Proper Record Keeping for CRE Companies Helps to Avoid Lawsuits
“The bird war, the bird attack, plague – call it what you like.”

Environmental issues can crop up in some unusual situations. Building owners need to be mindful of their impact on local watersheds and, in some cases, may be required to take extra steps to protect wildlife.

That was the case for one Canadian property group that found itself facing a lawsuit related to the deaths of hundreds of birds. The environmental group Ecojustice filmed birds smashing into the mirrored windows of the Cadillac Fairview tower in Toronto and filed a lawsuit to require changes to the building’s exterior, according to UPI.

It is estimated that 800 birds were killed by collisions with the office building in 2010, but after the issue was brought to their attention the owners applied a special film on the exterior windows to reduce reflection. The Canadian court ruled that the owners had demonstrated due diligence to comply with the Environmental Protection Act, but the issue highlights the importance of environmental issues to members of the public.

The owners of the Cadillac Fairview tower had to produce documentation that they had taken steps to prevent birds from flying into their building. Cataloging maintenance, water use, inspections and more can help property managers protect themselves from costly lawsuits.

Bird’s the Word

Extending office buildings often impacts the watershed within towns and adding units places increased demands on water and sewage systems, which can prevent projects from being approved. Tracking water and energy usage helps create accurate projections for growth based on actual consumption figures. This can make the difference between local governments granting approval for a project or requiring additional adjustments.

The information provided by cataloging activity can help managers make better decisions in maintaining their properties. By tracking repairs, owners can determine the life expectancy of heating systems and other equipment. This allows them to anticipate large expenses and balance their finances more effectively. Building management software makes it easier to identify potential issues and avoid costly repairs. Handling environmental issues quickly allows owners to show their commitment to the community and their tenants.