Property Condition Assessments

central fire headquarters building with firetruck parked in front

The City of Stamford, CT wanted to create a database documenting the condition status of their 83 city-owned buildings. As an initial step, the City hired Fuss & O’Neill to conduct limited property condition assessments (PCAs) for three city properties: their central fire headquarters, an additional fire station, and a community center.

cars parked next to building

Cost Savings through Communication

At the outset of the project, Fuss & O’Neill met with the City to discuss what they hoped to achieve via the PCAs and how they intended to use the data gathered. The City was looking for a very high-level review, not nearly as comprehensive as a typical Property Condition Assessment as defined in ASTM E2018, the Standard Guide for Property Condition Assessments. While this document served as the basis of Fuss & O’Neill’s scope and contract, Fuss & O’Neill clearly defined the personnel and approach that would be employed for each review, which resulted in a more cost-effective approach to collect the information most important to the City.

fire truck in the firehouse

Property Condition Assessments

These three sites served as a pilot program for the City to establish a baseline scope for additional PCAs. The PCA scope included: overall building condition, envelope conditions, roofs, windows, doors, floor framing, foundations, load-bearing walls, and deficiencies (such as water infiltration) that could affect structural systems. Our team also inspected the building sites to evaluate the condition of site features, including topography, stormwater drainage, ingress/egress, paving, curbing, parking, flatwork, landscaping, and appurtenances. Drawing on Fuss & O’Neill’s multidisciplinary services, our MEP group performed an assessment of mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems.

We prepared property condition reports (PCRs) for each of the sites, which included identification and description of the existing elements and systems; photographs of selected typical conditions and areas of concern; identification of elements in need of repair, upgrade, or replacement; estimates of the remaining service life of existing elements and systems; recommendations for additional investigation or analysis of selected elements, if warranted; and opinions of probable construction cost to address each identified deficiency.

Subsequent to the initial three sites, Fuss & O’Neill was contracted to provide PCAs for 10 additional buildings across multiple contracts. The work was interrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic, and building priorities shifted due to changing needs of the City. Reports were completed for 10 buildings in total. The reports served as the basis for capital planning, and the City ultimately decided to embark on a more comprehensive evaluation of their municipal building portfolio.

Preliminary Facility Evaluation for Energy Efficiency

Fuss & O’Neill’s MEP group performed Preliminary Facility Evaluations (PFEs) for assessment and improvement of energy efficiency in conjunction with each PCA.

PFEs included review and assessment of mechanical and electrical systems. These assessments provided the information needed to develop a more detailed review of the energy efficiency of each building.

The City added this to the scope of work for each of the buildings that Fuss & O’Neill reviewed. These PFEs provided guidance for potential cost savings to be realized through upgrades in systems and controls.

air conditioning unit on roof


This project was successfully completed during the global pandemic. Fuss & O’Neill provided timely reports regarding high-priority buildings that enabled effective planning and budgeting of maintenance and repairs and provided a foundation for each successive building assessment that followed.

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