At an altitude of 816 meters, Le Massif de Charlevoix dominates the landscape in Petite-Rivière-Saint-François. A famous vacation resort brand chose to build its first Canadian location east of the Rockies in this spectacular setting: Club Med Québec Charlevoix.
General contractor L’Intendant, commissioned by Groupe Le Massif and Club Med, chose Béton Provincial to provide the concrete for the infrastructure. The prestigious Club Med Québec Charlevoix project required 20,000 mᶟ of that indispensable material. The project was a very significant undertaking in the area.
Le Massif, and the entire Charlevoix region, is located at the heart of the Canadian Shield, a rugged landscape of mountain peaks, deep valleys and winding roads. Club Med Québec Charlevoix, which will be renting the complex, instructed Béton Provincial to provide the highest technical, economic and environmental performance possible for the project. The complex needed to blend in with Le Massif’s unique natural setting. It also had to meet the expectations of local communities and guests, who have become more and more concerned about the environment and their ecological footprint, and care about saving resources and energy. Béton Provincial and Le Groupe du Massif Charlevoix share these values.
Construction was carried out in accordance with the BREEAM standard, which originated in the United Kingdom. This European model, founded over 30 years ago, provides a system for assessing and certifying environmental performance in buildings. 23 countries now use it as a reference, and over 500,000 buildings have been certified. Organizing the work site required a great deal of logistics planning, since the equivalent of 20,000 mᶟ of concrete needed to be transported, and up a mountain, no less.
Because the work site was situated at a considerable distance from the company’s concrete plants and the winding road used to access the site, the BPL team decided to construct a concrete factory on location, at the work site, in the construction area itself. “This kind of flexibility is one of Béton Provincial’s greatest strengths,” states the regional manager of the Charlevoix sector, Serge Perron.
The lodge was constructed at the base of the mountain. It features three buildings with an open view of the river, connected by walkways. The main building has seven floors, five of which are concrete. The two top floors are steel, with concrete floor slabs on steel decking. To build the infrastructure, two 65-meter tower cranes were used for the formwork and frames. “It’s huge,” says Perron. The entire setup of the work site was done with pump trucks, directly from concrete mixers.
The project was begun in February 2019, but progress was slowed by several factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Construction ended up taking nearly two years to complete, and work continued through the winter months.
The project required us to obtain a uniform concrete that met the strict requirements of our client, L’Intendant. We chose to use concrete that contained a high volume of structural reinforcement fibre for the floor slabs, to prevent cracks.
Another significant challenge was the shortage of workers, a situation faced by the vast majority of companies in Québec. “On large-scale projects, there are always so many tasks to perform during concrete pours,” explains Perron. “We implemented very strict time management practices to enable our employees, who are highly qualified, to continue meeting the needs of our other clients with no interruptions.”
BREEAM standard regulations are rigorous. During work on the project, we logged over 2,600 truck trips. We also kept track of the amount of fuel used for every single trip, from raw materials to concrete, from the factory to the work site. Every water source on the mountain had to be monitored, including rainwater, snowmelt and soil, as well as sedimentation (for example, very fine sand that may be carried by water or thaws). In addition, a membrane was used to protect the sand piles and avoid contaminating the natural environment. The BREEAM program also requires that the environmental footprint of the additives and of each product be tracked. “All of these elements helped us significantly reduce our ecological footprint,” states Perron.
In October 2020, the region’s Béton Provincial team dismantled the portable factory. The environmental challenges agreed upon by the partnership of general contractor L’Intendant, Groupe Le Massif and Club Med Québec Charlevoix had been met successfully. According to Perron, the true challenges were more administrative than operational. “Our personnel did extraordinary work. The concrete mixer operator was a key player in the process. His contributions had a direct effect on product quality. We also enjoyed a remarkable collaborative experience with the technicians in the factory at Saguenay. They did an impeccable job with quality control. I’m so proud of our teams,” he adds, smiling.
This ambitious, 120 million dollar, four-season recreational tourism project highlights the amazing natural legacy of the mountain, the breathtaking view of the river and the region’s agricultural prosperity. Visitors can enjoy a luxurious modern complex that meets the strictest environmental standards starting in December 2021. A tip for skiing enthusiasts: Make your reservations now!
“ Béton Provincial’s team spirit and expertise contributed to the successful construction of Club Med Québec Charlevoix.
Setting up the factory nearby was almost certainly a key element of the project, and a contributing factor in Béton Provincial’s ability to adapt the pours to meet the specific limitations that came with the project and this region.”
Claudio Volpato, President of L’Intendant, Project Manager and Coordinator