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Five More Technically Challenging Projects

Updated: Nov 22, 2023



In honour of Entuitive’s 10th birthday this year, we’ve compiled a list of some of our most technically challenging projects to celebrate, which we’ll be featuring in a series extending throughout the year. You can read the first article here.

Entuitive’s Commitment to Technical Excellence is centered on our One Company culture. Ensuring that all our team members have access to the same knowledge, expertise, and resources ensures we consistently deliver the highest quality projects for our clients across all our offices.

Read about our commitment here.


Keep reading to celebrate these projects from our first 10 years with us and learn about how we solved their respective technical challenges.


6615 Telford, Burnaby, British Columbia

Rendering courtesy Hotson Architecture.

The new development at 6615 Telford brings a 33-storey strata residential tower and a six-storey, purpose-built rental building to the site. The rezoning requirements of the City of Burnaby mandated that the building achieve performance in line with Step 3 of the BC Step Code. The project promised substantial tenant outdoor space for each suite that resulted in significant balcony areas and associated thermal bridging. There was similarly a desire that this building should maintain the look and feel that is common among high-rise strata developments in the area, which meant window-wall construction and substantial glazed area. Working within this design paradigm while meeting the Step Code re-zoning requirements meant that the thermal performance of all building envelope systems had to be addressed intentionally. Our Building Envelope and Advanced Performance Analysis teams worked closely with the client to evaluate different systems and assemblies to achieve the necessary performance while maintaining the desired aesthetic, construction schedule, and capital cost.

The resulting solution was a hybrid, leveraging the fact that the rental building and the neighbouring first six floors of the strata tower could be designed with a consistent aesthetic, with solid walls that could be heavily insulated and a reduced glazing area (since panoramic views were not prioritized at these heights). While these walls would be slower to construct, they were lower in capital cost and provided the development with the thermal credit necessary to achieve the total energy performance required while maintaining a more traditional look and feel for the strata levels above.

Given that this solution was only applied to the lower six floors it allowed enough time to complete wall construction while the upper floors were being built, enabling a staged occupancy sequence.

For more information on this project, reach out to Timothy Wong.

8725 French Street, Macleod Manor Affordable Senior Housing, Vancouver, British Columbia

Rendering courtesy Integra Architecture and Brightside Community Homes.

This six-storey affordable senior and family housing project located in the Marpole neighborhood of Vancouver is a new construction replacement project for the previous Macleod Manor Housing. The project seeks to replace the existing 46-unit housing with 94 units. Entuitive was retained to provide Building Envelope and Passive House Consulting on the project.

A unique challenge of this project was that the original concept design did not intend to pursue passive house certification. As such, the project went through an extensive and collaborative review process with stakeholders and the design team to optimize and value engineer a non-passive house design to be reconfigured into a passive house-compliant design.

This process entailed analyzing the original massing and geometry of the building for inefficiencies and losses in the thermal envelope. These could result in un-balanced heating and cooling loads that would traditionally rely on heavy active mechanical systems to control comfort and seasonal performance.

Paired with this challenge was the scale and context of the project being both at the border of a commercial street and a low-rise residential surrounding. The vision dictated that the building not visually appear monolithic or out of context from its surroundings but rather blended in, allowing a gradual change in scale from the commercial fabric to the three-storey strata or even single-family home vernacular.

The next priority was determining constructability and budget-friendly detailing processes early on in the rezoning phase such that an affordable project would not be impacted by complex envelope detailing cost overruns. Many decisions on the articulation of the façade and the aspect ratios of the glazing were considered for ease of building envelope product procurement and installation. These assemblies would ultimately meet passive house compliance and thermal comfort metrics determined by early performance modeling. For more information on this project, reach out to Timothy Wong.


Hanging Birds Together, Surrey, British Columbia

Image copyright James Arrowsmith.

Designed by Studio Roso, this public artwork located in Surrey’s City Hall features 750 folded aluminum bird forms suspended from the roof of the atrium. The sculpture was inspired by the theme of democracy. There are five unique bird forms within the sculpture and five different colours of gold used.

