Woodframe construction site burns down

There was a huge fire in Richmond last night: the Remy was to be a mixed use complex with market housing and low income housing units. It was also the very first building to be constructed under controversial changes to the BC building code that allows higher wood frame construction. The fire knocked out electricty to about a 1,000 people in Richmond and burning ash started other small fires. By midnight all Richmond firefighters were on scene.

The development, “The Remy,” at 9388 Cambie, was to have been a 188-unit condo development that included varied affordable-housing options.

Premier Gordon Campbell was on hand to mark its groundbreaking in June of 2010. Taking advantage of building-code changes introduced in 2009, The Remy was to have been one of the first developments in B.C. to go more than four storeys high using wood, rather than concrete.

But in 2009, according to news reports, Richmond Fire Rescue warned the taller wood buildings could be a fire hazard, as the city’s ladder trucks could only reach 18 metres — around 12 metres short of a six-storey building.

Speaking to the Richmond Review in 2010 about those concerns, Campbell noted that the building-code changes had come with new fire safety standards, including a requirement for sprinklers that extended to balconies.

“This is done up to the most modern standards… It’s safe and secure housing for everyone,” he said. He noted that some cities build wood-framed building of up to nine storeys.

Read the full article over at the Vancouver Sun.

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Flip Flop
Guest
Flip Flop

If I were a developer I'd be setting my building on fire too. Gotta wonder how much more was just made on an insurance claim, than if they had tried to sell the units when it finished. The insurance company should wait until the date of completion and offer them fair market value. I'll be interested to hear what the cause ends up being.

Good post over on Mish's blog today.

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/

Royce McCutcheon
Guest
Royce McCutcheon

Makes me think of 3333 Main Street.

http://i51.tinypic.com/206xzs0

I can see it coming up over the trees in the distance from my place. Seems kind of nuts to me to build like this, but I freely admit that's a gut reaction and not an informed opinion.

CelicaMan
Guest
CelicaMan

It is a shame when building code becomes politically as opposed to technically driven.

space889
Guest
space889

Interesting take on the safety issue. Personally I would not leave in a mid/high rise wood frame building, even if the floors are concrete. Some sprinklers aren't going to be that helpful when all the walls go up in flame in a hurry.

James
Guest
James

It seems crazy to build a four-storey wood frame building, let alone six. That fire was an amazing site to see from the Cambie & 41st area last night.

REIC is watching us
Guest
REIC is watching us

The poll found British Columbia was the province in which respondents were most likely to see themselves involved a home bidding war, at 25 per cent. The response rate was lowest in Quebec, at four per cent.

Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/Spring+homebuyers+faci

M-
Member

Since this condo was under construction, it was missing siding and wallboard, which form an important part of the fire protection.

I wonder how much this will scare people away from woodframe condos altogether– it's a pretty dramatic example of a building going up in flames!

4444 4444 4444 4444
Guest
4444 4444 4444 4444

Sorry off topic……

But must inform board of the curse of 4444 getting a form grip.

Soon it will become common knowledge that Richmond is sinking.

RE Bad news for 44 years.

Van MD
Guest
Van MD

Percentage Down Payment Mainland Chinese buyers put down:

(a running poll on iask.ca, one of the biggest Mainland Chinese forum/news website)

http://forum.iask.ca/poll.php?do=showresults&…

100% Cash – 6.88%

80-90% DP – 1.88%

60-75% DP – 1.88%

50% DP – 11.88%

40% DP – 5.00%

35% DP – 20.63%

25-30% DP – 25.62%

15-20% DP – 16.88%

10% DP – 3.75%

5% DP – 5.63%

jesse
Member

@M-: " wonder how much this will scare people away from woodframe condos "

But with proper fire inhibitors in place fire will spread significantly slower and firefighters would have likely been able to contain it. I remember a development in Surrey that went up in smoke 3 years ago, and another at Sun Peaks Resort. I cannot recall any completed building built to code being burned to the ground.

What's the bet the builder decided to cheap out on security for the site?

Patiently Waiting
Member
Patiently Waiting

@REIC is watching us: Not sure why I'm being voted down. That's evidence that Canadians are the ones doing the bidding wars, not offshore Asians.

Patiently Waiting
Member
Patiently Waiting

@Patiently Waiting: Just to clarify 🙂 "REIC is watching us" is what I use on my laptop when outside of my house.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@Van MD:

All the 8's are a nice touch.

Still though, the majority put less than 30% down.

Supraboy
Guest
Supraboy

I bet you the fire in Richmond was caused by a group of idiot canuck fans. Next thing you know, those classless hasbeens will burn down the Art Gallery and the strip of shops on Robson.

patriotz
Member
Active Member

@M-:

I wonder how much this will scare people away from woodframe condos

About as much as the OV will scare people away form concrete condos I would think.

Nobody with any sense would be buying condos at today's prices in the first place.

Ravishing Rick
Guest
Ravishing Rick

China’s ‘Hawkish’ Central Bank May Tighten Even as Economic Growth Cools

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-04/china-s-

Bubble Lad
Guest
Bubble Lad

God I love BC: the "all popsicle stick construction" has got to be the best idea since Johhny Nucleo's Top Of The Reactor Restaurant.

…or maybe the Fast Ferries

…or the Olympic Village

…or paying a million dollars for a tear down in Kits

…did I miss anything?

space889
Guest
space889

Nice – BC Families expect to pay $350/year more due to HST.

So much for being "expense neutral" for the average family.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/families+more+ye

space889
Guest
space889

Another company that doesn't know how to rank cities properly. PWC's 26 most successful city in the world and Vancouver's not even in the list?! Geez, how do these people keep their jobs with this kind of sloppy work? Don't they know Vancouver is the envy of the world and everyone wants to come here? Beside all the natural amenities and just general awesomeness, we also got the only LEED Platinium building in the world, state of the art transportation with the Canada Line, and a downtown with the highest residential high-rise density in the world. 🙂

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Pricewaterho

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@space889:

I still wonder what happend to all the money they got from the feds for the HST (1.6 billion), looting ICBC (800 million) and raising hydro rates 29% (250 million this year alone with a 9% increase). Oh that's right we had the olympics and now there's a new roof on BC place stadium for MLS soccer, cause this town is supposedly soccer crazed. What a bunch of crooks, I'm not an NDP supporter, but 500 million on fast ferries (which could have be altered and rendered usable for 50million but then we wouldn't have apolitical eye sore now would we) seems like a drop in the bucket.

space889
Guest
space889

@space889: FYI, the comments in posts are sacarsm…

logic
Guest
logic

@20 anonymous:

If the province/city thought that the city was soccer-crazed, they would have let the caps build the waterfornt stadium (at their own expense), rather than put the silly upsidedown Bud cap on BC place.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@CelicaMan: …It is a shame when building code becomes politically as opposed to technically driven….

It's a shame when anything gets politically driven.

Troll
Guest
Troll

Pretty strong April stats, esp. considering some demand was pulled into March due to new rules. The market continues to confound bears and bulls alike.

Extremely rich Van h
Guest

@Van MD:

It is a batan lie,only participated by few net idiots.indeed,most of those houses purchased by wealthy mainland Chinese in Vancouver are cash transactions,which has never be witnessed or recorded humand history.China nowaday,North From Mongolia, South from Hainan province are awashed with cash and real gold that a ordinary factory worker can afford a shopping spree in Hong Kong where you can see millions of cash swaollened Chinese lining up for LV,jewerly………for miles away.China has accumulated so much wealth that beyond human history recorded in the past 10 thousands yrs.

wpDiscuz