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Roofing - Waterproofing - Metal Roofing - Architectural Panels - Maintenance



Steel of a deal: Prefab buildings and components offer durability

PITCHED vs. FLAT: What type of roof should you choose?

Talk about FAST: A new way to make highways safer





We continue to offer a complete range of Roofing Systems, including Built-up Roofing, SBS Modified Bituminous Roofing, Single-ply EPDM, PVC and TPO Roofing, as well as Standing Seam Metal Roofing Systems. Our Commercial Roofing Operation provides exceptional service and the expertise that our Customers have come to expect from Skyline. Expanding our range of services is just one of the many ways we have been able to meet the needs of our valued Clients. Our diversity is one of the qualities that truly makes Skyline the company that SERVICE continues to build.

Building Blocks

The company that SERVICE continues to build

Summer 2010 | $8.00

energy THE

261185 Wagon Wheel Way, Rocky View, Alberta T4A 0E2 Ph: (403)-277-0700 Fax: (403)-277-4373 E-mail:

alberta construction magazine

Contact our knowledgeable and dedicated team here at Skyline Roofing Ltd. to see how we can provide you with a building exterior that not only looks attractive, but will stand the test of time.

Canadian Publication Mail Product Agreement #40069240


A year ago, things looked pretty bleak. Oilsands projects were shelved. Prices were distressed. Money was tight. Now things are looking up. There’s even the promise of Alberta becoming a clean energy power.

PLUS: Better ways to fax


EBUT So much for a level playing field. The new D-Series provides class-leading features like a quieter, pressurized cab, improved 360o visibility, as well as a new engine and increased hydraulic cooling system. With superior comfort and increased productivity, the new D-Series levels the competition. That’s powerful value delivered. For a location near you, call 1-888-2BRANDT or visit

Five reasons why one seam is better for your roof than ten. 1. Faster, higher quality installation. 2. Non-disruptive to building operations. 3. Virtually maintenance-free durability. 4. Proven long-term, watertight performance. 5. Exceptional energy efficiency. Each Duro-Last® roofing system is precision fabricated to perfectly fit the building it’s designed for, right down to the stacks and flashings. While other systems require extensive seaming on the rooftop to install, every customized Duro-Last roofing system is delivered to

the job site with up to 85 percent of the membrane seaming already completed in our factory. So your roof goes on faster and delivers superior, watertight protection. Best of all, Duro-Last’s proven performance means your investment will continue to pay off for years to come, with significant energy savings, little to no maintenance, and the best warranties in the business. The numbers all add up: Duro-Last is the best roofing system for your building.

To find out more, call us or visit and request our free brochure.

800-248-0280 • “Duro-Last” and “The World’s Best Roof” are registered marks owned by Duro-Last Roofing, Inc.

A great new


Brandt Tractor Ltd. recently acquired Land Management Systems Inc. (LMS), Western Canada’s exclusive Topcon dealer and one of the Top 10 Topcon Dealers in North America. This acquisition will create a new division within Brandt known as the Brandt Positioning Technology division. With this acquisition, Brandt becomes the only Construction Equipment dealer in North America to have a Positioning Technology division, and serves as further proof of our commitment to providing our customers with all the latest tools to keep them productive and profitable. The new Brandt Positioning Technology division will carry the latest in lasers, machine automation products, total stations, GPS, data collectors, levels & Theodolites, and a range of supporting products.

For more information about our new division and product-lines, visit, call us TOLL FREE at 1-877-291-7503, or visit your local Brandt Tractor location.

Chaz Osburn

editor’s note


o doubt you’ve heard that Alberta’s oil and gas industry recently launched a PR campaign to counter the negative publicity the sector often receives. It’s called Alberta is Energy. One of the messages industry is trying to get out is how many jobs are reliant on the oil and gas sector. By one count, one of every six Albertans is directly or indirectly employed in the oil and gas business. That’s about 600,000 residents— and it includes those of us whose companies help build the structures and the roads and the myriad other facilities that dot the Alberta energy landscape. For the longest time, I’ve had the sense that job statistics tended to go in one ear and out the other. I think that stopped—at least temporarily—with this latest recession. Now we see unemployment in this province at levels not seen since the 1990s. Statistics become a lot more personal when they affect us directly, and certainly many of us know people who lost their jobs as a result of the economic meltdown. Or maybe we were a casualty ourselves. I’ll leave it to you to debate whether or not the recession is over. But this I know: the economy is on the mend. Look at the signs: the markets are up, company earnings are generally positive, and housing starts have been strong. I’m particularly encouraged that activity is returning to the energy sector—again. Land-sale spending is way up over last year, and small and medium-size producers have increased their oil-drilling programs. Then throw in the provincial government’s announcement in May about being in talks with Northwest Upgrading Inc. and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. to build an upgrader to process bitumen from oilsands. Because this province is so reliant on energy production, the domino effect on other sectors—i.e., construction—should be apparent. In this issue you’ll learn about some of the developments fuelling my optimism. They include planned pipeline projects (page 30), getting roads in shape for new modules that will soon be on their way to the oilsands (page 34), and the innovative Swan Hills Synfuels In-Situ Coal Gasification/Sagitawah Power Project (page 43). To be sure, there’s still a lot of uncertainty out there. Volatility and instability are common in the market; any little event seems to set it off. What’s ahead in the last half of 2010, not to mention next year or 2012, is anyone’s guess. But if anything, this recession should remind us that the economy is cyclical. There are good times. There are bad. And although we have recessions, even they come to an end. Thank goodness.

Coming in the Fall: Movers & Shakers. Ten people who are making a difference in Alberta’s construction industry. See for information on how you can nominate a candidate.

Alberta Construction Magazine | 3

President & CEO Bill Whitelaw •

Publisher Agnes Zalewski •

associate publisher & editor Chaz Osburn •



Editorial Assistance Laura Blackwood, Janis Carlson de Boer, Marisa Kurlovich •

Contributors Steve Adams, Godfrey Budd, Diane L.M. Cook, Tricia Radison, Kelley Stark

Print, Prepress & Production Manager Michael Gaffney •


Publications Manager Audrey Sprinkle • Publications Supervisor Rianne Stewart •

Art Director Ken Bessie •

Creative Services Supervisor Tamara Polloway-Webb •

Senior Graphic Designer Birdeen Jacobson • birdeen

Creative Services Janelle Johnson, Cathlene Ozubko, Alanna Staver •

Contributing Photographers Aaron Parker, Joey Podlubny


Director of Sales Rob Pentney • Sales Manager – Magazines Maurya Sokolon • Senior Account Representative Della Gray •

Ad Traffic Coordinator – Magazines Elizabeth McLean •

Advertising Inquiries

marketing and circulation

Marketing Manager Sonia Crichton •

Marketing/Trade Show Coordinator Ryan Mischiek •

Marketing Designer Cristian Ureta •

OFFICES Calgary: 2nd Floor, 816-55 Avenue N.E., Calgary, Alberta T2E 6Y4 Tel: 403.209.3500 Fax: 403.245.8666 Toll Free: 1.800.387.2446 Edmonton: 6111 - 91 Street N.W., Edmonton, Alberta T6E 6V6 Tel: 780.944.9333 Fax: 780.944.9500 Toll Free: 1.800.563.2946

SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscription rates: In Canada, 1-year $24 plus GST (4 issues), 2-year $39 plus GST (8 issues) Outside Canada, 1-year C$49 (4 issues). Single copies $8 plus GST Subscription inquiries: Tel: 1.866.543.7888 Email: Alberta Construction Magazine is owned by JuneWarren-Nickle’s Energy Group and is published bimonthly. ©2010 1072011 Glacier Media Inc. 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, 800, 12 Concorde Place, Toronto, ON M3C 4J2 Made In Canada GST Registration Number 826256554RT Printed in Canada ISSN 1499-6308 Publication Mail Agreement Number 40069240



COMMERCIAL Clean energy

Swan Hills project aims to produce synthetic gas from deep coal seams

by Diane L.M. Cook


INDUSTRIAL Down to a trickle

There’s a slowdown in pipeline construction right now, but $43 billion in projects looms

by Godfrey Budd

34 38 85

INFRASTRUCTURE Something BIG is coming

Province’s highways are ready to handle slew of modules from South Korea

by Tricia Radison

A FAST way to make highways safer by Chaz Osburn

BUILDING BLOCKS Steel of a deal

Prefabricated steel buildings and components offer durability

by Tricia Radison



Pitched vs. flat

Despite the cold, climate still allows a wide choice for roofing by Godfrey Budd

85 4 | Summer 2010


Volume 30, Number 2 Published Summer 2010

48 Cover Stories


42 48 34

Back in the game Growth ahead for Alberta oilsands projects by Tricia Radison

Another labour crunch? Demand for skilled trades in the oilsands likely to increase in 2011–12 by Godfrey Budd

Departments 9 ������������������������������������������������ Nuts & Bolts 21 �������������������������������������� Around Canada 55 ������� People, Products & Projects 63 ������������������������������������� Construction CV 65 ������������������������������������������������� ACA Report 73 ������������������������������������������������� CCA Report 81 ��������������������������������������������������� Safety Beat 83 ������������������������������������������������������ Trade Talk 97 ���������������������������������������������������������������� Take 5 99 ��������������������������������������������������� Legal Edge 102 �������������������������������������������� Time Capsule Alberta Construction Magazine | 5

contributors STEVE ADAMS, who wrote this issue’s Trade Talk story (page 83), is VP of marketing for Protus, a provider of communications tools for small to medium businesses and enterprise organizations.

TRICIA RADISON, who gathered the material and wrote this issue’s main feature (page 42), is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Alberta Construction Magazine and other magazines. She is an avid reader and expert researcher. She lives in Calgary.

DIANE L.M. COOK is a Calgary freelance writer who is a frequent contributor to JuneWarren-Nickle’s Energy Group trade publications, including Oilweek, Oilsands Review, and Alberta Construction Magazine. She wrote this issue’s piece on the Swan Hills Synfuels In-Situ Coal Gasification/ Sagitawah Power Project (page 24).

KELLEY STARK wrote this issue’s Construction CV (page 63). Stark is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Alberta Construction Magazine. She is also a recent graduate of Grant MacEwan’s Professional Writing program. She finds the construction business fascinating, mostly because of her lack of actual construction skills.

Calgary-based freelancer GODFREY BUDD is a veteran writer, contributing many articles for industry magazines and business periodicals on western Canada’s energy industry and Alberta’s construction sector. In this issue, he writes about pipeline projects (page 30), labour availability (page 48), and roofing (page 91).

AARON PARKER is involved in graphic design, music, and photography. He spends his time trying to balance those three elements, plus living normal life, and considers himself lucky to be able to do two of them professionally.

Tackling Your Toughest Construction Jobs Since 2003, Bantrel Constructors has brought to bear over 600 field non manuals, 4100 craft workers and $80 million of construction equipment on some of the toughest industrial projects in Canada. And we've done it with one of the safest track records in the industry. Whether your project is big or small, we have the resources to get the job done.

6 | Summer 2010



2 2

Balance all your needs with the MICHELIN ® LTX TM M/S2 tire. STOPPING DISTANCE

2.2 m SHORTER 1




3- Steel Belt 3



It’s been the industry standard for pickup and SUV owners for over a decade. And, now, the new MICHELIN® LTXTM M/S2 offers even greater safety and control, plus a longer-lasting tread, making it the best tire to help your Light Truck or SUV reach its potential. So go ahead and do the things you bought your vehicle for in the first place – whether you’re on the road or on the job. Because, after all, the right tire changes everything.

Based on Wet Braking test results for LT-metric sizes versus Bridgestone Dueler H/T 684 II, Goodyear Wrangler SA. Based on p-metric wear test results versus Bridgestone Dueler H/T 684 II, Goodyear Fortera TT. On all LT sizes. Copyright © 2010 Michelin North America (Canada), Inc. All rights reserved. The “Michelin Man” is a registered trademark licensed by Michelin North America, Inc.

1 2 3

6,520 lbs. payload

lbs. towing *


LB FT 735 of torque

† Standard Gas or available Diesel engines. Projected best in class fuel economy based on competitive data available at the time of testing using Ford drive-cycle tests (in accordance with the guidelines of the Society of Automotive Engineers’ Standard J1321) of comparably equipped 2011 Ford vs. 2010 Competitive models. ◆ Maximum payload of 6,520 lbs. (2,957 kg) on F-350 DRW Regular Cab 4x2 when properly equipped. Class is Full-size Pickups over 8500 lbs. GVWR vs. 2010 competitive models. *Conventional towing up to 16,000 lbs, or up to 24,400 lbs. on F-450 when properly equipped with 5th wheel/goose neck. Class is Full-size Pickups over 8500 lbs. GVWR vs. 2010 competitive models. ‡Max horsepower & torque based on Super Duty Diesel engine.

horsepower ‡

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Best in class Fuel Economy, Gas or Diesel†, from two all-new Ford-built engines.

nuts & bolts News briefs for the busy construction professional

OILSANDS CONTRACTS SIGNAL MORE WORK AHEAD Here are three signs that Alberta’s economy is on the mend and that energy projects are fuelling the return of business after the gruelling recession.

energy THE


2. In March, Flint Energy Services Ltd. won a contract by Suncor Energy to perform field construction, pre-commissioning, and commissioning support at Suncor’s Firebag 3. Firebag 3 is a steam assisted gravity drainage project near Fort McMurray. Flint said it won a cost-reimbursable contract. About 200 people will be employed at peak construction. Work, which began in March, is expected to take 12 months to complete. 3. WorleyParsons has won a contract “in the range of C$40 million” for the basic engineering phase for ore preparation, extraction, tailings, froth treatment feasibilities, infrastructure, off-sites, and utilities for the Total Joslyn North Mine Mineable Oil Sands Plant Project. The plant, 65 km northwest of Fort McMurray, is scheduled for startup in


1. Horizon North Logistics Inc. has won a $104-million deal to build a camp for construction workers on “a major Canadian resource project.” The work is for the design, manufacture, transportation, and installation of a 2,700-person camp. Calgary-based Horizon says 45 per cent of the work will occur this year, with another 50 per cent next year and the remainder in 2012. The camp will have about 830 units. Bob German, Horizon’s president and CEO, called the contract “tangible evidence of the resurgence of resource development in Canada.” He also said it “validates the decision to expand our manufacturing facilities late last year.” Two years ago, Horizon opened a 500-person camp called BlackSand Executive Lodge near Fort McMurray to service oilsands projects. According to the company’s promotional material, amenities include queen size beds, energy-efficient lighting, computer lounge/library, under-counter refrigerators in each room, and individual heating/cooling units in each room. And last year Horizon purchased Ensign Energy Services’ Canadian-based drill camp fleet, which included 39 side by side camps and related support equipment, for $17.75 million.

Firebag 3 will use the steam assisted gravity drainage process to extract bitumen.

early 2017. WorleyParsons, which provides engineering, procurement, and construction management services, is expected to be finished next March.

Table of Contents Kicking the hunger problem������������������������������������������������ The wrong material for the wrong job ���������������������������� Green brings green ���������������������������������������������������������������� On time and likely on budget����������������������������������������������

10 10 10 13

Airport construction cleared for takeoff�������������������������� Bumps in the road for highway work�������������������������������� Mullen Group acquires Manitoba construction firm���� Say bon voyage to traditional housing����������������������������

14 17 17 18

Alberta Construction Magazine | 9

nuts & bolts

KICKING THE HUNGER PROBLEM People who usually spend their time designing, engineering, or constructing buildings and oilsands projects put their skills to use in a different way in February. They participated in Canstruction Calgary. Held annually since 2006, Canstruction has provided more than 250,000 lb of food to the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank. Here are this year’s winners of Canstruction Calgary: Structural Ingenuity: Fluor Canada Best Meal: ABB Inc. Best Use of Labels: Langevin School Juror’s Pick: ARC Resources Best Use of Theme: Suncor Energy This year’s theme was “Let the Games Begin…” Fluor Canada’s entry.

