Aqua Terra is a luxury two building condominium complex located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The complex was less than five years old by the time Aqua Terra Condominium Association started experiencing issues with the exterior cladding system.
Williams Engineering Canada (WEC) provided building science services to determine if the building envelope issues were localized or if a full restoration would be necessary. In the first building, there was noticeable horizontal cracking and buckling in the EIFS (exterior insulation finishing system). After a thorough investigation, it was discovered that proper control joints had not been installed at each floor, proper EIFS detailing of the underlying moisture barrier had not been completed, and multiple materials from various EIFS manufacturers had been used over the entire building (invalidating any system warranties). To confirm whether the deficiencies were systemic or localized, a full height test section of the building EIFS cladding was removed. This process confirmed to the condominium corporation that the deficiencies were systemic, but more importantly allowed for a number of restoration approaches to be evaluated.
Based on the examination of the test section, an innovative and constructible repair methodology was devised that would allow the exterior sheathing to be retained while installing new EIFS cladding. Not having to replace the exterior sheathing was a large cost savings for the condominium corporation. The building science team created complete restoration specifications and drawings, tendered the work to qualified local contractors, and reviewed the restoration work through to completion. The new system was also reviewed by the EIFS manufacturer who provided a full system warranty for the work.
With a recovered and corrected EIFS system, Aqua Terra Condominiums are now benefiting from the durability and performance of a properly installed EIFS system and improved thermal efficiency. Similar issues were found in the second building, which became an insurance claim as the building was still under warranty. The building was repaired in a similar manner with WEC acting as the technical representative on behalf of the condominium corporation.
Overall, the contracting team was one of the greatest contributors to the success of the restoration, working closely with WEC and the condominium corporation. The tenants of Aqua Terra Condominiums are elated that the three-year project has come to an end, and that their building is fully restored. Williams Engineering Canada is dedicated to own the outcome and take stewardship of the success of all our client’s projects, no matter how big or small.