ASTM E2270 - 13

    Standard Practice for Periodic Inspection of Building Facades for Unsafe Conditions

    Active Standard ASTM E2270 | Developed by Subcommittee: E06.55

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.12


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    Significance and Use

    4.1 Intent—This standard practice is intended to establish the minimum requirements for conducting periodic inspections of building facades to identify unsafe conditions that could cause harm to persons and property. It addresses the required content of the facade inspection to convey to the specifying authority the condition of the facade and allow comparisons of facade conditions at other times. Facade Inspection reports conducted and prepared as outlined in this standard practice will provide specifying authorities the information necessary to mitigate the threat of harm, injury, damage, or loss to persons or property from unsafe conditions on subject facades.

    4.2 Need for Periodic Facade Inspections—Due to age, lack of maintenance, design or construction errors, or a combination of these factors, building facades deteriorate. Based on the knowledge gained about the performance of building facades through investigation and research, governing authorities, owners, and qualified professionals are becoming more aware of potential unsafe conditions on building facades that if unaddressed, can jeopardize public safety and surrounding properties.

    4.3 Facade Service History—Facades require periodic maintenance and repairs to extend their useful life and to minimize and/or correct problems. As a part of any facade inspection, facade service history shall be reviewed because: (1) it may indicate patterns of leakage or other performance problems leading to concealed damage and an unsafe condition; (2) it may show a poorly conceived or improperly implemented maintenance or repair procedure that can contribute and aggravate unsafe conditions; and (3) it is necessary to distinguish between original construction and subsequent repairs or modifications during the inspection process and help identify the source of potential problems.

    4.4 Who Shall Perform the Inspection—Facade inspection shall be performed by a qualified inspector familiar with the available service history and the available design documents relevant to the building facade. The qualified inspector shall be capable of assessing both the watertight integrity and exterior conditions of the building facade to evaluate and identify potential unsafe conditions. The qualified professional who seals and signs the report shall also oversee all work of the qualified inspector and the inspection process.

    4.5 Facades Requiring Inspection—Those facades as determined by the specifying authority that pose a potential threat of harm, injury, damage or loss to persons or property.

    4.6 Frequency, extent, and the required level of facade inspections are dependent on facade age, material, and construction.

    4.7 Observed facade deficiencies shall be categorized and documented in Facade Inspection Report as “unsafe condition,” “requires repair/stabilization,” or “ordinary maintenance.”

    4.8 Limitations—Due to the construction techniques and physical properties of the many materials used in facade construction, and the inherent limitations on detecting concealed facade distress based on limited observation and probes, conducting a facade inspection does not assure that all unsafe conditions will be identified.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This standard practice covers methods and procedures for inspection, evaluation, and reporting for periodic inspection of building facades for unsafe conditions. In the context of this practice, unsafe conditions are hazards caused by or resulting from loss of facade material.

    1.2 This standard practice does not purport to address the nature of deterioration of various building facade materials nor the performance of their assemblies. It is the responsibility of the owner to retain a qualified professional who can demonstrate expertise in the evaluation of various facade materials and their assemblies.

    1.3 Investigative techniques discussed may be intrusive, disruptive, or destructive. It is the responsibility of the qualified professional to anticipate, advise on the nature of procedures, and to plan for implementing repair as necessary.

    1.4 It is the responsibility of the specifying authority to establish the usage of this standard practice and to supplement this practice with additional requirements suitable to its local jurisdiction. It is also the responsibility of the specifying authority to determine compliance with local licensing regulations and customary practices.

    1.5 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to SI units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

    1.6 This standard may involve hazardous materials, operations, and equipment. This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. Awareness of safety and familiarity with safe procedures are particularly important for above-ground operations on facades and destructive investigative procedures, which typically are associated with the work described.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    E631 Terminology of Building Constructions


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 91.060.10 (Walls. Partitions. Facades)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 81141800(Facilities management)


    DOI: 10.1520/E2270

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