THE WRONG MATERIAL FOR THE WRONG JOB Some projects never turn out the way you want them to. Six women in New Jersey who wanted more shapely bums ended up in hospital after receiving buttocksenhancement injections containing what was essentially bathroom caulk. “The same stuff you use to put caulk around the bathtub,” is how Steven M. Marcus described it to Newark’s Star-Ledger newspaper. Marcus is head of the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System. The newspaper reported that plastic surgeons doing buttocks augmentation would normally use medical-grade silicone. “If it looks too cheap,” Marcus advised, “there’s probably a reason it’s too cheap.” There have been no arrests.



Here’s further evidence of the strength of the green movement in Canada. A recent TD Canada Trust Green Business Survey reveals that nearly 4 in 10 Canadians want to buy from a business that cares about the environment. Another 20 per cent of Canadians are even more passionate and want businesses to know that “if you are not considering the environment, your business may suffer,” according to the survey. The survey also revealed that nearly 40 per cent of Canadians say they seek out environmentally responsible products and services. Reducing energy and fuel use, saving paper, and greening the supply chain are areas where business owners can reduce their environmental impact and save money, the survey said.

10 | Summer 2010

Envision a world that doesn’t just turn. It flies.

Whether you build, produce, manufacture, run or generate, one fact is clear: better lubricants and better lubricant suppliers lead to increased productivity. That’s why Imperial Oil is proud to offer Mobil Industrial Lubricants – recognized worldwide by more than 5000 equipment builders. With the combination of Mobil Industrial Lubricants and Imperial Oil expertise, we don’t just elevate productivity – we help unleash it. Visit for more information.

Imperial Oil is a trademark of Imperial Oil Limited, Imperial Oil, licensee. Mobil and the Pegasus are trademarks of Exxon Mobil Corporation or one of its subsidiaries, Imperial Oil Licensee.

MAPEI helps world-class venues go for LEED certification MAPEI has more than 3 decades of experience in supplying products for Olympic buildings and sports facilities around the world. And now, its reputation for providing outstanding flooring solutions has earned it the privilege of contributing premium LEED-compliant products and systems for surface preparation, concrete repair and tile/flooring installations that helped construct 6 major venues for the Vancouver Olympics.

Main Photo: Richmond, BC, Canada Richmond Olympic Oval

nuts & bolts

energy THE


ON TIME AND LIKELY ON BUDGET Connacher Oil and Gas Ltd. plans a ribbon-cutting ceremony June 22 at its second oilsands facility now that construction has been completed. Construction wrapped up at the steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) project called Algar at Great Divide in northeastern Alberta in April. The 10,000 boe/day project, which involved drilling 17 SAGD well pairs, was completed before the 275-working-day target set out by the company. While the final numbers are not yet in, it is expected Algar will come in under the $375-million budget. Among the things required to build the facility near Fort McMurray were: ■ 1.9 million kg of structural steel ■ 84 heat exchangers ■ 52 tanks ■ 190 pumps ■ 400 workers ■ 175 large loads of material, skids, and component parts.

photo: connacher oil and gas

Alberta Construction Magazine | 13

PHOTO: calgary airport authority

nuts & bolts

A new runway at Calgary International Airport will dwarf existing runways.

AIRPORT CONSTRUCTION CLEARED FOR TAKEOFF When you fly in and out of Calgary International Airport soon, you’ll have no problem spotting what’s being billed as the largest infrastructure project in Calgary. It will be right below you. Construction of a new 14,000 ft runway, the airport’s fourth runway, will begin next spring. Runway 16L/34R—its official name—will be constructed on airport land between the Air Terminal Building and 36 Street NE. The estimated cost is $500 million.

14 | Summer 2010

The runway is part of a project that also includes construction of a new international concourse to accommodate increased international travel. That’s supposed to wrap up in 2015. Passenger growth is expected to continue to increase at a rate of three to four per cent annually, eventually reaching more than 27 million passengers by 2025, according to the Calgary Airport Authority.


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For information call 1-800-265-2738 or visit us online at

We are Albertans and we are energy. Recognizing the contribution of oil and gas to Alberta’s economy and communities allows us to address the important relationship between a thriving economy, a healthy environment and a high quality of life. Alberta is Energy showcases the men and women of Alberta, their careers, challenges and accomplishments. Our goal is to build awareness of how C: 40 R: 96 the energy industry touches our lives. C: 29 R: 180

M: 70 G: 57

M: 0

K: 50

K: 7

G: 201

Alberta is Energy is supported by several Alberta business associations, many of which are focused on the oil Y: 100 B:19 Y: 100 B: 43 and gas sector.


nuts & bolts


Work progresses on an Anthony Henday Drive overpass—part of an effort to eliminate traffic signals on the ring road.

by Chaz Osburn


Lest you have any doubts, improving Alberta’s highways is still a priority with the province. Even in the current economic downturn. Even when dollars are tight and getting tighter. “Alberta learned some hard lessons in the last economic downturn,” Alberta Minister of Transportation Luke Ouellette told a gathering of contractors and engineers earlier this year. Putting off work today means higher costs tomorrow, he said. There’s another benefit. “We know that investing in infrastructure keeps Alberta working,” he added. Estimates are that highway projects this year will result in 70,000 jobs. So look for more announcements like the construction of an interchange at Cameron Heights on Edmonton’s Anthony Henday Drive. When it opens in the fall of 2011, there will be no more traffic signals on the ring road. (The cost of the interchange is not yet known but will be split 50-50 by the province and federal government.) In its 2010–11 budget, the Alberta government targets nearly $1.9 billion in capital investment, down 1.8 per cent drop from the year before. Funding includes $904 million for Calgary and Edmonton’s ring roads. It also includes $612 million for other highway construction and rehabilitation. The latter’s extremely important, given that Alberta’s highways are getting worse. In the Transportation Ministry’s 2010–13 business plan, the quality of roads deemed in good condition is seen slipping from 58.6 per cent last year to 55 per cent in 2013.

Roads in fair or poor condition will go from 41.1 per cent to 45 per cent in the same period. How much work is done depends on one thing: money. “The ministry’s preservation strategy and lower construction costs are helping

to keep pavements in good condition longer,” the business plan points out. “However, the overall condition of Alberta’s highway network is deteriorating because funding levels are not sufficient to meet highway rehabilitation needs.”

MULLEN GROUP ACQUIRES MANITOBA CONSTRUCTION FIRM Okotoks-based Mullen Group expects its recent acquisition of a Manitoba construction company will increase annual revenues by about $40 million. Smook Bros. (Thompson) Ltd. of Thompson, Man., is a multi-disciplined heavy civil construction company that provides services such as infrastructure construction, mine site work, and tailings ponds construction to the energy, natural resources, and government sectors.

Smook will work closely with Mullen Group’s largest subsidiary, Winnipeg-based Kleysen Group L.P., to expand Mullen Group’s presence in Manitoba. Kleysen president Jeff Kleysen pointed out that the northern Manitoba region where Smook is based has seen a great deal of investments into hydro-electricity projects, natural resources, and infrastructure development.

Alberta Construction Magazine | 17

nuts & bolts

SAY BON VOYAGE TO TRADITIONAL HOUSING by Diane L.M. Cook For the past decade or so, architects and green designers have been creatively designing and decorating shipping containers as homes, offices, and recreational spaces. According to Brian Clark Howard of The Daily Green, “Not just for resourceful squatters, container architecture is taking the world by storm. Recycled freight containers bring efficiency, flexibility, and affordability to innovative green buildings, from small

18 | Summer 2010

vacation cabins to movable cafés, schools, and skyscrapers.” Not only do repurposed containers have mobility—they can be “shipped” anywhere—and are efficient (every square inch of space is utilized to the maximum), they are low-cost (compared to traditional living spaces), and eco-friendly too. Howard says containers can be used off the grid and most are built using recycled material.

Several companies in Canada convert shipping containers into living spaces. Based in Vancouver, Bark Design Collective designed the All Terrain Cabin as a showcase for Canadian sustainable ingenuity. The ATC “is as smart as it is efficient, suitable for a family of four and a pet to live off the grid in comfort and contemporary style… [and] it unfolds rapidly to 480 square feet of self-contained, sophisticated living space with all the comforts of home.”

nuts & bolts

EP2500CX MSRP $899 Plus freight and setup charge + GST • 2500 watts, 120 V • Honda commercial OHV engine • Cold Climate technology • Full frame protection

Call 780-432-0858 for commercial pricing on this and all Honda power equipment including side by sides, waterpumps and general purpose engines.

le yc a con SProudly Honda since ’68 9556 - 82 AVENUE, EDMONTON

As smart as it is efficient, suitable for a family of four and a pet, with all the comforts of home. Toronto-based also touts the environmentally friendly nature of its 8x20 ft containers, saying they promote “the best use of portability, off grid power supply capabilities and low environmental footprint.” Repurposed shipping containers provide another option for people who are environmentally conscious, are looking to downsize, or who want to engage in an otherwise portable lifestyle. Alberta Construction Magazine | 19

around canada


The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Inc. created for the Jacques-Cartier Bridge and twitter. com/PontChampBridge for the Champlain Bridge. Both bridges are in the Montreal area and both are undergoing extensive repair and rehabilitation work. People can use the Twitter accounts to keep abreast of lane closings and other information.

79 Number of wind turbines that will be used in the Quality Wind Project at a site about 10 km northeast of Tumbler Ridge, B.C. The BC Hydro project, estimated at $455 million, will be developed by Edmonton-based Capital Power. SOURCE: Capital Power

Your heavy equipment for road projects could one day be powered by biodiesel. Researchers are testing biodiesel in a construction project in Coquitlam, B.C., to gain a better understanding of the economical and technical issues related to renewable diesel, as well as identify the best means and methods required to overcome likely challenges to biodiesel implementation in Canadian operations. It’s part of a $1.7-million study by Natural Resources Canada and FPInnovations, a not-for-profit forest products research institute.

delivering biodiesel blends to their job sites. The site consumes 110,000 litres of fuel on average each month. Given a 60,000-litre tanker truck capacity, multiple deliveries will be needed over the six-month-long project. The fuel at the construction site is pumped from the tanker truck directly into each machine. Safety measures have been implemented to ensure the safe and successful completion of this project for everyone involved. For example, spill kits are on site at JJM Construction, as well as on board the tanker trucks.

The Coquitlam location is of interest for the construction sector because it will demonstrate the logistical challenges in

TORONTO’S NEWEST TOWER If all goes according to plan, the first tenants will begin moving into the 65-storey One Bloor condominium on the southeastern corner of Yonge and Bloor Streets in Toronto by December 2014. It’s a project of the Great Gulf Group of Companies. Tucker Hi-Rise Construction Inc. is handling the construction. Units will sell for $390,000 to over $1.5 million.

DIRECT QUOTE The outlook for the infrastructure market is growing increasingly positive with various levels of government having committed to stimulus programs that augment their pre-recession commitments to increase infrastructure spending. — Armtec Infrastructure Income Fund news release on 2009 financial result


The group that manages two of Quebec’s most widely used bridges is using Twitter to keep people updated on their repairs.



How much construction revenue declined for Bird Construction for 2009 when compared to 2008. In dollars, that was $877.9 million versus $1.04 billion in 2008. SOURCE: Bird Construction Income Fund

Alberta Construction Magazine | 21


Keep projects on track, on time, and within budget By Marty Hilsenteger, CEO and founder of Singletouch For many years, one Holy Grail for contractors has been to find a userfriendly reporting mechanism that shows productivity and percentage complete in real time. This would enable contractors to better manage their operations and offer realistic and attainable estimates and accurate reports to customers. In an industry that’s always been plagued by paperwork bottlenecks and systemic business process deficiencies, shifting from existing sub-par and makeshift reporting systems to an approach that delivers on the promise of improving operations through technology adoption requires a leap of faith, especially for those not generally used to employing technology in their businesses.

field survey, the Labour Monitor report assists a project manager in managing workforce efficiency and productivity in the field. The field survey, typically conducted either daily or weekly, allows the project manager to capture exactly which items have been installed onsite and, through a simple calculation, determine the percentage complete for that item. Project managers can then course correct if necessary to increase productivity or stick to estimates. Using antiquated pen and paper recording methods, it would be impossible to gain such accurate and timely visibility into projects as they’re happening.

The Labour Monitor report shows productivity and percentage complete by cost code, which enables contractors to estimate jobs more accurately, execute on budget, manage cost overruns, and be more accountable to their customers. Here’s how it works: by combining budget data, actual data such as time tickets, and the

8122 Single double page 4 Page

With the Labour Monitor tool, contractors can provide specific information about issues that may have impacted productivity, such as weather or changing cost of materials or labour, for example. As a business owner, you’ll reap significant benefits from improving your business processes, not the least of which are the financial bonuses often offered for your bill matching your estimate.

But software tools do exist that can ease the burden and greatly enhance your business by providing you with the important information you need, on demand. Implementing project controls will give your project the best possible chance to stay on track, on time, and within budget. It’s with this vision in mind that Singletouch updated its realtime data-capture solution for contractors with the Labour Monitor tool, a custom reporting function within the platform’s Project Controls module.

With accountability becoming a major focus in an industry where tenders used to be decided solely on price, resumés, and safety record, customers now expect more visibility into cost overruns and productivity. In order to deliver, you’ll need to improve your business processes and have easy access to information about both current and past projects.

Until now, it has been very hard to gain real-time visibility into percentage complete on jobs due to the lag between information gathered in the field and when the data is input into back-office systems. With the Labour Monitor report, all the information is available quickly and easily, facilitating decisionmaking for the contractor and providing peace of mind to the customer. Within the Labour Monitor report, cost codes for the project, each of which will have a materials, services, labour, subsistence, and direct job expenses (DJE) budget amount associated with it, are documented and useful statistics determined against each code. These statistics enable the project manager to understand the percentage complete by cost code, forecast labour hours to complete the cost code, and understand the productivity for each cost code.

Marty Hilsenteger was the founder of an industrial electrical contracting firm and knows first hand the challenges contractors face in estimating, forecasting and reporting. As CEO of Singletouch Corporation, he has overseen the development of a technology platform that overcomes these challenges. He can be reached at For more information, visit

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Clean energy Innovative Swan Hills project aims to produce synthetic gas from deep coal seams by Diane L.M. Cook | Photography by Swan Hills Synfuels

Has Alberta finally found the key to unlocking its vast coal resource? In a province best known for its oil and gas, in situ gasification technology could hold the key to clean, low-carbon synthetic gas from unminable coal. This gas is expected to produce the same amount of energy that natural gas does, but with roughly half the greenhouse gas emissions. And it might help redefine how Alberta produces its energy. The Swan Hills Synfuels In-Situ Coal Gasification/Sagitawah Power Project will produce clean synthetic gas from deep, unminable coal seams near Swan Hills, located northwest of Edmonton. This lowcarbon gas will be used to fuel a new 300 MW powerplant near Whitecourt, 60 km south of Swan Hills. CO2 captured by the project will be used in the oilfields in the Swan Hills area for enhanced oil recovery, increasing oil production while permanently storing the CO2. Doug Shaigec, president of Swan Hills Synfuels, says in situ coal gasification will help Alberta blaze a trail for cleaner, more environmentally responsible use of coal. “We believe our Sagitawah Power Project will be a major step toward cleaning up fossil fuel–based energy production.”

energy THE


24 | Summer 2010


Heat exchangers at Swan Hills Synfuels’ demonstration phase production site facility.


This coiled tubing unit is part of the injection well facility at the Swan Hills Synfuels site.

