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Urban Lofts
Guelph, Ontario
URBN Lofts, located in Guelph, Ontario, is a six-storey total precast concrete apartment building with one storey underground. The condo building consists of 93 one & two- bedroom units ranging from 390 to 900 sq. ft. for a total size of 80,000 sq. ft. The newly built upscale rental building features open concept units ranging from studio suites to spacious two-bedroom suites. The suites feature carefully designed layouts, elegant modern finishes, balconies with electricity, and plenty of natural light.
 
 
Total Precast Concrete Offers Fast and Efficient Construction
The precast concrete construction started in May 2020 and was completed in July 2020. It only took 10 weeks for the total precast concrete structure to go from the ground floor to the 6th floor! The building was ready for occupancy in the spring of 2021.
 
The precast concrete producer opted to use a crawler crane on the southwest side of the structure to install the precast concrete components in a tight and restricted construction area. The residents wanted balconies equipped with exterior electricity and to make this happen, the precast concrete supplier included the electrical boxes in the precast concrete wall panels which were manufactured off-site in a controlled manufacturing facility. Using this method, allowed for a faster and more efficient installation onsite.
 
 
The project consists of:
 
  • 86,900+ sq.ft. hollowcore floor slabs and balconies combined
  • 62,700+ sq.ft. precast solid and insulated wall panels combined
  • 400 lf. precast beams and columns combined
  • 2,000+ sq.ft. precast stairs and landings combined
     

One of the biggest challenges that the precast concrete producer encountered was providing insulated wall panels and minimize thermal bridging within the precast concrete components. The precast concrete producer reduced the connections and found a quick solution for the balconies and wing walls, which are completely outside the building, to address some of those challenges. In addition, the balconies are supported with wing walls to maintain the open concept and to maximize the 10” hollowcore spans that optimize the suite layouts.

A Flawless Finish
A brick formliner with a multi-tonal stain from Nawkaw was used to create a realistic pattern and to achieve a beautiful finish that is modern and blends with the surrounding neighbourhood. In order to be more visually pleasing, the precaster found a way to hide the vertical wall joints with the wing walls, allowing the brick formliner to blend flawlessly across the entire building. The building façade also features precast concrete canopies that provide a pop of colour that perfectly complete the look of this modern apartment building.

The design features not only contributed to the overall aesthetics of the building but also allowed the owner to save on costs. A win-win for any project owner!

The precaster along with the teams from Tacoma Engineers, Sierra Construction Group and MMMC Inc. Architects were able to finish this total precast concrete project quickly and efficiently, all while successfully meeting all of the project deadlines.   

Check out this video by Sierra General Contracting Inc. which shows the precast concrete wall panels being installed, click here.
 
Photos courtesy of Stubbe’s Precast
 
References: 
https://stubbes.org/inform.php?projid=95&projsubcatid=1&nv=228 
https://www.sierraconstruction.ca/post/construction-farley-apartments 
https://www.concreteawards.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Stubbes-Project-Fact-Sheet-URBN-Lofts-Guelph.pdf
Owner:
Reid’s Heritage Properties
Architect:
MMMC Architects
Engineer:
Tacoma Engineers
Precast Supplier:
Stubbe’s Precast
General Contractor:
Sierra General Contracting Inc.
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