2019 Multifamily
2nd Runner-Up

Homewood Suites is a six-story hotel built near the airport of Canada’s capital city, Ottawa. It’s the third major ICF build for the owner and contractor with more projects in the pipeline. They chose ICF because of the inherent energy efficiency in the Canadian climate, as well as its ability to absorb sound, both between guest rooms and from the outside jet traffic.

All the exterior walls are ICF, as well as the corridor and demising walls. In fact, the 95,000-sq.-ft. building used 67,680 sq. ft. of foam forming; 55,000 sq. feet in the exterior walls and more than 15,000 sq. ft on the interior. Even the six-story elevator shaft was constructed from ICF, with the interior face of foam stripped off after the pour. The exposed concrete face confirmed there was very little honeycombing, and no voids.

Amvic ICF was chosen for this job, based on its excellent performance with the GC and ICF installer on previous projects. Newcon ICF was the installation subcontractor, with Versatek Building as the general contractor. 

It was a fairly complex design, with multiple “bump-outs” on the exterior façade, which created many short wall lengths. These require more care to stack and brace correctly. 

The team used a turnbuckle bracing system from Plumwall that allows the wall to be adjusted from the scaffold on the top, rather than from the ground. Mitch Schaefer at Newcon ICF says the 250-foot-long corridor walls are perfectly straight, and “highlight the precision of execution” found throughout the hotel. Other challenging areas included the dining room’s tall walls, which reach 19 feet without intermediate floors; the exterior brick ledge on the third floor; and dealing with the extra reinforcing steel that comes with building on a seismically active site. The engineers chose a “post-and-beam” type rebar configuration, with columns and lintels of reinforcing steel inside the ICF forms.

Schaefer says the biggest difficulty was the weather. ICF work began in November, and workers dealt with snow and freezing temperatures for the duration of the 113 days it took to get the ICF walls erected. He says, “The insulated nature of the material was essential to the budget and timing of the project. Window openings were temporarily tarped closed and the building was effectively heated so that other trades could work efficiently as the exterior walls went up.”

He reports that the project went smoothly, and that the owners are already planning another ICF project with the same construction and design team. He adds, “Homewood Suites is the second of its type by the same key stake-holders along a major traffic artery close to an international airport in the country’s capitol. The ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by the regional MPP [member of provincial parliament], mayor and multiple city councilors.” 

Project Statistics

Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Type: Six-Story Hotel
Size: 95,000 sq. ft. (floor)
ICF Use: 67,680 sq. ft. 
Total Construction: 58 weeks
ICF Installation Time: 118 days


Construction Team

Owner: Homewood Suites
General Contractor: Versatek Building
ICF Installer: Newcon ICF
Form Distributor: Amvic
Architect: Woodman Architecture
Engineer: Cleland Jardine Engineering
ICF System: Amvic

Fast Facts

Adjacent to Airport
Winter Construction Schedule
Precast Floors on ICF Corbels
Third Major ICF Project for Team


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