Last week, J. Hershey Building Consultants performed a Reserve Study site visit at a vintage 4-story walk-up building in Evanston, Illinois, which contained a laundry room, package delivery room, storage lockers, an underground parking garage as well rear wooden stairs. A Reserve Study site visit was also performed for a town-home association which consisted of (8) buildings containing (36) units. Along with review of the exterior of each building the Association also maintains a pond, general landscaping and the street.
When hiring professionals to produce a Reserve Study it is important to ask detailed questions regarding the experience of the professionals…this should go beyond the standard…”Has the professional previously produced Reserve Studies for properties which are similar to our property”?
Some questions to consider may include:
·Is the person who is visiting the property a licensed professional or are they an unlicensed employee who may or may not have a college degree in architecture or engineering?
·Is the person who is visiting the property a licensed architect or a licensed engineer? If they are a licensed engineer, then what type of engineering degree? Examples may include, civil engineer, structural engineer, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, etc. A licensed architect is commonly very familiar with all aspects of building construction. On the other hand, someone who is an electrical engineer is unlikely to have in depth knowledge of structural design.
·Does the licensed professional produce bid repair documents or provide construction monitoring of capital improvements for multi-family properties or is their experience restricted to the preparation of Reserve Studies? We consider it to be beneficial for a professional who is preparing your Reserve Study to have experience with building design as well as involvement in the building construction process.
·Depending on the type of property, we recommend the Association give consideration to have multiple professionals involved in the preparation of a Reserve Study. A town-home Association with no common mechanical systems for example may not significantly benefit from having multiple professionals involved. However, a mid-rise or high-rise building with common mechanical, electrical, and fire protection systems may benefit from the individual expertise of multiple professionals, especially those who are familiar with current design practices when evaluating capital improvements. One or more professionals to consider when evaluating a building with complex systems may include an architect, structural engineer, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, and elevator consultant. An architect or an architect and a mechanical engineer is generally recommended for complex building systems.
Below are some images from our visits last week. To request a Reserve Study proposal please give Jen a call at 844-543-7743 or click here to fill out our easy-to-use online request form!