July 18, 2012
Botched reno closes parts of Calgary condo
Repair work is scheduled to begin soon on a highrise condominium in downtown Calgary to restore the integrity of the structure, after a botched renovation project put parts of the building at risk of collapse.
“The renovation was a simple maintenance repair, which involved the water proofing of the parking lot,” said Adam Zakreski, president of Maverick Management Inc.
“This work consisted of the removal of a membrane and a 3 inch concrete topping. To remove the concrete topping, the contractor used the saw cut method and cut too deep into the parking deck slabs. The deck of the parkade was affected, but not the rest of the building.”
On July 11, the City of Calgary issued an Order to Cease occupancy to Rocky Mountain Court, which is a 30-storey condo building at 221 6th Ave. S.E.
The structure was deemed unsafe because the integrity of the level two parkade floor was compromised by the renovations.
The city’s investigation of conditions at the condo began after being contacted by a concerned citizen.
As a result, seven businesses on the main floor and tenants with cars on parkade levels 1, 2 and 3 had to vacate the building within hours of receiving the order, as a precautionary measure to protect public safety.
Zakreski said the botched repairs, which happened in May 2011, were undertaken without the contractor obtaining proper permits.
The contractor didn’t believe a permit was required as the work was on the surface and membrane of the parkade, and was not structural.
However, they were informed later by the city that a permit is required for all projects that cost more than $5,000.
Zakreski said the contractor claims they followed the plan for the renovation as per the original engineer’s instructions and specifications.
He said the original engineering firm is refusing to talk to them and has directed Maverick Management to contact their lawyer and insurance agent.
Maverick Management hired another engineer about six months ago to fix the botched repair job that put the structure at risk of collapse.
“Everything so far was moving forward according to the new engineers plan, but the action by the city has stepped up our timetable,” said Zackreski .
“The city made sure that additional shoring was installed to keep the building open.”
The initial plan by the new engineer was to begin the remedial work on Oct. 1, because Maverick Management was trying to keep the main floor tenants in their business as long as possible.
Once the city evicted the tenants, the decision was made to start the demolition by the end of July.
Telepoles were installed on the second floor of the parkade, the main floor and the basement to shore up the building.
Maverick Management has hired general contractor Ledcor and Adem Engineering to undertake the remedial work on the parkade structure.
The City of Calgary’s Safety Response Unit has received confirmation from the engineer that the elevator lobby and exit corridor have been shored properly and are safe. This allows the residents of Rocky Mountain Court to remain in their homes.
“Our focus is on maintaining public safety, keeping the residents in their homes and getting the businesses back into operation,” said Cliff de Jong, acting manager of building regulations with the City of Calgary.
“We want safety concerns addressed as soon as possible, without compromising public safety in anyway. That’s our first concern.”
Occupancy of the retail spaces on the main floor will not granted until the Safety Response Unit receives confirmation from the engineer that they are safe to occupy.
Zakreski said a pre-cast specialist has been hired and the structure will either be repaired or replaced.
But, in each case every one of the slabs on the second floor of the parkade will have to be removed.
Currently, Zakreski is trying to find the simplest and most economical solution to correct the unsafe condition.
The completion of the repairs is scheduled for May 2013.
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