POWERFUL PUNCH Almost 70 per cent of Canada’s coal reserves are found in Alberta, which has an estimated 33.6 billion tonnes of established coal reserves. Alberta’s coal contains more than twice the energy of all the province’s other conventional nonrenewable energy resources combined, including oil, natural gas, and oilsands. 26 | Summer 2010

Gasification is a manufacturing process that converts materials such as coal into a synthesis gas, or syngas. This gas can then be used as fuel, or it can be further processed to produce other products such as fertilizers and liquid fuels. Gasification is a method for extracting energy from organic material and is an efficient technology that can produce

high-value products from low-value feedstock such as coal. First developed in the 1800s, gasification has been used commercially throughout the world for more than a century. The gasification process uses injection and production wells drilled from the surface to access the coal seam and facilitate the process in situ. The coal is not

commercial extracted to the surface as there is no coal mine or coal-handling facilities. Through a high-pressure gasification process, the coal is efficiently converted in-place in its original seam into syngas. The syngas flows to the surface and is then processed in a conventional gas plant to produce fuel for electrical power generation or used to produce other products. In 2009, Swan Hills Synfuels started a demonstration project of the in situ coal gasification process. Shaigec says the results of the project provide valuable information that will assist the company with the development of its commercial Sagitawah Power Project. The Sagitawah Power Project is expected to cost $1.5 billion. Under the Government of Alberta’s $2-billion Carbon Capture and Storage Fund, the province will invest $285 million. Construction is expected to start in the third quarter of 2012. The project is should be in service in 2015. The lifespan is expected to be 40 years and produce over 17 million GJ of syngas energy per year.

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The project will be comprised of four components: The in situ coal gasification facility will include the in situ coal gasification well pairs, associated pipelines, and syngas processing plant. The facility will use independent pairs of wells to gasify coal in its original coal seam to provide raw syngas to a surface gas processing plant. At the syngas processing plant, the syngas is cleaned to remove impurities and CO2. Swan Hills Synfuels has contracted PCL Industrial Management Inc. to construct the facility. ■

The power generation facility will use clean, low-carbon syngas from the in situ coal gasification facility to produce electricity. This facility is a 300 MW combined-cycle power generation facility using syngas as its primary fuel. This facility will be located near Whitecourt and will tie into the existing 240-kilovolt high-voltage transmission system in the Whitecourt area. This facility can produce enough electricity to power 300,000 typical households in Alberta, or about one-quarter the size of Calgary.

serving Western Canada and the northwest territories.

CO2 captured by the in situ coal gasification facility will be transported by ■

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commercial In Situ Coal Gasification Facility (Swan Hills area): Converts deep coal in situ into syngas; processes syngas at surface to remove CO2

CO2 for Enhanced Oil Recovery: CO2 captured by ISCG Facility sold to Swan Hills–area customers for enhanced oil recovery and permanent sequestration

3 00 MW clean electricity generation

1 .3 million tonnes per year CO2 sequestration

Syngas Pipeline: Conventional buried pipeline

Power Generation Facility (Whitecourt area): Third-party high-efficiency combined-cycle power plant, syngas fuel

pipeline to oilfields in the Swan Hills area for use in enhanced oil recovery (EOR). The facility will be adjacent to established oilfields that have over 4 billion barrels of original oil in place. EOR will result in more oil being produced from these maturing oilfields. Estimates are that the project will capture 1.3 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, representing over 20 per cent of the government’s funding objective of reducing CO2 emissions by 5 million tonnes per year. This is equivalent to taking about 260,000 cars off the road, installing 380 wind turbines to offset traditional coal emissions, or retrofitting approximately 400,000 Canadian homes. 28 | Summer 2010

■ The fourth component is a syngas pipe-

line. It will transport the low-carbon clean syngas from the in situ coal gasification facility near Swan Hills to the power generation facility near Whitecourt. The pipeline will be in the 20–30 inch diameter range. At a length of 60 km, it will move approximately 200 MMcf/d of gas. The Sagitawah Power Project has several benefits. Environmentally, the lack of above-ground coal mining facilities means the project will have a small footprint. The project will also use non-fresh water in the gasification process, conserving an estimated 6 million cu. m of fresh water each year as compared to a conventional coalfired power plant.

Capturing CO2 Capturing CO2 and using it for EOR and then storing it promises to dramatically reduce the amount of emissions from the project. The EOR aspect will net Albertans increased oil royalties from increased oil production. And, of course, there are the clean energy and secure source of electricity aspects of the project as well. Bob McManus, acting director of communications at Alberta Energy, says the Sagitawah Power Project will be a significant contributor of clean coal electricity to meet Alberta’s growing demand. “The project will help prove an innovative electricity generation method that has the potential to reduce the impact of


ANNOUNCES RECENT APPOINTMENTS Scott Burns, Chief Executive Officer of BURNCO Rock Products Ltd, is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael J. Powell, CA, to the position of President of the Company. Mike completed two full time consulting assignments with BURNCO over the years and returns to the Company from TIM-BR MART where he served as Vice President, Finance. Mike brings 17 years of experience in the Michael J. Powell, President construction materials and retail building materials industries. The Company is also pleased to announce the appointment of Wilmar Fedirko, P. Eng. to the position of Senior Vice President. Wil’s BURNCO career has spanned 29 years and will see the addition of the function of Health and Safety to his current responsibilities as leader of our Ready-mix Division. The above changes, along with a future-looking corporate restructuring, positions our nearly 98-year-old Company for growth into the next century. Wilmar Fedirko,

BURNCO is a fourth generation family business involved in the Senior Vice President Construction Materials industry in Western Canada. We are Canada’s largest independent ready-mix concrete producer and we have three further operating Divisions: Aggregate (sand and gravel), Asphalt Supply and our BURNCO Landscape Centres. The above was effective May 1st, 2010.


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conventional coal electricity generation and access vast resources of coal that are unminable,” he says. “Alberta’s support of commercial-scale [carbon capture and storage] technologies such as this will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the province, but will have global applications that can make a significant contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.” Excitement is building in the town of Whitecourt about the project. “This project will help Whitecourt build another pillar for our community,” says Mayor Trevor Thain. “Currently, we have forestry and oil and gas and we are about to add electricity generation to the mix.” Thain says there are already some Whitecourt residents working on the project, and when construction begins, he expects more jobs will become available. Not only will the power-generation facility provide new jobs, but Thain says the EOR component will create additional jobs as well. “With the EOR doubling production in the maturing oilfields near Swan Hills, which will double the life expectancy of the oilfields, that increase in production will result in more work, more drilling, more trucking, and other spinoff business opportunities for hotels and restaurants.” There are many steps involved in the Sagitawah Power Project that will take several years to complete, as it is a capitalintensive energy project. Swan Hills Synfuels’ next steps include preparing a regulatory application this year and filing it in 2011. The regulatory process is expected to take 12–18 months. Pending regulatory approval, construction will begin after approval is received. Shaigec says there is enough coal at Swan Hills for multiple future phases of in situ coal gasification development to produce clean energy. “If this project is successful, the potential to expand it or replicate it is very significant,” he says. “This would greatly add to Alberta’s ability to produce clean syngas from coal, reduce its total yearly CO2 emissions, increase the government’s oil royalties, and provide many benefits to the businesses and residents of Alberta.”

Alberta Construction Magazine | 29

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“Things are very slow right now. The years 2007–09 were probably record-breaking years in the volume of work done in Canada—not seen since the early [1960s].” — Barry Brown, Executive Director, Pipe Line Contractors Association of Canada

30 | Summer 2010


If you look at everything on the books for the next 15 years, Canada’s pipeline industry has just over $43 billion of proposed new large-diameter pipelines. Not surprisingly, much of it is driven by planned oilsands development and expansions. Add in the two Arctic natural gas pipelines—Alaska and Mackenzie (if they ever get the go-ahead)—and the tab climbs to an estimated $85 billion. This year, however, tells another story. The sector has slowed down after several years of hectic activity, capped by 2009 with the biggest, most costly expansions ever in a 12-month period for the country’s two biggest pipeline operators, Enbridge Inc. and TransCanada Corp. “Things are very slow right now,” observes Barry Brown, executive director at the Pipe Line Contractors Association of Canada. “The years 2007–09 were probably record-breaking years in the volume of work done in Canada—not seen since the early [1960s]. When the financial collapse happened in 2008, oil went from around $150/bbl to $40/bbl. This postponed work and expansions at the oilsands, and new pipe to service all this got postponed. It was the oil lines that took the big hit. In

2009, contractors were still busy because we were completing work started before the crash.” Last year, Enbridge spent about $4.9 billion on capital projects in Canada and the United States, including completion of its $3.7-billion Alberta Clipper line, which ships crude from the Hardisty, Alta., terminal to refineries in Superior, Wisc. The 1,607 km line began service earlier this year. The company is also winding up work on its $2.3-billion Southern Lights line, which will ship diluent, a form of ultralight oil to be mixed in with heavy crude from the oilsands so it will flow through a pipe. The line runs between points in the U.S. Midwest and northern Alberta. Another project that has wrapped up was construction of Phase 1 of TransCanada’s Keystone Pipeline system. Like some other recently completed projects and several of the proposed pipelines, much of the $5.5-billion Keystone system, which is to ship crude originating in the oilsands, is outside of Alberta. Starting at Hardisty, the Canadian portion of Phase 1 involved the conversion of 859 km of existing TransCanada pipe in Saskatchewan and Manitoba from natural gas to crude oil transmission. This section of the line transports crude from

D to a trickle w n There’s a slowdown in pipeline construction right now, but $43 billion in projects looms by Godfrey Budd

Alberta Construction Magazine | 31

industrial Alberta to markets in Illinois. The major portion of Keystone Phase 1 consists of 1,735 km of new 30-inch pipe linking terminals in Illinois with others in Kansas and Missouri. In March, TransCanada announced a delay in the start of oil shipments, pointing to a need for 9 MMbbl of crude in storage to start operating by the second quarter. The company expects the linefill to be completed by mid-2010. So what specifically is planned this year? Brown, whose association represents large-diameter pipeline contractors, says: “This year, we are looking at 77 km for TransCanada’s Groundbirch project.”

work could start on planned extensions of the Keystone system. But any significant increase in large-diameter pipeline construction is not expected for nearly two years. “In 2012, we are optimistic it will improve,” Brown says. A flurry of announcements earlier this year and last giving the green light to a number of oilsands projects has no doubt provided grounds for optimism in the pipeline construction sector. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.’s Horizon expansion, Husky Energy’s Surmont thermal project, Total Canada’s Surmont project, and Imperial Oil’s Kearl are all going ahead.

GAS FROM B.C. Groundbirch, at a cost of about The Pipe Line Contractors Association of Canada says 2007-09 was a robust period for pipeline construction. $200 million, is scheduled to begin operation in the fourth quarter. It will ship shale gas from the Montney formation in northeastern British Columbia into TransCanada’s pipeline system in Alberta. Groundbirch is designed to handle up to 1.6 Bcf/d of gas, roughly the same capacity as the proposed Mackenzie line. It is regarded as a major addition to Alberta’s gas pipe network. The line represents about 10 per cent of the total throughput of the Alberta system and is the first major pipeline in Canada to transport shale gas across a provincial border. It has been given a green light by the federal regulator, the National Energy Board. The amount of natural gas flowing along Canadian pipelines has been in decline since peaking at around 16.5 Bcf/d in 2001. It could drop to about 13.5 Bcf/d this year, according to an estimate from the National Energy Board. The board attributes the drop to increased natural gas Brenda Kenny, president of the consumption in Alberta and five per cent Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, year-over-year declines in gas production which represents major pipeline operators from western Canada. accounting for more than 95 per cent of Shale gas and projects like Groundbirch oil and gas piped in Canada, says that the could halt the trend. Brown says that pace of development is dictated by ecoanother shale gas project, TransCanada’s nomics, and that of the $43 billion in new Horn River mainline, could see work start pipe, “almost all is oilsands driven.” Both sometime in 2011. Also next year, he says, Kenny and Brown are optimistic that the 32 | Summer 2010

pull of market demand will see almost all the proposed oilsands-related pipe going ahead—eventually. Noting Suncor’s 2009 acquisition of Petro-Canada, Barry cautions that there could be some duplication among the proposed oilsands-driven projects. Also, some of the proposed pipeline could wait until around 2025 before being built. Brown, who spent 10 years in pipeline construction before heading the contractors’ association, recalls that serious study on developing an economic plan for the then-proposed Foothills pipeline—now called the Alaska Highway Gas pipeline, but still yet to be built— began in 1977. Regarding the current roster of proposed pipelines, “I believe they will all be built. Right now, though, the next two years look pretty grim. Our U.S. counterparts are doing very well, on the other hand. A lot of the work there is gas-related.” On the western Canadian gas pipeline front, Kenny points to some uncertainty about the future. “In the case of gas, it’s about changing the location of supply, with more unconventional gas needing connection,” she says. “You are seeing growth in natural gas markets, but we expect only modest gas prices for the long term.” Also, at this point, no one knows how successful the emerging shale gas sector will prove to be or how the potential liquid natural gas import and export sector will pan out across North America. “We are at early days of knowing how the ramifications will play out,” Kenny says. Another unknown she points to is whether concerns around CO2 and global warming will boost demand for natural gas, which has lower carbon emissions than coal and oil. RIPPLES OF OPTIMISM The effects of renewed optimism and announcements of oilsands projects going ahead are already rippling across the pipeline construction sector.

industrial “We are getting ready to tender on Keystone XL,” says Wes Waschuk, president of Waschuk Pipeline Construction Ltd. “It is mostly in the U.S. with 529 km in Canada out of 2,742-plus km. Bids are to be in place by the end of the year. Also, we are bidding on a 42-inch pipe from Kearl. It will take water from the Athabasca River to the Kearl plant site 38 km away.” Waschuk’s Red Deer–based company specializes in large pipe of 16-inch diameter and up. Large-diameter pipeline construction contractors like Waschuk Construction are perhaps a somewhat specialized breed of operation. Although they use essentially the same unionized trades as most oilsands plant construction projects, a welder for a pipeline is drawn from a slightly different pool than a plant welder. It’s no surprise, then, that bidding on large-diameter pipe projects is something of a closed shop. “Pipeline operators issue invitations for bids to their qualified bid list only. It’s based largely on bonding qualifications, experience, and safety. Safety record is now a huge factor. Operators don’t want their safety standing with the regulators compromised,” says Brown of the contractors’ association. Bids are often by invitation-only on many small-diameter pipeline projects as well, says Rod Donovan, general manager at Parkland Pipeline Contractors Ltd., which specializes in small- to midbore pipe from 2–24 inches in diameter. The Olds-based firm is pegging some of its hopes for a turnaround on B.C. shale gas and more heavy oil activity in Alberta. Waschuk’s company had expected to stay busier during 2010 until a project he had won a bid on announced in January 2009 that it was on hold. “It’s for the time being, but [the project] has to go ahead at some point,” Waschuk says. Waschuk shares Brown’s view about the next year or so. “We just wrapped up the busiest five years since the 1960s,” Waschuk says. “There won’t be much of a silver lining until 2011, 2012. Then, there’ll be a bunch of big projects on the go.” 1.800.575.2826 Nanaimo | Vancouver | Prince George | Fort Nelson | Fort St. John | Calgary | Edmonton Fort McMurray | Saskatoon | Regina | Winnipeg | Toronto | Timmins | Ottawa | Montreal

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34 | Summer 2010

BIG Something

is coming

Province’s highways are ready to handle slew of modules from South Korea by Tricia Radison

When the first of about 200 enormous modules from South Korea destined for the Kearl oilsands project near Fort McMurray lumbers over the border from Montana this fall, it will hit highways that don’t usually see giant loads. Highways 4, 845, 539, and a portion of Highway 36 lie south of the province’s High Load Corridor. As in Idaho and Montana, work is underway to ready the road for the big event.

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10-0802-02-01.pdf infrastructure


4:28:00 PM

Alberta Transportation has already undertaken road and bridge analyses to determine the maximum dimensions the chosen route could support. “They [the modules’ manufacturer] will build the modules up to the maximum capacity of the bridges,” explains Mizanur Rahman, bridge evaluation engineer for Alberta Transportation. “Bridges can also handle different types of load depending on how they are spreading the load among the axles on the trailer.” The dimensions are detailed in a provincial module policy. That policy states that loads can be up to 7.32 m wide and 9 m high (height is measured from the road surface). The maximum speed at which the modules will travel is about 50 km/h, with crawling speed of about 6 km/h.










