Property Management A Regional report focusing on the GTA, Hamilton & Niagara octoBER 2009
Water Quality Factors
Winter Cleaning Loads
Mediation Meets Demand Management Finding Common Ground in the Sub-metering Debate By Lavonne McCumber Eals
Ontario’s conservation and demand opinions and conflicts, particularly when the
Sub-metering Decision Contents Mediation and Sub-metering Winter Maintenance Piping Materials and Upgrades
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management agenda calls on electricity customers to moderate energy consumption during peak demand periods. Those willing and able to reschedule the activities that require a lot of electricity will pay less for their energy consumption during off-hours. However, questions arise about the submetering technology required to measure electricity use. Who will pay to install, monitor and iron out the problems arising in any new system? Who indeed? Such questions give rise to different opinions or different understandings of the same concept. Facilitated dispute resolution can be a costeffective approach to working through differing
ongoing relationship is valued and there is something at stake. The sub-metering issue provides a good example. The Ontario Energy Board’s (OEB) Smart Sub-metering Code, enacted in 2008, covers technical requirements, standards of business practice, conduct, as well as billing and collection procedures. Meanwhile, the Association of Condominium Managers Ontario (ACMO) and associated stakeholders responded to requirements in the Energy Conservation Leadership Act, 2006 (now repealed and largely rolled into the Green Energy and Economy Act, 2009) that mandated condominiums corporations to install a form of Continued on page 4.
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From the Editor PUBLISHER Sean Foley EDITOR Barbara Carss firstname.lastname@example.org Ext. 236
Chasing the Swedes Again In the 1970s, a national advertising campaign reported that the average 60-year-old Swede was more physically fit than the average 30-year-old Canadian. Some of us could plead youthful gullibility at the time, but a significant proportion of grownups also accepted the claim unquestioningly. Perhaps people were relying on anecdotal evidence – travelling to Sweden where they encountered scores of sleek seniors daintily dining at the Take-Only-What’sSensible Smorgasbords that were presumably prevalent across the land – but no statistical data was presented to substantiate Canadians’ sedentary status. In 2009, in contrast, it’s easy to find the numbers to prove we’ve fallen behind performance levels in other countries. Don’t look for the Canadian delegation among the keeners at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December. The good new is, the real estate sector has been prompted to action and is taking steps to further some gains made in recent years. Notably, a study and recommendations released by the National Roundtable on Environment and the Economy and Sustainable Development Technology Canada earlier this year revealed that the average energy intensity in commercial buildings rose from 1.69 gigajoules (GJ) per square metre in 1990 to 1.85 GJ/m2 in 2003 then dropped back to 1.62 GJ/m2 by 2005. Since then, programs like LEED and BOMA BESt have rapidly evolved from niche movements to widely accepted industry practices. Three prominent industry associations – the Real Property Association of Canada, the Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada and the Canada Green Building Council – have joined forces to set an ambitious goal for energy efficiency in Canadian office buildings. The 20 by ‘15 campaign is aiming for an average energy intensity of 20 equivalent kilowatt-hours (ekWh) per rentable square foot (0.77 GJ/m2) by 2015. Since commercial and institutional buildings now account for 14% of end-use energy consumption and 13% of carbon emissions across the country, achieving the target will also help get Canada on track to make pledged greenhouse gas reductions. And once again, the Swedes are role models. “Sweden is just as cold as Canada. Why are we three times worse than most Nordic countries in terms of carbon emissions per capita?” Michael Brooks, Chief Executive Officer of REALpac, reflected at the launch of the 20 by ‘15 campaign in late September. Elsewhere in this issue, Lavonne McCumber Eals looks at energy management from a different perspective, as a mediator helping landlords and tenants work through the implementation of sub-metering. Dispute resolution could play an increasingly important role in the energy sector, particularly relating to conflict around the location of electricity generating plants and the route of transmission lines. Barbara Carss email@example.com
ASSISTANT EDITOR Ashley Ward firstname.lastname@example.org Ext. 233 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Patrice Dumas, Stephen Hanig, Lavonne McCumber Eals, Wolfgang Osada ADVERTISING SALES Sean Foley email@example.com Ext. 225 Atif Malik firstname.lastname@example.org Ext. 240 Steve McLinden email@example.com Ext. 239 Paul Murphy firstname.lastname@example.org Ext. 264 Senior Designer Annette Carlucci Wong email@example.com Ext. 231 Designer Ian Clarke firstname.lastname@example.org Ext. 243 Production MANAGER Rachel Selbie email@example.com Ext. 223 Circulation MANAGER Cindy Younan firstname.lastname@example.org Ext. 232 Property Management Report is produced as a supplement to Canadian Property Management magazine, published 8 times a year by:
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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT REPORT october 2009 3
Continued from page 1.
