ISSUE 2 2011 $4.50 CANADIAN
VBINE ENERGY Setting the standard for green energy technology
STATUESQUE SKYLINES Architects throw down challenges for builders
SAFETY ON THE WORKSITE Weâ€™ve come a long way
tABLe of CoNteNtS
701 Henry Ave. Winnipeg, MB R3E 1T9 Phone: 204-953-2189 Toll Free: 1-866-953-2189 Fax: 204-953-2199 www.lesterpublications.com
President Jeff Lester Vice President & Publisher Sean Davis Managing editor Stone Wallace
Account executives Quinn Bogusky Kathy Kelley Louise Peterson
Letter from the editor
from the Pile
F eATUR eS
© 2011 Lester Communications 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. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the authors and/or editorial sources contained in Piling Canada magazine are those of the respective parties and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Publisher.
Printed in Canada. Please recycle where facilities exist. oN the CoVer Cover photo VBINE Energy’s VAWT (Vertical Axis Wind Turbine) See profile on page 12. Photo courtesy of Dwight Siman
News and information from around the industry.
Copp’s Pile Driving – A fresh start with new owners, new service.
Technology Update Liebherr – Foundation Equipment.
Safety on the Worksite
Bow Posed Unique Challenges
Providing a foundation for Soccer
Architects throw down challenges for builders.
diggin down 100 Years Toronto Union Station Revitalization Project is well on track.
Youth in Pile driving
Businesses, unions, governments and not-for-profits working to attract young people into the construction trades.
We’ve come a long way.
Calgary’s newest office tower is one of the most innovatively designed buildings in North America, combining sustainability with jaw-dropping views of the Rockies.
Canada & the US welcome new generation of soccerspecific stadiums.
Canadian Pile Driving Equipment – Dealership pleased with performance of Junttan equipment in the oil sands.
VBINE Energy – Setting the standard for green energy technology.
Stock photography, unless otherwise credited, comes from Photos.com Publication Mail Agreement #40606022. Return Undeliverable Canadian addresses to: 701 Henry Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3E 1T9
Why fibreglass stands up as a strong alternative to wood, concrete and steel.
Issue 2 2011
TOP LEFT PhOTO By JaSOnZED/WIkIPEDIa
Graphic Designers John Lyttle Myles O’Reilly
Contributing Writers Jim Chliboyko Margaret Anne Fehr Barb Feldman Lisa Kopochinski Dan Proudly Gloria Taylor Shelley Wildgen
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Letter from the editor This issue of Piling Canada includes some informative and intriguing stories sure to be of great interest to our publication’s readers. A topic which can never receive enough coverage is Safety in the Workplace, and our writer Lisa Kopochinski has prepared a comprehensive story detailing new developments and updated safety standards in this area, for which she consulted experts across Canada who have graciously shared their knowledge. Some unique architecture and construction design is also showcased in this edition of Piling Canada. These include the fascinating engineering marvel Marilyn Monroe Condos, two of the five buildings which are part of the Absolute World complex in Mississauga. For the readers among you who might not understand the significance of the nickname, I invite you to take a look at the photo which accompanies the story. Equally impressive is Calgary’s 58-storey office tower known as the Bow building. Again, the construction of this building entailed some engineering challenges, but the final result promises to be spectacular and a terrific addition to Calgary’s urban scenery.
We also feature a story on Saputo Stadium, or Stade Saputo, which is undergoing an expansion to accommodate more fans, now that the Montreal Impact has been added to Major League Soccer for the 2012 season. The need for this expansion is also detailed in the article. Finally, we present interesting stories on the incentives and training provided to encourage young people to enter into the pile driving industry, along with a feature on fibreglass piling. Our Company Profiles this issue highlight Copp’s Pile Driving, along with our cover story: VBINE Energy. A special thank you to the great team of writers who supplied these stories: Jim Chliboyko, Margaret Anne Fehr, Barb Feldman, Lisa Kopochinski, Dan Proudley, Gloria Taylor and Shelley Wildgen. As always, this talented group asked the probing questions that turn up the facts that you, as an industry professional, want to know. And a nod of appreciation to VBINE Energy for providing material on their ground-breaking wind turbine. All of these people are responsible for making Piling Canada the successful industry publication that it is. In closing, I again welcome and encourage reader feedback, so feel free to send any comments, suggestions or ideas for future stories to email@example.com. Till next time, Stone Wallace, Managing Editor PC
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FROM the Pile
From the Pile highlights industry news, company announcements, key events and other things that are important to Canada’s piling industry. If you have something you think should be highlighted in From the Pile, email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Liebherr LRB 255 carrier machine.