11:45:48 AM

“They [the modules’ manufacturer] will build the modules up to the maximum capacity of the bridges.” — Mizanur Rahman, Bridge Evaluation Engineer, Alberta Transportation The majority of modules required for the first 100,000 bbl/d phase of the project will be manufactured in Alberta, says Imperial Oil spokesman Pius Rolheiser. But these 200 loads are being fabricated in South Korea by “a supplier with a proven track record.” Fortunately, utility lines crossing highways 28 and 63 in the High Load Corridor are already high enough to let the modules pass. Those on the other highways are at a standard 5.3 m. Imperial Oil, Kearl’s developer, is paying to move the lines in 121 locations. The question is whether the company will do it temporarily or permanently. The first option would see the power shut off and the line raised to let each load

36 | Summer 2010

infrastructure go through, then lowered again. Because the modules will pass one at a time over a period of approximately one year, perhaps as often as five per week, this option could lead to a lot of disgruntled locals who have to put up with frequent power outages. “We got information from them that they are planning to raise or bury the power lines along that portion of highway south of Highway 1,” Rahman says. It’s to the company’s advantage, as well as beneficial to the rest of the industry as the oilsands are further developed. “Once they raise the lines or bury the lines, it is a one-time, done deal, so they can move their loads without any interruption,” Rahman says. Overhead railway signals at two locations will also have to be modified. The oilsands company is working with Alberta Transportation and Transport Canada to ensure that Transport Canada’s safety standards are maintained when changes are made. Alberta Transportation will also have to stay on top of what’s happening on the roads between this fall and the fall of 2011. “We need to coordinate with everyone along that [stretch of] highway,” Rahman says. Upcoming construction and repaving will be scheduled or rescheduled to fit around the modules. According to U.S. press reports, the modules will be shipped from South Korea to the Port of Portland. From there they will be moved by barge on the Columbia and Snake rivers to Lewiston, Idaho. Then they will be transferred to trucks, which will travel into Montana over Lolo Pass on U.S. Highway 12. Rolheiser says it will take 10 days to move the modules from landing at Portland to the Kearl site 70 km northeast of Fort McMurray. Montana residents not used to seeing the giant loads are learning about the modules through reports in the news media. Not everyone seems to be in favour of the work. According to the Associated Press, a Missoula, Mon., river guide has been collecting signatures to halt the transport along the Lochsa River corridor in Idaho, because it is classified as a Wild and Scenic River. Construction of the first phase of Kearl is expected to be complete in 2012. Oilsands Review editor Deborah Jaremko contributed to this report.

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A FAST way to make highways safer by Chaz Osburn

Imagine an overpass or a bridge that would automatically apply the proper chemical when the surface iced up. No more guesswork about when to send the trucks out. No more dangerously slippery surfaces. No, this is not science fiction. It’s Fixed Automated Spray Technology, or FAST. In use around the world for several years, it’s a safe bet that it’s only a matter of time before it arrives in Alberta. One of the prime benefits to FAST is that it can significantly reduce crashes and save lives. Now, new research shows that over the long haul, it could save money as well.

Here’s how U.S. researchers Shawn Birst and Mohammad Smadi summed it up: “The major benefits of the FAST systems relate to reductions in societal [resulting from vehicle crashes] and transportation agency costs [maintenance activities].” FAST is a spray de-icing system that relies on real-time data from a Road Weather Information System (RWIS). Used in Europe for 20 years and parts of Canada and the United States more recently, sensors from RWIS sense ice and frost and send a signal to a FAST system to apply liquid de-icing chemicals. Because chemicals can be applied to the surface

Alberta Construction Magazine | 39

infrastructure quicker, de-icing response times are significantly improved. Not only that, but less de-icing chemical, which is stored in a tank near the site, is required. Birst and Smadi, with the Advanced Traffic Analysis Center for the Upper

Bridge FAST system provided a total crash reduction of 66 per cent. Crashes related to property damage were reduced by 62 per cent and injury related crashes were reduced by 75 per cent. These crash reductions contribute to the location’s removal from the

“The major benefits of the FAST systems relate to reductions in societal [resulting from vehicle crashes] and transportation agency costs [maintenance activities].” — Shawn Birst and Mohammad Smadi, U.S. researchers Great Plains Transportation Institute at North Dakota State University, studied two FAST systems. One is installed at the Interstate 29 Buxton Bridge near Buxton, N.D. The other is at the Interstate 94 Red River Bridge between Fargo, N.D., and Moorhead, Minn. “Significant crash reductions were observed at both locations after the FAST systems were installed,” the two wrote in a paper published last October. “The Buxton

high-crash location list, where it had consistently ranked among the top five.” They went on to say that the “Red River Bridge also experienced crash reductions after the FAST system was installed. The combined crash reductions for the Minnesota and North Dakota systems observed a total crash reduction of 50 per cent.” If you’ve never been to either Buxton or Fargo, the terrain—and winters for that

matter—is not unlike Alberta’s. It’s relatively flat. Temperatures can drop quickly, and wind and snow can come suddenly. Canada’s first FAST system was installed in Ontario nearly a decade ago. But in a presentation on advanced winter maintenance systems in Alberta in March, participants at the 13th annual Tri-Part Transportation Conference in Red Deer learned FAST systems are expected to be deployed on Highway 63 in the Fort McMurray area. One system is planned for the new bridge over the Athabasca River. Another would be installed at the Thickwood Boulevard interchange. Citing U.S. statistics, Allan Lo, an intelligent transportation systems and traffic safety specialist with Alberta Transportation, pointed out about one in four non-recurring delays on freeways are due to weather. Getting the proper chemicals on the roadway as quickly as possible with a FAST system may well save time. But as the research from North Dakota and other places show, it’s likely to be a lifesaver as well.

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40 | Summer 2010 Naturally Resourceful


Supreme Steel Ltd., Midwest Constructors Ltd. and Pro-V Manufacturing Ltd., provide complimentary services for the industrial marketplace. Services range for manufacuring and supply of piping, vessels, structural steel and tanks to on-site field activities including assembly of module, pipe fitting, steel erection and setting of mechanical equipment. The depth of experience and the significant capacities that each company brings to the partnership, creates a single source solutions provider unique in the industry. For more information on how the group can be of benefit to your next project, please contact us. Phil Topley 780-691-3668 (Midwest) Jim Brennan 403-651-5520 (Pro-V & Supreme)



T F 0

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42 | Summer 2010



P I E S N f


Growth ahead for Alberta oilsands projects by Tricia Radison

An enormous resource and continuing global demand are driving the resuscitation of construction work in Alberta’s oilsands, and it’s good news for industry. Brad Anderson, executive director of the Construction Owners Association of Alberta, says it’s been a tough year for many in heavy industrial construction, with fewer people working and many leaving the province. But, he adds, that doesn’t mean new projects won’t see the same challenges experienced before the recession. “I think when things ramp up, we’re going to be challenged again,” says Anderson, explaining that although there have been fewer heavy industrial construction jobs, there are also fewer people available. Many people left when projects were completed or put on hold. Others are working in maintenance on projects they helped build during the boom. “As [oilsands projects are] built, they need a percentage of that construction

energy THE


Alberta Construction Magazine | 43


Oil Prices Recover From Crash (West Texas Intermediate, US$ per barrel)

120 110 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 2004 05



08 09 10F 11F 12F 13F 14F

F = forecast Source: The Conference Board of Canada, U.S. Energy Information Association

workforce to stay on. It’s a good thing because it creates permanent jobs. It’s challenging on the construction side of things because we have to find new construction people to replace those,” Anderson says. According to the Conference Board of Canada, the future of the oilsands is bright. It is estimated that there are 170 Bbbl of bitumen in non-conventional reserves in Alberta and only 6.4 MMbbl have been developed, with another 27 billion more under development. New projects, driven by the recovery of oil prices, are expected to lead to a 6.7 per cent growth in production in 2010, with growth hitting 2.1 MMbbl/d by 2014. There have been declines in the cost of materials like steel. However, the Conference Board predicts that material costs will rise quickly as production and demand increase. Anderson points out that the cost of labour and materials for oilsands projects is related to the state of the construction industry not just in Alberta, but throughout Canada and even the world. “What happens in one area affects the other area,” he says.

A Complete Scaffolding Solution At AT-PAC we offer a complete value added scaffolding solution from labour to manufacturing and design. We have proven safety and quality assurance programs that ensure customer satisfaction at all levels.

• Labour • Site Management • Consulting With over 2.4 million on-site safe man hours, Wood Buffalo provides safe effective labour services for all types of scaffolding projects both small and large.

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44 | Summer 2010


6215 82 Ave, Edmonton, AB , T6B 0E8


Non-Conventional Production Surges (barrels per day, ’000s)

1,200 Synthetic Crude


1,000 800 600 400 200 30 2003 04 05 06 07 08 09 10F 11F 12F 13F 14F F = forecast Source: The Conference Board of Canada, Statistics Canada

In its industrial outlook for 2010, the Conference Board expressed concerns about the ability of the oil-extraction industry to meet growing demand fast enough, particularly because of constraints unrelated to the resource itself, such as politics, regulations, war, and environmental issues. A return to the severe labour shortages of the pre-recession years could also hamper development. “Have we learned from what happened to us in 2006, in which we saw incredible growth in oilsands construction and other construction in Alberta?” Anderson asks. “It was just a wickedly exciting period, but boy was it ever difficult, and we were short of people everywhere.” He is optimistic that the construction industry is ready to tackle the challenge. A robust apprenticeship program has been developed and Anderson lauds the provincial government for taking steps to mitigate labour issues. Says Anderson: “I’m very impressed. They’re focusing on their human capital plan and anticipating and planning for growth. I think we have learned; it’s just a matter of, is it all going to come together?”

• Civil, structural steel erection, heavy mechanical installations, piping, electrical and instrumentation • Fabrication and module assembly • Signatory to the Building Trades • Strong direct-hire network; local hiring initiatives • 28,800 sq.ft. (under-hook) with 21,600 sq.ft. (under-roof) facility for pipe fabrication, pressure vessel welding and more • Full certifications and registrations • Near heavy haul corridors PROJECT HIGHLIGHT AND AWARDS

SHELL CANADA Scotford Upgrader Expansion 1 • Recipient of Shell VP Safety Award • Recipient of VP Flawless Quality Award

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Alberta Construction Magazine | 45


Oilsands projects under construction Project

Christina Lake Phase 1C


Cenovus Energy

Great Divide Connacher Oil Pod 2 (Algar) and Gas

Surmont Phase 2

ConocoPhillips Canada

Capacity Type (barrels Start-up Cost per day)

Primary contractor

Approx. number of workers at peak



Information not available


SAGD 40,000


Company says it will spend approx. $20,000 per barrel per day for phases C, D, and E

SAGD 10,000


IMAP says $360 million


Company can only confirm that it is a multi-millionNot yet selected dollar, multi-year project. IMAP says $2 billion

SAGD 83,000

“I think when things ramp up, we’re going to be challenged again.” — Brad Anderson, Executive Director, Construction Owners Association of Alberta

BRYTEX BUILDING SYSTEMS INC. 5610 - 97 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T6E 3J1 Phone: (780) 437-7970 Fax: (780) 437-5022 Website: Email:

Design – Manufacture – Erect Pre-engineered, custom, and self-framing metal building systems Industrial & commercial CAN/CSA A660-M91 Quality system certified

• 188 Guest Rooms including Executive & Honeymoon Suites

• Hearthstone Grille Restaurant

• Business Centre

• Business Class Rooms

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• Indoor Atrium with heated Pool and Jacuzzi Tub

• Spacious Parking

• State-of-the-art Conference Centre accommodating 10 to 800

46 | Summer 2010

• Perfectly Divine Day Spa





Jackfish 2

Devon Canada

Kai Kos Dehseh

StatoilHydro Canada

Suncor Energy

Firebag Stages 3 and 4

Capacity Type (barrels Start-up Cost per day)

Primary contractor

Approx. number of workers at peak

SAGD 35,000

Devon Primary engineering contractor: Cord WorleyParsons, a wholly owned subsidiary and the construction division of WorleyParsons, has done the module fabrication and site mechanical work

500; another 100–200 are completing module fabrication in Blackfalds, Alta.


$1.1 billion

SAGD 10,000


IMAP says $850 million. Company IMV does not comment on costs.

About 1,000

Approx. SAGD 62,500 each

Stage 3: 2010 Stage 4: 2012

$3.6-billion, multi-stage project

3,000 +


Alberta Construction Magazine | 47

energy THE


Another labour

crunch? Demand for skilled trades in the oilsands likely to increase in 2011–12 by Godfrey Budd A graph depicting construction activity on the Construction Sector Council’s website for 2006–15 that refers mostly to Alberta’s oilsands construction shows a line marking the period from early 2006 to mid-2007 that shoots up almost vertically. It then levels off before dropping sharply for 2009. According to the council, investment in engineering construction—a category that outside of bridges and highways in Alberta mostly means oilsands—jumped from $10.6 billion in 2006 to $15.6 billion in 2007. Spending had dropped to just over $13.6 billion for this sector by 2009.


Alberta Construction Magazine | 49


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50 | Summer 2010


Earlier this year, some energy industry watchers were taken aback by the number of oilsands projects that were announced. Few had expected them to be revived so soon after they had been put on the shelf when the global economy went sour in 2008. The province’s recent wild swings in oilsands construction activity levels are viewed by labour market specialists as having a strong impact on the availability of the required skilled trades for major projects. “Before the recession, we could not rely solely on other provinces to supply the amounts of skilled people needed,” says Herb Holmes, Edmonton manager for Construction Labour Relations— Alberta and chair of the Alberta Labour Market Information Committee at the Construction Sector Council. “We also sourced from various parts of the world. Then the recession threw a lot of people out of work.” Over the 2006–08 period, Alberta experienced its greatest-ever construction boom, with shortages in many trades. Oilsands developers flew crews of skilled workers from anywhere in Canada they could be had, as well as from outside the country. The total number of tradespeople, including their helpers, working on construction in the province hit 160,570 in 2007. In 2009, by contrast, the peak employment level for the sector had dropped to 132,000, according to Construction Sector Council figures from February.

feature Photo: Joey Podlubny

The Construction Sector Council forecasts employment in trades to increase.

Those figures also include some projections to 2018. The council forecasts gradually increasing employment for trades over the coming years, with projected numbers for peak employment for all trades falling just short of the 2007 peak in 2018 at 158,000. For oilsands construction trades like boilermakers, electricians, steamfitters, pipefitters, and welders, demand is expected to ramp up at a slightly quicker pace from 2011 to 2015. Holmes points to several projects that will start construction later this year or early 2011. These include a Suncor Firebag expansion, a Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. Horizon expansion, Imperial’s Kearl mining project, Husky Energy’s Sunrise thermal project, and a ConocoPhillips thermal project. Besides the construction projects, a series of what Holmes terms “sustaining capital projects” in the oilsands is just around the corner. These include re-configuring mine sites to adjust to the moving mine-face, adjustments to increase production capacity, and major maintenance shutdowns, which can employ up to 2,000 people, mostly boilermakers, pipefitters, and welders, for a couple of months. Says Holmes: “Sometime in 2011–12, we may again be bumping up against the ceiling of what skilled trades we can get out of Canada, especially if there are two or three megaprojects [under construction] at the same time.”

Celebrating 35 Years of Growth and Excellence Custom Steel Forming | Plant Maintenance | Machining | Heat Exchangers Edmonton Exchanger features a wide range of products and services for applications in various industries that include oil and gas, petrochemical and power generation. Our custom steel forming division specializes in the fabrication of large-scale pressure vessel components, and features steel forming capacities that are some of the largest of their kind. We offer the most extensive one-stop head forming and shell rolling capabilities in North America, and one of the largest inventories of pressure vessel quality steel plate in the world. Additionally, we offer a wide range of machining services and specialize in largescale milling and CNC tube sheet drilling for heat exchanger applications. Edmonton Exchanger also provides on-site plant maintenance services for refineries, fertilizer plants and the petrochemical industry. Our services range from controlled bolting and portable field machining to complete turn-key plant and refinery shutdown projects.

