Units in picture appear to be EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems).
This system is very good if (very big IF) properly detailed and applied.
I've used it a lot for 20 years without problems (yet) in New England
climate, but I've always followed the manufacturers' installation specs. for
detailing and had the jobs inspected by the manufacturer's reps. This costs
money. We have had some failures around here, to the point where some
architects will not use the material. Drainage, weeps, and expansion must be
I would say the architects didn't provide enough relevant details for the
walls, or the contractor ignored the manufacturer's and architect's
recommended details. The Building inspectors have little fault in this.
Jeez Louise, I moved from the Vancouver area in 2001 - I ca't beleive
they're still f*ing around with that. Bunch of inept beanbrains.
IMO? It's a combination of politicians (who screw with everything from
zoning, to relaxing building codes) and sleazebag "developers" who
cut'n'run once they palm their crap off onto some poor unsuspecting
I'm hesitant to blame architects out of hand because, even if they
recommend that something be done a certain way, there is no guarantee at
all that it will actually eb done that way. Maybe they did under-design,
but I don't know that. THe fact remains, however, that *some* a-hole or
group of a-holes decided to build the things in a criminally substandard
Part of the problem was also realted to the influx, during the late
1990's, of huge amounts of money from Honk Kong, due to concerns over
what would happen when the British lease ran out and Honk Kong was
returned to Communist China - the "developers"/real-estate industrial
complex played upon all of that. THe result was a way-overheated housing
market with inflated valuations placed upon even the cheeziest heap of
And, of course, politicians HAD to get their cut as well, so they
acceeded to the demands made by sdo-called "developers" to relax any and
all standards, whether they be zoning standards or building standards or
pretty much any other standards even remotely related to get-rich-quick
But one cannot discount the role that consumers also play. Waaaaay too
many people willingly and eagerly allow themselves to be mesmerized by
any shiny bauble, however cheapshit it might be, because they delude
themselves into believing that they, too, can get rich quick by flipping
places. THere were a lot of poeple who continued to buy deficiently-
constructed places even despite info as to the deficiencies, because they
deluded themselves into beeliving that they could "always" jsut flip it
and palm it off onto some sucker or another.
Consumers never want to admit the role they play in various meltdowns,
but that does not change the fact that they do indeed play a role,
because manufacturers will sell whatever people are willing to buy.
People very often create many of their own problems due to making poor
choices, and when a few million people all make the *same* bad choice(s),
that has a huge negative impact on *everyone*.
It's perennial. Humans in general (1) don't really learn all that much
from history, and (2) tend to think that their own society/nation/group
is somehow above history, immune from cause-and-effect.
Vancouver is what's terms a Temperate Rain Forest. "Rain forest" is not
an exaggeration - it rains prodigiously...
A big part of the problem was that people simply took materials and
techniques that worked, or even were marginally passable, in drier
climates, and then claimed supposed ignorance/unpredictability when those
materials/techniques failed under Rain Forest conditions.
The last point was not what I recall from when I lived there. It was an
all-around problem - basically, *everyone*, to some degree, contributed
to the problem. The catch is this: even tho' anyone with an iota of
sense would know that doing X is likely to have negative result Y, unless
one can *prove* that there was a *criminal intent* to ignore the
liklihood of Y, no specific person or entity can actually be held liable.
THey all just throw up their hands and feign ignorance. By the time the
doodoo spreads out, it's so diluted that it doesn't stick to anyone, and
the consumers who bought into the real-estate racket were, are, and will
be left holding the proverbial bag.
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