smart meters by 2010. This included legal studies and detailed information outlining anticipated problems related to legislating sub-metering into the condominium community. Still more conflict arose in the rental housing sector (see Property Management Report, April 2009) as landlords and property managers pushed forward with sub-meter installation even though wording in the Electricity Act indicated it was not applicable for existing tenants. An OEB compliance bulletin halted the activity earlier this year, but the conclusions of an OEB proceeding led to a new ruling clearly authorizing sub-meters in industrial, commercial and multi-residential rental buildings â€“ with some conditions for an energy audit, written tenant permission and adherence to the Smart Sub-metering Code provisions. CONFLICT ZONES Differing opinions continue to create conflict between tenants and landlords, however. Smart sub-metering encourages responsibility for energy consumption and gives direct control to consumers who could benefit. Nevertheless, landlords have control over upkeep and maintenance appliances, windows, insulation and other building components that can affect energy efficiency. One of the conflicts related to sub-metering concerns calculations for additional charge backs for common areas. This is especially true where commercial and residential facilities share a building. 4 october 2009 PROPERTY MANAGEMENT REPORT
Planning before disputes arise and the parties get entrenched in their opinions is key to avoiding unnecessary litigation costs. Sub-metering is intended to deal with the issue of where costs should be attributed, but questions regarding charge back percentages for common space have shown up in litigation. The unit factor which is commonly used to determine charge backs can be challenged depending on the buildingâ€™s particular situation. In 934859 Alberta Ltd. V. Condominium Corporation No. 0312180 it was found that considerations other than unit factors formed an appropriate base for attribution of (condo) fees with residential and commercial units and can be applied when some receive a greater benefit from the use of shared or common space. In this case, the Limitations Act restricted the scope of period in question to the two previous years. Nevertheless getting to that ruling was an u n ex p e c te d ex p e n s e a n d s o u rce o f frustration. Planning before disputes arise and the parties get entrenched in their opinions is key to avoiding unnecessary litigation costs. A clear mediation process shows everyone the steps that will unfold if a problem cannot be resolved without assistance.
Set out the rules that will govern the process. Cover how the mediator is to be chosen, how the documents w ill be exchanged, the format to describe the dispute(s) and an estimate of the length of the process. Each side is responsible for its costs, including an equal share of the mediation fees. Opening a discussion with stakeholders can help avoid misunderstandings, which can save time, money and future frustrations. Mediation employs a clear, effective process to help each party better understand the other sideâ€™s thinking. After relevant discussion is facilitated, an enhanced perspective is gained. O pp o s i n g p a r t i e s w i l l h ave m ore confidence that their concerns, needs and interests have been considered. All parties can then work to a mutually agreeable solution suitable to the context. pmr
Lavonne McCumber Eals, B.A., M.E.S., is a trained mediator on the roster for the Ontario Mandatory Mediation Program. For more information, see www.aplaceformediation.ca.
