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Security Assessment & Design

RMA and its partner consultants provide physical security assessments and countermeasures for buildings and sites. Working closely with interdisciplinary teams and client needs, we provide threat risk assessments at the project outset and define specific performance metrics for all project elements and systems. Integrated design, construction and operational strategies are based firstly on passive solutions (avoided costs) followed by careful design and specification of security infrastructure, technologies and equipment.

Building Information Modeling (BIM)

RMA is at the forefront of practice and is an innovative pioneer in using Building Information Modeling (BIM) for its work. This innovative approach to design and construction, that digitally simulates all elements of a building, is central to integrated design teams and facilitates open and effective communication among Client, Contractor and Consultant team members.

Computer simulation affords the opportunity to model complex patterns in a digital environment and at far lower cost than through full-scale trials. We make extensive use of this technology, not only to present ideas about sites and design interactions, but also to simulate light and shadow studies, energy usage, constructability analysis and cost takeoffs.

Building Condition Assessment and Reporting

A common initiator for many of the firm’s projects, Building Condition Assessments (BCA) are typically performed for purposes of asset management , due diligence, risk management, code conformance and renewal planning.

BCAs typically include inspection of the building envelope (roof, walls, window systems, doors), interior finishes, electrical/mechanical systems and accessible structural components, assessment of fire/life safety and exterior site features (i.e., walkways, roadways, parking, landscaping, etc.) written and photographic documentation of each component, together with observed deficiencies.

The work includes review of general documentation on repair/maintenance history of the elements, cursory review of drawings and/or previous reports pertaining to the building, interviews and discussions with on-site staff regarding repairs/maintenance conducted on the building.

Findings are compiled in a formal written report including observed deficiencies and deterioration, together with a list of recommendations for repair/replacement with associated estimated costs and priorities. This work often leads into Reserve Fund Studies to develop long term capital and maintenance budget planning of expenditures fro major repairs or replacement of building components and equipment.

Sustainable Design

RMA and its partner consultants integrate sustainable design solutions, at varying scales and levels, into all the firm’s work. It is core to what we do.

Working closely with an interdisciplinary team and within the framework of LEED and other scoring systems, we identify sustainable goals at the project outset and define specific project performance targets centred on environmental, social and economic goals. Integrated design, construction and operational strategies are based firstly on passive solutions (avoided costs) followed by cost effective technical solutions for sites, buildings, interiors and infrastructure.

Often, ‘the greenest building is the one that is already built’ and understanding the embodied energy present in existing properties is key to extending their physical life for future generations.

Feasibility Studies

Property Owners, government agencies, institutions and not-for-profit organizations often face a challenge in determining the viability of revitalizing a building, a space within a building or even whole sites themselves. Often, the most cost effective first step is to conduct a feasibility study.

These studies establish whether a project is possible practical and cost-effective. They are a valuable first step in evaluating future potential and creating strategies for rehabilitation and reuse of a building or site. Feasibility studies for a project typically include a proposed functional program, preliminary budgeting and planning implications and details on how the project may be funded in the short and long term. A study may suggest other ways of tackling an organization‘s needs and help to identify new opportunities for consideration.

Feasibility studies are not a way of proving a pre-existing idea is right, but about exploring the options available to a client and suggesting the best course(s) of action. While a feasibility study may show that the proposed project will succeed, it may equally well demonstrate that a proposed project is not viable.

Building Envelope Design

With active membership in the leading building envelope organizations in the province, regular participation in specialty seminars and backed by experience with a variety of building pathologies, RMA is at the forefront of building envelope science and implements this knowledge in all our projects.

Universal Design

Universal Design refers to broad sets of philosophical and technical approaches to produce site and building environments and products that are inherently accessible and usable by persons of all abilities, regardless of their age or status in life.

RMA provides a wide range of accessibility consulting services, including surveys and accessibility assessments of existing properties. We will help you understand applicable universal design regulations and develop effective value-added strategies to bring your facility into compliance.

Expert Witness Testimony

Members of the firm have served as expert witnesses for legal proceedings, Ontario Municipal Board Hearings and before the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Master Planning

Master planning services include inventory and analysis, programming, site and development planning, conservation master planning, heritage resource options and recommendations and detailed concept demonstration plans.

Heritage Conservation Services

Conservation, in the context of the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada, refers to retaining the heritage value of historic places and extending their physical life for future generations. These elements must be understood in broad terms including materials, spatial configurations, uses and cultural associations or meanings that contribute to the heritage value of the historic place. Retaining the heritage value of historic places is primarily achieved through interventions that do not diminish character-defining elements, including Preservation, Rehabilitation, Restoration, or a combination of these actions or processes.

Working with built heritage requires a breadth and depth of knowledge in past building methods and materials, and the knowledge of how to preserve, conserve, restore and rehabilitate them for ongoing use. Heritage conservation also goes beyond hands-on assessment and restoration to understanding the application of applicable heritage guidelines and conservation philosophies to each unique building and site.

Heritage conservation services include: material and assembly condition assessments and restoration (windows, doors, wood work, masonry, metals, paint, roofing, etc.); complete building and site assessments (Historic Structure Reports); Site and building master planning; cost and life-cycle analyses; maintenance plans; heritage recording; Cultural Heritage Impact Statements (CHIS); material testing, analysis and reports; rehabilitation of and adapting heritage buildings to new uses; and coordinating with heritage departments and agencies at the municipal, provincial and national levels.

General Services

Necessity is the mother of invention. Doing more with less creates opportunities for clients to create and renew their individual workplaces, buildings and sites in ways that make sound environmental and economic sense.

RMA helps progressive organizations meet goals for asset reuse and optimization, energy efficiency, and resource conservation as their and our business imperatives.

We bring special expertise and experience providing integrated architectural, engineering, interior design, planning, and sustainability consulting solutions for existing and new environments.