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Olympic village developers to review construction

June 29th, 2009 · 25 Comments

This just in from the PR company working with Millennium Developments.

Millennium Water Construction Quality

Vancouver, BC – The Millennium Water consultant group and the general contractors are in the process of evaluating the current commentary regarding the quality of construction on the Olympic and Paralympic Village Project which has to-date been, in the consultant team’s opinion, above industry standards.

The Olympic Village is nearing completion and as such there are multiple and varied activities across the project. The work of the sub-trades is coordinated by the General Contractors and is subject to extensive review by the professional design team. The work in progress is governed by the architectural and engineering drawings and specifications which define the quality, durability and energy performance of the materials and systems installed. This work is further governed by both municipal and industry standards.

All work undertaken on the Olympic and Paralympic Village site is subject to a rigorous and stringent process of field reviews.  The professional engineering and architectural consultants are charged, under the Vancouver Building bylaw, with providing such reviews in support of the Letters of Assurance that each design professional is required to issue at the completion of the work – prior to being granted Occupancy by the City of Vancouver Inspectors.  These reviews are undertaken for each building and are carried out by the professionals and other parties, including:

*         The Trade Field Supervisors
*         The General Contractor Superintendents
*         The Code Compliance Certified Professional
*         The Building Envelope Consultant
*         The Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, and
*         The Architects.

The professional consultants are providing essentially full time attendance on site to facilitate the quality and schedule requirements associated with the project.

Work in progress does not proceed forward until all parties noted have completed their field reviews and the work has met the technical requirements of the specifications.

The consultant team issues photo-records of all field reviews with the appropriate written observations. In the example cited in the recent news story, the items identified have been acknowledged in previously issued field reviews submitted to the General Contractor by the Mechanical Engineer.  The process to remedy such issues is an acknowledged aspect of building construction where the professional consultant team acts on behalf of the public to assess compliance with both the City of Vancouver and Provincial Building Standards.

The consultant team will undertake an additional review of the work in progress to assess the issues identified and to confirm that the project specifications are being met by all contractors and trades on the site.

Categories: Uncategorized

  • Denis

    Time to bring in Mike Holmes folks! Good thing a uionized worker blew the whistle before the drywall went up. Things are easy to hide, even when the permit guys come for their checking.
    Nice long compforting message from the PR team .

  • David

    My building was built to Code Compliance and it seems to me that this “code” is set so low that this is where some problems start. For example our soft water erodes our pipes the developers know this but installing a simple water treatment so that the water does not eat the pipes is not in the CODE so developers do not do this. Five or ten years on buildings get expensive water problems. Code seems to be controlled by developers and it needs to be updated for Vancouver. Does Millennium have a water treatment system or will these pipes deteriorate in a couple of years?

  • Len B

    Just wondering who the Millennium PR company is?

    I remember them hiring one not too long ago but I don’t recall who or when.

    Didn’t I hear that Jim Green is also involved?

  • Westender

    David asked: “Does Millennium have a water treatment system or will these pipes deteriorate in a couple of years?”
    My own building experienced “erosion” of copper hot water lines – it was chalked up to a type of thin-walled pipe that was considered acceptable in the 1980’s…this pipe no longer meets code.
    The good news is that our new $820 million water filtration and treatment plant will modify the pH of our drinking water so that 1.) our copper pipes will not be eaten away and 2.) our bathtubs will not get that blue/green ring as a result of our pipes being eaten away.
    So the erosion of pipes at the Olympic Village should not be a problem. (And they may not be copper, anyway.)

  • Does Olympic Village sells sporting goods in malls?

  • David

    Thanks Westeneds but you see…. My building was built in 2000 so not sure the code for pipes has changed and the $820 million water filtration and treatment plant (which is massively behind schedule and over budget) will not be complete until after well after Millennium so again I ask my question does Millennium have a its own water filtration system or will these buildings need to install one before the pipes begin to deteriorate?

  • T W

    But are they going to release the inspection report to the public ? It seems to me, as a taxpayer and and now an indirect investor, I have a right to have all these questions answered in public. Investors do have rights in BC or do they? What do our elected representatives say in this matter?

  • T W

    We do have a bit of conflict of interest or the impression of one.
    The city merely delegates the responsibility to professionals for letters of assurance, as I understand the matter, it does not remove itself from the public interest. Yet the city is also an investor and seemingly a shareholder so we seem to have a spectrum of conflicts. Not that there is anything wrong with this – but the steps taken to ensure even handedness should or have to be disclosed to the public. Otherwise there might be some nasty law suits in future years that taxpayers will have to underwrite simply because of a failure to disclose.

