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The Alberta government wants to implement stricter building codes and tougher building inspection regulations. This is in the wake of a number of problems buyers are having with new home and condo purchases. Some of these issues include roof and side wall leaks, causing mold, electrical wiring problems and other problems found in a home’s outer shell. The outer walls and the ceilings of a home are referred to as the “building envelope” in the building trade.
In 2008 a Municipal Affairs report first brought these issues, as well as those concerning violation of safety codes and the suggestion of a mandatory new-home warranty, something that is now voluntary in Alberta. But the problems have not been solved, as seen by the March 11th evacuation of 300 people from their Penhorwood condos in Fort McMurray. The condos were suffering from structural deterioration. In plain English, they were falling apart.
Hector Goudreau, Minister of Municipal Affairs, is heading the current government effort to further protect home buyers. Goudreau delivered a speech to the Canadian Home Builder’s Association’s Spring Forum this past Tuesday, citing the Fort McMurray example. But he made it clear that part of the problem was the sheer number of buildings that went up during the boom years, and that some less than professional companies that took up the slack do not represent the industry as a whole. Also on topic were the need to build more energy efficient homes and commercial buildings.