Alberta Construction Magazine | 51

2010 CONSTRUCTION CAREER EXPO s r o s n o p s d n a s t n a p i c i t r a p We thank our PARTICIPANTS


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Table of Contents

56 56 Help with wcb matters�������������������������������������������������������56 Haul it and dump it���������������������������������������������������������������57 Edmonton project wins recognition�����������������������������58 Lethbridge company honoured�������������������������������������58 Crushing with trailer-free transport������������������������������59 Firms land southeast Stoney Trail project������������������ 60 Churchill and Seacliff merge������������������������������������������� 60 Open sesame�������������������������������������������������������������������������� 61 Calgary entrepreneur singled out����������������������������������

Mechanical room in a box�������������������������������������������������

people, products

& projects


NEW BUSINESS UNIT LAUNCHED Calgary-based Hemisphere GPS has announced it has launched a new business unit that designs and manufactures products for the construction market.

The Earthworks Business Unit’s product line is focused on machine guidance and control of earth-moving machinery. To meet the needs of the construction industry, Hemisphere GPS adapted the technology and applications it had applied in agriculture, aerial application, marine, and survey markets.

The Earthworks X200 excavator machine guidance system is Hemisphere GPS’ first construction solution targeted at improving operator accuracy, simplifying machine operations, and reducing the amount of excavation rework. The X200 guides the operator with a graphical and numeric display of the excavator bucket relative to the desired grade. “We’re always looking to leverage related vertical markets that are a natural fit for our technology and business,” Steven Koles, president and CEO of Hemisphere GPS, said in announcing the new unit. “There is great potential in the construction market for our new Earthworks business segment through use of our machine guidance and control technologies.”

PTI Group Inc., an Edmonton-based comPTI’s portable waste water treatment plant. pany that is perhaps best known for its modular workforce accommodations, has been recognized by the Modular Building Institute with its Award of Distinction. PTI’s winning entry—an 80 cu. m/day modular waste water treatment plant—highlights its growth into the design, engineering, manufacturing, and operation of water and waste water treatment facilities. The portable treatment plant was designed to process waste water generated by a population of 300 people with a footprint that is 45 per cent smaller than conventional treatment plants handling similar volumes. The self-contained treatment plant is housed in a single 12 ft by 60 ft modular unit. The plant was designed for use in remote areas where typical “store and haul” methods of collection and treatment of waste water are not cost efficient. Using no chemicals and a proprietary-membrane technology, the plant produces an effluent that can be safely and responsibly discharged back into the environment or reused as process water in the industrial plant it is servicing. PTI has been recognized by the Modular Building Institute in the past for its large-scale modular workforce accommodations built to serve oil and gas and mining customers operating in remote areas.



Brandt Tractor Ltd. has acquired Calgary-based LMS Land Measurement Systems Inc. Land Measurement Systems is the exclusive Topcon dealer for western Canada, serving the construction, surveying, and engineering markets from offices located in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and Winnipeg. Brandt, headquartered in Regina, has a large presence in Alberta. It has created a new division called Positioning Technology Division. The purchase positions the company as the only construction equipment dealer in North America to have a Positioning Technology Division. Terms of the purchase were not revealed.

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: Editor, Alberta Construction Magazine, 6111-91 St. NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 6V6 or fax to: (780) 944-9500 Please include the full name and location of the company.

Alberta Construction Magazine | 55

people, products & projects

CALGARY ENTREPRENEUR SINGLED OUT Calgary entrepreneur Mogens Smed, founder of DIRTT Environmental Solutions, is to be recognized at the American Society of Interior Designers 2010 NeoCon World’s Trade Fair on June 14. Smed will receive the group’s Product Prize–Individual award, which recognizes an individual who has contributed a significant and lasting body of work relating to products for interior design. DIRTT stands for Doing It Right This Time. The company manufactures movable walls that replace drywall and studs. DIRTT also sells software for modular workspace design.

MECHANICAL ROOM IN A BOX HeatLink Group Inc. of Calgary has launched what it calls its Mechanical Room in a Box line of zone control panels. The company says the Mechanical Room in a Box line is one of its strategies to counter the increasing inconsistency of installations in the heating market over the past several decades. “For the next stage of radiant heating growth to occur in North America, installation simplification, consistency, and dependability will be necessary,” says HeatLink director Manfred Schmidt. “There will always be a place for a customized installation, but to get into the mainstream, standardized control packages and system piping will be necessary.” The range of enclosed panels include: mixing panels, pump mixing panels, isolation panels, traditional and tankless water heater panels, solar panels, snowmelt panels, combination panels, and a wide range of panels with manifold options. To learn more, check out

HELP WITH WCB MATTERS A new company, Hurley Consulting Ltd. of Spruce Grove, has been formed to help employers and employees navigate the complex workers’ compensation process. Hurley Consulting’s director, Kim Hurley, worked for the Workers’ Compensation Board for over a decade in a range of roles including adjudicator, case manager, trainer, and resolution specialist. To learn more, check out

Language and Welding Skills Testing Reduce the risks to your business with the SIAST Skills Passport Program. We conduct all assessments for language ability and welding skills in the Philippines, Ukraine and Vietnam before you make the decision to hire.

YEAR ROUND INDUSTRIAL & COMMERCIAL INSTALLATION • Chain Link Fence and Gates • Electric Gate Operators & Access Controls • Pre-Manufactured/Portable Site Enclosures • Industry Leading Health, Safety & Environmental Program

We also offer Safety Fence, T-Posts, Ornamental Fence & Vinyl Fence EDMONTON


12816 - 156 St. Fax: (780) 447-2512


56 | Summer 2010



6204 - 2nd St. S.E. Fax: (403) 259-2262


Other technical skills coming soon Contact us today: 1.306.933.7331 toll free 1.866.467.4278 The Skills Passport Program is part of an integrated Foreign Credential Recognition initiative being funded by the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) and the Government of Canada’s Foreign Credential Recognition program.

people, products & projects The 1520 has a 24-inch-deep box.

HAUL IT AND DUMP IT Featherlite Trailers has a new dump trailer, the Model 1520, that may be perfect for construction contractors. Its 24-inch deep box can haul anything from gravel to metal scraps. For easy unloading, the box raises and lowers on a hydraulic cylinder. The dual-action rear gate can be lowered for more cargo space or unhitched at the bottom for easier dumping. The Model 1520 also boasts a treated plywood trailer bed that can stand up better to the wear and tear cargo can inflict. The 1520 is available as a 5 ft by 8 ft single axle or 6.5 ft by 10 ft tandem axle trailer. To learn more, check out

Alberta Construction Magazine | 57

people, products & projects Minister Doug Horner (left) with Neil Nunweiler of DMT Mechanical (centre) and Brian Bickley, chair of the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board.

LETHBRIDGE COMPANY HONOURED The Government of Alberta has recognized DMT Mechanical Ltd. of Lethbridge for promoting a culture of learning that supports apprenticeship training and journeyperson certification. DMT won the Top Employer award for Aboriginal apprentices at the 13th annual Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board awards ceremony earlier this year. The awards are given to Albertans who demonstrate excellence and commitment to their trade. Also recognized were Chairman’s Award of Excellence winners JudyLynn Archer, president and CEO of Women Building Futures of Edmonton, for outstanding leadership in helping hundreds of women become certified journeypersons, and Donald Oborowsky, CEO of Waiward Steel Fabricators Ltd. of Edmonton, as a leading employer of apprentices in the province.

EDMONTON PROJECT WINS RECOGNITION The Canadian Society of Landscape Architects has recognized Edmonton’s West Rossdale Urban Design Plan and The North Bank (Edmonton Legacy) project with a national award in the planning and analysis category. Carlyle & Associates, which is the prime consultant for the project, shares The North Bank (Edmonton Legacy) honour with Cohos Evamy integratedesign, the architectural design team behind the Legacy project. Each year, the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects recognizes excellence through its honours and awards programs, which also promote awareness of landscape architecture. The awards honour distinctive design, groundbreaking research, sustainable landscape management, innovation, exemplary leadership, and demonstration of exemplary environmental and/or social awareness.

Northern Alberta’s leader in Pumping, Placing and Finishing of quality commercial and industrial concrete floors would like to congratulate Ledcor on their 60th year of excellence.

Edmonton 780-451-7550 Fort McMurray 780-743-0086

P-Ban has offices in Edmonton and Fort McMurray. We offer boom pumps ranging from 25 to 55 metres. Now running Bio-degradable Hydraulic Fluid in all of our pumps. P-Ban offers computerized laser screed technology for super flat floors, concrete restoration and repair. 58 | Summer 2010

people, products & projects


The 5066 Tracker.

Inertia Machine Corp. has come out with the 5066 Tracker Primary HSI Crusher, a mobile track-mounted model engineered to deliver higher capacities (up to 700 tons per hour) at lower costs per ton, while also offering trailer-free transport. From material feed through product stockpiling, Inertia Machine says its 5066 Tracker is sized for top-capacity performance. While many conventional units offer 8-cubic-yard hoppers and may require hopper extension wings, the 5066 Tracker features a 14-cubic-yard non-heaping hopper. It is powered by a John Deere 400 HP Tier III diesel engine and has a 125 kW generator. The Inertia 5066 Tracker operates via a self-contained and belt driven power source, which eliminates the inefficiencies and component failures typically associated with hydraulic-driven units. To learn more, contact

Ross Grieve Centennial Learning Centre

Delivering sustainable At PCL, we aspire to be the most respected green builder by delivering superior service and unsurpassed value to our customers. We have more than 320 LEED® Accredited professionals serving our customers across North America with sustainable construction expertise. Our own Ross Grieve Centennial Learning Centre in Edmonton was the first private building in Alberta to achieve LEED® Gold status. Our LEED Accredited professionals in Alberta work daily to help our customers pursue green building initiatives.

construction excellence.

Watch us build green at Alberta Construction Magazine | 59

people, products & projects

FIRMS LAND SOUTHEAST STONEY TRAIL PROJECT ACCIONA Infrastructures Canada, in a 50-50 joint venture with SNC Lavalin Constructors (Pacific) Inc., has been selected by Alberta Transportation to design and build the $769-million Southeast Stoney Trail highway in Calgary. The project is ACCIONA’s first public-private partnership assignment in Alberta and its fourth major P3 project in Canada. ACCIONA specializes in both transportation and social infrastructure. ACCIONA has been developing projects in Alberta since 2001 and established its infrastructure division in Alberta in 2006.

CHURCHILL AND SEACLIFF MERGE Once its acquisition of Seacliff Construction Corp. is complete, Calgary-based Churchill Corp. will employ approximately 3,304 people during peak construction. The breakdown: 612 full-time salaried employees and 2,692 hourly employees. The $390-million deal will diversify Churchill into new regions and business lines, according to Jim Houck, Churchill’s CEO. “We believe the combination of Seacliff and Churchill creates a formidable company, capable of sustained value creation for our shareholders over the long term,” he said during a conference call in May. The acquisition will immediately add to Churchill’s earnings per share and “We believe the combination cash flow per share and achieve aftertax cost synergies of between $5 million of Seacliff and Churchill and $7 million by the fourth quarter of creates a formidable company, 2011, Houck said. Transaction and integration costs capable of sustained value are estimated at $13 million to $15 million, for items such as severance, lease creation for our shareholders cancellations, information systems inteover the long term.” gration, and process changes, he added. The new Churchill will operate as five — Jim Houck, CEO, Churchill Corp. independent businesses, each lead by a management team responsible for profits and losses. Churchill’s Stuart Olson Construction Ltd. and Seacliff’s Dominion Construction Inc. will operate under one management team, which will be integrated with the advice of a major mergers and acquisition firm.

the law firm of

W. Donald Goodfellow, q.c. Member of the Law Societies of Alberta, B.C., Yukon, & N.W.T. Fellow, Canadian College of Construction Lawyers

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60 | Summer 2010

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people, products & projects

OPEN SESAME Many public washrooms today have lights that turn on automatically when someone enters. Sinks that turn on by themselves when hands are placed underneath the faucet and automatic paper towel dispensers are becoming more common as well. Now comes Sanidoor, a touch-free door-opening system designed to reduce the spread of germs by eliminating contact with the door surface when entering and exiting washrooms. Doors equipped with the Sanidoor system open with the simple wave of one’s hand, much like touch-free faucets and towel dispensers. Sanidoor is in use at many restaurants and businesses in Florida but is now poised to launch throughout North America. The Sanidoor system features models developed specifically for multiuser washrooms with swinging doors, latching doors, and single-use locking public washrooms. For more information, visit

Can you spot the fuel thief?

If you aren’t tracking it, someone is taking it. Fuel is the highest operating cost after labour for companies in construction and transport. To combat high fuel costs and rising theft, leading businesses are using automated fuel management by 4Refuel to improve security and maximize control. Only 4Refuel provides professional onsite delivery to equipment, tanks, and trucks as well as powerful online tracking and reporting features. It’s time to take control of your fuel. Call 4Refuel today.


Alberta Construction Magazine | 61

construction CV Career profiles in the construction industry by Kelley Stark

WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE PROJECTS THAT YOU’VE WORKED ON? I have been privileged to work on a great variety of project types and sizes. Standouts would be: the renewal and expansion of Corbett Hall at the University of Alberta, MacEwan College City Centre Campus, the New Edmonton Remand Centre, and the CCIS project at [University of Alberta]. WHAT CHANGES IN THE INDUSTRY HAVE YOU NOTICED SINCE YOU FIRST BECAME AN ARCHITECT? The quality of our building envelope technology has improved significantly over the last 30 years in part as a result of the Alberta government’s role in improving this knowledge among design professionals. The tools of the architect’s trade have changed from pencils, pens, and drawing boards to computers. Recently, our industry has navigated through a period of activity,

personnel shortages, and cost escalation previously unknown in our lifetime.

Photo: Aaron Parker

HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME AN ARCHITECT? My grandfather was a house builder who built the homes in the subdivision where I grew up. My favourite playground as a young child was on site with him. My father was an architect. He had his own firm in Dublin and I spent time there helping out. As I grew older, I became more curious about his work.

WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE JUST ENTERING THE FIELD? Architecture requires dedication and effort, hard and soft skills. Hard skills include the ability to draw, design, and think three dimensionally plus knowledge of building technology. Today add superior computer skills and technical abilities. Soft skills include the ability to communicate well with people, to listen, assess, and analyze, research, write, and present ideas. It requires flexibility, teamwork, energy, passion, and a great attitude. Visit an architect’s office before you make your decision. WHAT CHANGES IN ARCHITECTURE HAVE HAPPENED SINCE YOUR OFFICE OPENED? From our origins as Wood and Gardener Architects, ONPA Architects is 50 years old this year. Architectural styles have moved from the simple flat-roofed, box-type styles of the 1960s and ‘70s, to the concrete, masonry, glass, and steel buildings that utilize more sophisticated materials available today. Environmentally, our buildings now look and perform better from an energy-use perspective. Natural daylight and views connecting buildings to the land around them is now more valued.

Name: Laura O’Neill Title: Senior Partner Company: ONPA architects

(formerly O’Neill O’Neill Procinsky Architects)

Age: “I am a baby boomer in my 50s—that’s all you get!” Education: School of Architecture, College of Technology/Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. Diploma in Architecture.

Alberta Construction Magazine | 63

SMS Equipment provides dedicated focus on the needs of the Construction, Forestry, Mining industries and Utility product users. SMS Equipment was created to provide customers with integrated solutions and to expand our service capabilities as a nationwide organization. SMS offers the most extensive range of products, parts and services in the industry, available through a fully integrated network across Canada. Highly qualified and dedicated people to support your productivity.

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aca report

Progress continues in delivering core services of the ACA by Ken Gibson ACA Executive Director

YOUR VOICE WITH THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT The Alberta Construction Association (ACA) has undertaken a major advocacy campaign with governments that, given current market conditions, now is the time to purchase construction. Further, governments need to continue to provide predictable, sustainable, and adequate investment in infrastructure to meet the needs of Alberta’s economy and growing population. The campaign involves letters to all MLAs and follow-up meetings of ACA executive with cabinet ministers as well as presentations to Alberta Infrastructure and to the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association. ACA is pleased to report that the province’s latest $20-billion three-year capital plan shows the government has heard our message.

