Langford rental building ‘may’ not be safe, say engineers

WatchIt's Langford's tallest residential rental building. People moved in just this spring, but right before Christmas they have to move out, after B.C.'s engineer watchdog is raising concerns over the structural integrity of the building. Kori Sidaway has more.

The lobby of a brand new Langford rental building was bustling Wednesday night.

But, it’s not the Christmas party tenants would like. Residents of Danbrook One are begin told, six months after moving in, they may not be safe in their homes.

“This is a brand new building, this shouldn’t be happening. It’s a week before Christmas,” said Tad Martin, who lives in one of the 90 apartments in the high-rise.

READ MORE: Concerns raised over Langford apartment building’s structural design

Multiple engineers say Langford’s tallest residential rental building, may not be structurally sound.

“There were some deficiencies, some of the engineers have said, but they wouldn’t say for sure, they would say maybe,” said Langford Mayor Stew Young.

“But when you tell me ‘maybe’ as mayor, I have to err on the side of caution. If it is [unsafe] what do we do?”

The city of Langford and the province’s engineering governing body Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia are conducting their own structural reviews.

“We are at the beginning stages of our investigation, and we need to allow our process to proceed in a comprehensive, careful and procedurally fair way – so it’s challenging to estimate a timeline at this stage,” said the Engineers and Geoscientists of BC in a statement.

As the city of Lanford’s own independent engineering review takes place, the city is offering to foot the bill for hotel stays and moving costs for residents who now feel unsafe.

“It is a bit scary actually not knowing the full extent of what the complaint is about,” said Sioirse Chappell who lives in the building.

The 11-storey building is owned by Centurion Property Associates, and was built by Design Build Services, a family company that’s built in the area for over two decades.

“Safety is of utmost importance to us; we are aware of the independent review underway,” said Design Build Services in a statement.

Both the city and the building company say they rely on engineers, to make sure their buildings are safe.

“An engineer designs the building and he puts his stamp on it in every single city in this province,” said Mayor Young.

“It’s nothing to do with speed, or anything else. It takes 18 months to build a building, the engineer signs off on everything and we get it and we assume they’re correct. We’re just double-checking it right now.”

The city of Langford hopes their independent engineering review will be ready either Friday or Monday.

“We have friends in the building who have kids, and it’s not even eight days till Christmas. The disappointment, the stress, it’s insane.”

Until then, for many tenants, it’s wait and see.

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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