Condominiums

Like so many projects we serve, this one started on the roof. A condominium manager called in a bit of a panic because the insurance company for his 34 story, 600 unit tower was about to cancel his policy because of “roof defects.” The “defect” turned out to be the damaged remains of the original roof. The damage had resulted from a hurricane and the developer had not replaced it.

At the Association’s request, BE-CI designed a replacement roof assembly, took bids, and managed the installation. While the roof replacement was underway, the manager asked BE-CI to perform a complete Condition Survey in preparation for possible litigation.

The BE-CI survey reported a general failure of the sealant applications on every floor level where the EIFS walls intersected with the cementatious stucco, requiring extensive rebuilding of the EIFS-to-stucco wall intersections and total replacement of sealants. In addition, significant moisture intrusion and damage to interior finishes was attributed to poor vent detailing, requiring all exhaust vents to be replaced.

The owner took bids and selected contractors, and BE-CI provided complete contract administration, including periodic field testing and problem resolution as construction continued. We performed additional field testing and limited destructive investigations to bolster the conclusions and recommendations we had provided as litigation support. BE-CI inspected the pedestrian bridge leading to the parking garage and certified it as required by the state of Florida. We also provided a detailed Reserve Study and Planned Maintenance Program with spreadsheets indicating the amount each owner would be charged for deferred maintenance and ways to extend the service life performance of each major building component.

Condominiums require both modernization and deferred maintenance after initial construction in order to last in the competitive world of rentals. That’s why any building restoration project should include more than just painting. One of our top clients asked us to attend a meeting of their board of directors to discuss painting their building for the first time since occupancy. One of the members joked that the building looked like “a hospital for the criminally insane,” and received equal amounts of laughter and applause. BE-CI offered to provide a rendering to show what could be done with color changes and was then commissioned to prepare construction contract documents for the approved plan.

As with all our deferred maintenance projects, we surveyed the outer building envelope for any other issues that should be addressed in the bid documents and found several. For instance, water runoff from the walkways had left dark stains along the beam face below the safety rails, so we used a new coating product designed to shed stains. We used silicone wet seals on window wall sections where gaskets had failed and leaks had been reported, and we designed concrete wall protection at the ground level where cars had repeatedly caused damage backing out of nearby parking spaces.

All BE-CI building restoration projects are unique, with different levels of complexity, and different client needs and budgets. We work very closely with our clients and offer a number of building restoration and repair alternatives. In this case, our documents included:

  • Aesthetic design services to update the condo’s appearance and help attract potential renters
  • Repairs or modifications for water damage repair
  • Full contract administration including pre-qualifying bidders, creating uniform construction contract documents and technical specifications, and performing periodic quality assurance inspections
  • Reviews and recommendations for pay applications and change orders
  • Close-out documents including contract compliance and “punch list” inspections