Forsstrom: Lifecycle of a condo

Most people don’t look at a building and see a living entity.

Most people don’t look at a building and see a living entity.

Instead, they see a structure made of masonry, wood, glass and vinyl.

However, buildings are very much alive. They breathe, move, make noise and go through a lifecycle much like we humans do.

With the anticipated Depreciation Report legislation will come the need for strata corporations to identify their building’s unique lifecycle and plan to provide the TLC needed to ensure their home grows to a healthy old age.

Industry professionals have designed a Building Asset Management plan that outlines a familiar pattern that most buildings pass through in the various stages of their lifecycles.

The Childhood Stage—two to 16 years —is characterized by a relatively small number of repair projects that shouldn’t have major impacts on the operating budget.

This of course is dependent on the quality of construction and machinery.

Certain items such as water heaters, circulating pumps, garage door motors are generally in need of at least repair, or more likely replacement.

Wooden exteriors and fences will need refinishing and carpets will probably have to be considered for replacement.

The Adolescence Stage—17 to 29 years—is signified by a dramatic shift in the number of challenges faced by the residents.

Many of the assets of the corporation will be reaching the end of their lifecycles and will need to be replaced.

During this stage, major renewal projects will need to be undertaken.

Re-roofing, elevator controls, boilers and plumbing distribution systems will be on the list of assets that will need to be attended to.

The Adult Stage—30 to 49 years—presents the costliest lifecycle with major projects needed to renew such items as building envelopes (siding and windows) and fire alarm panels.

Paved roadways and interior decorating are among the other items on a condo’s to do list.

Old age for a building is 50 +. Professionals point out that there is no direct correlation between the age of a building and its condition.

Some older buildings that have been properly maintained are in better shape than newer ones that have been neglected.

And just like humans, if the assets have been properly taken care of, residents should enjoy their homes well into retirement.

StrataScene is intended for general information purposes only. Gunnar Forsstrom is a licensed strata manager with Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty.



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