Engineer unqualified to design 11-story tower in Langford, professional body says

The structural engineer who designed a tower in Langford where tenants were forced to relocate for safety reasons made a “critical error in judgment” in believing he was qualified to design the 11-story concrete tower , according to investigators from the province’s professional engineering body.

Langford has revoked Danbrook One’s license of occupation at 2766 Claude Road. in mid-December 2019 and urged tenants to move after an engineering report for the municipality confirmed serious safety concerns. At the time, 86 of the 90 units were rented.

An ongoing investigation by Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia found that the project’s structural engineer, Brian McClure, was not qualified to perform structural engineering services for the building and “did not even do the job. minimum effort to rectify its shortcomings ”before starting the work. on the building.

“Failure to conduct proper design verifications and field examinations puts the public at risk and, if not reported, could have resulted in a catastrophic event,” the report said.

McClure’s experience before Danbrook One consisted of designing residential wood-frame buildings up to five storeys and concrete residential buildings up to two storeys. He regularly revised the structural designs of high-rise concrete buildings, but had never designed a building like Danbrook One, and “mistakenly” believed that his previous experience qualified him to work on the building, the report said.

The body found that McClure did not meet the industry standard of 45 to 55 field exams, with just 17 in this case. Field examinations are those carried out on the job site and at places where building components are manufactured, he says. Danbrook One did not meet building code requirements and the structural design includes many potential shortcomings, according to the report.

No independent review of any part of the building’s design was carried out prior to the construction of Danbrook One, he says.

In an interview with investigators, McClure said that at the time he was preparing for the design, there was only one other person in Sorensen Trilogy Structural Engineering Solutions, and although he knew the reviews were necessary, they “just never happened”.

The engineering association’s investigative committee placed a restriction on McClure’s work, requiring that documented reviews of his structural engineering work be performed by someone outside the company where he works.

The order took effect in early October and will last until the end of the investigation.

McClure declined to comment.

Langford Mayor Stew Young said Langford accepts no blame for the situation and the city now requires two engineers to approve designs before giving their approval.

“It must be signed by an engineer and not by the City of Langford when designing the building,” he said.

The owner of the building, Toronto-based Centurion Property Associates, sued McClure, Sorensen Trilogy, Langford and the seller and builder for damages related to the remediation work needed to bring the building up to standard and resolve the problems. security, estimated at over $ 1 million, as well as lost rental income estimated at around $ 200,000 per month.

Work is underway to modernize the building so that it is safe for occupancy.

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