Ground was broken on a unique new low-rise condominium development this Saturday (March 14).
Concordia Homes Ltd. are choosing to use steel and concrete construction in the building of Highpointe, which will be located at 227th St. and Lougheed Hwy.
“People around B.C. have been building with wood for decades because it’s cheap, it’s accessible and we’re a province that produces it,” said Wayne Lyles, Concordia’s director of sales and marketing.
“The developer just decided to spend a little more, and build a building that’s a little higher quality,” Lyles added.
“It was a bit of a leap of faith but it’s worked amazingly well.
“The bigger deals are, you don’t have dry wall cracks, because it doesn’t shrink; it’s mould resistant because it’s not a natural product; and steel is not going to burn.”
Lyles went on to say the decision to build in steel was made prior to the new insurance policies affecting condo buildings across B.C.
“Our insurance will go up like everyone else but not to the extent a wood building will, because we’re going to have less issues.
“Concordia has just arranged their construction insurance, and it is one third the cost of the typical wood frame construction insurance, and we anticipate lower Strata Insurance costs once the building is done.”
So far 65 of the 153 available units for the building have been sold already, meaning they have been able to break ground a little earlier than they supposed.
“We thought we’d be doing the ground breaking in the middle of summer and the ceremony occurred in March, which is great.
“The actual dirt will start moving in April.”
While steel and concrete buildings are rare, Highpointe will be built right next door to the last building of its kind constructed in Maple Ridge.
The Emerald Manor is a 55+ condo development built in 1996 by Roger Schlosser.
Lyle said steel and concrete construction has come a long way since then.
“At Highpointe, in addition to the steel wall structure, the floors are also steel along with structural concrete up to 10 1/2 inches thick which is reinforced with rebar.”
The ground breaking ceremony saw some members of city council come by to show their support for the new construction.
Concordia Home opted to focus on the local aspect of the building.
“Because Maple Ridge is a very unique city – we’ve got all these streams, mountains, lakes, trails right at our doorstep – we had a draw for a cross-country horse back riding trip, fly fishing lessons, a couple golf passes and other local goods and services.”