • Settlements
  • Expansive Soils
  • Materials Testing
  • Vibration Monitoring

We can help clients with common problems such as:

  • Foundation Movement
  • Building Frame Distress
  • Moisture Intrusion
  • Defective Structure
  • Code Compliance
  • Fire Damage
  • Changes in Usage

Terracon can assemble the right team to assess your foundation/structural issues and help you implement a solution.


Pavement ConsultingBack to Top

Terracon offers a full range of pavement consulting services, including state-of-the-art pavement condition assessment equipment, comprehensive asset management software, pavement design, and construction monitoring and materials testing. Our unique approach provides our clients with cost-effective pavement management solutions. We conduct pavement condition investigations to provide effective rehabilitation solutions optimized to the conditions at each individual site. So whether you are concerned about a single parking lot, or a large number of sites dispersed nationwide, Terracon can provide pavement engineering services tailored to the needs of your organization.


Life Cycle Cost AnalysisBack to Top

Life cycle cost analysis influences acquisitions, product selection and long-range maintenance programs. Analysis can be used by financial institutions, insurers, prospective buyers, property owners and managers. The Terracon team can provide a comprehensive analysis for any number of building systems. In the planning stage of a new facility, we can assist in the evaluation of product or equipment selection by providing a life cycle cost analysis. Terracon can provide a complete analysis of all building systems for the due diligence phase of a project. Terracon’s staff of facility professionals can also assist clients to develop a maintenance and/or reliability strategy. The costing portion of the analysis is constantly updated by our staff from sources such as manufacturers, installers and general contractors.


ADA Code Compliance SurveysBack to Top

Federal, state and local authorities have regulations in force that safeguard the public. These codes apply to common areas in buildings, parking areas, building entries and public restrooms. Additionally the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by private entities in places of public accommodation. Certain facilities must be usable and readily accessible by persons with disabilities.

ADA/Code Compliance surveys are performed by Terracon’s team of professionals. These surveys can include fire protection alarms, sprinklers, smoke detectors and fire proofing. Part of the compliance survey will be to contact the local authority for outstanding fire and life safety code violations for a given building and then develop a solution for the client.

The survey will note those areas where the facility is out of compliance. Recommendations and the related cost for modifications will be part of the survey. Terracon can develop the necessary documents to implement the modification and monitor the construction.


Peer ReviewsBack to Top

Peer reviews are conducted for owners, architects, and general contractors. The reviews are for specific building systems and can occur at any stage of document development from the schematic design stage to the “Issued for Construction” stage. In some cases, the reviews are performed for the owner with Terracon working alongside the architect as the design evolves. On unique designs, we can work directly for the architect.

The review can include the overall building envelope as it relates to roofing and waterproofing systems, the mechanical system and a general ADA review. The peer review approach allows for reviews that improve the overall design and reduce construction cost. These reviews are presented as recommendations for consideration by the owner or the architect. Terracon professionals conduct the reviews in their field of practice.


Construction AdministrationBack to Top

Construction administration can start as early in the construction process as assisting the client with the development of a qualified bidders list. Terracon can provide a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for contractors on a specific project, review the submittals and make recommendations for a bidders list. When required, we assist clients with the creation of the project advertisement. We further assist clients with the actual bidding process starting with conducting the pre-bid meeting, recording the meeting minutes, responding to questions, a review of the bid tabulation and a recommendation to the client for award.


Seismic Risk AssessmentsBack to Top

Seismic events in the United States, especially those with a magnitude of 6.0 or greater, can cause substantial damage to building structures. In areas of high seismicity, it is common for the real estate due diligence process to include a seismic risk assessment of a building prior to closing a property transaction. This assessment can estimate how much loss is anticipated during a seismic event as a percentage of the building’s total replacement cost. A seismic risk assessment can be a valuable tool for real estate professionals who wish to buy, lend, insure or seismically retrofit a given asset.

Terracon uses the ASTM E2026-99 “Standard Guide for Estimation of Building Damageability in Earthquakes” as the standard scope of work for seismic risk assessment. This document allows Terracon to provide a consistent report for a wide range of commercial properties. Additionally, there are different levels of study published in ASTM E2026-99, and with input from the client, we can enhance the study from basic to extensive.


Construction Loan MonitoringBack to Top

Terracon provides construction plan and cost review, as well as construction monitoring services for various financial institutions and commercial real estate investors nationwide. Our services allow our clients to make informed decisions on the merits of a project prior to the commitment of funds. If a project moves forward our professionals are available to provide periodic inspections to compare project progress to actual schedules, review change orders, cost invoices, and payment applications, and estimate funds needed to complete the project. Our goal is to ensure that incoming funding is consistent with project schedules and expectations.