VICTORIA -- Work is underway to temporarily shore up a Langford highrise apartment building's first and second floor after it was found to be potentially structurally unsafe last week.

Safety concerns for the building, Danbrook One, are centered on the structural integrity of the building if a major earthquake were to occur. That is why, out of an abundance of caution, shoring is being put in place.

“They have to do more analysis on the building so everything that we’ve seen has been preliminary,” said Mathew McKay, Director of Design Build Services, the company that originally built the 11-storey building.

“There may be an issue, so everything is being done out of an abundance to caution right now.”

Last week, the city of Langford decided to revoke the occupancy permit for the highrise and hired an outside engineering firm to reassess the building's structural integrity. 

Now, Currently Design Build Services has a team of 30 people installing supports on five locations, focused around the lobby of the building. 

“Essentially we’re putting supports under the existing structure because it’s unclear how it’s acting so we’re holding up the structure just in case this structure has a failure or does something unintended,” said McKay. “It’s taking the load and transferring it onto the footings.”

The work is expected to be completed by the end of Monday, Dec. 23 and following that, it will be up to the City of Langford to determine when people can move back in.

If the final report finds the building to be structurally unsound, those temporary fixes will be replaced by permanent shoring to bring the building up to code. 

As of Monday afternoon, it is unclear when the independent engineering report will be completed. 

Over the weekend, Langford Mayor Stewart Young said that the municipality was encouraging residents to leave the building, but were not forcing anyone to move out.

"We've notified them that they should move out," Young said on Saturday.

"We strongly suggest they do. We can't force them out at this time. If the building owner wants us to remove the tenants completely, we will comply with the building owner and use our staff to do that, but right now, we're trying to be as compassionate as we can."