Page 1

1

PROTECTING YOUR ASSETS

The key goal of being proactive in maintaining your building’s exterior is the protection of your most valuable asset. Investing as little as $5,000 for a building assessment and a proper condition survey can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings over the life span of your building. Relatively small investments in surveys, examinations, and preventative maintenance can reduce and eliminate the need to spend a significant portion of your budget on major capital repairs. Before a building owner engages in repairing, replacing or upgrading any of their buildings’ exterior components, they should work with a qualified consultant to conduct a general review of all components of the building envelope. Selecting a qualified engineer or consultant Seek out the best advice in dealing with your building’s assets, and use licensed engineers and architects (consultants) with demonstrated experience that correlates with your building’s needs. Licensed professionals are necessary when municipal authorities require building permits, which is often the case for structural and rehabilitative work. To select the most appropriate consultant, interview three to four different firms. Prudent owners and managers will get the best value from consultants who meet the following standards: t

They have a substantial track record in building restoration work.

t

Their CV covers buildings of a similar size, scale, occupancy and budget parameters.

t

They are capable of presenting a series of options, namely strategies to manage cash flow on renewal work.

t

They can pragmatically manage the risk around expensive structural work where there may be life safety concerns.

Do your due diligence; always ask your consultants to provide references of similar projects and then follow up on them.


What makes a good assessment? Once you have selected your consultant, ensure that their assessment contains the following: t

A review of all documents of previous repairs and major work

t

Identification of major maintenance issues

t

Life safety concerns and building code violations

t

Minimum forecast of the longevity of your building components for 20-25 years, including budget estimates for construction work

t

Recommendations for increased curb appeal, which can be done cost effectively during repair programs

t

A review of all building’s documents, including previous repair work, contractor and manufacturer warranties

The results of an assessment form a key part of an owner’s business plan to cost effectively maintain their assets. There are several benefits in obtaining an assessment and adhering to the recommendations: t

Ability to budget accordingly

t

Sequencing repairs based on priority

t

Being proactive rather than reactive

t

Minimizing tenant inconvenience and reducing tenant complaints

Failure to obtain a consultant and following an assessment can result in the following: t

Inability to understand the cost of future liabilities to your asset

t

Ineffective repairs (i.e., cosmetic patches in lieu of repairing the underlying problem)

t

Improperly maintained records

t

Lack of quality control on repairs

The key issue with not following an assessment and maintaining a consultant during repairs is being unprepared when a problem occurs. This can lead to safety violations or serious accidents.

“The building assessment provides the foundation for the property’s long-term investment strategy, that is, where to spend now to save in the future,” said Ben Scott, Asset Manager, Akelius Canada Ltd. “It is important to avoid the trap of focusing on year over year budgets and looking to reduce ongoing maintenance costs over the life of the asset. A proper building assessment provides the costs to fix now versus defer, and a clear path to save long term.” Selecting a qualified restoration contractor Building owners should only work with qualified restoration professionals to ensure that the work and materials are to the highest standards. Repairs conducted to professional standards will help ensure that buildings and components last as long as possible, which also helps prevent short-term failures that will add to the building’s restoration costs. “No one likes surprises, so we work closely with our engineering consultant to properly define the scope of work and identify any potential issues that may arise,” said Ben. “Then it comes down to fit and matching the right contractor to the job, based on experience, timeline and, of course, cost. This lowers the risk of cost overruns and delays, and reduces the impact on tenants.” A consultant should pre-approve six to eight contractors that are suitable for your respective repairs. Rely on your consultant’s experience and field knowledge in determining the contractors’ qualifications and a review of their CCDC 11 “Contractor’s Qualifications Statement.” This document will provide information on the company’s work history for the past six years, value of projects, total bonding ability and banking information. You should also consider the contractor’s health and safety program when making your selection. “When looking at trying a new contractor, we have them complete a vendor assessment form, which includes all projects that they have successfully completed over a fiveyear period,” said Dennis Kalish, General Manager, H&R Property Management Ltd. “We then have them provide contact names and phone numbers of building owners where they have worked, We also get references from engineers who have worked with the contractor.” t 2014 RHB Apartment Guide - EXTERIORS

RHB APARTMENT GUIDE: EXTERIORS  

Protecting your Assets

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you