Industrial properties present a unique set of challenges for the investor. These buildings are often older and have sometimes had a change of use from their original intended purpose. Often the buyer will also want to change the use intended for the space.
With these changes come modifications of the electrical systems that may or may not have been appropriately installed, and may not have been completely removed when the old occupant vacated. Careful review of the condition and capacity of the electrical systems is recommended in these types of spaces.
Also with change of use, you might be inheriting the toxic byproducts of past industrial processes that ceased to operate long before the current investor arrived on the scene. There may not be any old drums around, but hazards may still be present. This is where a Phase 1 environmental assessment is a critical component of your evaluation of the property.
Another concern with large open industrial spaces is uneven grade settlement beneath large expanses of concrete slab floor. This can result in cracking where the slab is no longer sufficiently supported. Care needs to be taken to correctly identify the problem, however, since slabs will also crack from shrinkage during curing or from normal aging.
Many of the industrial spaces constructed in recent decades are of the “tilt-up” variety. These are often made of pre-cast concrete wall sections that are set into place on the footings and then tilted up into alignment with adjacent units. These units can distort due to solar heating or other causes. Depending on the interior fit-out, this movement can affect the interior partitions in characteristic ways that will signal the problem to our inspectors.
These are just some of the types of issues we can inspect for. Regardless of the type of industrial space you are investing in, you can feel confident that FH&A will perform a very thorough inspection and that we will document all findings in concise and informative reports for you.