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In India, there are many old structures among which some of them are of great importance. The
strength of these old structures reduces in the due course of time because of its usage, input of poor
quality construction materials, environmental conditions, improper practice or poor workmanship.
Also several factors such as plastic deformation, interaction with the environment, initial design,
construction flaws and natural disasters develop distress in the structure which may result in
development of cracks, corrosion in reinforcement, leakage and seepage.
The final soundness of a building can vary due to numerous reasons and thus, only proper precautions
at the initial stage and good maintenance in the later lifespan of the structure can result in a technically
sound building.
To ensure whether buildings are sound or not, require the active participation of building safety and
fire prevention officials, architects, builders, engineers, and others in the construction industries, as
well as property owners. Determining the root cause of the defect directly depends on the areas of the
building that have been affected. Defects in the foundation, floor, or wall can be the direct result of
soil issues, water issues, or even workmanship issues. Earthquakes, tropical cyclones, and other
natural disasters can also damage the structure of the building and cause it to collapse. This document
deals with the study of the principal problem like the degree of deterioration of the structural members
which is one of the governing factors for poor performance of the structure, their likely causes, and
approaches to their remedies. If the further usage of such deteriorated structures is continued, it may
endanger the lives of the occupants and the surrounding habitation. Faulty concrete repair can worsen
the structural problems therefore; remedial work should only be undertaken in the supervision of an
expert team operation.


It is generally carried out on existing structures for the following reasons:
• Assessing the load carrying capacity of building.
• Feasibility of change in occupancy.
• Feasibility for construction of additional floors.
• Assessment of earthquake resistance (As per revised codal provisions) in old structures.
• Feasibility for structural modifications.
• Feasibility for placing higher capacity equipment’s on building.
• Assessment of structural soundness periodically.


Structural Audit is essential as it refers to health check-up of building. It’s basically for ensuring that
the building and its premises are safe and under no risks. As a building gets older & older it shows
signs of wear and tear due to ageing, use, misuse or overuse, exposure to the weathering/environment
and structurally unplanned modifications and additions, which do affect the health of the building
significantly. In the initial service life of any structure, there are no problems faced by the owner but
as soon as one monsoon season passes after another, the series of troubles arises that never cease.



Structural Audit is done by appointing an experienced and expert Consulting Structural Engineer
registered with the Municipal Corporations or chartered Engineers. The owner shall give his/her brief
of use or operation in the Building and old data, drawings, details of modifications/ additions etc. to
the structural consultant.
A structural audit broadly consists of two types of surveys. The external survey that covers building
faces, common areas (stilts, staircase, terrace, projection, etc.) and ancillary structures (pump room,
compound wall, water tanks etc.) and the internal survey that covers individually owned units such as
apartments, shops etc. However, sometimes some units are locked or inaccessible. If the number of
such flats is small (say about 10%), structural audit report can still be prepared based on the
observations in the flats that were surveyed.


According to the model bye-law no. 77 for co-operative housing societies, it is mandatory that if the
age of a building is 15 to 30 years, a structural audit must be carried out once in five years and for
buildings older than 30 years it should be carried out once in three years. One may, however, go for it
even earlier if one suspects the condition of the building to be bad. Perhaps monsoon/post monsoon is
the best time to commission a structural audit since the seepage is more evident at that time. The
certificate, issued by a structural engineer registered with Municipal corporations, will have to be
submitted to the concerned municipal corporation within a year after a building completes 15 years.
For any corrective repairs suggested by the commissioner, the owner or occupants will be asked to
submit the structural stability certificates again after a specific period suggested by him, If found
unsafe, he has been given the authority to issue a notice to the owner to submit a structural stability
certificate within 30 days from the date of notice. It will be binding on owners to carry out corrective
repairs to the satisfaction of the commissioner.


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