Architect: IBI Group

Engineering: J.H Cohoon Engineering (structural) | Mighton Engineering (Electrical) | Collins Engineering (Mechanical)

Year Completed: 2023

Erection Time: 48 Hours

Location: Brantford, ON

Use type: Low Income | Emergency Solution | Rapid Housing

About the project

The proposal for 177 Colborne was a much-needed affordable development with stringent budget constraints and timing requirements. The 4-storey building design is made up of 40 individual self -supporting steel framed volumetric modules that arrived to site with complete with fully finished interiors, fire suppression systems and connection ready. The building totals 20,397 square feet, consisting of 26 studio residential units, each approximately 330 square feet in size. Among these, there are 4 barrier-free double modular units. The ground level hosts commercial office spaces available for rent, fostering a mixed-use environment. The intended purpose is to provide safe and dignified housing to some of the City and County’s older (55+) vulnerable homeless or under-housed individuals to further free up shelter spaces.

Due to an unforeseen environmental delays in field construction, a 12 -month setback for contamination and remediation processes was realized. Given the projects funding structure and timeline this posed a significant challenge. ANC acted as the design builder and manufacturer, further streamlining the entire construction process by pivoting to complete modularization -taking the original ‘in-field’ scope and building it entirely out of modular components off-site.

Stairwells, laundry rooms, elevator lobbies, elevator shafts, and maintenance rooms were relocated from field work into our plant. These components were fabricated, shipped, and erected along with the rest of the building, effectively saving a month of winter field construction work. All modular components were erected within 48 hours with minor finishing work to be completed on-site. A creative approach to corridors was adopted, designing distinct steel frames paired with poured concrete corridors. This combination serves a dual purpose; to enhance the building’s structural integrity and maximizes the ceiling height within corridors without compromising occupiable space in the residential units and bypassing barrier of transportation.

The building was constructed with a level of adaptability in mind. Walls can be opened to permit multiple modules to be combined, increasing an apartment’s square footage and potentially adding additional bathrooms and bedrooms as needed. The same structural frame can be utilized to add a barrier-free lift system throughout, without the need for added reinforcing should one be needed for a tenant.

Translation to production efficiencies 83%
Design efficiencies observed 67%
Design repeatability 84%
Percentage of pre-fabricated structure 100%
Customization 16%
Logistics complexity 83%
Logistics efficiency 86%
Erection complexity 93%
Erection efficiency 85%

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