Bow building owners file lawsuit over design problems

The owner of the Bow building says it's suing several companies to cover the cost of fixing defects in the iconic highrise in downtown Calgary. Construction substantially finished in 2012 but the company says numerous problems have cropped up since.

Company says most of the problems already fixed but it's trying to cover its costs

The owners of the Bow building, and iconic highrise in downtown Calgary, say they were forced to repair several issues that cropped up since it opened in 2012. (Kyle Bakx/CBC)

The owner of Calgary's iconic Bow building has filed a $50-million lawsuit against companies involved in its construction.

Work on the tallest building in the city was substantially completed in 2012, but the lawsuit filed by H and R Real Estate Investment Trust outlines numerous problems with the 58-storey office building: 

  • Problems with the hot and cold water systems.
  • Swing stage system on the building's roof, which is used by window-washers, had to be redesigned and replaced.
  • Window blinds, which are part of the building's heating/cooling system, didn't fit as intended so they must all be replaced.
  • Underfloor air distribution system was deficient.
  • Designers failed to install a proper cooling system in a stairwell, which has a large glass cover.

H and R is seeking damages plus interest. It rejected a request for an interview about the lawsuit, but the company did issue a statement.

The company says some design issues are typically discovered following the completion of construction, and it's working closely with the companies involved and with tenants on fixing the problems. 

"The majority of which have been rectified with the balance to be completed shortly," said the statement.

H and R says it has paid the costs of fixing the various issues and the lawsuit was filed to get "reimbursement for these expenses from responsible third parties and their insurers, where applicable."

The lawsuit names Matthews Development (Alberta), Ledcor Construction, Zeidler Partnership Architects, Cosentini Associates Inc. and Foster and Partners.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.