RoofingBC Winter 2015

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WI NTE R 2015-2016 IN THIS ISSUE: FEATURES NRC conducts wind studies......... 1 Beware of misleading product labels................................ 8 New technology for measuring roofs and buildings .................. 16


WINTER 2015-2016

ASSOCIATION President’s message..................... 3 CRCA on waterproofing................ 6 RCABC names award winners, new executive ............................... 6 Roof stars: RCABC honours claims-free members ..................10 RoofStar Guarantee program; proof positive: study ...................10 INDUSTRY NEWS Soprema opens polyiso plant.... 12 BC to lead economy ................... 12 BC ski resorts expanding........... 12 Civic fees raise building costs.... 13 Condo construction forecast....... 14 Major projects underway........... 14 Rooftops eyed for housing ........ 15 Airport construction on rise ........17 Vancouver commercial real estate nears record sales.............18 Marriott plans Vancouver hotel ..18 Oil prices stabilize western Canada construction costs ..........18

Beware of imitators The importance of reading product labels. See page 8

Installation of sensors on the Canada Post building by Marine Roofing and NRC

Roof edge blow offs NRC completed two years of wind study to keep them on Courtesy of National Research Council

Insurance industries claim that roof covering contributes to 90% of claims after major wind events. As part of the Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues (RICOWI) Wind Investigation Program (WIP), the North American roofing professionals completed a

Roof stars RCABC members honoured for being RoofStar claims-free. See page 10 Canada Post Pacific Processing Centre in Vancouver

major fact finding investigation for the cause of commercial roofing failures. WIP collected factual data of roof failures immediately following hurricanes Charley, Ike, Ivan and Katrina. Failure data clearly supported that the majority of the roof failures were due to the failure of metal roof edges. These

findings suggest that current building codes in North America (i.e. NBCC and ASCE) do not accurately identify wind design loads acting on roof edge metal systems. The Roof Edge Systems and Technologies (REST) project is a consortium of academia, government and roof industries


Roofing Contractors Association of BC 9734 201 Street Langley, BC Canada V1M 3E8

created to develop wind testing protocols and design guidelines for roof edges. To study the wind loads acting on metal roof edges, the REST project studied these loads on the Canada Post Pacific Processing Centre, located on the north side of the Vancouver International Airport. NRC continued page 4

Soprema opens polyiso plant Québec site of company’s first North American plant. See page 12

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From the President

Looking forward Our mission is simple; we exist to bring together professionals, manufacturers and suppliers who fundamentally believe in the same common goal – to promote, protect, support, train and lead us into the future. My first year on the board was interactions needed between owner, in 2011 and it is an honour to sit general contractor, subs, and as the 2016 president of the suppliers to win and complete a RCABC. In my short time I have project. When communication is seen a changing of the strong and everyone guard, from let’s stay works well as a the course to what building team, you makes us better, seek one another out stronger and more for future projects, desirable by our refer one another, and customers. Each benefit from mutual member of this respect. association brings to One of my the table a company’s personal goals for the spirit or culture; they association is to convey optimism strengthen our about the future and relationships; the the company’s plan easiest way to be on for staying the course the right side of the John Silva better than any tide is to be proactive spreadsheet ever could. – and personal – by listening to I couldn’t be more excited to feedback and responding in an take on this new role and help authentic way. It is with this strong continue the trend towards positive foundation that we can leverage change. one another, grow our market Business relationships within the share and continue to add value to construction industry are one of our association and its members. your company’s most valuable The future is bright assets. Consider the hundreds of Recent statistics show that

Since 2004, Roofing BC magazine has been published quarterly on behalf of the Roofing Contractors Association of BC and the professional roofing industry by Market Assist Communications Inc.

growth across BC is strong with the estimated capital cost of proposed construction projects throughout the province hitting $270 billion. With $82 billion of construction currently

underway in BC, the industry has a busy future ahead! John Silva, President, Roofing Contractors Association of British Columbia â–

While information contained in this publication has been compiled from sources deemed to be reliable, neither the publisher nor the RCABC will be held liable for errors or omissions. The opinions expressed in the editorial and advertisements are not necessarily those of the publisher or RCABC.

Managing Editor and Publisher J. Michael Siddall Phone: 604-740-8369 E-mail: Editor Frank O’Brien Phone: 778-996-2411 E-mail: Production/Art Director and Advertising Associate Paddy Tennant Phone: 604-507-2162 E-mail: Contributing Writers John Silva Paddy Tennant James Gillett Arthur Klein Circulation RCABC Phone: 604-882-9734 E-mail:

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NRC continued from page 1


Typical roof edge forces and failures during high wind conditions: (A, above) wind-induced forces on roof edges: horizontal outward force F1, vertical uplift force F2 and oblique pull-off force F3; (B) complete failure; (C) partial failure; (D) cleat failure and (E) coping failure





Three edge configurations – the Anchor Clip Configuration (ACC), Continuous Cleat Configuration (CCC) and Discontinuous Cleat Configuration (DCC)– were installed on the building’s penthouse roof to study the measured wind-induced pressures acting on the surfaces. The Canada Post Pacific Processing Centre was identified as a suitable field monitoring site for this study. Positioned at an airport location, the building can be categorized as having an open terrain exposure with the predominant wind direction ranging from south-west to north-west. In order to be exposed to the critical wind direction range, instrumentation was placed on Penthouse 6, located on the west

side of the building with a parapet facing the incoming west wind. Building owner Michael Bryson said “Canada Post has been involved with the NRC for the past 20 years, including participation in a major study to understand roof membrane properties in the late nineties. When the NRC was in search of a new building site, the Canada Post Pacific Processing Centre in Vancouver was an ideal choice for wind performance. For building owners like me, this provides a comfort zone to know that the measured wind uplift forces are less than the designed values”. All installation and roofing work was completed by RCABC member Marine Roofing, with material provided by Carlisle SynTec

