Header graphic for print
The Lay of the Land DEVELOPMENTS IN CANADIAN REAL PROPERTY LAW

Tag Archives: construction

Building up BC – Building Act

Posted in Construction, Municipal

The British Columbia Government has started to bring into force some of the key provisions of its new Building Act.

The Act, which was passed by the legislature in the early half of 2015, is intended to provide greater consistency in the building and construction industry, and to modernize and streamline the building regulatory system.… Continue Reading

Lenders and Execution Creditors Take Note! The Importance of Searching for Writs of Execution on Loan Advances & Providing Actual Notice of Same

Posted in Construction, Policy

Lenders advancing funds in stages or draws to a mortgagor should pay particular attention to searching for execution judgments against the mortgagor prior to advancing such funds. This is particularly common in construction loans whereby lenders will be making a series of advances over time.   Once a lender has registered its mortgage prior to the initial advance to ensure its priority on title, this is not necessarily the end of the matter. On subsequent advances, while it is important to search title to the property to determine if there are any registrations of concern, such as construction liens, it is … Continue Reading

Can a Developer Limit its Liability for Construction Defects?

Posted in Construction, Litigation

Lawyers representing strata lot purchasers in British Columbia have, to date, made considerable hay by emphasizing that the Real Estate Development Marketing Act (British Columbia) is “consumer protection” legislation to be interpreted in favour of purchasers. The bias in favour of the consumer has arguably lost some of its lustre in the past year or so (see, for example, the decision in Woo v. Onni, discussed here), but there is still concern that, when in doubt, the courts will invoke the consumer protection nature of the legislation to justify a decision in favour of the proverbial “little guy”, … Continue Reading

Breaking the Mould – BC Introduces New Building Act

Posted in Construction, Policy

The Province of British Columbia recently introduced the new Building Act (Bill 3 – 2015) on February 12, 2015, which according to the Province’s newsroom, aims at modernizing the building regulatory system in British Columbia.

The proposed act seeks to:

  1. give the Province overriding authority to define standards regarding building activities such as the construction, repair and demolition of buildings to ensure that building requirements are consistent across British Columbia. By centralizing the regulation of building activities under the Province’s direction, the goal is to streamline the regulatory process to reduce costs and improve efficiency in British Columbia’s
Continue Reading

A Bridge Over Deregulated Waters: The New Navigation Protection Act

Posted in Construction, Land Use, Municipal, Policy

On April 1, 2014, the Federal Navigation Protection Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. N-22 (the “New Act”) came into force, replacing the Navigable Waters Protection Act (the “Old Act”) and making notable changes to Canada’s regulation of waterways.  The legislative objective is to enable municipal authorities to manage local projects, like bridge construction, without the costs and delays often incurred in the course of the Federal approval process.  These amendments are likely to have implications across various industries, including construction, oil and gas, transportation, and telecommunication.

Highlights of the amendments include the following:

  1. The New Act
Continue Reading

Conditional Building Permits: A Very Useful Tool

Posted in Construction, Municipal

There are many situations in which a developer may need to begin construction before a certain date, but cannot get their building permit in time. In Ontario that is usually because they cannot yet meet some very minor “applicable law” requirement that, according the Building Code Act, they must comply with in order to obtain the permit.[1]

A conditional building permit can often get around this problem, even though many municipalities in Ontario use them so infrequently that they seem barely aware that they have the authority to issue them. Conditional building permits are authorized pursuant to s. … Continue Reading

Lien Out: Arbitrary Protection for Pre-Construction Consultants

Posted in Construction

Those who claim a builders lien must comply strictly with the requirements of the Builders Lien Act, and owners (or at least their counsel) are frequently on the lookout for liens that can be extinguished for a failure to satisfy such requirements. The recent BC Supreme Court decision in Stanley Paulus Architect Inc. v. Windmill Holdings Ltd., 2014 BCSC 1816 serves as a reminder of one fundamental requirement: in order to claim a lien there must be an “improvement” within the meaning of the Act.  More particularly, there is no “improvement” where construction has not yet commenced … Continue Reading

New Building Bylaw: No More Door Knobs

Posted in Municipal

In September, 2013, Vancouver City Council approved a new 2014 City of Vancouver Building Bylaw.  According to the City, the 2014 Building Bylaw 10908, which covers detached houses and low-rise residential buildings, brings about changes to the current Building Bylaw 9419 to support housing for seniors and people with disabilities, while supporting the objectives of the Greenest City 2020 Action Plan.

Changes include:

  • mandating of adaptable housing requirements such as wider doorways, stairways, and corridors
  • setting improved energy efficiency targets, including an upgrade to window performance, an increase in insulation levels, greater air tightness and mandatory installation of a
Continue Reading

Builder’s Risk Policies: Scope of the Faulty Design/Work Exclusion

Posted in Litigation

What is the scope of the exclusion for making good faulty workmanship under a builders risk insurance policy? If cleaners scratch the windows during the construction process, does making good just mean a repeat cleaning or does it also include repairs to the windows?

This was the issue that the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench grappled with in Ledcor Construction Limited v. Northbridge Indemnity Insurance Company, 2013 ABQB 585.

Station Lands Ltd. is the owner of the newly constructed EPCOR Tower. Ledcor Construction Limited was the general contractor responsible for building the new office tower. As the building neared … Continue Reading

Alert to Developers and Construction Lenders: Significant Increases to Development Charges in the City of Toronto

Posted in Construction, Policy

Are you a developer who is planning to construct a large-scale project in the City of Toronto or a construction lender providing financing to these developments? If so, you should be aware of significant, phased increases to development charges recently implemented in the City of Toronto pursuant to City of Toronto By-law No. 1347-2013. The by-law also changes how certain projects are categorized for the purposes of determining the applicable development charge.

As you may be aware, there were significant public consultations held on this issue. Although the City agreed to a reduced percentage increase in respect of the new … Continue Reading

Canadian Construction Documents Committee Introduces New Design Build Construction Contract

Posted in Construction

The Canadian Construction Documents Committee (CCDC) has developed the new CCDC 14 – 2013 Design-Build Stipulated Price Contract. This new CCDC document replaces the Document 14 – 2000 Design-Build Stipulated Price Contract (which was not an official “CCDC” contract on the basis that not all members of the CCDC endorsed the document and as such it did not achieve “CCDC” status).  The CCDC is comprised of: Owners (2 members from the private sector and 2 members from the public sector), the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Canada (3 members), the Canadian Construction Association (4 members), Construction Specifications Canada (3 … Continue Reading