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Main and 41st

By | Blog

The NW corner of Main Street and 41st is the location of our newest project. We’ll be constructing a six story building with a ground floor retail space of 7,563 square feet with five floors of residential rental units above. We’re doing a mix of bachelor suites, one bedroom and two bedroom units.

 

 

 

The Maker Exchange

By | Blog

WHERE THINKERS AND MAKERS CONVERGE

Introducing The Maker Exchange located in the Railtown Design District

The Maker Exchange is an innovation eco-system, where progressive thinkers and skilled makers converge over business. Flooded with natural light and exceptional views of the Burrard Inlet and North Shore mountains, the Maker Exchange boasts up to 152,000 SF of space with adaptable floorplates to handle today’s business needs. Every aspect of the building is designed to inspire — from soaring ceiling heights and premium finishes to its many outdoor meeting spaces ideal for stimulating collaboration. Located at 488 Railway Street, the Maker Exchange’s office/creative spaces will be home to technology and software development, digital media, content creation, advanced and traditional manufacturing, rehearsal/production studios as well as showroom and retail/restaurant space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 West 6th Update

By | Blog

–As of today, we have completed all the largest part of the project – the concrete.

–The roof is now on and water-tight.

–The elevator equipment is on sight and will begin installation in a couple weeks.

–All the underground work in complete.

–The HVAC units are hung on each floor.

–The plumbing has all been roughed-in.

–The drywall and steel stud work is progressing nicely.

Street view

Main floor entry
Main floor entry

Main floor North facing
Main floor North facing

Second floor North facing
Second floor North facing

Second floor view
Second floor view

Third floor North facing
Third floor North facing

Third floor view
Third floor view

Roof base sheet complete
Roof base sheet complete

Tiny Cabin Update

By | Blog

The tiny cabin project inches toward completion.

View from the driveway level
View from the driveway level

I had some hesitation last week when we were planning our first overnight stay. Having been promised the toilet would be operational – note: not currently operational but “should be working by the time you get here” level of operation – I was a little sceptical… and anxious. Now, for the record, I’m not a complete diva. I’ve spent many days hiking and tenting and doing my ‘business’ in the great outdoors. But, having cleared the lot for construction, the great outdoor option wasn’t really an option.

I was greatly relieved to discover firstly, that there was a porta-potty on site, and secondly the toilet really was installed. We were left with strict instructions not to flush it before 5:30 PM. Some wonder-calking that holds the whole system together needed time to cure. I’m not ashamed to admit that successfully flushing the toilet was one of the highlights of our first stay in the cabin.

My dreams of using the European sink-toilet combo were swiftly dashed by the plumbing supply company when they informed me that it doesn’t meet CSA standards and therefor cannot be used in Canada. A toilet that re-uses the drain water from the sink to fill the tank doesn’t meet the standards… go figure, and here we are touting how ‘green’ we want to be as a country. (Shakes head in despair and goes back to the drawing board.)

Once we relocated the old bathroom door to its new position, we found door swing didn’t clear the toilet we had spec’d. Thank goodness for wall-hung units. The Toto DuoFit In-wall tank system fit perfectly.

 

TOTO wall tank
TOTO wall tank

TOTO wall-mount bowl
TOTO wall-mount bowl

TOTO installed
TOTO installed

 

The bathroom is now functional except for the shower. The plumber is hooking up the hot water tank today. As always, finding space is challenging. Originally we wanted an on-demand system using a small heating unit mounted to the bathroom wall above the toilet. However, with the lack of natural gas on the island, heating is all electric and the power requirements for the on-demand exceeded the available juice. So, after much debate, we settled on a small 12-gallon tank that will be mounted above the kitchenette and plumbed into the wall behind separating the main room and the bathroom.

We managed to just squeak in a Maax Neo-angle shower unit with super-slick doors (if you’re into that) which slide open on a track around from the front closed-position to the inner sides of the shower. (It came with an eleven-page installation manual!)

 

Max Neo-angle shower
Max Neo-angle shower

We chose the Moen Voss single-handle control and rain-head fixture for the shower.

