June 30/2020 Virtual Townhall

Thank you to all owners who participated. Attendance was strong with some 68 owners logging in. We welcome additional questions or comments, either on posted this site, or sent to our Strata manager, Cam Carruthers, at Cam.Carruthers@fsresidential.com.

Questions and Answers

How long will workers be in suite?
  • Typically 1-2 days to replace windows
  • 3-4 weeks later, 2-3 days to repair drywall and other finishing.
  • Expect 48-hours advance notice.
  • Owners will be responsible for finishing paint/wallpaper.
How long will patios be inaccessible?
All patios will be off-limits to residents for the entire construction project due to WorkSafe BC regulations, whether or not scaffolding is on the patio.
Will I have to relocate if extensive mould is found?
RDH has not had to relocate a resident in 22 years. Whether to move out during work is an owner decision. Any mould found on an exterior drywall face will be encapsulated (spray to kill mould). If really bad, drywall will be cut out and replaced. Any interior mould is likely due to high humidity and interior conditions.
Working hours?
7:30 – 4 pm Mon. to Friday. Work on Saturdays is possible, though unlikely.
What options are there for owners unable to get financing for levies?
The Strata is not a lending institution and cannot offer financing or payments plans. Contact Cam to explore other options.
Will work not stop during cold winter months?
No. Insulation will remain in the walls, and individual units should only have their walls open 1-2 days to replace the windows. Residents are advised to use space heaters to supplement their electric baseboards if required. In worse cases, scaffolding can be covered with insulating blankets and heated. Hasn’t been an issue in most projects. In fact, residents will find the new walls and windows better insulating than the old.
How do you handle access to the building if owner does not live there?
Cam will be working well in advance with owners. Will need to make arrangements to have an agent or someone to provide access. Reach out to Cam if concerned.
Can I have someone remove and replace blinds for me?
We are pulling together quotes and will send out a notice shortly.
How do you ensure that contractors take off their shoes?
Drop sheets will be laid and workers wear slippers over their shoes. Owners should cover furniture with poly to protect from dust. Workers will do their best to protect surfaces.
How will you accommodate owners do not want to provide access without being present and who require two weeks notice?
We will need to know which suites, and will try to accommodate. RDH suggests we consider on a case-by-case basis.
How are you selecting contractors?
The tender process closed in May, and Council has already selected on the owners’ behalf from the 39 bids submitted to RDH. All have agreed to meet our schedule, and all will be fixed-price contracts.
When will scaffolding start to go up?
Still waiting on a permit from the City of Vancouver. Now working on shop drawings. Hope to begin erecting scaffolding before the end of July.
Will scaffolding obstruct views?
Mast climbers were being considered at one point, and tendered, but were too expensive. Most cost effective access solution was full scaffolding, which will inevitably obstruct the view.
Will scaffolding envelop entire building?
Two phases to the job, first across the front of the building and around to the lane, then to Drake and Homer. Within a couple of months, entire building should be fully wrapped and will remain so for about 15 months.
Top down or bottom up?
Typically demolition/construction is top down.
What does “good financial position” mean?
When put our original budget together, RDH advised a 10% construction contingency. In addition, there are lots of other risk mitigation contingencies built into the various bids. After bids closed, we came in almost perfectly on budget. Our original contingency has been maintained.
Will owners have a say in the colours and window designs?
Council has already chosen from the provided colour schemes to match existing as much as possible. Window options are limited by City of Vancouver codes. Sliding windows will be replaced with awning (swinging open from the bottom). Mullions will remain at the same height for windows that open, and disappear for windows that don’t, giving a greater unobstructed view. Window frames will be fibreglass rather than the current aluminum, and much more energy efficient.
When will blinds have to be removed?
Before window trades show up (48 hours notice) Replacement timing will be up to owner, and can go back up permanently once interior repair is completed (typically, a few weeks after window installation).
How much space needs to be cleared in suites?
Windows will be removed and installed from the outside. Remove anything 3-feet out from the window area and past the jamb of the window. Workers only need to have a clear path to walk to the window and door areas, and will not be carrying windows through the unit.
Do Murphy beds need to be removed?
Access to solid exterior walls is not needed, only to the glazing areas. It should not be a problem if bed is up and out of the way, and there is enough space to be able to cut drywall 3-4 inches outside the window jamb. If an owner concerned or confused, contact RDH/Cam.
Which contractor will be awarded the job?
About a dozen different contractors have been selected from the bids submitted. Nothing signed yet due to ongoing legal review of contracts. RDH has been hired for Construction Management and is considered our prime contractor, though not general contractor.
Is it possible to finish under schedule?
Not likely. We just don’t want to go over.
What can RDH do to contain cost overruns?
RDH has built in a number of contingencies. Contractors have given a fixed price. If you open up the walls and find something unexpected, then change order is possible, and there are allowable markups defined in the contract. RDH will make sure that contractors charge no more than agreed to in the contract. RDH will have a superintendent on site to monitor both contractors and schedule.
What do you mean by “no contracts awarded due to legal discussions”?
Council did not want to award contracts to contractors before having a signed contract with RDH. Legal review has been completed and agreed-to amendments are being applied. Final signature and then the awarding of contracts to contractors should take place within a couple of days.

When are the levies due?

There are two levies related to the building remediation project. They are posted to your account as Roof & Gutter Levy, and Repairs Levy.

Owners voted to break these levies into three equal payments, due on the following dates:

1. February 29, 2020
2. November 30, 2020
3. March 31, 2021

So we have sufficient funds to pay our contractors throughout the project, owners are reminded to make sure that payments are applied by their respective due dates. Failure to pay by these dates can result in late payment fines of $400/month.

When will the scaffolding go up?

Difficult to say at this point. What we do know is that remediation will proceed in stages, likely starting with the south (lobby) side of the building, then moving to the west (lane), north (Drake), and east (Homer) sides. By that time, the entire building will be wrapped in scaffolding until the end of the remediation.

Erecting the scaffolding will take at least two months for each stage, with demolition/construction proceeding after that. We hope to see the first stage begin in late July.

A more accurate timeline will be posted once we have a tentative date for the first scaffolding to begin.

What happens if I don’t pay my levies?

That all depends.

  1. If an owner makes no attempt to pay, a lien will be placed against the condo. Sixty days later, the condo could be put up for sale to recover the outstanding amounts.
  2. If an owner has made a partial payment and is working to pay the balance, no lien will be placed for 30 days. If there is still an outstanding balance after 30 days, Council will assess whether to grant another 30 days or to place a lien against the condo. A fine of $400 will be charged for each month the balance is unpaid.
  3. No requests to waive or reduce fines for unpaid balances will be considered until those outstanding amounts are paid.