Systems. Larry Lemke of Marine Roofing said “We have installed several million square feet of roofing in the Western region of Canada, and found it interesting to be a part of a new research study of this kind, especially considering that Marine Roofing is the first in its field to be able to contribute to scientific research of this nature”. Field data consisting of wind speed, direction and pressures was collected continuously from October 2013. The main focus of the study was to compare and contrast the performance of the common roof edge metal configurations used by North American industries (ACC vs. CCC vs. DCC). This was successfully accomplished by concluding that there is minimal difference in the induced loads due to variation in the configurations. At the highest recorded wind speed of 60 mph (27 m/s), the roofing assembly and edge metal systems performed well without failure. Pedro Padron of Carlisle SynTec Systems, a leading company in commercial single-ply roofing systems, agreed that “having our product monitored for wind performance through such a thorough and detailed study by world class researchers at the NRC is an excellent way of knowing how our product performs in the field under the most extreme of conditions”. NRC’s analysis also showed the presence of negative pressure (suction) acting on all three faces of the roof edges. These findings differ from the current code specifications for parapets. As such, the design of the roof edge attachment should consider pullout forces from the parapet. Rob Harris, former Technical Manager at the Roofing Contractors Association of British Columbia (RCABC) said “This is the first collaborative project which took place with all major players of the roofing community – manufacturers, installers, building owners and researchers. As a regulatory body for roofing in BC, we offer a RoofStar guarantee, where technical information of this nature is vital for success of such a program.” The outcome of this study will have a major impact on the Canadian roofing community, including the validation of existing wind provisions in the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) for

Pressure sensors at roof edge


Above: extraction of pressure sensors; below: repair and patching of insulation and membrane by Marine Roofing and Carlisle SynTec Systems; bottom: members involved with sensor removal– NRC, Marine Roofing, JLL, RCABC and Carlisle SynTec Systems

commercial roofs and submitting a code change request to the NBCC for the appropriate wind load design of edge metals. In addition, this study will contribute to the inclusion of the edge metal test protocol into the existing CAN/CSA 123.21 standard. This impact is broadened beyond Canada by proposals to the ANSI/SPRI ES-1 standard and ASCE-7 wind load document. ■

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Acknowledgements: The presented research is being carried out for a consortium, the Special Interest Group for Dynamic Evaluation of Roofing Systems (SIGDERS) and SIGDERSREST. This research and development work was carried out under the auspices of the NSERC’s Collaborative Research Grant (CDR – 395869). Industrial partners: Firestone Building Products, JRS Engineering Group, Homeowner Protection Office branch of BC Housing, Menzies Metal Products, Metal-Era, Inc., Roofing Contractors Association of BC and Soprema Inc., for the contribution, including the supply of coping configurations. The authors also acknowledge the assistance of NRC technical officers Steven Ko, Amor Duric and David Van Reenen. Material requirements were coordinated by Carlisle SynTec Systems, and Larry Lemke of Marine Roofing assisted the team in sensor installation and removals, and roof repairs. Access to the building was graciously given by Canada Post and we appreciate help of Michael Bryson, Alan Shopland and Reyes Ronald of JLL for coordinating the access. For additional information, please contact Dr. Bas Baskaran, P.Eng at the National Research Council of Canada; 613-990-3616 or

Instrumented Penthouse 6 of the Canada Post Building ROOFING BC


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Laying a waterproofing roof membrane. Photo courtesy of RCABC

CRCA bulletin explains waterproofing The Canadian Roofing Contractors Association (CRCA) has issued a technical bulletin to explain the difference between waterproofing and roofing. “It is imperative that designers, architects and contractors understand the differences and similarities between roofing and waterproofing to ensure that the proper system is installed, because some materials are designed to function under either condition,” the bulletin notes. To add to the complexity between roofing and waterproofing, the National Building Code does not provide a clear definition of waterproofing, CRCA adds. The bulletin continues: Roofing and waterproofing membranes are used on decks as barriers to moisture entry into the spaces below. Both share some similar functional requirements, but others are quite different. For optimal performance it is important to understand the different loads and stresses waterproofing systems are exposed to when compared to roofing systems. Waterproofing can be defined as the treatment of a surface or structure to prevent the passage of water under hydrostatic pressure. The non-exposed waterproofing membrane is used to protect walls, floors and tunnels below grade from ground water and to protect

spaces below plaza decks that are on or below grade. The conditions of service for a waterproofing membrane differ from those of a roof. As a result, those physical properties that are important for a waterproofing application are not necessarily the same as those properties required for roofing. The following summarizes some of these differences. 1. The waterproofing is expected to perform for the life of the building. Unlike a roofing membrane, waterproofing membranes should be designed and built to provide maintenance free service, often for the life of the building on which it is applied. Roofs are typically easier to access and repair should problems occur. 2. The waterproofing needs to perform in a constantly wet environment. Depending on the amount and level of water in the ground, the waterproofing membrane can be in constant contact with ground water and wet soil. Roof systems, if properly constructed with adequate slope to drains, are usually only exposed to water for a short time. In addition, the hydrostatic pressure that they are subjected to is much less than that experienced by waterproofing membranes. Even

a ponded and poorly drained roof with 2 inches (50 mm) of surface water is only subjected to a pressure of approximately 0.07 psi (0.5 kPa). 3. The waterproofing barrier needs to resist ground chemicals. The contaminants to which waterproofing is exposed differ from those on a roof. Soil often contains acids, alkalies, salts and a variety of other contaminants that cause degradation of the waterproofing materials. The waterproofing system selected should be able to resist exposure to these chemicals over its expected service life. Although some roofs are exposed to contaminants from effluence exhausted onto the roof, their composition is typically known and preventive measures can be taken. The contaminants in soil often vary from location to location, and even by depth of the excavation. 4. The waterproofing barrier needs to resist construction abuse. Unlike roofs, waterproofing membranes typically do not have to be protected from foot traffic. However, they should be protected until excavations can be backfilled, or until the wearing course and overburden is applied. Although roofs are also prone to damage by other construction, it is more critical for waterproofing because of its inaccessibility. 5. The waterproofing also needs to be able to accommodate some movement in the substrate to which it is attached. Concrete walls and floors may experience settlement and shrinkage as it cures. In addition, decks may experience thermal movement and load deflection. The waterproofing membrane should be able to bridge small cracks and resist rupture from thermal expansion and contraction to some degree. For the complete CRCA bulletin, “Roofing and waterproofing membranes” visit ■

