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This free and detailed guide outlines CMHC's latest research studies, publications and the options available to assist condominium homeowners, builders and related housing industry professionals.
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Building Envelope Rehabilitation—Owner/Property Manager Guide 

 As part of the ongoing commitment to find solutions for moisture troubled wood frame buildings, Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC) and the Building Envelope Research Consortium (BERC) have published a new Guide that will assist owners and property managers with managing the building-envelope rehabilitation process. 

The Building Envelope Rehabilitation—Owner/Property Manager Guide focuses on the process and understanding the technical concepts involved in the rehabilitation process. 

“This Guide establishes protocols which will serve as industry standards for rehabilitation of moisture troubled buildings,” says Mark Salerno, Senior Consultant, Research and Technology Transfer, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. 

Divided into four sections, The Building Envelope Rehabilitation—Owner Property Manager Guide outlines the activities associated with identification and evaluation of problems, pre-construction and construction project stages. At the end of each section is an easy-to-follow checklist. 

“An overarching principle in developing this guide was to provide users with a range of solutions. That is why we included tables on alternative repair strategies and a case study describing costs associated with alternative solutions. The case study illustrates the cost analysis of several alternatives and how the initial capital cost of rehabilitation relates to the long-term maintenance of the building’s envelope,” says Salerno.

The Guide begins with an in-depth discussion on the investigation and evaluation stages of the rehabilitation process. Here property owners and managers learn how to select and work with a building envelope consultant. “Until this document was published there were no standards for building envelope consultants. The assessments depended on how comprehensive the initial investigation was and there were no benchmarks for comparison between consultants. It was like trying to play a game of baseball and everyone had a different set of rules,” says Gerry Fanaken, President of Vancouver Condo Services Ltd. 

The second section of the Guide outlines the three critical stages of the pre-construction stage, design and design alternatives, the construction documents and the tendering/contractor selection processes. 

The design section guides owners and property managers through developing potential solutions and selecting the most appropriate action. “A step-by-step guide assists owners and property managers through all the pre-construction stages. The document covers the various agreements that are necessary, how to understand the technical aspects of the rehabilitation work, developing design solutions, municipal codes, regulations and processes,” says Salerno. 

The pre-construction section also includes a template for project scheduling and information helpful for understanding warranties and the contractor selection process. 

The nature of the rehabilitation project changes when the construction phase begins. Now owners have physical evidence the improvements and the Guide prepares owners for what to expect and how to manage this phase of the process. 

“At the construction phase it is important that owners understand how to review tender documents to make sure there are clear contract documents that accurately reflect what is being installed. This section outlines the relationship between contracts and the various stages of construction. It also provides owners with information regarding the letter of intent, certificates of payment and completion,” says Salerno. 

The final section of the Guide outlines the service life of the building including the  importance of on-going maintenance and long-term renewal plans for the envelope assemblies. 

“It is generally agreed that once a building is complete and has proper rain screen protection, the building will still require on-going maintenance. The Service Life section of the guide focuses on the fact that owners and property managers must be proper stewards of their building. Rehabilitation of the building envelope is not something that is commissioned and then left on its own; it is a process that needs to be maintained over the long-term,” says Salerno. 

“This guide is a comprehensive and reliable handbook that is ideal for any owners or property managers involved with the rehabilitation process. I’d say it was long overdue,” says Fanaken. 

The Building Envelope Rehabilitation—Owner/Property Manager Guide is available for $89.00 (plus GST) CMHC also offers Managing Major Repairs—A Condominium Owner’s Manuel ($10.00 plus GST). To order by phone contact CMHC at (604) 731-5733 or visit the CMHC BC & Yukon Business Centre, Suite 400-2600 Granville Street, Vancouver BC. 

Updated Feb 17, 2001
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