New garden coming for West End building that lost 27 trees

The construction company behind a project that removed 27 trees from a West End garden to the ire of some neighbours is explaining why the parkade renovation is necessary — and assuring residents a new garden will replace the old one.

Andrew Creighton, principal building envelope specialist with BC Building Science, tells Daily Hive that residents at the Sandpiper at 1740 Comox Street have been experiencing leaks for some time due to the ageing waterproofing membrane of the building and its underground parkade.

greenery sandpiper west end

Daily Hive





Buildings’ waterproofing systems have a finite lifespan — usually no more than 40 years, Creighton said. As the concrete degrades from waterproof membrane damage, replacement of the membrane is required.

The underground parkade of the Sandpiper just happened to be underneath a lush garden enjoyed by residents. But the trees and shrubbery had to be removed for crews to dig underground and replace their work.

“Part of the issue that we also are dealing with related to some structures is that the original trees have essentially outgrown the spaces – they are now too heavy for some of the original concrete structures. This was the case with this building – the trees were very mature and large for a structure like this,” Creighton said in an email.

The good news? The greenery won’t be gone forever. BC Building Science has enlisted the services of Prospect and Refuge Landscape Architects to re-plant trees and vegetation to create a garden that’s as cost-conscious as building residents need it to be.

A plan for what the new garden will look like can be seen in Sandpiper’s real estate listings.

Building landscape


In fact, as per the City of Vancouver bylaws, 33 replacement trees will be planted for the 27 that were removed.

“Of course, they are not as mature as the trees that have to be removed but will mature and fill out over time,” Creighton said.

The construction noise will last several more months, with a forecasted completion date of May 2024. Creighton said projects like these are part of the lifecycle of any building that has trees planted over structures. They must periodically be restored.

“Over time, the landscaping matures and will regain the form and character necessary to again provide useable green spaces to be enjoyed by the owners of these properties – and the neighbourhood around them,” he said.