Calgary’s Building Maintenance Bylaw, which came into effect on January 1, works to protect the public from any falling debris. At Orata Engineering, we understand the importance of protecting the public at large, while also working to ensure that all Calgary buildings are structurally sound and safe. Here is some of the information that our team of envelope engineers think you should know about Calgary’s Building Maintenance Bylaw and how it will affect building owners.
What is Calgary’s Building Maintenance Bylaw?
The new Building Maintenance Bylaw requires the exterior of Calgary buildings to be visually assessed for any necessary repairs every five years. This bylaw specifically focuses on buildings that are five storeys or greater and over 10 years old. All the buildings that fit into this category will have to have visual assessments done on the exterior walls and roofs. Through enforcing the new Building Maintenance Bylaw, the city will be able to focus on the highest risk issues on the highest risk buildings first.
This bylaw was created in response to several incidents of building materials and debris falling off of buildings in Calgary. After the city’s investigation into the incidents related to falling debris, building cracks or collapse, and injury due to falling from windows, the city realized that there was more that could be done to help prevent safety issues connected to building maintenance.
How Does the New Bylaw Affect Building Owners?
The Building Maintenance Bylaw will fill the gap left after the final inspection, when a building is first constructed or renovated, and address safety issues before they happen. While the bylaw originally stated that inspections must be done every four years, it was recently changed to every five years, and to include that someone who has the education, training, skills, and experience sufficient to carry out the visual assessment must perform all visual assessments.
For building owners who do not comply with the new Building Maintenance Bylaw, there will be penalties starting at $1,000 to $5,000 with a maximum of $10,000. If a charge is laid under the Safety Codes Act, fines can be significantly higher – up to $100,000.
How Orata Engineering Can Help
At Orata Engineering, we specialize in the application of Building Sciences, including the design, evaluation, and remediation of a building’s envelope assemblies. Our envelope assessments can help optimize your building’s performance, while also preventing any unchecked deterioration and identifying potential damage early enough to mitigate repair costs. We can also identify circumstances that may be causing excessive operating costs, such as poor insulation and air leaks. Through our experience, we are able to develop a plan for inspecting your building. In some cases, it is not always necessary to inspect the entire exterior of a building because only a representative sample of the building’s features need to be assessed.
If you would like to learn more about Calgary’s Building Maintenance Bylaw, or if you are looking for an experienced and highly trained envelope engineer to assess your building, please contact Orata Engineering at 403-512-6065 or by filling out a form on our website. You can also follow Orata Engineering on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest news and update.