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Summer 2013


RISING Massive urban rejuvenation project brings changes, excitement to Calgary

PLUS | Coverage of the Alberta Steel Design Awards of Excellence


Leaders don’t flinch.

When the going gets tough, the tough stay put. Through the credit crunch, depressed commodity prices and global economic turmoil, we’ve done just that. We never left the side of the people who’ve made Alberta an economic powerhouse, and we continue to custom build solutions to help them do what they do best…lead. Because Alberta means the world to us.


Trademarks of Alberta Treasury Branches.

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Set Yourself Apart

Chaz osburn

editor’s note

During a recent visit to Hoover Dam—my first—I learned that a construction worker at the site invented the hard hat some 80 years ago. Not true. While I thought I had stumbled upon a great little factoid worthy of sharing with you (OK, I heard it from the tour guide), it turns out the hard hat was actually invented by a chap named E.W. Bullard. Bullard used his experience as a doughboy in World War I to arrive at something he called the “Hard Boiled” hat in 1919. To me, it looked like two baseball helmets glued together, but hey, whatever works. The E.D. Bullard company, based in Kentucky, has been in the protective headgear business ever since. Today, we take hard hats for granted. Yet, one has to wonder how many lives they have saved and serious injuries they have prevented over the decades since. All because of a rather simple idea. Ideas matter. “If you have ideas, you have the main asset you need, and there isn’t any limit to what you can do with your business and your life,” said Harvey Firestone, founder of the tire company that bears his name. As our story on page 42 explains, Lenmak Exterior Innovations Inc.’s Ray Turner had a good idea and ran with it. “We’re trying to give the option of that real wood look with the 40-year paint warranty,” Turner says of a new product he’s begun marketing. It’s a steel-based exterior siding called NaturClad that looks like wood. I first learned of the product when I bumped into Turner at the Lenmak booth at BUILDEX Edmonton in March. I’ve always been impressed by Turner’s passion and ingenuity—he is like a proud father with photos of the children each time he’s shown me his latest innovation—and his energy level. What Turner is doing is, of course, just one example of the ingenuity and business smarts at work in this province. It is all around us. We just need to slow down and pay attention. And for those of you with a good idea: hey, what better time than now to take that idea and make it a reality? taKing toP ProJECts noMinations Now that we’ve reached the halfway point of the year, it’s time to start giving some thought to what projects you’ll want to enter in the 2013 Alberta Construction Magazine Top Projects Awards. Beginning June 3, you’ll be able to enter projects on You’ll also find all the details about submission guidelines, categories and other important information. Of course, should you have any questions, feel free to drop me an email at cosburn@ And put this on the sticky side of your mind (or better yet, put a note in your calendar): the date of the 2013 Alberta Construction Magazine Top Projects Awards luncheon event—our public recognition of the year’s best construction projects in, among other things, the commercial, industrial, civil and institutional categories—will be December 4 at WinSport in Calgary. I’m pleased to say that KPMG LLP has come aboard again as the Premier Sponsor of the event, and that our goal is to make this year’s the biggest and best yet. We hope to see you there. Meanwhile, start thinking about which projects your company should enter.

Coming next issue: The Energy Issue

alberta Construction Magazine | 5

editorial Editor

Chaz Osburn • assistant editor

Joseph Caouette • Contributing writers

Jim Bentein, Godfrey Budd, Diane L.M. Cook, Nordahl Flakstad, Ken Gibson, Mychal Martin, Tim Mavko, Shane Monte, Amy Smith, Heidi Staseson



Marisa Sawchuk • Editorial Assistance

Tracey Comeau, Sarah Eisner


INSTITUTIONAL Prescription for growth


Print, Prepress & Production Manager Michael Gaffney •

CREATIVE SERVICES manager Tamara Polloway-Webb • creative lead/SENIOR Designer Cathlene Ozubko

Alberta communities getting a slew of new or expanded hospitals and health-care centres By Diane L.M. Cook

GRaphic designer Paige Pennifold contributing photographers Aaron Parker, Joey Podlubny

Sales Sales Manager—Advertising Monte Sumner •



Senior Account Executive Paul Sheane •

The long road

For advertising inquiries please contact AD TRAFFIC COORDINATOR—Magazines Denise MacKay •


The twinning of Highway 63 kicks into high gear this summer By Joseph Caouette

CEO Bill Whitelaw • Rob Pentney •

president director of SALES & MARKETING

Maurya Sokolon •

director of events & conferences Ian MacGillivray •



director of the daily oil bulletin Stephen Marsters •

Heavy hitter

director of digital strategies Gord Lindenberg • director of content Chaz Osburn •

director of production Audrey Sprinkle • director of finance Ken Zacharias, CMA •


By Godfrey Budd


2nd Flr-816 55 Avenue N.E. | Calgary, Alberta T2E 6Y4 Tel: 403.209.3500 | Fax: 403.245.8666 | Toll-free: 1.800.387.2446 Edmonton



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Steel vs. wood

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Tel: 1.866.543.7888 Email: Alberta Construction Magazine is owned by JuneWarren-Nickle’s Energy Group and is published quarterly. ©2013 JuneWarren-Nickle’s Energy Group All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of the publisher. The opinions expressed by contributors to Alberta Construction Magazine may not represent the official views of the magazine. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, the publisher does not assume any responsibility or liability for errors or omissions. Printed by PrintWest Postage Paid in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada If undeliverable return to: Circulation Department, 80 Valleybrook Dr., North York, ON M3B 2S9 Made In Canada GST Registration Number 826256554RT Printed in Canada ISSN 1499-6308 Publication Mail Agreement Number 40069240

Alberta is punching well above its weight in the fabrication sector

New products on the market make choosing between steel and wood just a little bit more difficult By Nordahl Flakstad


STEEL AWARDS Celebrating steel

Industry recognizes outstanding projects involving the design and use of that material

On the cover: The National Music Centre is one of the projects that will transform Calgary’s East Village.

6 | Summer 2013



volume 33 Number 2 Published Summer 2013


42 Cover STORY



EAST VILLAGE RISING Massive urban facelift project brings changes, excitement to Calgary By Heidi Staseson

8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Project update 11 17 49 55 56 60 71 75 76

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . nuts & bolts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . around Canada . . . . . . . . . People, Products & Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . aCa report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CCa report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . trade talk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . business of building . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . legal Edge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . time Capsule alberta Construction Magazine | 7

project update

If you haven’t been to downtown Edmonton lately, you may want to wait. The city’s Central Station LRT Rehabilitation & Jasper Avenue Streetscaping project, which began last year, won’t be finished until November. Here are seven things to know about the project: 1 The Central LRT station’s roof is being repaired and the station is being waterproofed. 2 Inside the station, workers are removing and replacing miscellaneous architectural features, including the partial replacement of ceiling and wall textures. 3 Jasper Avenue between 100 Street and 102 Street will be widened to five lanes. The median, which is raised and contains plants, will be removed to allow for left turning lanes. 4 Sidewalks will be widened to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment. 5 Utility kiosks will be removed. 6 New trees will be planted. 7 New benches, poster kiosks, traffic signals and decorative pedestrian/street lighting will be installed.

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8 | summer 2013


Jasper Avenue facelift

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nuts& bolts News briefs for the busy construction professional

The 436,000-square-foot Stoney Warehouse 4 is the latest addition to Calgary’s growing Stoney Industrial Centre.

PHOTOS: WAM Development Group

Calgary industrial centre expands with new warehouse With their cavernous interiors and drafty loading bays, warehouses don’t exactly scream energy efficiency. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible, as a new Calgary development proves. WAM Development Group’s 436,000-square-foot Stoney Warehouse 4 has earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver designation for its core and shell. The building features a 32-foot clearance and is made for high-volume shipping and receiving— which it will probably need when tenant Wal-Mart Canada moves in. As part of the Stoney Industrial Centre, the warehouse brings the total size of the complex up to 1.5 million square feet, with

more to come. Buildings five and six—also expected to be LEED certified—will be completed in June and should add another 716,000 square feet of industrial space to the project. Thomas Mueller, president and chief executive officer of the Canada Green Building Council, commended the “excellent example” set by the project. “Industrial-type buildings make up a significant portion of our building stock,” he says. “However, owners in this sector are lagging behind in achieving better environmental performance.” The warehouse is part of the $3-billion StoneGate Landing project, currently slated for completion by 2021. Located in northeastern Calgary, the finished project will offer 10 million square feet of industrial space, 1.5 million square feet of retail space, and over two million square feet available for use by office and hotel developments. Alberta Construction Magazine | 11

nuts & bolts

ATCO plans to keep the Heartland pumping

Final piece of Eau Claire plan falls into place The Calgary skyline is about to get a little more crowded. A new office building, dubbed the Eau Claire Tower, will be built in the downtown Calgary district that shares its name. It is Oxford Properties Group’s third new office tower in the area in the past three years and marks the final piece of the company’s Eau Claire redevelopment plan. The tower will offer a total of 600,000 square feet of space spread across 25 storeys. Oxford is also aiming at Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold


12 | Summer 2013

certification for the new building with the addition of water and energy conservation systems. Large windows will be used in order to take advantage of a clear view of the Bow River Valley and the Rocky Mountains. Other notable features include access to the city’s Plus 15 system of pedways, a gym and a separate area for bicycle parking (cyclists will surely appreciate the on-site shower after a sweaty summer commute). While a firm timeline has not yet been set, the first tenant has already staked out nearly half of the building’s space. The headquarters of oilsands company MEG Energy Corp. will take up 11 floors once the tower is complete. B+H Architects will design the building.

34% Number of Canadian construction workers who smoked in 2011— the highest percentage among all industries in the country. Source: Conference Board of Canada

IMAGE: Oxford Properties Group

Downtown Calgary will have another 600,000 square feet of office space when the Eau Claire Tower is completed.

Spurred by construction of the Sturgeon Refinery, ATCO Energy Solutions will be expanding its water infrastructure system in the Industrial Heartland region surrounding Edmonton. Several sensitive infrastructure upgrades—such as improving the existing river intake on the North Saskatchewan River—were completed in 2011 and 2012. Work on a new pumphouse and a water pipeline under the river is slated to wrap up in 2014. The $5.7-billion Sturgeon Refinery is expected to produce 50,000 barrels per day of diesel and other products when it begins operations in 2015. North West Upgrading Inc. and Canadian Natural Resources Limited jointly own the project.

nuts & bolts

Voyageur’s journey at an end you can only die so many times before it finally sticks. the Voyageur upgrader has been brought back from the dead before, but not this time. suncor Energy inc. made the fateful decision to pull the plug following a strategic review of the $11.6-billion project with partner total E&P Canada ltd. as part of the decision, suncor will purchase total’s 49 per cent stake in the project for $515 million. the long, torturous trip for the upgrader began back in 2006, when Voyageur first received regulatory approval. with the entire global economy in disarray, suncor reluctantly shelved the project in 2008, only to revive it at the end of 2010 when total came on board.


Love what you’ve done with the place ten years ago, lafarge Canada inc. completed the rehabilitation of a gravel pit on Calgary’s bow river. now the company is calling it home. Fortunately, the place has been spruced up a little since its days as a quarry. remington development Corporation purchased the land from lafarge in 2005 and has turned it into the community of quarry Park, a mixed-use development featuring offices, homes and retailers. a total of 100 employees have moved into the quarry Central building, which will now house the company’s western Canadian headquarters. “this is really a full life-cycle story,” says rené thibault, the company’s western Canadian chief executive officer. “we were able to extract the aggregates from the site, put them to use in Calgary’s roads and buildings, and then repurpose the land to be valuable to a developer.” lafarge’s western Canadian business oversees aggregates, asphalt and paving, cement and concrete operations throughout the western province, north and south dakota, and the Pacific northwest.

The MARK on Tenth condo development is expected to be ready for occupants in the fall of 2015.

On your MARK, get set…go! Following a successful initial unit sale, developer qualexlandmark is ready to break ground on its new downtown Calgary condo tower. since February, qualex has sold 140 one- and two-bedroom suites at the $100-million MarK on tenth project, the company’s fifth condo development in the city. the 35-storey tower will house 274 units when it opens in the fall of 2015. the developer credits the MarK’s 6,000-square-foot rooftop lounge as one of the main selling features. the outdoor portion of the lounge will include a hot tub and a sunbathing patio, as well as a raised fire pit and space for barbecuing. the indoor section features a wet bar, a media centre and a fitness centre, while a cantilevered glass mezzanine will look out over the city. however, one of the project’s most striking features may be the lobby artwork. Canadian author and artist douglas Coupland has supplied a distinctive array of multicoloured targets for the building. itC Construction group, the general contractor on the project, is preparing to begin work on excavation and shoring.

alberta Construction Magazine | 13

nuts & bolts



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14 | Summer 2013

Eighth Avenue Place in Calgary has earned the distinction of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum certification.