Two Liebherr piling and drilling rigs LRB 255 constructing secant drilled pile walls in Rorschach, Switzerland
For the construction of an administrative building a secant drilled pile wall was required as a foundation pit support and to guarantee the sealing function. The secant drilled pile walls, which also had to fulfil the additional function of an outer basement wall, were installed by a joint venture involving the company Hilti & Jehle Grundbau GmbH. Therefore two Liebherr piling and drilling rigs consisting of a Liebherr LRB 255 carrier machine and a Liebherr DBA 300 double rotary drive featuring a maximum torque of 300 kNm were applied. All drilled piles were installed with a diameter of 820 mm. The special challenge of this project was the fact that according to the foundation soil report the piles had to be embedded at least two metres below the bottom of the foundation pit and at least two metres into the unweathered molasse rock to provide a sufficient end fixing. Due to these specifications and the existing inclination of the rock layer the drilled piles were embedded between two to five metres in the rock. As it is usual for secant drilled pile walls, a drilling template was used to guide the casing. For the drilled pile walls a total of 714 piles with lengths between 9.5 and 13 m were produced. The total length of all double rotary piles was 8,000 linear metres, 2,600 linear metres of which had to be
drilled into rock. The construction period for the approx. 4700 m² of drilled pile wall was 41 workdays. Thereby two Liebherr LRB 255 combined with DBA 300 double rotary drives were applied on 28 days. On the remaining 13 days only one unit was used. The peak daily production of one single unit was approximately 170 linear metres of double rotary piles. A robust leader concept offering maximum versatility is a prerequisite for precise work. Furthermore, the innovative rope crowd system featuring extremely high pull and push forces contributes to the excellent performance of the Liebherr piling and drilling rigs. The powerful 670 kW diesel engine of the LRB 255 allows operation of equipment solely via the rig’s on-board hydraulics. Thus, no additional power packs are needed for the equipment, which leads to a significant reduction of the total costs for the contractor. Apart from the enormous savings in fuel consumption this also entails a reduction in maintenance costs and noise emissions. Thanks to state-of-the-art CAN-Bus technology the LRB 255 is controlled entirely from the operator’s cab. In order to assist the operator and to document the quality of the completed work the LRB 255 is equipped with the Liebherr PDE® process data recording system. On a colour touchscreen in the operator’s cab current process data, e.g. drilling depth, concrete pressure and concreting process are displayed in real time so the operator is constantly informed about the working process and is able to control it accordingly. All data are recorded on a memory card in the operator’s cab. With the aid of the process data reporting software SCULI PDR the data generated by the PDE® system can be managed on a PC and evaluated extensively after work. A vital element of SCULI PDR is the report generator, which allows for the generation of individual jobsite protocols. The protocols can be freely configured, displayed in a variety of languages and either printed out directly or stored as PDF file.
Atlas Copco Portable Air becomes Portable Energy
With effect from July 1, the Portable Air Division is changing its name to the Portable Energy Division, a name which more accurately reflects the division’s extended product portfolio. The new Portable Energy division focuses on five “pillars,” each one relating to a product group: Air (on-site Geert Follens, President of the compressors), Power (on-site Portable Energy Division. generators), Light (on-site light towers), Water (on-site pumps), and Used Equipment. The first two pillars, Air and Power, relate to products that the Portable Air Division has supplied for some years. Compressors Issue 2 2011
INDUSTRY NEWS were the main focus when the division was started 21 years ago and, during the past two years, the Portable Air Division has intensified its focus on on-site generators. These products are now seen as part of its core business (Atlas Copco began supplying generators in 1986). During 2010 the division added the third and fourth pillars, Light and Water. This was the result of special focus placed on the light tower business and the addition of pumps to the product portfolio in September (the WEDA submersible pump line was transferred from the Construction Tools Division to the Portable Air Division). Newly appointed Business Development Manager Sam Waes is developing the fifth pillar, Used Equipment. Geert Follens, President of the Portable Energy Division: “Changing the name of the division to Portable Energy is a logical step in light of the extension of our product range to our customers. With the five pillars we can offer our customers complete portable energy solutions. This extended product offering, together with the intensified focus on the construction business as a part of the new Construction Technique business area will provide us with the tools we need to give our customers the right focus and the best service.”
