We have developed particular expertise in a number of niche markets.
We are pleased to be able to offer our clients the following specialized services.
Successfully Managing Building Repair Projects
from Start to Finish
We’re constantly reminded about ways a building restoration project can go off the rails: budget overruns, poorly defined scopes of work, lack of communication, and contractor deficiencies – just to name a few! These issues often create poor quality projects, and lead to stress, frustration, and extra work for Property Managers and Owners.
We have developed a process which drastically increases your chances of implementing a successful project. This four-step process is flexible, scalable, and always reliable. As restoration engineers and project managers, we have developed this turn-key process to maximize our client’s success and to help them achieve their objectives for their property.
The process consists of four steps: Condition Assessment, Bid Documents & Specifications, Tendering to Qualified Contractors, and Construction. For the process to be effective, we help guide you diligently through each step. This process if flexible and scalable. Let’s take a closer look.
Step 1: Condition Assessment
The purpose of this step is to provide the Owner with the information they need to make an educated decision about how to proceed. We start by asking questions to gain an understanding of the Owner’s objectives and financial constraints. What are they concerned about or trying to accomplish? What is their budget and timeframe?
We then carry out site visits to determine as built construction details, to assess the extent of the problem, and to carry out any testing or measurements required. Once all the data is collected, an analysis is completed to determine the root cause(s) of the issue and impact on the building. Repair options are then developed along with the pros and cons of each – this is a critical step, there is never just one option. An Owner needs options to make an educated decision. Finally, the we will make recommendations based on their experience, taking into consideration the Owner’s objectives and financial constraints.
Once the Owner has been educated about the issue(s) and explored the available options they are ready to decide on a repair. The next steps involve preparing a design and contract document package then tendering the work to qualified contractors.
Step 2: Bid Documents & Specifications
This step is crucial and often overlooked for small projects – creating Bid Documents & Specifications that clearly define the owner’s expectations and scope of work. The documents we prepare include a clear, well defined Scope of Work, timelines, a Bid Form, and Contract Conditions. For larger projects, the Bid Documents and Specifications will include Drawings, Detailed Specifications, perhaps Optional Items, along with a more elaborate Bid Form and more extensive Contract Conditions.
Remember – this process is scalable and should be used for projects of all sizes! If your property is looking to perform low-risk work or smaller projects a brief scope of work, referred to as a Bid Request, can be used. A clear scope of work will provide contractor confidence in pricing which results in lower costs. This brings us to Step 3: Tendering to Qualified Contractors.
Step 3: Tendering to Qualified Contractors
Once the scope of work is prepared it’s time to get pricing from contractors. The first step in this process is to determine which contractors to invite. We have a comprehensive list of qualified contractors to recommend and welcome Owner contacts as well. We contact the contractors first to gauge their interest and availability to complete the work within your desired timeline. Only inviting contractors that are hungry for work and available to meet your timelines is a great way to get sharp pricing and give your project the best chance to be completed on time and on budget.
The tender process can be formal or informal depending on the size of job. A formal tender process includes a mandatory site meeting with all contractors to discuss the project, a period for questions and responses, and a firm closing date, time, and location for the sealed bids to be submitted. An informal process, best suited to smaller projects, would simply involve sending the scope of work package to the contractors and requesting pricing.
After the bids are received, we evaluate each bid based on price, schedule, and other factors, like contractor experience or familiarity with the property. For complex projects, we perform a sensitivity analysis on unit rate items to assess risk and help develop a sensible contingency allowance for the project. Once your project budgets are set and you have selected a bidder, we can begin Construction.
Step 4: Construction
The construction phase is a big one.
The first step is to award the project to a contractor. This is typically in the form of a letter or issuing a PO. For large projects, formal Contract and Permit packages are prepared. The permit application can add time to your project – if a building permit is required and you require a short schedule we can apply for the permit to expedite this process.
Before the contractor mobilizes, we will obtain insurance certificates and WSIB forms from the contractor along with other start up documents. We recently completed a project where a resident slipped on a ramp built by the contractor. The resident sued the Owner, and the Owner asked us if we had the insurance certificate. It was not only good enough that we had the certificate, but also that it named all parties as additionally insured.
Once you are ready to begin the work, we chair a project kick off or start-up meeting a few weeks before the project starts. This meeting forms a solid foundation for a successful project. The meeting agenda includes items such as schedule, quality control, budget, communication, where to park, where to place the disposal bins, etc.
During the work, we will complete periodic site visits to check compliance with the specifications and good building practice. To ensure quality we hold pre-start meetings with the contractor were we discuss the expectations for the project before any major phase of the project starts. Setting expectations helps avoid issues and conflicts. As work progresses, the contractor will submit progress draws (typically monthly) and the we will review them and produce a Certificate for Payment. Payment is only be made to a contractor for completed work and work completed properly.
We hold bi-weekly progress meetings to keep everyone informed. If there are unforeseen circumstances that change the project schedule or budget you will be kept in the loop.
Finally, once the project is complete, we follow a close out process which includes issuing a certificate of substantial performance, which the contractor will publish. The date of publication will start the 45-day lien period, after which time, if there are no liens registered on the property, the hold back can be released. If the holdback is released early, the Owner could be liable to pay any unpaid subcontractors or suppliers up to 10% of the contract value. Typical warranties are 2 years for labour and materials and some material warranties extend 5 or 10 years. All the close out documents, warranties, product information (like paint colours), shop drawings should be collected and submitted prior to issuing final payment.
There you have it – The Restoration Process: 4 Steps To Successful Projects! We scale and follow this process for every project.
