In the commercial real estate industry, keeping a close eye on assets can differentiate your properties from your competitors. It allows you to identify potential risks, find areas for improvement, and tackle problems before they become major issues. Condition assessments provide a method to examine buildings’ physical condition, functionality, and structural integrity. This consistent methodology creates a clear understanding of the health of your assets.

What is meant by condition assessment of buildings?

A condition assessment acts as a thorough check-up on a commercial building. It involves carefully evaluating its physical condition, including its structure, systems, and overall functionality. The assessment generates a detailed report that helps you make smart decisions about maintenance and repairs.

Several organizations, such as the ASTM and the CCPIA, establish standards for condition assessment in the commercial real estate industry. These standards ensure reliable and consistent evaluations of a building and its assets.

You can incorporate your condition assessment reports into your building management systems to maintain a historical record of asset conditions. This allows you to identify assets with consistent issues and find the source of those issues.

Identifying asset conditions and potential risks

Condition assessments inspect a building’s structural components, mechanical systems, and other critical elements. This uncovers issues such as deteriorating foundations, aging electrical or plumbing systems, or signs of wear and tear.

They also help you identify potential risks that could impact your asset’s future. These risks may include structural weaknesses, environmental hazards, compliance gaps, or safety concerns. By pinpointing these risks early on, you can take proactive measures to address them and prevent costly problems in the future.

Types of conditions assessed

Comprehensive condition assessments on commercial buildings seek to identify a wide range of conditions, for example:

  • Structural condition: Assessing a building’s foundation, walls, floors, and roof ensures the strength and stability of a building.
  • Mechanical systems: This assessment delves into the functionality and operational efficiency of vital systems like heating, ventilation, plumbing, and electrical wiring.
  • Functional condition: Evaluating the performance and operational effectiveness of doors, windows, elevators, and other safety systems ensures all standards are met.
  • Cosmetic condition: The aesthetic appeal and cleanliness of both the interior and exterior of a building is included in a condition assessment as they can leave a lasting impression on tenants and visitors.
  • Environmental condition: This assessment aims to identify potential hazards like asbestos, mold, or other contaminants. It also looks at the sustainability of the building and opportunities for certifications.

The importance of condition assessment in facility management

In facility management, condition assessments play a vital role in maximizing the potential of your commercial real estate properties. It helps you actively monitor your assets, save costs, improve safety, and extend their lifespan.


Three key purposes that regular facility condition assessments serve include:

  • Minimize maintenance costs and downtime: Regular condition assessments help identify issues early on. This allows building managers to address problems promptly and prevent issues from escalating in severity.
  • Improve safety: Condition assessments show the preventive measures and necessary repairs or upgrades needed to create a safe environment for occupants.
  • Extend asset lifespan: Proactively identifying and addressing issues through condition assessment ensures the durability and longevity of buildings. Property owners can optimize asset performance and preserve their value over time by planning maintenance, prioritizing repairs, and allocating resources effectively.

The role of asset evaluation in CRE and proactive maintenance

Evaluating assets is an essential aspect of proactive maintenance. It allows CRE property managers to create proactive maintenance plans based on the current and expected future condition of an asset. This helps prioritize repairs and determine where to allocate resources for updating building equipment and systems. According to the Department of Energy, proactive maintenance also reduces maintenance costs by 12% to 18%.

Driving sustainability in buildings

Condition assessments can inform property owners and managers of asset conditions that impact the sustainability of the building. This can include:

  • Energy efficiency: Real estate energy efficiency can be severely impacted by the condition of building systems. Identifying systems that need repair can help improve the overall efficiency of a building.
  • Water conservation: Asset evaluations identify sources of water waste such as leaks, inefficient fixtures, and poorly designed irrigation systems. Correcting these issues helps buildings conserve water to improve sustainability.
  • Sustainable materials and design: When targeted, condition assessments can also include opportunities for buildings to use sustainable materials and practices. This can involve using eco-friendly materials for necessary maintenance or leveraging sustainable design principles when updating a space.

Simplified and automated building assessments with Proptech

When paired with smart building sensors, Proptech solutions can constantly monitor the condition of your building assets. This simplifies the entire condition assessment process by allowing you to pull condition reports directly from your Proptech platforms instantly. You can also use these solutions to create automated alerts for systems needing repair based on the asset’s current and predicted condition.

For more information on streamlining your business processes, you can explore the benefits of workflow automation.

Dr. Erik Wallin

Chief Ecosystem Officer, and founder of ProptechOS and RealEstateCore is recognized as a leader in Building Operating Systems (BOS) and making the buildings of the world smarter. He holds an MSc and a Ph.D. in Media and Computer Science from KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

Read his full bio and information here.