Green to the core Standing 49 storeys, Eighth Avenue Place is easily one of the tallest office towers in Calgary. It’s also one of the greenest. The building envelope, structure and air distribution system have earned the tower the rare distinction of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum Core and Shell certification—a step above the Gold certification the building originally earned when construction finished in 2011. So what does a high-rise need to do in order to take home the platinum? Here are a few highlights: • Outside air can be used to cool the building • The building is topped with a 2,700-square-metre green roof • A building management and control system monitors energy consumption and handles any requests from tenants looking to adjust the indoor climate • Water use is reduced 40 per cent through ultra-low-flow urinals and low-flow toilets • Low-emitting paints, adhesives and sealants were used • Environmentally sensitive refrigerants were sourced for the project • Parking spaces are provided for 300 bicycles, with adjacent showers • Over 75 per cent of construction and demolition waste was diverted to landfills

IMAGE: CNW Group/Ivanhoé Cambridge

Alberta is thriving, fed by a steady supply of skilled SAIT Polytechnic grads that know how to hit the ground running. Programs taught by instructors with real world experience and designed through industry collaboration have the potential to deliver thousands of additional skilled trades people, technicians, technologists and degree graduates over the next decade.

nuts & bolts

Construction on NAIT’s Centre for Applied Technologies is expected to begin later in 2013 or 2014.

In our over 60 years in the construction industry, we have become one of Canada’s top contractors through adhering to our values of freedom, trust and innovation. We are thinkers before we are builders. We strive to advance beyond the limits of what comes easy to us to continue to innovate and provide our clients with quality service.

NAIT to expand main Edmonton campus The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) will soon have room for another 1,700 students. The technical school is going ahead with the construction of the Centre for Applied Technologies at its main campus in Edmonton. The news came on the heels of the Alberta government’s 2013‑14 budget, which revealed the province would be contributing $130 million towards construction. The total cost of the project has not yet been finalized, but the building is expected to cover 49,200 square metres. In addition to 72 classrooms and a common area, the new facility will also include simulation labs and a 135-seat lecture theatre. As a result of the new space, NAIT will have space for another 1,700 students in its health, business, engineering technologies, and sustainable building and environmental management programs. More space will also be opened up for trades programs in other areas of campus as a result of the new centre, the school notes. “This is a timely investment not only in NAIT, but in Alberta—one that will play an essential role in providing the talented, highly skilled individuals needed to sustain and grow the province’s economy,” said Glenn Feltham, NAIT president and chief executive officer, in a release. Construction will start in 2013 or 2014 and is expected to take several years.


21,000 Estimated shortfall of workers in the Alberta construction industry between 2013-2021. Boilermakers, pipefitters, plumbers and welders are among the trades expected to see the highest demand.


Source: BuildForce Canada, formerly construction sector council

Alberta Construction Magazine | 15


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AROUNDCANADA 75,000 Estimated number of retirements in the construction sector in ontario between now and 2021. about 55,000 first-time new entrants are estimated to enter construction during this same period.

KEY STEP IN LNG PROJECT lng Canada has submitted a project description of its proposed liquefied natural gas (lng) project near Kitimat, b.C., to the Canadian Environmental assessment agency and the b.C. Environmental assessment office. the project description provides a summary of the project, including details about its scope. the project description is the first step in the environmental assessment process, which typically takes about two years to complete. lng Canada is proposing the construction and operation of a natural gas liquefaction facility and marine terminal from a point near Kitimat. the project would convert natural gas to lng—about 24 million tonnes per year—for export. lng Canada is a joint venture between shell Canada limited, Korea gas Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation and PetroChina Company limited. Project construction is expected to start in 2015.


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ENBRIDGE TAKES ON WIND PROJECT Greengate Power Corporation of Calgary has sold its constructionready, 300-megawatt Blackspring Ridge Wind Project in southern Alberta to Enbridge Inc. for an undisclosed sum. Located in Vulcan County, Alta., Blackspring Ridge is expected to be western Canada’s largest operating wind energy project upon completion in 2014. Enbridge and EDF EN Canada Inc. will each own 50 per cent of the $600-million project.


Montreal-based architectural design firm Lemay has secured a deal to design a new city in Algeria, near Constantine, to be called Bourouag. The company says the project is valued at close to $1 billion. The mixed urban development will marry residential, commercial and institutional buildings

in four clusters forming a cohesive and integrated community, according to Michel Lauzon, Lemay’s partner and chief creative officer. The city will extend over 40 hectares and will accommodate 2,595 housing units, including 125 villas in the first cluster. A second cluster will house three primary schools, three high schools, two daycare centres, a 15,000-squaremetre sports complex, a college and a mosque. The third cluster will have a hotel, a shopping centre and a business centre complete with a bank, a health clinic and an administrative building. The fourth cluster will be composed mostly of public spaces, including some of an institutional or commercial nature. alberta Construction Magazine | 17

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RISING Massive urban facelift project brings changes, excitement to Calgary By Heidi Staseson

These artist renderings show what will become a key draw to Calgary’s East Village, the National Music Centre. The images at the bottom show the lobby (left) and the orientation gallery.

They’re building it and they’re coming. The six-year-old mandate to revitalize Calgary’s Rivers District, starting with the East Village—the 49 acres between Fort Calgary and the downtown core—has successfully broken ground after nearly four decades of failed attempts at breathing new life into the veritable birthplace of Cowtown. Since incorporating in 2007, the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), an arms-length subsidiary of the City of Calgary, has envisioned East Village as the area with the greatest need for redevelopment in the city. The sell factor is the area’s proximity to Fort Calgary—a preserved green space with rich historical relevance, says Clare Nolan, senior manager, marketing communications, with the CMLC.

“It celebrates what East Village was,” she notes. Or, perhaps more aptly, what East Village could have been if the political construction cards were played right. East Village has endured its fair share of starts and stops when it comes to community and commercial renewal. With no successful restoration and resurgence until recently, the area had been virtually relegated to a ghost terrain of vacant lots and abandoned buildings littered among the city’s neglected residents.

MASTER CLASS In 2009, CMLC unveiled a master plan for the mixed-use revitalization of all 49 acres of East Village prepared by London-based architectural and design firm Broadway alberta Construction Magazine | 21


Construction began on the 196-unit condo complex known as FIRST in March.

to turn the under-utilized park space into a recreational destination for all Calgarians to enjoy. Another hit with Calgarians is the RiverWalk Project, which will provide a pedestrian connection along a four-kilometre pathway running from Centre Street to Lindsay Park along both the Bow and Elbow rivers. It combines multiuse pathways for separate pedestrian and cycling purposes and showcases RiverWalk Plaza (housed behind the restored Simmons Mattress building).

Malyan Limited. The project’s success rests in creating a community that not only services new residents, but also is a gathering place for all Calgarians—with the Bow River being the ultimate urban experience connector. “There are a lot of people in Calgary that are looking for an urban, vibrant downtown living experience—and there are a lot of people that leave Calgary to get it,” Nolan points out. They’re “urban explorers,” remarks Calgary Ward 7 Alderman Druh Farrell. Architectural renderings from among the multitude of designers and developers showcase the projects both underway and

22 | summer 2013

those that have yet to break ground, from the $245-million central Calgary Public Library to the $130-million, 160,000-squarefoot edifice straddling 4th Street SE—that by 2015 is slated to become the National Music Centre—with endless concert space, recording studios, and bars and restaurants, including the King Edward Hotel. In 2012, a massive bridge-and-island infrastructure project began at a combined cost of $45 million. In February, the arches of St. Patrick’s Bridge started taking shape, with the bridge’s completion slated for the end of the year. It will provide pedestrian passage to St. Patrick’s Island, a 31-acre park space that is currently under redevelopment

CMLC has invested $180 million into its infrastructure projects through a funding strateg y called the Community Revitalization Levy. It allows the city to borrow up to $283 million to cover upgrading initiatives such as flood protection and the installation of new sewer and water pipes. To create a mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly community, you first need to employ urban design elements—or what CMLC calls “streetscape” enhancements—to repair infrastructure. This remediation started at the inception of CMLC’s East Village land development. It’s not yet complete, with some streets still under construction. Changes to date include the creation of wider sidewalks, installation of brick cobblestone roads



commercial to replace broken sidewalks, low-level lampposts, benches, bike racks, and big-belly garbage cans with solar-powered trash compactors and recycling units. Not only were sidewalks widened, but in some flood-plain areas the level of the street had to be raised by as much as four feet, says Nolan, on account of the bordering Bow River. It’s a flood-proofing measure to protect future development sites—the building costs of which are covered by developers including Embassy-Bosa of Vancouver and FRAM+Slokker residential developers of Mississauga, Ont. These two groups bought the land upon which they are building the residential units from CMLC. Such mixed-use, mid-rise, multi-family, vertical development projects have moved forward over the past year. Both groups will provide housing for upwards of 1,500 new owners. FRAM+Slokker’s 196-unit condo complex, called FIRST, broke ground in March, while Phase 1 of Embassy-Bosa’s Evolution project started construction last October. They are 18 and 21 storeys, respectively, both with about 70 per cent of the units sold on first phase. Residential projects have amenities such as fitness rooms, social lounges, gym and yoga rooms, and barbecue nooks. “The fact there are going to be multi-use [services], coffee shops, supermarkets, nearby transit, the RiverWalk and jogging path— that’s just as important as what’s inside the suite,” says Fred Serrafero, vice-president, development and construction of FRAM Building Group. It’s the types of infrastructure initiatives listed that emphasize the pedestrian—first and foremost—and that are “forever changing the face of East Village,” says Michael Brown, president and chief executive officer, CMLC. “CMLC has been advancing our master plan vision for this downtown community since 2007, and while there remains a lot of work to do, we are very proud of the community that is unfolding,” he adds. Says Toronto native Megan Robinson, who lives in neighbouring Victoria Park: “I think it will be the place that I go when I’m not at work or at home. It allows me to use my car less. I can jump on the C-Train or I can ride my bike on the pathway. It’s just so peoplefriendly, and to know that I’m a walk away from all these things makes me happy. It’s honestly the best-developed waterfront I’ve ever seen.”

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24 | summer 2013

WET BLANKETS IN THE PARK To be sure, the East Village project has seen those same developmental decriers who equate the efforts to new avenues for crime over camaraderie. They liken the east to the low-income, low-grade, crime-addled areas of generally unpleasant ambiance and activity. Says Nolan: “The east side of the city is often concentrated as industrial use—because of the way the wind blows. If it’s something that kind of smells, they put it on the east side,” she quips, pointing to the fact these are the areas where industrial use might have typically first started in a given city—which jibes with the fact that East Village is considered a brownfield site for past developmental activity. Farrell concurs the land is a “wonderful opportunity for brownfield reclamation”— certainly no different from its infrastructure improvement counterparts in other urban centres. “This is not a problem that’s unique to Calgary—it’s inherent everywhere,” Farrell says. Naysayers notwithstanding, like with Calgary’s controversial Peace Bridge before it, the skeptics of East Village are starting to come around, Farrell says. “Initially, there was a significant amount of cynicism that East Village could never succeed; there were too many problems associated with it,” notes Farrell, conversely adding that lately she’s heard from few that are offhanded over the outcome. “It’s proven itself. We saw the natural gift that this piece of land had being at the

The St. Patrick’s Bridge (top rendering) construction should be wrapped up later this year. The rendering at the bottom is an early version concept of what a vibrant East Village might look like from the air at night.

confluence of the two rivers. We saw the potential. All you need to do is go down and look at it, what’s being planned. There’s no question that the first investors in East Village came from outside the city because they didn’t see the issues as insurmountable— they saw the potential.” Judging from the fact the vertical projects have sold 70 per cent of their units thus far, it would seem East Village will in fact surpass its previous futile and stillborn development and this time around bear witness to a fullscale birth and renewal.


When the new inhabitants start to arrive, Nolan points out, all the amenities and conveniences will be firmly in place for pedestrian-friendly traffic. She says there are a lot of people that would happily deal without their daily downtown commute in favour of walking to work. Some of them might even opt to work pretty much where they tuck in at night. Serrafero says his group is exploring adding workspace to the 50,000 square feet of retail space he has to fill at the base of one of his residential developments. “We found that there was some really good synergy when there was some office component in a mixed-use centre,” he says, attributing this to a heightened hustle-bustle factor that erupts when suddenly there are people to fill in those portions of the day that are normally dormant. The project also calls for integrating the new with the existing, says Nolan, citing the current large and senior population living in East Village that factored into the CMLC’s urban plan. “We realized that we already had an existing population, and we needed to ensure that the new residents could integrate and mix well. So there’s been a lot of effort in improving the public realm for the residents—new and old.” Serrafero adds that both he and CMLC share a vision that will appeal to different demographics of age and socio-economic backgrounds. “I think [that diversity] creates a more exciting and vibrant neighborhood,” he explains.

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h t w o r g r o f n o i t p i Prescr Alberta communities getting a slew of new or expanded hospitals and health-care centres


By Diane L.M. Cook

Construction is underway on an expanded and redeveloped Medicine Hat Regional Hospital (top rendering) and Edson Healthcare Centre (above).

