BUILDINGS - Smarter Facilities Management


When Consultants Make Sense – and Cents

The advantages of third-party providers

By Richard L. Fricklas

  • /Portals/0/images/OnlineImages/2013/0913/rr/1-tests-web.jpg

    Electric vector surveys are a recent addition to available methods for moisture testing.

  • /Portals/0/images/OnlineImages/2013/0913/rr/2-nuclear-web.jpg

    A nuclear survey detects anomalies in hydrogen content, which could signal water below the surface.

  • /Portals/0/images/OnlineImages/2013/0913/rr/3-capacitance-web.jpg

    Electrical capacitance is a non-destructive moisture test method. It’s useful for drywall and many roof systems.

  • /Portals/0/images/OnlineImages/2013/0913/rr/4-vector-web.jpg

    Electric vector surveys can’t detect wet insulation, but are useful for finding roof leaks.

My recent column on roof management focused on in-house roof management, where roofing is just one of the many responsibilities that you hold.

In this column, we will take a close look at using an independent roof consultant.

Advantages of Third-Party Consultants
A key argument in favor of hiring an outside expert is that the consultant will hold roofing as a high priority, not in conflict with other responsibilities.

In addition, most roofing decisions are financial in nature. Your upper management will want to look at roofing as an investment, and it should have a satisfactory rate of return as compared to other items. Roof consultants can offer you alternative roofing systems with their estimated cost over a projected life cycle.

Your consultant can organize all the things that the in-house team should have done but had to put off because of higher priorities or lack of technical knowledge. That includes construction documents on what was actually built, not some architectural drawings that were changed as progress was made on the installed system.

When to Enlist Help
Consultants can be drawn into the program at any point. During a design phase, they would work as the owner’s representative, evaluating materials and roofing contractors qualified to meet the design intent. Today, that would certainly look at complying with more stringent energy codes if a re-cover is being contemplated.

During construction, the consultant’s responsibility shifts to verifying that specifications and materials are being followed. This might mean advising the owner if change orders are part of the process. After construction is completed, the consultant will verify that the “punch-list” is completed.

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