This project entailed the conversion of a 1950’s 123-suite hotel into a transitional housing project for the Calgary Drop-In-Centre, a dignified not-for-profit organization in Calgary.
It was performed under a construction management delivery model, and underwent an intensive preconstruction phase. Our work consisted of building 79 apartments along with community rooms, a fitness center, a daycare and a commercial CRU component for future tenants and businesses. The entire building received a new envelope including windows, roof, and insulated metal panels. The interior underwent a significant hazardous materials removal and demolition down to the concrete structure. New mechanical, electrical and elevator systems were installed. The site work also involved new underground services, community gardens, a granite paver courtyard, a rubberized wellness surface, full landscaping, and reconfiguration of the parking lot.
We came across some unforeseen challenges as the City required new services - such as a new transformer and new dual water service - once construction was already underway. The project team collaborated to provide the most efficient and feasible options available.
The conversion was also challenging as it consisted of a complete demolition of the interior and exterior down to the concrete structure. The demolition scope included a hazardous materials abatement, a re-design, and new construction.
We learned the importance of early collaboration to identify unforeseen conditions and verify design assumptions. We were able to remove any hazardous materials that may be present on site to eliminate delays later in the process. We verified existing dimensions with the design to ensure on site conditions represent requirements accurately. We also ensured that the assumed condition of the existing infrastructure (i.e. stacks, drains, plumbing) was in working condition to meet the renovation life expectancy.
The team saved the owner $1.2M (plus additional costs if the system failed) by identifying the need to replace the drain stacks ahead of completing new finishes. We also salvaged and re-used existing walls, floors, and other pieces of the existing structure.
This project was five years in the making and was one of the largest projects the centre has ever undertaken.
We were able to fundraise for the centre through the Calgary Marathon and raised $14,000 through donations and pledges. Chandos employees also put together more than 120 Christmas stockings filled with household items, to be given to residents.