Building structure audit to ensure compliance

Are you the owner, manager or investor of a building wishing to guarantee its compliance, safety and optimal performance? A building structure audit is essential to identify any disorders, risks or defects that may compromise the stability, durability or value of your property. It offers concrete recommendations to improve or rehabilitate the structure, including an estimate of the relative costs.

What is a building structure audit ?

A building structure audit is a thorough inspection performed by a qualified professional, aimed at assessing the condition of the essential elements that guarantee the stability and solidity of a building. These elements include, but are not limited to, foundations, walls, columns, beams, floors and structural structures. The objective is to detect any structural problems, defects, non-compliance and potential risks that may compromise the security or value of the building.

This rigorous examination makes it possible to identify various disorders such as cracks, subsidence, heaves, deformations, wear, corrosion or fire impacts, which could affect the performance and maintenance of the property.

The audit is conducted in several phases, which include the analysis of technical documents (plans, previous inspection reports, diagnostics, building history), visual examination of structures, up to the execution of soundings, destructive or not, to evaluate the quality of the materials. The expert concludes this audit with a report detailing his observations, conclusions and recommendations.

Conducting an audit of the structure of a building gives you a clear and precise perspective on the condition of your property, accompanied by expert recommendations for any corrective action, in compliance with the products quality standards, budget and deadlines envisaged. This process is important for preserving the value of your property and securing your real estate projects.

Why carry out a building structure audit for your company ?

A building structure audit offers multiple benefits for your business, covering technical, economic, legal and environmental aspects. Here is why it makes sense to use a structural diagnostic specialist :

  • Increased safety : By detecting structural flaws that can cause accidents, such as collapses or fires, an audit increases the safety of occupants, visitors and staff, thus minimizing the risk of injury or worse.
  • Improving your image : Performing this audit demonstrates your commitment to safety and quality, contributing positively to your reputation. This saves you from any negative impact on your image in the event of an accident or dispute, thereby strengthening the confidence of your customers and partners.
  • Regulatory compliance : It ensures compliance with construction, design, energy performance and fire safety standards, avoiding administrative, criminal, or civil sanctions.
  • Optimization of wealth management : The audit provides an accurate view of the current state of your property portfolio and any necessary work, thus facilitating effective management, maintenance and budget planning. It also supports the valuation of your property in case of sale, rental or repair.
  • Energy efficiency and cost reduction : Identifying energy leakage reduces operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions. You benefit from significant savings on your energy bills and can access financial assistance for energy improvements.

Who is the building structure audit for ?

The building structure audit concerns all professionals and individuals in the real estate sector concerned with the structural integrity of a building. Relevant for both new and older buildings, this audit applies to both public and private buildings, including residential, industrial or commercial spaces. Let’s look at some scenarios where structural audit is essential :

  • Owners : Whether you are an individual or a company, auditing is necessary to ensure the safety and compliance of your building. It plays a preventive role against risks, helps organize renovations, offers an opportunity to obtain subsidies and facilitates sales or lease negotiations.
  • Acquirers : As a future owner, the audit gives you an accurate view of the structural condition of the property. It protects you from unwanted surprises, allows you to assess potential renovation expenses, better negotiate the purchase price and secure your investment.
  • Builders : For construction professionals, whether they are project owners, architects, design offices or contractors, this audit is a tool to verify the quality and compliance of the work. It contributes to compliance with current standards, to the prevention of construction defects, to the correction of anomalies and to certify the quality of the work.
  • Managers : Co-ownership trustees, property administrators, social landlords or asset managers find in the audit a way to ensure the maintenance and increase the value of their real estate. It helps plan maintenance operations, reduce costs, improve energy efficiency and enhance occupant or customer satisfaction.

Which organizations offer building structure audits ?

Organizations specializing in technical diagnosis, engineering or architecture offer audits of building structure. They must have the necessary qualifications, guarantee their independence and be recognized for their expertise and reliability.

These organizations vary in scope, accuracy and cost of service. Examples include :

Engineering offices

Experts in technical studies, calculations, simulations and modelling in the construction sector, these entities have the skills and technical means to evaluate the supporting structures of buildings and their performance (energy, acoustic, thermal, etc.). They offer detailed and tailor-made audits, meeting the specific needs of the customer and suggest strategies for improvement or rehabilitation.

Architectural firms

Specialized in the design, implementation and supervision of construction, renovation or transformation projects, architectural firms have expertise in design, regulation, materials and construction methods. They perform structural audits as part of their consulting or project management mission, while offering adaptation or modification options in line with aesthetic, functional and budgetary requirements.

Companies certified RGE global offer

These companies are specialized in complete energy renovation and have the RGE qualification (Recognized Guarantor of the Environment), a guarantee of their commitment to quality, safety and energy performance. They perform audits as part of their overall services, including energy diagnostics, work proposals, cost estimates, financing solutions and performance monitoring.

What are the essential steps to obtain a building structure audit ?

Obtaining a building structure audit involves following a methodical approach comprising several steps. Below you will find the essential steps to follow to ensure a reliable and comprehensive building structure audit :

Choose the body that will conduct the audit

First of all, it is essential to select a qualified body to carry out the audit. Ensure that the selected entity has the required qualifications, skills and state-of-the-art technical tools to perform a detailed and reliable assessment of the building structure.

