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Building Condition Assessment - Issue Report - October 21, 2020

Report to: Program Planning Committe
From: Donna Stewart, Director of Integrated Social Services and Rhonda McCauley, Community Housing Program Supervisor

Date: October 21, 2020

Re: Building Condition Assessment - Issue Report 


To inform the Board of the findings of a recently undertaken Housing Services Corporation 10 Year Capital Management Plan for all DSB Owned building.


The Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB owns 36 buildings including Community Housing, Administration and Paramedic Services locations. Each of these buildings represent an asset to the organizational structure of the DSB both from a social standpoint and also a financial one. Ensuring that these assets are well maintained, safeguards the viability for the long-term goals of the organization. The objective is to maintain the buildings while remaining fiscally responsible to our member communities in the most cost-effective way.

It was identified that having a Building Condition Assessment (BCA) done was crucial to effective and responsible financial planning. Therefore, Housing Services Corporation (HSC) who has experienced staff on site, was contracted to provide the organization with a fulsome assessment of all DSB owned properties and the financial commitments required to ensure the long-term viability of our assets.


Over the years, the DSB has utilized Capital Funding from each program to maintain our buildings in the best possible way while recognizing that the aging infrastructure would often impact decisions on capital repairs versus replacement. In some locations, the availability of trades will often play a role in these decisions and has a large impact on job cost vs other less remote locales. Many of the core building components are nearing end of life, specifically in Community Housing buildings that were constructed in the 1970’s. The reality of these required components is that they were installed under differing building codes than those of today, and as they were done at the time of construction, pose varying degrees of overall building disruption to replace.

An example of this would be replacement of failing air make-up units that are installed in all Community Housing apartment buildings. These units are large and to replace them involves removing the roof in most instances. Not only is the work very costly, but it is also highly disruptive to the homes of many residents and will likely involve relocation of some. However, it is a necessary repair and is required in multiple locations.

The report highlights the critical items to be considered immediately and their estimated costs, followed by a schedule of required capital work over the next 10-years using both annual capital contributions and capital reserves.

Based on the section 7.1 of the HSC 10 Year Capital Management Plan

2021 Capital Project Costs
Balcony slab study (9 sites) $ 76,500
Thermal scan/review main electrical systems (12 sites) $ 24,000
Sanitary Drain line inspections (10 sites) $ 22,500
Air makeup unit studies - (Manitowaning, Little Current, Gore Bay, Massey) $ 20,000
Cladding/windows (St. Charles) & re-caulking (Noëlville) $ 87,325
Exterior repairs (Warren) $ 43,100
Sanitary drain line replacement (Marguerite, Espanola) $ 48,177
Total $ 321,602

The report provides a very detailed over-view of capital work that is required based on the urgency of each and further outlines how using the current capital contributions to the budget, these projects can be completed.


Housing Services Corporation has made recommendations as to the immediate next steps in order to successfully implement the recommendations in the Plan as follows:

1. Investment in detailed engineer studies. These building components also have the greatest cost consequence of failure. These studies include:

a. Balcony studies
b. Thermal scans of electrical equipment
c. Sanitary drain line inspections  

Discussions with current trusted service providers (HVAC/Fire System Technicians) to better understand the current condition of the internal building components (i.e. make-up air units, sprinkler systems) in order to better prioritize and direct limited finances.

It is recommended that the DSB plan to undertake the 2 recommendations above as stated in the Housing Services Corporation 10 Year Capital Management Plan.

During the 2021 calendar year, DSB staff would engage an outside management firm to provide oversight on the capital projects identified in the current 10 Year Capital Management Plan.

Over the course of the next 12 months these studies would be completed, and they would help develop the final 10 Year Capital Management Plan which would be presented to the Board in the fall 2021.

Based on the final 10 Year Capital Management Plan, the board will be in a better position to determine the makeup of is Community Housing staff, whether to hire in house for capital projects or to continue using an outside management firm to provide oversight for all major capital works required over the next ten years.