Atlas Copco announces sale of seventh Pit Viper drill rig to Osisko Mining
Osisko Mining Corporation recently ordered their seventh PV-235 Pit Viper drilling rig from Atlas Copco Mining and Rock Excavation Technique Canada to be used in their Canadian Malartic Operations, currently the largest open-pit gold mine in
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INDUSTRY NEWS Canada. Four of the seven Pit Vipers ordered so far have delivered to Osisko Mining. In June of this year, Osisko Mining reported that the first day of commercial production at their Malartic Mine was May 19, 2011, almost three months ahead of schedule. The Malartic Mine is located in Malartic, Quebec, and has been estimated at approximately 9 million ounces. Peter Walsh, Business Line Manager for Atlas Copco Mining and Rock Excavation Technique Canada, highlighted Atlas Copco’s international reputation in the mining community and their local service presence in Cadillac, Quebec, as key reasons for Osisko Mining’s selection of Atlas Copco drilling rigs. The Pit Viper series 235 blasthole drill chosen by Osisko Mining is designed for applications such as hard rock mining for metals and overburden coal mining. The PV-235 has a weight on bit of up to 29,500 kg (65,000 lb) and is designed for rotary or down-the-hole (DTH) drilling of 152 – 251 mm (6 – 9 ⅞ inch) diameter holes.
Atlas Copco receives a new record order in Mexico
Atlas Copco has received a $65 million order from the Mexican mining group Peñoles. The contract is one of the largest underground mining equipment contracts ever for Atlas Copco and is the company’s second large order from Mexico this year. Atlas Copco sees these large sales as further evidence of a resurgent mining industry throughout North America, from Mexico to Canada. Atlas Copco is to deliver a total of 87 machines over the next 12 months, including equipment for face drilling, long hole drilling and bolting. The order includes products for loading and hauling, many of which feature computerized control and logging systems. The equipment will be used by Peñoles and Fresnillo PLC in their current operations and for various development projects. “We are proud to be able to fulfill Peñoles’ and Fresnillo’s growing needs for equipment and service, and look forward to developing our relationship further during the coming years,” said Bob Fassl, President of Atlas Copco’s Mining and Rock Excavation Technique business area. Peñoles is one of Mexico’s leading mining companies, focusing on base metals such as zinc, lead and copper. It is also the majority owner of Fresnillo PLC, which is the world’s largest primary silver producer. In January, Atlas Copco received an order from Fresnillo for mining equipment worth about $43 million.
