Our years of experience as expert witnesses has proven us to be invaluable as Building Inspectors.


D.A. Doddridge & Assoc., Inc. performed a commercial inspection at Loews Paradise Theatre

D.A. Doddridge & Associates, Inc. has been serving the commercial real estate community since 1975 as a versatile building inspection company. Our assignments generate powerful reporting tools for commercial lenders, real estate brokers, insurance companies, business owners, real estate investors and property managers.

Documentation of existing building conditions is critical to our inspectional processes. As highly experienced expert witnesses, we document the condition of the existing building for the future protection of our clients. We utilize reliable, recognized methods and principles to document the condition of the buildings we inspect.

Our comprehensive assessments are designed to facilitate planning programs, such as maintenance, resale, or a prospective purchase. Whether it be a small mixed use property, or a 500,000 square foot facility, we are prepared to report on building conditions, property safety, environmental, and construction quality control issues, to include the following inspection programs:

Property Condition Assessment (PCA)

The “gold standard” for commercial property inspections is a Property Condition Assessment (PCA) under ASTM 2018-08 guidelines, which is a specific type of due diligence, pre-purchase, pre-lease, or post-lease property inspection, performed according to a standard developed by the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials).

The purpose of this inspection is to "define good commercial and customary practice …for conducting a baseline property condition assessment …of improvements located on a parcel of commercial real estate by performing a walk-through survey and conducting research as outlined in the guide."

Our clients include REIT’s, investors, end users, lessees, lenders, loan servicers, lessors, business owners, building owners, insurance companies and sellers of buildings. We inspect all types of commercial buildings including warehouses, industrial properties, apartment buildings, office buildings, lodging and long term care facilities, shopping malls, strip malls, retail buildings and triple net leased space and buildings.

Our services also provide

  • Acceptance by most lenders and insurance companies
  • Fast turnaround, typically 10 days from acceptance of quote to delivery of report
  • An executive summary that is clear and concise
  • Disabled or ADA compliance analysis
  • Building code compliance
  • Inspected under a PCA are the key components of the property, including
  • Site conditions; parking, drainage, lighting, utilities
  • Structural conditions
  • Building envelope; roof, façade, windows, doors
  • Mechanical systems; HVAC & plumbing
  • Electrical system; service, lighting & distribution
  • Fire & life safety systems
  • Vertical transportation; elevators & escalators
  • Interior environment
  • Other key components within the building can also be inspected, such as
  • Elevators/escalators
  • Pools and spas
  • EIFS (Exterior Insulation Finishing System)
  • Thermographic scans
  • HUD and FHA compliance
  • Indoor air quality
Capital Reserve Fund Studies

A Capital Reserve Fund Study is typically ordered by condominium or co-op boards for the purpose of establishing the existing condition of their building and the life expectancy of key components, including replacement costs that are identified and established over a future period of time, typically 20 years.

The format used for a Capital Reserve Fund Study is very much the same as a Property Condition Assessment, which is used to establish the condition of an existing building(s). A Capital Reserve Fund Study is usually performed by an architect, engineer or qualified commercial building inspector and provides the property owner(s) with

  • Identification of the existing condition of key components (parking areas, roof, building envelope, mechanical systems, etc.) 
  • Establishment of life expectancy of key components
  • Estimate of replacement and/or repair costs of key components over a period of time

The benefit of having a Capital Reserve Fund Study performed on your building(s) is to be able to accurately provide the building owners with an estimate of future repair and maintenance costs. These costs are then used to make sure that the condominium or co-op fees and capital reserves will be adequate to pay for such future costs.

Customized Commercial Building Inspections

Oftentimes a commercial building owner only wishes to have the major components of their building(s) inspected for the purpose of minimizing inspection costs while still establishing the condition of major components within the subject property.

For this reason, we also offer “a la carte” and customized inspection services that focus on the specific needs or concerns the building owner, buyer or lessee may have. We can inspect and report only on key components, such as

  • Roofing
  • Façade
  • Building envelope (roof, walls, windows, doors, below grade walls)
  • Mechanical equipment
  • Safety concerns (elevators, stairways, fire detection/suppression equipment, etc.)
  • Customized building inspection packages are available

Customized building inspection packages are also available. We provide “a la carte” inspection services, we can provide our clients with valuable information while helping them contain inspection service costs.

Floor and Walkway Audits (ANSI/NFSI B.101)

As a Certified Walkway Auditor under the National Floor Safety Institute, Mr. Doddridge has been trained in the ANSI/NFSI B101 standard, which is widely recognized by insurance companies and building owners as a standard used for the purpose of preventing slip and fall accidents.

According to the National Safety Council, slip and fall accidents account for over 540,000 injuries requiring hospital care and over 20,000 deaths annually. Slip and fall injuries are the second leading cause of fatalities per year in North America.

Using a calibrated tribometer, the coefficient of friction (slip-resistance) is measured at specific test sites within established zones within the commercial space. Zones, test sites and risk classes are established by the Walkway Auditor, based upon the ANSI/NFSI B.101 standard.

