GVCA Journal Volume 9 Issue 2

Page 1

VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2

MARCH // APRIL 2020

THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE G RAND VALLEY CONSTRUCTION ASSOCIATION

THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE GRAND VALLEY CONSTRUCTION ASSOCIATION

THE

TECHNOLOGY AND GREEN DESIGN ISSUE

With stories about CCA’s SR&ED credit writing program, Waterloo’s new recreation centre, and the new Link2Build plansroom. Also, look for our feature on the GVCA’s first-ever BOLD Awards!

+ PLUS GVCA EVENTS AND EDUCATION CALENDAR


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THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE GRAND VALLEY CONSTRUCTION ASSOCIATION

THE

VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 MARCH - APRIL 2020

TECHNOLOGY AND GREEN DESIGN ISSUE

PUBLISHER Martha George EDITOR James Raiswell CONTRIBUTORS

Ted Dreyer Paul Knowles Eben Louw Angela Pause Jennifer Silva

PHOTOGRAPHY Lisa Lackenbauer CONTRIBUTORS Elisha K

LAYOUT & DESIGN

Janet Day

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19

22

24

FEATURES

DEPARTMENTS

ADVERTISING SALES Sandra Arthurs sandra@gvca.org 519-622-4822 x129 SUBSCRIPTION INQUIRIES & LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

editor@gvca.org

GVCA Journal is published six times yearly by the Grand Valley Construction Association ©2020. All rights reserved. Canadian Publications Mail: Product Sales Agreement #42259531; ISSN 2368-2930; in Canadian Periodical Index. GVCA Journal subscription is a benefit of Grand Valley Construction Association membership and is included in membership fees. Magazine Subscription: Canada $28/yr (incl. 13% HST). US/International $32/you (CDN).

14 CELEBRATING THE NEXT GENERATION 16

ECOLOGY AND INCLUSIVITY

19 INFORMATION NOW; DOCUMENTATION FOR THE FUTURE

4

WELCOME

Messages from the Chair and the President

5

CRYSTAL BALL REPORT

6

New Guelph High School

SIGHTINGS

20 ARE YOU USING LINK2BUILD?

22 CCA LAUNCHES SR&ED CREDIT WRITING SERVICE

8

Return undeliverable addresses to: Grand Valley Construction Association 25 Sheldon Drive, Cambridge, Ontario N1R 6R8

24 YOUR CONSTRUCTION COMPANY AND EMPLOYEE SHARE OPTIONS

10 FINANCIAL

27 BEST PRACTICES FOR STRUCTURAL STEEL SCOPE & TENDERING ©2020 Grand Valley Construction Association. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part without prior written consent of the publisher

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CONSTRUCTION TECHNOLOGY REPORT, 2019

Were you spotted?

SAFETY Cannabis in the Canadian workplace Leveraging technology in construction

13 LEGAL Inside your liability policy

30 GVCA EVENTS & EDUCATION CALENDAR 30 ADVERTISERS’ INDEX

GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

3


WELCOME TO JOURNAL A MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR

GVCA IS YOUR ADVOCATE FOR ALL THINGS CONSTRUCTION I can’t believe it has already been a year since I took on the role of GVCA Chair. Time flies! Josh Heller, GSC

This year has been a real eye-opener for me. It gave me new insight into all aspects of the construction industry—and shed new light on some of the challenges we all face every day. One of the biggest things I will take away from my term as Chair is the role GVCA plays not only with its members, but also in the bigger industry picture. Our association is a conduit for bringing our members’ needs and concerns into the wider construction community. Let me explain. GVCA, of course, has strong ties with many other local construction associations

A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

(LCAs) across the province, and we work with them to share best practices and solve problems. Last year, for example, we announced our partnership with six other Ontario LCAs to form the Link2Build group, which is a plansroom, a publisher of industry news, and a conduit for posting government notices such as certificates of substantial performance. Our association is also a member of the Council of Ontario Construction Associations and the Canadian Construction Association—both of which bring provin-

cial and national insight and resources to members. We are also closely aligned with groups such as the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association, and the Ministry of Labour. I’m pleased to tell you that our association is always on top of whatever is happening in our construction industry. We are a committed voice for our members on all fronts. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Chair.

MAKE INNOVATION YOUR ADVANTAGE This issue is focused on technology and innovation.

One of the biggest factors that will impact the construction industry over the decades to come is climate change. It will have a profound effect on the material and methods we use, and how we plan for a building’s life-cycle impact on its surrounding environment. Now is the perfect time to bring forward innovative solutions to this challenge— and so many others. Our industry is on the cusp of change. It is our responsibility to build responsibly. That’s not just a cute Martha George, GSC 4

GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

mantra. It’s a commitment that the next generation of workers expects to see from a potential employer. Innovation is a differentiator in today’s world. It attracts talent, engages existing employees, boosts productivity and gives companies competitive advantages. The usual is no longer business as usual. Those who have vision, leadership and a will to implement change will survive. Those who don’t, won’t.


CRYSTAL BALL REPORT

Crystal

Ball

UNMATCHED CONSTRUCTION INTELLIGENCE

PRE-BID REPORT

GVCA’s Crystal Ball Report is a unique and insightful member service. Updated daily by GVCA staff, the report tracks planned projects during the pre-bidding phases, following them from concept to design to prequalification, construction and completion.

New Guelph High School Arkell Road and Victoria Road South Project Budget: $25,500,000 The Upper Grand District School Board is moving forward with plans to build a new high school in the city’s south end. Plans for the two-storey building include a computer engineering and robotics lab, and a large indoor/outdoor area for construction and transportation trade instruction. The upstairs will feature a media-arts lab, two green-screen rooms, and a communications lab among the standard classroom spaces. The plans also show a large outdoor space, complete with a running track, long-jump pit, basketball court multi-purpose practice field and a soccer field.

Construction costs are expected to be just under $22 million. Architectural and consulting fees will add a further $1.9 million to the cost, and a project contingency fund of $966,000 is being held in reserve. The structure is expected to be built by 2022.

Market Snapshot Q4 2019 Waterloo Region & Guelph Waterloo Region & Guelph is home to one of the fastest growing tech communities. With its close proximation the Greater Toronto Area, the Region has experienced a tremendous increase in demand for office and industrial space. There is currently 1,308,267 SF of office and industrial space under construction in 10 buildings across the 4 cities. Construction has remained steady throughout the fourth quarter with additional construction planned heading into 2020. INDUSTRIAL SF TOTAL

TOTAL BLDGS

OFFICE

SF UNDER CONST

# UNDER CONST

TOTAL BLDGS

SF TOTAL

Cambridge

33,217,087

503

115,000

2

Kitchener

19,204,592

425

154,390

1

Waterloo

8,948,387

239

0

0

1,373,347

SF UNDER CONST

# UNDER CONST

34

0

0

4,823,512

89

500,000

3

7,381,068

116

129,558

1

Guelph

25,731,191

365

409,319

3

1,731,899

52

0

0

Total

87,004,109

1,530

678,709

6

15,128,353

287

629,558

4

For more market statistics and information please contact: Chad Vrenjak, Market Analyst, chad.vrenjak@cushwakewr.com

GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

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SIGHTINGS

WERE YOU SPOTTED?

