The so-called “Whistler factor” which elevates the cost of
construction in the resort was pegged at a 40 per cent premium for the sledge
hockey arena, according to a staff report.
This premium resulted in an increase of $17.9 million in total
Whistler council passed on the opportunity to build the arena
for the 2010 Paralympic Games because it was too expensive. The report
detailing the costs is now available on the municipality’s website.
Of particular interest is the “Whistler factor” which was
determined in part by comparing other non-residential projects in the resort,
such as the library and the cultural centre.
BTY Group outlined why there is a 40 per cent premium on
building that arena in Whistler, citing both market and geographic forces such
• scarcity of labour, especially specialized labour;
• material, with increased transportation costs and
• less competitive marketplace with just one concrete supplier
in the area;
• higher insulation requirements, due to climate;
• village guidelines;
• snow management issues, and
• larger sizes and mechanical equipment and distribution.
But it was the size and span of the arena that posed one of the
BTY Group was a quantity surveyor for the Spring Creek School.
To justify the higher funding from the Ministry of Education for that school
BTY compared it to a design for the school as if it was being built in Greater
“The classroom block showed a 17 per cent structural cost
premium, but the longer-span gymnasium block showed a premium of 122 per cent,”
states the report.
The Paralympic arena had a large roof span.
“With a large roof structure like that… the snowload factor
here contributes to the amount of steel that’s required in that structure and
that steel is very expensive and represents one of the largest cost components
of the facility,” said Mike Kirkegaard, the municipality’s manager of community
planning and sustainability.
“The fact that we have much higher snowload requirements than
in the Lower Mainland compounds the large span issue and results in a much
higher cost premium.”
For more details on the costs of the Paralympic arena go to www.whistler.ca