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RCABC names 2015 award winners

Bryan Park of Kelowna Roofing Ltd. received the award for the Top Roofing Apprentice for Roofer, Damp & Waterproofer in the Interior Region and the Top Roofing Apprentice in BC during the 20142015 school year.

Pierre-Yves Boivin of Pocklington Building Systems Ltd. received the award for Top Architectural Sheet Metal Apprentice in BC during the 2014-2015 school year.

The Roofing Contractors Association of BC honoured the following deserving members and apprentices during its annual general meeting and awards luncheon, held December 5, 2015 at the River Rock Casino Resort: Top Apprentices in BC Architectural Sheet Metal – Pierre Boivin, Pocklington Building Systems, Whistler Roofer, Damp & Waterproofer – Bryan Park, Kelowna Roofing, Kelowna Service Awards Stan Gregorowich Award – Chris Smith, Nelson Roofing Ken Grant Memorial Award – Colin Rasmussen, Western Roofing Doug Kilpatrick Memorial Award – Alma Garnett, Convoy Supply Douglas McLean Memorial Award – Jamie Mantle, Soprema Honorary Council – Eldon Donald, Coast Hudson RoofStar Top Supporter Awards Vancouver Island – Top Line Roofing Interior – Alpha Roofing & Sheet Metal Northern – Mainline Roofing Lower Mainland – Flynn Canada Top RoofStar Supporters in BC 3rd Place – Mack Kirk Roofing & Sheet Metal 2nd Place – Marine Roofing GUARANTEED. BETTER. 1st Place – Flynn Canada

RCABC AGM nets new executive The RCABC has elected its new executive for 2016. John Silva of Flynn Canada replaces Alex Goldie as president. The new vice-president is Howard Schlamb of Chilliwack Roofing, while Chris Smith of Nelson Roofing was named the new secretary/treasurer. ■ ROOFING BC

A correct label showing the approved certification body and the appropriate standard

“Product labels can be misleading” Fraudulent labels can put roofing contractors at risk

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be on the label. “If the product is properly labeled with the approved certification body and the appropriate standard then you know you are safe,” he explained. “CSA Group has adopted a zero tolerance policy toward counterfeits and the misuse of our certification marks. If someone informs us that the CSA marks are being inappropriately applied, we would take action,” Hawkins said.

following guidelines on building product labeling: • Products approved by building officials in Canada must meet By Frank O’Brien code requirements – and this Manufacturer’s labels on some roof means meeting the applicable venting, drains and flashing product standards. products are deceptive, according to • Meeting these Standards an RCABC member and metal requires the product not only to product manufacturer. be tested by an approved testing “Some products claim to meet lab but also listed and labeled by CSA [CSA Group] standards or claim a Standards Council of Canada to be tested. People can approved certification wrongly believe the body. product is “listed” • All accredited [certified] based on that certification bodies in label information and Canada and the U.S. that is misleading,” said adhere to ISO 17065, Hugh Smith, Product ‘Conformity assessment Coordinator for Menzies – requirements for Metal Products of bodies certifying Surrey. products, processes and Contractors using services’. Testing by any products without the other labs or self-testing proper lab markings on does not meet CSA, and the labels are at risk of does not qualify as having the products “listed”. The ISO makes rejected by building very clear that such officials, Smith warned. claims are illegitimate. “Although CSA • Of primary Group writes many of importance in the the standards related to labeling is the name or An example of an incorrect label with a self-certification claim the roofing industry, it logo identifying the only tests and certifies approved certification roofing vents,” explained Allison Non-certified building products body. The product label must Hawkins, CSA Group manager of not only threaten installers and the identify the accredited corporate affairs. “We do not end user, CSA noted, but certification body by referencing provide the testing and certification responsible manufacturers who its registered certification logo. for the majority of roofing products. make the effort and investment to Properly approved certification Only roofing vents are tested by obtain CSA marks may lose their and testing labs include CSA, CSA and, if certified, could display competitive advantage against QAI, IAPMO, Intertek/Warnock the CSA mark.” competitors who offer counterfeit Hersey and a few others. “It isn’t just vent labels we are products. • Some manufacturers self-test concerned about meeting CSA “A lawsuit resulting from failure their products and label them as standards, but drains and flashings of those products may put the tested to claim a “listing”. In as well,” Smith said. He added that contractor or supplier at risk,” said reality, the product is not “listed”. Menzies and other manufacturers Smith. Without the certification body have hired labs to test products to QAI Laboratories, an name or logo, the product is not CSA standards. “It is the standards independent third-party testing, compliant with the code and that are important here, not what inspection and certification may not be recognized by testing CSA’s lab has done,” he said. organization, is one of a handful of inspectors or code officials as Smith notes that it is easy to approved testing facilities. The having been tested and certified. print a label claiming certification. agency was established in 1994 Actual “listed” products are also What contractors have to look for is and now has six offices in North continually monitored by the the name of the approved America, including British Columbia. certification body for quality certification body, which must also The company provided the consistency, QAI noted. ■ WINTER 2015-2016