ACA is also supporting the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) in getting the message to all governments not to penalize contractors by cutting off stimulus funding on March 31, 2011, for projects not yet completed. Smart borrowing now With favourable construction pricing and government bonds an attractive investment, ACA is pleased to note that the Alberta government has also brought forward capital bonds for Albertans to invest in Alberta. In meetings with ministers, ACA chairman Roger Dootson and government action chair Kees Cusveller advocated possible changes to enhance the amounts raised from Albertans in future bond issues.

When to use P3s In acknowledging the concerns of many ACA members, the government has confirmed its agreement with ACA recommendations that public-private partnerships (P3s) should supplement, rather than replace, traditional forms of delivery and funding levels, and should be used for projects which benefit from economies of scale. The right regulation for workplace safety Keeping workers safe every day and promoting safe workplaces is a continuing commitment of our members, investing millions of dollars and training thousands of workers every year. ACA is focused on ensuring Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) is aware and responsive

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Alberta Construction Magazine | 65

aca report to member concerns regarding safety regulation. ACA thanks Employment and Immigration Minister Thomas Lukaszuk for his leadership in agreeing to ACA requests for the establishment of industry-government working groups to examine three specific issues: Working Group to Consider Ticketing, formed to provide the minister recommendations on how ticketing can be used by OHS to improve workplace safety


Working Group on Release of Employer Safety Statistics, to provide the minister recommendations on how best to comply with recent direction from the privacy commissioner to release safety performance information on individual employers


E mployer Review Implementation Advisory Committee, to support the implementation of the employer-review process by reviewing developed administrative processes, providing feedback on these processes, and working with Partners in Injury Reduction on their promotion and implementation.


Construction and demolition waste ACA remains committed to industry leadership on managing construction waste, and utilizing local advisory committees to ensure the program is responsive to local realities. Contractors cannot be penalized for the lack of adequate recycling infrastructure in some regions of Alberta. Moving forward on the waste program is in the government’s hands and we are awaiting the next steps. In the interim, ACA and the Canadian Home Builders’ Association—Alberta continue to meet and develop recommendations on how to promote voluntary recycling and to shape the proposed provincial stewardship program to maximize environmental benefits while minimizing administrative and financial burdens on industry. PROMOTER OF INDUSTRY STANDARD PRACTICES CCDC documents ACA has achieved major success in convincing Alberta Infrastructure to

adopt CCDC 2. CCDC documents strike the balance of interests of owners, contractors, and design consultants, and have broad acceptance across the industry. The use of CCDC 2 with supplementary conditions reduces confusion, errors, and risks of claims and litigation. Once Infrastructure has adopted CCDC 2, we will encourage other owners to do the same. ACA has contacted several owners including ATB Financial and Alberta Health Services on specific projects, urging them to follow industry-accepted practices as laid out in the appropriate CCDC documents. Construction management best practices Because of our strong working relationship, ACA has also been asked to assist Alberta Infrastructure with developing best practices for procuring and managing construction management–delivered projects. ACA thanks industry volunteers and Eric Lee of the CCA for contributing their expertise to this work. While other





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aca report public sector owners are not bound to follow Alberta Infrastructure practices, many do look to Infrastructure for best practice, so this project may have significant benefit beyond Infrastructure projects. Builders’ liens ACA’s Builders’ Lien Committee has been established to develop recommendations for addressing a number of long-standing concerns with the present act. Repeated reviews and attempts to amend the act over the last five decades underline the complexity of the act in trying to respond to the diverse and often competing interests of owners, contractors, the financial community, and other stakeholders. The committee is focused on only a few key issues raised by members or partners, in an effort to achieve consensus and maximize the likelihood of successful legislative change. Alberta Infrastructure seeks ACA input Alberta Infrastructure is considering the introduction of Building Information

Modelling (BIM). As part of our ongoing partnership, ACA has been invited to share industry concerns and recommendations with Alberta Infrastructure, and ACA is working on behalf of its member–local construction associations to play a coordinating role. ACA has shared

associations, unions, CAREERS: The Next Generation, and government departments— has been hard at work to revitalize the messages and media for promoting construction careers through Trade Up. The Trade Up website,, continues to draw over three million hits

ACA has been asked to assist Alberta Infrastructure with developing best practices for procuring and managing construction management–delivered projects. the need for careful staging and piloting of implementation in recognition of the current state of member readiness, and because of evolving issues regarding contracting and risk allocation. ENSURING A SKILLED WORKFORCE Refresh of Trade Up The Construction Careers Promotion Committee—a consortium of construction

and over 30,000 visitors a year, but the refresh offers an opportunity to build on past success. ACA presents to high school CTS teachers Career and Technology Studies (CTS) is the umbrella name for the trades and technology courses offered in high schools across Alberta. ACA spoke to

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aca report CTS teachers at their annual conference. The theme of the presentation, “Careers in Construction: Building a Lasting Partnership with CTS Professionals,” provided an opportunity to share employment and career outlooks, and to initiate discussions in a sustained partnership of CTS teachers and Alberta construction associations. ACA was pleased to find strong interest in such partnerships to assist students and CTS programs. ACA will work to learn and share recommendations from our CTS partners with local associations and member companies. FUTURE DIRECTIONS ACA’s board held a special meeting midApril to respond to directions from the CCA non-residential summit. The summit considered six themes: the recent economic downturn, environmental sustainability, P3s, global competition, the workforce, and technology. CCA had requested that all member associations review the output of the

CCA summit and identify regional and local responses. After a careful review, the ACA board confirmed the ACA mandate and business plan as a useful guide in responding to the future directions from the CCA meeting in Toronto. The board noted that a number of key initiatives for the six themes had a number of common points, namely: The role of associations to gather and disseminate information and best practices


Virtually every initiative touches on human resource development


There is a strong desire to develop leadership capacity by engaging the future leaders.

Some of the ACA initiatives identified for future development include: Investigate and gather information on industry best practices and what is coming next in environmental sustainability


Establish a Research and Technology Committee and task it to recommend best means to assist ACA to develop, maintain, and disseminate knowledge of leading-edge technology in areas of: communication, information technology, productivity, and construction techniques


Create a leadership development program with voluntary partnership with local construction associations


A CA to play a leadership role through Institutional Infrastructure Partners Committee to respond to Alberta Infrastructure’s draft BIM Implementation Plan.



The board recognized and reconfirmed many existing ACA activities, and initiatives in advocacy, standard practices, and workforce promotion address a number of themes and confirmed ACA’s current approach.

ACA looks forward to continuing to harness the expertise of its members in serving the needs of the construction industry as a whole.

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Fast turnaround, great customer service put Hammer equipment above tHe rest Focused on helping customers succeed, Hammer Equipment supplies the Alberta construction industry with specialized heavy equipment from the world’s foremost manufacturers, providing product support that is second to none. Hammer Equipment was purchased by Rocky Mountain Dealerships in December 2007, which trades on the TSX under the symbol RME. Rocky Mountain Dealerships was formed by Matt Campbell of Hammer Equipment, and Derek Stimson of Hi-Way Service as a vehicle to better serve their customers across both the construction and agriculture industries. Originally specializing in construction, Hammer Equipment operates standalone branches in Calgary and Red Deer, with a new location opening in Edmonton this summer. The company has recently expanded into agriculture, with the addition of Roydale New Holland in Red Deer, which will carry both agriculture and construction equipment. Roydale is now undergoing re-branding, and will become the first Hammer New Holland. In Fort McMurray and Grande Prairie, Hammer shares space with Hi-Way Service. “In the future, we hope to have those stores as standalones as well,” says Hammer Equipment Vice President, Rick Deschambault. A Division of Rocky Mountain Dealerships, Hammer Equipment represents Terex, Takeuchi, Kawasaki, Dynapac, Leeboy Rosco and New Holland, among others. With more than ten service trucks, Hammer has the ability to react quickly to customers’ requirements. “We strive for fast turnaround and customer satisfaction,” Deschambault says. “We don’t have a lot of levels of bureaucracy to go through to get answers, so we can service our customers

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without the red tape and confusion. It’s how you look after the customer that makes them want to come back a second time, and that’s what we believe is the strength of our company - in how we service that customer.” To this end, Hammer spotlights their product support resources. Maintaining an inventory of more than $6 million in parts, and staffing efficient, licensed service technicians is integral to doing business with the customer’s best interest at heart. Rocky Mountain Dealerships has a qualified finance department, with Financial Services Mangers at several locations for on-site finance, insurance and warranty solutions. The company offers the Rocky Mountain Summit Account - an exclusive credit card offered via partnership with CNH Capital, which offers ease of use and increased client purchase power. In spite of rough economic waters, Hammer Equipment is not only holding strong, but management is optimistic for the future. “2009 has been a challenging year for all equipment dealers and contractors, but the horizon looks much better, with jobs being tendered and an increased flow of work that is coming to us,” Deschambault says. “We look forward to a better year for 2010 for ourselves and our customers. “We would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for their support throughout the last year and in years past. And we look forward to working with them in the future, and to improving and growing our relationships.”

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eca report

Edmonton Construction Association

Darlene La Trace, C.A.E., executive VP, on behalf of the Board of M.T. (Michael) Spotowski Chairman of the Board

Directors of the Edmonton Construction Association, is pleased to announce the following appointments for the year 2010.

Michael Spotowski to Chairman of the Board: Michael Spotowski, partner, Desco Coatings of Alberta Ltd., has served the industry and the association as a director for eight years. Ted Zandbeek to President: Ted Zandbeek, partner and VP, Carlson Construction Ltd., has served the industry and the T. (Ted) Zandbeek President

association as a director for nine years.

Incorporated in 1931, the Edmonton Construction Association represents 1,036 member firms including general contractors, trade contractors, manufacturers, and suppliers of goods and services to the commercial, institutional, industrial, and road building construction industry.

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cca report


With more than 1,000 years of combined construction experience, over 40 managers, superintendents, and safety officers gather at the Calgary Construction Centre to bring together the best of the best in safety practices.


Overhead cranes hoist steel beams, rebar, and rooftop units. Heavy vehicles roll within metres of high-voltage wires. Concrete is poured at unheard-of heights in downtown Calgary. “It goes without saying the work environment in the construction industry presents every known hazard to man,� says

Calgary Construction Association (CCA) president and Calgary branch manager of Bird Construction, Ian Reid. In addition, the construction industry has Mother Nature to contend with. While Calgarians may not experience first-hand erupting volcanoes and earthquakes, we do face the challenge of

high-wind gusts year-round. With safety in the construction industry being the top priority, it should come as no surprise that CCA has partnered with the City of Calgary and Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) to address the issue of high winds along with other safetyrelated matters. Alberta Construction Magazine | 73

cca report Past CCA president Bob Robinson of Westcor Construction is the co-chair of this newly formed Construction On-Site Safety Committee. While there has been tremendous improvement regarding the

“Employers from across the province of Alberta are making extraordinary assertions about safer conditions for the province’s 200,000 workers in the construction sector,” Robinson says.

“It goes without saying the work environment in the construction industry presents every known hazard to man.” — Ian Reid, President, Calgary Construction Association; Calgary Branch Manager, Bird Construction

construction industry’s safety record over the past decade, the industry will continue to do more to improve workplace safety.

It is not an easy task, but the new committee is working towards the publication of a best-practices safety guide that will cover such topics as securing construction

materials and equipment on site, hoisting, sidewalk hoarding (the temporary barriers around a site’s perimeter), and street/ lane closures. Kevin Griffiths, chief building official with the city, has been most appreciative of the quick response by the construction community in Calgary to dig into the issues, and as co-chair with Robinson, the two are striving for perfection. “Our goal is to reduce injury incidents to zero,” Griffiths says. Gurdip Sanghera of OH&S recognizes the work of the group and indicated that the best-practice development will both raise the profile of safety at these sites and demonstrate the commitment within the construction industry to continue to strive to make all construction sites a safe place to work. While the committee has identified the root cause of injuries, accidents, and near misses, the next step is to share the best health and safety practices across the province to leverage the lessons learned. While millions of dollars have been spent on safety training, there is always room for improvement. The target to complete the best-practices safety guide is May 31, 2010.

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cca report

CONSTRUCTION EXPO EXTRAVAGANZA by Amy Smith CCA Communications Coordinator


CCA team: Here are a few of the many volunteers that made the expo a success.

Students tried their hand at a number of construction trade activities, including building garden sheds.

BURNCO interactive exhibit.

Concept Electric’s intricate wiring station.

Air horns, drills, scissor lifts, and forklift engines were just a few of the blaring sounds emanating from the BMO Centre on Stampede Park on April 21. The Calgary Construction Association (CCA), along with its members and affiliated industry associations, opened the doors to Calgary and area high school students for the opportunity to learn more about careers in the construction industry. For the fourth consecutive year, CCA has hosted this interactive hands-on expo to encourage students to learn the ABC’s of construction and what it takes to build the vibrant city we live in. “Construction is the place to start a lifelong career,” says Ian Reid, CCA president

and branch manager of Bird Construction in Calgary. “Students who choose a career in construction are choosing a rewarding, well-paying career, with opportunity for promotion and self-employment.” With over 50 exhibitors, the expo was filled with hands-on activities in masonry, carpentry, siding, roofing, concrete finishing, and welding along with other trades including the biggest and best in construction equipment. Students were given the opportunity to work with skilled tradespeople and apprentices from across Alberta and learn more about the industry from leading firms, trade associations, and other affiliated industry representatives.

The School of Construction from SAIT Polytechnic came back this year with booths representing carpentry, welding, and surveying. These booths were a highlight for the students, as youth had the opportunity to craft their own metal souvenir at the welding station, participate in wood cutting competitions at the carpentry station, and use state-of-the-art surveying material. Suppliers such as Calgary Fasteners and Tools returned with a few new stations of power tools including Bosch, Fein, Makita, and Milwaukee Tools. Other highlights included BURNCO’s regular concrete pours and Concept Electric Ltd.’s intricate wiring station.

76 | Summer 2010

cca report New this year was participation by the University of Calgary, which joined the expo demonstrating its latest in construction technology known as the i-Booth. The i-Booth is a sophisticated tool designed for job sites to enhance communication and productivity on a construction site. D on S i mp s on f r om We s t c or Construction headed up the challenge of building two garden sheds on site the day of the expo that were finished with insulation, siding, and shingles. CCA donated the sheds to two worthy causes. One went to Camp Chestermere, a charity serving families in the Calgary/ Chestermere region that noted its sincere appreciation for the donation. The other recipient is a year-round camp and conference centre called River’s Edge, located west of Calgary. River’s Edge noted that the shed will be a great resource for its expanding programs. G r a nt Sy m on f r o m G r a h a m Construction, chairman of the expo organizing committee, saw the event through from beginning to end. He also managed to land a segment with Global Television, which came by to investigate the booming noise and flurry of activity. A special thank you to Symon for his leadership and commitment to the expo. In addition to his efforts and his expo planning committee, the generous support of exhibitors did not go unnoticed. If it weren’t for their creativity to engage the students and provide interactive hands-on displays, the expo would have been like any other career fair with rows upon rows of static booths. Thank you to the expo sponsors for their generous contributions that will go towards rewarding enthusiastic youth who accurately completed their construction quiz. And finally, a big thank you to the 60-plus volunteers who invested their time and energy to make the day a great success. Other construction associations across the country have followed Calgary’s lead in hosting expos. The Southern Interior Construction Association of British Columbia began hosting one in 2008, Winnipeg Construction Association in 2009, and Lloydminster Construction Association in 2010, all with the same goal to promote skilled trades in construction.

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cca report

CCA’s AGM hears forecast for sustainability by Amy Smith CCA Communications Coordinator

Top Left: CCA 2010 president Ian Reid (left) congratulates outgoing president Bob Robinson, Westcor Construction Ltd., on his successful term leading the group in 2009. Bottom Left: CCA’s Youth Employment Program coordinator Nyala Sirjue (second from left) with the Building Futures Award winners. Rod and Stephanie Roll, along with Joe Silva (far left) and John Magnusson (far right), were thrilled to accept the award and will continue to give youth the opportunity to further their careers in construction. PHOTOS: CCA

Top Right: Bob Robinson, 2009 CCA president, congratulates Persons of the Year, Don Simpson of Westcor Construction (left) and Rob Bromberg of Davidson Enman Lumber (right).

