Villa Rose Condominiums in Qualicum Beach, British Columbia proves that ICFs can achieve what would otherwise be impossible.
The town of Qualicum Beach is located on Vancouver Island, where humidity, rain, and cold winters take a toll on frame construction. So when the developer approached Chris Doyle at Willow Lane Construction about the project, Doyle encouraged the owner to consider using ICFs as a mode of construction. Based on the amount of reinforcing steel required, they chose Quad-Lock ICFs, a panel system that makes installation in congested steel easier.
The architect and engineer faced a daunting challenge in designing this building. City zoning specified that main floor had to be commercial, with a maximum of two floors of residential above. The third floor was constrained by a maximum allowable roof height, and they were encouraged to match the look of surrounding buildings, which all featured extensive dormers.
With these things in mind, designers set to work. There was a strong desire to have the building facades present a textured look, so they incorporated multiple corners, a broad parkade over the sidewalk, and an open-air courtyard which serves as
the gathering place for residents of the building. Every condominium needed to abut this courtyard.
Demising walls between units were specified to be ICF, but he was faced with four different floor configurations stacked one on the other. The load transfer from the roof to the parkade would change on every floor. Additionally, the building footprint had been maximized to the point where the excavation and foundation work affected neighboring properties, which limited the working space between the foundation walls and the edge of the excavation. The architecture was so complex that the structural engineer was at his wit's end to come up with solutions that made sense.
There were constant meetings held with the engineer, architect and builder, but they were up to the seemingly endless challenges. Doyle built and braced the foundation walls from the inside. Above grade, Quad-Deck, a EPS-concrete pourover system, was used for the floors. Construction of the seemingly endless corners was simplified because Quad-Lock uses no special corner forms. The finished building has 44 corners on the main level, 97 on the second, and 146 corners on the third level.
Karen Bunz, marketing director at Quad-Lock, says, "This forming system allowed the builder far more flexibility in terms of dealing with complex wall configurations."
To add interest and balance to the 14/12 sloped roof, nine architectural chimneys were installed. They were pre-built on the ground, including the stamped stucco finish, then craned into place.
Doyle reports, "Villa Rose has set the standard for high-
end condominiums in this area. High insulation values, air-tightness, sound-deadening, structural stability and the fact that ICFs are not subject to mold, mildew or dry-rot, puts this project miles ahead of the competition. The residents of Villa Rose are ensured that however long they live in the building, when they are ready to sell, they will receive full value for their unit. Simply
put, Villa Rose has set the benchmark for how buildings of this type should be built."