Reserve Fund Studies, Building Envelope Assessments, and Technical Audits…Oh My!


When it comes to condo management, it seems as if there’s no shortage of reports, audits, assessments, and studies that are expected to be kept up and maintained on a regular, consistent basis. But do you know your reserve fund study from your board and window audit? That was a trick question, by the way – if you didn’t realize that we made one of those assessments up, read on, and we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of everything you’ll need to know to keep on top of your building’s various required reports.

Reserve Fund Study

If you’re a dedicated reader of this blog, you might recall that we wrote an article not too long ago detailing some of the finer points concerning the reserve fund study (or RFS). Essentially, this comprehensive report is what results from having an engineer or other similarly-qualified individual come out to your condo building once every five years and giving it a thorough look-over. This process includes an examination of the roof, building envelope, windows, doors, mechanical systems, and just about anything else that’s big, complex, or costly to repair or replace. These findings are then compiled into the – you guessed it – reserve fund study, and used to plot out future budgets, plan repairs, and set maintenance schedules.

Does a full assessment only once every five years seem too infrequent to be helpful? Take a moment to explore the newly-developed Living Reserve Fund Study, which offers real-time asset monitoring and allows for dynamic, on-the-spot updates whenever new information is available. Pretty slick!

Building Envelope Assessment

Just like the people who inhabit them, buildings are prone to age. Initially, there’s not much needed to keep them in ship-shape aside from regular bits of routine care. As they get older, though (say, around 16-17 years old), they start to need a bit more attention and a touch of preventative maintenance in order to keep everything on the up-and-up – and that’s where a Building Envelope Assessment (BEA) comes in handy.

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A BEA is an audit that works to examine the health and condition of your condo building’s envelope (i.e. everything that “envelopes” the building’s interior, including windows, walls, floors, doors, roofing, and any other additional openings or fixtures). The report details which issues are critical versus those that are non-critical, and also usually includes some estimations for what repairs might end up costing, in the interest of allowing that building’s condo board to plan for maintenance appropriately. BEAs are extremely helpful when it comes to avoiding costly, building-wide issues such as water penetration, improper or deteriorating construction, and window failures, and aid in allowing a condo board to react preventatively rather than re-actively to these various situations.

Technical Audit

Technical audits most often occur in new builds when they are being handed over from developer to condo board. These inspections are usually run by engineering companies and seek to identify any issues or deficiencies that may exist, allowing the board to address them within the developer’s warranty period. It probably goes without saying, but a technical audit should take place well before any of the one-year warranties run out, otherwise the repairs that follow could end up costing your brand-new condo community a pretty penny right off the bat.

And with that, you should feel confident in knowing your technical audits from your BEAs and RFSs! Still a bit lost? Honestly, it can all be pretty confusing. Drop us a line at Catalyst Condo Management, and we’ll be happy to walk you through all the reports you’ll need to know about in order to keep your condo building healthy and trouble-free.

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