The Calgary Construction Association (CCA) was pleased to welcome 220 guests to the Deerfoot Inn & Casino for the 65th annual general meeting on March 2. Thank you to the members who joined us for the meeting, refreshments, and dinner as we reflected on 2009. The afternoon began with the business meeting and introductions of the new executive for 2010: president Ian Reid, Bird Construction Co.; senior VP Jim Clement, Dominion Construction; VP Les LaRocque, Botting and Associates; VP Mark Taylor, PCL; secretary treasurer David Hamilton, Hamilton & Rosenthal, Chartered Accountants; 2009 president Bob 78 | Summer 2010

Robinson, Westcor Construction Ltd; and CCA executive VP Dave Smith. The evening program commenced with a full agenda of awards, recognitions, and presentations. Victor Jensen of Botting and Associates, chairman of the Youth Employment Program (YEP), presented the Building Futures Award to Executive Millwork recognizing them for being a key participant with YEP. Jensen is the new YEP chair, replacing longtime serving chair Dave Kinley of Concept Electric Ltd., who gave so generously of his time to lead the program. The CCA’s Yout h Employ ment Program coordinator, Nyala Sirjue, was proud to honour Executive Millwork’s

commitment to making a difference in young people’s lives by providing several youth the opportunity to start building their career in the construction industry. Chairman of the CCA Education Fund Trustees Les LaRocque was thrilled to honour individuals chosen as the recipients of $1,000 CCA scholarships. LaRocque noted that with over 60 applications, the caliber of candidates was outstanding and with that, the trustees decided to award not just six recipients but seven with a scholarship to help them continue on their path of advancing their careers in construction. Gold Seal Certificates were presented to 20 individuals who recently became



11:08 AM

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cca report Gold Seal Certified in the designations of project manager, superintendent, estimator, or construction safety coordinator. Contractors in Calgary recognize the importance of the highest quality of skilled workmanship and continue to promote excellence in building by having their management staff become Gold Seal Certified. Outgoing president Bob Robinson was pleased to present the 2009 CCA Person of the Year award to two individuals who stood out amongst the many enthusiastic and dedicated CCA volunteers. The first recipient is a long-time volunteer who currently sits on the CCA board and is always there with a helping hand, Rob Bromberg with Davidson Enman Lumber. The second individual made special efforts to help with the Construction Career Expo garden shed project—Don Simpson with Westcor Construction Ltd. Robinson was just as surprised as Simpson when he read out the names of the two recipients, as Robinson noted that he had nothing to do with the selection process. The final recognition of the evening went to honour our comedic and fearless leader over the past year. Dave Smith took the podium to recognize Robinson for his outstanding commitment and dedication to CCA in 2009. Robinson was always there to address key issues that occurred throughout the year such as tackling safety concerns and co-chairing the On-Site Safety Committee, which is currently working to develop a best-practices safety guide. Robinson continuously went above and beyond to lead CCA and position the association as an industry leader in this new era. CCA will soon introduce new services such as e-Bidding, along with an advanced private plansroom through COOLNet Alberta, the province’s best distribution system for tender documents. The evening concluded with Smith presenting a forecast for 2010 and beyond by highlighting key projects that are currently underway in Canada’s western provinces, along with an abundance of projects coming up. The overall economy is looking up as Smith termed last year as “under construction” and forecasted “sustainability” for 2010.

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They need you; you need them Returning to work after a workplace injury benefits workers and employers by Jennifer Dagsvik Media Relations Specialist, WCB-Alberta

The workday was almost over. The crew with Valard Construction in Edmonton was installing street-light poles. An apprentice lineman, Ben Spugie-McCartie, carefully guided the last steel pole onto the concrete base; the heavy pole started swaying sideways. Without warning, it swung freely, colliding directly into the nearby powerline. Spugie-McCartie got hit with 14,400 volts of electricity for 15 seconds. “I lit up like a Christmas tree,” he recalls. “I had no muscle control, my vision went blurry, and I heard a deafening roar in my ears.” When he fell to the ground, both his thumbs and feet were severely injured where the electricity finally exited his body. Over the next few months, the lineman of 19 years recovered in the hospital. He lost both index fingers and received multiple skin grafts to his body. Today, three years later, Spugie-McCartie is working for the same company. He returned to work two years ago—no longer a lineman, but as a safety administrator in the office.

“My employer has been incredibly supportive,” he says. “They brought me back to work and have helped me right through this ordeal.” Spugie-McCartie’s company is just one of many companies in Alberta that use the seven proven principles for successfully returning injured employees back to work. Studies show these principles have positive impacts on both the length of time an injured worker is off the job and reduced costs to their employer. The Seven Principles for Successful Return to Work 1. The workplace has a strong commitment to health and safety. 2. Supervisors are trained in return-towork planning. 3. Someone at the company has the responsibility to coordinate return to work. 4. The employer makes an early and considerate contact with the injured worker.

5. The employer offers suitable and appropriate modified work to the injured employee. 6. Co-workers and supervisors aren’t disadvantaged by the return of the injured worker. 7. Open communication with all parties—employers, injured worker, and health-care providers. Both Spugie-McCartie and Valard Construction have benefited from his return to work. Putting these seven principles into action is a simple, cost-effective way to retain your employees, boost employee morale, and reduce productivity costs. Fact: Studies show only 50 per cent of injured workers who are off work longer than six months will ever return to work. If they are off longer than a year, only 10 per cent of them will ever return to work. Prevent that damaging spiral. WCBAlberta can help you create a modified work program. Contact

Alberta Construction Magazine | 81

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trade talk

There are better ways to fax—and that’s a fact by Steve Adams

Big hair. Padded shoulders. Faxing. Thankfully, all these 1980s innovations are gone. Well, not quite. Faxing remains a vital part of the business world, still used daily by construction companies and their suppliers, among others. One thing that has changed, however, is the way faxes are being sent and received. While a fax machine was essentially the only choice back in the ’80s, today more users are opting to use an Internet fax service (a.k.a. fax by email). Internet fax services are more suited to the way business is conducted now. They: Let you go mobile. When you use a fax machine, you’re pretty much tied to wherever the machine is located. If you’re out of the office and an important fax comes in, you either have to go back to the office to get it or have someone forward it to another machine that’s closer to where you are. With an Internet fax service, though, faxes are sent and received through your email account, which means you can view ■

inbound faxes anywhere you can get an Internet connection. And on any device, including your smart phone. Improve privacy. Fax machines generally are in a common area since an entire department or office usually shares them. If you get a fax, it remains in that common area where anyone walking by can read it. Because Internet fax services deliver faxes directly to your email inbox, the information they contain is kept private. They also allow you to send faxes from your desktop instead of a common area where anyone passing by can see the information. That’s something to keep in mind particularly if you’re faxing information protected by the law. ■

■ Increase security. Faxes are already a secure means of sending documents between two parties. But a good Internet fax service adds an extra layer of security by encrypting messages, preventing them from being intercepted by unscrupulous parties. ■ Keep a team informed. Internet fax ser-

vices allow you to specify simultaneous

delivery of faxes to multiple email addresses, assuring everyone has the information they need in a timely fashion no matter where they are. Keep faxes organized and available. Fax machines generate paper faxes that can get misdelivered, buried on a desk, misfiled, smeared, destroyed, or tossed. A good Internet fax service will archive faxes for several months to a year, providing an extra backup as well as an additional means of accessing faxes while you’re out of the office. ■

■ Reduce cost and environmental footprint. Operating a fax machine can be expensive. An Internet fax service eliminates nearly all of those costs completely, and limits paper cost to the faxes you choose to print. As an added bonus, the paper, toner, and energy savings also help you make your office a little greener.

If you still rely on a fax machine, perhaps it’s time to take it to the storeroom with the video recorder and VHS tapes and move to an Internet fax service. Alberta Construction Magazine | 83

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building blocks The new RCMP detachment in Sylvan Lake, Alta., uses cold-formed steel trusses that were set atop cold-formed steel panel walls.

Steel of a deal Prefabricated steel buildings and components offer durability by Tricia Radison A shorter construction schedule, longer-lasting structures, and higher quality are driving increased interest in prefabricated steel components and buildings in Alberta. “We are pricing stuff all the time,” notes Alex McGillivray, sales and marketing coordinator for VanderWal Homes and Commercial Group, which is based in Petrolia, Ont. VanderWal Group has recently priced projects in Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Okotoks, and

Fort McMurray, and expects business to continue to increase as more owners and contractors realize the advantages of this type of construction. Alberta is an ideal place to build such structures because steel isn’t affected by extreme temperature changes or moisture. “It remains straight and true and so your finishes are always going to be of an even quality,” McGillivray says. A number of companies around Canada provide prefabricated steel

building components and/or prefabricated metal buildings. VanderWal Group stresses the importance of cold-formed steel. Cold-formed steel is rolled from coils without the use of heat, making it strong and durable. According to the company, coldformed steel has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than any other frequently used framing material and offers great design flexibility. And the components integrate readily with other construction materials such as structural steel, concrete, and wood. Alberta Construction Magazine | 85

building blocks

A three-dimensional perspective view of a typical Murox building.

Many of the company’s projects are buildings that need to be non-combustible because fire evacuation is complicated. These include long-term care homes, nursing homes, and hotels. Others are buildings that have an open design and thus require a long truss span. The truss system offers the ability to have an 80 ft span, maximizing usable interior space. McGillivray says that is virtually impossible to do with wood. “[Using wood] involves all kinds of bolts and splices and can be too heavy for the wall assemblies. It 86 | Summer 2010

doesn’t make much sense and then the cost becomes prohibitive,” he explains. But he is quick to point out that coldformed steel isn’t in competition with wood, saying that if you can use wood, you should. The structural system isn’t for every project and there is a difference in price when compared to wood. But it also has a significantly longer lifespan, potentially extending into the hundreds of years. A new RCMP detachment in Sylvan Lake, Alta., is being built using VanderWal Group’s products.





This view and the one to the right show VanderWal’s cold-formed steel trusses in place at one construction project.

“They were looking for something of superior quality and low maintenance, which is what our system is,” McGillivray says. “Cold-formed steel trusses were set atop cold-formed steel panel walls. Aside from being 100 per cent non-combustible, the finishes will remain even. You’re not going to get things common with wood construction, like nails popping or drywall cracking.” If there’s one misconception about prefabricated buildings, it’s that you’re

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your site, day and night. limited in terms of design, according to another company. “Every one of our Murox buildings is a custom building,” says George Poumbouras, the commercial development manager with Canam Canada, a division of Canam Group. “We design, fabricate, and install across Canada.” The whole building can be done in steel, including the joints, deck, and structural steel. “The difference is the envelope,” says Canam’s western sales representative,

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building blocks Steeven Poulin. “Instead of being exposed to inclement weather while installing steel studs and other wall components on site, the load-bearing walls are prefabricated in one of our plants. Finishes can also be applied on both sides right in the plant.” Each custom building is prefabricated to the correct dimensions and arrives on site, windows and doors installed, ready to be erected using cranes. The walls are

“You can have trades working inside and outside at the same time,” Poulin says. “Because of time savings and efficiencies, it’s really more economical.” The process generates additional savings. For example, the steel and wall panels of a 54,000 sq. ft grocery store in Calgary were up in less than two weeks, allowing the store to open and start seeing profits several weeks earlier. Normally, says Poulin, just the structural components

“The difference is the envelope. Instead of being exposed to inclement weather while installing steel studs and other wall components on site, the load-bearing walls are prefabricated in one of our plants.” — Steeven Poulin, Western Sales Representative , Canam installed at the same time as the steel. Then the roof can be constructed. Roofers don’t even have to put up a parapet as one is integrated with the walls. The result is a much faster installation, reducing the amount of work that has to be done on site.

would have been installed during those two weeks. Canam teams up with local subcontractors who take care of some steel fabrication and the erection. Other local projects include the Provost Arena, a 72,000 sq. ft building with a 24,000 sq. ft

mezzanine. The Murox system was fully installed in five weeks. Murox wall systems can also do double duty by pre-heating outside air flowing through the walls into the building. Dark panels on the south side of the building capture the sun’s heat and use it to warm the air. The simply designed technology can heat up the exterior air by as much as 25 degrees, cutting fresh air heating costs by about 25 per cent. It’s perfect for buildings requiring a high number of hourly air changes, especially when the outside temperature is frigid. While the ventilated thermal panels are more expensive, government subsidies can cover the additional cost. They also contribute to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. Along with increased efficiency and shortened schedules, quality is a primary reason for using prefabricated steel components and buildings. Steel isn’t subject to regional variations and prefabrication eliminates the chance of on-site errors. Says McGillivray: “It’s a uniform quality that you can rely on.”

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Pitched vs. flat

Despite the cold, climate still allows a wide choice for roofing by Godfrey Budd Roofs are sometimes referred to as the fifth side of a building, suggesting their role as part of an integrated, complete envelope system that includes waterproofing, exterior walls, and cladding. “Whether you use pitched or low slope, sometimes called flat, and what materials are used, depends on the type of building and its purpose, and how the roof might contribute to its architectural qualities,” says Trevor Sziva, marketing director at the Alberta Roofing Contractors Association. With more complex buildings that have various levels immediately below the roof, Sziva says, “It might not be practical to use a slope roof.” A steep slope or pitched roof on a building of this kind would involve a rafter system with many angles. In such cases, if one wanted to include a steep slope for aesthetic effect, it is usually more practical to have one at the front, with a flat roof behind. Flat roofs also have an advantage when it comes to large spans. “A rafter or truss system supporting a large span is complex, expensive and not very practical,” Sziva says. “There

are a few large buildings with a slope. When you do see a slope on a high-rise, it’s often got a mansard and the rest of the roof is low slope, hidden behind. Low slope has the benefit of simplicity of support, and it’s typically lighter and less expensive.” Although warm, temperate summers and harsh, cold winters are common across Alberta, roofs do vary to match some of the climate variations within the province. Apart from the north part of the province getting slightly colder winters than the south, the foothills and mountain areas in the west also present a climate variant. These alpine-type areas are often windier and get more snow in winter and rain in summer than the central and eastern parts of the province. Architectural standing-seam metal roofs can be a good choice for single-family a nd sma l l to medium multiunit residential

complexes. This type of roof consists of metal panels running vertically on a pitched roof deck, each panel having two seams that stand vertically and are crimped together to seal the joint and keep out the elements. THE ASPHALT EDGE “[Standing-seam metal roofs] have the advantage of being less susceptible to snow and ice than shingles,” Sziva points out. They are also very durable, lasting 50 to 100 years. Asphalt shingle is the biggest seller in the province. “But if you want a pitched roof that lasts 50 to 100 years, then you choose either concrete tile, slate, or metal,” Sziva says. “All are suitable for the climate here, including shingles, but what you decide on depends on what you are looking for in terms of cost, appearance, and durability.” When cedar shakes are used, Sziva recommends that it is best to use a top grade for buildings in Alberta because of the province’s climate.

Alberta Construction Magazine | 91

roofing Asphalt shingles come with either a fibreglass or organic (paper) base, but the latter is vulnerable to moisture, he says. Recent years have seen a trend to fibreglass, although the extent of the trend varies between regions. For instance, compare the difference between the degrees that Alberta and British Columbia have embraced fibreglass, and it’s hard to believe that climate wasn’t a factor. Estimates suggest that in B.C. fibreglass has now captured about 80 per cent of the asphalt shingles market, compared to Alberta, where fibreglass appears to have about 60 per cent of the market. Paperbased asphalt shingles, unlike fibreglass ones, are vulnerable to moisture and B.C.’s climate is in most areas significantly wetter than Alberta’s—hence more use of organic in Alberta than B.C. Some experts say organic materials for roofs should be mostly eliminated. “Why put organic on a roof when everything else is high-tech?” asks Roger Miller, a project manager at Williams Engineering Canada Inc. “Organics get wet and then fail.”

Choosing which type of roof to place on a building can easily be summed up in two words: it depends.