Five companies honoured by RCABC RoofStar Guarantee program By Frank O’Brien

Henry Huber, president of Arcona Roofing, has a simple explanation when asked how his company has maintained an excellent claims-free record under the RCABC RoofStar Guarantee for a quarter century. The answer is in its motto: “Treat the customer’s building as if it were your own.” A small but experienced team – Arcona has five or six staff in the field – also means hands-on management that allows Huber to keep a close eye on all work, which has included contracts for new school construction and other demanding projects. Arcona, 46-year old, family-run firm, also holds the Certificate of Recognition (COR) from the BC Construction Safety Alliance. COR, developed by WorkSafeBC, is an incentive program that encourages companies to develop and maintain health and safety management systems that exceed regulatory requirements. “We always try to make sure every step is done just right,” said Huber, whose company has been an RCABC member for more than 30 years. Arcona was one of five member companies awarded for being claims-free under the RoofStar Guarantee program at the RCABC annual general meeting in December.

The other claims-free companies are sheet metal award winner Laing Roofing of Kelowna; Alpha Roofing & Sheet Metal of Kamloops; Heritage Roofing of Nelson; D.M. Henderson of Dawson Creek; and Continental Roofing of Delta, which is also the first Climate Smart registered commercial roofing contractor in BC. Laing Roofing, which has remained claims-free for 25 years, has been entrusted with some of the largest commercial roofing contracts in the central interior – including the landmark Sparkling Hills Resort near Vernon and

roofing of the Surgical Centre at Kelowna General Hospital. “We are doing a lot more architectural sheet metal panels,” said Laing vice-president Darran Light; work that won top honours last year in the Metal Architectural Design Awards. Like the other RoofStar Guarantee claims-free companies, Laing puts the customer first. “We always stand behind our workmanship,” Light said. “If there is anything that needs to be fixed or if a client is not satisfied with any aspect of the job, we will make it right, guaranteed.” ■

under the RCABC RoofStar managing principal Brian Hubbs. Guarantee, which highlights the The RCABC Guarantee Corp. great uptake of the program. requested the RDH study to An in-depth comparison of ascertain the impact of RoofStar on physical reviews and observations roofing issues and potential performed by RDH found that 37 warranty claims for flat roofs in percent of the non-RCABC roofs had BC’s Lower Mainland. The analysis at least one observed compared data from warrantable roofing RDH’s Building Asset issue, as compared to Management Services only 21 percent of the (BAMS) database with RCABC roofs. matching buildings The study, the first from RCABC’s of its kind, was extensive guarantee exhaustive. The total program, which has GUARANTEED. BETTER. of 2,074 buildings been in existence with an RCABC RoofStar Guarantee since 1960. within RCABCs database were The BAMS database, a testament matched with a population of 267 to RDH’s innovation and unique buildings with flat roofs that were approach to building science, less than 10 years old within RDH’s played a key part in the success of BAMS database. RDH focused on the study by allowing the flat roofs (low-slope of less than evaluation of individual buildings at 2:12) with predominantly 2-ply SBS the building component level. By membranes, but also some with centrally storing and organizing liquid-applied and single-ply (i.e. building information, BAMS provides RDH with the ability to dig PVC, TPO, and EPDM) roof membranes. into a wealth of data and effectively Reviews were performed by evaluate industry trends. In the RDH analysis of a random RDH staff or RCABC accepted population of 267 flat roofs that inspectors at various times over the were under 10 years of age, 52 life of the roofs, typically before percent of these roofs were covered milestone warranty expiry dates or

during other reviews such as condition assessments, warranty reviews or depreciation report assessments. It was determined that 139 of these 267 flat roofs (52 percent) had an RCABC RoofStar Guarantee in place and 128 (48 percent) did not. This alone is a useful statistic that demonstrated the prevalence of the RoofStar program within the Lower Mainland flat roof marketplace, RDH noted. To determine if the roofs within these two databases had observed issues or potential claims, RDH then analyzed the observation data entered into the database by RDH staff, sorting the recorded issues into those that are potentially warrantable and those that are non-warrantable. When roofing observations were entered into the database a condition criticality was also assessed for each observation, ranging from normal maintenance tasks like drain cleaning and minor flashing repairs to more critical items such as roof leaks/staining, failed or damaged membranes, or severe ponding. Only critical items were then

flagged as “warrantable issues” while non-critical roofing maintenance or repairs were considered as “maintenance issues” and not counted in the analysis. The observations for each building were then counted and the number of buildings with roofing issues was totaled for each dataset. The results confirmed that the presence of an RCABC RoofStar Guarantee reduces the chance of warrantable roofing issues by approximately 42 percent. To confirm that the available sample of roof information provides a statistically significant result, RDH conducted a chisquared test (a statistical test applied to sets of categorical data to evaluate how likely it is that any observed difference between the sets arose by chance). This test determined at a 95 percent confidence interval that the presence of an RCABC RoofStar Guarantee reduces the frequency of roofing issues, RDH discovered. The RCABC Guarantee Corp. coverage is only available through members of the Roofing Contractors’ Association of BC, noted Judy Slutsky of RCABC. ■

Will Foulkes, left, and Brad Eward, partners in Continental Roofing of Richmond: honoured for being 26 years claimsfree under the RCABC RoofStar Guarantee. Photo: Richard Lam

The metal-clad Painted Rock Winery in Penticton is among the projects that resulted in Laing Roofing (Kelowna) winning top honours for its sheet metal work in the Metal Architectural Design Awards. Laing is also recognized as being claims-free under the RoofStar Guarantee. Photo: Laing Roofing

Positive impact “The RCABC RoofStar Guarantee program reduced warrantable roofing issues by up to 42 percent” With thanks to RDH Building Science