Like other Alberta communities, Grande Prairie has experienced rapid growth over the past decade, making it one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada. And like other communities, Grande Prairie has faced the challenges resulting from growth. Among them is the need for new and expanded hospitals. But relief is on the way. A new regional hospital and cancer centre in Grande Prairie will help more of Alberta’s northern patients receive specialized and complex care, closer to home and with shorter wait times. Expected to be finished in 2017, the $621.4-million hospital being built by Graham Construction is one of several hospitals or health-care centres throughout Alberta under construction.

alberta Construction Magazine | 27

institutional Some background: three years ago, the provincial government announced its 2010-13 Health Capital Plan. The plan is comprised of two phases. The first phase will see the construction of 22 projects worth $1.4 billion in 15 communities. The second phase will see the implementation of a new cancer infrastructure plan that will provide $1.3 billion for 16 projects in Calgary and Edmonton. Grande Prairie’s hospital is part of the first phase. The new hospital will have: ■ Two hundred in-patient beds, including medical, surgical and rehabilitation, intensive care, cardiac care, neonatal intensive care, pediatric and mental health beds. ■ Roughed-in space for an additional 32 beds, should they be required in the future. ■ An emergency department that is designed as the primary emergency facility for the Grande Prairie region, supplemented by the urgent care services that will be provided at the existing Queen Elizabeth II Hospital. ■ Nine operating rooms, with the ability to expand to 10. ■ A cancer centre that will bring radiation therapy services to the community. ■ An obstetrics department with space for an anticipated 2,150 annual births in the region by 2025. ■ Diagnostic imaging, including an MRI and future expansion capability. ■ Mental health, respiratory therapy, laboratory and pharmacy services. Minister of Infrastructure Wayne Drysdale says: “Our government is committed to improving Albertans’ access to needed health services by building quality facilities that will meet the changing health needs of our growing communities for years to come.”

Mobile Offices Workforce Camps Storage Products Modular Buildings

The following communities also have major health-care centre or hospital projects (over $50 million) underway as part of the province’s phase-one plan:

Edson Edson’s new HeaLtHCare CeNtre will consolidate services for community health and wellness, primary care and acute care, in hopes that it significantly improves access to and quality of care in the community. The centre will include an emergency department, acute care and surgical services.



Stuart Olson Dominion Construction Ltd.

Lethbridge Lethbridge’s CHINOOK reGIONaL HOsPItaL is a redevelopment project that will provide improved access to outpatient services, specialized care and emergency services. The redevelopment will include a five-storey wing for hospital services, roughed-in space for 64 in-patient beds and an expanded emergency department.


Phase 1 – 2015

Stuart Olson Dominion Construction Ltd.

Medicine Hat Medicine Hat’s reGIONaL HOsPItaL is a redevelopment project that will see a new building replace the Dr. Dan MacCharles Auxiliary wing. The six-storey wing will include a cancer clinic, an expanded emergency department and surgical services.



Stuart Olson Dominion Construction Ltd.


Offices in Edmonton, Calgary, Fort McMurray 28 | summer 2013


Sherwood Park


Phase one of the stratHCONa COMMuNItY HOsPItaL in Sherwood Park will include an emergency department, urgent care and a range of ambulatory clinics. While the CASA House portion of the project is complete, phase two of the hospital was cancelled in the government of Alberta’s 2013 budget and the facility has been downgraded to an urgent care centre.

Calgary’s new $1.3-billion sOutH HeaLtH CaMPus —a 2012 Alberta Construction Magazine Top Projects Awards winner—continues to open in phases. Built by EllisDon, the facility includes a broad range of in-patient and outpatient services, with a focus on wellness services and facilities.

$130 million



Phase 1 – 2014


EllisDon Construction EllisDon Construction

Fort Saskatchewan The new Fort Saskatchewan COMMuNItY HOsPItaL opened last year. The hospital includes 38 acute care beds, an obstetrical program and radiology services.

$85 million

High Prairie The new HIGH PraIrIe HeaLtH COMPLeX will include 30 acute care beds and 67 continuing care beds. The complex will also include an emergency department, acute care, and in-patient and day surgery.

$159.5 million





EllisDon Construction Graham Construction

The two major projects in the second phase of the government’s Health Capital Plan are: eDMONtON’s CrOss CaNCer INstItute will receive expanded space for radiation therapy, laboratory science and diagnostic services. Currently, work is proceeding on the preliminary planning and scoping out of the project. Timelines for the project have not been established yet. Once the project scope has been finalized, the process will move forward on a Request For Proposal for construction. The budget for the project is $67 million. A new CaNCer CeNtre will be built in CaLGarY, giving southern Albertans better access to cancer care, all within the existing Foothills Medical Centre site. The centre will provide cancer patients and their families all cancer services in one place, streamlining care. The centre will include in-patient beds, the latest advanced cancer diagnostic and treatment technologies, an outpatient facility and research space to provide more opportunities for cancer innovation. This $1.2-billion project will be built in partnership with the Alberta Cancer Foundation, Alberta’s largest cancer charity. The Alberta Cancer Foundation has committed to raise $200 million to support the new facility. Following an extensive planning phase, construction is expected to begin by 2015 or 2016.


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alberta Construction Magazine | 29

Set Yourself Apart


THE LONG ROAD The twinning of Highway 63 kicks into high gear this summer By Joseph Caouette

It’s a road where 130 kilometres per hour sometimes seems like the speed limit and vehicles have been known to clock in at 230 kilometres per hour. People are used to everything moving a little more quickly on Highway 63. For many years, the exception has been construction. Twinning the 240 kilometres of highway between Atmore, Alta., and Fort McMurray is no small undertaking, and work has been ongoing since 2006. But despite the delays and drawn-out schedules, there has always been a sense of urgency behind the billiondollar plan to make the perilous passage to the oilsands safer for drivers.

alberta Construction Magazine | 31


highway 63 construction

240 KM

fOrt McMurraY

Hangingstone river

sCHeDuLeD fOr teNDerING IN 2013

HWY 881

200 KM

Project: 28 kilometres of twinning between horse Creek and hangingstone river

House river

Completion date: Fall 2015 Project: slide repairs south of highway 881

Horse Creek Project: 31 kilometres of twinning between house river and Crow Creek

Cost: $2 million

Completion date: Fall 2015

Crow Creek

Project: la biche river bridge (located 14 kilometres north of atmore) Completion date: summer 2014

Completion date: summer 2013

algar tower

MarIaNa LaKe

Crow Lake Provincial Park 100 KM

Project: Climbing lanes north between Crow lake Provincial Park and highway 881 junction Cost: $7.1 million Completion date: summer 2013

Project: 17 kilometres of twinning grading between algar tower and horse Creek Cost: $33 million Completion date: Fall 2013

HWY 63

Project: 15 kilometres of twinning grading between Mariana lake and algar tower WaNDerING rIVer

teNDereD aND uNDer CONstruCtION La Biche river

Project: 17 kilometres of twinning grading between la biche river and wandering river Cost: $35 million

Cost: $18 million Completion date: Fall 2013

Project: 55 kilometres of tree clearing between house river and Mariana lake Cost: $3 million Completion date: spring 2013

Completion date: spring 2014 atMOre

0 KM Project: 27 kilometres of twinning grading near wandering river Cost: $42 million Completion date: Fall 2013

32 | summer 2013

note: Map is not to scale. locations and distances are approximate.


Photo: goVErnMEnt oF albErta

Drivers on Highway 63 will notice 250 pieces of equipment working on construction along the road this summer.

In 2005, then-minister of infrastructure and transportation Lyle Oberg went before a Calgary crowd to warn of the pressing need to expand the so-called oilsands highway. “Let’s not wait for the 10,000–12,000 vehicles that will be needed there,” he said in the Daily Oil Bulletin. “Let’s help the oil companies. Let’s make that transportation route viable.” Of course, traffic on the highway back then was a little lighter than it is now. For an example, just look at any point along Alberta Transportation’s network of automated traffic recorders, such as the one found seven kilometres south of the Highway 69 junction, not far from Fort McMurray. In 2005, that spot saw a daily average of 5,240 vehicles. Today, the number is

8,950—slowly creeping up on Oberg’s 10,000-vehicle warning. Further south—at Mariana Lake, Alta., the midway point on the highway—traffic dwindles to a more modest daily average of 4,330. Still, even this is a considerable number of cars and trucks to be breezing past a tiny rural outpost on a two-lane highway, and the future will almost certainly not bring relief. Since 2009, traffic in the area has grown a minimum of seven per cent annually. Figures like that were likely a factor in Premier Alison Redford’s 2012 decision to accelerate twinning in order to reach a fall 2016 deadline. Over the next three years, $442 million will be spent on the highway. The total cost of the project is estimated at $1 billion, which includes twinning Highway 63 and alberta Construction Magazine | 33


improving the road less travelled, otherwise known as Highway 881. (The latter project has been put on hold following the Alberta government’s belt-tightening 2013-14 budget.) Much of that activity will take place this summer. Over 400 workers and 250 pieces of equipment will dot the side of the highway in the coming months. Bridges will be built and trees will be cleared. Utilities need to be moved and roads paved and graded. All told, 60 kilometres of Highway 63 will be graded this year at a cost of $93 million. In addition, 55 kilometres of road between House River and Mariana Lake will be prepared for construction in the near future. And tenders are already being prepared for another 60 kilometres of work that are scheduled to be completed by 2015. Crucial connectors in Fort McMurray itself will also be expanded as part of the project. Interchanges at Confederation Way and Thickwood Boulevard have 34 | summer 2013

Photo: goVErnMEnt oF albErta

Construction on Highway 63 will cost the province $442 million over the next three years.


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been opened with temporary ramps, with construction wrapping up by the fall. Three bridges crossing the Athabasca River—Steinhauer, Franklin and Grant MacEwan—will be completed by 2014. In 2015, access to the Parsons Creek development west of the highway should be open. “We are working hard to ensure a safe and productive construction season on Highway 63—and the amount of activity drivers will see this year will make Highway 63 twinning very real for them,” says Jeanna Friedly, a spokeswoman for Alberta Transportation. With construction delays expected during the summer, she urges drivers to use common sense and take some extra time when heading out on the highway this year. It’s sound advice, and very fitting for the long-running project. After all, it has already taken seven years to get this far. An extra half hour here or there doesn’t sound so bad by comparison.

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Toll Free 1-800-252-9375 Web: alberta Construction Magazine | 35










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Photo: Viktor Gladkov/

Alberta is punching well above its weight in the fabrication sector By Godfrey Budd

When the Alberta Steel Manufacturers (ASM) was formed last year—partly as a response to concerns about lack of awareness of Alberta’s fabrication capacity among some owners and global engineering procurement construction companies—the groups backing ASM had more on their minds than just cheerleading for the home team. They had a case to make. And they wanted it heard. Alberta’s machinery and fabricated metals industry includes some 1,700 companies, with about 43,000 employees. “Annual [gross domestic product, or GDP] contribution to the Alberta economy averaged over $4 billion in the past six years,” according to an ASM news release from 2012. The figures cited in the release reflect the combined output for North American Industry Classification System subsectors 332 (fabricated metals) and 333 (machinery). The North American Industry Classification System is used by government and businesses to classify businesses according to the type of economic activity. That $4-billion average includes the recession of 2009. The machinery and fabricated metals industry sector, expressed in GDP numbers, dropped off sharply that year. From $4.6 billion in 2008, output fell to $3.5 billion in 2009, with a recovery in 2010 to $4.2 billion. “The [machinery and fabricated metals industry] was hit hard by the global economic crisis, and especially by the weak oil and gas sector,” says Jan Reurink, director for economic research and analysis at Alberta Enterprise and Advanced Education. “GDP for this sector in Alberta declined marginally between 2006 and 2008, followed by a large 21 per cent decline in 2009.” The modest recovery of 2010 was followed by a sharp rebound. According to the latest available figures from Statistics Canada, the sector’s contribution to the provincial GDP was $5.2 billion in 2011, surpassing the previous record high of $4.6 billion set in 2006. Alberta Construction Magazine | 37


Did you know?

“GDP in the sector rose 46 per cent between 2009 and 2011. The value of manufacturing shipments has continued to rise in 2012, with a 27 per cent gain during the first half of 2012, compared with the first half of 2011,” Reurink says. The $5.2 billion contribution to the provincial GDP amounts to an estimated $13.7 billion in revenues, according to Statistics Canada. Overall, in the last dozen years, the sector’s growth curve looks relatively consistent, despite the peaks and valleys. Between 2001 and 2011, the number of employees grew by nearly 12,000 to about 43,000, with the value of shipments more than doubling to $13.7 billion.

