Everywhere around the world the tall buildings are called marvels of engineering, providing custom work and employment for the Hollywood deck of designer darlings called “Starchitects”. Of course those same buildings overshadow parks and other buildings and usurp tons of resources. They also are being associated with a whole bunch of problems because they are so big, different, and house so many units.
It was Kenneth Chan in the Daily Hive that revealed the news: starchitect Bjarke Ingels’ designed Vancouver House had a “severe failure of the building’s water systems, causing a deluge of water to pour out of pipes, into the condominiums, and out of the elevators.”
And it’s bad. There’s a series of videos documenting the water dumping from the 30th floor area impacting nine floors below that, blowing out the elevators which are not not operational, meaning everyone is schlepping up the stairs. A side note: replacing elevator cable subjected to water can cost $60,000 per cable. The units impacted are not livable: the degree of water infiltration elsewhere in the structure has not yet been assessed.
There are images of residents sloshing in water over their toes, and of course with no elevators they have to rely on stairs to get out of the building. Sadly there was water gushing down the emergency exit stairway as well.
And there’s more.
This seems to be the tipping point event that has made residents go public, with Mr. Chan receiving a photographic tome of building deficiencies, cracks, peeling exterior surfaces, and discoloured walls. As Mr. Chan carefully puts it, the graphic litany produced by a frustrated strata owner “highlighted alleged inconsistencies with the final product compared to the marketing materials, alleged building design and system deficiencies, and alleged damage from contractors moving equipment and materials in and out of the building for construction during the occupancy period.”
This water failure will cost millions of dollars to remediate, and will impact owner insurance rates for the 480 units, 105 which are market rental.Read more »