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Magnum York Webinar MBC Group

Protecting the investment in your property is the most important thing to consider when looking at the maintenance of your multi-family complex or apartment-style building. Mitigating the risk of losing your investment, or worse, personal injury should be of utmost concern for all condo Boards, owners, and investment owners.

Magnum York had the pleasure of hosting another educational webinar with very special guests Antoine Caron, Vice President of Engineering Services, and Kristjan Kristjansson, Regional Manager for Alberta and British Columbia from MBC Group. They provided an engineering perspective on risk control and mitigation for your property, as well as the importance of maintaining building conditions.

As a Magnum York preferred vendor, part of the MYVendor Program, MBC Group is one of Canada’s largest independent privately owned engineering and cost consulting firms. Their team of experts specializes in property damage appraisals, structural engineering, and environmental services.

The three key areas that will be covered in this recap are:
1. Building Envelopes
2. Areas of Failure
3. Examples

What is a building envelope?

A building envelope is the physical separator between conditioned and unconditioned environment of a building.

Conditioned space describes a space that’s heated and cooled with the rest of the house.

What does the building envelope provide?

The building envelope provides resistance to:

  1. AIR – The air in your house as well as the outside air.
  2. WATER – protection from the rain.
  3. HEAT – retains heat during the winter months.
  4. LIGHT – protection from the sun which can cause damage to buildings.
  5. NOISE – creates a barrier to prevent noise transfer.

What are the main areas of failure in building envelopes?

  • Siding & Roofing
  • Windows & Doors
  • Flashings
  • Eavestrough & Downspouts
  • Decks
  • Foundation


Things to look for, to mitigate risk and to ensure the building envelope is protected include the caulking in the joints of the siding. This includes the sealant around the windows, as well as the flashing and building paper.

Types of siding include:
Vinyl / Metal
Stucco / Stone
Hardie / Wood / Metal


In order to mitigate risk to the building envelope, an engineer, such as MBC Group will look to see if the roof was installed properly, if the building code requirements were followed during install, and if the penetration and caulking points were properly sealed.

Types of roofing include:
Sloped (Asphalt, Wood, Metal, Slate)
Flat ( T&G), Single Ply, Two Ply, Duro-Last, TPO

For more on roofing and how it can become an area of failure in your building envelope, watch the webinar segment here: Magnum York Webinar with MBC Group – Main areas of failure in building envelopes: Roofing


Important areas to look at when inspecting the windows of a property is the caulking around the windows, the flashing, the waterproofing, observing if there are stains visible and if there is condensation within the windows.

The images below are examples where the building envelope has failed and water has infiltrated around the window. It is apparent that there was insufficient protection around the window seal. These are the typical areas where you see failure.

How do you avoid window failure?

Proper installation of the windows is key to mitigating the risk of envelope failure.


Flashing creates very good protection around your home when installed properly. It is installed around roof features such as vents, windows, and skylights, and your perimeter around your foundation. If no flashing is installed against these areas, water could get into the building envelope, and risk damage to the home.

The building code refers that anytime you have a horizontal change of materials or change of items, it requires a flashing as secondary protection to your building envelope.


Important things to look out for around the eavestrough and downspouts are cracks in the corners, checking for blockages, ensuring they are properly sloped, as well as ice damming.

An ice dam is an ice build-up on the eaves of sloped rooves of heated buildings that results from melting snow under a snowpack reaching the eave and freezing there

For more on how to mitigate risk in regards to the eavestrough and downspouts, watch the webinar segment here: Magnum York Webinar with MBC Group – Main areas of failure in building envelopes: Eavestrough & Downspouts


In order to mitigate risk to the property, decks should be regularly inspected and maintained. It’s important to look at the vinyl membrane (if applicable), look at the flashings, the thermal bridging (on a cantilevered deck) as well as the railing to ensure all has been installed properly.

Types of decks include:
Beam & Post

Left Picture: A cantilevered deck. This continues on the outside that has no support.

Right Picture: A beam & post deck. This puts a double (or even a triple) beam under the joists, where it supports the joists directly.  This is a completely separate structure from the house.


When mitigating risk from the building foundation, it’s best to look for cracks in concrete foundations, to determine if they are structural or aesthetic. For wood foundations, there should be proper waterproofing to avoid rot.

Types of foundation include:
Concrete/ Cinder Bloc

Concrete is porous and prone to cracking, so it is important to protect it from outside elements. Watch the segment on how to mitigate risk to the foundation here: MY Webinar with MBC Group – Main areas of failure in building envelopes: Foundation

Engineer Case Study: Envelope Failure

As mentioned throughout, it is important to mitigate risk to protect your property. Failure to properly maintain the high-risk areas could result in catastrophic damage, such as in this following case study.

The flooring in a unit completely collapsed for the following reasons:

  • The floor joists were sitting on the outside bearing walls, which were rotting due to the chemical reaction from the concrete.
  • The stucco was not properly installed (no meshing).
  • Complete building envelope failure
  • Improper maintenance plan
  • No inspection

This resulted in a $500K repair to address the issues. To avoid these failures, having a regular building envelope inspection by an engineer or professional building envelope expert, once a year is highly recommended.

Thank You!

This webinar wraps up our series for the season. Thank you to all those who attended, and thank you to MBC Group for their presentation and for providing an engineer’s perspective on risk control.

Stay tuned for more educational webinars coming in Fall 2021 by visiting:

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