This left only 14” for a sink. If you think that sounds reasonable… think again. After an extensive Google search we came up with the Nameeks 8502 sink. It’s beautiful, it fits – just don’t ask me how much it costs, I’m still reeling. Luckily there are very few building problems that money can’t solve. sadly, there are a few problems that only money can solve. The four-foot by five-foot bathroom being one of the later.

Names 8502
Names 8502


Sink installed
Sink installed

The mirror is made from an old jerry can
The mirror is made from an old jerry can

 

This is the kitchenette construction:

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We encountered a couple small complications with the installation of the custom kitchenette cabinet. One crucial measurement wasn’t taken into account for the microwave/convection oven shelf. It fits… however it sticks out about six inches too far and the cabinet door will not shut. Unfortunately, the only solution to that involves a reciprocating saw and some re-wiring. We are also waiting on installing the under counter refrigerator panel-front until the cabinet has been re-plumbed, moving the water lines to behind the back panel, allowing the fridge to fit into the cabinet.

Kitchenette in place Kitchenette in place

 

The bed-storage unit we designed turned out great. The queen-sized mattress fit perfectly, lots of storage room below and just enough clearance above so you don’t hit your head. Because there is so little wiggle-room, instead of going with horizontal storage options around the bed, I went vertical – building in a slot to fit an i-pod or my much-loved MacBook with a power outlet just beside.

All but one light fixture is installed. We put a temporary one in the main room as my DIY chandelier project is not on schedule.

 

Light fixture
Light fixture

 

And the best part of all, sitting back and enjoying the view.

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And drinking whisky…

The new cabin whisky glasses
The new cabin whisky glasses

Island Time

By | Blog

West Coast Road Cabin renovation
West Coast Road Cabin renovation

Island time. It’s an expression that has taken on new meaning. A transition begins as you pull onto the ferry in Tsawwassen. From swearing at traffic and hoping you time the lane-change at the tunnel right, to watching out the ferry window for whales and letting your shoulders sink down away from your earlobes. And breathing, not just the stingy upper-diaphragm gulps, but all the way into the bottom of your stomach.

That’s the experience we want to create for the owners of the West Coast Road project – a “get away” that really gets you away from hustle of the city and into the quiet and refreshment of a retreat by ocean.

The other aspect of “island time” is the very practical timing and planning adjustment required for the project. Calls to the planning department, water department, sewer developers, tree cutters and all follow the same pattern. Us: So, when do you think we can have that by? Them: Oh… a couple weeks.

I kid you not – every, single time. “A couple weeks.” But the thing is, they mean it. And sure enough, with a two week schedule in play, things get done in that two week window. We’ve got the site survey plan, the geotechnical report, the environmental report, the Archeology Branch Report is complete, the driveway application approved, the trees that needed to be taken down are down, and the initial site clearing booked.


the view at sunrise

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We have an initial floorplan for the cabin renovation and the owners have made a start on picking finishes.

Current foot print for the cabin
Current foot print for the cabin

"initial
initial floorplan

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What’s Up in Vancouver?

By | Blog

If you feel like geeking-out on Vancouver high-rises – and who doesn’t? then, this is your web-site:

http://skyscraperpage.com/diagrams/?cityID=1&searchname=timeline

This site offers a detailed history and diagrams of Vancouver’s skyline from 1900 and the Holy Rosary Cathedral at 66m at the tip of the spire:

 

(Photo via holyrosarycathedral.org)
(Photo via holyrosarycathedral.org)

 

And all the way to The Trump International Hotel and Tower complete in 2016 at 187.8m. And everything in between, I do mean everything.

 

Trump International Hotel and Tower

 

I was surprised to realize it’s already been 20 years since Library Square was built (84.1m).

 

(Photo via glowbalnews.ca)
(Photo via glowbalnews.ca)

 

The Shangri-La, built in 2008 at 196.9m to the roof and 200.9m to the antenna, is still the tallest.

 

(Photo via onlymagazine.ca)
(Photo via onlymagazine.ca)

 

Of the new ones under construction over the next while, the one I’m looking forward to the most is Vancouver house. Set for completion in 2018, it will be 150.3m of pretty, darn cool.

(Photo via vancitybuzz.com)
(Photo via vancitybuzz.com)