FAST GROWING In its pace of growth, however, the sector stands out. From 2001 to 2011, the province’s machinery and fabricated metals industry was the fastest-growing manufacturing sector in the province, with output growth of 81 per cent, compared with a 21 per cent increase in GDP for Alberta’s manufacturing sector, overall. “Much of this sector’s GDP increase occurred between 2000 and 2006, with an increase of 60 per cent during that period,” Reurink points out. According to an analysis he did, which he notes is derived from Statistics Canada data, the sector’s largest subsectors on a revenue basis are: ➳ Oil and gas field machinery, worth $4.9 billion in 2011, which had more than quadrupled in size since 2001. ➳ Architectural and structural metals, worth $2.2 billion in 2011, had grown by 80 per cent since 2001. ➳ Pumps and compressors, worth $1.6 billion in 2011, had risen 65 per cent since 2001. ➳ Boilers, tanks and shipping containers, worth $1 billion in 2011, had risen 72 per cent since 2001. ➳ Machine shops’ products, worth $927 million in 2011, had risen 120 per cent since 2001. ➳ Heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, worth $432 million in 2011, had risen 56 per cent since 2001.

38 | summer 2013

alberta’s machinery and fabricated metals industry contributed $5.2 billion to alberta’s gdP in 2011, up from the high of $4.6 billion set in 2006. the industry includes about 1,700 companies that employ about 43,000 people. SOURCE: STATISTICS CANADA

About 13 per cent of the businesses that comprise the sector have more than 50 employees. Reurink says that although no reliable estimates are available for the primary metals or the transportation equipment sectors, it is estimated that these sectors had in excess of $2 billion in combined revenues in 2010 and employed about 7,000 people. Some subsectors, such as structural steel fabrication and pressure vessel manufacture, are especially concentrated in the metro Edmonton area. Manufacturing accounted for about 10 per cent of the capital city area’s GDP in 2010, and was worth an estimated $5.2 billion, according to the City of Edmonton. Although the metro region’s manufacturing sector is diverse, with 13 subsectors making up two per cent or more of the manufacturing pie, a pair of subsectors account for almost 40 per cent of the overall sector—fabricated metal products (23 per cent) and machinery (15 per cent). The Canadian Institute for Steel Construction (CISC), the Alberta Pressure Vessel Ma nufacturers’ Association (APVMA), and the Alberta government were prime movers behind the formation of ASM. Among their goals was the development of an analysis of both steel fabrication capacity and costs in Canada. A study, which is focused on structural steel, bridge work, carbon steel (non-pressurized) plate work and open web steel joists, is currently nearing completion. “The study came about to see what the capacity was in Canada and to present the evidence of that capacity,” says Tareq Ali, director of marketing at CISC.

As one would expect, structural steel fabrication, which has such a critical role in oilsands development, is a major part of the province’s metals fabrication output. Also not surprisingly, Alberta, and the Edmonton region in particular, punch well above their weight in this sector. Alberta’s installed capacity for structural steel fabrication is somewhat over 200,000 tonnes per year, according to a recent draft of the final report capacity, which researchers at the University of Alberta are preparing for release by CISC. The preliminary numbers suggest Alberta has greater structural steel fabrication capacity than Ontario (159,000 tonnes per year) or Quebec (135,000 tonnes). At least 150,000 tonnes of Alberta’s 200,000-plus-tonne capacity is located in the Edmonton area, says Paul Zubick, Alberta regional chairman for CISC and chair of ASM.

CENTRE OF ATTENTION This and other numbers support the view that the Edmonton metro region is a major centre for structural steel fabrication. As already noted, metals fabrication contributed about $2.2 billion to Alberta’s GDP. Given that Edmonton accounts for around three quarters of this output, the Alberta capital compares well with a major industrial hot spot at the heart, some would say, of the giant U.S. oilpatch—Houston, Texas. The metro Houston area, which has a population of about six million, had a GDP of $3.9 billion in 2010 for its fabricated metal product–manufacturing sector, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Metro Edmonton’s output, with a population base of 1.2 million, was slightly less than half Houston’s GDP figure for this sector. Another angle also provides a view of the region’s capacity. Suncor Energy Inc.’s now-cancelled Voyageur upgrader project would have required about 44,000 tonnes of structural steel. “That would have been needed over a period of two years and would have used about


half our capacity. I know that because we had the contract,” says Zubick, who, besides his role with ASM and CISC, is also vice-president, contracts, at Edmonton-based Waiward Steel Fabricators Ltd. The $5.7-billion North West Redwater upgrader, which is going ahead, will require about 40,000 tonnes of structural steel, he says. Alberta is also an important manufacturer of pressure vessels, heat exchangers and related equipment. Pressure vessels have a key role in the oil and gas sector and typically account for a significant part of any oilsands project. “There’s a much greater capacity for making pressure vessels in Alberta compared to, say, Ontario,” says Bob Saari, manager of APVMA. He points to a report, covering the years 2002-09, that documents the number of pressure vessels registered in Alberta with the Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA). The pressure vessel category covers 22 product types, which must be registered with ABSA when put into use in Alberta. Two things stand out in the report. The first is the huge number of units registered in some years. The total went from 10,581 in 2002 to 24,432 in 2005. In 2009, it dropped to 6,191. Until figures for the years after 2009 are in, the figure for 2005 remains the high-water mark. The second thing that jumps out from the report is the very high percentage of product that was made in Alberta. Even during the biggest year for registrations, 80 per cent of the vessels registered were made in Alberta. This percentage dropped slightly in 2007 and 2008, before zooming to 90 per cent in 2009—a period when many APVMA members, who account for about 65 per cent capacity in Alberta, were operating at around 50 per cent capacity or less. Although projects like the North West Redwater upgrader are going ahead, some operations people in the steel fabrication sector still point to unused capacity in the province—not a lack of it. Points out Jim Kanerva, chief operations officer at Waiward Steel: “For the next six months, approximately 50–60 per cent of Alberta’s capacity is being utilized.”

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s r o s n o p s d n a We thank our participants PARTICIPANTS

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e h t r o f

! t r o p p u s s u o r e n e g r i




BRONZE SPONSORS Pockar Masonry Ltd. Alberta Allied Roofing Association Alberta Glass Compnay Inc. Rapicon Inc. Rogers Insurance Ltd. Alpine Drywall (Calgary) Ltd. Alvarez & Garcia Services Ltd. Siding Contractors Association of Alberta Watson Refrigeration Glass and Architectural Metals Association

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d o o w . s v l e Ste the n o s t duc o r p w sing ne o o h c ake m t e k r ma l and e e t s en betwe tle bit t i l a t jus wood ult c i f f i d more d Flaksta


d ah l B y N or

42 | summer 2013


At times, construction can be a confusing industry,

e ay look lik

m lad siding ew NaturC n s’ n o ti Innova ally steel. t it is actu wood, bu

with steel seemingly transformed into would-be wood and wood assuming a steely demeanor. Some wood-based products seek to compete with structural or performance characteristics of concrete, masonry or metal. Alternatively, metal or synthetic construction components are often finished to give the feel or aesthetic of wood and stone. Canada has been fairly slow to add wooden looks to metal and composite siding. European-inspired composite soffit-like panels, with such a woody appearance, have found their way onto a few Alberta buildings—notably renovations to Edmonton’s Clarke Stadium. Other efforts to achieve a woody appearance have entailed “sublimating” or pulling a transparent wood-grain cover over and then re-baking powder-coated aluminum extrusions or other components, such as window frames. However, the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is championing new applications that allow wood to reach higher and wider. It could let wood challenge steel and concrete as a structural material—even for large, multi-storey buildings. In Edmonton, Lenmak Exterior Innovations Inc. is manufacturing a new steel-based NaturClad siding that looks convincingly like wood. Lenmak owner Ray Turner liked the wood look on siding, but felt products on the market were overpriced and unsuited for Canada’s climate or required overly complex manufacturing. Turner searched for alternatives better suited to Canadian budgets and environments and found the inspiration for his company’s NaturClad in “printed paint” stencilling techniques, which apply wood-grain patterns to steel furniture and metal garage doors. In 2008, Lenmak began using printed paint to deliver a weathered copper, zinc and even rust appearance to a steel-based siding. The Morinville, Alta., Civic Hall and Community Library building is among those where Lenmak has supplied such StrataClad panels. Lenmak manufactures the siding panels at its $4-million, fully automated production line in western Edmonton. The company buys huge coils of print-painted steel product then shapes it into customized siding units to fit clients’ requirements. Lenmak plans to offer a variety of shades for NaturClad, which currently comes in a walnut wood grain and in three shades—natural walnut, mahogany and light hickory. “We’re trying to give the option of that real wood look with the 40-year paint warranty,” explains Turner.

alberta Construction Magazine | 43


Preserved wood gets new environmentally friendly treatment Going green is likely not the most environmentally friendly solution for pressuretreated wood elements—including fences, decks, railings and walkways. MicroPro Sienna pressure-treated wood, marketed by Timber Specialties Co. of Campbellville, Ont., hit the Canadian market this spring, offering an alternative to the green, pressure-treated woods that have long been a Canadian staple. Through the injection of natural pigments, MicroPro Sienna provides aesthetic appeal with its yellow-brown wood tone. Equally important, the product’s preservative process eliminates the need to stain green-hued, treated wood. Traditionally, such wood was protected with preservative—but potentially corrosive—chromecopper-arsenic or alkaline-copper quaternary mixtures. MicroPro Sienna relies on a patented preservative process whereby copper is injected at the microscopic level, thus alleviating the need for the chemical solvent (monoethylamine) previously used that gave treated wood its greenish tinge. Timber Specialties Co.’s vice-president of marketing, Mary-Anne Dalkowski, explains that MicroPro Sienna has been cleared for use for six years in the United States, where it has garnered a series of environmental certifications. It and similar products now enjoy about 70 per cent of the U.S. treated-wood market, but MicroPro Sienna has only recently attained registration with Heath Canada. Because the water treatment process deposits finely ground copper into the wood’s cell walls at the sub-micron level, the treated wood releases much less copper into the environment over time. Its low-volatile organic-compound emissions suit it for use in locations frequented by children, such as playgrounds. While residential construction, landscaping and DIY represent the primary markets, Dalkowski also sees commercial and institutional applications for MicroPro Sienna on projects like boardwalks, restaurant patios, decks, gazebos and park shelters. Spray Lake Sawmills in Cochrane, Alta., is the only plant in western Canada producing MicroPro Sienna. For more information visit

44 | Summer 2013

Steely competition If wood-like steel siding amounts to the “most sincere form of flattery,” the forest industry is returning the compliment by challenging steel and concrete. Many forest products have faced declining demand in the last decade. Some of that downturn stems from structural changes, like reduced demand for newsprint, and cyclical challenges, such as the U.S. housing collapse. This prompted Canada’s $57-billion-peryear forestry industry, led by FPAC, to seek new ways to utilize forest resources. An FPAC Bio-Pathways initiative examined novel ways to extract chemical, pharmaceutical and food ingredients, as well as energy, from trees. Of more immediate impact to construction is FPAC’s Construction Value Pathways initiative. Released in February, it studied ways that the solid-woods side of the industry might diversify beyond traditional markets and products. The review looked at current and future trends in global construction—including residential, commercial and infrastructure—in North America, Asia and Europe. The global scan identified 32 promising, emerging products within the following five wider categories: 1 Multi-functional panels, including sheathing, insulation, water barrier and structural capacity; 2 Next-generation engineered wood products; 3 Fibre-based insulation; 4 Hybrid building solutions with wood added to steel and concrete structures such as floor decks; and


MicroPro Sienna pressure-treated wood is new to the Canadian market.

NaturClad is entirely Canadian produced, from the substrate through the paint system, and finally to Lenmak’s custom fabrication. Besides the aesthetic features, low maintenance and durability, NaturClad has a Class 1 fire rating and can be custom manufactured and delivered within days. NaturClad assembles easily and requires no retraining of installation crews. While expecting NaturClad to find use on residential structures, Turner also foresees it on commercial and institutional structures, as well as condominiums and certain industrial structures. “Architects,” he notes, “are looking for products that have some aesthetic punch.” NaturClad is more versatile and more easily customized than competing products originating in Europe, and, Turner adds, costs “half the money or less” and is price-competitive with acrylic stucco.


feature 5 Exterior application of durable, lowmaintenance products. “A lot of them are commercial or fairly close to being commercialized elsewhere in the world—primarily in Europe,” explains FPAC vice-president of regulations and partnerships, Paul Lansbergen. Lansbergen notes the example of a multifunctional, three-in-one sheathing product in the form of an oriented strand board (OSB) panel that already comes with a plastic vapour barrier on the outside and insulated coating on the inside: “You put it up [on] the outside like you would OSB on your structured wall. It’s faster to put up than regular sheathing.” Next-generation products could include engineered wood studs geared toward taller walls, or low-density fibre-based insulation panels, several inches thick. Such products might find application in ceiling structures and partition walls in office and commercial buildings. Construction Value Pathways is also encouraging hybrid building solutions where wood fills in—in the form of walls, ceilings and f loors—a concrete or steel structural skeleton.

“We’re trying to give the option of that real wood look with the 40-year paint warranty,” says Lenmak Exterior Innovations owner Ray Turner of his new product.