Designed to resist seismic loading, the individual forms are restrained by a network of tiny wires and connections between wing tips, which are further reinforced by a series of loops that would keep the birds in the air should a connection be compromised. As with many public artworks, this project was engineered using first principles. The work also underwent a test assembly in the UK, where the components were manufactured, prior to installation in Canada.

One of the challenges was designing the open section unistrut substructure grid to resist torsional moments introduced through the eccentricity of the supports. This grid was installed during construction of the main roof structure and allowed the finishes and fixing points to be installed prior to the sculpture being delivered to Canada. Learn more about our public art work here.

Palliser Recladding, Calgary, Canada

Palliser One is an existing 27-storey commercial building in downtown Calgary. The building was built in 1970 and consists of a reinforced concrete structure with two-storey precast concrete cladding panels and punch windows. The owner, Aspen Properties, identified the need for the full removal of the existing precast concrete cladding and window systems and their replacement with a new aluminum and glass curtain wall system.

As a first step, Entuitive was retained by Aspen Properties to complete a feasibility study for the recladding project. Our role was to review the existing structure and building envelope, and to provide recommendations on the cladding removal so new cladding installation could be undertaken.

Following this study, Aspen engaged Gibbs Gage Architects to continue their earlier concept designs to execute the recladding in 2016/2017. Our team was then engaged to provide Building Envelope and Structural Consulting through the design and construction phases.

A primary challenge on this project was that the building was approximately 95% occupied, therefore the recladding had to be completed predominantly from the exterior. Typically, recladding projects of this extent are completed by constructing a temporary wall, as a safety and weather barrier, and interior of the existing exterior walls, allowing the recladding to occur from both the interior and exterior. However, this method was not feasible in an occupied building without great disruption to the tenants.

As part of Entuitive’s scope for the feasibility study, we reviewed various options for the removal of the existing precast concrete cladding panels and installation of new curtain wall, all from the exterior. We developed options for this work and provided a recommendation that allowed all work to be completed from the exterior, while maintaining visible light through the existing windows throughout the project, and limiting the work inside tenant spaces to only final interior finishes. To learn more about this project reach out to Mike Lembke.

Dalewood Road Bridge Replacement, St. Thomas, Ontario

The City of St. Thomas commissioned a replacement for the Dalewood Road Bridge, which carries Dalewood Road across the Dalewood Reservoir and Kettle Creek. The new bridge provides a vehicular crossing and an active transportation link for the walkway around the reservoir and creek.

The new bridge structure is a two-span continuous extradosed bridge with integral abutments, carrying two lanes of traffic and a multi-use path. Special attention was given to structural aesthetics, including the provision of a decorative pedestrian railing, the design of a light slender structure, and the painting of the superstructure.

The bridge’s superstructure comprises two very slender 500-mm-deep closed steel box girders, a series of transverse steel floor beams, and a composite cast-in-place concrete deck. The box girders are supported by steel pipe stays and pylons, which enabled the slender box girder design, thus allowing the structure to meet flood requirements without a significant grade raise of the existing road. Each box girder was designed with a full-width top flange to improve its torsional stiffness, which allowed for erection in the absence of temporary supports. The pier floor beam was made integral with the box girders to further ease erection procedures.

The substructure comprises cast-in-place concrete integral abutments founded on driven steel H-piles and two concrete-filled steel columns, each founded on a piled footing. The steel columns were designed for the effects of stream flow and ice forces. The use of integral abutments and an integral pier floor beam eliminated the need for structural bearings, which will decrease the lifetime rehabilitation costs of the bridge.

One main challenge on this project was that the anticipated flood water level was high enough that the use of a traditional below-deck girder bridge would have required a significant grade to the existing Dalewood Road. In addition, there were no drawings available for the existing structure. During construction, the below-water geometry of the existing north abutment was found to be much larger than anticipated, such that it interfered with installation of the new H-pile foundation. It was also found to be prohibitively expensive to demolish.

The use of steel pipe stays to support the girders allowed for the girders to be very slender, precluding a significant grade raise to the existing roadway. The new north integral abutment was used as a deep beam to span across the remaining portions of the existing north abutment, allowing the new H-piles to be shifted away from the interference with the existing abutment. For more information on this project reach out to Megan Rhind.

 

Thank you for helping us celebrate Entuitive's 10th birthday!

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