  • A. G. Tsakumis

    And now for the real story…

    If the union fluffers in Vision would allow Penny Ballem to release the SEVEN inspection reports that were done, then you would all be able to see that this is just hysteria created by one union, but an influential one.

    Heaven forbid that one of Clr. Meggalomania’s bailiwick suffer a public indignity such as having to eat crow,

    But think about how stupid the Mayor has become…

    To satisfy the doctrinaire left and union dittoheads, be damned what remains of a marketing strategy for a condo project already in such interminable peril.

    Pathetic is as pathetic does.

  • T W

    A.G. Tsakumis

    If there are seven independent reports, not just seven reports, then our elected representatives are giving a fine impression of covering up.

    What is the real story? I am a shareholder and investor (as a Vancouver taxpayer) and I have the right, I think, to know the truth. Why are our elected representatives asleep at the helm?

  • A. G. Tsakumis


    It’s really simple. Vision is a caricature of what they claimed to be. They are a loose coalition of the politically needy and you, my friend, are a simple pawn.

    Think of how insane they are. Instead of just releasing the inspection reports and allowing the comments of the union to flap in the wind, naked and meritless, they are sitting silent to help their union pals save face.

    The result: An already troubled marketing strategy is further hobbled by Vision idiots and their union masters, in this case (there are other masters of the green and eco-corporate variety) and the people getting screwed are not just you as investor, but the rest of the taxpaying public as well, since we are even less likely to see any kind of return on this Vancouverite owned white elephant.

    Frankly, someone should ask the Mayor, but the day of the valiant journalist is gone, replaced by those who are happy to tow the line and keep big media lawyers snoring. They are afraid to ask the tough questions because the first tactic by liars is to use the “we’ll sue you if you tell/write/think/smoke-signal” the truth.

    Then, look at how someone of even Frances’ experience got snookered with misinformation in a previous post.

    …tapers and drywallers would either get fired or never get an inspector to approve the work if they sealed up ANYTHING prior to a look-see. But she was told this “often” happens. Bullshit. I’ve put up buildings many before, in a previous career, and you NEVER build like that. EVER. Doesn’t matter if it’s a single or multi family dwelling.

    Your only answer is to directly ask the Mayor. His minions, of course, scour this site, and others, for comments like these, and they will consider what news I have broken here a heads up.

    …until they read my column in 24Hours next Thursday (a week tomorrow) and find out why Vision is playing games instead of looking out for your best interests. You can also read tomorrow’s edition as well. I have more on their shameless myopia with respect to shelters. Enjoy!

    Good luck with your investment. I hope you turn a healthy buck, but I doubt that will come for a while–besides I do not know what kind of investment you’ve made or how you made it. Blessings.

  • T W

    A. G Tsakumis

    Thank you for that thoughtful response. I was perhaps using a bit of licence in describing myself as an investor – I am because of the city’s role. I did not invest directly.

    But, perhaps like you, I am angered about the lack of disclosure. Our elected officials and some of their staff seem to act as if it was their own money not the citizens money over which they have a duty of care to act in the best interests of the citizens. Time will tell.

    I had perhaps better start reading your columns in other venues.

  • Frothingham

    “Does Olympic Village sells sporting goods in malls?”
    Good one!

    Maybe they’ll become Value Village of the Creek

  • bill from the southside

    Tsakumis, well said, this is much ado about….

    The PR firm news release actually does a good job in over-viewing the process at hand. Anyone that has spent time on these kinds of construction projects and sites would acknowledge that this situation is not unique, is identified during the on site reviews and corrected – even if it means some deconstuction to properly investigate/address.

    Someone is throwing $%#@ here and hoping some is going to stick somewhere to someone.

  • Spring 2010: Olympic Village . . . when chickens are roosting in the C$1.5M penthouse and seagulls are enjoying the view remember, you heard it here first, Mr. Rennie’s hopeful green shoots are really swamp grass sprouting from the ornamental pools.

    Mr. Canny Scot, sir, you have committed the tax payers of Vancouver to the biggest boon doggle since Rudyard . . .

    “Kipling’s second visit to our fair city . . . in April of 1892 and he returned again in October of 1907, when he was the most famous writer in the world. He purchased real estate on Fraser Street (at the time known as Scott Street) and a chunk of acreage on the North Shore, which turned out to be a bum investment. “And I took it as easily as a man buys a piece of tobacco. Me voici, owner of some four hundred well-developed pines, a few thousand tons of granite scattered in blocks at the roots of the pines, and a sprinkling of earth. That’s a town lot in Vancouver.”

