Fort Saskatchewan condo engineering firm had history of poor practice, conduct: Alberta regulator

New details emerge about problem-plagued condo complex in Fort Saskatchewan
WATCH ABOVE: (From Aug. 24, 2019) New details are emerging about a condo complex in Fort Saskatchewan that has been deemed unsafe to live in. Sarah Komadina reports.

The engineering regulator in Alberta said the company responsible for the structural design of a Fort Saskatchewan condo that was evacuated earlier this month due to structural issues had a history of poor practice.

The Association of Professional Engineers and Geosciences of Alberta (APEGA) said it cancelled the engineering permit for Jacobsen Hage Engineering in December 2004, one year after the Riverview Estates condominiums were constructed.

“This means the company was no longer allowed to do any engineering work in Alberta,” APEGA wrote in a news release.

READ MORE: No timeline given to residents of ‘structurally unsafe’ Fort Saskatchewan condo

The association said Sven Hage, the professional engineer on record for the structural design of the building, also resigned his APEGA licence to practice in February 2005, which meant he could no longer do any engineering work in the province.

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“These were both due to unrelated disciplinary findings of unskilled practice and unprofessional conduct involving structural engineering,” APEGA wrote.

The association said it cannot take any further legal action against Hage because of provisions in legislation.

The association said it is working with the Alberta government on changes to legislation in light of Fort Saskatchewan residents being evacuated from a condo earlier this month after it was deemed unsafe.

READ MORE: Fort Saskatchewan condo deemed ‘structurally unsafe,’ building evacuated

Residents of the Riverview Estates condos were evacuated from their suites on Aug. 2.

A preliminary investigation found a number of floor joists were damaged or improperly constructed. The full extent of the issue and the risk was not immediately known.

To further the investigation, it’s recommended crews remove drywall and other materials so support framing and other aspects can be reviewed.

Residents were sent updated information Friday on a message board from the condo board. It said residents will not be able to move back in for the foreseeable future and the board is working on a process to allow them to take their belongings.

“I don’t expect an answer to a question that they don’t have the information on,” owner Frank Gerritsen said on Aug. 11. “Engineers are going to be continuing to go through the process of going through the building.

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“They have been working on it, shoring up some areas of the building.

“As they proceed, they will decide… can they save the building? It’s not at that point yet. How long will it take before people can actually go back into the building?”

Gerritsen said legal counsel attended a residents’ meeting on Aug. 11.

“Once the time is right, we’ll be pursuing that,” he said. “If there [are] lawsuits down the road, those take years. The most important thing is getting people back into their homes.”

Watch below (Aug. 2): A four-storey condo building in Fort Saskatchewan evacuated Friday morning after engineers determined it was structurally unsafe. Sarah Komadina reports.

Condo building in Fort Saskatchewan evacuated
Condo building in Fort Saskatchewan evacuated

With files from Emily Mertz, Global News.

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