GVCA Safety Seminar GVCA held a Safety Seminar on January 21 to discuss the new WSIB Health and Safety Excellence program, accreditation by the Ministry of Labour, and the IHSA’s CoR 2020 program. Seen Here: Ken Rayner, Vice-President, Market Development & Labour Relations at the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association, explains CoR to the crowd of attendees.

Left to right: Rodney C. Cook, Workplace Safety & Insurance Board, Vice President, Workplace Health and Safety Services; Martha George, President of GVCA; and Ron Kelusky, Chief Prevention Officer and Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

Curling Bonspiel GVCA’s 6th Annual Curling Bonspiel took place on January 17th at Westmount Golf and Country Club. As usual, the event sold out quickly. It was a great day!

The winners of the tournament. Left to right: Adam Manning, Liam Burns, Chris Welker and Craig Seibel of ACL Steel.

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GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

Best team outfit award went to Hanson Ready Mix. Left to right: Kevin Hurley, Tim Tjonasan, Ernie Mattheau and Jerome Pronesti (kneeling front).

A Piper led the teams to the ice for the Championship Round.


Congratulations to Stubbe’s Precast! The company was honoured with two awards by the Ontario Concrete Association. It received the 2019 Architectural Merit Award for its head office in Harley, Ontario. The building features more than 30 unique precast architectural finishes.

Construction Insurance & Surety Specialists Industry Specific Programs The company also received the 2019 Mid-High Rise Residential, Precast Award for the Intercontinental Combo Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The project included the Holiday Inn Express and Staybridge Suites. This total precast building utilized long spans of 12 metres to reduce the number of interior walls, allowing flexibility. Each hotel has its own unique finishes.

Tailored Insurance and Surety Solutions Dedicated Risk Management Team cowanconstruction.ca

GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

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SAFETY

CANNABIS IN THE CANADIAN WORKPLACE Early findings from a study by the IWH suggest one in five

Asked whether they knew if their workplaces had policies

Canadian workers used cannabis immediately before or

in place on cannabis or other substance use, 63 percent

during work hours.

said their workplaces did have such policies; the remainder said they either did not know about such policies, or their

The Institute for Work & Health recently released the result

workplaces had no such policies.

of a study into the attitudes of Canadian workers about cannabis.

One fifth of those who said they used cannabis at or prior to work during the previous year said they believed doing

Conducted in June 2018—prior to the legalization of

so created either no risk or only a slight risk of harm to

non-medical cannabis—the study aims to show how

themselves or others.

legalization affects workers’ use of the drug, and affects the beliefs of users and non-users about cannabis use

Finally, when asked how easy it would be to get or use

at work.

cannabis in the workplace, 44 percent said it would be easy to use cannabis during their lunches or breaks,

The study shows that 22 percent of workers across

20 percent said it would be easy to use cannabis while

the country reported using cannabis in the two-hour

working, and 21 percent said they could easily buy or sell

period before work, during work or during work breaks.

cannabis at work.

Respondents in Atlantic Canada were most likely (at 25 percent) to use before or during work hours; workers

The study, which surveyed more than 2,000 workers across

in Ontario and British Columbia (24 percent) followed.

the country and from a wide range of industries and occupations, was conducted with the support of a number of

The survey asked whether workers use cannabis for

organizations, including the Ontario Building Trades and

non-medical or medical purposes. Sixty-eight percent

Ontario Ministry of Labour. It aims to help policy-makers,

reported using it for non-medical purposes, while

employers, and health and safety associations and profes-

24 percent said they used it for both purposes. When

sionals understand the short-term effects of legalization in

asked about specific reasons for using cannabis,

the workplace, and provide them with information to help

59 percent reported using it to relax, 45 percent said

develop policies, practices and prevention initiatives to

it improved their mood, and 27 percent said it helped

ensure lower-risk cannabis use among Canadian workers.

them cope with stress. Overall, 38 percent of at-work users said their reasons for using cannabis at, or prior

The research team will continue to resurvey this same group

to, work related to their work.

of workers (and more) for three years post-legalization to determine whether legalization is associated with changes in workplace use and related perceptions and norms.

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GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020


Cannabis Use and the Canadian Workplace From 2018 to 2021, the Institute for Work & Health is conducting a yearly survey of Canadian workers about cannabis. Our aim is to understand how the legalization of non-medical cannabis in October 2018 is affecting workers’ cannabis use, and survey in June 2018 (including 592 workers who used cannabis in the past year). This is some of what we learned.

Are cannabis users consuming cannabis before or at work? (percentage of past-year users who reported using cannabis in the two hours before work, during work or during work breaks; data for territories not available)

24% 14 % B C

18% SK and MB

AB

22%

25% Atlantic

22% QC

24% ON

Canada

P R O J E C T F U N D E D BY

overall

Are workers using cannabis mostly for non-medical or medical purposes?

(main reasons reported by past-year users)

(reported by past-year users)

59%

To relax 45%

68%

24%

To feel good/improve mood

8%

30%

To relieve physical pain

30%

To help with sleep

30%

For a special occasion

27%

To cope with stress 21% To manage anxiety

nonmedical purposes only

both medical and nonmedical purposes

medical purposes only

38%

How easy do workers think it is to get and use cannabis at the workplace?

What do workers think about the risk of using cannabis at work?

(beliefs among all workers surveyed)

21% vs 7%

21%

believed it would be easy to get, buy and/or sell cannabis at work

20%

believed it would be easy to use cannabis while working

44%

believed it would be easy to use cannabis during lunch or breaks

of workers who used cannabis in the previous year

of workers who didn’t use cannabis in the previous year

believe there is no risk or only a slight risk of harming themselves or others when cannabis is used within two hours of doing hazardous work

said these reasons were related to work (e.g. managing symptoms in the workplace)

Do workers know if their workplace has a policy on cannabis or other substance use? (awareness of workplace substance-use policies among all workers surveyed)

22% said they did not know

15%

63%

said their workplace did

said their workplace did not

www.iwh.on.ca/projects/workplace-cannabis-use

GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

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FINANCIAL

LEVERAGING TECHNOLOGY IN CONSTRUCTION Considering cash flow restrictions and the many factors that can impact the bottom line of a construction project, it is understandable that the construction industry is often slow to accept new technologies. However, being too resistant to the rapidly changing technological landscape can quickly hurt your company’s ability to compete and retain skilled labour.

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GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020


fore, getting the most out of your labourers while keeping them engaged and happy is always top of mind. A 2008 study by the Construction Industry Institute (CII) called Leveraging Technology to Improve Construction Productivity examined how changes in equipment and material technology impact labour productivity. It found that technologies that improved the functional range of equipment (i.e., range of motion and uses) and reduced material unit weight saw the greatest increases in productivity. Both achieved a 38-percent increase compared to those with no changes made. As the cost of labour continues to rise in Ontario due to increases in the minimum wage, labour productivity is more important than ever.

Readiness for change Most new technology requires work processes to change. This requires total support from management, as well as buy-in from the staff directly impacted by the change. In accounting and audit, we review the “tone at the top” as a key indicator of the tone of the entire organization. Management’s behaviours and values can directly or indirectly affect everyone in the organization and are therefore key determinants of the success of any new investment or process. With technology investments generally requiring significant cash outlays, management’s support and monitoring of staff buy-in throughout implementation is key to its ultimate success. Technology often fails not because the technology itself is inappropriate, but due to a lack of employee buy-in and therefore, lack of adequate use.

