“To build cost-effectively and be able to create apartments that are still affordable is a scientific challenge,” says Francis Lépine who learned the building trade from the ground up. His extensive knowledge has been integral in perfecting a process that sees the interior construction of a building start first while the exterior comes on after.
As an example, the Saint Émilion, a 154-unit building, looked like an architectural version of one of those transparent human anatomy models where all the building’s innards were exposed, from the heavy slabs of concrete and columns to the steel studs and networks of plumbing, electrical and mechanical that were installed for efficiency, ease of maintenance, and reliability. Then came one of the innovations for which Lépine is famous: a simpler, more efficient way to put the finishing touch to the building’s exterior — the gift wrap, Lépine calls it.
“We have perfected, with the co-operation of contractors, techniques in how to put up the exterior panels and the sequencing of what goes in first. There are a lot of little nuts and bolts — actually, bolts—that go into it.” Claims the knowledgeable builder.
Now, Lépine contractors have a time-saving process for bolting panels in place by first attaching them to sophisticated anchors and plates, freeing up the crane. Workers adjust the panels up and down with a crowbar to fit them snugly before bolting and welding them to the building permanently. It takes five minutes and the crane moves to the next panel.
Construction of The Normand has begun in Kanata, and a site in Orleans will soon begin construction. Meanwhile, the Saint Émilion in Kanata Lakes, The Lépine Lodge in Renfrew, and the Howard Grant in Barrhaven will be the “crème de la crème” of premium rentals, as Francis Lépine says, offering very large units. There are floor plans for every discerning taste, high ceilings, large terraces and patios, and well-appointed amenities.