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alberta Construction Magazine | 45

feature Finally, lower-maintenance exteriors could improve upon traditional wood cladding and reposition wood siding competitively alongside ersatz wood products such as NaturClad. “[Forest products] are really small players on the commercial side,” Lansbergen concedes, but that could change with slight modifications to traditional products. Engineered wood beams allow for the longer spans needed for open-spaced commercial buildings. Other laminated products also hold promise.

Moving on up Helped by the pioneering efforts of CST Innovations Ltd. of New Westminster, B.C., cross-laminated timber (CLT) is gaining traction in Canada. CLT employs techniques originally developed in Switzerland in the 1990s and borrows a page from thin-veneer plywood production. However, instead of combining sheets of veneer, perpendicularly positioned layers of thicker lumber are glued together. This allows for fabrication of panelling of varying thickness of decks, walls and roofs in dimensions 10 feet high or possibly 60 feet in length.

Ledcor Group is placing CLT panels in the roof of a new Fort McMurray, Alta., airport terminal. In Brantford, Ont., CLT is being used on the roof of the new Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre. Another sports venue, the Richmond Olympic Oval, built for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, provided an international showcase for wood’s structural strength and appeal. By creating perfectly uniform strength properties comparable to those of steel and concrete, CLT opens prospects for wooden structures to reach new heights far exceeding those permitted by the current National Building Code of Canada (NBCC). Canadian codes generally restrict the height of buildings made from combustible materials to four storeys or less. That, Lansbergen notes, is lower than the six storeys practical for building stick-frame buildings and considerably below what is feasible with CLT. He notes upward mobility for wooden buildings is part of the debate leading to 2015 NBCC revisions. Even so, already in the works is a six-storey (27.5-metre) all-wood Wood Innovation and Design Centre on the University of Northern British Columbia’s Prince George campus.

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46 | Summer 2013

Some architects believe that, with new products and techniques, wooden structures up to 30 storeys are feasible. Lansbergen concedes that “cash is still king” and would-be ideas won’t readily be adopted unless cost-competitive. He believes that may be achieved through cost-effective systems that save time and manpower during installation. Some of the potential products identified by FPAC, particularly ones that involve new building systems, will take time to reach market. That’s partly because of the need for forest-firm investments, which may come through joint ventures, licensing, takeovers or even buy-outs of and by foreign firms with new technologies. It may also require the restructuring of forestry business models. Industry players may have to see themselves less as commodity producers (as with standardized lumber) and more as manufacturers of ready-to-install products. Moving beyond being hewers (and planers and sawyers) of wood will bring forest products companies closer to end-users—something that FPAC’s Lansbergen sees “requiring a more integrated relationship with architects, engineers and designers.”

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people, products & projects who’s who and what’s what

IVIS Inc., led by president and chief executive officer Dolores Eaton, will support NAIT’s water and wastewater technician program with a $500,000 donation.


IVIS gives $500,000 gift to NAIT the northern alberta institute of technology (nait) has received a significant funding boost from iVis inc. the Edmonton-based underground infrastructure service provider has donated $500,000 to the school. “we at iVis recognize and admire the role of nait in alberta’s economy and the value of the hands-on, technology-based education the institute provides for students and apprentices,” says dolores Eaton, the company’s president and chief executive officer, as well as a former alberta Construction Magazine Mover & shaker. the water and wastewater technician program will receive $85,000 to help update labs and equipment, while $375,000 will go towards applied research, such as improvements to technologies used in maintaining and repairing underground infrastructure. Finally, $40,000 will go to support two annual $1,000 bursaries—one for water and wastewater technician students, and the other for civil engineering technology students.

how to suBMIt IteMs does your company have news about personnel changes or new products? or did it just land a new project in alberta? we want to know about it. here’s how to get your news to us. eMail iteMS to: or SeNd it to: assistant Editor, alberta Construction Magazine, 220-9303 34 avenue nw, Edmonton, ab t6E 5w8 or FaX to: 780-944-9500 Please include the full name and location of the company.

alberta Construction Magazine | 49

people, products, projects

ATCO gets nod from mod bod

The Modular Building Institute’s annual Awards of Distinction gave top marks to the Pirate’s Cove Lodge near Conklin, Alta.

ATCO Structures & Logistics Ltd. was honoured by the Modular Building Institute (MBI) for its work on the Pirate’s Cove Lodge near Conklin, Alta. The project, undertaken for MEG Energy Corp., won first place in the permanent modular commercial housing category at MBI’s annual Awards of Distinction. The awards focus on architectural excellence, technical innovation, energy efficiency, cost and schedule. Built near Christina Lake, the lodge may remind residents of a ski lodge more than a work camp. The 150-bed facility includes a gymnasium and theatre, as well as a skywalk system to shield workers from the harsh climate extremes of northern Alberta. ATCO also received honourable mentions for new office buildings located in Calgary and close to Kirby Lake, Alta.

Supreme and Fluor form mod-fab partnership There’s a new player in Alberta’s ever-expanding modular construction sector. Supreme Group has partnered with Fluor Corporation to form Supreme Modular Fabrication Inc. Ownership of the new company will be shared equally by Fluor and Supreme. “Within this new company, we will be able to offset many of the risks associated with field construction by executing more of the field content in our modular facility,” says John Leder, president and chief operating officer of Supreme Group. Supreme Modular Fabrication will operate out of a 50-acre module yard near Edmonton.

Shell Canada Limited has tapped KBR, Inc. to provide fabrication services on its Quest carbon capture and storage project. KBR’s Edmonton module yard will handle the workload, which includes assembling pipe, process and equipment modules, as well as fabricating pipe spools. The contract also requires KBR to fabricate several unique vertical modules and support off-site testing and commissioning services. Located near Edmonton, the $1.35-billion Quest project will capture carbon dioxide produced from the Scotford oilsands upgrader. The CO2 will be transported via pipeline to a storage site where it will be used for enhanced oil recovery.

New heavy industrial head at PCL Ian Johnston has become the new president and chief operating officer of PCL Constructors Inc.’s heavy industrial division. He replaces Peter Stalenhoef, who is retiring. Since joining the heavy industrial group in 2002, Johnston has served in a variety of senior roles. He comes from an engineering background and has a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Alberta.

50 | Summer 2013

Let ’er rip A new line of hydraulic hammers is making its way into the Canadian marketplace. Distributed by ShearForce Equipment Ltd., the Xcentric Ripper is ideal for demolition, excavation, dredging and trenching. It can even be used underwater because of a pressurized chamber that is wrapped around the attachment head. The product line ranges from the XR10 to the XR120, and is fit for excavators from eight to 150 tons. So far, the Ripper has been deployed primarily in British Columbia and Alberta, where it has been used in forestry, mining, road building and construction. Visit for details.

PHOTOs: (left) ATCO Structures & Logistics; (right) ShearForce Equipment

KBR signs on to Quest

The Xcentric Ripper, a new line of attachments for hydraulic excavators, is being distributed in Canada through ShearForce Equipment Ltd.

people, products, projects

Energex enters Alberta’s work camp segment Energex inc. has expanded its market to include work camps in alberta’s oilsands region. the Vancouver-based company develops building energy management systems. the company in February installed its system at Creeburn lake lodge north of Fort McMurray, alta., where it projects annual energy savings of about $65,000. shawn woods, assistant lodge manager, singles out the “above-standard of work quality and professionalism” and says the “techs explained with clarity the purpose of the product.” in July 2011, Energex sensors were installed in all 983 units at beaver river Executive lodge, a Pti group–owned development north of Fort McMurray. Furnace run time has been reduced an estimated 45 per cent, according to Energex. the company, which developed its technology in 1996 for the hospitality industry, consists of an occupancy-based sensor and an energy management unit interfaced to a room’s thermostat and lights. once a room has been unoccupied for a predetermined period, the system adjusts the hVaC settings to reduce energy consumption. when someone returns to the room, the initial settings are quickly restored.

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Commercial builders in Edmonton launch new association Meet the new face of Edmonton’s commercial development sector. naioP, the Commercial real Estate development association, has launched a new Edmonton chapter. John Croft, president of advent Capital g.P. inc., will serve as the first John Croft, president, NAIOP Edmonton chapter president of the organization. while still relatively new to the Canadian construction scene— this chapter is only the naioP’s fourth in the country, after Calgary, Vancouver and toronto—the association has a long history in the united states. the group provides education opportunities to developers, owners and other professionals from the industrial, commercial and mixed-use real estate sector, while also advocating for legislation on behalf of the industry. “there was a void in representation at the municipal, provincial and federal level from the players in Edmonton,” says Jeffrey hansen-Carlson, co-founder of the Edmonton chapter and director of business development at KEllErdEnali Construction. in addition to KEllErdEnali, other founding partners include remington development Corporation, Edmonton international airport and Camrock Capital. learn more about the association at alberta Construction Magazine | 51

people, products, projects

Diamonds are not just a girl’s best friend

Hilti (Canada) Corporation’s new diamond coring system can drill holes eight inches in diameter in concrete.

a new coring system from hilti (Canada) Corporation should make it easier for workers to cut into concrete, no matter their experience level. the hilti dd 160 diamond coring system can drill holes into concrete walls and floors up to eight inches in diameter. it can be used to install everything from cables and ventilation ducts to reinforcing bars and railings. designed to be easy to handle, the system features power-control lEd lights to guide even the most inexperienced user. there are two versions: a 36-pound basic version and a 47-pound premium version, which includes a vacuum base plate for vacuum fastening. For more information, visit

it’s just like ebay—except with more backhoes for sale. ritchie bros. auctioneers incorporated has launched, a new website dedicated to selling used industrial equipment. the auction company conducted $3.9 billion in equipment transactions last year, but it sees a large, untapped market online.

“our current estimate of the global used equipment market suggests it is in excess of $200 billion in annual transaction value, with approximately half of all equipment transactions taking place on a private treaty basis,” says bob armstrong, the company’s chief strategic development officer. Membership to the site is free and open to anyone from around the world. when

creating a listing, users have the option of setting an ask price and a buy-it-now price, which allows bidders to immediately snag an item. there is also a market reference tool that allows buyers and sellers to compare prices on equipment of similar make and model. the site will roll out self-serve listing functionality for Canadians later in the year.

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Manshield Construction: On time, on budget As Alberta’s population ages, the province’s need for retirement residences increases. And with a third of the province’s population about to become senior citizens over the next two decades, construction companies can’t build enough of these residences fast enough. Manshield Construction, Canadian-owned and operated, is at the forefront of building retirement residences. Started in 1972, Manshield Construction has expanded from its original office in Winnipeg into Thunder Bay, Edmonton and Calgary. The company provides general contracting, design build, construction management and project management services. Using an innovative scheduling process developed by Manshield Construction and Steelrite Construction, projects come in on budget and on time while being able to maintain dedication to quality and detail. This scheduling process allows Manshield Construction to deliver projects in record time frames. Manshield Construction builds retirement residences for All Seniors Care Living Centres, a Toronto-based company dedicated to creating and operating the best seniors’ facilities. In the last five years, Manshield Construction has built 10 retirement residences for All Seniors Care. One of Manshield Construction’s current All Seniors Care projects is the Auburn Heights Retirement Residence in south Calgary. “This project will be a flagship

retirement residence for All Seniors Care. It is being conveniently located across the street from the new South Calgary Health Centre and is a real asset to the Seton community,” says Kevin Juby, a partner with Manshield Construction. The residence is located in the lake community of Auburn Bay. The building is five storeys and has a total square footage of 180,000. The residence offers 187 one- and two-bedroom suites and includes a swimming pool, workout lounge, movie theatre, chapel and hair salon. The second floor is a Designated Assisted Living floor, where residents who require assistance with their daily living reside. IBI Group, architect of the AHRR project, designed the building to hubris care, which is a higher level of supportive living. In this type of design build, other than the corridor-bearing walls, the loadbearing walls are located on the exterior wall of the building as opposed to the interior of the building. By locating the load-bearing walls to the exterior-bearing wall, it allows the client to be able to reconfigure the interior walls. Movable walls are especially important in assisted living facilities where the residents “age-in-place.” When the residents’ needs change as they age, walls can be reconfigured as required depending on those needs during the lifetime of the building.

The structural shell is by Steelrite Structural Simplicity, which is a lightgauge steel construction system. Steelrite’s structural shell includes all exterior walls, bearing and non-bearing, and all interior-bearing walls. The Steelrite package also includes the roof and Hambro floor system with concrete. Steelrite uses galvanized cold-formed steel in its panelized wall system, which provides significant LEED points by using recycled steel and is itself recyclable when the building life cycle is complete. Construction is expected to be complete in the fall. This project will be built in a record 21 months—from the first day of construction to the official opening of the residence. Total cost of the project is estimated at $30 million. Manshield Construction builds retirement residences in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta and plans on expanding into British Columbia in the near future.