A detailed and extensive analysis of the Roofing Contractors Association of BC’s RoofStar Guarantee has shown that it enjoys strong acceptance by the industry and has had a positive and significant impact on building performance, according to RDH Building Science Inc. of Vancouver. “The RCABC RoofStar Guarantee program reduced the warrantable roofing issues by up to 42 percent. The analysis demonstrates that the RoofStar Guarantee program appears to have reduced the number of roofing issues and likelihood of claims on flat roofs in the Lower Mainland of BC, as compared to roofs built without the guarantee,” concluded RDH principal Graham Finch and 10

WINTER 2015-2016

Above and below: claims-free roofs by Arcona Roofing. Photos: Arcona Roofing


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Soprema opens new polyiso plant Drummondville, Québec – Soprema has announced the opening of the company’s first polyisocyanurate insulation manufacturing plant in North America. The opening ceremonies drew provincial and municipal officials as well as PierreÉtienne Bindschedler, President of Soprema and Richard Voyer, Executive Vice-President and CEO of Soprema North America. “This new plant is a turning point for Soprema Canada, because it allows us to expand our presence in the construction market,” said Voyer. “We now offer our customers complete solutions for roofs, for

which we manage all the production phases. Once again, we are proving our leadership and we are strengthening our vanguard position in this sector.” The groundbreaking was held in May of 2014 and the first CN freight trains arrived on site in November 2015. Summer 2015 was also a test and trial period for the production of polyisocyanurate panels. In October, the company gained the capacity to serve customers within a radius of 800 kilometres around Drummondville, which includes the Toronto area, the northeastern

United States, Montréal and the maritime provinces. Plant wins Real Estate Excellence award The new plant, designed and created by the consortium of ABCP Architecture and Dominique Blais Architecte, was built by the general contractor, Ronam Constructions, supported by a large number of subcontractors. The project won a real estate Excellence Award from the Urban Development Institute of Québec. This award, which honours innovation and contribution to the community, rewards those who have participated to the success of

BC to lead Canadian economy in 2016 VANCOUVER – A series of economic forecasts agree that British Columbia will lead the country in terms of economic growth in 2016, taking over from Alberta, which is expected to see its economy contract and return to only slow growth in 2017. The BC economy will grow by 2.8 percent in 2016, according to a CIBC World Markets report released November 23, with Ontario in second place at 2.4 percent. These rates of growth are well above the anticipated 1.9 percent growth nationwide. “Solid growth is in store for the central Canadian and more manufacturing intensive economies of Ontario and Quebec,” said CIBC World Markets chief economist Avery Shenfeld. “But the top spot is reserved for BC, which has been benefiting the most from overseas investment and from bordering some of the fastest-growing areas of the U.S. economy.” Reports from the Bank of Montreal, the Conference Board of Canada and Central 1 Credit Union have also ranked BC as the top performing provincial economy in 2016. ■

Richard Voyer, Executive Vice-President and CEO of Soprema North America at the opening of Soprema’s polyiso plant on December 7, 2015

real estate projects in Québec. Winners are determined based on the quality of their real estate assets. Soprema seeks LEED Gold certification In terms of sustainable development, the Soprema project team put a lot of effort into adopting eco-friendly construction

and development practices for the new manufacturing plant. They included solar walls, LED lighting, white roofing, charge ports for electric cars, rainwater management, an improved ventilation system, energy efficiency, use of local materials, and replacement of paving asphalt with light-coloured roller-compacted concrete to reduce heat islands. Soprema hopes to obtain a LEED Gold certification for the plant. Polyisocyanurate is an insulation material (hydrophobic closed-cell foam) manufactured in flat, rigid panels coated on both sides. This product, with high thermal resistance, is used for many purposes, including roof insulation. “Indeed, polyisocyanurate is currently the best product on the market to meet climatic requirements of commercial, institutional and industrial buildings,” said a company spokesperson. Soprema is an international manufacturer specializing in the production of waterproofing and insulation products, as well as vegetative and soundproofing solutions, for the building and civil engineering sectors. The company operates in more than 90 countries worldwide. ■

Ski hill expansion OK’d A flurry of takeovers, permit approvals and planned expansions could translate into roofing contracts at BC ski resorts over the next few years. Here is why: The BC government has approved a master plan for a $1.5 billion ski resort expansion at Hemlock Resort in the Fraser Valley. Langley’s Berezan Group intends to build the all-season project, north of Chilliwack, in five phases. There would be an estimated $500 million capital investment in Phase 1, creating 1,153 full-time jobs. A further estimated $1 billion is expected to be pumped into the project through its full build-out, which would take decades. Since buying the resort in 2006, Berezan has invested $10 million into upgrading the existing infrastructure. In related news, a large U.S.-based ski resort developer has bought Mount Washington Alpine Resort, the only alpine ski resort on Vancouver Island. Pacific Group Resorts of Park City, Utah, have said they plan to “take Mount Washington to the next level.” The Garibaldi at Squamish Ski Resort, a proposal from Vancouver’s Aquilini Developments, could get a go-ahead under an environmental review early in 2016. If provincial ministers give the green light to the project, the proponents will embark on further public consultation. If approved, it would see the development of 22,000 bed units on Brohm Ridge, including thousands of homes and a number of new hotels. ■


“THE LUNGS OF THE LOWER MAINLAND” Phone: 604-572-0373 Toll Free: 1-888-850-6264 Join us for a guided nature walk of the Delta Nature Reserve on Saturday, March 12 12

