construction trends

Protection for building envelope remediation

Building Envelope Renovation Warranty Insurance can bring peace of mind
Thursday, November 14, 2013
By Cheryl Mah

Regardless of building size, an envelope renovation is a large undertaking with many details, and for those directly responsible, many stresses. A new building envelope represents a significant investment of time and money, and provides significant long-term outer protection, plus a much improved appearance for the building.

A new product offered by Aviva Insurance Company of Canada through its administering agent, the National Home Warranty Group, may provide the peace of mind that condo owners and boards are looking for when undertaking such a major renovation.

The Building Envelope Renovation Warranty Insurance ensures the engineers and renovators are qualified for envelope renovation warranty projects through an in-depth pre-qualification process. The renovator’s expertise, capabilities, resources and financial strength are evaluated, and when an application for warranty insurance is received for a project, a second evaluation is completed to ensure the project fits within their capabilities. The engineers managing the project also undergo a stringent risk review and must carry proper liability insurance. To access Aviva’s insurance, the engineer must include it as a requirement in the repair specification documents.

As part of the coverage, Aviva’s technical field representatives visit projects during construction to provide extra oversight and a third-party technical review of the building renovation of the work in progress.

The insurance also includes:

• Two-year material and labour warranty.

• Five-year warranty coverage for unintended water penetration caused by defects in the construction of the building envelope.

• If there is a claim, unit owners may be eligible for a living out allowance to cover accommodation expenses while repairs are being made.

• The option to purchase additional five-year coverage for water penetration for renovations that meet Aviva’s underwriting criteria.

One of the most common and significant projects facing Alberta condominiums today is building envelope remediation. A Calgary condominium corporation recently required building envelope consulting services for such a project.

“From the standpoint of our unit owners, this was a large undertaking that would have a significant impact on the value of their most valuable asset,” comments Karen Kovacs of Signature Alliance Management Group Inc. “It was clear to the board that this coverage would provide owners with peace of mind in protecting this substantial investment. Another of our condominium properties will be undertaking a $4 million building envelope remediation program in the spring of 2014. We’re very excited about this opportunity to help our clients obtain this enhanced level of protection.”

Cheryl Mah is managing editor for Canadian Property Management magazine’s British Columbia/Alberta edition.


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