The Technicalities of Technical Audits
If you’re in any way familiar with condo maintenance or management, you’ll know that there are more audits and inspections out there than you can shake a clipboard at. While we don’t have time today to cover all the ins and outs of all the different reviews and investigations that condo corporations can make use of, we are going to dive deep into one in particular: technical audits.
We won’t be going it alone, however. We’ve got Catalyst project manager and audit aficionado Dustin Gutsche at our side to lead the way as we inspect and explore the details of technical audits. Let’s jump in.
Let’s Get Technical
Technically Speaking, What’s a Tech Audit?
The term “technical audit” sounds quite complex and complicated, but it’s not really. Well, to clarify, the job of doing the audit itself certainly is! Getting a grasp on what these inspections entail, however, is something we can lend a hand with.
“So, a technical audit,” Gutsche began, “is essentially what takes place when you bring in an envelope consultant or engineering consultant to take a look at your condo building. They’ll come to your condo, look at the way the building appears from the outside, and do a thorough visual assessment and inspection.”
That all sounds simple enough – what happens from there?
What Do You Get Out of a Technical Audit?
Once the audit’s been complete, you’ll have an abundantly clear understanding of the state of your condo building’s envelope and what does or doesn’t need actioning insofar as repairs and condo maintenance are concerned.
“A technical audit will allow the consultant to get a really good look at your building,” Gutsche elaborated, “and give them the opportunity to point out, for example, ‘Hey, this isn’t going to run the rain properly, so it’s going to run down the side of the building instead of dripping off, and that’s going to cause problems for you down the line.’”
Why Would You Get a Technical Audit?
One of the questions we get most often when discussing tech audits is why, exactly, would you end up needing or getting one? A technical audit is different from, say, a BEVA in that it’s not a regularly recurring inspection. They’re also dissimilar from BECAs in that they’re not necessarily an audit you’d do to prepare or plan for future work.
Instead, technical audits are almost more like a form of evidence-gathering.
“A technical audit is a great tool that you’d pay for in order to leverage a developer or warranty claim in your favour,” Gutsche explained on the subject. Essentially, if you’ve got a problem with your building, and you’re running into trouble getting it handled because your developer’s arguing that no, the water’s supposed to run down the side of the building like that, a technical audit gives you the backing of a certified industry expert to say that hey, guess what, the water’s actually meant to run off through the drain spout as opposed to down the window casing.
That said, there are also other instances aside from claims disputes for which you’d contract out a technical audit – niche, certainly, but worth discussing just the same.
Why Else Would You Get a Technical Audit?
While clearing up a claim is the most typical reason for a tech audit, Gutsche confirms, there are other situations in which you might enlist a consultant for the purpose – few and far between though they may be.
“The only other time I’ve seen a property use a tech audit is when they’ve done one just proactively to find out how their envelope is doing because they’ve got an older-style building,” Gutsche related. “Think, for example, of a building that’s maybe got a brick façade with a rock ballast roof – normally, you can tell how a roof’s doing just be taking a look at the shape the shingles are in, but with something like rock ballast, you might need an expert eye to give you a sense of just how things are doing up top.
How Can Your Condo Board Prepare?
The final thing to know about technical audits is that they’re not exactly cheap. The cost typically isn’t outrageous within the context of a condo corporation’s spendings, but you’re definitely looking at an invoice for at least a good several thousand dollars at the end of the day. Depending on the details, it could be a cost that’s well-worth it, Gutsche fairly suggested, if it ends up saving your condo board a whole bunch of money in unnecessary repair fees and maintenance costs down the road.
Thanks once again to Dustin Gutsche for taking the time to walk us through the ins and outs of condo technical audits – your knowledge and expertise is well-appreciated! Looking to learn more about tech audits? Wondering about setting one up for your building? Contact Catalyst Condo Management to learn more today.