Normac is a Proud Supporter of Canuck Place Children’s Hospice


Normac is proud to have taken part in FirstService Residential’s third annual Canuck Place Children’s Hospice Campaign.  FirstService Residential, along with 56 local vendor companies, raised $76,300 in donations this past holiday season.  The donation will help support more than 670 children with severe illnesses and their families.

Read the full press release here: FirstService Residential Raises $76,300 for the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice




Selling an Entire Strata Corporation, a Behind the Scenes Look

On November 17, 2016, Normac was pleased to partake in an event, Selling an Entire Strata Corporation, a Behind the Scenes Look, hosted by the REIC Greater Vancouver Chapter and IREM BC Chapter 50.  A packed room of real estate professionals, strata council members, and those with simply an interest in the subject matter listened to a panel of seven experts in various fields, each with a unique perspective on the process.  Moderated by Gina Arsens, REIC Greater Vancouver Chapter President-Elect and Normac Vice President, the panel took an in-depth examination of the challenges involved in selling an entire strata corporation.

Panel speakers included:

Jonathan Carter, Terra Law Corporation
Kelvin Coley-Donohue, Campbell & Pound Ltd.
Lance Coulson, Senior Vice President, CBRE
Mitch Cramp, Vice President, CBRE
Rene Cravioto, President of the Owners Council for Seymour Estates
Darren Donnelly, Clark Wilson LLP
Dan O’Hearn, President, Quay Pacific Property Management

Event attendees indicated that the unique perspective of each speaker resulted in a dynamic and extremely informative event. For more information on how to terminate a strata corporation, visit the BC government website at



Vancouver’s Newest Public Art Piece Revealed: An Insight into the Importance of Bylaw Knowledge

(Photo: Chad Pawson)

The importance of knowing and applying municipal bylaws in insurance appraisals cannot be overstated as they are crucial in the appraisal process.  This knowledge has an effect on the total insurable value and ensuring that a strata or condo corporation is insured to value.  In the case of a natural disaster, the additional costs must be accounted for in the replacement cost estimate, as it is the development owner’s responsibility. An appraiser’s review of the property must include an assessment of the current property composition compared to the current standards and regulations of the specific municipality and province in which it is located.

A recent example highlights the importance of this knowledge through Vancouver’s newest public art piece – a replica of Stanley Park’s 800 year old Hollow Tree monument coated in a gold finish. According to municipal bylaws, developments that exceed 100,000 square feet are required to contribute $1.98 per square foot for art installation approved by the City, which was the catalyst for this project. 

Another example of a municipal bylaw that significantly impacts an appraisal is parking requirements.  It is often the case that parking requirements have changed since the original property was built.   These changes must be incorporated into the appraisal in the event of a total loss.   For example, in the City of Vancouver, general parking requirements have diminished for newly constructed buildings.

Appraisals that rely on generic 3rd party software leave stratas and condos vulnerable and significantly exposed.  Having an experienced skill-set appraiser helps to manage risks by providing a written opinion of value in which a strata or condo can base their financial decisions. The appraiser’s value conclusions are based on prescribed methods, evaluation and research.

Click here to read the original CBC article by Chad Pawson, CBC News

At Normac, our 18 years of experience in the Vancouver market gives us in-depth knowledge of all bylaws, resulting in more accurate insurance appraisals. For more information on insurance appraisals or to request a free, no-obligation proposal, please contact us at 604-221-8258 or  

Woodpeckers Hammer Kelowna Condominium with Costly Repairs

 (Photos: Keith Eisenkrein / Caroline Csak)

We came across an interesting article that highlights the damages to a 17 floor condominium building in Kelowna caused by woodpeckers.  Northern flicker woodpeckers have been rapping at the building’s siding panels for several years.   The result is not only damage to the building but hundreds of holes that welcome other birds to burrow and build their nests for their young.

The widespread presence of birds and their accompanying droppings has deterred many owners and residents from using their balcony decks, which is disappointing particularly given the spectacular nature of  Kelowna summers.   Now fed up with the birds, the strata council has elected to repair the damages and prevent this from happening again to the chirp of an estimated  $260,000.

Click here to read the original CBC article by Brady Strachan.

Repairs and replacements such as those experienced by the above strata can be minimized if caught and addressed in a timely manner.  For more information on Building Condition Assessments, email or call us at 604-221-8258.

PAMA Education Seminar: Handling Hazardous Materials – Duties for Property Managers

On June 15, 2016, Normac proudly sponsored PAMA’s Education Seminar, Handling Hazardous Materials – Duties for Property Managers.  Dave Garrett, WorksafeBC Senior Occupational Hygienist, spoke to sold out crowd of property managers and industry professionals.  His presentation included an overview on common dangerous materials and their health effects, regulations as mandated by the Workers Compensation Act, and resulting responsibilities property mangers face in these risk situations.