The purpose of a floor and walkway audit is to

  • Prevent slip and fall accidents suffered by consumers and workers
  • Establish measures the building owner or lessee can undertake to increase the safety of their commercial space
  • Perform ongoing inspections to ensure continued safety
  • Lower insurance premiums
  • Prevent costly litigation
  • Increase safety for consumers and workers
  • Comply with the recently promulgated OSHA Walking and Working Surface regulation

Inspections are performed by seasoned expert witness who are familiar with premises liability issues and are available for litigation support if necessary.

Stairway and Means of Egress Inspections

Stairways are irrefutably one of the most hazardous areas within a commercial space. There is much more to the proper construction and maintenance of a stairway than meets the eye. Mr. Doddridge has personally constructed and inspected hundreds of stairways in both commercial and residential buildings.

A properly constructed and maintained stairway and means of egress is critical to the safety of building occupants, and to compliance with many local, state and federal codes. A thorough stairway and means of egress inspection is intended to

  • Identify hazards and measures the building owner can take to increase safety
  • Prevent or minimize stairway accidents
  • Reduce liability and insurance premiums
  • Prevent litigation by increasing safety
  • Ensure code compliance within the means of egress of a building
  • Inspect single steps and ramps
  • Common hazards on a stairway include dimensional non-uniformity, improper lighting, weak or missing handrails and slippery stair treads
  • Inspections performed by seasoned expert witness available for litigation support if necessary

A thorough stairway and means of egress inspection will provide the client with the identification of hazards and suggested improvements and maintenance that will increase the safety of the subject premises.

Building Envelope Inspections and Investigations

In order to be properly protected from the constant forces and harsh conditions imposed by Mother Nature, the “envelope” (exterior walls, roof, windows, and doors) of any building must be properly designed, constructed and maintained. If not, the results can be catastrophic and affect the structure, and indoor air quality.

When the envelope of a building fails, numerous resulting conditions affect the performance and safety of the building. A scientific approach by a qualified professional must be taken in order to properly diagnose building envelope failures.

As licensed professional engineers, architects, contractors and certified Building Envelope Science Institute (B.E.S.I.) inspectors, we can inspect and analyze the reasons for the failure of a building envelope, and draft a remedial plan to cure the defects.

A building envelope inspection and investigation can provide the building owner with

  • Proper diagnosis of building envelope failure using forensically recognized methods and principles
  • Drafting of remedial plan to fix the building envelope, including bid packages for submittal to contractors
  • Prevention of continuation of expensive litigation, often an amount exceeding the cost-to-cure the defects
  • Assistance in the collection of bids from remedial contractors
  • Owners representation throughout the remedial process
  • Expert witness services if required for litigation support
  • Forensic documentation of existing building conditions
  • Creation of a map of the building exterior showing problematic areas
Building Façade Inspections

The forces of nature can impose severe environmental conditions on the façade of a building. If not inspected and maintained regularly, these conditions can lead to failure of building façade components that can fall off the building, creating significant public safety concerns.

Aside from compliance with local laws, a properly performed building façade inspection will identify potential hazards and provide a repair and maintenance plan the building owner can then follow.

Common failures to and hazards from building façade include

  • Mortar joint failure due to improperly installed or maintained weep holes, causing freeze-thaw conditions
  • Bricks and masonry becoming displaced and falling
  • Glazing and sealant failure, causing glass to fall out
  • Parapet wall failure due to missing or improperly designed and installed through-flashing
  • Signs and other appurtenances
  • Window air conditioners improperly installed

We utilize state-of-the-art elevated camera systems and building envelope “mapping” to visually inspect the façade of commercial buildings.

Regular building façade inspections are typically performed by professional engineers or licensed architects, both of which D.A. Doddridge & Associates, Inc. has on staff.

High Rise Building Façade and Building Envelope Inspections

Currently, the building façade and the building envelope are typically inspected using what is known as a “drop”, which means a suspended scaffolding hung over the side of the building for use by a qualified professional to personally inspect the building exterior.

While there is no substitute for an “up close and personal” physical inspection, with today’s technology we can come close.

D.A. Doddridge & Associates, Inc. utilizes state-of-the-art photographic equipment to document the condition of the exterior of buildings. We do this by either one of two ways--the use of an elevated camera mast system for smaller buildings (2 to 8 stories), or the use of a suspended robotic camera system for taller buildings (mid to high rise).

We then utilize specialized software to “map out” the problematic areas and, using an online application, we then “stitch together” each frame taken by the camera to provide one large photograph of the building’s exterior, thus providing a permanent record of the condition of the building. The zoom in feature of the application, combined with the high quality of our cameras, provides remarkable accuracy to any point on the façade of the building.

Either system provides us with the unique ability to document the condition of the exterior of a building, whether it is during construction, before a building is purchased or leased, for financing or insurance purposes or prior to an actual physical inspection or “drop”.

