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Developer moves elevators outside due to virus

December 2, 2020

Open roof top; elevators shifted outside.
Rendering: Qualex-Landmark

Vancouver developer Qualex-Landmark has made some dramatic design changes to two new Metro Vancouver condominium projects to reflect the “new normal” as a result of the pandemic.
“Fortunately, the architecture allowed us to make modifications though the projects were already close to construction,” said Jordan Beach, the company’s vice-president of marketing.
Qualex-Landmark plans to start about 300 units of housing in Metro Vancouver in 2021. It will introduce pandemic-proofing designs in a high-end 48-unit strata development in Vancouver and a mixed subsidized rental and market condo project in Burnaby’s Metrotown, according to Beach. Both projects are to start construction in January.
“At the Legacy on Dunbar, we have introduced a number of measures to reflect the new world we live in,” Beach said.
These measures include moving the two elevators for the five-storey project from inside to the north and south exterior of the building to reduce resident congestion. Also, most building amenities were moved outside—including an open-air rooftop lounge.
The ventilation system was changed to individual filtered systems for each unit to reduce the use of recycled air throughout the project. The common areas are also equipped with specific air exchangers that draw and exhaust directly to the outside, Beach explained.
In the Burnaby project, touchless entry doors and touchless faucets will be used. Touchpoints in common areas, such as a children’s playroom, will be coated with anti-microbial material, such as brass and bronze. Floors and countertops will use non-porous materials that allow for easy sanitization, Beach added. Sanitization stations are being custom-built into walls in the lobby, and Qaulex-Landmark is also looking at voice-activated smart appliances, which are widely available.
“These are all cost-effective procedures to put in place,” Beach said, referring to automatic doors or using ultraviolet light to sterilize ventilation systems. “It is quite shocking how little they do cost. It actually makes the home more marketable and it doesn’t cost the consumer or developer anything additional,” he noted.
Beach believes these design features will become more common in new homes, even if a vaccine ends the current pandemic.
“I think that, going forward, sanitization measures will become huge in new homes, as well as in furniture and appliance design. The pandemic has changed the way people think. This is the new normal,” Beach said.

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