Residents in Langford’s tallest apartment building, the Danbrook One, are finding alternate accommodations after concerns about the building’s structural integrity have prompted an investigation from the Engineers and Geoscientists BC (EGBC).
The association – which oversees B.C. professional engineers and geoscientists – notified the City of Langford about an investigation into one of its members on Dec. 3. The engineer is being looked into for possible violations to the building code.
On Wednesday, the City of Langford notified residents of the 11-storey Danbrook One, located at 2766 Claude Rd., about the investigation. It’s a 90-unit building with 86 units occupied by tenants, many of whom moved into the building in the spring.
After hearing about the concerns, Yetunde Bada decided to stay the night with her three children and leave the building Thursday morning.
“We’re prepared for the worst…and the best,” says #Langford Mayor Stew Young.
— Aaron Guillen (@iaaronguillen) December 19, 2019
Residents of the building were given the option to leave on Wednesday or Thursday. Bada said she and her family will be staying in a hotel for the next two days.
“Naturally you feel scared. I was at first confused, but I had to talk myself into realizing that engineers found out. If it didn’t collapse in April it wasn’t going to collapse overnight,” Bada said. “It’s psychologically deflating but we’ll work around it.”
The City of Langford has hired WSP Global Inc., an internationally-recognized engineering firm, to undertake an independent investigation into the building’s structure design and as-built structure. The safety and performance of the building will be assessed.
Langford Mayor Stew Young said the City anticipates the report from WSP in the coming days. The worst-case scenario is that the building is not structurally sound and that residents will have to move out.
Young said appropriate steps – including finding new homes for the tenants – will be taken if necessary. The building owner, Centurion Property Associates, will assist tenants who choose to relocate by finding them comparable accommodations in one of their six properties – four of which are in Langford.
The City has also identified another rental property at Goldstream Avenue and Leigh Road that is ready for occupants. Young said City staff have spent numerous hours assessing the situation and are prepared for the worst.
“We are prepared for every instance,” he said on Wednesday. “We are prepared to move the whole building, one tenant or nobody.”
City staff were in the lobby of the Danbrook One from 2 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday and will be there all day Thursday until 9 p.m. as well.
Since the complaint was registered with the EGBC and there is a formal investigation underway, the City of Langford would not comment on details of the complaint.
Megan Archibald, communications director with the Engineers and Geoscientists BC, said the association is required by law to keep details of any ongoing investigations confidential and was unable to share any more information about it.