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aca report

Outlining priorities for the year

ACA Form B 2013 is now available The Alberta Construction Association

By Ken Gibson

has worked with industry and legal

ACA Executive Director

experts for over five decades to provide standardized legal documents for

The Alberta Construction Association (ACA) is working on a number of files on behalf of industry. Priorities in 2013 include:

GOVERNMENT ADVOCACY • Maintaining predictable, consistent, and adequate provincial and municipal investment in infrastructure. • Keeping training clear of labour relations issues. ACA is opposed to public funding of apprenticeship training by third parties. • Providing input for consideration by the Alberta government should it require contractors to utilize apprentices in order to bid government work. • Continuing advocacy for sensible immigration programs. • Strengthened partnerships with school boards, post-secondary institutions and other construction associations for policies and programs to support the development of a skilled domestic construction workforce. • Providing educational best-practice seminars for public procurers of design and construction services. • Collaborating to provide industry advice to the Alberta Ministry of Infrastructure.

SAFETY/WCB • Input to Occupational Health and Safety’s Work Safe Alberta strategy. • Continued input on implementation of

occupational health and safety administrative penalties and worksite tickets. • Dialogue with the Workers’ Compensation Board—Alberta concerning interpretation of refusal of modified duties policy.

use serving the ICI sector (Industrial, Commercial, Institutional) in Alberta. Easy-to-use contracts are available for contractors, subcontractors and now sub-subcontractors, as well as certificates of substantial performance and


easy-to-understand Plain Language

• Recommendations for two changes to the Alberta’s Builders’ Lien Act (BLA): mandatory annual progressive release of holdback and Crown bound to BLA. • Advocacy with Alberta Health Services and other owners for adoption of industry standard practices.

Guides to assist you in doing what you do best—building Alberta. The ACA Form B 2013 is now available for purchase. It is the latest industry standard contract form and is between the subcontractor and sub-subcontractor. It requires a copyright seal purchased directly from ACA if you are in the


Edmonton region or through a mem-

• Service partnerships with Productivity Alberta. • Initiatives with aceBIM (Alberta Centre for Excellence for Building Information Modelling). • Partnerships to showcase the applied research capabilities of Alberta colleges and technical institutes. ACA’s effectiveness in serving industry has always relied on the generous contributions of expertise from its volunteers, drawn from the membership. ACA continues to work at improving connections with the grassroots to better understand your needs and work to your benefit. With your continued support, we will share continued success and meet the uncertainties of tomorrow.

ber association of ACA in Calgary, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Lloydminster, Medicine Hat, Peace River and Red Deer. Members receive the electronic version of the contract with the purchase of seals. (Hard copy only for non-members.) The ACA Form A 2013 version that is now available for purchase is an updated standard contract between the prime contractor and subcontractor, and also requires a copyright seal. For a complete list of documents for your business, go to and click on the “Documents” tab.

18012 - 107 Avenue, Edmonton, AB T5S 2J5 • Phone: 780.455.1122 • Fax: 780.451.2152 E-mail: • Web Site:

Alberta Construction Magazine | 55

cca report

CCA welcomes senior vice-president of TransCanada to ANNUAL MEETING By Mychal Martin

The Calgary Construction Association (CCA) membership came together to celebrate a successful year in 2012 at the 68th annual general meeting in March at the Deerfoot Inn and Casino. Attendees looked back with pride on a busy year that saw the construction industry build more than­ $4 billion in projects in Calgary, and took the time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of member firms not only to the economy, but also to the future of the local construction industry. The 2012 CCA chair, Serena Holbrook, gave a report on the activities of the CCA in 2012, which included pursuing avenues of collaboration with the City of Calgary on initiatives such as procurement, online bidding, prequalification, construction management, on-site construction safety and sidewalk closures. Other highlights of Holbrook’s term as CCA’s first female chair included the formation of the Women in Construction Committee, the inaugural OAEC (Owners, Architects, Engineers and Contractors) Workshop, numerous educational seminars and the continued partnership with the University of Calgary’s construction productivity research program. With a keen awareness of the industry’s future needs, CCA 2013 chair Rob Otway of PCL Construction Management Inc. noted the importance of keeping the momentum building to meet new challenges and set new standards for excellence in 2013. During the dinner and awards portion of the evening, CCA recognized those firms who are helping to bring new vitality to the construction industry by becoming involved in the Youth Employment Program (YEP). Representatives from Botting Group, Canyon Plumbing & Heating Ltd., Centurion Mechanical Ltd., Concept Group and Grant Metal Products were presented with the Building Futures Award as a “thank you” for providing opportunities for youth to pursue careers in the trades and ensuring a skilled workforce in years to come.

56 | Summer 2013



Awards were also presented to those whose contributions to the industry go above and beyond. The Person of the Year Award was presented to Victor Jensen of Botting Group for his outstanding commitment to the YEP program; Les LaRocque, also of Botting Group, for his passion and dedication as chair of the CCA Education Fund Committee and COOLNet Alberta; and to Grant Symon of Graham Construction, who has tirelessly worked to promote CCA’s Construction Career Expo. Otway thanked these three individuals for their time and Herculean efforts to strengthen the local construction community through volunteerism. Otway was pleased to welcome the evening’s keynote speaker, Robert Jones, senior vice-president of major projects at TransCanada Corporation. After a long season of grinding it out on the road, Jones was excited to be playing in front of a home crowd in Calgary once more, where he gave a presentation to more than 250 enthusiastic representatives of CCA member firms. The topic of this year’s keynote address was the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline project, which is one of the most well-publicized projects in the company’s 60-year history. The Keystone XL Pipeline is a proposed 1,897-kilometre, 36-inch-diameter crude oil pipeline that will run from Hardisty, Alta., south to Steele City, Neb., and then to the U.S. Gulf Coast. With the capacity to transport 830,000 barrels of oil per day, Keystone will allow Canadian oil producers better access to the American markets in the Midwest and along the Gulf Coast. The multi-billion dollar project drew media attention and criticism from environmentalists raising concerns about the potential impact of a pipeline of this magnitude crossing sensitive terrain and the greenhouse gas emissions associated with oil extraction. In January 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama rejected TransCanada’s application for a presidential permit, which is a requirement for building any cross-border pipeline.

Delayed, but far from discouraged, TransCanada filed a new application for a presidential permit with the U.S. Department of State in May 2012. Armed with facts and figures to demonstrate not only the benefits of the Keystone XL Pipeline, TransCanada also outlined the realities of the environmental impact of this project. Since then, Jones and his colleagues at TransCanada have travelled across North America demonstrating how pipelines are not only the safest and most efficient method of moving fossil fuels, but that with responsible management committed to land reclamation and minimizing the project’s environmental impact, Keystone XL will set industry standards for environmental responsibility. This past March, the U.S. Department of State released a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact statement, confirming, “there would be no significant impacts to most resources along the proposed project route.” Jones emphasized the other benefits of the proposed pipeline, saying: “Keystone XL is a critical link for moving growing oil production in western Canada and the U.S. Bakken region to the refinery markets on the Gulf Coast, where it is needed. TransCanada’s existing Keystone Pipeline currently transports about one-quarter of the crude oil exported to the United States every day, and Keystone XL will more than double that capacity, allowing the United States to greatly reduce its reliance on higher-priced crude oil from less stable countries including Venezuela, Mexico, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.” The Keystone XL Pipeline will be the safest and most advanced pipeline operation in North America, not only bringing essential infrastructure to North American oil producers, but also providing jobs, long-term energy independence and an economic boost. “There will be an estimated 2,200 jobs building the 530 kilometres of Keystone XL in Alberta and Saskatchewan at a cost

cca report

of approximately $1.2 billion,” Jones said. Keystone XL is projected to result in an additional $3.5 million in additional property tax revenues in Alberta per year,” which is welcome news to Calgary’s construction community. The projected in-service date for Keystone XL is 2015. Jones concluded by reminding the CCA membership that strong political and energy industry leadership is needed to address the issues, engage stakeholders and enhance the credibility of this important endeavour. Otway wrapped up the evening’s festivities with sincere thanks for the support of the membership, along with a request for continued support and participation to meet the challenges in 2013.

CCA’s Education Fund provided for seven $1,000 CCA Member Scholarships this year to employees and/ or dependents of CCA member firms. Pictured here (from left): CCA past chair Serena Holbrook; Adrian Pool, sponsored by Westcor Construction; Jordon Wollman, sponsored by Elan Construction; Spencer Piercy, sponsored by Allied Projects; Robert Adams, sponsored by Allied Projects; Les LaRocque, CCA Ed Fund chair; Trenton Squair, sponsored by PCL Construction Management Inc.; Stacie Welch, sponsored by Rusty Pipe Mechanical; Matthew Woydon, sponsored by Hoover Mechanical; and CCA chair Rob Otway.

photoS: CCA

Robert Jones, senior vice-president of major projects at TransCanada, presents the pros of the Keystone XL Pipeline Project to a receptive audience at the CCA’s annual general meeting.

CCA chair Rob Otway (right) and past chair Serena Holbrook (left) present Gold Seal Certificates at CCA’s 68th Annual General Meeting to (from left): Scott Gibson (Custom Electric), Jason Pocock (Graham Group), Jason North (CANA Construction), Chris Machnee (Botting Group), Giovanna Broadhurst (CANA Construction), Rick Gray (Scott Builders), Robert Pate (Ledcor), Derrick Bentley (Scott Builders), Brian Twa (The State Group) and Curtis Allum (The State Group).

Alberta Construction Magazine | 57

cca report

NAIL IT! A career in construction By Amy Smith The seventh annual Construction Career Expo hit

welcomed groups of students into their space

meaningful ways to expose the construction

the nail on the head, setting a record-breaking

to showcase their unique hands-on interactive

industry as a viable career option to their students.

attendance with nearly 2,500 students pounding

activities. New to the expo this year included

their way through the entrance doors of Hall B

rebar activities, fire alarm safety, quantity sur-

tion with the school boards, the construc-

at Stampede Park’s BMO Centre. On April 24, 50

veying, heavy construction and landscaping.

tion industry has managed to share different

exhibitors representing trade contracting asso-

These exhibits joined a host of staple activities

career options from apprenticeship training,

ciations and Calgary Construction Association

representing the flooring, roofing, siding, paint-

skilled journeymen and project manage-

(CCA) member firms were ready to showcase

ing, masonry, electrical, glass and glazing, weld-

ment, to that of running one’s own business

their industry sector to thousands of youth in

ing, plumbing and sheet metal industries.

and entrepreneurship. In the past, construc-

grades 7 to 12.

In addition to the local Calgary junior and

Within minutes of the expo welcoming its

By enhancing the lines of communica-

tion has been painted (pardon the pun) as

senior high school students, many expo guests

an industry for those less educated or as a

first guests, the 50,000 square feet of exhibit

travelled to the expo from rural Alberta areas

“second choice.” Through research and sta-

space resembled that of a disturbed anthill.

including Okotoks, High River, Strathmore,

tistical evidence, it is clear that the world of

The buzz of hundreds of students mingling

Chestermere and as far as Carmangay to

skilled trades is in demand for a future work-

throughout the exhibits accompanied the

explore the myriad of career opportun-

force, but also can provide challenging and

sounds of construction sites that build our

ities available in the construction industry.

fulfilling career lifestyles. In addition, salaries

vibrant city. Electric power tools, lift operators,

Approximately 50 schools in total were

offered in the construction industry are higher

simulators, concrete trucks, hammers, mallets

represented at the expo. CCA and many

than the national average.

and trowels were just a few of the instruments

industry representatives have been working

The construction industry has it all and

contributing to the sounds of excitement. The

closely in partnership with the Calgary Board

includes room for women to build their niche

atmosphere of the room quickly changed from

of Education and the Calgary Catholic

in the industry as well. With women making

anticipation to incorporation as all exhibitors

School District to enhance relations and find

up only 15 per cent of the workforce and with

Providing service in Alberta for 54 years Edmonton & area.

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58 | Summer 2013

cca report

only four per cent representation in the field, there are opportunities for women who have tactile skills or simply don’t want to be stuck in a cubicle. Members of a recently formed CCA committee aptly called “Women in Construction” were in attendance at the expo to express these sentiments and encourage women to consider a career in what has been

TOP: Ironworkers Local 725 partnered with

Harris Rebar to engage youth with this interactive rebar exhibit.

deemed a predominantly male industry. The CCA would like to thank all of the

TOP, RIGHT: Employees from CANA Construction

participants who brought in 180 employees

demonstrated the carpentry trade, which was popular among the female students.

to showcase construction career opportunities to youth. Thank you to over 50 volunteers who worked tirelessly to bring together every detail from chalking the floors, to loading the supplies and giveaways, to greeting buses or handing out over 2000 shirts, safety glasses and bags. The expo would not have been possible photoS: CCA

if it wasn’t for all the support and sponsorship received from industry. The association looks forward to making next year’s expo an even

MIDDLE, RIGHT: A bird’s-eye view of what resembled an anthill of activity in Hall B of Stampede Park’s BMO Centre. BOTTOM, RIGHT: Amid the sawdust, the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada taught students the art of cabinetry and assembled stools for them to take home as souvenirs.

greater success.