    Sir after Millenium bombed you should have dumped the whole mess in Jack Poole’s lap . . . he can afford it . . . we cannot . . .

  • spartikus

    Perhaps someone could explain to me the motive for the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers for exaggerating and/or fabricating such a story? And while they’re at it, maybe they could explain what sort of hold the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers has over Vision Vancouver that would trump the need to see the project completed successfully, as well as the hold of other interests?

    Campaign donations? LOL…pennies compared to that of developers.

  • Rebecca

    Couldn’t this have been fabricated to take the heat off of HEAT? Between Meggs & Louie and their close union relationships, isn’t it viable that they came up with this?

  • spartikus

    Couldn’t this have been fabricated to take the heat off of HEAT?

    Except this particular union had been taking photos well before the HEAT brouhaha erupted.

    Between Meggs & Louie and their close union relationships

    There are lots of unions in Canada. Meggs & Louie would have relationships with CUPE locals, but I fail to see how that would hold true with the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers.

    If anyone has a cite to the contrary, I’m happy to be educated.

  • Not running for mayor

    Personally I don’t buy that the whole thing is a ploy by Vision. A desperate ploy by the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers sure, but not by Vision. I do beleive though that Vision is limited in it’s response as it can’t stand to offend the union as it needs all the support it can get after a couple of rough months. In an alternate world with the NPA in charge I imagine the response to the allegations would’ve been much different.

  • spartikus

    A desperate ploy by the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers sure

    Again I ask “why”? Why is this union so desperate they would engage in a public ploy that – if false – would be a PR disaster?

    I see little upside.

    With the information currently in the public domain, Occam’s Razor suggests this is simply a group of people who had genuine concerns.

  • A. G. Tsakumis

    Regardless of the genuine concerns, spartikus, the question you should be asking is: Why would Ballem/Gregor etc al, not release the SEVEN reports on file approving what the union claims was bad work?

    Either they are covering for an errant statement or there is a problem with an inspector–period, end of story.

    Your other, less relevant, question should be asked of the union and not us.

    People who do no buy that this is a political cover-up should then be demanding answers of Ms. Ballem and the Mayor.

    Well…go on, I dare you.

  • spartikus

    Why would Ballem/Gregor etc al, not release the SEVEN reports on file approving what the union claims was bad work?

    I don’t know, but I can speculate that the union’s evidence and the seven reports are so irreconcilable that one or the other is a complete lie.

    Some demand City Hall and politicians in general take an instant position, but if it was me I would want to know definitively which – union or reports – was right before I made a decision on releasing them. They might not be worth the paper they’re written on.

    I have no idea if that’s right or even if insulation on piping is all that important in the end. All I can say from my own (humble) experience with our condo’s rainscreen is that the code-violations were so numerous and egregious that I’ve often wondered if the inspector got of their car when approving our building.

    Your other, less relevant, question should be asked of the union and not us.

    Some here have alleged a conspiracy b/w this union and VV. My questions were meant to illustrate how this is not a compelling argument.

  • T W

    When there are disparate views on what is/was happening and all the parties are in varying degrees of conflict of interest, the only way to head of potential law suits years down the path, is for an independent third party review by a respected building professional who neither works on a daily basis with city hall, or local developers but is accepted and respected by both sides and who might bring some comfort to local taxpayers. What we seem to have is a group of special interests brawling over the spoils of the Village construction project to the detriment of the poor (and now poorer) taxpayers.

    How about some vision, Vision ?

  • My dentist’s assistant thinks the Olympic Village Housing is going to be full of mold. She read it in the newspaper. She wants to know what I think.

    I think it is absolutely incumbent on the City Manager, the Mayor, and Councillor Louie (WHO’S GOING TO INVESTIGATE THIS) to tell the public, with a great deal of fanfare, what was the outcome of the investigation. Is there a mold problem, or not. Somehow, I don’t think so, but we need them to tell the world. Because this is really our project, and our money at stake. Not to mention our reputation.

  • Not running for mayor

    I’ve heard collegues state that there are a few people that want the project to bomb.
    The project was sold to the public last fall as a failure, since then the market hasn’t tanked like expected and the loses on the project were looking to be minimal instead of enormous, they needed another angle on play.
    I hope for all our sakes it’s just conspricay talk as we don’t deserve that.