Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Do We Or Don't We Have A New Earthquake Tax On Condos?


(Please Note: The following is ALL based on the investigatory work Sean Holman at Public Eye)

In case you missed it, the government of Gordon Campbell changed the building code back in January of this year so that the CondoKings could start building cheaper, taller six storey 'wood frame' buildings (the old code called for a maximum of four storey wood buildings), presumably in response, at least in part, to forest industry lobbying.

Which raised safety concerns that Housing Minister Rich Coleman downplayed, including any that may or may not have come to his 'guys' from the Insurance industry:

However, to its credit, and/or its penchant for generating anticipatory pre-press release deflector spin, Mr. Campbell's government....

"....partnered with the American National Science Foundation's Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation program to test a six-storey wood-frame building on the world's largest seismic simulation shake table...."

Well, the simulations have been done, and the recommendations for how to make those taller wood-framed condos safe are in.

There's only one problem - it's going to cost more to make the 'adjustments' for using wood.

Five to eight percent more.

Which means that the Great Manager in the LINO Sky now knows that, while his friends and uncles can make condos more cheaply it will be more expensive to make them safely.

But here's the real kicker:

"....The British Columbia government, which was a partner in that test, hasn't yet said whether it will make that (safety adjustment) method mandatory....."

And as for any and all six storey wood-framed buildings that have already been built?



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