Helping Condominium Communities
Navigate a Financial Crisis
A financial crisis in a condominium evokes very raw emotional reactions from Owners which can create turmoil, distrust, and a breakdown of relationships in the community. As our condominium buildings continue to age the need for repairs increases and unexpected expenditures inevitably arise. Is your community prepared? Did you know the Edison has developed a proven, reliable and effective process for how to successfully navigate through a crisis?
A crisis starts with a triggering event – an event which knocks the Corporation off of their existing Reserve Fund Plan. These events include repairs that were not planned for, sooner than planned repairs, or the repairs cost more than expected.
There are two key elements of the process – Project Planning and Communication. Project planning involves slowing down and following the Restoration Process – understand the extent of the problem, review your options (remember, there are ALWAYS options), input options in to your Reserve Fund Study to check the financial impact, and obtain actual pricing. Communication is absolutely critical to help control the emotional side in your community. The right communication at critical points in the process helps to create trust and builds bridges between the Owners and Board.
Here is the Process at a very high level.
Consider the options:
1. Ignore the Problem: The Board can choose to ignore the problem and push it off for future owners to deal with. This approach creates a worse situation and violates the Board’s statutory duty to repair and maintain the common elements of the Corporation.
2. Take Control: The Board can decide to take control and be proactive.
Simply taking action is not enough. Partnering with an experienced team that understands how to communicate and by following a proven process allows for maximum success. If you are Condo-In-Crisis please call us to discuss how we can help.
Helping Clients Maximize the Service Life of their PT Buildings in a Cost Effective Manner
Post-tensioning (PT) is a technique used to reinforce cast-in-place concrete using high strength steel tendons. The construction involves placing sheathed strands in the formwork with anchors at each end. Concrete is then placed and the tendons are tensioned once the concrete has reached adequate strength. Following stressing operations, the post-tensioned tendons induce a compressive force in the concrete, which counteracts deflections and reduces cracking caused by externally applied loads.
What is Post-Tensioning:
When compared with conventionally reinforced concrete, post-tensioned elements are structurally more efficient, allowing for thinner members and/or greater spans between supports. Longer spans offer obvious architectural benefits. Overall, post-tensioned structures utilize less cement, reducing the environmental impact. Unbonded post-tensioning means that there is a PT coating (grease) between a steel strand and its sheathing. In bonded post-tensioning, a cementitious grout is injected to fill the space between strands and their ducts. Both types of post-tensioning have their own set of characteristics and durability considerations.
Unlike conventionally reinforced concrete structures, water can cause corrosion in unbonded post-tensioning, without contamination from chlorides (salt) or carbonation. Earlier post-tensioning systems were more vulnerable to water penetration. However, modern post-tensioned systems are encapsulated in plastic, providing watertight protection over the entire length of tendons, including at anchors. Post-tensioned tendons can also rupture from cutting, drilling, jackhammering and coring, requiring special precautions to avoid damage. Whether a tendon ruptures due to corrosion or mechanical damage, its loss reduces a structure’s load bearing capacity along the entire length of the affected tendon.
Stéphan Trépanier, Edison Partner, has been highly active in the post-tensioning industry since the mid 1990’s. As a member of the Post-Tensioning Institute (PTI) and International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI), he has been highly active in industry committees, authoring guidelines and papers for the evaluation and repair of PT structures. He has also helped develop better tools to test the tension in PT cables in the field. Stéphan’s publications and presentations include:
- Dispelling the Myth about Unbonded PT Buildings, Post-Tensioning Institute Journal, August 2015
- Joint ICRI/PTI document for Evaluation and Repair of Unbonded Post-Tensioned Structures, Contributing Author and Committee Member, 2012
- ICRI Guideline for the Repair of Unbonded Post-Tensioned Structures, Contributing Author and Committee Member, 2006
- ICRI Guideline for the Evaluation of Unbonded Post-Tensioned Structures, Contributing Author and Committee Member, 2002
- Leading Edge Computer Diagnostics for Condominium Buildings, Condominium Manager, Summer 1998
- Acoustic Monitoring Technology for Post-Tensioned Structures, FIP Symposium on Post-Tensioned Structures, London, UK, 1996
- Post-Tensioning Evaluation and Repair, Inaugural ICRI Toronto Chapter Seminar, February 2017
- Tools for Evaluating Unbonded Post Tensioned Structures, Freyssinet Seminar, Toronto, 2011
- Tools for Evaluating Unbonded PT Structures, PTI 2003 Convention, Los-Angeles, CA
- Acoustic Monitoring of a Post-Tensioned Structure, American Concrete Institute 2000 Fall Convention, Toronto, ON State-of-the-Art in PT Evaluation Techniques, Building and Concrete Restoration Association of Ontario, 1998
If you are the Owner or Manager of a post-tensioned building, Edison can help you maintain structural integrity and maximize the service life of your asset in a cost-effective manner. Edison draws on its post-tensioning experience to tailor the scope of services to your objectives and your building’s PT history. When a building’s post-tensioned system is being reviewed for the first time, Edison recommends carrying out a Post-Tensioning Risk Assessment to determine the type of post-tensioning system and the risk of exposure to moisture and mechanical damage. The information from the Risk Assessment is then used to develop a customized testing program. Testing programs are typically incremental in nature to avoid unnecessary costs and disruptions. Please contact Stéphan Trépanier at email@example.com if you require post-tensioning related services such as a Risk Assessment, Condition Assessment, Structural Monitoring, Repair Design, Construction Review, Pre-Purchase Review, Litigation Support, etc.