Canadian Contractor

John Bleasby   

Naikoon redefines ‘building on the edge’

Canadian Contractor

Vancouver contractor proves there’s no such thing as 'site problems', just 'creative solutions'

With West Coast real estate prices escalating well into nose-bleed territory, there’s hardly a stretch of property not being considered for infill, re-development, or tear-down and replacement. And when it comes to the waterfront around Vancouver, it’s a no-holes-barred situation.

It's 100 steps down the hill from the street level garage to the main house

It’s 100 steps down the hill from the street level garage to the main house

Naikoon Contracting Ltd., an award-winning builder based in North Vancouver, took on a real challenge building what will be a spectacular modern home on a narrow lot at the base of a steep hillside on Deep Cove on Indian Arm, a protected inlet near Mount Seymour National Park. The main house is being built right on the water, while the garage is high above at street level. Given that there are already houses on either side of the lot and therefore no side access, the challenge for Naikoon site manager Ryan Simpson has been to move men and materials up and down the long drop to the main house site.

 

The 'Spidex' excavator made the site clearing job far easier than doing it manually

The ‘Spidex’ excavator made the site clearing job far easier than doing it manually

Clearing the site by hand was not a viable option
A hillside tramway was built to transport everything to house site. (The tramway will later be used by the owners for moving day-to-day items, like food). The bulk of the site then had to be cleared. Naikoon called in a unique excavator called the ‘Spidex’, which cleared trees and their stumps in a way that was an unimaginable job by hand. Debris was off loaded at the bottom and then taken away by barge while new materials were brought in; 14 trips in total.

Check out this video of a huge tree stump being removed…
CLICK HERE

 

Four truckloads of concrete squeezed down a narrow road to unload at the top of the site. Note the pipe through which the concrete flows down the hill.

Four truckloads of concrete squeezed down a narrow road to unload at the top of the site. Note the pipe through which the concrete flows down the hill.

Pumping concrete 400 feet  and down a hill?
Once the forms were set up for the house’s footings and foundation walls, the next challenge was transporting four truckloads of concrete to the waterside pour location, and to pour it in a steady, consistent manner. However, there was a slight (!) problem. As the company web site explains, “We realized we’d need four concrete trucks to get the job done, but the barge (which we’ve been using to deliver materials to the build site) can only hold three. So instead, the trucks drove up a steep road to the top of the hill, then line-pumped concrete 400 ft. down the slope to the boom pump on the barge for placement.” The line pumps kept the flow steady as required, so the boom truck could lay the concrete into position with consistency.

 

The boom pump vehicle was barged into place at the water's edge, while line pumps brought the concrete down from street level

The boom pump vehicle was barged into place at the water’s edge, while line pumps brought the concrete down from street level

Watch a video of the process, including aerial footage. It’s very impressive!

CLICK HERE

(Thanks to Naikoon Constracting Ltd. for the photos and videos.)

 

 

 

 

 

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