Romex building materials into Canada Place
In the summer of 2016 the Port of Vancouver commissioned a design team to refresh and provide a new identity to the tired looking landscaping and paving of “The North Point” of Canada Place in downtown Vancouver, BC. Canada Place is an extremely iconic building, which is seen from all parts of the city, and the famous North Shore ski mountains. Along with that tens of thousands of people visit the building each year, whether on cruises which dock at Canada place, to conferences in its vast exhibition halls or for some of the tourist attractions such as “Fly over Canada”.
Aside from the volume of traffic, the building itself is extremely dynamic, built on piers and can move slightly with the Ocean’s tidal cycle. As well as that as previously noted cruise liners dock and “bump” into the building in doing so. The plaza deck is also partially over top of office space as well as parking areas below. With that in mind, and failure of previous paving systems, the design team faced a tough task in specifying a system which would be able to meet the tough demands of the site, last the test of time and give the aesthetics required for such a prestigious building.
The previous system had a build up consisting of drain matt, 2” of rigid insulation, 2” of concrete, terracotta tile (1/2”) and grouted with typical cementitious grout. With the living office space below and the requirement for the insulation, and constraints of the existing building this also gave the team a significant problem in terms of the slope and drainage required to ensure puddles are not left on the surface, as well as ensuring the decay which occurred over the past 15 years doesn’t happen again.
Towards the end of the design process and with the construction starting point fast approaching, Romex Canada West was brought in by the lead firm on the Plaza Design- Connect Landscape Architecture- to discuss how Romex products could be used to solve some of these issues. We explained the benefits of our system, the strength, ability for flexibility, permeability, frost resistance, low maintenance and to carry high loads at lower depths than regular products.
The design team was immediately interested, many questions came up including that of maintenance, possibly warranty, references being called and test results asked for. Romex could not only answer these questions but excel in them. The paving would be maintenance free, and can be pressure washed daily if required, it would be able to take the light vehicle loads imposed by scissor lifts etc in setting up for events. The design team were particularly thrilled by the industry first 10-year warranty to match that of the waterproof membrane, and should any damages occur that these were covered by the Romex head office.
Testing was carried out in the form of a 10’x10’ mock up at the Romex office with the full design team present to witness the installation of the Trass Bedding and Elutriant, and then the D1 Grouting compound. The colour of the grout could be tailored to the architect’s desires, Romex’s “Flex Joint” was to be used as expansion joint material every 10’x10’ to provide further piece of mind to everyone involved that the system would not fail. The Flex Joint also provides excellent permeability and colour match to the rest of the grout providing a seamless look, rather than typical expansion joint materials.
A further and final round of tests was carried out by a local engineering/material testing company who gave Romex the green light with great results to carry out the project. It was stated that the worst “pull test” for Romex was better than the best result for a traditional system.
Following the successful test results and the approval of the aesthetics from the architects Romex was the clear choice for paving materials for the prestigious Canada Place plaza deck remediation. Romex was backed up on all the reference calls, mock ups and testing with providing the chosen installer with offsite and on site training to ensure everything went smoothly for them, the client and everyone involved with the project. The project was since completed on time and the client is delighted with the result, ready for the 2017 cruise ship season despite challenging weather and site conditions. Never in Canada had such impressive installation rates been achieved for such a complex project. A great success all round.