Non-Profit Societies

Non-profits, or not-for-profit societies, are sometimes owners of residential housing complexes with rental units. Many of these buildings in southwestern B.C. were built with poor construction techniques and the owners become aware of this as the maintenance costs continually increase, or they discover maintenance alone cannot correct the problems. The Executive Director, or another senior person, often works with BC Housing or another agency to obtain funding for major repairs. If initial funds are available, a building envelope condition assessment is completed. Depending on the results, repairs or rehabilitation is undertaken.

Owner Involvement

Touwslager Engineering Ltd. has worked extensively with BC Housing who is involved with many non-profit societies. We are aware of their requirements. Touwslager Engineering Ltd. is pre-approved by BC Housing as one of their Building Envelope Consultants.

It is our role to provide the board of directors or their representative with the required knowledge and technical advice to make educated decisions throughout the project. Typically, the board’s representative is knowledgeable and experienced with building construction and their own building. However, if that is not the case, we are available at any time in the process for extra meetings.

Condition Assessment

In the Services section, we have discussed the general steps for a typical project. The first step for many non-profits is the building envelope condition assessment. Once this is received and reviewed, a meeting with Touwslager Engineering is recommended. This will allow us to answer questions and discuss the next steps, if any are required. Usually, BC Housing attends these meetings as well.

If repairs are required, we prepare budgets and the society will obtain funding. We do not typically get directly involved in the funding aspect, but we can provide the required documentation and information for the other parties.


The design phase is the period where we work closest with the board. Typically, over 50 decisions need to be made. We will present the issues and options at meetings and in a formal report. The issues and options are well-documented for decision making and for the record. The items usually requiring the most thought from the owner are cladding type and colour. We can provide input and comparisons with other buildings, and the reasons for their decisions.

Once decisions are made, we will prepare drawings and specifications, and complete tendering and construction services as required to match the scale of the project. The construction documents can be hundreds of pages, consisting of general conditions, scope of work, technical specifications for each building element and each material, plans and elevations, windows schedules, assembly drawings, and detailed drawings.


During construction, Touwslager Engineering will handle the majority of the workload, with the society’s representative only being required to attend meetings, review and sign contract documents (which will be fully explained), correspond with the board of directors, and generally perform non-technical tasks. The owner is not required to perform any contractor-related services, such as inspections or negotiations. The owner’s representative may be required to provide access to units and perform housekeeping tasks, although responsibility for these can all be discussed in advance.

We hope you consider Touwslager Engineering as your building envelope professional. Contact us today if you’d like to discuss your building’s issues.


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"Budget issues were tightly controlled – all in all a successful project."


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Touwslager Engineering Ltd.
829 East 14th Avenue
Vancouver, B.C.
Canada V5T 2N5

Telephone (604) 618-4367