Share this post!
When your condo board is about to embark on a building restoration project, you want to have the right experts on the job. Do you need an architect, an engineer, a building envelope contractor, or all three? Here, we look at the key players in building restoration to ensure you have access to the most meaningful expertise.
The Engineer’s Role in Condo Restoration
A building engineer ensures the façade or structure of your condo is stable. This is essential for projects involving the restoration of the roof, siding, garage, masonry, balconies/decks, structural and non-structural elements of the exterior walls, and windows. Without proper oversight by a qualified engineer, you can run into serious issues with concrete, steel, and structural materials, that put occupants and the community at risk. An engineer can also consider future-proofing steps to address issues like climate change. They will assess the current condition of the building at the beginning of the project so you can share an unbiased scope of work with your architect as well as contractors during the tendering process.
The Architect’s Role in Condo Restoration
A building architect focuses on protecting the building and helping improve its livability and value. While the engineer is more concerned with structure, the architect considers the engineer’s findings and looks for ways to preserve or renovate to meet the standards required. They take a forensic approach that often includes the needs of the residents to help make the building safer and healthier to bring it up to current standards. They also look for ways to attack the project with capital planning to ensure they find a way to conduct the restoration to be cost-effective, attractive, and holistic. Their understanding of building structures in hand with their design expertise allows them to consider both the structural and aesthetic impact of the project.
The Building Envelope Contractor’s Role in Condo Restoration
A general contractor acts as the overseer of the restoration, carrying out the plans provided by the architect and engineer. They hire the trades, order materials, arrange for necessary permits, and create schedules. They work under the direction of your project manager and consult with the engineer and architect throughout the restoration process.
How do Architects and Engineers Work Together?
Architects and engineers address the architectural features and envelope components to ensure they function as a whole. Each element of the restoration is addressed individually to understand how the failure of one will impact the others. They will put together a comprehensive restoration plan addressing the scope of work, cost estimates, and timing with a critical risk assessment for budget challenges and project delays. The plan is also required for the tendering process when hiring a contractor.
Together, the architect and engineer ensure the following:
- Code compliance for all building envelope components
- Selecting the most energy/cost-effective, durable, and attractive materials and finishes to increase the condo’s value
- Ensuring the materials chosen are readily available to avoid delays
- Ensuring the installation process is not too demanding or specific to impact the budget negatively
- Ensuring the contractor understands their role and the project to better direct trades
- Quality control and inspections
- Choosing materials that will reduce maintenance costs
- Providing a long-term maintenance plan to increase longevity
Understanding who does what will ensure your restoration project has expert oversight for a structurally sound, aesthetically pleasing, and cost-effective restoration that improves livability, building longevity, and value.
The condo experts at CPO Management Inc, a full-service property management company in Toronto and the GTA, have had tremendous success helping condo corporations implement exterior restorations and improvements, resulting in cost savings via improved building function and performance. Reach out to us today to learn more about our condo services.
Soc: Not sure who to turn to for your condo restoration project? Click here.