Frequently Asked Questions


Is rain screen cladding always required?

In short, yes. The building code always had a clause that said if water can get into the building, there must be a way to direct it to the outside. More recently, the requirement is more prescriptive in the building code. It is also just good practice. The only place it may not be required is when a wall area is protected from wind-driven rain.

Who takes the lead on these projects?

The owner always has to be responsible for their building, but we still take the burden of the work as part of our regular service. The owner’s time commitment is then minimized. We have a lot of experience, so we guide the owners as to when they must act and we are always available to assist. All facets of a restoration project are also discussed at the start, so the requirement for any additional parties to help the owner can be determined then. We have various client types and sometimes they want a project manager involved. Our firm can take this role, but in any case, with our involvement, the owner’s representative does not need to be experienced in construction.

If we complete some rehabilitation of our building, what do we have to do when the construction is done?

Whenever a significant amount of work is completed, we generally prepare a maintenance manual for our clients. The manual includes a log that indicates what needs to be examined and when. It is used by the owner to schedule maintenance reviews and the ensuing maintenance. If the log in the maintenance manual is followed, you are covered. Just remember, a newly repaired building still requires maintenance work, even if that just entails cleaning drains and gutters.

Do you come to the site to check what is being done?

Touwslager Engineering Ltd. performs field reviews during construction to ensure the contractor is completing the work as per our drawings and specifications. The frequency varies from project to project. It depends on the contractor’s efficiency and, sometimes, the weather. It could be two or three times per week if progress is good. We also write our specifications so that the contractor must show us his work before covering it up. We typically receive good co-operation.

Do you have insurance?

Yes we do. We have professional liability insurance. Given the focus of our firm, our insurance includes special coverage for errors and omissions relating to building envelope work and infiltration of precipitation in multi-unit residential buildings. This is not something every firm can obtain and most insurance companies will not provide this coverage at all. We also have commercial general liability insurance and WorkSafeBC coverage.

Our building has some serious “leaky condo” issues. If we repair them using your firm’s consulting services, will we have comfort that the same issues won’t happen again?

We think you will be very relaxed when the project is complete. We tend to address your “premature building envelope failure” as though it was our own and we care about our clients and their buildings. The last thing we want is for anybody to have another problem. To avoid this possibility, we spend a significant amount of our time and energy on quality control tasks that nobody even knows about. The contractors also get to know us and what we expect. When they don’t get it right, which is still more often than we’d prefer, we have them correct it. With all this attention, it is unlikely you will have any problems. It is unimaginable to us that the same type of water ingress will ever occur on one of our projects. Some of our references (provided on request) live in buildings that were competed many years ago. They can attest to the current condition of their building and the lack of building envelope problems.

We have some conflicts in our strata and find it difficult to make decisions and move forward. Do you get involved in this type of stuff?

Yes. Having worked with many strata corporations, we have a good understanding of the issues that can be involved. We often attend meetings and have helped many stratas through this process, although, ultimately, decisions still rest with the owners. Our goal is to gain your trust by providing our knowledge and experience to your specific issues. We then guide the strata through the decision making process. We concentrate on what the building needs, especially when faced with conflicting individual requests and requirements. We have found that the general ownership appreciates this style, and everybody can get down to the business of fixing the building much sooner. Typically, written reports are required to set out the facts and provide our opinion and these include contentious issues. We often attend strata council meetings and general ownership information meetings to discuss the options and answer challenging questions. We typically follow up with attendance at special general meetings when a vote is required.


What People Are Saying

During the restoration process, The Board of Directors often commented how thankful we were to have made the right decision in hiring Touwslager Engineering…

Connect With Us

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

Telephone (604) 618-4367