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Novella | Ready for Rain!

Chapter 5

Fall is officially upon us and with the change in season comes a new set of challenges in the construction world. Rain can inconvenience an array of tasks, some of the most obvious of which include concrete work and weather proofing. Luckily for us, our schedule has us battening down the hatches right in time for the rainy season.

With the decommissioning of our hammerhead crane now finalized, we were able to finish up the last bit of concrete work at the end of August. Reminder: In order for us to keep the crane on site during concrete work, we had to form the building around it. Inevitably this left us with block-outs in the concrete on each floor when the crane was finally removed. With these holes now filled, waterproofing has commenced on the roof, as well as other areas around the site.

Waterproofing comes in a variety of forms including torch on bitumen based membranes, hot liquid rubber and elastomeric coatings, to name a few. The first two are applied with heat and used to prevent water ingress on large, flat surfaces i.e. the roof of a building or an underground parkade. Once applied, a flood test is then conducted by – yes, you guessed it – flooding the area with water, to ensure that no evidence of leaks are observed.

An elastomeric coating on the other hand, is used on walls to ensure that water does not penetrate the building. It is a tough, flexible film that expands and contracts in order to bridge hairline cracks which are common in concrete construction. At Novella, the elastomeric coating is actually combined with the exterior paint meaning that the colour seen on the building and the elastomeric coating are in fact one and the same.

After earning a passing grade on our parkade flood test, drainage mat is installed over the membrane and Styrofoam blocks are placed on top. These blocks are known as “voiding” and are used as a filler to help prepare certain areas for landscaping efforts that require varied elevations. Dirt or concrete would be another option here, but this material is 50 times lighter than other typical fills and is impermeable to water. It does the trick, without adding unnecessary stress/weight to the parkade.

Windows are another obvious way to ensure that weather sensitive tasks inside the building (think: electrical, drywall etc.) stay nice and dry. Window installers use a self-adhesive membrane (SAM), liquid traffic membrane, flashing strips and caulking to ensure that rain stays outside where it belongs. A window test is then conducted by mimicking rainfall outside and creating a vacuum inside in order to observe whether or not any water ingress occurs. Have no fear – we got an A+ from our envelope consultant on this one.

With the window install nearing completion on the upper levels, I tend to spend most of my time down below where the suites are really starting to take shape. It’s a highly rewarding stage in the construction process because it really is the first time that you get a true feel for the character of each home. The act of walking through a suite that you’ve only ever seen on paper – knowing just how much effort went into defining that space – is a real treat. And with drywall already in on level 1 and interior finishes not far off, I can tell you that the next chapter in this novella will be one that you won’t want to miss.



Katelyn Hollenbeck

Katelyn is the Development Manager at Springbank Properties. With degrees in finance and economics under her belt, she made the move out west in search of clearer waters, bigger mountains and to pursue her passion for real estate. She is an avid mountain biker, fervent foody and oversees all things related to this novella.