WINTER 2015-2016


Civic fees add to building costs


VANCOUVER – The work yards and buildings of Metro Vancouver roofing contractors – and other industrial operators – represent a rapidlyappreciating asset that could cost millions of dollars to replace, according to a study by the the Vancouver-based Commercial Real Estate and Development Association (known as NAIOP). For a roofing material manufacturer moving into Metro Vancouver, the civic fees alone could convince them to look at smaller BC cities. An NAIOP cost study revealed that, while the construction costs of an industrial building have not increased dramatically in the Metro region, land values and municipal fees have soared. NAIOP used the following scenario to ascertain costs: rezoning a 5.5acre site to industrial use and building a 100,000-square-foot warehouse space with a small office area. The study found that the construction costs for such a building would be $79.50 per square foot, or about $79,500. The land would cost at least $6 million, however, and, depending on the municipality, total civic fees would add an average of nearly $500,000. Richmond has the most expensive total fees and charges for the sample building, at an estimated $1 million. Vancouver was the second most expensive at nearly $695,000, and the District of North Vancouver, where total municipal fees increased 96 percent in 2015 from a year earlier, would require $687,698 in total fees, the NAIOP study found. Municipalities with the lowest total fees are Burnaby, at $194,000 and Maple Ridge, where civic costs came to $160,126. â–


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SOPREMA is an international manufacturer specializing in the production of waterproofing and insulation products, as well as vegetative and soundproofing solutions, for the building and civil engineering sectors.




WINTER 2015-2016


2016: $72 billion in projects are underway $25 billion in proposals are now ‘on hold’ By Dermot Mack

Two-thirds of BC housing starts are multi-family units. Photo: Western Investor

27,000 new condo units to be built by 2018 VANCOUVER – At least 27,000 new high-rise concrete condominiums will be built in Metro Vancouver in scores of new projects by 2018, according to a study by Urban Analytics Inc. And they will all be built, the consultancy firm said, because 87% of the condos have already been pre-sold. Much of the new construction will take place in Burnaby’s Metrotown and Brentwood areas, in Surrey Central and in the city of Vancouver. Across BC it is forecast that 30,800 new homes will start construction in 2016, similar to the pace of 2015. Most of the construction will be multifamily units, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC). “Demand for new homes in the province will be supported by employment, population growth and low mortgage interest rates,â€? said Carol Frketich, CMHC’s regional economist. “Multiple-family homes will account for about two-thirds of housing starts.â€? â–

A $400 million residential and commercial development above and below Vancouver’s Granville Bridge is the largest construction project underway in BC. Photo: Westbank

The most current BC Major series of six-storey buildings with and therefore subject to changes, Projects Inventory lists 21 new retail and office space that will especially in the early stages of a proposed projects over $15 tower over and tuck beneath the project proposal. Some capital million, with available capital cost Granville Street Bridge. costs are not included because estimates totaling they were not available at approximately $18.8 billion in Summary of major projects in BC press time or the potential new capital (Projects valued at $15 million or more) developer/owner requested investment, if all the projects that no capital cost be shown. proceed. Region Proposed Started On Hold The capital cost of all However, of the $350 billion Van. Island / Coast 71 57 16 Lower Mainland 219 206 18 major projects currently under in proposed projects, about Thompson / Okanagan 48 56 1O construction in BC is estimated $25 billion worth have been Kootenay 8 16 6 at $72.3 billion, down from put on hold, mostly due to Cariboo 20 3 6 the $81.7 billion reported in North Coast 46 7 11 pending decisions on liquefied Nechako 11 3 4 the first quarter of 2015. natural gas and pipeline Northeast 33 14 9 Many major project expansion, or mining projects. BC Total 456 364 80 proposals listed are in very Twenty-one major projects Source: BC Stats preliminary stages and are started construction in 2015, not approved for construction, with an estimated value of Twenty-four projects completed therefore capital cost estimates $975 million. The largest projects construction in 2015, with an should be viewed with caution. started are the Granville Bridge estimated capital cost of The available capital cost of Neighbourhood Commercial approximately $10.2 billion. The proposed projects is estimated at Centre in Vancouver at $400 largest project is the $4.8 billion approximately $350.1 billion, up million, and the Port of Stewart Smelter Modernization Project in from $296.3 billion in the Expansion – Phase 3 at a cost of Kitimat, followed by the $3.3 previous quarter. $60 million. billion Port Mann Bridge Approximately $25 billion of The Granville Bridge expansion. projects are judged to be “on commercial centre will include a All capital costs are estimates, hold� for the time being. ■52-storey residential tower and a





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Tetris house: lightweight house designed to be placed on urban rooftops. Photo: Universe Architecture

Roofs eyed for housing Flat roofs could be claimed for housing, according to a Dutch architectural firm that has developed a lightweight modular system for use in cities around the world. Designed by architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars of Universe Architecture of Amsterdam, the houses are made with a steel modular structure and Meccano-like façade. Called the Tretis House, the components snap together and can be licensed to developers, the company explained. Universe can ship the plans and components anywhere in the world. Ruijssenaars said the Tretris system allows builders to link three modular steel structures to create one complete home that, with all exteriors transparent, offers wide sweeping views of its surroundings. Each standard house measures 1,883 square feet, and balconies and shutters can be added on. â–

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WINTER 2015-2016


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Measuring Up The measurement of roofs and buildings is now light years beyond a tape measure and camera By James Gillett

Another new technology is drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). UAVs (Figures 3 and 4) would seem to be a perfect fit for the production of aerial imagery reports. Since they do not have to carry a human being, they can be smaller, lighter, and fly farther using less fuel. They can also fly at lower altitudes and, potentially, to more remote areas. The technology is evolving rapidly, but federal aviation regulations concerning drones are moving much more slowly. After regulations are established, there should be a multitude of uses within the industry, both on- and off-site, without having to get on a ladder. Future of onsite measuring There are additional onsite technologies that can be used now to aid in the measurement of roofs and buildings. One of the main tools that you probably have in your pocket—the smartphone—will be used in many new and creative ways to help you measure and identify roof and building conditions. One of the simplest uses for a smartphone is to determine the roof pitch. There are numerous apps that use the gyroscope present in every smartphone to determine the pitch—either from the ground or resting directly on the roof. Additionally, there are a host of “smart tools” such as distance measurement, levels, protractor, vibrometer, and even metal detector that use the existing sensors in your smartphone to provide a more complete analysis of a building. One of the most useful onsite technologies to come along is advanced vision capability. This technology uses a multitude of

