Rotting wood framed apartments -- not just a Vancouver problem
Chouinard, K. L. and Lawton, M. D.
Chouinard, K. L. and Lawton, M. D.Rotting wood framed apartments -- not just a Vancouver problem, ---.
It has been well documented that there has been a major crisis with the durability of woodframed condominium buildings in the lower mainland of British Columbia. The extent andseverity of problems have been widely publicized and many of the stakeholders have initiatedactions aimed at minimizing exposure to past and future problems. It is widely believed that theproblems arise because of the Vancouver's unique climate, which is deemed to be abnormallywet and warm. Our experience belies this belief.
Rotting wood framed buildings can and do exist across Canada. We have investigatedmany wood-framed buildings in Ontario and Nova Scotia that have required major renovationbecause of rotting structural members. The design details and level of construction seen in thesebuildings has many similarities with those exhibited by buildings in Vancouver. Inadequatemanagement of water is the cause of the problem and water leads to rot. In this paper, we willdiscuss a number of the problem buildings we have investigated and redesigned. The similaritieswith Vancouver will be reviewed, and the fatal flaws introduced by the design and constructionprocess will be explored. A renewed appreciation of the necessity for adequate design ofmoisture control will be the goal.