Staff are also now more willing to make career changes and are interested in working for companies that keep up to date on technology. The cost of replacing skilled labour in a market with labour shortages can quickly become higher than the cost of keeping open and up to date on emerging technology trends. Leveraging the knowledge of

Skilled labour Recruiting and retaining skilled labour is a top priority in the industry; there-

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staff who are comfortable with technology and its rapid rate of change can improve your chances of a successful implementation while also increasing the engagement of your staff.

Leveraging lessons learned

As with any new investment, there is always risk in investing when the benefits of a technology have not yet been measured and proven in the field. If your risk appetite is low, you may want to wait until a few companies have tried out the technology and have seen promising results before investing. Being a “fast follower” allows you to benefit from others working out the kinks while not waiting so long that you are left behind and no longer able

URB

to compete. As your success often depends on winning bids, you cannot afford to allow technology advances to drive down the bids of your key competitors. The CII study suggested that, “understanding how past technologies improved productivity can be used as a predictor of how future technologies might do the same.” Based on this, a predictive model can be used to give an estimate of the future benefit that may be achieved from technology upgrades and investments. There is a four-stage model that can be used which includes review of the strategic economic analysis, technical feasibility, technology usage issues, and technology impact. Therefore, before making any new investments, you should consult your trusted advisors to get the most

AN D @Me EVELOP MEN lloul T EX _Bla PER mey TS

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GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

well-rounded assessment on how you can leverage technology to improve productivity in your business. By leveraging your tech-savvy staff, the advice and experience of your trusted advisors, and the early success of industry first adopters, you can reduce the risk of a failed technology investment. Taking time to weigh the pros, cons, costs and future benefits of a change, as well as properly planning its implementation is important—as long as that time is not at the expense of your competitive advantage.

Written by Jennifer Silva, BBA of RLB LLP’s Construction Team. Contact her at 519-822-9933 or visit rlb.ca.


LEGAL

INSIDE YOUR LIABILITY POLICY The only thing most contractors know about their liability insurance is the amount of their annual premiums. Few have a good understanding of the value they get in return for that premium.

Generally, a commercial general liability insurance (CGL) policy covers a contractor for the financial consequences of an accident that results in bodily injury or property damage to a third party. For example, if one of your employees were to accidentally drop a tool off of the fourth storey that hit a pedestrian, then your CGL insurer would indemnify you for any damages payable to the pedestrian. If instead the tool were to damage a building adjacent to the worksite, then your CGL insurer would indemnify you for the cost incurred by the owner of the building to perform repairs. While these simple examples are useful to illustrate the general scope of coverage, they are, thankfully, rare events. The accidents that tend to trigger coverage under a CGL policy are accidents that result in damage to the project itself. There are number of policy exclusions that may come into play where an accident results in damage to the project, but the most important is the Own Work Exclusion. Policy language varies, but here is one example of the Own Work Exclusion: This insurance does not apply to: • j. “Property Damage” to “your work” arising out of it or any part of it and included in the “products completed operations hazard”. • This exclusion does not apply if the damaged work or the work out of which the damage arises was performed on your behalf by a subcontractor. The general purpose of the Own Work Exclusion is to protect insurers from having to indemnify a contractor for the cost of repairing the contractor’s own shoddy work. If an insurer had to indemnify a contractor for the consequences of shoddy work, then it would create a moral hazard: Contractors would have little incentive to do the work correctly in the first place if they knew their insurer would have to pick up the cost of repair.

However, there are lots of accidents that occur on site to which the Own Work Exclusion does not apply. For example, if a window leaks because it was improperly installed, the installer would still be covered for the cost of repairing damaged drywall and flooring because that is not its ‘own work’. The flooring, drywall and the window are the ‘own work’ of the general contractor, but the Own Work Exclusion would still not bar a claim for indemnity by the general contractor because the work out of which the damage arose was performed by a subcontractor—the window installer. I suspect that subcontractors in particular are leaving money on the table when they fail to recognize that back charges made against them for damage may fall within coverage. If the amount of the back charge is minimal, then it may be wise for the subcontractor to absorb the loss without referring the matter to their insurer. Different considerations apply where the cost of repair is substantial. My final point is that the most valuable part of your liability policy is not the damages your insurer will pay on your behalf if you are found liable for an accident, but the lawyers’ fees that it will pay on your behalf to defend you. If a claim is made against you that may fall within coverage, then your insurer has an obligation to appoint and pay for a lawyer to defend you against that claim. If a claim is made against you that may fall within coverage, then notify your insurer so it can start investigating the claim.

Ted Dreyer is a lawyer and adjudicator at Madorin, Snyder LLP in Kitchener. This article should not be relied on as legal advice.

GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

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FEATURE

CELEBRATING THE NEXT GENERATION GVCA handed out its inaugural BOLD Awards on January 23 as a way of paying tribute to the next generation of the industry’s leaders. by Angela Pause

While the young men and women, bedecked in their finest apparel and adorned with colourful corsages and boutonnieres, drank champagne and smiled widely, it was easy to see that they were thoroughly enjoying themselves. It might have been the red carpet treatment and the champagne reception along with hors d’oeuvres, or maybe the bespoke cocktails and oyster bar accompanied by a string quartet playing chamber music that made them happy. Or perhaps it was that just hours earlier, most of them would have been on a frozen job site, wearing

well-used work boots, swinging a hammer, or pouring concrete, or diligently solving a complex problem threatening to derail a looming deadline. But on January 23, these frontline construction workers and professionals were the honoured nominees of the inaugural BOLD Awards (Building On Leadership Development), founded by the Grand Valley Construction Association and hosted by its Leaders in Construction (LinC) committee. “This was is the first time that the next wave of construction leaders is being recognized for their excellence in leadership— and it won’t be the last,” says GVCA president Martha George. BUILDING A CULTURE OF APPRECIATION

“This recognition is long overdue. We are interested in building a culture of appreciation and leadership in the construction industry,” says George, “The biggest threat to the Canadian construction industry is the shortage of skilled trades as 250,000 construction workers and leaders retire over the next few years. Attracting and retaining the next generation of construction professionals is at the forefront of every employer’s business strategy. The GVCA BOLD Awards is for these frontline construction workers who are the next leaders of our industry.” The gala evening, held at the newly expanded Conestoga College School of Trades and Apprenticeships in Waterloo, was a sold-out event with more than 140 people in attendance, including nominees, guests and LinC members, who acted as hosts. The venue held particular significance for the nominees as many of them were involved in the College’s extensive expansion and renovation. “The inaugural BOLD Awards is the missing piece of the construction culture that needs to highlight the outstanding quality of the next generation who are the leaders of tomorrow,” says LinC committee chair Christina Shantz. “Recognizing the hard work and leadership abilities of this next wave of leaders is imperative to growing our industry and attracting more bright young people.” The BOLD Awards recognized seven different categories that spanned aspects of the industry and was open to those in construction under the age of 40. It was free to nominate anyone from coworkers to workers on a project you own, or a supplier or owner of a subtrade. Nominators completed an online form and submitted it for consideration and the nominees did not know they were nominated nor who nominated them, says Shantz. With almost 100 nominations submitted, George and Shantz assembled a team of industry heavyweights as judges, ensuring the submissions were anonymous as well as gender-neutral to deter any bias.