Landlord/Tenant Relations OEB DECISION A FORERUNNER TO PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION The Ontario Energy Boardâ€™s (OEB) recent decision allowing landlords of commercial, industrial or multi-residential rental buildings to install smart sub-metering systems to measure electricity consumption on a unit-by-unit basis is considered an interim measure until the Ontario government can enact legislation to authorize the activity. The OEB order also comes with a number of conditions to ensure that tenants agree and that licensed sub-meter providers install all required equipment. Prior to the August decision, sub-metering activity had been on hold since March when the OEBâ€™s Chief Compliance Officer issued a bulletin stating: â€œThe installation of sub-metering systems in residential complexes, other than condominiums, is not currently authorized by the Electricity Act or regulation. Therefore, such activities are currently prohibited based on Section 53.18 of the Electricity Act.â€? More than 250 affected parties then made submissions to the OEB proceeding examining the issue. Of these, Paul Sommerville, the OEBâ€™s Presiding Member for the decision, notes â€œan overwhelming number came from bitterly unhappy tenants and tenant organizations.â€? The new rules require residential landlords to obtain written consent from tenants, engage an independent third party to conduct an energy audit, and use a clear and transparent methodology for calculating applicable rent reductions. Commercial landlords will also have to obtain tenantsâ€™ consent in writing. The decision is compatible with the Ontario governmentâ€™s stated intentions to promote smart sub-meters and allows this agenda to move forward while consultations occur and new legislation is crafted. â€œIt is the Boardâ€™s view that, during the period between now and the time the government is able to put in place its comprehensive legislative package, the public interest requires that some measure of regulatory guidance is given,â€? the OEB decision states. â€œThe Board is also mindful of the importance that the smart sub-metering program plays in the governmentâ€™s overall energy strategy. As things stand now [prior to the OEB decision and order], no discretionary metering activity by landlords in residential complexes or industrial, commercial or office building settings is authorized. The Board considers it to be in the public interest to remove such barriers as it reasonably can to the orderly and lawful implementation of this important government policy.â€?
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6 october 2009 PROPERTY MANAGEMENT REPORT
22/09/09 12:27 PM
Cold Weather Cleaning
Entrapment Averts Tracking of Winter Debris By Patrice Dumas
During winter months, snow and ice can infiltrate buildings and put every occupant and floor surface at risk. Salt, sand and moisture form a triumvirate of hazards and nuisances for cleaning staff and anyone walking where they collect. Substances carried indoors on footwear can deface and damage flooring, and, in the case of snow and ice, lead to puddles and slippery surfaces inside a facility, potentially causing slip-and-fall accidents. Property and facility managers should prepare for the stormy season with: • High-performance matting systems • Wet/dry vacs • Portable extraction machines to clean matting • Plenty of dry microfibre mops • Safety signage
where it can soil and/or erode floor finishes and be tracked throughout the building. Almost all snow- and ice-melting products can permeate floor finishes, creating unsightly residue or discoloration. A neutralizing conditioner can help reduce the risk of damage and remove residue. Following the conditioner, application of an all-purpose cleaner to further maintain the surface and protect its finish. Regular vacuuming, mopping, and buffing can minimize any problems associated with sand, including scratched surfaces. Autoscrubbers, which can deep-scrub floor surfaces and remove embedded soils and contaminants often missed by a mop, could also augment the daily floor care regimen in the winter months.
The Inter national Sanitar y Supply Association (ISSA), estimates that up to 24 pounds of dirt can be tracked into a facility by 1,000 people during a 20-day work period. Approximately 70 to 80% of the dust, grime and dirt in public buildings is tracked in from the outside, and dirt and sand accumulate disproportionately during snowy, icy, and wintry conditions. ISSA calculates the cost to remove just one pound of dirt after it is tracked through a building can exceed $500. High-performance matting helps cut those expenses by capturing outdoor soils and contaminants.