Also check the independence and impartiality of the organization, as well as its compliance with current standards and regulations. Options include design offices, architectural firms, or RGE certified companies, offering a full range of services. The objective is to choose an organization aligned with the needs and requirements of the client.

Define the objectives and scope of the audit

Next, determine the audit objectives and scope. Specify why the audit is necessary, identify the problems to be solved, the expected results, the budget and the schedule for implementation. It is essential to specify the areas of the building to be examined, the structural components to be evaluated and the evaluation criteria.

It is recommended to prepare detailed audit specifications and a contract defining the obligations and responsibilities of each party involved.

Conduct the audit in the field

Conducting the audit in the field is the third step. It involves a detailed inspection of the building structure using appropriate methods and tools. This step includes the review of technical documents (plans, reports, diagnostics), visual inspection of structural elements, destructive or non-destructive tests to assess the quality of materials and audit reports reporting observations, expert analysis and recommendations.

Follow the recommendations of the audit

To conclude, it is essential to implement the recommendations from the building structure audit. Acting according to the expert’s suggestions to improve or renovate the structure involves standards, costs and deadlines to consider. Actions may vary from structural reinforcements, repairs, renovations, adaptations or modifications.

It is also important to maintain constant monitoring of the condition of the structure and conduct regular inspections to ensure compliance and safety of the building.

Combien coûte un audit de structure bâtiment ?

Le coût d'un audit de la structure d'un bâtiment varie en fonction de divers facteurs, tels que la nature et la superficie du bâtiment, la profondeur de l'analyse souhaitée, l'entité réalisant l'audit, ainsi que l'emplacement géographique de l'édifice. Puisqu'il n'y a pas de tarif fixe ou de grille tarifaire officielle pour ces prestations, il vous faut de comparer les propositions et les estimations de prix des divers prestataires afin d'assurer un choix qui allie qualité et fiabilité.

Pour vous orienter dans l'estimation du coût d'un audit de structure, considérez les points suivants :

Le prix varie selon le domaine d'application et la finesse de l'étude

Un audit énergétique, axé sur l'évaluation de la performance énergétique d'un bâtiment, se situe, par exemple, entre 800 et 1200 € pour une habitation individuelle de taille moyen. En revanche, un audit technique, concentré sur la solidité de la structure porteuse, peut varier de 400 à 1000 € pour une résidence privée et de 4000 à 10 000 € pour un immeuble collectif ou une entreprise.

L'entité exécutant l'audit influence également le tarif

Un bureau d'études, fort de ses moyens techniques supérieurs, peut appliquer des tarifs plus élevés comparé à une agence d'architecture, qui repose davantage sur l'expérience et le savoir-faire. Par ailleurs, une entreprise certifiée RGE (Reconnu Garant de l'Environnement) proposant un service de rénovation énergétique complet tendra à avoir des tarifs plus hauts qu'un simple diagnostic énergétique.

La localisation influence les coûts d'un audit

Les prix peuvent varier considérablement entre les régions, les départements et les villes, en raison des différences dans la concurrence, la demande et le coût de la vie. Il est donc important de ne pas oublier de se renseigner spécifiquement sur les tarifs appliqués dans votre région, en consultant des ressources comme les sites web, les annuaires professionnels ou les retours clients.

Y-a-t-il un renouvellement à faire concernant l’audit de structure bâtiment ?

L'audit de structure d'un bâtiment est un processus continu et non un simple acte ponctuel, requérant un renouvellement périodique. La raison en est que la structure d’un bâtiment est susceptible de changer en raison de l’usure, des influences climatiques, des changements apportés et des mises à jour des normes et réglementations. Il est donc nécessaire de réaliser un nouvel audit de structure à des intervalles réguliers pour garantir que la structure soit toujours conforme, sécurisée et fonctionnelle.

Pour comprendre quand et comment renouveler votre audit de structure bâtiment, voici des éléments essentiels :

  • Le besoin de renouvellement de l’audit dépend de son type et de son domaine d'application. Par exemple, un audit énergétique doit être renouvelé tous les 10 ans conformément à la législation, tandis qu’un audit technique, destiné à évaluer la structure porteuse, doit être renouvelé tous les 3 ans en respectant la norme NF P 45-500. Dans le cas spécifique d'un audit de Qualiopi pour la certification des prestataires de formation continu, le renouvellement est requis tous les 3 ans, suivant le référentiel national qualité.
  • La méthodologie de renouvellement d’un audit de structure imite celle de l’audit initial mais est ajustée selon les circonstances spécifiques. Il est important de sélectionner l’organisme de renouvellement, de déterminer les objectifs et le périmètre, d’effectuer l’audit sur le terrain et de mettre en œuvre les recommandations issues du processus. Prévoyez également un budget et un délai suffisants, qui peuvent varier selon le type d’audit, l’organisme en charge et la localisation du bâtiment.
  • Le renouvellement offre les mêmes avantages que l’audit initial en apportant des informations et solutions actualisées. Il assure le maintien de la conformité, de la sécurité et des performances de la structure porteuse du bâtiment, contribuant ainsi à la valorisation et à l’optimisation du projet immobilier. De plus, il aide à prévenir les risques de sinistres, de litiges, de sanctions ou de pertes de valeur de la propriété.