ASTM E2018-15

In by Mark Goodman

The ATST E2018-15 standard is the most widely recognized standard for commercial buildings and multi-family buildings with more than four dwellings; it defines good commercial and customary practice for conducting a baseline Property Condition Assessment (PCA). This standard was explicitly written for commercial real estate and intended mainly for commercial real estate transactions. “ASTM International (ASTM), originally known as the American Society for Testing and Materials, is an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services.” Other standards by home inspection organizations do not apply to commercial and industrial buildings.

The Property Condition Assessment or PCA standard that is recommended is the ASTM E2018-15. This standard assists in determining a baseline for Property Condition Assessments in the United States for commercial real estate. The complete standard is approximately 25 pages long with many references as to how to conduct a real estate inspection of a commercial piece of property. The ASTM E2018-15 is a guideline for describing a property condition assessment as “the process by which a person or entity observes a property, interviews sources, and reviews available documentation for the purpose of developing an opinion and preparing a PCR (Property Condition Report) of a commercial real estate’s current physical condition. At the option of the user, a PCA may include a higher level of inquiry and due diligence than the baseline scope described within this guide or, at the user’s option, it may include a lower level of inquiry or due diligence than the baseline scope described in this guide.” Let’s define what is meant by “baseline” according to the guide: “the minimum level of observations, due diligence, inquiry/research, documentation review, and preparation of opinions of probable costs to remedy material physical deficiencies for conducting a PCA as described in this guide.”

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