2011 Environmental Initiative Award Winners
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The winners of the 2011 Environmental Initiative Awards were announced on Thursday, May 26, during the Awards dinner at the Nicollet Island Pavilion. The Environmental Initiative Awards annually recognize innovative projects that have harnessed the power of partnership to achieve extraordinary environmental outcomes. Forty-nine award nominations were submitted by partnerships from across Minnesota. A team of independent judges selected three finalists, including one winner, in each of the five award categories: Energy and Climate Protection, Environmental
Education, Green Business and Environmental Management, Natural Resource Protection and Restoration and Sustainable Communities. In addition, almost five hundred community members voted online to select one of the fifteen finalists as the 2011 Partnership of the Year. The online vote was conducted in partnership with InCommons, a new collaborative community in Minnesota that connects people on-and off-line, allowing them to find and share credible tools, knowledge and resources for solving community problems. The winners were: Energy and Climate Protection Category Milan Sustainable Energy Utility Environmental Education Category Powderhorn Lake Neighborhood of Raingardens Green Business and Environmental Management Category – Target Field Natural Resource Protection and Restoration Category Go Blue! Diamond Lake Community Makeover Sustainable Communities Category Saint Paul Port Authority’s Beacon Bluff Redevelopment 2010 Partnership of the Year The Mustard Seed Garden Center About the Awards Many of Minnesota’s most innovative environmental projects have succeeded through collaboration, often involving partners from business, nonprofit, and government sectors. The Environmental Initiative Awards were established in 1994 to honor these projects and their many partners, to inspire other organizations to create similar successful projects, and to encourage innovative collaborative approaches to environmental problem solving. For more information on this year’s finalists and winners, as well as descriptions of all nominated projects, visit http://www.incommons.org/environmentalinitiativeawards. About Environmental Initiative Environmental Initiative (formerly the Minnesota Environmental Initiative) seeks solutions to Minnesota’s environmental problems through collaborative action taken by innovative partnerships.
INDUSTRY NEWS Environmental Initiative brings together nonprofits, businesses, and government agencies to find consensus on critical issues and respond with actions that have measurable, positive environmental outcomes. For more information, visit www.environmental-initiative.org.
Pile Dynamics, Inc. develops breakthrough test for concrete foundations in partnership with FGE
A new solution for integrity evaluation of concrete foundations has been developed by the Pile Dynamics (PDI) – Foundation & Geotechnical Engineering, LLC (FGE) partnership: the Thermal Integrity Profiler (TIP). TIP uses the heat generated by curing cement (hydration energy) to assess the quality of cast in place concrete foundations such as drilled shafts, bored piles, augered cast-in-place, continuous flight auger piles and drilled displacement piles. Because temperatures within the concrete foundation are dependent on its diameter and distance to the center of the shaft, TIP measurements may be used to estimate the actual shape of the shaft including the previously difficult to determine thickness of concrete cover. The Thermal Integrity Profiler, which is based on research conducted at the University of South Florida and originally implemented by FGE, is attractive in that it assesses the concrete quality of the entire cross-section and along the entire length of the foundation. Another major advantage of the TIP is its early testing time; test results are available as early as 12 hours after concrete is poured, allowing construction to continue.
The Thermal Integrity Profiler (TIP).
The TIP is available in two types of thermal data acquisition systems: either with an infrared probe that is inserted in Crosshole Sonic Logging-type access tubes, or with thermal wires™ that are attached to the reinforcement cage prior to concreting. Either way, data is collected by Thermal Acquisition Ports, transferred to the TIP, and downloaded to a computer for further analysis and result presentation by the Thermal Analysis Reporter software. In addition to the Thermal Integrity Profiler, Pile Dynamics produces several other quality assurance and quality control products for the deep foundations industry. Its products are recognized throughout the world as the ultimate solutions for testing and monitoring of deep foundations. The company is based in Cleveland OH and has commercial representatives worldwide. PC
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On site assistance to Contractors for Peak Performance Issue 2 2011
Copp’s Pile Driving
A fresh start with new owners, new service By Gloria Taylor