2019 BOLD Award Recipients: Richard Gillies, Craft Award; Mary Cathryn Lorentz, Spirit Award; Pamela Tolton, Leadership Award; Jake Bergen, Onsite Award; Justin Cole, Customer Service Excellence Award; Brian Major, Outstanding Apprentice Award; John Klyn, Safety Award.

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GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

“It was remarkable at how enthusiastic the judges were about the BOLD Awards - they were delighted that the GVCA had created this important recognition event for the industry,” says George.


MEET THE 2019 BOLD AWARD JUDGES SAFETY & ON-SITE AWARD JUDGES

MEET THE 2019 BOLD AWARD RECIPIENTS Safety Award:

John Klyn (Stubbe’s Precast) Given to an individual for their commitment to safety.

Onsite Award:

Jake Bergen (Stubbe’s Precast) Rodney C. Cook

Enzo Garritano

Ron Kelusky

VP Health & Safety, WSIB

President & CEO, IHSA

Chief Prevention Officer, Ministry of Labour

CRAFT & OUTSTANDING APPRENTICE AWARD JUDGES

Given to an individual who has the ability to bring the team together.

Spirit Award:

Mary Cathyrn Lorentz (City of Waterloo) Given to an individual with social responsibility and who inspires others.

Mandy Rennehan CEO & Founder, Fresco Retail Maintenance

Rachel Banham

Don Gosen

Chair, Conestoga College’s Ingersoll School of Trades & Apprenticeship

Former Chair, College of Trades, GVCA Hall of Fame recipient & recipient of the Premiers Award

SPIRIT & CUSTOMER SERVICE EXCELLENCE AWARD JUDGES

Customer Service Award:

Justin Cole (Frey Building Contractors) Given to a person who has provided exceptional customer service.

Craft Award:

Richard Gillies (Ball Construction) Given to a skilled tradesperson. Jeff MacIntyre

Roger Farwell

Dave Inglis

Chair, Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation

Sr Architect, Co-chair, Prosperity Council of Waterloo Region

CEO, Digital Trades School

LEADERSHIP AWARD JUDGES

Outstanding Apprentice Award: Brian Major (Melloul-Blamey)

Given to an outstanding individual enrolled in an apprenticeship program who has shown his or her desire to make their chosen trade a career.

Leadership Award: Ian McLean

Greg Durocher

Karen Redman

President & CEO, Greater KitchenerWaterloo Chamber of Commerce

President & CEO, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce

Chair, Region of Waterloo

Pamela Tolton (ABA Architects) Given to a person who demonstrates professionalism and leadership qualities.

GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

15


FEATURE

ECOLOGY AND INCLUSIVITY $30 million retrofit and expansion of Waterloo Memorial Recreation Centre underway this season. By Paul Knowles

THE ENTIRE FACILITY WILL FEATURE ENHANCED ACCESSIBILITY, MEETING OR EXCEEDING THE STANDARDS IN THE ACCESSIBILITY OF ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT. With its Olympic-size ice rink and nationally recognized aquatics centre, the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Centre (WMRC) has long been a “premier” community facility in the heart of the city of Waterloo. The $30-million retrofit and expansion of the WMRC, with construction slated to get underway within the next two months, will retain all of the positives about the facility—while adding important facilities and featuring a significant environmental upgrade. Kevin Van Ooteghem is senior project engineer with the city’s facility design and management services department. He says that while many of the aspects of the retrofit and expansion are

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GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

important, he is most excited about the overall goal of “really bringing the facility into the current day.” He told the GVCA Journal that the WMRC was originally conceived “as a big event space.” That thinking has changed significantly; the new facility, to be completed in mid-2022, has been developed as a “community based recreational facility.” And by that, Van Ooteghem means, the whole community. The retrofit is focused on inclusivity, in a number of ways. For example, the change rooms and bathrooms are being retrofitted with

gender inclusivity (including universal washrooms) and family usage in mind. As well, the entire facility will feature enhanced accessibility, meeting or exceeding the standards in the Accessibility of Ontarians with Disabilities Act. This may be especially important to one demographic group whose programs will be moving to the expanded centre: older adults. Currently, two venerable city facilities house Waterloo’s older adult recreation programs – the Adult Recreation Centre (located on King Street), and the Wing 404 Rotary Centre (on Dutton Drive). Both present some accessibility challenges to their users.


The 28,000 square-foot “community pavilion” that is part of the WMRC expansion will be entirely accessible, and will house a games and computer room, meeting hall, fitness centre, washrooms, program room, offices and more. The plan calls for all of the city’s older adult programs to move to the new facility. Van Ooteghem says that he is not aware of specific plans for the two older centres currently housing the programs, although it has not been stated that they would close. Van Ooteghem says that the new facility will not only be able to offer enhanced and centralized programs for older adults, but it will also feature many cross-generational programs, all part of the acrossthe-board movement to inclusivity. The community pavilion will be linked to the existing WMRC by an elevated pedestrian bridge. The construction project will also include a 16,000-square foot civic area on the east side of the existing building. This will include a large, multi-purpose gym—an element that Van Ooteghem points out is entirely lacking in the current facility—as well as change

rooms, inclusive washrooms, a café, an outdoor patio area and more.

area to be done in about a year, and the pavilion within a year and a half.

The existing pool areas will see upgrades, but few substantive alterations—apart from the inclusive and accessible change rooms. Other elements of the present WMRC will be completely changed. The Hauser banquet hall, a remnant of what Van Ooteghem calls the original “event space” mentality, is being retrofitted as a 10,000-square foot fitness area, with a dedicated walking track, two large fitness studios, and spectator spaces overlooking both pool and arena, which already boasts seating for over 4,000. The roof of the ice rink will be replaced, and there will be mechanical and electrical upgrades and significant improvements to security.

The project has been designed by Parkin Architects Ltd. It is focused not only on inclusivity, but also on environmental responsibility. Waterloo’s official green building policy states that city-owned buildings must register greenhouse gases (GHG) and energy efficiency results that exceed the building code by 25%. The new incarnation of the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Centre will go well beyond that. After detailed energy modeling exercises carried out during the design phase, it is anticipated that energy efficiency will show a 44% improvement, and GHG efficiency, 46%.

The construction contract had not been awarded, at time of writing, but it will undoubtedly come with certain challenges. The intention, says Van Ooteghem, is to keep the WMRC open and fully operational during the two-years-plus project, although he says there may be a short period of time when the pool will have to be out of commission. The project is to be completed in stages, with the civic

Typical of current green-centred policies, the enlarged rec centre will have fewer parking places for cars. It is a short walk from bus and light rail transit stops. A City of Waterloo report says 432 parking spaces will handle peak demand; the project will see the current 573 spaces reduced to 478, including 16 accessible spaces and 22 spaces for electric vehicles.