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roofing In many parts of the world and for much of the 20th century, the most common type of flat roof was a built-up-roof (BUR). It uses layers of felt—or some similar organic material—and asphalt, and can be applied in any season. But as insulation practices in Alberta began to improve after the oil crisis of the 1970s, says Sziva, BUR roofs on newer, better insulated buildings that were no longer being heated from within became brittle in winter with a tendency to crack. That led to leakage. The solution to this was SBS-modified bitumen. This involved blending a rubber polymer—styrene butadene styrene—with the asphalt, to prevent brittleness. It’s a two-ply system that uses a base and a cap sheet and is usually applied either with torching or adhesives. Each application method has its advantages and drawbacks. Adhesives pose no fire hazard but don’t work properly in cold weather. Torching does potentially involve a fire hazard, but will work in any weather. An SBS system from Soprema will provide a roof for the new 59-storey Encana headquarters in Calgary.

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roofing Recent years have seen SBS overtake BUR in popularity. “At one time, BUR was the only system for a flat roof,” Sziva says. “It’s dropped off in market share from 30 years ago when it was around 60 to 70 per cent. It’s now about 20 per cent. SBS now has about 60 per cent of the market and overtook BUR because of its higher performance.”

But how useful is a reflective roof in Alberta’s climate? “The biggest recent roofing change in Alberta has been the switch to more use of reflective membrane,” Sziva says. “They started out in the southern United States. But we have winters; they don’t. The benefits of reflective membranes are not there above the 49th parallel. The cooling/heat

“Why put organic on a roof when everything else is high-tech?” — Roger Miller, Project Manager, Williams Engineering Canada Inc. Single-ply systems like TPO, EPDM, and PVC now have roughly 10 per cent of the market. Unlike BUR or SBS, many of these systems include an option for white or ref lective membranes. In big southern U.S. cities such as Atlanta, where the ratio of cooling days to heating days is around 8:1, ref lective membranes make sense. They reduce urban heat island effects and cut airconditioning costs.

days ratio is reversed in Canada, with a heating to cooling ratio of 8:1 in favour of heating in much of Canada. [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] didn’t address regional issues. Durability is more important. That’s where lifecycle costs make a difference.” Stephen Teal, a green roof and envelope specialist at Flynn Canada Ltd., agrees that green roofs are a more sensible option in our climate.

COOL ALTERNATIVE “Green roofs can reduce cooling loads on a building significantly—up to 30 per cent. People tend to go to a reflective roof, but in Alberta it’s probably an energy negative,” he says. Green roofs, on the other hand, can provide some insulation in winter and a water-management function in summer, reducing the load on a municipal stormwater system. Noting that Flynn is a founding member of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, Teal says there is now a considerable wealth of knowledge and experience supporting the green roof sector. Alberta’s two main cities, Calgary and Edmonton, lag behind some other centres here and in the United States in their number of green roofs. In Alberta, Teal points to several recent projects that had included green roofs in their plans, only to cancel them at the construction phase. Because of the climate, the range of green roof options in Alberta is perhaps more limited. But as more focus is placed on green building techniques, that is sure to change.


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take policy. It’s important this is confirmed before work begins. While contractors still need coverage for their own equipment, it means that materials they leave on site, for example, will be protected through the project’s policy. From a liability point of view, contractors should confirm they are protected through the project’s wrap-up liability and ensure the limits of the policy are acceptable to both you and your broker. Finally, always take note of who is responsible for your deductible on these policies. If it’s you, keep in mind that some renewable energy projects have larger deductibles than you may be used to. If it feels a bit steep, one option is to purchase insurance to cover the difference in deductibles.

and construction companies need to work with a broker to map out their options. AS I’M SURE YOU KNOW, ALBERTA IS A MAJOR WINDENERGY PROVINCE. DO YOU SEE THIS AS A GROWTH AREA FOR YOUR COMPANY? WHAT OTHER AREAS HAVE YOU IDENTIFIED AS GROWTH AREAS? Wind is huge in Alberta—it already provides enough energy for about 200,000 homes—but the number of bioenergy projects has increased significantly. We see major potential for both. RSA’s Alberta regional office is specifically targeting renewable energy and construction business, and company-wide we specialize in solar, small hydro, bioenergy, and wind.

4 1 5 3 WHAT STEPS DO YOU SUGGEST CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES AND CONTRACTORS TAKE BEFORE UNDERTAKING A RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECT? There are a number of things to keep in mind, but most important is to know your contracts and how they affect you from an insurance point of view. Every renewable energy project is different and roles and responsibilities can shift. What the developer was responsible for on the last project may be what you’re responsible for now—and you may need to insure it. For example, the project manager may be transporting materials to the site, but you’re in charge of the smaller items. Do you have insurance coverage for these items while in transit? Examine your contracts closely and work with a renewable energy or construction insurance broker who knows the industry and who can give you solid advice on how to protect your business. WHAT ARE THE RISKS YOU NEED TO BE AWARE OF BEFORE DECIDING TO GO AHEAD WITH A PROJECT? While every project is unique, there are a few things to consider from an insurance perspective. Projects are often covered under the developer’s insurance policy and contractors should be named in this

WHAT’S THE NUMBER ONE PROBLEM THAT A COMPANY WILL FACE? Timing. I’ve seen renewable energy projects take years longer than expected to launch. This is a new industry with many stakeholders. Government agreements, environmental assessments, financing— these can all affect project start times. Likewise, renewable energy projects require equipment and materials that can sometimes be hard to get. Whether the whole crew is waiting for [solar] panels from Asia, or you’re having trouble sourcing a crane to construct a wind turbine, planning for possible delays can save you time and money. And not all of this will be covered by an insurance policy. Contractors

WHAT’S YOUR BACKGROUND WITH THE COMPANY? I’ve been leading the Construction, Contracting and Renewable Energy Insurance business at RSA for more than 10 years and I’m part of a global network of RSA experts who specialize in these segments. I joined RSA in 1977 and have held a number of roles in underwriting and risk control. I represent RSA on the Canadian Construction Documents Committee and I’m on the governing council of the Nuclear Insurance Association of Canada. I have a bachelor’s degree in economics, a Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional (FCIP), and a Canadian Risk Management designation. Alberta Construction Magazine | 97

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the legal edge

The limits of exclusion clauses by Tim Mavko Reynolds, Mirth, Richards, & Farmer LLP

It seems a sensible idea. In construction contracts, we sometimes agree to restrict or limit claims before something goes wrong. A builder, for example, might agree upfront to claim only his outof-pocket expenses and not lost profits if the owner cancels the project. Similarly, an owner might limit claims against a builder to a fixed dollar amount or a percentage of the contract price. And a tender call might require unsuccessful bidders to waive any claims arising from the tender. We call these “exclusion clauses.” They make business sense because they limit liability, create certainty, and reduce the risks. They can turn unreasonable situations into workable deals. Because exclusion clauses are contract terms negotiated by the parties, they can (in theory) be as broad or as narrow as the parties want. At some point, however, one has to wonder if an extremely broad exclusion clause drains the very essence of the contract. Imagine a clever clause that says one

side cannot sue the other for anything, regardless of how badly the offender has broken the contract or how much damage he has caused. A contract is meant to be a set of legally enforceable obligations. If one side does not have to answer to the other, no matter what, then there is nothing to enforce. At that point it’s getting close to the level of a kid who makes a promise while crossing his fingers behind his back. Our courts grappled with this issue in the very recent case of Tercon Contractors Ltd. v. British Columbia (Transportation and Highways), 2010 SCC4. In that case, the B.C. government tendered for road construction, but the province awarded the contract to someone who was not eligible to get the job. An unsuccessful (and unhappy) bidder sued. In its defence, the government took refuge behind an exclusion clause in the tender that said no bidder would “have any claim for any compensation of any kind whatsoever, as a result of participating in this [tender].”

The question of whether that clause protected the government went all the way to Canada’s highest court. In the end, all nine justices of the Supreme Court of Canada agreed that exclusion clauses can be valid and effective, so long as they pass a three-part test. The first part is to interpret the clause. This means the court has to determine whether the parties intended—when they made the contract—that the clause would apply to the situation at hand. For example, a clause limiting claims for negligence might not be intended to exclude claims for fraud. And a clause limiting claims for loss of profit would probably not limit claims for repairs. If the clause is meant to exclude the claim at hand, then the second part of the test is to ask whether that clause is unconscionable. Here, the issue is whether the clause was negotiated in circumstances that were inherently unfair. Imagine, for example, a large and powerful contractor dealing with a small and economically Alberta Construction Magazine | 99

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captive subcontractor. A court might find the power imbalance unfair if an onerous exclusion clause was forced on the fearful subcontractor. The third part of the test examines whether the clause offends public policy. Here, the court balances the freedom to contract against other, more important values. For example, a court might decline to enforce a clause that limits claims for fraud or protects criminal conduct. All nine justices agreed on this threestage test for assessing exclusion clauses. They did not, however, agree on whether

Because exclusion clauses are contract terms negotiated by the parties, they can (in theory) be as broad or as narrow as the parties want. the clause in this case passed this test. Four of the justices said that the clause was clear, unambiguous, and intended to exclude the contractor’s claim against the province. Moreover, the four held that since all the parties were experienced and sophisticated, there was no power imbalance or other unfairness. Finally, no public policies were offended. Thus, these four judges would have enforced the clause. The five other justices—the majority—disagreed. They carefully examined the words of the clause, and decided that the claim in this case was simply not the “result of participating in the [tender].” Rather, the claim arose because the province had acted outside the terms of the tender when it awarded the contract to the ineligible bidder. In other words, the claim arose because they were all participating in something else—something not covered by the clause.

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onton, Alberta T6E 6V6 6111-91 Street NW, Edm Email: cosburn@junewarre 3.2946 (toll free) .56 800 or 500 Fax: 780.94 4.9 , inee’s job title and company Please include the nom ber. num e hon telep a as as well one nomination. You may submit more than

time capsule


The Fairmont Palliser Hotel Guests could get ice water and hot and cold running water. The 350 guest rooms came with mahogany doors, brass beds, and windows. The Palliser was built in the Edwardian Commercial style, according to Fairmont. Its distinctive E-shape was designed to provide all rooms with outside lighting and created the appearance of three adjacent towers. In effect, every room became an outside room. The ornate lobby, which Fairmont points out was originally known as the Rotunda, is considered Renaissance


Ninety-six years ago this June 1, one of the swankiest hotels in Canada, the Palliser, opened its doors. But the grand hotel’s story begins decades earlier. According to Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (which owns the Palliser), a hospitality spot in Calgary was seen as an essential link for tourists on their way to Canadian Pacific Railway’s Banff Springs Hotel. In 1914, the Palliser was the epitome of luxury. Public areas had marble columns and floors, handmade rugs, oak panelling, candelabras, and public art.

The Palliser Hotel during construction, circa 1912.

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Revival. The gray Tennessee marble floors and columns were finished in Botticino and Sylvian marble. The lobby contained a ticket office, telegraph and telephone bureau, flower stand, and elevator hall. The Tudor-style Rimrock Restaurant contains a 38-foot mural by Banff artist Charles Beil that was installed in 1962. The restaurant also features a fireplace. It was a favourite spot of millionairebusinessman R.B. Bennett, who was Canada’s prime minister during a portion of the Great Depression (1930–35). Bennett lived in the hotel for stretches between

time capsule

Business Insurance 1922 and 1938, and had a regular table beside the fireplace. Because of strict liquor rules, the hotel did not serve alcohol for a time, according to Fairmont. As a result, people resorted to hip flasks or bottles hidden under gowns. Tablecloths hid the forbidden substance during dinner. Waiters served ginger ale and ignored the fact that many guests mixed their own drinks. The Palliser became the first hotel in Alberta to be granted a liquor licence, according to the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.

KEY FACTS Facts about the landmark Fairmont Palliser Hotel in downtown Calgary: CONSTRUCTION: 1911–14 OPENED: June 1, 1914 HOW IT GOT ITS NAME: Named after Captain John Palliser, who explored the area in the mid-1800s ORIGINAL COST: $1.5 million LITTLE KNOWN FACT: First hotel granted a liquor licence in Alberta

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Sources: Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, Calgary Public Library, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

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1-888-446-3276 | Alberta Construction Magazine | 103

advertisers’ index 4Refuel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 ACO Systems Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .98 Alberco Construction Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Alberta Construction Safety Association. . . . . . 84 Alberta Motor Association. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 Alberta Roofing Contractors Association. . . . . 100 ATB Financial. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 ATCO Structures & Logistics Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 At-Pac Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Bantrel Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Beaver Plastics Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Bobcat Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Brandt Tractor Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Back Cover Brock White Canada Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 Brytex Building Systems Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 BURNCO Rock Products Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 & 89 Calgary Construction Association. . . . . . . . 52 & 53 Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Canadian Western Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 Canessco Services Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Carmacks Enterprises Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 Chase Operator Training. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 Chemco Electrical . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Christian Labour Association of Canada. . . . . . . 98 Contractors Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 CORD WorleyParsons. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Davidson Enman Lumber Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Duro-Last Roofing Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Edmonton Exchanger & Manufacturing Ltd. . . 51 Elan Construction Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87

Electrical Contractors Association of Alberta. . 95 EllisDon Construction Services Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Expocrete Concrete Products Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta. . . . 96 Firestone Building Products Company . . . . . . . . Inside Front Cover FMC Ford Motor Co Canada. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Grant Metal Products Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 Groundwater Control Systems Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 Hemisphere GPS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Hertz Equipment Rental Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Imperial Oil Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 IVIS Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 JV Driver Projects Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Kubota Canada Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Land Measurement Systems, a div of Brandt Tractor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Lloyd Sadd Insurance Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 Man-Shield (Alta) Construction Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . 89 Manulift EMI Ltee. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 MAPEI Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Michelin North America (Canada) Inc . . . . . . . . . . 7 NAIT Corporate and International Training. . . . 93 Northland Construction Supplies. . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Park Derochie Coating Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Pathway Mats Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 P-Ban Enterprises 1984 Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 PCL Constructors Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Petro-Canada/Suncor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 Phoenix Fence Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Phoenix Oilfield Rentals Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Pinnacle Building Materials Ltd . . . . . . 68, 80 & 101 PrintWest Communications. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 Proform Concrete Services Inc. . . . . . . . . . . 27 & 33 Renfrew Insurance Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Reynolds Mirth Richards & Farmer LLP . . . . . . . . 96 Rocky Mountain Dealerships Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 RSC Equipment Rental. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Saskatchewan Inst of Applied Science & Technology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Sawridge Inn & Conference Centre. . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Scona Cycle Honda. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 SecurTek-A SaskTel Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 Singletouch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 & 23 Skyjack Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Skyline Roofing Ltd. . . . . . . . . . Outside Back Cover SMS Equipment Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Spatial Technologies Partnership Group . . . . . . 72 Steels Industrial Products Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Stewart Weir & Co Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Stuart Olson Constructors Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 Supreme Steel Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 The Law Firm of W Donald Goodfellow QC. . . . 60 TIC Canada. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Toole Peet Insurance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Urban Scaffolding Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Vet’s Sheet Metal Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 West-Can Seal Coating Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Williams Scotsman of Canada Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 Wolseley Engineered Pipe Alberta. . . . . . . . . . . 104 Workers’ Compensation Board-Alberta. . . . . . . 88

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We continue to offer a complete range of Roofing Systems, including Built-up Roofing, SBS Modified Bituminous Roofing, Single-ply EPDM, PVC and TPO Roofing, as well as Standing Seam Metal Roofing Systems. Our Commercial Roofing Operation provides exceptional service and the expertise that our Customers have come to expect from Skyline. Expanding our range of services is just one of the many ways we have been able to meet the needs of our valued Clients. Our diversity is one of the qualities that truly makes Skyline the company that SERVICE continues to build.

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A year ago, things looked pretty bleak. Oilsands projects were shelved. Prices were distressed. Money was tight. Now things are looking up. There’s even the promise of Alberta becoming a clean energy power.

PLUS: Better ways to fax


Alberta Construction Magazine Summer 2010  

The Energy Issue - A year ago, things looked pretty bleak, even a promise of Alberta becoming a clean energy power.