You never know what lies beneath the surface – especially when it comes to a beloved 120-year-old heritage building in one of the Vancouver’s busiest areas. For the team working on the Beatty Street Armoury improvements, the project was sure to bring surprises, and test their adaptivity.

Home to the British Columbia Regiment, an armoured reconnaissance reserve regiment, the original scope of improvements included the replacement of windows and repair of up to 10 per cent of the exterior brick work, beneath the plaster. The original scope did anticipate challenges including occupation of the building during work and security issues with the downtown location.

However, the biggest challenge was what they couldn’t see: the original scans of the building did not show the degree of damage to the stonework beneath the facade.

“As soon as we removed the stucco, we realized the brick was in far worse condition than anticipated, ultimately over 550 square meters of brick had to be replaced as it posed a safety concern to the public and the tenants of the building,” said Ferman Suleyman, DCC Coordinator, Construction Services in Chilliwack, B.C.

The condition of the brick required extensive repairs and resulted in a big change to the scope, timing, and budget for the project team to manage. The collaborative partnership with DCC’s Client-Partner Real Property Operations in Chilliwack and with the contractor was key to the successful completion of the work.

In the end, the project was finished in August 2021, and has now been returned fully to the Regiment for use – ready to serve for another century.

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