The Engineering and Geoscientists of BC (EGBC) is investigating one of its members for possible violations to the building code pertaining to a rental building in Langford’s downtown core.
Danbrook One, located at 2766 Claude Rd., is an 11-storey, 90-unit building with 86 occupied units and was completed approximately one year ago. The EGBC is the licensing and regulatory body that is responsible for B.C. professional engineers and geoscientists.
The City of Langford said concerns raised and reviewed by the EGBC question whether aspects of the building’s structural design and its as-built structure are enough to mitigate risks to health and safety.
The City received a notice from the EGBC on Dec. 3 about the association’s investigation and has hired WSP Global Inc., an internationally-recognized engineering firm, to undertake an independent investigation into the building’s structural design and as-built structure. The safety and performance of the building will also be assessed.
Mayor Stew Young said Langford anticipates a report from WSP in the next few days to confirm whether or not the building’s structural design and as-built structure meet the engineering requirements laid out by the EGBC.
In the meantime, Young said Langford council has decided to notify affected stakeholders, including tenants, of the concerns. “Even though we don’t have the report we wanted to notify the residents that we are working with engineers to look at the safety and structure of the building,” Young said.
The building owner, the builder, the property manager and tenants have been notified of the investigation and the third-party review that is taking place and the City said it will ensure all affected stakeholders are informed about any conclusions drawn from the independent review.
If the building is found to not be structurally sound, Young said appropriate steps – including finding new homes for the tenants – will be taken. The building owner, Centurion Property Associates, will assist tenants who choose to relocate by finding them comparable accommodations in one of their six properties – four of which are in Langford.
The City has also identified another rental property at Goldstream Avenue and Leigh Road that is ready for occupants. Young said City staff have spent numerous hours assessing the situation and are prepared for the worst.
“We are prepared for every instance,” he said. “We are prepared to move the whole building, one tenant or nobody.”
Any tenants who may feel unsafe will be provided with temporary hotel accommodations paid for by Langford and any moving costs will also be covered by the City.
Since the complaint was registered with the EGBC and there is a formal investigation underway, the City of Langford would not comment on details of the complaint.
The EGBC did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
The City said staff rely on a stamp of approval from the project engineer to affirm that their engineering designs follow all requirements under the Engineers and Geoscientist Act. City staff are not responsible for the review of an engineer but are responsible for the health and safety of residents in the building.
If it turns out the building needs to be fixed, Young said, the City is prepared to do so and to accommodate those affected.
Young said there are not any concerns with any other buildings at the time and that the City’s expedited process in building development does not have anything to do with the issue. He said it is an engineering issue and has nothing to do with speed and process.
“If an engineer makes a mistake, then we’ll fix it,” Young said. “It’s not a reflection on the buildings in Langford … if there’s any flaws, everything is fixable.”