RULE OF 15 A five-foot length of scraper mats outside the facility is the first contact point for removing Rock salt’s price point makes it a mainstay for COSTS most facilities’ snow and ice removal plans despite Nevertheless, floor care chemicals and debris from the bottom of footwear. Next, facility the harm it can cause to concrete, interior floor equipment tend to be expensive, while labour managers should provide at least five feet of wiper/ surfaces, vegetation and wildlife. Sand provides costs to meet winter cleaning demands, scraper matting just inside the entrance to further slip-and-fall protection and has fewer negative especially in high-traffic facilities, add remove soils and moisture on shoe bottoms. Finally, the wiper mat is the last line of defence. environmental effects, but it is unwanted indoors significantly more to the operating budget.
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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT REPORT october 2009 7
Seasonal Maintenance It, too, should present another five feet of matting to absorb remaining soils and moisture before pedestrians step onto to the hard surface of the floor. In total, this three-part matting system comprises what industry experts call the “rule of 15” – a network that the average person will step on four to six times with each foot. A product must have a warranty for a minimum one-year lifespan to be classified as high-performance, but some high-performance mats have Forest_Condo_Sept09.pdf warranties that extend for10/7/09 several years. Regardless, they will need to be properly maintained and vacuumed daily.
Ongoing moisture control is especially important in winter. Saturated matting is largely ineffective so property managers and maintenance staff should pay attention to entranceways and high-traffic areas. Replacement mats should be in stock to provide replacements quickly when necessary. pmr Patrice Dumas is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Mat Tech, a Canadian-based matting manufacturer located in Granby, Quebec. 10:32:37 AM For more information, see the web site at www. mattech.ca.
WINTER MAINTENANCE IMPERATIVE FOR CARPETS By Stephen Hanig Many of today’s commercial carpets are made of synthetic fibres that help hide dirt and soils. However, with traffic, this soil can grind into carpet fibres, robbing the carpet of its original lustre, colour and texture. The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends more frequent vacuuming in winter months. Upright vacuums with rotating brushes are best for loosening soils and removing them from carpet fibres. Other carpet care suggestions for winter include: • Vacuum carpets making multiple passes in different directions. This helps remove deeply embedded soils. • Attend to spots and stains quickly. The longer a spill or stain stays on a carpet, the more difficult it can be to remove. Blot stained areas to remove excess soil and moisture. Then use a professional carpet spotting kit to remove stains. • Don’t postpone cleaning. There is a tendency to delay carpet extraction during the winter months based on the assumption that carpets may soon be soiled again and that the process is not cost-effective. However, just the opposite is true. Keeping carpets clean helps prevent re-soiling and can significantly increase the lifespan of the carpets. • Turn up the heat in the cleaning process. Because of their added flexibility, portable carpet extractors are often preferred in larger facilities. However, some machines do not heat the water/cleaning solution. Heat improves the effectiveness of cleaning chemicals, often necessitating fewer chemicals and making these machines more environmentally preferable. Select portables that heat the water/cleaning solution to 100° C (212° F) for best results. Stephen Hanig is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for U.S. Products, manufacturers of professional carpet, floor and restoration equipment. For more information, see the web site at www.usproducts.com.