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GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

17


WE’VE ALREADY SEEN A LOT OF INTEREST FROM OTHER MUNICIPALITIES AROUND GENDER INCLUSIVITY AND ENHANCED ACCESSIBILITY. / Kevin Van Ooteghem

The people of Waterloo have been anticipating this enhanced rec centre for a long time. Talk of the new facility can be traced back at least to 2008, when the City of Waterloo Council approved a new recreation and visitor services master plan, which anticipated population growth and an aging demographic. The actual WMRC project as it now exists was GVCA ad ad 7.125 7.125 x 4.675 final.pdf final.pdf x 4.675 GVCA GVCA ad 7.125 x 4.675 final.pdf

1 1 1

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GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

first approved in principle in 2015, as part of the city’s recreation strategy for older adults; construction drawings were okayed in 2017. City council released $24.5 million in final funding for the $30 million project ($25 million in actual construction costs, the remainder, design costs and related fees and permits), in October of 2019.

2019-02-21 2019-02-21 2019-02-21

1:54 PM PM 1:54 1:54 PM

The environmental features are impressive, but Van Ooteghem says that the changes to embrace inclusivity are also attracting considerable attention. “We’ve already seen a lot of interest from other municipalities around gender inclusivity and enhanced accessibility.”


FEATURE

INFORMATION NOW; DOCUMENTATION FOR THE FUTURE SiteVue brings construction site record-keeping into the 21st century By Paul Knowles

CEO Anthony Coelho launched SiteVue just three years ago, originally through the University of Waterloo incubator, the Velocity Centre. Today, the company is collaborating on some of the largest horizontal construction projects in Ontario, is about to double its staff size, and is significantly expanding its services to customers. SiteVue’s elevator pitch is exactly four words long: “Construction management made simple.” The company’s online self-introduction says, “SiteVue is a software platform that empowers construction teams to monitor site progress and collaborate on issues in real-time.”

at a specific day and time. The proof is in the result, and SiteVue is currently demonstrating impressive results. One of the company’s newest client’s project is the Gordie Howe International Bridge, linking Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan—a project that’s cost has been estimated at $4 billion or more.

he had co-op placements with PCL Construction, leading to employment with that international company. Projects with which he was involved included the tunnel to the Billy Bishop airport in downtown Toronto. That’s primarily where he became aware of the advantages of consistent, well-documented and archived photographic evidence of

the Finch West Light Rail Transit line in

construction work in progress. He also

Toronto, and the Highway 401 expansion.

became aware that it was a niche that

The company was involved in several

needed to be filled.

aspects of the Highway 427 expansion. In fact, Coelho says that SiteVue is a

tation of construction projects. It incor-

construction project”; the company has

porates GPS technology to instantly map

been involved in projects ranging from a

photos and videos to drawing locations,

wind turbine farm to a hydro substation.

device or web browser.

ing grad of the University of Waterloo;

several other new projects, including

valuable element of any “horizontal

project reports directly from a mobile

the engineering world.” He’s an engineer-

SiteVue also has been brought into

SiteVue focuses on the photo documen-

and it allows clients to generate custom

Coelho describes himself as “rooted in

New and existing projects – in association with clients including Aecon, AECOM, Prodigy, Reliance and Black & McDonald

He began to think about the “powerful tools” evidenced in social media apps, and asked himself, “What can we do to bring this to the construction industry?” And thus, SiteVue was born. Not only is Coelho “rooted” in the engineering world – he also admits he is rooted in Waterloo Region. Most of the company’s business is generated

Coelho says there are two key benefits

– have generated the increase in SiteVue’s

for companies that use SiteVue. The

staff size and service offerings. The

immediate plus is that the photo capture

company, located in Kitchener’s iconic

allows real-time monitoring of a project.

Communitech innovation centre for the

“It’s a huge benefit,” says the SiteVue

past year, has five employees, but Coelho

CEO. “People are aware of what is hap-

says that will double in the next two or

pening with their projects, day to day.”

three months. He points to two reasons

“We’re continually trying to improve our

for the growth: the new projects coming

product,” he says, adding new features.

on stream, and the fact that the SiteVue

“Each month we try to focus on three

service, now only available on Apple

key areas of product improvement.”

The longer-term application arises in the case of contract disputes. SiteVue will have documented and filed the visual evidence of the situation on site,

from Toronto, but SiteVue remains in Kitchener, having moved down the hall from Velocity to Communitech. SiteVue has stayed in the region, he says, “because of the community that’s here.”

devices, will soon be available on Android devices as well.

GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

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FEATURE

Are you using

Link2Build?

GVCA’s new plansroom solution spans all of Ontario, and is a resource for more than just the latest project-bidding information.

The Link2Build electronic plansroom went live for more than 4,000 members of local construction associations across Ontario on January 1. Developed by eSolutions Group, and with the input of a dedicated technical committee, the plansroom offers a variety of features—some of them new, some of them familiar—to users. Among them are: • a project calendar that displays important dates such as site meetings and project closings, • the ability to follow projects and track addenda, • automatic daily summary emails that list projects posted within the last 24 hours, and • opportunity matching based on key words and product names.

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GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

A major bonus of the new plansroom is that it integrates with eSolutions’ bids&tenders digital bidding platform. Currently, more than 200 public and private-sector buyers post billions of dollars in bid opportunities exclusively on bids&tenders. An additional subscription to this service, in conjunction with the Link2Build platform, will open the door for contractors to access hundreds of open bids daily. “Members will see a number of new features in the Link2Build plansroom,” says GVCA president Martha George. “Another advantage is that it spans the entire province, so people who live in our region can bid jobs across Ontario.”

Link2Build’s plansroom is split up into seven zones that cover the entire province. GVCA members are based in zone 2, which covers the area from London to Milton to Niagara. Members can purchase additional areas in the province—including Windsor, Ottawa and the North—for just $600 per region. And for those members that work in Barrie and the GTA, Link2Build is offering a discounted introductory virtual plansroom membership fee of just $999.


A PARTNERSHIP OF SEVEN LCAs

Link2Build is an alliance of seven of Ontario’s largest local construction associations. As well as GVCA, those members are: Kingston Construction Association, London & District Construction Association, Niagara Construction Association, Northeastern Ontario Construction Association, Ottawa Construction Association, and Windsor Construction Association. Combined, the seven partners represent more than 3,000 member companies, including general contractors, consultants, subcontractors, heavy construction companies, suppliers, and professional service organizations. They also process and host nearly 10,000 total construction bid opportunities in their plansrooms each year, and perform countless other activities to enhance and promote standards of professionalism in Ontario’s construction industry. PUBLISH CSPs

While the plansroom is undoubtedly the number one reason most GVCA members come to Link2Build, it’s by no means the only service provided on the site. Thanks to recent changes to Ontario’s Construction Act, Link2Build can publish certificates of substantial performance, and other notices required under Ontario law. To date, owners, contractors and design professionals have published more than 400 certificates and notices to Link2Build.ca.

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“Each notice can be purchased eletronically for just $199— regardless of length—and published to the site where it is archived indefinitely, and meets all stated legal requirements under the Construction Act,” says George. “Additionally, all fees charged for publishing CSPs on Link2Build.ca are returned directly to the seven members of the Link2Build alliance.” OTHER SERVICES

Tenders and CSPs aren’t the only reasons to come to Link2Build. ca. The site also features a daily news service that reports on items of interest in and around Ontario’s construction industry. Also under development is a directory listing service that will provide free exposure to the members of the seven founding associations across the entire Link2Build audience. “If you’re not already visiting Link2Build.ca every day, you should be,” says George. “Our site is rich with information and opportunities. It’s the evolution of what a plansroom should be.” Learn more about Link2Build at link2build.ca, or contact the GVCA office for more information.

GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

21


FEATURE

CCA LAUNCHES SR&ED CREDIT WRITING SERVICE

Construction under uses the SR&ED tax credit offered by the Canada Revenue Agency, even though companies develop innovative tools and solutions every day. The Canadian Construction Association wants to help them earn even more rewards for their hard work and ambition. Your business could be sitting on thousands of dollars of unclaimed tax credits—and you might not even know it.

SR&ED credits. They may even be eligible for SR&ED credits if their projects didn’t achieve expected outcomes.

The Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit program is run by the federal government. It was created to encourage businesses to launch projects that would lead to new, improved or technologically advanced products or processes.

Mary Van Buren, president of the Canadian Construction Association (CCA), explains that construction accounts for about 7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product—but collects about 0.7 percent of the total value of SR&ED credits approved by the Canada Revenue agency each year.

What most contractors don’t realize is they may well already be innovating—and thus absolutely eligible for these valuable credits.

“There’s a lot of room for uptake when it comes to SR&ED credits and construction,” she says. “Many people understand innovation to be creating a new tool or inventing a new machine. It’s that, but it’s also developing a process or creating a solution to a problem. And many construction companies do exactly that.”

Companies that develop and improve construction methods, materials and design to deal with unusual site conditions, advance solutions through the development of new materials or find easier, safer or greener ways of working could qualify for

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GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

The national association—in partnership with local associations like GVCA—is

aiming to encourage more construction firms to take advantage of the SR&ED credit program. In November, it launched a partnership with Invennt Business Inc. to offer SR&ED credit writing services to the industry. The company specializes in helping businesses gain greater value from their investments, and offers expertise in strategic advice, operational improvement and business development services. It has a long track record of helping companies of all sizes make SR&ED claims. Under the partnership with CCA, Invennt will work alongside a company to discover any SR&ED-eligible activities, will prepare and file the company’s claim—to CRA specifications, and will advise on how to keep records on further innovations to make applications for future claims even easier. There are no up-front costs to meet with


Invennt, and the initial discovery meeting is entirely non-obligatory. Invennt will charge a fixed fee for its service, but that charge is payable when the company receives its money from CRA—usually within six to nine months. The good news is, 97 percent of the exploratory reviews conducted by Invennt have led to successful claims. Advancing an innovation agenda CCA’s partnership with Invennt, and its desire to see more construction firms take advantage of the SR&ED program, is spurred in part by the national association’s renewed focus on innovation. It’s no secret that construction lags behind many other industries when it comes to productivity. Innovation, says Van Buren, is a tool that contractors can use to do more work with fewer resources. “Whether it’s for improving worker safety or using software to improve the way building systems are modeled, innovations change

our industry for the better,” she says. The challenge is that innovation in construction is fraught with barriers. Not the least of these is cost. As long as construction is bought and sold on a low-bid basis, the margins in which to innovate will be fine. What’s more, the risk of adopting new technologies, or deploying new materials, is high. A contractor bears the full cost of failure. The SR&ED credit helps offset some of that cost and de-risk the use of new technologies somewhat. Innovation plays another important role in our industry. As contractors chase talent and struggle with worker shortages, the ability to demonstrate that they develop and use advanced technology can help distinguish their firms as employers of choice—and can help advance the image of the skilled trades as a career of choice. Want more information on the Invennt credit-writing program? Check out www.cca-acc.com/sred.

Some expenses that are eligible for SR&ED tax credits include: • LABOUR – technical staff performing SR&ED eligible activities including but not limited to design, testing, trials, analysis, data collection and prototyping • MATERIALS – consumed as a result of SR&ED • CONTRACTS – for work in support of the taxpayer’s SR&ED including engineering, design, testing, programming and data collection • OVERHEAD – calculated as a function of your labour expenses

Some of the successful claims made by Invennt on behalf of construction companies include: • a larger international contractor that developed proprietary foundation systems to overcome poor ground conditions and underpin the foundations of existing structures to overcome subsidence, • a specialist offsite construction company that developed a modular precast concrete car park structure that enabled much faster construction of these facilities, and • a small steel fabrication contractor had brought spot-welding techniques typically used in the oil and gas sector into its own operations, thereby reducing construction time and cost, and maintaining high health and safety standards.

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GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

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FEATURE

YOUR CONSTRUCTION COMPANY AND EMPLOYEE SHARE OPTIONS What happens when the experienced “old” is replaced by a more demanding “new”?

It’s no secret Canadian construction companies are experiencing change at an unprecedented pace—fueled by (among other factors), changing building standards and bidding processes, compressed margins and an aging workforce. At the same time, a seismic demographic shift is taking place. Millennials will soon overtake baby boomers as the largest generation in the Canadian workforce—with qualities and work styles that may differ from their predecessors. This new generation is demanding a more collaborative, more participative work environment and it is expected this trend will only continue. In fact, the battle to attract and retain capable, motivated people—of any age—is a challenge, particularly in regions where construction activity is robust. Add evolving building and environmental standards, applications of so-called smart

24

GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

technology and the additional intricacies in acquiring contracts and you have an increasingly complex business environment.

The road to employee ownership Across the country, there are growing concerns common to construction business owners, including questions such as: • How can we retain our brightest and best people? The competition for talent in our industry is really intense right now and I want to make sure that we are able to maintain strong bench strength. • We would like to share some of our profits with our people in a way that makes sense—tied to the real performance of the company. How do we do this? • How do we develop more training time and invest in our upcoming leaders to increase the likelihood of them staying with us?


MILLENNIALS WILL SOON OVERTAKE BABY BOOMERS AS THE LARGEST GENERATION IN THE CANADIAN WORKFORCE—WITH QUALITIES AND WORK STYLES THAT MAY DIFFER FROM THEIR PREDECESSORS. • All of the goodwill in our business is in our people and so it’s possible our employees could buy all or parts of the company one day. How do we do that in a way that makes sense and still retain control?

Three key questions to ask—and answer As a business owner looking toward a sustainable future, focus on solutions based on the answers to three distinct questions: • How do you share profits with your employees? • How do you share more ownership and value with your employees? • How do you share future growth with your employees? The answers to these questions will vary depending on the business and owners’ objectives, but foundational to any situation are a few key considerations:

• What are your objectives for a profit sharing or employee share ownership plan (ESOP)? For example, are you attempting to attract new talent? Keep strong employees? Transition out of your business? • Is your focus on sharing profits with your existing and future employees? Or is it only on current employees? • Would you like to share profits with all your employees, or just a certain group? Some companies only want to share with their key employees, while others prefer to share with all their employees and the reasons for doing so vary greatly. • How closely should profit sharing be tied to corporate performance? Are the leaders willing to develop a profit-sharing system that is closely tied to specific performance areas, or is the sharing more subjective?

GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

25


It is possible to combine these outcomes and develop a system that answers all the questions, but any solution, no matter how complex or simple, should specifically address these questions.

Tips for a successful transition Employee ownership programs can be autonomous or combined with profit-sharing programs. Generally, they allow for all or only certain qualified employees to become direct owners in the company. Critical factors which lead to successful ESOPs include: • Having a culture, or being willing to develop a culture, where decision making is decentralized and management is engaged. • Creating an ownership structure which allows for employees to share in the growth of the company, without owners needing to give up control. • Creating a program that acts as a catalyst to drive corporate growth and provides employees with the ability to say, “we are doing this together” instead of, “I am doing it for them.” • Developing a flexible ownership structure from the outset that can evolve with the needs of the business and the owners. In this way, ownership could eventually shift entirely to employees along a clear, pre-determined plan.

