In India there are many old buildings which have reduced strength in due course of time. If further use of such deteriorated structure is continued it may endanger the lives of the occupants and surrounding habitation. Appropriate actions should then be implemented to improve the performance of structures and restore the desired function of structures. Thus, it is utmost important to perform structural audit of existing buildings and to implement maintenance/ repair work timely which will lead to prolonged life of the building and safety of the occupant.
Structural audit should highlight and investigate all critical areas and recommend immediate remedial and preventive measures. It should cover the structural analysis of existing frame and find critical elements for all types of loadings. It also helps in delivering a strong building structure with cost effective solutions and appropriate maintenance program.
Why Structural Audit
With every passing year, your building combats a series of natural upheavals, facing the apathy of every season that goes by. Many buildings built during last 20 to 30 years in Mumbai are in severe structural distress. Leakages are a common sight during monsoons. To add to this, we keep hearing of sporadic incidents of building collapse, which have resulted in irreparable loses at times, both of men and material. And that’s when the concept of ‘structural audit’ became known and it was soon made mandatory to be followed.
Structural Audit is an overall health and performance checkup of a building like a doctor examines a patient. It ensures that the building and its premises are safe and have no risk. It analyses and suggests appropriate repairs and retrofitting measures required for the buildings to perform better in its service life. Structural audit is done by an experienced and licensed structural consultant.
Need of the Structural Audit
Structural audit is an important technique to understand the condition / distress level of any existing building / structure. The structural audit report must highlight and investigate all the critical areas which demand immediate attention. It is mandatory as per municipal authorities. Step-by-step procedures are in place to carry out structural audit of building structures and method for its repair and restoration. The evaluation and interpretation of test data is explained systematically in detail, which helps the structural auditor to arrive at the level of distress in structure thereof.
When to do Structural Audit???
Model byelaw no. 77 specifies Structural Audit as a mandatory (necessary and binding) requirement. It stipulates that if the age of a building is 15 to 30 years, Structural Audit must be carried out once in 5 years and for buildings older than 30 years it should be carried out once in 3 years.
Importance of a Structural project audit: Midway audit can be really helpful
A project audit provides an opportunity to uncover issues, concerns and challenges encountered during the project lifecycle Conducted midway through the project, an audit affords the project manager, project sponsor and project team an interim view of what has gone well, as well as what needs to be improved to successfully complete the project. If done at the close of a project, the audit can be used to develop success criteria for future projects by providing a forensic review. This review identifies which elements of the project were successfully managed and which ones presented challenges. As a result, the review will help the organisation identify what it needs to do to avoid repeating the same mistakes on future projects.
After the structural audit is carried out, if the Structural Engineer recommends any corrective repairs for securing Structural Stability of the building such corrective repairs shall be carried out by the owner/occupier of the building to the satisfaction of the Commissioner within a period as suggested by Structural Engineer in his report not exceeding six months failing which action as per due procedure will be taken.
Purpose of Structural Audit
- To save human life and buildings
- To understand the condition of building
- To find critical areas to repair immediately
- To comply with statutory requirements
- To enhance life cycle of building by suggesting preventive and corrective measures like repairs and retrofitting
General Inspection Processes
- Visual Inspection
- Non Destructive (NDT) and Destructive Testing (DT)
- Concrete strength tests
- Chemical attacks
- Corrosion Potential Assessment
- Homogeneity and integrity Assessment
- Core Testing
- Overload testing
Info and source