Q&A on PCA Practices

In the past few years, professionals completing PCAs have experienced shifting requirements and standards of practice. While the strategies to stay up to date often differ, this series is intended to find out more about the PCA practices of leading firms and their insights about trends they are seeing.

This month’s contributor is Greg Bailey, a member of the EMG team for eight years and based in Baltimore, MD. As Director, A&E Technical Operations at EMG, Mr. Bailey brings more than 25 years of architectural, engineering, and energy consulting experience. His prime responsibilities include managing Property Condition Assessments worldwide within hotel chains, commercial establishments, healthcare facilities, and multi-family housing developments.

Over his due diligence career, Mr. Bailey has been responsible for program level management of large technical projects from the request for proposal to project close-out. He has personally assessed hundreds of complex buildings utilizing comprehensive environmental, engineering, energy, and architectural assessment principles.

How long have you been working on PCAs and what changes have you seen over the years?

I’ve been working in the PCA market for 25 years, and I’ve seen the PCA market move away from having separate professionals to a single person trained to perform combined, ESA and PCA services. I’ve also seen increasingly shorter turnaround times becoming the norm, along with a much higher level of training, education, licensure and industry experience required to perform PCAs. The industry has evolved with technology, demonstrated through the use of digital photos, online data research, and real-time communication between the field and office.

Strategy-wise, how does your PCA practice differ from your ESA practice?

We see more opportunity to offer expanded and add-on services in the PCA practice such as infrared, structural assessments, pest inspection, moisture infiltration, building envelope, roofing, advanced MEP studies than we perform in our ESA practice.

Even though the ASTM E2018 Standard is well adopted, there are a lot of variations in PCA requirements for agencies like Freddie, Fannie and HUD, which can change relatively often. How do you manage the different requirements and keep your staff ahead of these changes?

EMG dedicates internal subject matter experts that take ownership of a protocol or program and own all changes, training, etc. In addition, the use of standard report templates whether in PARCEL, proprietary software or Word and Excel documents allow us to adhere to protocol and program changes on an enterprise level.

How has PARCEL benefited your PCA practice?

PARCEL has made our reports more consistent, allowed changes to be made across numerous clients and protocols easily and quickly, saving us time. It has also allowed for more consistent quality control and second tier report review on large portfolios.

What major trends do you see impacting the PCA market within the next 5 years?

I expect to see even shorter turnaround times for reports with higher level of qualifications required by those performing the reports. I also expect to see the lines between services such as Phase I, PCA, Energy Audit, Green, and LEED to become increasingly blurry while the need to collect data digitally in the field, real-time, and transfer it seamlessly to the other stakeholders in the project will become the norm.

Want to be a contributor? Email rrindfleisch@edrnet.com to get on our schedule or suggest topics for future Q&As.

View last month’s Q&A here.