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Building Condition Assessments

A building condition assessment (BCA) is a technical report, usually prepared by engineers, that provides an overview of the status of all building components and systems. It will summarize when various building components need to be renewed or replaced, and it will provide cost estimates.

To prepare a BCA, engineers should review architectural drawings and other documents relating to the co-op buildings (especially earlier reports). When ready, engineers will visit the co-op and make a visual inspection of the property and buildings. They will examine structural elements; the building envelope; mechanical systems, electrical systems and fire safety systems; common areas and the grounds. They will also visit a sample of the units to understand the range of finishes and interior elements. (The standard review includes 10% of the units, but other arrangements can be made.)

After the site visit, the engineers will create a report which will include estimates of when the various components should be replaced, how much such replacements would cost, and which should be prioritized. These are usually expressed in ranges (“within two years”, “between five and ten years”, etc.).

The cost of the engineers’ work depends on a number of factors including the building form or forms (detached houses, town homes, low-rise apartments, high-rise apartments), whether there are elevators or commercial spaces within the development, and the total number of units at the site. A BCA is a general report and the foundation of a well-considered long-term plan. Sometimes they are also referred to as “depreciation reports”, particularly when commissioned by strata corporations. Stratas are guided by legislation that anticipates reports being updated every three years.