Alberta Construction Magazine | 59

trade talk

Back to basics Group helps workers develop skills to handle their jobs safely and productively By Jim Bentein


f you’ve seen the TV shows The Big Bang Theory or Bones, you might have developed a fundamental understanding of the difficulties humans have in communicating with one another, even if they live and work together. In both shows, bright, skilled and educated people have difficulty understanding one another—and they speak the same language. Now i ma g i ne t hos e s a me communication barriers being present at a construction work site, where different workers from varied cultural backgrounds—some of whom are still learning English—need to understand

60 | summer 2013

one another, from both a safety and a productivity standpoint. You now understand the essential reason for the Alberta Workforce Essential Skills Society (AWES) to exist. Launched in 1989, the society uses the Workplace Essential Skills (WES) framework, first developed by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and aimed at enabling employees and organizations to excel through promoting the understanding and the use of nine fundamental skills. The skills revolve around reading, writing, document use, numeracy, computer use (digital literacy), thinking, oral communications, working with others and continuous learning. Cindy Messaros is the executive director of AWES, which offers its consulting services to employers, industry associations, sector councils and government agencies. She

says front line workers, right up to supervisors and managers, are dealing with an increasingly complex workplace where they have to learn skills that did not even exist 20 years ago. This is so for all sectors AWES has worked with, she says. In addition, as the labour force ages, population growth declines and immigration to Alberta explodes, many employers are dealing with communication challenges that impact the bottom lines. “People may be rising to management positions because they are very good at their jobs, but they don’t have management skills,” Messaros says. “There were also many workers who have been successful

trade talk




around reading, writing, document use, numeracy, computer use (digital literacy), thinking, oral communications, working with others and continuous learning.

doing physically demanding jobs, but who are now at a loss because they lack digital literacy and the ability to gain new skills.” In the 1990s, the government developed the WES suite of skill sets. The sets are based on international surveys in adult literacy, as well as Canadian-based research. The research involved spanned across 300 different occupations, including everything from skilled trades to health care. “As an example, a health-care worker who has received instructions from a doctor would need to have reading and numeracy skills,” Messaros points out. The research WES was based on included an analysis of the tasks workers would need to perform in every aspect of their daily jobs. “When we talk about essential skills training, we’re not talking about technical skills,” she says. “For example, a foreign-trained engineer might be brilliant performing the technical skills required within that profession, but may lack the communication skills to perform at team meetings or to meet with clients.” However, she admits that AWES has difficulty convincing employers that essential skills development is important.

TOUGH TASK “They tend to put their training dollars into higher levels, rather than the foundational levels,” she says. As a result, she and others involved in AWES “have had to sell the program,” proving to employers there is a return on their investment. It’s particularly difficult to convince smaller companies of the benefits.

“We have evidence from case studies that the training leads to improved productivity, fewer health and safety incidents, reduced absenteeism and worker retention,” she says. It is working now on a WES project with an international company that employs hundreds of thousands of people. AWES would work with a sample size of 1,600 workers, which she believes will “give us the evidence to grow this program.” Most of the funding for the training is provided by the federal and provincial governments, both of which see great merit in it. “We receive, per project, funding of between $75,000 to $300,000,” she says. Companies participating make in-kind contributions. For example, they would supply the training and meeting rooms and time off for the employees taking the course (usually with 50 per cent to 100 per cent of their normal pay). Messaros says there are similar programs in British Columbia, Manitoba and New Brunswick. The B.C. program, called B.C. Skill Plan, is aimed exclusively at the construction sector, while the other provincial programs are more wide-ranging. AWES has been working with associations in Alberta, particularly in the construction sector. For instance, the Alberta Construction Safety Association (ACSA) and the Alberta Construction Association (ACA) partner with AWES to deliver essential skills training. “We’ve had great success in that industry,” she says.

AWES has identified gaps in health and safety training in the sector, particularly with newer immigrants. “We developed 50 posters that graphically depict safety messages,” she says. In addition to rigorous WES training, most of the AWES consultants and trainers have English-as-a-second-language training in order to understand the problems that non-English speakers face.

STRONG BELIEVER Ken Gibson, executive director of the Alberta Construction Association (ACA), who has sat on the board of AWES and is a strong believer in its benefits, says there are a number of reasons why industry needs to implement the program. These include the skilled worker shortage, increasing government demands for a strong occupational health and safety culture, and the entry of new workers into the field, including immigrants and multi-generations. “The program helps teach workers the basic skills that are required in the workplace, including teamwork and problem solving,” he says. “In today’s workforce, everyone needs to work at an optimal level.” Gibson says 162,000 people in Alberta are covered under the Workers’ Compensation Board, all of whom, in his opinion, should take the essential skills training. “So there are a lot of employees to reach,” he says (it has been offered to a few thousand workers in Alberta). Gibson says his association is working with AWES and the ACSA on the

alberta Construction Magazine | 61

trade talk


eople may be rising to management positions because they are very good at their jobs, but they don’t have management skills.”

development of training materials that would be available to employers. “We can’t put a trainer into every organization, so we need to encourage employers so that when they see a gap they can use those resources,” he says. Gibson, who was formerly with the Alberta Food Processors Association, which made the essential skills program available to members, says it was a big help in advancing food safety in the sector. “The average person working on the food production line in Alberta has a Grade 10 education, so the program, which uses graphic visualization to convey a message, was invaluable,” he says.

— Cindy Messaros, executive director, AWES

In addition, while learning styles vary from generation to generation, the foundational skills involved in the program are a base all generations can relate to. In early June, the ACA and the ACSA plan to hold a one-day workshop in Edmonton that will be aimed at supervisors and other managers, stressing the benefits of the program. Dan MacLennan, executive director of the ACSA, says the organization, responsible for safety training for about 100,000 construction industry employees in Alberta, from training centres in Edmonton, Calgary, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray and elsewhere, is adopting the program and will soon start introducing it on a widespread basis.

tO LearN MOre the alberta workforce Essential skills society has existed since 1989 to ensure that workers have the skills to perform their jobs effectively and safely. For more information, go to

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steel awards


Industry recognizes outstanding projects involving the design and use of that material the Peace Bridge in Calgary; and the Pembina Hall Student Residences at the University of Manitoba. The awards recognize exceptional talent and ingenuity in steel design and the innovative use of steel in addressing a variety of construction challenges. The event was held in late March in Edmonton. Here are details on the winners and finalists.


Four projects in Alberta and one in Manitoba took top honours this year in the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction’s (CISC) Alberta Steel Design Awards of Excellence. The winning projects were the TELUS Spark, Calgary’s new science centre; the Edmonton Federal Building, Parkade and Centennial Plaza; Suncor’s TRO water barges;

alberta Construction Magazine | 65

steel awards

Architectural Award TELUS SPARK Owner: TELUS Spark CISC fabricator/CISC detailer/ CISC erector: Triangle Steel Ltd. CISC architect: DIALOG Engineer: Stantec Consulting Ltd. General contractor:

CANA Construction Exposed steel was a natural for the TELUS Spark. The atrium is capped with five trusses intersecting at varying angles and ranging up to 200 feet in length. Shipping pieces this long with web members welded to chords would have been nearly impossible, and field fabrication was not efficient. Triangle Steel came up with a bolted web-to-chord solution that was efficient, while providing significant cost savings. Bolted connections were used throughout, says Larry Dunsmore, project superintendent with CANA Construction. The complex geometry of the facility’s Dome Theatre presented its own challenges. It features a roof slanting in two directions and a wall line sloping in two directions, all tying into a half-moon-shaped concrete wall. The effect resembles a cube resting on one of its bottom corners. The structure is comprised of 2,057 pieces (no two alike) and was erected in a very small footprint. CANA used Building Information Modelling (BIM) 3-D software to ensure that the steel components did not interfere with the mechanical, electrical and acoustical systems in the theatre and that the screen—which was installed last—would fit.


Ironworks Group Inc. Architect: Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd. Engineer: Stantec Consulting Ltd. General contractor: Clark Builders

66 | summer 2013


Owner: Ministry of Infrastructure CISC fabricator: Whitemud

steel awards

Renovation of the 70-year-old art deco–style Edmonton Federal Building is one of the largest renovation projects ever undertaken in Edmonton. The project involved comprehensive redevelopment and repurposing of the existing Federal Building and the addition of a new west entrance pavilion, a new public plaza and a three-level underground parkade. “The provincial government made a bold decision not to tear the building down, but to keep it as a significant part of our history,” says Manoj Mistry, principal with Stantec. “We had to keep the structure as intact as possible. That was a key decision that caused a

lot of heartburn because, of course, it’s easier to just rip things away. The biggest complexity was tying all the elements together into a unified design, while maintaining the original architectural and structural fabric.” One challenge was the requirement for large committee rooms that were columnfree in a building originally designed as an office building. The committee rooms would require double the weight-carrying capacity that the floors were originally designed for and the columns to be removed. Gatehouse structures flanking the north perimeter of the plaza speak to a newer architectural

theme. The structures are open and transparent, featuring glass and exposed steel. The new west entrance pavilion opening onto the plaza provides a link between the old and the new and created another interesting challenge. Mistry describes it as a large, forward-looking, transparent space. Each challenge in the project required a long iterative process with all members of the design team to achieve the best solution, Mistry says. “The whole theme is revitalizing and keeping an aspect of our history, making it relevant to today, and adapting it to be useful for a long time to come.”

either side and a central bike lane separated by curbs. The location of the bridge presented a design challenge that made structural steel the ideal solution. The Bow River at that point is about 120 metres wide and six metres deep. For environmental and safety reasons, an in-stream support pier was not an option. This meant the bridge would need to comprise a single 126-metre-long span.

The structure is symmetrical along the centre of the deck section, with the two identical halves connected at the top and bottom chords. This symmetry and repetition in design elements allowed the bridge to be prefabricated in numerous manufacturing facilities and assembled in a single on-site shop. This process presented a major challenge for the assembly, says project manager Greg Van Halst of Norfab.

Engineering Award, Steel Edge Award PEACE BRIDGE Owner: City of Calgary Architect: Santiago Calatrava LLC Engineer: Santiago Calatrava LLC/

Stantec Consulting Ltd.

General contractor:

Graham Infrastructure Ltd. CISC erector: Norfab Mfg (1993) Inc Designed by world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, the Peace Bridge spanning the Bow River in Calgary is a pedestrian/cyclist bridge that connects the vibrant neighbourhoods of Sunnyside and Hillhurst to the city’s downtown core. The bridge structure is a sleek helixshaped steel truss system developed over a semi-elliptical cross-section in a single span of 126 metres. The deck is eight metres wide to accommodate pedestrian lanes on

Industrial Award SUNCOR TRO WATER BARGES Owner: Suncor Energy Inc. CISC fabricator/CISC detailer:


Supreme Steel LP

Architect: Hall Marine Design Ltd. Engineer: Weir Minerals Canada General contractor:

Weir Minerals Canada Erector: Midwest Constructors

alberta Construction Magazine | 67

steel awards Suncor Energy required a floating barge system with a 27,000-cubic-metre-per-hour pumping capacity for its tailings reduction process. The system was to be the largest floating process water pumping facility of its kind in the world, and it had to be operational within 18 months. Weir Minerals North America proposed a modular solution that minimized on-site welding requirements at the remote Fort McMurray location by providing shippable pre-assembled modules fabricated entirely off-site at Supreme Steel’s Edmonton and Acheson, Alta., facilities. The scope of the project included the fabrication and erection of six barge hulls,

three pumphouses and associated mechanical work. “The main challenge was the sheer volume of welding that was required to complete the barges,” says Tyler Harris, project manager with Supreme Steel LP. “Due to the dimensions and the weight of the barges, in combination with crane limitations, we couldn’t move the sections once we began fabrication, so we needed to come up with a plan for executing a large volume of in-position welding. “With several people welding at a time, we had to monitor them and hopscotch them around to different sections of the hull so the heat would dissipate and not cause any deformation of the plates.”

The Suncor TRO Water Barge was the first barge project ever undertaken by Supreme Steel, Harris says. “It involved a steep learning curve, but we had a lot of qualified people on the project to help execute it. It was a huge stepping stone for the company and launched us into a whole new market. It was a good experience for everybody.” The project, while not the first of its kind, is one of the largest situated in the Fort McMurray oilsands. Suncor’s Tailings Reduction Operations (TRO) process involves accelerated conversion of fluid fine tailings into solid landscapes suitable for reclamation.


