How to Find the Best Building Consultant

The expertise provided by a building consultant is knowledge you can’t do without when your renovation project involves the structure of your building. If that’s the case, the load calculations and recommendations made by a building consultant may be required by municipal regulations before the start of any work. In the event of a defect, deficiency, or damage caused by natural disaster or fire, the building consultant will aim to identify the origin of the deficiencies, assess the risks involved, and identify suitable repair solutions.

Can a building consultant help you with your project?

A building consultant works in many sectors. The Genispec team of expert building engineers specializes in commercial and industrial buildings and in condominiums.

What problems can a building consultant help you with?

Genispec’s building consultants will diagnose problems effectively and recommend the best solutions for your project and budget. The areas of expertise provided by our building consultants are:

  • Building envelope expertise. An exhaustive inspection of the facades of your building in accordance with Bill 122 of the RBQ.
  • Building structure expertise. Genispec services include the drafting of construction plans and structural specifications, project management, and site supervision.
  • Roofing expertise. A complete roof inspection will identify any deficiencies or anomalies and recommend the necessary steps to extend the lifespan of your roof.
  • Water infiltration test. Water infiltration tests are generally the most effective and least expensive method for determining the source of excess humidity.
  • Seismic construction study. Laying foundation piles for new nearby construction can cause vibrations that affect the structural integrity of your building. A seismic analysis will be able to closely monitor the vibrations coming from the construction work.
  • Thermographic inspection. Using thermographic inspection techniques, our building consultants can conduct a thorough and non-destructive inspection.

Criteria for selecting the best building consultant for your project

To be sure you’re making the right choice, there are criteria on which to base your decision:

  1. Knowledge and competence. Look for a building consultant who thoroughly understands the issues at play, whether you have a crack in your building or a moisture problem. Make sure the consultant is a member in good standing of a professional association such as the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ).
  2. Experience. It is best to hire a building consultant who has accumulated several years in the field rather than someone who is just starting out and may never have encountered the problem your building has.
  3. Reputation. Ask for recommendations from a family member, neighbour, or colleague who has used the services of a professional for the same type of work. Then, ask for references from the building consultant to be able to assess the consultant’s previous work.
  4. Insurance. If a self-professed building consultant refuses to show you any professional insurance, the consultant may not be accredited to practise that particular profession.
  5. Copy of a report. A professional report must be clear, complete, and informative. So don’t hesitate to ask for an example of a report before hiring your building consultant.
  6. Price. Make sure that the price of the building consultant’s proposal is clear from the start and that both the pricing and scope of the work are sufficiently detailed.

Specialized methods developed by Genispec’s building consultants

At Genispec, our team of expert building consultants has developed specialized methods to identify the most common building envelope or structural problems caused by the Quebec climate.

According to CAA-Quebec, climate phenomena that are on the rise in Quebec have specific impacts on buildings. For example, the increased frequency of the freeze-thaw cycle has led to a higher incidence of humidity-related constraints, especially on exterior concrete elements. You can see the complete chart of climate change phenomena and their related impacts on buildings on their website in the “Tips and Tricks” section called Renovation and maintenance tips: What climate change means for your home’s “armour”.

To learn more about the services offered by Genispec building consultants, contact us or visit our Building Expert page. All our building consultants are members of the OIQ.