Flooding at Vancouver luxury condo tower caused by gasket failure, developer says
Vancouver House is seen in this image from April 2019.
VANCOUVER -- Residents of a landmark condo building in downtown Vancouver are cleaning up after a flood on an upper floor sent water cascading down the stairwells and rendered elevators inoperable Thursday night.
Vancouver House - the twisting 49-storey luxury tower with a top-heavy design that has become an iconic part of the city's skyline since reaching its full height in 2019 - saw a gasket on its domestic water line fail around 8:50 p.m. Thursday, according to a letter from building management to residents.
The failure in a valve on the 29th floor directly affected 17 units and also damaged elevator control panels, leaving three high-rise elevators out of service.
"Strata and the developer are working to investigate the cause and assess damages," the letter said. "While the investigation is still ongoing, at this time the cause appears to be due to a part failure."
A contractor has been asked to replace all gaskets of the model that failed as soon as possible, according to the letter.
A spokesperson for Westbank said Vancouver House is managed by its strata council and the council's property manager. Westbank remains the property manager for the building's “residential podium” and is involved in building management "in a limited capacity to assist the strata," the spokesperson said in an email.
Damage to the units is still being assessed, she said. That assessment will determine whether residents have to move out while repairs are completed.
If residents are forced to move while work is being done, they will be offered discounted accommodation, according to the spokesperson, who added repairs are expected to take about a month.
Real estate agent Tirajeh Mazaheri has sold units in Vancouver House in the past. She told CTV News Vancouver incidents like Thursday's sometimes happen, even in brand new buildings.
She said she finds a lot of online criticism of Westbank since Thursday's flood unfair.
"It does happen to other developers, and no one even comments," Mazaheri said.
Asked whether the incidents in new buildings that she was describing make her cautious about recommending such properties to her clients, she said condo presales are still "very appealing" for both investors and first-time buyers.
She encourages clients to always do their due diligence before buying any property, but added that "accidents do happen," even in buildings where there are no red flags.
Note: CTV News has learned that one of several videos of the flooding broadcast at 11:30 p.m. on April 17 was actually from a different building and not associated with Vancouver House. We regret that this happened.