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Revitalizing the Paving at Canada Place
Romex Materials Used for Paving Base

By Wolfgang Worrmann, Romex Materials LLC


In preparation for Canada's sesquicentennial celebration in 2017, the landscaping and paving at the iconic Canada Place building in Vancouver, B.C., was refreshed and given a new look. This particular segment of renovation was on the plaza deck, which is over parking areas and office spaces. A three-color paving pattern was selected, and grouting products from Romex Materials were used to secure the pavers into place.


To ensure a successful installation, the team went through both on- and off-site trainings for the four products used: one to bind the base course, one to adhere the paving to the base, and two grout products.

In the summer of 2016, the Port of Vancouver commissioned a design team to refresh and provide a new identity to the tired looking landscaping and paving of "The North Point" of Canada Place in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. Between the cruises that dock there, the conferences held in its exhibition halls, and its tourist attractions such as "Fly Over Canada," tens of thousands of people visit the iconic building annually.

Aside from the volume of traffic, the building itself is extremely dynamic, built on piers and able to move slightly with the ocean's tidal cycle. The plaza deck partially covers office space as well as parking areas. With that in mind, and the failure of previous paving systems, the design team faced a tough task in specifying a system that would be able to meet the tough demands of the site, last the test of time and give the aesthetics required.

The previous system consisted of a drain mat, 2" of rigid insulation, 2" of concrete, and terracotta tile (1/2") that was grouted with typical cementitious grout. With the office space below and requirements for insulation, and the constraints of the existing building, this gave the team a significant problem in terms of the slope and drainage required to ensure puddles are not left on the surface, as well as ensuring the decay, which occurred over the past 15 years, doesn't happen again.


The two permeable grouting products were color matched, mixed in buckets and applied to the joints with a squeegee. After allowing the grout to set in the joints for at least 15 minutes, the excess mortar was swept off.


Installation was completed on schedule and in time for the start of the 2017 tourist season. The base and grout products are covered by a ten-year warranty.

Towards the end of the design process and with the construction starting point fast approaching, Romex, a manufacturer of synthetic resin paving jointing mortar, was brought in by the lead firm on the plaza design to discuss how their products, when used together, could solve some of the issues experienced with the previous system. The final product would have strength, flexibility, permeability, frost resistance, low maintenance and the ability to carry high loads at low depths.

The team was immediately interested. With this system, the paving would be maintenance free, and could be pressure washed daily if required. It would also be able to take the light vehicle loads imposed by scissor lifts or other equipment needed in setting up for events. The team was particularly thrilled by the 10-year warranty for the selected products.

To test the system, a 10'x10' mock-up was constructed. The Trass Bedding, a permeable bedding mortar, served as a binding agent for the base course. The Elutriant adhered the stone slabs to the base. D1 Grouting was used in conjunction with Flex Joint, which has rubber particles that allow the pavers to bounce back into place after pressure is applied.

Following an additional round of testing carried out by a local engineering company, the system was cleared for use in the paving revitalization at Canada Place. The manufacturer was backed up on all the reference calls, mock ups, and testing, and provided the installer with training to ensure the project ran smoothly. It was completed on time, despite some unpredictable weather and challenging site conditions.

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December 6, 2019, 1:12 pm PDT

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