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ESA / ROOF-STRUCUTRAL / FIRE AND SAFETY

This article is a continuation of the article in the Winter Edition 1995 and the topic was the new CSA Z768 Standard for environmental site assessments (ESA).

An environmental site assessment is now a requirement for financing of any residential building larger than six units. This criteria was imposed by the CMHC some time ago. By extending it only slightly, such an audit can serve the purposes of the insurer and also the building investors to keep abreast of the status of the building.

Whether it is a new apartment building or simply a renewal of an existing mortgage, it is only prudent for the lender to be concerned about the condition of the roof, the envelope, and the structural members. Exposed roof membrane of a loss of shingles or corroded flashing would, for example, suggest need for roof repair or replacement within the term of the mortgage.

In November 1994, the latest revision of the Fire Marshal's Act (Fire Code, R.R.O. 1990, Regulation 454; Regulation 455) came into force. High-rise apartments were particularly singled out for improved safety. Therefore, it is again prudent for the building owner to extend an environmental and roof-structural audit to include logging the major deficiencies with respect to the Fire Code. It has been the practice of major building investors to wait for a building inspector's report. In view of the recent budget reductions, it now appears that these inspections will be fewer and that a long time period will elapse between them. This exposes the building owners to the possibility of being fined in the event that an incident occurs and some deficiency is involved.

The Associated Environmental Site Assessor of Canada has been formed; different from the Canadian Environmental Auditing Association, to register site assessment professionals. Major lenders expect that ESA's will be done by a registered professional. Building managers and owners can take advantage of this obligatory assessment, and extend it to include Structural and Fire code work and essentially do two or three jobs for the price of one. This is, perhaps, an unexpected advantage of the Regulations.

 
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