Located in the city of Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada, the Encana Events Centre was built in 2008 and is a focal point of the region. The venue is a multi-event arena with 4,500 permanent seats. For a time, the Encana Events Centre was home to the Dawson Creek (DC) Rage, a National Hockey League (NHL) farm team. Currently, the arena is a premier entertainment facility that holds concerts, sporting and community events (including hockey), and traveling Broadway shows and musicals.
According to Jeff Kennedy of Applied Coatings and Restoration, the relatively new building was showing substantial cracking throughout the concrete concourse ring above the arena floor and also in the ticketing and main entrance area. “The concrete deck was extremely cracked; it looked like a road map. Our job was to provide a new surface that would promote strength, be aesthetically pleasing, and inhibit the potential for future cracking. For these reasons, we applied a Flowcrete Flowfast flexible MMA [methyl methacrylate] system,” stated Kennedy.
Applied Coatings and Restoration is a company based in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, and it works with engineering firms throughout Greater Vancouver to provide quality installations of performance flooring, traffic membranes, expansion joints, and concrete restorations. “We currently employ approximately 35 people and sent a crew of 6 to perform the work at the Encana Events Center,” said Kennedy.
Big Job, Tight Timeline
Over the course of six weeks, the Applied Coatings crew worked on this high-profile 28,000-square-foot (2,601.3 m²) job. Half of the project involved the concourse ring above the arena floor and the other consisted of the main entrance, box office area, and main corridor. “For both the concourse ring and the main entrance/corridor areas, we divided the floor into 4,000–5,000 square foot [371.6–464.5 m²] sections in order to effectively manage the work,” explained Kennedy.
It was imperative that the crew get the job done on time, as no major events could be scheduled during the surface preparation or repair and coating process. However, this didn’t mean that the Encana Event Centre was not bustling with activity. “The Wayne and Bev Dahlen Walking Track is located on the third floor of the Event Centre and is accessed via the adjacent Kenn Borek Aquatic Center. Both the walking track and the pool area were open during the entire project, so our crew worked mainly at night,” explained Kennedy.
He pointed out that not only was finishing the job on time important, but keeping the adjacent facilities open during the project was vital to the city. “We worked on the Events Centre during the late fall and early winter, so it was already frigidly cold up there. It was important to the city to keep the indoor pool and track available to its citizens,” stated Kennedy.
To keep on schedule, the Applied Coatings and Restoration team often worked 10- to 12-hour nights, six nights a week. And since Dawson Creek is a 16-hour drive north from their Maple Ridge office, the team stayed in Dawson Creek for the duration of the job. The crew worked closely with the Encana Events Centre management and maintenance staff to coordinate logistics and keep everyone apprised of the latest progress on the job. “Because of our constant communication with the event center team, there were very few interruptions in access to the floor. As a result, we wrapped up a little early,” said Kennedy.
The Main Event
The first order of business for the Applied Coatings crew was to properly prepare the cracked substrate to receive the Flowfast MMA coating system. Using an SASE Trimmer 10-inch (25.4 cm) blaster, the crew shot blasted the concrete to open up the existing cracks in the concrete and ready them for repair. “Since the shot-blasting opened up the cracks, the repair portion of the job was fairly simple. We pre-striped the cracks with the FlowFast Slurry to promote adhesion and minimize the telegraphing of the cracks to the new surface,” said Kennedy. The FlowFast Slurry, a cementitious self-leveling material, was troweled and squeegeed into the cracks prior to the application of the primer coat.
In addition to shot blasting and pre-striping the cracked areas, the Applied Coatings team prepared the edges of the concrete with Hilti DG 150 grinders with vacuum attachments. Where coving was necessary, the crew used concrete board to create a suitable substrate up the walls.
With all of the surface prep completed, it was time for the team to apply the Flowcrete Flowfast Flexible MMA system. According to Kennedy, this system has an extremely fast cure time and offers excellent chemical, wear, and slip resistance, making it an excellent choice for the concourse ring, main entrance, and corridor areas of the Encana Events Centre. “It has a seamless and durable finish that can stand up to the heavy foot traffic these areas experience,” said Kennedy.
The first step of the installation process was to apply the Flowfast MMA standard primer at a thickness of approximately 15 mils (381.0 microns). “We pushed out the material using 18-inch [45.7 cm] rollers,” explained Kennedy. The next layer to be applied was the FlowFast Flexible Slurry, an aggregate-filled self-leveling material that was tinted and seeded, also known as broadcast, to rejection with colored flake. “This body coat was installed at a thickness of an 1/8th of an inch [3.2 mm] with an 1/8-inch [3.2 mm] nub roller,” said Kennedy. The slurry was then backrolled with a spike roller.
It was then time for two coats of Flowfast Sealer to be applied at a thickness of approximately 15 mils (381.0 microns) each. The sealer was installed with 18-inch (45.7 cm) rollers. Throughout the entire application process, the crew adhered to safety requirements and used the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including safety goggles, gloves, Tyvek suits, and North half masks with respirator cartridges.
Take Center Stage
According to Kennedy, the success and early wrap-up of this high profile job at Encana Events Centre can be attributed to two key factors: coordination between the Event Centre staff and the Applied Coatings and Restoration crew as well as the fast cure of the Flowcrete MMA system. “The fast cure of the material made it possible to work, ventilate the area, and have the adjacent areas open for use by the community. We were also very fortunate to have the space to store all the material inside the facility. This meant that the frigid temperatures outside were not a consideration as far as the coating application process,” stated Kennedy. After this recoat project, the show will go on!