Owner: University of Manitoba CISC fabricator: Supermetal Architect:

Raymond S.C. Wan Architect Engineer:

Crosier Kilgour & Partners Ltd. General contractor:

When the University of Manitoba required a new student residence that would be closely integrated with existing facilities, the only solution was to go over and up—above the Pembina Hall service centre. A firm student move-in date added to the challenge: design, tendering, construction and certification of the $40-million facility had to be completed in less than 30 months. The location of the structure above a busy, occupied building meant essentially no lay-down area for the contractor to work from, as well as unique construction safety issues. The design concept called for two slender 14-storey towers at each end of Pembina Hall with sufficient strength to support a 10-storey residence block with 36 rooms on each level and a span of 50 metres over the existing structure. The building would be very slender, rising 57.2 metres above grade, extending almost 80 metres east to west and

68 | summer 2013


Bird Construction Detailer: Techdess Inc. Erector: Supermetal only 13.3 metres north to south. Given the long span direction, steel was the only solution. The design incorporates four parallel, full-storey-depth, 50-metre-long trusses stacked 10 times. “The biggest challenge was that this design—a multi-truss span over an existing structure—was really unique and had never been done before,” says Jean-François Leclerc, vice-president western division with Supermetal. “We had to think out of the box on how to fabricate and erect [the building]. Deflection was a huge issue. Making sure [the trusses] fit on site. These were the concerns.” The schedule was tight: one floor per week. The exterior trusses are fully exposed, creating a dramatic design that provides each room with a diagonal view. The minimalist architectural look also required careful attention to the form, fit and finish of the diagonals and connections.

FINALISTS Project: CNRL Coker Tower Rebuild Submitted by:

Waiward Steel Fabricators Ltd. CISC member:

Waiward Steel Fabricators Ltd. Project: Renaissance Edmonton

Airport Hotel

Submitted by: Supreme Steel LP CISC member: Supreme Steel LP Project: Seventh Avenue LRT Submitted by: GEC Architecture,

Sturgess Architecture

Project: West Light Rail Transit Stations Submitted by: CANA Corporation CISC member: AAA Steel Ltd. and

Anglia Steel Industries (1984) Ltd.

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business of building

Tune in to talent: Lessons for Alberta’s construction industry

photo: stockbyte/

By Shane Monte

A November 2012 report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business revealed that Canada’s construction industry has the nation’s highest vacancy rate. A healthy domestic economy—driven in large part by Alberta’s dynamic resource industry—is fuelling that talent shortage. But a longer-term factor is at play: an entire generation of senior construction talent is approaching retirement. Construction managers operating in Alberta and across the country are becoming increasingly concerned about acquiring and retaining the people they will need to deliver major projects. In Rethinking Human Resources in a Changing World, a 2012 Economist Intelligence Unit study commissioned by KPMG International, fewer than one in four chief executive officers and directors accepted the notion that their human resource department excels at “sourcing key talent” or “preparing for a changing workforce.” The research revealed that many organizations are failing to adjust their approach to their own unique needs. Instead, they focus too often on quick-fix tactics—implementing the latest recruitment techniques or developing a new, improved performance system or process.

Organizations must step back and identify what talent they need to succeed, how to attract it in an increasingly competitive market and how they plan on retaining it. But they often make some fundamental errors in addressing their talent management challenges, including: Point solutions. While waiting for local supply-side challenges to be addressed by industry, training institutions and government, companies often focus on quick-fix solutions, such as overseas recruiting drives or bringing in senior hires. Not only are these expensive options, but they take your eye off nurturing and developing the talent you already have inside the organization. Skills for today. Many companies have a tendency to over-emphasize technical skills they need in the short term, without looking more holistically at the management and leadership skills they need to be successful in the future. The changing workforce. Focusing on the short-term needs of a project or on operational needs can take attention away from the evolving needs of current employees. The talent you already have—and have invested in—will be more difficult to retain if you take their loyalty for granted. Insufficient attention to talent-related risks. Talent is not just the human resources

department’s responsibility; it impacts the entire organization’s ability to deliver. Smart companies are identifying talentrelated risks and integrating them into their risk management framework. “No one” or “everyone” owns our talent. The inability to clearly identify who “owns” talent, especially for global organizations, can result in a lack of understanding where the top talent resides, a weak leadership pipeline, inadequate coverage for critical roles and wasted talent. Progressive companies are making the executive team accountable for managing talent, while charging human resources with understanding the broader business drivers and needs, and counselling the management team based on these holistic insights. TUNE IN TO TALENT Going forward, organizations will need to tune in to talent in two ways. First, they will need to tune in to the skills and capabilities needed to drive the business in the future. And second, they will need to tune in to the expectations of their nextgeneration workforce. KPMG in Canada has identified four key questions that business leaders and human resource teams should ask before embarking upon a talent strategy. Alberta Construction Magazine | 71

business of building

What are our strategic talent requirements? Your talent strategy should be a combination of traditional workforce planning and organic talent management that considers the types of skills that will help your business succeed, how many staff you need and where they should be located.


Do we understand our talent risks? Reducing your reliance on key staff, keeping an eye on mobility challenges and grooming talent for succession are important risk-mitigation tactics.


How will we measure the return on investment? Metrics must identify specific aspects of talent management that support your organization’s business priorities and should be continuously monitored by senior executives. How do we organize and enable our talent framework? It is essential to identify the infrastructure needed to manage talent data and establish the right combination of culture and


governance to encourage and enable career moves. Management needs a clear view of where your talent lies, where your future needs lie and how to align the two. WHERE TO GO FROM HERE When creating a talent plan for your company’s unique needs, consider these three traditional talent management activities. Acquire and place. International secondments are becoming more expensive and immigration restrictions more intense, while experienced managers with families are increasingly reluctant to relocate. At the same time, social media, crowdsourcing and other alternative ways to find talent are flourishing. Develop and connect. There is a quiet revolution underway that is helping people develop, connect and manage their careers. The themes of “mobile” and “social” are creating radically new ways of helping employees learn. Meanwhile, more organizations are developing in-house technical academies and corporate universities. Engage and retain. Economic uncertainty, fewer internal career opportunities

Build up the safety. Bring down your rates.

and degradation of trust between employees and employers are making it harder to attract and retain top talent than ever before. There is no easy answer to these challenges, nor is there any substitute for strong, principled leadership—but a combination of performance, reward, communication and a tailored employee value proposition can make a difference. It is possible to create a unique talent playlist that captures the character, culture and mood of your organization. By fully understanding the current and future business context—by tuning in to talent— senior managers and talent-attraction teams can assemble the right elements of a successful talent approach. Shane Monte is a senior manager at KPMG. He leads the KPMG People and Change Advisory Services team in Calgary and has supported large-scale organizational, systems and business process transformations for energy, utilities, engineering, transportation, financial services and public sector clients. He can be reached at

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the legal edge

thE Poor, MisundErstood CErtiFiCatE oF substantial PErForManCE By Tim Mavko Reynolds, Mirth, Richards & Farmer LLP

A Certificate of Substantial Performance (CSP) is a document that contractors or subcontractors sometimes issue as they approach the end of a job. But it’s often misused and commonly misunderstood.

Under Alberta’s Builders’ Lien Act, contractors or subcontractors can deliver a CSP to an owner when their work is almost finished, so long as the work can be used for its intended purpose and the remaining work can be completed at a minimal cost. (See s.2 of the Builders’ Lien Act for the precise definition: http://www.qp.alberta. ca/documents/Acts/b07.pdf.) At first glance, a CSP may look an awful lot like other common end-of-project notices. For example, some contracts call for a Certificate of Mechanical Completion, others use a Final Completion Certificate and some even require a similar sounding Certificate of Substantial Completion. But it would be a mistake to think they are all the same, or that any of them are CSPs. These sorts of notices are usually contract specific. So, one contract might set the timing for a Certificate of Mechanical Completion earlier or later than another, and a Final Completion Certificate on one project might serve a very different function somewhere else. And none of these may qualify as a CSP. Thus, if someone wants to issue a CSP, he should make sure he does just that and not assume that firing off some other my-workhere-is-done certificate will do the trick. He should use the magic words “Certificate of Substantial Performance” in the title. He should deliver it to the owner (who, by the way, does not have to approve it). And to be absolutely safe, he might track the exact language from s.2 of the Builders’ Lien Act, certifying that “...the work under the contract or a substantial part of it is ready for use or is being used for the purpose intended...[and so on].” This might mean issuing several different end-of-project certificates: those required by the contract and a separate CSP for the purposes of the Builders’ Lien Act. But what are the purposes of a CSP under the Builders’ Lien Act? This, too, is often misunderstood. Many of us know that there are time limits for builders’ liens. Many, however, wrongly think that the clock starts with the CSP. This is a mistake. Let me say that again: the right to lien does not end a certain number of days after a CSP is issued. Rather, the event that triggers the lien-filing deadline is the completion or

abandonment of the contract in question. Not substantial performance, not issuing a certificate, but completion—regardless of whether or when a CSP was issued. What a CSP does, in fact, is permit the release of the holdback. During the project, the owner held back 10 per cent from each payment. The owner must hold this fund until at least 45 days after the CSP (if a CSP is issued). If, on the 46th day no lien has been filed, the owner can pay out the holdback to the contractor. It’s worth pointing out that the CSP doesn’t require the owner to release the holdback, it only permits him to do so. But if he does, liens filed after that point only capture amounts that remain unpaid. The practical effect of a CSP, then, is to set a horizon for the holdback. Anyone who wants to lien the project and share in that fund should file before then. He can still file after, but he runs the risk that the pot will be much smaller. And issuing a CSP has another, less-known effect: it creates a trust over any holdback that is later paid. Without a CSP, any holdback paid to a contractor becomes his property. He might owe unpaid subcontractors and suppliers, but they are merely unsecured creditors who must stand in line with any others. They don’t have any direct claim to the holdback in his hands, and will rank behind any creditors with better claims or security—such as a bank with a mortgage or taxes

At first glance, a CSP may look an awful lot like other common end-of-project notices. owed to the Canada Revenue Agency. But if a contractor is paid the holdback after a CSP has been issued, he receives the money not as his own property, but in trust for the benefit of his unpaid subcontractors and suppliers. Quite literally, it is now the property of the unpaid subcontractors and suppliers. It cannot be claimed by other creditors of the contractor, because it is not the contractor’s property. It belongs to those down the ladder. CSPs are useful. Too bad they are misunderstood.

alberta Construction Magazine | 75

time capsule


Bell’s Welding building

sHOrtLY after arthur bell purchased a lot on Fourth street in lethbridge in March 1930, construction on what was to become a blacksmith and farrier shop began. the 25-foot-by-75-foot shop was built out of concrete as a safety measure to prevent fire—a hazard of the industry. one of the character-defining elements of the building is the in situ concrete construction. according to one account, the day the concrete was poured there were so many posts on the inside that it looked

76 | summer 2013

like a forest. bell created beams with reinforced rods recycled from the old st. Mary’s bridge. Each rod was about 1.75 inches in diameter and had a three-inch eye on each end. the sand and gravel were shovelled by hand from the riverbank and brought up the coulee by horse and wagon to the worksite. Mixed on site, the concrete was hauled by wheelbarrows that each held three cubic feet. they used about 110 yards of concrete to create

eight-inch-thick walls that were 10 feet high. a few days later, they used another 110 yards of concrete to pour a four-inchthick roof and the rest of the walls. an additional 100 yards of concrete were used to pour the floor. once the final touches were complete, the shop opened for business on July 1, 1930. bell’s welding remained in business at the same location until 1980. after the building was sold, it was renovated for use as a restaurant.


The distinctive Bell’s Welding Building in Lethbridge was built 83 years ago. This photo is from the early 1980s.

One of the characterdefining elements of the building is the in situ concrete construction.


CHARACTER-DEFINING ELEMENTS: single-storey structure with a spanish colonial faรงade, barrelvaulted roof and exposed beams, and steel corner post guards at the front door

FEATURES: spanish-style curved roofline and parapet



alberta Construction Magazine | 77

advertisers’ index


11:45:48 AM

AD INDEx alberta Construction safety association . . . . . . . . . . . 34 anderson hearing aid & audiology service . . . . . . . . 77 astec inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 & 19 atb Corporate Financial services . . . . inside front cover beaver Plastics ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 bell Canada . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 bobcat Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . outside back cover brandt tractor ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 & 63 brock white Canada Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Calgary Construction association . . . . . . . . . . 40, 41 & 48 Cana Construction Co ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Canessco services inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 davidson Enman lumber ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Electrical Contractors association of alberta . . 35 & 59 Ellisdon Construction services inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 F&M MaFCo llC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . inside back cover grant Metal Products ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 hertz Equipment rental Corp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 iCs group inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 imperial oil ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 iron Planet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Klimer Platforms inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Kubota Canada ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 & 30 layher scaffolding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 lloyd sadd insurance ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Man-shield (alta) Construction inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 MaPEi inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 MMFx steel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Mount royal university . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 northland Construction supplies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 PCl Constructors inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Phoenix Fence inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Proform Concrete services inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Proform Precast Products inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 reynolds Mirth richards & Farmer llP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 rocky Mountain Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 roxul inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 sait Polytechnic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 scona Cycle honda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 spatial technologies Partnership group . . . . . . . . . . . 69 toole Peet insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 u F a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 united rentals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 university of alberta, Extension . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 western Construction Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 westernone rentals & sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 williams scotsman of Canada, inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 workers’ Compensation board-alberta . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

78 | summer 2013

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Alberta Construction Magazine June 2013  

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