As contractors, we are facing new and different challenges with every project we take on and our expertise can be acknowledged in the ways we find solutions that secure our client is satisfied in terms of cost and timeliness.
In 2017, we were hired to do a job for Grandview Terrace. The multi-unit residential building is a social housing complex in Vancouver with townhouses and an eight-storey multi-unit residential building. Grandview Terrace underwent a deep energy retrofit of its envelope and mechanical and electrical equipment.
The envelope replacement was mainly external, but mechanical work and window replacement required significant access to the suites. Tenants were not displaced but the contractor was still required to notify them in advance to schedule the interior work.
Best Practice-Appointing a Tenant Liaison
As in every situation, people management tends to be the hardest task, and in our circumstances, this meant dealing with tenants while working on a project. Best practice demands a tenant liaison as the direct point of contact for tenants, and it is best this becomes a requirement by local governments when there is a complex project.
How it works
The liaison will understand and address tenant concerns and communicate these to the construction crew and will work directly with tenants to accommodate special needs and scheduling throughout the project.
If issues are not identified and addressed early in the retrofit process, costs can be 5% to 20% higher than budgeted, particularly if significant interior work is required.
New City’s Solution
As required we appointed a tenant liaison who not only facilitated access to the units and worked directly and effectively with the tenants all along the construction process but also went above and beyond by identifying the following successful strategies:
- Kept everyone informed on timelines, sequence of activities and noise interruptions to allow them to re-arrange their schedule accordingly.
- Developed a more human-approach by getting to know the culture of the building and understanding the tenants’ needs and use of their spaces.
- Accommodated tenants with sensitivities and special needs without impacting the project timeline. For example, New City Contracting prepared a weekly schedule that included additional back up units if a tenant could not accommodate access on the scheduled day.
- Developed understanding of the tenants’ concerns and therefore developed proactive strategies to address potential challenges.
- Facilitate communication between the tenants and construction crew to ensure timely and accurate exchange of information.
Construction can bring a lot of anxiety and negative feelings to the tenants and we understand. Our goal is to be there to support them because ultimately our work is going to benefit their quality of life with a safer and stronger building.
Our approach can also be very beneficial to building managers, especially in circumstances where there is a history of conflicts in a building. With a tenant liaison, a building manager can focus on their day to day tasks to the building and residents.
If you need retrofitting with tenants, then we are here to help and take the stress out of the process and effectively deliver the results you want.
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