• Having a system and methodology for how employees will be able to obtain their shares. Will they have to pay full market value for such shares or a discounted value? Will the full purchase be made immediately, or be done over time? Will a bonus system be used to help employees pay for their shares, or do they have to come up with the funds themselves? Are the owners willing to help employees buy in or not? • Having in place an educational program to help employees understand how the plan, and ownership, work. For example, not all employees are able to distinguish clearly between their future rights as minority owners and simply remaining good employees and focusing on their day to day responsibilities. Both profit and ownership sharing programs have enormous value in the right situations. Spending the time upfront to plan and clarify the needs of the business, its owners and employees will go a long way to help develop a structure and implementation plan that makes the plans successful.

This article was written by Eben Louw, CPA, CA, Partner, Business Consulting—Assurance, at MNP. He can be reached at eben.louw@mnp.ca.

Buy CSPs and other certificates FOR JUST $199

Link2Build.ca is a new construction-industry portal owned and operated by seven of Ontario’s local construction associations. In addition to publishing daily news articles about goings-on in and around our industry, Link2Build will be a hub for plans and specifications posted across the province, and will offer contractors and owners a new forum to publish mandatory legal notices, such as Certificates of Substantial Performance—at a price of less than half of what other publications charge. All the fees charged for publishing CSPs on our site are returned directly to the seven members of the Link2Build alliance.

Learn more at www.link2build.ca

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GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

Turn to Link2Build.ca first for publishing: • Certificates of Substantial Performance • Notices of Non-Payment of Holdback • Notices of Termination • Certificates of Completion of Subcontract • Notices of Intention to Register a Condominium


FEATURE

BEST PRACTICES FOR

STRUCTURAL STEEL SCOPE & TENDERING Ontario’s steel fabricators have developed a best practices guide for structural steel scope and tendering. Created under the guidance of the Ontario Structural Steel Fabricators Association (OSSFA) and with the consent of its 37 member fabricators, the document—known as OSSFA Form 11.2—aims to clear up some of the misconceptions about structural steel manufacturing, supply and install. OSSFA executive director Gord Rados explains that the document is intended to help designers, general contractors and steel fabricators agree to a series of practices that will help address specific issues each encounter when tendering, manufacturing or installing structural steel. “Bidding structural steel is a very complex task that needs to be transparent and needs to include standardized bidding practices,” he says. “Our members have seen enough frustrations that we, as a group, agreed that we needed to educate our clients and consultants about our exact scope of work, while clearly defining what we do and do not include, and what we need to get the job done properly on budget and on time.”

(with the structural drawings), and what it does not normally include (steel that appears in the architectural, mechanical or sprinkler drawings). It also delves into work around supply and install of the steel on site. The document, says Rados, has been two years in the making, and has earned the full approval of the association’s 37 members. “Our members haven’t had their own trade-specific association in Ontario,” he says. “We have unique challenges in Ontario, and we want to educate our members and our industry partners on how we operate and thus avoid bidding problems and arguments down the road. More than that, our fabricator members want to meet the construction teams’ expectations. To do this effectively, we need to inform all parties of what we need. When we are prepared and have all the information we need to perform, everybody wins.” Next steps will see the OSSFA reach out to companion associations across the province to make the industry fully aware of the form and its best practices. In addition to this, and perhaps most significantly, OSSFA members will start including the forms in their bids and noting it in their tender documents.

Even at just five pages in length, the document is comprehensive. It walks readers through the steel contracting process, from award and design to delivery of the product on site. Every step of the process is designed to help all parties understand the dangers, liabilities and complexities of the steel trade, and to avoid disputes. “In general, there is nothing new in Form 11.2,” says Rados. “Our members have been working this way for many years. But sometimes not everyone fully understands what’s needed to get the steel from the tender drawings onto the site. Nothing comes off a shelf. It can take months of work to design and manufacture the product.” One of the biggest issues the document aims to cure is the efficiency of the design process. For example, OSSFA members are calling for shop drawings to be reviewed by all parties and returned to the fabricator within 10 days of delivery. Missing information and incomplete drawings only set up a project for delays. The document also clarifies confusion around project scope. For example, it specifies where the fabricator’s work begins and ends

Learn more about OSSFA Form 11.2 at www.ossfa.com.

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GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

27


FEATURE

CONSTRUCTION

TECHNOLOGY REPORT, 2019 IT spending as a percentage of corporate budget remains low, but the adoption of tools such as drones and BIM is rising.

Despite routine talk about the potential of technology to transform construction workflows, the industry appears unwilling to take the plunge and adopt new tools, systems and practices. The findings from the Construction Technology Report, 2019—an annual survey of construction companies around the world—show that spending on information technology resources remains flat, integration among software platforms is low, and there is a general hesitation to adopt new technology. The good news is, the industry is not without hope. More contractors are using tools such as BIM, finding ways to incorporate mobile devices into their on-site workflows, and securing their valuable data. Older companies may have entrenched processes Demographics from this year’s report show more than one in three responses coming from general contractors and construction managers. About 30 percent came from subcontractors. A significant percentage of those firms (34 percent) were from the mechanical, HVAC and plumbing trades; electrical followed at just under 10 percent. 28

GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

Nearly 40 percent of respondents had annual budgets of between $6 million and $50 million, while more than 40 percent of the businesses they represented were at least 50 years old. One in five responding firms employed between 200 and 500 employees. The report notes that older firms are far more likely to have deeply engrained processes and workflows that are harder to change without the assistance of an outside consultant—a fact that may account for some of the industry’s apparent resistance to innovation. IT spending and strategy Respondents were asked to identify the percentage of their annual corporate budgets spent on information technology. As in years past, the greatest number of respondents indicated their companies spent 1 percent or less on this resource. Additionally, 42 percent said their businesses do not bill IT expenditures to their projects. Asked whether their companies employed IT staff, more than half said they did. About as many said the size of their IT departments had not changed in the past year, however. Companies tended to employ between one and five people in their IT

departments, with the number of employees dedicated to the department typically determined by the number of employees company-wide who needed IT support. The report also asked about data security practices. Given how easy it can be to be the victim of a data breach, companies need to be vigilant about securing their IT assets. More than 68 percent said they used employee training to secure their data. Stronger security methods such as cyber liability coverage and two-factor authentication, although growing in popularity, remained further down the list of practices followed—at 43 percent and 41 percent, respectively. Seventy-seven percent of respondents said their firms had not experienced data security breaches in the past 12 months. Mobile devices and apps Mobile devices are playing an increasingly important role in construction offices and on the jobsite. Nearly 93 percent of survey respondents said they used smartphones on the jobsite. Laptops followed at 83 percent, and tablets at about 64 percent. The most commonly used operating system was Apple’s iOS at about 79 percent. Win-


dows followed at just under 51 percent. The troubling news was that more than 34 percent of respondents did not secure their personal devices at work.

ment (44 percent) and bid management (39 percent) were tops among those workflows that were heavily dependent on spreadsheets.

one year. Surprisingly, 17 percent said they don’t want or need BIM. The most often reported barrier to adopting BIM was a lack of qualified staff.

