Third Party Inspection

ECS is a certified Third-Party Inspection Agency for the District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), and is also authorized to provide Third-Party Inspection Program (TPIP) services for select jurisdictions in Virginia.

We provide both Special Inspections (i.e., IBC Chapter 17) and Third-Party Inspections (MEP, Fire, Architectural) as a certified Third-Party Agency for the DC DCRA.

ECS is a certified Third-Party Inspection Agency for the District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), and is also authorized to provide Third-Party Inspection Program (TPIP) services for select jurisdictions in Virginia.

We provide both Special Inspections (i.e., IBC Chapter 17) and Third-Party Inspections (MEP, Fire, Architectural) as a certified Third-Party Agency for the DC DCRA.

3rd party code compliance

Third-Party Inspection Program (TPIP)

In some jurisdictions, local officials have allowed third-party providers to perform building inspections that have traditionally been performed by municipal building officials. ECS can perform these inspections in a timely, cost-effective manner that helps keep your project on track.

The ECS TPIP team provides experienced multi-trade inspectors to facilitate client commercial, industrial, mixed-use, residential and institutional project needs. The ECS team is staffed with certified code professionals who have abundant municipal and commercial experience. Their goal is to save clients time and money while complying with jurisdictional requirements and satisfying the intent of the code.

In some jurisdictions, local officials have allowed third-party providers to perform building inspections that have traditionally been performed by municipal building officials. ECS can perform these inspections in a timely, cost-effective manner that helps keep your project on track.

The ECS TPIP team provides experienced multi-trade inspectors to facilitate client commercial, industrial, mixed-use, residential and institutional project needs. The ECS team is staffed with certified code professionals who have abundant municipal and commercial experience. Their goal is to save clients time and money while complying with jurisdictional requirements and satisfying the intent of the code.

3rd party code compliance

Why Is Third-Party Inspection Important?

Third-party construction inspections are important for several reasons.

Reduce Costs

As municipalities struggle with budget restrictions, the need to reduce expenses is paramount. Outsourcing the assessment process to third parties can be more cost-effective than utilizing in-house personnel. Officials can evaluate and negotiate with multiple vendors until they find the company that meets their needs. They also do not have to pay for fringe benefits and other expenses associated with dedicated employees.

Provide Access to Expertise

Third-party inspection services employ experienced and professional personnel who bring specialized understanding and insight. The result is a faster, more efficient and less dangerous inspection process than municipalities could develop and implement in-house. These outside companies are also more likely to have up-to-date knowledge of the relevant building codes and how they apply to each situation. 

Transfer Liability

In a traditional building inspection process, the municipality is typically deemed liable if something goes wrong. For example, if a fire causes extensive damage and an assessment determines that the evaluator did not do a careful, systematic job when looking for issues, the government entity could be held responsible. On the other hand, with third-party inspections, the contracted outside agency assumes the risk.

Eliminate Political Influence

Incidents of corruption where building owners or contractors pay bribes to local inspectors to overlook a potential violation are not uncommon. Generally, third-party reviewers have no motivation to engage in these activities, significantly reducing the chances of a potentially dangerous situation that a municipality-employed technician chooses to ignore. This strategy also adds more security to the inspection process.

Free Up Resources

Using outside entities reduces the burden on municipalities trying to make do with limited human resources. They can train their in-house inspection personnel to perform other necessary duties, which increases overall productivity and efficiency and improves the services they provide to the local community.

Why Is Third-Party Inspection Important?

Third-party construction inspections are important for several reasons.

Reduce Costs

As municipalities struggle with budget restrictions, the need to reduce expenses is paramount. Outsourcing the assessment process to third parties can be more cost-effective than utilizing in-house personnel. Officials can evaluate and negotiate with multiple vendors until they find the company that meets their needs. They also do not have to pay for fringe benefits and other expenses associated with dedicated employees.

Provide Access to Expertise

Third-party inspection services employ experienced and professional personnel who bring specialized understanding and insight. The result is a faster, more efficient and less dangerous inspection process than municipalities could develop and implement in-house. These outside companies are also more likely to have up-to-date knowledge of the relevant building codes and how they apply to each situation. 

Transfer Liability

In a traditional building inspection process, the municipality is typically deemed liable if something goes wrong. For example, if a fire causes extensive damage and an assessment determines that the evaluator did not do a careful, systematic job when looking for issues, the government entity could be held responsible. On the other hand, with third-party inspections, the contracted outside agency assumes the risk.

