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CDW Engineering Commercial Inspection Course


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Hi All,

Well, I decided to bite the bullet and take the 3-day CDW course here in Seattle that was hosted by the Western Washington Ashi Chapter. Altogether, there were 13 of us who took the plunge. Hope that number won't doom the class.

Inspectors attended from Washington (10), Alaska (2) and Oregon (1)

Jason Aldrich - Sequim, WA

Troy Bloxom - Eagle River, AK

Charles Buell - Shoreline, WA

Tyler Conkie - Sequim, WA

Dan Crocker - Bow, WA

Dennis Flaherty - Bellingham, WA

Jim Foss - Anchorage, AK

Kirk Juneau - Ferndale, WA

Cullen MacKintosh - Woodinville, WA

Darrell Marsolais - SeaTac, WA

Mike O'Handley - Kenmore, WA

John Wagner - Bellingham, WA

Susan Walker - Portland, OR

Day 1

  • Introduction to the Commercial Inspection Business
  • Business Issues
  • Scope of Work - ASTM STandard E2018-08
  • Specialty Inspection Areas - Tech Session #1
  • Fire Protection
  • Environmental
  • Elevators
  • Consultants - The TEAM
  • Commercial Heating Systems - Tech session #2
  • Commercial Air Conditioning Systems - Tech Session #3
The course is taught by Richard Weldon, one of the partners. It's pretty obvious that Weldon has been teaching this course a long time; because he's very practiced at cramming a lot of stuff into the shortest period of time while hitting the highlights and keying on the stuff that's really critical.

Hardest part so far (for me) was absorbing the stuff about all of the cooling systems. We don't see a lot of AC systems in the Seattle region anyway and these systems are so much different from most residential stuff that it's almost unrecognizable. My head feels like it's gonna explode. I'm gonna go read the funnies and decompress now. I've tacked on a few pictures below.



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Learning about the business aspects

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Richard Weldon at work

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Picking the instructor's brain during the break

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A few of the guys sharing war stories on the break

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Charlie Buell imparting some wisdom to the next generation - or perhaps it was the other way around

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Another long day. This morning we had Commercial Exterior Systems and Ventilation Systems and then we went on a field trip/tour of the campus. The Shoreline community center is an old high school that was built in the 50's and was renovatedin the late 80's.

We got to tour the boiler room where Garry Allmon, Maintenance Manager - Shoreline School District showed us how the more than 100 water source heat pumps that condition the air in the buildings are centrally controlled by computers. Then Richard showed us the dosing setup and explained some observations about the boilers that he'd make if he was reporting on the school.

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Garry then took us out to the 4-pipe cooling tower where we opened the thing up and got a peek inside and got an idea how they work and how we'd report on them.

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After that, we walked over to one of the other buildings and went upstairs to a mechanical room where all of the heat pac units for that building were clustered together and we learned a little more about how to report systems like that.

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tn_201012801431_024.jpg So, which one has the economizer?

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After that, it was back to the classroom for lunch and then the afternoon session covered Commercial roofing systems, Inquiries and Bookings, inspection fees, risk management, proposals and contracts and cost estimating.

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Learning a lot. Should have looked into this years ago.



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The last day of the course was Wednesday. We started the day with a Commercial Structural session, followed by a discussion of specialized commercial structures and their systems - concrete and parking garages - and then we had a session on interiors and insulation systems. Then it was outside for a field exercise to evaluate a couple of placed on the campus. I should have taken some pictures but didn't.

After the lunch break we had a session on commercial plumbing systems and then the last session - electrical systems.

I couldn't help but think as we were discussing the differences between residential and commercial electrical how useful it would be to have a book on Commercial Electrical Systems written by Douglas Hansen.

The end of the day rolled around and we collected our certificates of completion and signed out. All-in-all, I think it was a worthwhile course. Perhaps a little pricey but one can't fault WW Ashi for wanting to make a little bit on it; after all, they'd organized it, rented the facility, provided the meals, etc.. I don't know if it would have been a better course technically if I'd taken it in Toronto; but add in the cost of a hotel, travel and meals and from a cost standpoint it was definitely a better deal to take it locally.

Now it's time to start assembling my team and laying the groundwork for doing commercial jobs.



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Congrats on the added expertise!

I took a two day course put on by Kaplan in 2006, which was pretty good - also a lot crammed into such a short period of time.

No doubt CD course is probably a better course with better course books, but the Kaplan reference material is still pretty good - two huge books. I've got the entire CD Home Inspection course, which I bought many years ago just as reference material and it's amazing. CD puts out nice stuff.

Good luck with Commercial Inspections. I only do light commercial buildings, but the buyers of such properties seem to always be easy to work with - reasonable folks with realistic expectations.

So, does this mean you'll be adding a Comercial Inspection Forum to TIJ?

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