The Role of Architects and Engineers in Building Restoration  

Architects and engineers often specialize in building envelope design and restoration. When you include these experts in the restoration process, they evaluate all aspects of your building, identify deficiencies, address long- and short-term remedies, and ensure the project is safe.

Assessing the Building’s Condition

The first step of any restoration is thoroughly assessing the building’s condition. Having an architect and engineer on board provides a more holistic approach, addressing the entire building envelope, including:

  • Below-grade construction
  • Structural and non-structural elements of the exterior walls
  • Fenestration (windows and metal/glass curtain walls)
  • Roofing systems
  • Atria (large-scale skylights or atriums) when applicable
  • Balconies
  • Garages

Architects and engineers work together to ensure architectural features and envelope component interfaces are considered individually and as a whole. As a result, your restoration recommendations identify every component and how failure or repair of one element will impact the entire envelope.

Developing a Restoration Plan

A comprehensive restoration plan requires input from an architect and engineer. They ensure that all steps are covered, and all possible scenarios are considered. Because building restoration is complex, you need a detailed action plan outlining the following:

  • Scope of work
  • Cost estimates for material and labour
  • Scheduling and timing
  • Risk assessment identifying safety issues and factors that can lead to delays or impact costs
  • Detailed description of each step
  • Overview of expectations and deliverables for all participating trades

Your plan can be shared with trades or contractors bidding for the job so they know exactly what the project entails. This ensures that estimates are accurate. The plan is also followed during the restoration process. As a result, the project is well-organized, and collaboration among trades and stakeholders is more productive and efficient when architects and engineers in building restoration are all in sync.  

Ensuring Code Compliance

Each building envelope component has its own function and performance standards under the building code. As a result, each envelope element is measured by a specific testing method to ensure that installation is compliant and meets all acceptable building code criteria. Architects and engineers in building restoration projects ensure building code standards are met and provide ongoing testing to avoid issues when the final inspection is performed.

Selecting Materials and Finishes

The selection of materials and finishes considers the appearance of the building. However, material selection must also ensure that all design elements deliver functionality that improves performance and energy efficiency. Therefore, your façade needs to be:

  • Durable with improved function and the longest life expectancy
  • Energy efficient for long-term savings
  • Attractive without sacrificing performance or longevity
  • Economical to reduce costs and improve expected ROI
  • Readily available and deliverable to reduce delays and avoid higher costs
  • Easy to install to reduce labour costs

Overseeing the Restoration Process

The architect and engineer that is involved in the restoration process, ensure all trades understand their roles. They also work with the Safety Coordinator to help keep the site safe. Through proper management, the construction team executes the plan safely and efficiently. Following construction best practices also helps maintain quality control. As a result, their presence helps save money, avoid delays, and keep restorations up to code.

Ensuring Long-Term Maintenance with Architects and Engineers in Building Restoration

Long-term maintenance prevents premature deterioration of newly installed building envelope components. It also helps improve building envelope integrity to support energy efficiency and avoid air and water infiltration. Through ongoing inspections, engineers and architects identify damage to make repairs to extend life and prevent significant expenditures.

Involving architects and engineers in building restoration projects provides the expertise required for successful, cost-effective, safe building restoration.

If you would like more information about building envelope restoration, speak to the experts at WellDone Inc., a building restoration company specializing in building improvements for commercial and multi-unit residential buildings throughout the GTA.