Eliminate Political Influence

Incidents of corruption where building owners or contractors pay bribes to local inspectors to overlook a potential violation are not uncommon. Generally, third-party reviewers have no motivation to engage in these activities, significantly reducing the chances of a potentially dangerous situation that a municipality-employed technician chooses to ignore. This strategy also adds more security to the inspection process.

Free Up Resources

Using outside entities reduces the burden on municipalities trying to make do with limited human resources. They can train their in-house inspection personnel to perform other necessary duties, which increases overall productivity and efficiency and improves the services they provide to the local community.

two engineers reviewing plans

Types of Third-Party Inspection Services

TPIP services typically focus on the following elements and systems:

  • Structural and architectural: Provide an in-depth analysis of a structure at various stages of the construction process
  • Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing and Fire Protection Systems: Evaluate these systems to verify they are not dangerous, functioning correctly and comply with all applicable building codes
  • ADA Accessibility, Framing and Fire-Resistance Rating: Verify compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and confirm the structures framing fire-resistance properties
  • Lighting, Power, Wiring, Grounding Methods: Review the structure’s electrical work to verify it is not dangerous and complies with code
  • HVAC, Exhaust, Refrigeration and Fuel Gas Systems: Assess the quality and performance of these internal systems
  • Domestic Water, Sanitary Sewer and Energy: Evaluate the quality and efficiency of the building’s water and sanitation systems
  • Elevators: Check that the building’s elevators function properly and are not dangerous.

Who needs this service?

Developers who have an active permit with the city/jurisdiction and cannot wait on the scheduling of the local building official benefit from TPIP services.

Types of Third-Party Inspection Services

TPIP services typically focus on the following elements and systems:

  • Structural and architectural: Provide an in-depth analysis of a structure at various stages of the construction process
  • Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing and Fire Protection Systems: Evaluate these systems to verify they are not dangerous, functioning correctly and comply with all applicable building codes
  • ADA Accessibility, Framing and Fire-Resistance Rating: Verify compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and confirm the structures framing fire-resistance properties
  • Lighting, Power, Wiring, Grounding Methods: Review the structure’s electrical work to verify it is not dangerous and complies with code
  • HVAC, Exhaust, Refrigeration and Fuel Gas Systems: Assess the quality and performance of these internal systems
  • Domestic Water, Sanitary Sewer and Energy: Evaluate the quality and efficiency of the building’s water and sanitation systems
  • Elevators: Check that the building’s elevators function properly and are not dangerous.

Who needs this service?

Developers who have an active permit with the city/jurisdiction and cannot wait on the scheduling of the local building official benefit from TPIP services.

engineers conducting ADA compliance survey

Why Choose ECS for Third-Party Inspection?

ECS has been a leader in geotechnical, construction material, environmental and facility engineering since 1988. We operate 80 offices with more than 2,500 employees who understand the complexities presented by the modern construction process.

At ECS, we help our construction industry clients improve project results. We provide professional consultation in areas ranging from code compliance and special inspections to environmental and natural resources. Unlike other third-party inspection companies, we can serve as a one-stop shop that supports you in various aspects of your projects. 

In our role as problem-solvers, ECS can provide practical, cost-effective solutions that address the challenges that arise during the evaluation process. We work hard to uncover options and alternatives that reduce costs and enhance efficiency. Our ability to communicate in a clear, straightforward manner will help you get the most from your observations and provide more peace of mind regarding their scope and precision. 

ECS has been a leader in geotechnical, construction material, environmental and facility engineering since 1988. We operate 80 offices with more than 2,500 employees who understand the complexities presented by the modern construction process.

At ECS, we help our construction industry clients improve project results. We provide professional consultation in areas ranging from code compliance and special inspections to environmental and natural resources. Unlike other third-party inspection companies, we can serve as a one-stop shop that supports you in various aspects of your projects. 

In our role as problem-solvers, ECS can provide practical, cost-effective solutions that address the challenges that arise during the evaluation process. We work hard to uncover options and alternatives that reduce costs and enhance efficiency. Our ability to communicate in a clear, straightforward manner will help you get the most from your observations and provide more peace of mind regarding their scope and precision. 

engineers conducting ADA compliance survey

Contact ECS for Third-Party Inspection Services

Do you have questions about third-party inspections and how they can benefit your construction and building projects? Would you like more information about the services provided by ECS and how they can help your business? 

Take the next step and contact us with your request for TPIP services.

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