Surrey City Hall not revealing which tower is affected.

Surrey City Hall not revealing which tower is affected.

Surrey won’t reveal highrise that fails to meet building code standards

City of Surrey citing ‘confidentiality concerns’

There’s a residential highrise in Surrey that was designed by an engineer who has since resigned his licence after an investigation by Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia revealed his structural design of the building failed to meet building code standards.

But the City of Surrey won’t reveal which tower it is, citing privacy concerns.

“Due to confidentiality reasons, the City is not in a position to release the address,” Rémi Dubé, manager of the building division in Surrey’s planning and development department, said in a city-issued statement.

“The City relies on letters of assurance provided by the professionals who designed the building, such as architects and engineers, which confirm the building had been designed and constructed according to the BC Building Code,” Dubé states.

“In this situation, where it was determined at a later time that the building was not built to the applicable code at the time, the City will be following up with the Strata Corporation to determine if there are any safety issues that would impact occupancy, and work with the Strata Corporation on any necessary next steps. There is no information of any present public safety concerns.”

According to an EGBC disciplinary notice, structural engineer John Bryson has admitted his structural design for the building “did not comply with the 2006 BC Building Code, to which he certified it had been designed, in particular with respect to seismic and wind loads.

“Additionally, Mr. Bryson admitted that, as the registered professional responsible for the design of the building, he failed to undertake an adequate design process, utilizing an approach of using certain less conservative requirements from the National Building Code 2010 while not using other more conservative requirements from the same code.”

Bryson was charged with unprofessional conduct, resigned his engineering license on April 1, must pay a $25,000 fine – the maximum allowed under the Engineers and Geoscientists Act – and pay the association $215,000 toward costs.

“This is a rare but very serious offence, for which we sought the maximum fine available and ensured this individual can no longer practise engineering,” said Ann English, EGBC’s registrar and CEO. “The public deserves to have confidence that their homes are being designed to the current standard, and it’s a serious matter when that trust is betrayed.”

Surrey Councillor Brenda Locke told the Now-Leader “I think the city will be in contact with that specific strata to make sure that any challenges or problems are mitigated.

“I don’t mean to be trite about it, but no news is good news,” she said of non-affected towers. “If your strata council isn’t hearing about it, you’re in an okay position. That will have to be minite-ed by a strata council so that anybody in the future will know that there was a challenge to that building.

“Strata councils are responsible to the people in their building and they should be keeping their residents up to speed on what’s going on in their strata unit,” Locke said.

According to the consent order, “the structural design for the Building, as depicted in final design drawings dated March 12, 2013 (the “Structural Design for the Building”) is deficient insofar as it does not comply with the 2006 British Columbia Building Code.”

Megan Archibald, communications director for EGBC, told the Now-Leader the association has not released the name or address of the affected building because “we want to make sure the residents are informed by their strata council.”

As for Bryson, she added, “He can no longer practise engineering in the province.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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