8 October 2009 PROPERTY MANAGEMENT REPORT
Water Quality Factors
Piping Can Impart Tastes and Odours
Cost, reliability, safety and long-term maintenance requirements are among the many considerations in choosing a piping material. In recent years, polymer pipes have gained market share, but there have been some concerns that they disseminate perceptible tastes and odours. A study at Virginia Tech University’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department found that different plastics leach differing degrees of polymer additives, organic compounds and oxidation of the surface of the pipe as water passes through. It assessed chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), copper, high-density polyethylene (HDPE), epoxy lining and PEX piping. The test was designed to accomplish two objectives: (1) to investigate the sensory properties of water with either chlorine or chloramines when it came into contact with different piping materials; (2) to investigate changes in residual disinfectant and leaching of organic chemicals from pipe when in contact with drinking water. All testing was conducted under typical drinking water quality conditions. The Utility Quick Test, a standard leaching protocol for new materials, was conducted at room temperature using a low alkalinity water of pH 7.8-8 with no disinfectant, 2 mg/L chlorine, or 4 mg/L monochloramine. This test consisted of three consecutive 72-96 hour leaching/flushing periods and included triplicate testing of all pipe types. Among the polymer materials tested, CPVC imparted the fewest organic compounds to the water, consumed the least amount of disinfectants, and produced no noticeable odours. HDPE consumed a low amount of residual disinfectant and released only about 0.1 mg/L organic carbon to the water including phenol, bisphenol-A, tetradecane, cyclohexadiene, cyclohexanone, and cyclopentanone. The overall odour imparted to the water from HDPE had a moderate intensity and was described as “waxy/plastic/citrus.” Panelists described the HDPE odour as “chemical/ plastic” in the presence of chlorine and “waxycrayon/plastic” in water with chloramines. The presence of disinfectants did not seem to alter the intensity of the odours. Various PEX piping products performed differently in the tests, with some pipe producing more odours than others. Water in contact with the best performing PEX product
Different plastics leach differing degrees of polymer additives, organic compounds and oxidation of the surface of the pipe as water passes through. possessed weak to modern intensity odours, leached about 1mg/L organic carbon, and consumed up to 0.5 mg/L free chlorine. Ethylt-buyl ether (EtBE) was found to contribute significantly to the characteristic “burningsolvent/plastic” odour of the better-performing PEX pipe. Epoxy lining imparted a moderate “plasticputty-glue” odour, leaching 0.4-0.6 mg/L organic carbon, including the compounds bisphenol A, styrene, toluene, nonylphenol and
benzaldehyde. It also consumed nearly all the residual chlorine and chloramines. Meanwhile, copper consumed nearly all the residual disinfectant but released few organic compounds or odours. Most materials performed well in certain categories, but under-performed in others, whereas CPVC was consistent in all categories – leaching the fewest Total Organic Compounds (TOC) and having the least impact on water taste and smell.
PROPERTY MANAGEMENT REPORT October 2009 9
REPAIR OPTION REINS IN RETROFIT COSTS
Eservus wrong size supplied new
By Wolfgang Osada On the domestic hot water side of the e q u a t i o n , a To r o n t o c o n d o m i n i u m corporation recently opted for epoxy coating to repair pinhole leaks in the copper piping system of a 20-year-old, two-tower complex. The cost of replacing of the existing pipes with new copper piping was estimated at $4.5 million, not including the costs for subsequent drywall repair in the condo’s 812 units. The epoxy lining alternative was less expensive and created less disruption for unit owners. First, the pipe was cleaned with heated pressurized air and various pneumatic processes to remove any contaminants in the pipe and leave a smooth surface for epoxy application. A liquid epoxy was then pushed through the pipe with heat and pressurized air. This fills the pinholes and protects the pipes from corrosion and erosion. “The review of the technology, the v a r i o u s c o m p a n i e s w h i c h o ff e r t h e solution, and the financial impact to our owners required a very thorough due diligence process to be undertaken,” notes Ken Wigley, the President of Board of Directors of Number One York Quay. Wolfgang Osada is with RIKOS, the company conducting the epoxy relining retrofit at One York Quay. For more information, see the web site at www. rikos.com .
Study findings suggest that it is the specific organic chemicals and not the concentration of organic carbon present in the water that determines odour intensity and aesthetic impact. Nor did there appear to be any correlation between the type of disinfectant and amount of organic carbon leached. Both chlorine and monochloramine had minimal effect on the intensity of the odours associated with the polymer. pmr
The preceding is based on research conducted by Andrea Diet r ich, Professor of Civ il and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech. For more information, see the web site at www.eng.vt. edu/main/index.php 10 October 2009 PROPERTY MANAGEMENT REPORT
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