Engineer stripped of license after admitting Surrey condo tower fails seismic code

May 9 2019, 1:32 am

A structural engineer based in Vancouver has been stripped of his license to work in British Columbia following an investigation that determined his design for a condominium tower in Surrey fell short of the provincial building code.

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According to a disciplinary notice posted by Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia Association (EGBCA) on April 30, John Bryson, a managing partner of Bryson Markulin Zickmantel Structural Engineers (BMZSE), admitted to unprofessional conduct and acted contrary to the association’s code of ethics that requires its members to “hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.”

“Mr. Bryson admitted that his structural design for the building did not comply with the 2006 BC Building Code, to which he certified it had been designed, in particular with respect to seismic and wind loads,” reads the notice.

“Mr. Bryson admitted that, as the registered professional responsible for the design of the building, he failed to undertake an adequate design process, utilizing an approach of using certain less conservative requirements from the National Building Code 2010 while not using other more conservative requirements from the same code.”

Under the association’s policies, structural engineers are required to have their design work independently reviewed, which Bryson failed to do.

The consent order, published in March of this year, further emphasizes the following: “Mr. Bryson failed to undertake an adequate design process, in particular, incomplete design documentation was created and at the time the Structural Design for the Building was completed and certain calculations were not performed.”

For these violations, he has been charged with unprofessional conduct and was forced to resign his engineering license. Additionally, he must pay a fine of $25,000 and a further $250,000 towards the association for the costs of conducting the audit and investigation.

“The public deserves to have confidence that their homes are being designed to the current standard, and it’s a serious matter when that trust is betrayed,” said Ann English, CEO and Registrar of the EGBCA, in a statement. “This individual failed to meet the professional and ethical standards required of him as a professional engineer.”

“This is a rare but very serious offence, for which we sought the maximum fine available, and ensured that this individual can no longer practise engineering,” said English. “We will not hesitate to act in any situation where we believe that our standards are not being upheld.”

The consent order withheld the location of the condominium tower that was not built to code.

BMZSE has been involved in the design work of a number of projects across Metro Vancouver, including Station Square, Rogers Arena South Tower, Lougheed Heights, River District Parcel 17, The Jervis, Harwood, Plaza 88, Solo District, Burrard Place, Centreview Place, Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver, Central, Sovereign, Kings Crossing, and 988 West Broadway.

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