Through a combination of offsite and onsite technologies, roof consultants, contractors, and adjusters can get a complete measurement of a roof or building. Existing and emerging technologies allow the digital recording of roof and building elements and the manipulation of the information to assemble exactly the needed report. Let’s look at where we are and where we’re going. Offsite The past five years have seen the Figure 1: Airplane or satellite imagery can be translated into rooftop measurements, as in this sample readout from SkyMeasure by CorLogic. widespread acceptance of aerial imagery reports for both residential Figure 2: What’s coming: Lidar uses and commercial roofing (Figure 1). a combination of light and radar to The technology has been proven build a super accurate 3-D model of reliable and is in widespread use by a roof almost instantly. both large and small businesses. The main source of data used for aerial imagery reports has been photographs taken from either an airplane or a satellite with the metadata being used to build the roof model. While this method is very accurate, it also requires a high degree of human interaction and is highly dependent on the quality of the photograph. The amount of foliage on the trees, the strength of the shadows, and the time of year of the photograph also affect quality. But there is a newer and potentially more accurate method of aerial measurement that will be used soon: lidar. the software could general maintenance. It also makes Lidar, a combination of identify, making it more it possible to keep video records of light and radar, uses a likely an exact match specific fixes or problem areas in laser mounted in a would be identified. case of personnel turnover. specially outfitted Additionally, colour With the combination of offsite airplane to map roofs and spectrum analysis of the technologies such as aerial imagery can build a 3-D model of siding or other elements reports and onsite technologies a roof almost instantly should make it possible such as advanced vision (Figure 2). The laser is to identify the paint capabilities, roof consultants, able to scan through the colours used and offer adjusters and contractors can foliage and, in fact, can the closest matches from already gather a more complete map the tree location a variety of and accurate assessment of any also, which can be useful manufacturers – without building in less time at lower cost. in solar reports to show having to remove a And it should only get better from potential light blockages sample of the material here. ■ from trees. Lidar does for colour matching. require sophisticated Eventually, the sensors software to construct the needed for many of these roof model. technologies will be As is often the case incorporated into the with newer technology, it smartphone and make it Future in your pocket: Advances in advanced vision capability and element recognition technology could someday be part of an enhanced smartphone allowing a contractor to walk across a roof and have an instantaneous 3-D model of all the roof still requires a person to possible to perform penetrations, HVAC units, curbs, and parapet heights, along with information on where all the pieces were manufactured. check the model, but the complete roof and amount of labour is building analyses with it possible to identify the sensors and cameras to enable greatly reduced. And although lidar just one device. manufacturer and model or type of users to walk through a space and has been around since the 1960s (it Another upside to all of this windows, siding, shingles, etc. As build a 3-D model as they walk. was used to map the lunar surface technology is that the data collected Imagine being able to walk across a the sensors scan the walls or roof during the Apollo 15 mission), it is can be stored in a database as a of the building and assemble the 3roof and have an instantaneous only now that the accuracy, cost record of the building and retrieved D model, the element-recognition model of all the roof penetrations, and computing power have aligned quickly and easily. The building software could compare the size, HVAC units, curbs, and parapet to make it a feasible, effective owner can maintain the digital data shape, and texture of a building heights. Everything located exactly technology for aerial imagery for the property as well as keep a element against a manufacturers’ without using a tape measure—and reports. However, since the copy with facilities managers and James Gillett is the client services manager for database and determine the type or no drawing time required! SkyMeasure by CoreLogic. Gillett has 20 years technology requires the use of building consultants, which can experience in the architecture industry and five exact model number. Over time, Similarly, advanced vision airplanes and pilots, it will still be a greatly reduce administrative time years experience in the aerial imagery industry. manufacturers could even design in capability in concert with element while before the imagery catalog in finding specific information in the This column first appeared in the RCI journal an unobtrusive “marker” that only recognition technology could make can be updated with lidar imagery. Interface, October 2015. event of a catastrophe or for 16

WINTER 2015-2016


funding, the airport will upgrade as it prepares to handle increased traffic into the northeast gas fields. Eric Desnoyes, the airport’s business manager, said Fort Nelson is the major airport for gas field workers. “The expansion will allow us to handle larger planes and more of them,” Desnoyes said, noting a terminal upgrade is also planned. “Our thinking is ‘let’s do all the work we can do now so we will be ready when they pull the trigger’”. Kelowna International Airport has unveiled an ambitious plan of

Northern Rockies Regional Airport in Fort Nelson is undergoing a $4.3 million makeover. Photo: Northern Rockies Regional Airport

investing approximately $55.6 million in various construction projects. The master plan is expected to be complete in November 2016. The airport, which is handling more than 1.65 million passengers annually, has already expanded its airstrip. Construction of an airport plaza will be carried out in partnership with PatAIRa Holdings and will feature a gas station and convenience store. The second phase construction of a new car wash and detailing bay will begin in 2016. ■

Roofing contracts will land at airports Series of construction projects linked to BC air terminals By Dermot Mack

The construction of a large mall on Victoria airport land is just one of the airport-lined construction projects that may keep RCABC members busy over the next few years. Vancouver-based Omicron has signed an agreement with the Victoria Airport Authority (VAA) to be the exclusive developer of a 100,000-square-foot shopping centre on Victoria airport land in Sidney. The announcement came just days after the McArthur Glen Group opened an outlet mall next to Vancouver International Airport. The Victoria project would include a 62-year lease on the land,

