The goal of a Conservation Plan is to confirm the significance of the historic building, as well as outline how the building will be preserved for the future.

Significance + Approach

Every successful heritage conservation project begins with a Conservation Plan that defines the project vision and objectives. RDH engages the building owner, design team, local heritage authorities, and community stakeholders to explain the significance of the property and how the project’s approach will respect its history as part of the planned rehabilitation or redevelopment.

Guiding Principles

The Conservation Plan forms the guiding principles for sensitive heritage treatments and often builds upon a condition assessment, investigation, and/or research conducted by our team.

Cost Saving Opportunities

RDH can help building owners keep informed about and navigate the variety of grant opportunities and/or tax incentives that exist for historic buildings. Additionally, RDH’s team can help navigate the various tax exemptions, credits, and rebates available in a variety of jurisdictions, including the cities of Vancouver, Toronto, and others.

The Spencer Building

The Spencer Building is an iconic building located in the downtown core of Vancouver, British Columbia. Originally built in 1925-26, the mid-rise building is primarily clad with brick masonry and cast stone, complete with intricate ornaments. In 2016, RDH worked with the Harbour Centre Complex to develop a Conservation Plan to guide the restoration and rehabilitation work.

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Our Leaders

Marcus Dell, M.A.Sc., P.Eng.

Senior Principal, Senior Building Science Specialist

Marcus is a professional engineer who specializes in practical solutions to building enclosure problems. He combines his academic training with over 20 years of work experience to offer all-around knowledge of the application of building science principles to buildings around North America. His focus at RDH is on existing buildings and repair, renewal, and rehabilitation projects.  In particular, he has advanced expertise in roof design and assemblies. He serves as a Director with RCI Inc, Western Canada Chapter and has published many papers and conducted research on a variety of roofing topics.

Paul Kernan, Architect AIBC, LEED AP

Managing Principal, Senior Building Science Specialist

Paul is a registered architect with a wide range of working experience in North America and Europe. For the last 15 years, Paul has specialized in building enclosure design and construction. Paul leads the building enclosure Repair, Renewal, + Rehabilitation (3R) service area at RDH.

Michael Aoki-Kramer, B.A., J.D., LEED AP

Managing Principal, Senior Building Science Specialist

Michael leads building enclosure projects for both new construction and rehabilitation. Michael’s experience as well as his knowledge of Washington State and Seattle Building, Mechanical, and Energy Codes are an asset to any project. He co-manages RDH’s Seattle office.

Sarah Gray, M.Sc., P.Eng., CAHP

Principal, Building Science Specialist

Sarah Gray brings her North American and international expertise to RDH’s Toronto office. Her work includes heritage rehabilitation, existing building condition assessment, and new construction enclosure consulting. Sarah previously served as a Board Member with the Canadian Association of Heritage Preservation (CAHP) and is currently a volunteer for the Association of Preservation Technology. With over 18 years’ experience in the building science industry, Sarah has worked on many historic buildings, including terra cotta rehabilitation at the 1 King West Hotel and Condo in Toronto, and the brick and sandstone repairs at Toronto’s Confederation Life Building, which won a Craftsmanship Award from CAHP. Recent work includes collaborating with RDH Building Science Labs on the testing and assessment of masonry buildings to receive interior insulation retrofits.

Chris Schumacher, M.A.Sc.

Principal, Senior Building Science Specialist

Chris Schumacher is recognized as an expert in the field of building monitoring, as well as enclosure and building systems testing. He has led the design, installation and analysis of monitoring systems for a variety of research programs and demonstration projects, both in the lab and in field locations around the globe. Chris’ formal education in architecture and engineering is balanced by almost two decades of experience in design, computer simulation, physical testing, and forensic investigation. Chris was the lead consultant on the development of the Historic Masonry Building Retrofit Guidelines for the US Military Academy and has consulted on several historic buildings including the Halifax Armoury Building in Halifax, NS as well as the Google Building in New York NY (in collaboration with BSC).

Dave Young, P.E.

Principal, Senior Building Science Specialist

Dave specializes in building enclosure consulting for both new and existing construction. His experience and expertise in historic building enclosures spans close to 30 years and includes work on the National Archives of Canada in Ottawa and the University of British Columbia Main Library.

One of Dave’s focus areas is to make historic buildings better by incorporating new enclosure technologies without changing the original aesthetics.  This includes implementing moisture control, thermal improvements, and air tightness strategies, while reinstating original materials. This approach was used on the 100 year old Oregon College of Oriental Medicine building in Portland, where corroded steel lintels above the windows were removed. The steel lintels were cleaned and protected, then reinstalled to create a new rainscreen cavity behind the brick veneer over the windows. The 3-wythe mass masonry wall above the lintels remained intact.