• Average Life Expectancies

    Here are a few examples from historical data and experience: Air conditioning compressor – air cooled, hermetically sealed 12 to 15 years Air conditioning compressor – water-cooled, hermetically sealed 20 years Air conditioning compressor – reciprocating 20 years Rooftop heating and air conditioning unit 20 years Copper core boiler –…

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  • Water Cooling for Buildings

    Air conditioning systems for buildings may rely on either a liquid, such as water, or air as a distribution medium. Conditioned air is typically distributed by duct and chilled water is distributed by pipe. Chilled water distribution systems are most commonly found for air conditioning large buildings. The reason for…

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  • Remember When – History of the Toilet

    Re-produced with permission, courtesy of the Ontario Plumbing Inspectors Association – www.opia.info The following image is of an early toilet circa 1785, taken from the pages of a French book on architecture. The caption at top, loosely translated is: Developments of the interior of a bench used in “garderobes” known under…

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  • Due Diligence – Building Deficiency Top Ten List

    No building is perfect. The question is how imperfect is it? What sort of yardstick do we use to measure the condition of buildings, and at what point in time do we bring out these yardsticks to measure the condition of the building? Following is a top ten list of…

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  • Reserve fund studies – An Overview

    As of May 5, 2001, Reserve Fund Studies (RFS) became mandatory under the 1998 Condominium Act. All existing corporations had 3 years (until May 5, 2004) to get a RFS done. Reserve Fund Studies Must Contain A Physical Analysis of Common Element Components a) Reviews the condition and life expectancy…

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  • Early Suppression Fast Response Sprinklers

    What Are They? The use of Early Suppression Fast Response (ESFR) sprinkler systems is becoming more prevalent in the protection of warehouse storage occupancies. But what are ESFR sprinklers and what is their benefit? In answering these questions, we will first look at types of systems that are used to protect warehouse occupancies.…

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  • The Building Envelope – How Does it Stack Up?

    The building envelope includes all building components that separate the building interior from the outdoor environment. This normally includes the walls, the roof, and the basement or first floor slab. Sources of Moisture in Walls Moisture infiltrates the building envelope as water vapor through air leakage, in liquid form through…

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  • Roof Thermography

    For low-rise buildings, such as industrial buildings or retail buildings, the roofing system is the most expensive component that is expected to need replacement over the life of the building. Unwanted moisture intrusion is a major factor affecting the durability and performance of roof systems. When roof systems fail and leaks develop, not…

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  • Open and Closed Flame Heating Systems

    When describing the heating systems in a commercial building, there are a number of variables to consider, including: The type of fuel used. The medium used for heating (air, water, steam). The burner configuration – open vs. closed flame. The presence of a heat exchanger – direct vs. indirect fired.…

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  • Probability of Failure

    Probability of failure is a concept used to prepare capital replacement or reserve fund studies for facility managers and condominium corporations, as well as to plan maintenance and replacement schedules for equipment in large facilities. Probability of failure compensates for the fact that visual inspections are often imperfect, in that…

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