For the full PowerPoint presentation, click here.

Normac Featured in the Professional Association of Managing Agents’ (PAMA) Spring 2016 Newsletter

Normac’s Vice-President, Gina Arsens, a leader in the depreciation report & reserve fund planning business, was featured in the Professional Association of Managing Agents’ (PAMA) spring 2016 Newsletter. Gina’s article, “Making the Most of Your Depreciation Report” was published along with other prominent industry professionals.  For the full article, click here.

Gina is a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Business Valuator and a Certified Reserve Planner.  In addition to being Normac’s Vice-President she holds various director positions including being the President-Elect of the Real Estate Institute of Canada, Vancouver Chapter.

PAMA is a non-profit organization founded to promote professional and ethical residential property management. PAMA has over 200 member organizations and is a trusted source for all things property management.

Normac is Proud to Support the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice with FirstService Residential B.C

NORMAC is proud to support the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice with FirstService Residential. FirstService, a leader in residential property management, Normac and other FirstService vendors and partners raised a total of $65,500 in donations which was given to the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, doubling the gift raised during last year’s campaign. The donation was presented to the Canuck Place team in the spring of this year.

“Canuck Place Children’s Hospice is grateful for the incredible generosity of FirstService Residential, their vendors and partners,” said Margaret McNeil, Chief Executive Officer of Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. “The 2016 holiday campaign is a fundraising achievement and doubled the gift amount of the previous year. This remarkable contribution will help ensure Canuck Place can continue to provide pediatric palliative care to children with life-threatening conditions and support the families who love them.”

About Canuck Place Children’s Hospice
Canuck Place Children’s Hospice is British Columbia’s recognized pediatric palliative care provider. Over 560 newborns, children and teens with life-threatening illnesses and their families receive care from CPCH through outreach programs and two provincial hospice locations; Vancouver and Abbotsford. Services include clinical respite and family support, pain and symptom management, 24-hour phone consultation support and in-house clinical care, art and education, recreation therapy, grief and loss counselling and end-of-life care. Through the investment of the community, our talented team, and over 325 energetic volunteers we make a lasting difference in the lives of children and the families who love them.

About FirstService Residential
FirstService Residential is North America’s largest manager of residential communities and the preferred partner of HOAs, community associations and strata corporations in Canada and the U.S. FirstService Residential’s managed communities include low-, mid- and high-rise condominiums and cooperatives, single-family homes, master-planned, lifestyle and active adult communities, and rental and commercial properties.

Design revealed: 18-storey UBC residence to be world’s tallest wooden building

We came across this Vancity Buzz post that details the University of British Columbia’s plan to construct an 18-storey student residence to help alleviate its on-campus student housing demand. The building will be constructed primarily out of wood, with some concrete components for lateral stability and safety approval. When complete in 2017, it will be the tallest mass timber building in the world. Take a look at the following article for details of this new high-rise construction method.

A new student residence building at the University of British Columbia’s Point Grey campus will become a living experiment as part of an effort to demonstrate the economic and structural feasibility of wood-based construction.

But the building will not be entirely wood: The building’s hybrid structural system of a one-storey concrete podium on the main floor and two vertical concrete cores that reach the rooftop level. According to the architects, the timber structure will carry the vertical load and the concrete cores, containing the exit stairs and elevators, will provide the structure with lateral stability.

“Although construction of the first floor and cores could technically be constructed utilizing mass timber, concrete was used in the interest of familiarity regarding life safety, fire fighting, ad approvals processes,” reads the architect’s building description.

One of the main concerns over a tall wood structure remains with fire safety, even thought timber is a safer material than steel given that charred wooden surfaces protect the sturctural wood underneath. In contrast, steel sturctures are weakest at the points of where it supports a post.

Continue reading here

CHOA Condo Smarts: What is the right amount for strata fees?

We came across this Condo Smarts post by Tony Gioventu from Condominium Home Owners’ Association of British Columbia that explains the differences in strata maintenance fees due to several factors such as hot water heat to each strata lot as a common expense versus electric heat paid by each owner individually. “Don’t be fooled by numbers without more information” Take a look at the following article for comparisons.

Dear Tony: Our strata has been struggling with the issue of determining how high our strata fees should be. Since we received our depreciation report, our council have put pressure on the owners to increase contingency contributions, and our maintenance and inspection provisions as part of our budget. As a result we increased our strata fees by 8% in 2014 and are looking at another 12% in 2015. The property across the street from us was built in the same year and their strata fees are $100 a month cheaper and this is having a negative effect on the ability of owners to sell their units. We have many opinions in our strata but few facts and I’m afraid our community is becoming divided over this issue. Is there such a thing as an average strata fee?

Continue reading here

Read More From Condominium Home Owners’ Association of British Columbia.