Construction costs alone would run to about $20 million. In Prince George, the airport authority has signed an anchor tenant for a new cargo handling facility at the airport, part of an expansion of its Victoria airport: $35 million shopping mall planned on 10 acres of cargo handling airport lands. Photo: Victoria Airport Authority facilities. Rosenau which is owned by the federal Transport is the anchor tenant on government and leased to the for the first 25,000 square-foot airport. building at the north end of the Ideally, construction would start main runway. this year and finish about 14 Meanwhile, the Northern Rockies months later, said Peter Laughlin, Regional Airport (NRRA) in Fort Omicron’s director for Vancouver Nelson is undergoing a $4.3 million Island. makeover. The project’s value would be Backed with federal government about $35 million, he said.

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WINTER 2015-2016


Bentall office portfolio expected to sell for more than $1 billion. Photo: Ivanhoé Cambridge

Commercial real estate sales eye peak Vancouver could see its first billiondollar real estate sale in 2016 as the purchase of trophy properties push sales volume to a historic peak. The expected sale of the Bentall Centre office portfolio and the Royal Centre office and retail tower this year “will push overall dollar volume to previously unseen levels,” according to Avison Young. “Both assets will very likely set new benchmarks and may produce the first billion-dollar-plus commercial real estate transactions in Vancouver’s history,” Avison Young noted in a recent 2016 forecast. The current record price for a Canadian office tower is the $1.27 billion paid for the 68-storey Bank of Nova Scotia tower in Toronto, in 2012. The Bentall Centre is made up of four office towers in downtown Vancouver. Its majority owner, Montreal-based Ivanhoé Cambridge Inc., put it up for sale last year. The four buildings range from 21 to 35 storeys and together contain 1.5 million square feet of office space and 53,000 square feet of retail. The offering is expected to attract local and “global institutional investors” according to a statement from Arthur Lloyd, Ivanhoé Cambridge Executive Vice-President, Office, North America. Michael Gill, principal in the

Avison Young capital markets division said he would not be surprised if Asian-based offshore investors were among those attracted to the Bentall Centre offering. The Bentall 5 building was sold in 2012 for $400 million, or $686 per square foot, to a group of Canadian pension funds. At that per-square-foot price, Bentall Centre would be worth north of $1 billion, though most analysts believe it will sell for more. Bids closed in December for Royal Centre at the corner of Burrard and West Georgia Streets, but no sale information has been released. Brookfield Office Properties’ sole asset in Vancouver covers 589,000 square feet, including a 37-storey office tower and 91,000 square feet of retail space. The property is assessed at $287.5 million but was also expected to have fetched a higher price. Word on the street is the property is under contract with a successful bidder. Total commercial real estate sales through the first nine months of 2015 across the Lower Mainland reached a five-year high of $5.5 billion, up from $4.2 billion in the same period a year earlier, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s commercial division. ■

Marriott plans Vancouver hotel Fresh off announcing a new luxury hotel for downtown Edmonton, Marriott International has announced plans to build a new Vancouver hotel at Parq Vancouver to open in 2017, Marriott Hotels of Canada president Don Cleary told a Vancouver Board of Trade meeting in January. Cleary and Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson toured the site, which is connected to BC Place stadium and announced the project is estimated to cost about $600 million. It is being built by Parq Holdings, which is a joint venture between Paragon Development Ltd., Dundee Corp. and PBC VUR LP. The project will include a new Edgewater Casino, as well as four restaurants and a sky bar. Sorenson

Arne Sorenson, CEO of Marriott International: $600 million hotel complex set for Vancouver

said that the complex will be a magnet for Vancouver’s entertainment district and transform the area. The project will be the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold certified hotel project in Canada. Parq is slated to have a total of 517 hotel rooms. ■

Rendering shows new Parq Vancouver Hotel

Oil dividend keeps construction costs stable to $250 a year ago, Altus Group found. The plunge in oil prices and the subsequent loss of an In the speculative single-family detached market, the estimated 10,000 jobs in the Alberta resource sector is price of building in Calgary has fallen from a peak of paying a dividend in the western Canadian construction $185 per square foot in Calgary in 2015 to $140 per industry: stable prices for labour and material. The cost of construction in BC, despite a high level of square foot today. In Edmonton, the peak price for detached house construction is now $145 per square development, has remained virtually unchanged over foot, down from $200 in 2015, the past year. Construction Metro Vancouver: Construction costs per Altus found. In Metro costs have fallen in Alberta, square foot (average price range) Vancouver it now costs from according to the annual Altus Property 2015 2016 up to $165 per square foot to Group construction costs 12-storey condo tower $205 - $250 $190 - $240 30-storey ‘A’ office tower $235 - $320 $245 - $290 build a basic spec house, survey. Industrial warehouse $85 - $115 $80 - $100 unchanged from a year ago. For instance, Altus found Elementary school $180 - $205 $180 - $205 (Vancouver area land costs, construction costs today Source: Altus Group Construction Costs survey however, can add $100 or average from $245 to $290 more to the cost per buildable per square foot to build a square foot for residential). Class A Vancouver office tower today, compared to an The public sector is apparently also benefitting from average of $235 to $320 a year ago. A typical industrial warehouse can run from $80 to $100 per square foot in the oil dividend. This year in Metro Vancouver it costs an average of from $180 to $205 per square foot to Metro Vancouver, unchanged from 2015. build an elementary school and from $205 to $255 per A 12-storey concrete condominium tower would cost square foot to build a high school, both unchanged from from $190 to $240 square feet today in Metro Vancouver, compared to construction costs of from $205 2015, Altus reports. ■

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