- Posted On: December 19, 2014
Every community has structures of importance – pieces of architecture that help to tell the story of how the town or city came to be. For some, it’s as small as a commemorative railroad fastening nail that pieced together a rural community to larger cities. For others, it’s a massive amount of old structures, from homes to office buildings. These aging buildings can fall into ruin if not properly inspected on a regular basis.
Chicago, one of America’s largest cities, certainly has its share of historic structures. Sometimes, it takes a tragedy to bring light to the dangers these structures can bring. In September, a 34-year-old woman was killed when a gargoyle statue fell from the façade of an old church in Chicago. The tragedy prompted a closer look at other Chicago landmarks, which revealed failed inspections that could be another disaster waiting to happen.
Old cement undergoes a beating as the cold winter temperatures followed by the summer heat push and pull until things start falling apart. However, in communities where old buildings line row after row of city streets, how is an inspection department supposed to keep up?
The answer to that question is that most city departments aren’t keeping up with their workload, mostly due to antiquated work methods that keep employees from maximizing their time in the field.
Historical societies help maintain buildings and protect ones in danger of being torn down. These societies, often funded through public giving campaigns, can only do so much when it comes to keeping these homes and buildings from becoming a danger to anyone who enters them. Whether it’s a falling gargoyle or a collapsing façade, some structural problems are hard to spot without a complete inspection, which most cities aren’t staffed to do on a regular basis.
Some businesses are taking it upon themselves to create an action plan that ensures the structural integrity of their structures and the safety of citizens. Macy’s is an example of a business that did just that and got a classification from the city as “safe with repair maintenance program.”
Anyone who has owned an old house knows how much work is involved in the upkeep. Historic structures take even more work because most of them aren’t inhabited, full-time, by an owner. For cities with building inspection software, keeping tabs on these fine old structures is much easier.
With the right building inspection software, municipalities are able to easily keep track of historic buildings, what issues they have now and have had in the past. With a mobile component added in, city officials can go on site and pull up information about the structure, build a report complete with GIS information and photographs, and electronically send it to the appropriate people back at city hall or the county courthouse.
Comcate has empowered many communities with building inspection software, built to improve staff efficiency, mobilize the workforce, increase citizen engagement and develop a more thriving, robust community. Contact us today for more information about how our solutions work.