September 25, 2019

TORONTO – The program started with a hot breakfast and networking in advance of the presentations. CTBUH Canada Vice Chair Anton Davies, Founding Partner, RWDI, opened the conference. The Breakfast Event was generously sponsored by RWDI and Bujar Morava, Senior Consultant, delivered an informative sponsor message which started the conference.

First up was Joey Laroche, CEO, Upbrella Construction, a general contractor specializing in vertical building additions. The Upbrella System was the “hook” for the Conference attendees.

Laroche explained the process to add six stories to the existing 17-story Hotel LeGermain in Montreal. Laroche explained the intricacies and sequence of the Upbrella Total Shelter which facilitates a protected and dry work environment for the construction workers to accomplish the Vertical Building Addition. A spider crane was first erected and used to build the roof of the Total Shelter. Subsequent additional floors are assembled under the new roof structure at a worker’s height. When a floor assembly is complete, it is jacked up to its final height. Slab concrete is placed when the new floor is at its final location.

It is fascinating that the addition of the six additional floors did not require a separate construction crane. The Upbrella System does require that the upper five or six floors of the existing building be vacated to facilitate the work on the new Vertical Building Addition. The Upbrella sequence of work details a stacking diagram spread vertically across 10 floors. In general, Upbrella accomplishes a 13-day cycle time per story.

Upbrella has secured four more towers in Montreal and a cross laminated timber assignment in Monaco.

Barry Charnish, Principal and Founder, Entuitive, presented the case study for 130 Bloor West. This was a more traditional building addition which delivered high-end residential units in a ten story addition on an 11-story existing building. There were six major building columns to rework.  Otherwise the impact on the existing building was minimal. The new residential units feature 25-foot cantilevered terraces and one unit with a 40-foot lap pool.

Zoran Tanasijevic with Stephenson Engineers and Carlos de Oliveira with Cast Connex presented on the Queen Richmond Centre West. The striking feature of the QRC West addition are the three mega delta frames which support the table top for the Vertical Building Addition. The mega delta frames are made of 35-inch diameter pipe columns filled with concrete. The knuckle which joins the pipe columns together is the apex from which the pipe column legs extend at an incline to present four point support anchorage at both the top and bottom of the mega delta frame. These frames are both an architectural feature and the main structural element for the building addition. Zoran showed the mega delta frame concept display which was modeled with pencils and cardboard boxes. Each one of the mega delta frames is capable of supporting 80 meganewtons. The building received several awards from Canadian Consulting Engineers, the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction and the Toronto Construction Association.

Deni Poletti, a founding partner at CORE Architects, closed the presentation portion of the program with a presentation on 480 University Street. This was the largest scope project presented. The original building was called Global House, constructed in 1968 with 18 stories. The vertical addition added 37 stories and 420,000 square feet of additional GFA for a very profitable residential development. Concurrent with building up, the project also mined an additional three levels of basement below the existing P3 Level to construct a six-level parking basement. It was convenient that the existing building was supported on caissons which were drilled and socketed into bedrock. These existing caissons were exposed, ground and plastered to be attractive in the new basement levels.

The concluding panel discussion was facilitated by Mariano Bocchicchio, Executive Director, Starlight Investments. Bocchicchio was particularly in tune with the Vertical Buildings Addition subject because of the extensive portfolio of existing buildings that Starlight owns and intends to initiate Vertical Building Additions at several of the properties. The Conference was closed by CTBUH Canada Chair Richard Witt, Principal, Quadrangle Architects.

The final remarks communicated the offerings of the CTBUH 10th World Congress coming up in Chicago on October 28, the CTBUH Toronto Regional Conference on November 1 and the launching of the CTBUH Vancouver Chapter.