Our elevated photographic camera systems allow us to

  • Document the condition of a building before it is purchased, leased, insured, financed, renovated or physically inspected
  • Provide a permanent record of the pre-lease or pre-sale condition of a building’s exterior
  • Reduce time and expense to building owners, lessees and property managers
  • Provide a cost-effective and time saving method to visually document, scan and map out the condition of the exterior of a building
  • Document damage to the exterior of a building resulting from severe weather events or vibration caused by the construction of a building on an adjacent property
  • Provide an inexpensive alternative to costly aerial photography for marketing purposes
  • Use forensically recognized photographic equipment and techniques
Environmental Site Assessments, Phase One (ESA)

A Phase One ESA provides the information you or your client needs to meet environmental due diligence obligations, lender requirements and protect your assets. This assessment meets or exceeds the ASTM-E-1527 Standard for Phase One Environmental Site Assessments.

The Phase One ESA includes a computerized color map showing the subject property with those sites surrounding it designated in searchable databases. The assessment is presented in written form and can be provided via email or mailed as a CD if preferred.

  • Pre-purchase due diligence inspection
  • Accepted by most lenders and by HUD
New York Local Law 11-98 Inspections

New York’s Local Law 11/98 inspections involve the critical examination of the exterior walls of buildings that are 6 stories tall or taller. Every five years (based on predetermined cycles) a Professional Engineer or Registered Architect must inspect the façade of the qualifying building.

The purpose of these inspections is for public safety, to make sure the façade of the building and any appurtenances are not subject to failure, thus potentially falling to the sidewalk below. Inspections are scheduled and performed in a timely fashion and reports are filed with the D.O.B. as required by law. We can also develop a façade restoration plan and monitoring program to ensure program compliance.

A recent law was put in place in New York City requiring that strength testing of exterior railings be performed as part of the Local Law 11 requirements. This law requires that a railing be capable of withstanding 200 lbs. of lateral force.

D.A. Doddridge & Associates, Inc. can perform Local Law 11 inspections using qualified licensed professionals providing

  • Compliance with newly enacted Local Law 11 requirements
  • Quick report turnaround
  • Follow up inspections
  • Experienced, licensed professionals with decades of NYC building experience
  • Compliance with the new railing inspection requirements
  • Elevated camera equipment used to provide accurate visual documentation of existing building conditions
Disabled or ADA/AG Access Analysis

Many older buildings do not have ADA compliant features and, while some newer buildings contain some special ADA components, they are often not in full compliance with state and federal laws. Our Property Condition Report includes general information on restrooms, parking areas, and other areas designed to provide disabled access.

A Detailed ADA/AG (Accessibility Guidelines) Compliance Report typically includes listing and measuring all ADA components, grab bars, ramps, pay phones, parking ramps, etc., to determine whether they are installed according to the latest state accessibility and federal requirements.

There are often no requirements for existing buildings to adopt ADA-required improvements unless those buildings are substantially altered or modified. The extent of alterations, structural repairs, or additions necessary to trigger ADA requirements is set to a dollar amount that is adjusted annually by the local enforcing agency.

There are several exceptions to ADA requirements related to the concept of "reasonable hardship," when the cost of alterations necessary to make the building fully accessible is disproportionate. Identification of those portions of a building that are not ADA compliant can help prevent future liabilities and potential law suits against the future building owner.

D.A. Doddridge & Associates, Inc. can provide you with ADA/AG and state accessibility code compliance inspections, which will

  • Reduce liability
  • Help contain insurance costs
  • Ensure compliance with ADA/AG requirements related to your building
  • Ensure compliance with local, state and Federal accessibility requirements
  • Insure FHA compliance
Building Code Compliance

Under some building codes for “existing buildings”, there is a requirement to bring portions of the existing building up to current building code standards if the building is added on to or significantly modified. This requirement can apply to multi-family residential structures as well as commercial buildings.

Some state building codes reference the “Health Code”, which dictates minimum standards for human habitation. When a building is poorly maintained or improperly modified by the building owner or tenants, code violations can easily build up.

Our inspectors are qualified, licensed engineers and architects, or are certified by the International Code Council in residential and commercial building codes. A building code compliance report can help the new building owner by

  • Identifying lack of compliance on buildings that were built and/or modified recently
  • Avoiding potential litigation
  • Reducing liability
  • Lowering insurance premium costs
  • Researching at local building department for violations, corrections, etc.
Pre-Construction or pre-lease Documentation of Existing Conditions

Oftentimes a commercial building owner only wishes to have the major components of their building(s) inspected for the purpose of minimizing inspection costs while still establishing the condition of major components within the subject property.

For this reason, we also offer “a la carte” and customized inspection services that focus on the specific needs or concerns the building owner, buyer or lessee may have. We can inspect and report only on key components, such as

  • Roofing
  • Façade
  • Building envelope (roof, walls, windows, doors, below grade walls)
  • Mechanical equipment
  • Safety concerns (elevators, stairways, fire detection/suppression equipment, etc.)
  • Customized building inspection packages are available

Customized building inspection packages are also available. We provide “a la carte” inspection services, we can provide our clients with valuable information while helping them contain inspection service costs.