In January 2020, The University of Victoria (UVic), one of Canada’s most prestigious universities, announced the beginning of an ambitious project to renovate its housing facilities. The UVic Student, Housing and Dining project was awarded to the EllisDon-Kinetic Joint Venture to construct two new buildings to provide affordable housing for more than 600 students and an improved dining facility. UVic is located in Victoria, British Columbia.

In early 2020, QM Environmental was awarded the contract and joined the project supplying demolition and abatement services for the two former residential buildings and the student dining. QM’s participation in this project from April to November 2020 was essential for the successful deconstruction of the facilities, which allowed the start of construction of the new units.

The project involved the following:

  • Hazardous Materials Abatement of all asbestos-containing finishings throughout three buildings: 150,000 ft2.
  • Removal and disposal of pipe insulation, transite, window caulking, and parging applied to concrete block walls throughout stairwells and basement areas. The team used an innovative removal method for the parging, which expedited the removal schedule by over 60%.
  • Abatement of over 75,000 ft2 of drywall and mechanical insulation within the student dining.
  • Complete strip out of all remaining finishes to achieve “shell condition” of all buildings, and recycling of over 90% of remaining materials to meet LEED Gold waste diversion goals.
  • Hoisting and disposal of 2 boilers (12’H x 20’L x 7’W) located within an underground boiler plant. The concrete slabs were saw cut and then carefully removed to allow adequate access for hoisting and disposal.
  • Demolition of each building and its foundations using high reach excavators. The QM team completed the demolition on an expedited schedule. The engineered demolition plan was strictly followed, and health and safety was the first priority.

Now that the buildings’ abatement and demolition is completed, phase 3 of construction will continue, thus ending the work by QM.

Regarding the successful completion of the project, Mark Liudzius, Executive Vice President and Director of Operations, Kinetic Construction, mentioned: “I would also like to thank you and your team for the great service over the past year. I very much appreciate the professionalism, dependability, and fairness from the QM staff”.

For QM Environmental, It’s been an honour to participate in this project that will significantly benefit the University of Victoria students. The rest of the project is expected to be completed in 2023, and the buildings will have the following characteristics:

Building number 1 – Opens Fall 2022:

  • Two main wings: 8 and 6 storeys tall
  • Dining Hall
  • Commercial kitchens
  • Multi-purpose spaces
  • Residence rooms & lounges

Building number 2 – Opens Spring 2023:

  • 11-storeys tall
  • A lecture hall
  • Study Spaces for Students
  • Residence rooms & Lounges

According to Sidney Reist, Project Coordinator at EllisDon and UVIC alumni, “the Project will benefit both the students and the community since these two buildings will fill the need for student housing and it’ll open up housing in the area for members of the community that aren’t students.”

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