The Observatory (North Vancouver): Owners of leaky Cressey condo tower face huge repair bill

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA

Citation:

The Owners, Strata Plan VR2771 v. Cressey Dev. Corp. et al

 

2004 BCSC 748

Date: 20040603
Docket: A963128
Registry: Vancouver

Between:

The Owners, Strata Plan VR2771

Plaintiff

And:

Cressey Development Corporation, A.M. Fifteen Holdings Ltd., Nacel Properties Ltd.,
 PAC Architecture Ltd. formerly known as the Hulbert Group B.C. Ltd., Richard E. Hulbert, Raymond M. Pradinuk, Richard E. Hulbert and Raymond M. Pradinuk doing business as the Hulbert Group, Sterling, Cooper & Associates Ltd., Almetco Building Products Ltd., Continental Mechanical Ltd., Eltex Enterprises Ltd., Hil-Ron Cladding Ltd., Intertek Testing Services NA Ltd./Services d’Essais Intertek AN Ltée, Koplin Enterprises Ltd., Prestige Glass Ltd., Preswitt Manufacturing Ltd., and the City of North Vancouver

Defendants

And:

Almetco Building Products Ltd., Continental Mechanical Ltd., Eltex Enterprises Inc.,
Hil-Ron Cladding Ltd., Intertek Testing Services NA Ltd./Services d’Essais Intertek AN Ltée, Koplin Enterprises Ltd., PAC Architecture Ltd. formerly known as the Hulbert Group British Columbia Ltd., Richard E. Hulbert, Raymond M. Pradinuk, Richard E. Hulbert, and
Raymond M. Pradinuk doing business as the Hulbert Group, Prestige Glass Ltd., Preswitt Manufacturing Ltd., Sterling Cooper & Associates Ltd., Tremco Ltd./Tremco Ltee, and
the City of North Vancouver

Third Parties


Before: The Honourable Mr. Justice Chamberlist

Reasons for Judgment

Counsel for the plaintiff:

D. Miachika

Counsel for the defendant and third party Intertek Testing Services NA Ltd./ Services d’Essais Intertek AN Ltée

 

G.B. Gomery

 

Counsel for the defendants Cressey Development Corporation, A.M. Fifteen Holdings Limited, Nacel Properties Ltd.

 

S. Boothman

 

Also appearing but taking no position on behalf of

 

 

PAC Architecture Ltd. formerly known as the Hulbert Group B.C. Ltd.

 

M. Spector

 

Preswitt Manufacturing Ltd.

 

P. Gordon

 

City of North Vancouver

 

L. Krebs

 

Prestige Glass Ltd.

C. Gleadow

 

Date and Place of Hearing:

February 16, 17, 2004

March 18, 19, 2004

 

Vancouver, B.C.

NATURE OF APPLICATION

[1]            This is the application of the defendant and third party Intertek Testing Services NA Ltd./Services d’Essais Intertek AN Ltée (“ITS”) for orders dismissing the within action and the third party claims against the applicant.  The applicant also claims that the plaintiff and defendant third parties Cressey Development Corporation (“Cressey”) and A.M. Fifteen Holdings Ltd. pay its costs of the action.

ISSUES

[2]            The within action was commenced on September 24, 1996 and the statement of claim filed some two years later on December 11, 1998.  The within motion was filed August 28, 2003.  When the matter first came before me in February 2004 I expunged certain portions of the applicant’s primary affidavit material (affidavit #2 of Lawrence Gibson, sworn August 27, 2003) but gave liberty to the applicant to file additional affidavit material of the deponent Lawrence Gibson.

[3]            The issue of whether or not this was a suitable matter to be disposed of on an 18A application was made a threshold argument at the commencement of this summary trial.  I determined that suitability would be addressed first and if I found the issue to be suitable for an 18A disposition then I would hear from the respondents on the merits.  At this time I have only heard from the respondents on the suitability issue although I have heard from the applicant on suitability and the merits.

BACKGROUND

[4]            This litigation involves what has become known in the vernacular as “leaky condo” litigation.  The Observatory building (“the Observatory”) is a 73 unit, 26 floor high rise residential strata development located at 120 West Second Street, North Vancouver, B.C.  The Observatory suffers from a progressive and ongoing building envelope failure due to exterior water ingress.  The original developer was Cressey.  It, along with its affiliate A.M. Fifteen Holdings Ltd., built the Observatory in about 1989 and 1990 and over the next several years the 73 strata lots were sold. 

[5]            The action was originally commenced by the plaintiff owners against Cressey, the architects and a mechanical consultant.  Additional parties, including ITS, were subsequently joined as defendants.  Ultimately Cressey third partied ITS seeking contribution and indemnity in relation to the direct claims made against it.  The owner retained Halsall Associates Limited (“Halsall”) to conduct an investigation of the exterior building envelope. 

[6]            In November 2000 Halsall issued its report where it identified deficiencies in the building envelope including the exterior cladding comprising of exterior insulation finish system (“EIFS”), which it opined permitted water ingress to the building’s interior. 

[7]            As a result of its investigations, Halsall recommended, and the owners agreed, to proceed with a progressive repair of the building envelope, including initial repairs to the EIFS cladding.  These initial repairs were completed.  To date the plaintiff owners have incurred some $860,000.00 in remediation costs to the building and anticipate future renovation costs of some $3.5 million. (More)

The Observatory (North Vancouver): Cressey's leaky condo tower featured on Hulbert Group's website

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The Observatory
North Vancouver, B.C.

 

The Observatory

Against the dramatic backdrop of the majestic North Shore mountains, The Observatory stands tall - like a new world beacon. Lean and elegant architecture of colonnades and curves rising twenty-nine stories - a lookout from sea to sky over a shining Pacific Jewel.

     
"We have no criticisms to overcome in terms of the design of the property. The layouts are excellent! The units contain so many design features that prospective purchasers' response has been totally positive. Many have commented that the design allows for the sensation of floating out over the view instead of being enclosed. This applies not only to the kitchens and bathrooms mentioned earlier but to the bedrooms as well as the balconies where safety glass allows a view even while you are seated indoors or out. There is more extensive use of glass here than on any other project I've ever sold."

Laurie Andrews
Project Sales Manager
Cressey Development Corporation

 

 

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