2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal) Conference
Mr. John Clark, Niche Development
The most common types of structural framing systems used in North America for residential construction remains to these days wood framing, cast in place concrete, light gauge steel or steel framed buildings. Although each type offers its advantage and inconvenient, when it comes to reach high speed of construction in congested urban job sites, a balanced use of prefabricated components remains the key to access high end quality buildings at lower cost. Belgravia Square located in Edmonton’s Belgravia neighborhood is presented in this paper as an example of hybrid construction using steel frame combined with multiple precast components. Each of these precast components were chosen to either accelerate construction or to address a site specific construction constraint for this 4 storey, 60,000 square foot building. Due to vertical excavation cut needed almost on property line, precast foundations walls were installed to maximize the building footprint. Precast stair cases, elevator shaft and hollowcore floor panels were installed by the same erector in charge of putting the building in place as it was going up in height. In a constant effort to adapt the building to its natural environment and to promote an eco-friendly construction, an innovative tree pot L-shape precast box was used to preserve all existing century old trees located on the property line. While preserving all trees, this underground precast component was instrumental in maintaining all parking stalls. The fast track construction from detailing to erection, and the economics of this 68 condominium unit building erected in less than 6 weeks is described and compared to other conventional construction methods. This case study serves to demonstrate that short construction time in complicated urban site is no excuse to affordable and luxury multi-unit housing.