What is a virtual remote video building inspection?

by | Mar 29, 2023 | Property Inspection Advice

The emergence of virtual and remote video building inspections for commercial properties has been a game-changer for the real estate industry.

They are conducted with a variety of technologies to enable inspectors to view buildings from a distance. This can include video conferencing, 360-degree cameras, drones, and other remote sensing tools.

By using these tools, inspectors can examine a building’s structure, mechanical systems, electrical systems, and other components without having to physically enter the building.

These technologies have provided a safer, more efficient, and more accurate method for inspectors.

Virtual building inspections offer several benefits to the building industry, including:

  1. Time-saving: The can eliminate the need for inspectors to travel to the site, reducing the time and resources required for inspections. Inspectors can conduct virtual inspections from their offices, saving both time and money.
  2. Improved efficiency: They can be conducted more quickly than traditional inspections, allowing for more inspections to be completed in a shorter amount of time. This can help to speed up the building process and reduce project delays.
  3. Cost-effective: Virtual inspections can save the building industry money by eliminating the need for travel, reducing the need for multiple inspections, and allowing for more efficient use of resources.
  4. Improved safety: They can be conducted remotely, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries that can occur during on-site inspections.
  5. Accessibility: They can be conducted from anywhere, allowing for greater accessibility and flexibility in the inspection process. This can be especially beneficial in remote areas or when dealing with difficult-to-access sites.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual and remote building inspections have become increasingly popular, especially in the commercial real estate industry.

As social distancing measures continue to be enforced, building inspections are a necessity that cannot be postponed indefinitely, and many property owners and managers have turned to technology to ensure that their buildings are in compliance with safety regulations.

One of the main advantages of virtual and remote building inspections is that they can be conducted more quickly and efficiently than traditional inspections.

Because inspectors can access the building remotely, they can often complete the inspection process in less time than it would take to conduct an in-person inspection.

This can be especially beneficial for large commercial buildings that require extensive inspections.

Another advantage of virtual and remote building inspections is that they can be conducted more safely than in-person inspections.

Because inspectors do not need to physically enter the building, there is less risk of exposure to hazardous materials or other safety hazards. This is particularly important in the current environment, where social distancing measures are still being enforced.

Virtual and remote building inspections can also be more cost-effective than traditional inspections. Because inspectors do not need to travel to the building site, there are no travel expenses associated with the inspection.

This can save property owners and managers significant amounts of money, especially for inspections that require multiple visits.

There are some limitations to virtual and remote building inspections, however. For example, some aspects of a building may be difficult to assess remotely, such as the condition of the roof or the foundation.

Lack of visual clarity due to technical issues or poor lighting, may make on-site inspections necessary.

Additionally, some jurisdictions may not allow virtual inspections for certain types of inspections or for certain types of buildings.

Local authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) can choose to use an approved third-party inspection agency or their own staff. In situations where Wi-Fi or cellular signals are inadequate, some AHJs may allow electronic documentation of the area that needs inspection.

Effective communication and a clear understanding of virtual inspection requirements are crucial for a success. The inspector needs to comply with the same codes and standards as in-person inspections, including the IBC®, IRC®, IPC®, IFC®, and other relevant international building codes.

Despite these limitations, virtual and remote building inspections are likely to become more common in the commercial real estate industry.

As technology continues to advance and become more accessible, building owners and managers are likely to find that virtual and remote inspections offer significant benefits in terms of speed, safety, and cost-effectiveness.

Overall, virtual building inspections offer numerous benefits to the building industry, including improved efficiency, cost savings, improved safety, and greater accessibility.

As a result, they may become the preferred method for conducting building inspections in the years to come.

As such, they are becoming an increasingly popular option for commercial property inspectors like myself in many parts of the world.

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