Inspection of facades and parking lots
The new Chapter VIII / Building of security code of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) came into force on 18 March 2013. Since then, the complete inspection of high-rise building façades and staged car parks is mandatory under certain conditions (loi 122).
The owners of public buildings Are now responsible for ensuring the safety of people who occupy or frequent a building and those who circulate around it.
FAÇADES OF BUILDINGS
The Régie du bâtiment (RBQ) has published a guide
explanatory facade maintenance requirements where it is mentioned that the professional (engineer or architect) has the obligation to inform the RBQ if he discovers a dangerous condition compared to an inspected building. "Dangerous condition" means any condition that an element of one of the facades may imminently become detached from the building or collapse and cause injury to persons.
In this document it is explained that there are two types of inspection, the general inspection and the detailed inspection which are, in fact, two complementary inspections.
- THE 'general inspection is visual in nature. We are told that after "such an inspection, the professional is able to take stock of all the damage observed on the facades: crumbling, efflorescence, rust spots, seepage, flaking, cracks, deformations, bulges, displacement of the coating, etc. ".
- THE 'detailed inspection is a "close examination" that requires equipment such as a basket or other suspended equipment. The goal is to allow the professional responsible for the inspection to have direct contact with the elements of the facade (...) To access the back of the cladding of the facade, the professional lists the places where an exploratory breakthrough is necessary ; exploratory breakthroughs must be made on each facade, even if it does not show any apparent signs of weakness ". The verification report will require the engineer (or architect) to make follow-up recommendations or suggest corrective work to be done.
In summary, here are the procedures to be followed, by the professional, to respect the 122 law for the inspection of facades and parking lots:
- With the help of lifting devices such as aerial work platforms, cranes and lifting platforms, a professional (engineer or architect) must make a thorough visual inspection of all the elements that make up the facades.
- The expert must practice exploratory holes on each facade to check the condition of the components behind the coating.
- The professional must provide assistance and direction to put in place emergency measures in the event that a "dangerous condition" adversely affects the safety of the public.
- The engineer or architect must produce a complete report.
" The requirements parking areas apply to parking, when it is underground and at least one running surface of the concrete slab does not rest on the ground (at least 2 floors) or when it is overhead and at least one running surface does not rest on the ground. All owners, whether single, divided or undivided, of a parking lot covered by the new provisions will have to comply with the obligations arising therefrom ".
La loi 122 requires the owners and co-owners to inspect, every five (5) years, by an engineer, the structure of parking (columns, structural concrete slabs, beams, etc.).
According to Régie du bâtiment, "The owner shall provide access to the premises and make available to the Engineer the construction plans, specifications and other relevant documents including reports on soils and foundations, annual audit reports and previous extensive audit reports ".
REMINDER OF ACCIDENTS AND INCIDENTS
The 122 law is a response from the legislator following accidents that have alerted the public about the poor maintenance of certain facades and underground parking of buildings at height. Unfortunately, in 2009, a woman was mortally wounded by a concrete panel that fell from 18e floor of the front of the hotel restaurant where she was sitting.
In 2008, another distressing event marked the popular imagination, as a concrete slab from an indoor parking lot crushed a man in his car, causing his death.
More recently, in May 2015, a deliveryman was injured when part of the wall of a residential building collapsed and debris fell on him. The man escaped with minor injuries.
An inspection is strongly suggested as soon as possible to meet the deadlines Building Act for the inspection of facades et parking.