Contractors tended to use their mobile devices for a number of functions. Most carried two or three apps on their devices for work, and functions included daily reporting (58 percent), photography and videos (57 percent), time management (53 percent) and safety management (41 percent). Curiously, contractors had not made sure that these apps integrate with one another. More than one in four said none of their apps integrated; a further 32 percent said either one or two apps integrated data. Just 7 percent said all their apps did.

Interestingly, those four same workflows topped the list of those using dedicated software, which suggests that while some companies are deeply entrenched in old manual habits, not only are there solutions out there that can perform these tasks, but they are also known to, and trusted by, other contractors.

Most respondents (60 percent) said they use BIM for coordination and clash detection, while 49 percent said they use it for visualization, 46 percent for project planning, and 38 percent for estimating. Asked about which member of the construction team takes the lead on BIM projects 48 percent said the general contractor does, while 17 percent said the architect is responsible.

So how do contractors transfer data from one app to another when integration is not an option? Fifty-three percent said they did so manually, and 48 percent said they used spreadsheets. CSV followed at 39 percent, and custom-built integration was just 32 percent. Workflow strategy Respondents were asked about those workflows in their offices that were being run on spreadsheets, and which used dedicated software. Estimating (65 percent), accounting (54 percent), project manage-

Preferred software solutions for accounting included Sage, Viewpoint and Quickbooks. Top takeoff solutions included OnScreen Takeoff, Bluebeam and Planswift. Top estimating software included Sage Estimating, HeavyBid and AccuBid. The top scheduling solutions included MS Project and Primavera, while the top project management tools included Procore, Viewpoint Team and Sage Construction Project Software. BIM adoption and use Many consider building information modeling (BIM) to be one of the most significant technological advancements in our industry in some time. So it should come as no surprise that 55 percent of respondents said they were already using BIM, with a further 5 percent ready to adopt it within

About one in four contractors said they use BIM on between 11 and 20 percent of their projects. About 11 percent of respondents said they use it on all projects; 14 percent said they use it on no projects at all. New hardware in use Finally, contractors were asked about the types of new hardware in use at their offices and in their fields. Voice assistants such as Siri and Alexa were in use about 40 percent of the time, while about 54 percent of companies used drones. The most limiting factors to adopting new technology were a lack of staff to support the technology (38 percent), employee hesitance (36 percent), budget (35 percent) and management hesitance (32 percent).

GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

29


CALENDAR

EDUCATION & EVENTS MARCH - APRIL 2020

Check out our Online Calendar at www.gvca.org for more information and to view courses that may not have been scheduled at the time of this publication. We have a vast array of online courses too!

MAR

10 11 13

Approved Working at Heights Effective Work Planning for Foremen / Forewomen Approved Working at Heights – Refresher

APR

EVENTS

EDUCATION

24

GVCA 2020 Building Excellence Awards – Tapestry Hall, Cambridge

MAY

8&9

Safety Excellence Program

14

Approved Working at Heights

17

Approved Working at Heights – Refresher

6&7

Safety Excellence Program

12

Approved Working at Heights

15

Approved Working at Heights – Refresher

All education courses and training courses take place at GVCA, 25 Sheldon Drive, Cambridge (unless noted otherwise).

Gold Seal Exam Dates CANCELLED by CCA April 17, 2020 October 23, 2020 - Apply by September 11, 2020

MAY

APR

23 & 24 Construction 201

6

Women In Construction (WinC) Spring Dinner – Tapestry Hall, Cambridge

To view a complete list of upcoming events and to register, please visit www.gvca.org.

ADVERTISERS’ INDEX 5 Star Paving.............................21 ACL Steel....................................21 Ball Construction....................23 Baywood..................................... 7 Building Excellence ...............32 Building Knowledge...............27 CLAC............................................. 2 Conestoga Roofing.................17 Cowan Insurance Group.......... 7

Duncan Litton...........................17 Jones Deslauriers....................29 JDI.............................................. 30 Knells............................................11 Link2Build.................................26 LiUNA..........................................31 Melloul Blamey.........................12 Strassburger..............................18

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED for all courses a nd events.

To register, or to request additional info, contact admin@gvca.org or call 519-622-4822 x120 or visit www.gvca.org/calendar

30

GVCA Journal // VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 2 // MAR- APR 2020

Your first choic construction inte


YOU NEED WORK-READY EMPLOYEES. WE’RE HERE TO TRAIN THEM. Highly trained, safety-conscious and skilled, LIUNA members are the right people for the job. Employers know that LIUNA provides more comprehensive, advanced training for its members than any other union in Canada. LIUNA is committed to training and has created partnerships with employers including investments by our pension fund in P3 projects. Hands-on training through the Construction Craft Worker (CCW) Apprenticeship Program is available for all LIUNA members to ensure a safe, productive workforce. Members are ready to work safely from their first day on the job, making them a valuable asset to employers. LIUNA represents more than 80,000 members in all sectors of the construction industry in Ontario including; industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI), residential, roads, gas pipeline, sewer and watermain, electrical power systems, demolition, utilities and heavy engineering.

Visit liunaopdc.org/affiliated-local-unions to find a LIUNA local affiliate near you.


gvca presents the

SHOW

ON

j o i n u s f o r a n i g h t of c e l e b r a t i o n a t t h e

2020

THE SH O T OR F

2020

OW

NEW

building excellence awards

SIONS SUBMIS ONLINE .org ca www.gv gvca.org s@ rd a w a BE -4822 519-622

CELEBRATE YOUR AMAZING ACCOMPLISHMENTS UNDER THE BIG TOP!

Come recognize the all-star cast, crew and background performers who have out-performed with superior workmanship and innovative solutions that are magic to construction. No matter what your role in the circus of construction, this is your chance to show off your exceptional work and most extraordinary achievements.

FRIDAY

Tapestry halL 74 GRAND AVE. S. CAMBRIDGE, ONTARIO

3 ring circus

SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE NG ONE RI

ONLINE SUBMISSIONS!

THE

NG TWO RI

RING MASTER

THE

LION TAMER

SUBMIT YOUR PROJECTS! Project submissions must be completed by the Prime Contractor and must include the names of all those involved in the construction pyramid. Restoration or Conversion, Innovation & Sustainability, and Community Leader can be submitted by any member in good standing with the GVCA. There are numerous categories, with awards presented to all winners, including the owner. The deadline for submissions is Friday, February 28, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.

G THRE IN

E

R

We're pleased to present full online submissions. Forms and details are available on the GVCA website, accessible through e-newsletters, or by contacting the GVCA at 519-622-4822 or by emailing BEawards@gvca.org. There is NO COST to submit!

24 2020

MARK THE DATE

APRIL

This event will be a dazzling spectacle to recognize the work behind the scenes of the most remarkable construction projects completed by GVCA members in the past two years. Projects must have posted Substantial Performance between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2019.

THE

JUGGLER

RINGSIDE SEATS

Available for individuals and for groups

of 8 or 10.

SUBMISSION FORMS NOW ONLINE!

COME ONE COME ALL FOR A NIGHT OF FUN! WE’LL SEE YOU THERE!

To find out more about the awards, submit your project or company or register to attend, go to: www.gvca.org