e want to be a one-stop shop for piling services. top-of-the-line, Finnish-made pile driving rigs. As a result, he We don’t want our customers to have to go someestimates the company has the largest fleet of Junttan pile drivers where else if they want to try a different type of in Canada. pile,” says Jason Weinberger, summing up the During the same time, the company also went from 45 company’s philosophy and corporate goals since he and his dad employees to 85, and Weinberger predicted that before the Dennis Weinberger purchased Copp’s Pile Driving. summer is out, it would peak at 95. The company is headquarThe Weinbergers purchased Copp’s Pile Driving, a full-sertered in Red Deer, Alta. with a base in Lloydminster and a sales vice piling contractor based in Red Deer County, Alberta, last office in Calgary, Alta. November and have been building the pile drivAs technologies evolved, new oil extraction ing contracting business ever since. methods for oilsands such as SAGD have been Growth has been impressive. In less than a developed, which has been a boon to the comyear, the Weinbergers have expanded the company. “In fact, SAGD has been responsible for pany 45 per cent – adding staff, equipment and much of our recent growth,” says Weinberger. a brand new division. The contractor will now SAGD is an enhanced oil recovery technolbe able to offer helical, or screw, piling services ogy for producing heavy crude oil and bitumen, to its basic roster – building a versatile company which has been used successfully in the United that can handle all types of piling services for States and Canada. A pair of horizontal wells companies in Alberta, Saskatchewan, British are drilled into the oil reservoir, one located a Columbia and Manitoba. few metres above the other. Steam is injected The helical piles are used to shore up camp President Jason Weinberger. into the upper well which heats the oil and structures, facility buildings and other projects reduces its viscosity. As a result, the heated oil such as large pipeline or power utility structures. Under optiflows into the lower well, where it is pumped out. mum conditions, the helical piles can be driven faster and more Production using this method has been reported at 70 per efficiently than the driven piles which the company has tradicent to 80 per cent of oil in suitable reservoirs and twice as effitionally used, says the president. cient as pressure-driven steam processes. It is also thought to be Much of the company’s work to date has centered on Alberta’s more economical, partly because it results in less damage to wells oilsands where the company has won tenders and worked sucdue to high pressure. cessfully since 2004, but Weinberger wants to take increasing Repair service is also a priority for the company. Copp’s Pile advantage of opportunities as they arise in all sectors. Copp’s Pile Driving maintains a group of four Junttan-trained technicians Driving has worked for some of the largest companies operating who can work with crews over the phone to solve a problem or at in the oilsands. They include Suncor Energy, Cenovus Energy, a jobsite to get the rigs up and running again. MEG Energy and Husky Energy. “When we bought the company (from Big Eagle LP), we had Good track record It stands to reason that any company can benefit from good nine all-terrain pile drivers, and we bought four since December, knowledgeable management, and by that yardstick, Copp’s Pile so we now have 13 Junttan pieces,” says Jason, referring to the
Instrumentation n n n
Load Distribution Deflection Displacement
Driving is well positioned to meet the company’s future goals of expansion. Jason and Dennis Weinberger founded a fracking company in Calgary, Alta. that the Copp’s owners built to a successful, Toronto Stock Exchange-traded public company employing 600. In 2010, they left six-year-old Canyon Technical Services before purchasing Copp’s Pile Driving. Fracking is a pumping service that forces fluid and propant into rock formations to deliberately cause cracks or channels that natural gas or oil can flow through. For now, the president won’t be specific about all the company’s evolving goals for Copp’s Pile Driving, but he does want to continue increasing all of the company’s services. PC
Displacement Transducers Load Cells
Copp’s Pile Driving Beneﬁts:
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in-the-Field experience: • Oilsands
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• Above-ground pipelines
PhOTOS COURTESy COPP'S PILE DRIVInG
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fter spending the past five years perfecting their ground-breaking wind turbine and building their name within the green energy industry, Saskatchewan’s own VBINE Energy is now perched on the edge of a sales boom and ready to take the global market by storm. Barry Ireland, President and CEO of VBINE Energy, launched the company in 2005 after coming up with the idea for a vertical axis wind turbine that could take advantage of the unobstructed wind energy found at the top of communication towers and similar structures.Unlike horizontal access wind turbines, VBINE’s VAWT is a ring-shaped power generator that can be retrofitted to encircle any cylindrical-shaped structure. As wind is caught in the VAWT’s rotor blades, a wheel of currentinducing magnets is rotated around stationary coils, and the resulting changing magnetic fields create an electrical current. This electricity can then either be used directly or stored in a battery pack.VBINE Energy’s VAWT has many other advantages: its light and compact design means it can be easily mounted and, because it has no drive shaft and the top does not rotate, other equipment can be placed above it, making it extremely versatile and accessible; it is more cost-efficient than a conventional wind power system; it is high performing, able to take wind from any direction and produce up to five kilowatts in peak conditions; and the turbine also has very little impact on the environment as it operates quietly even at full speed and its small size minimizes wildlife interference. These advantages combine to make VBINE’s VAWT a perfect green energy alternative for the communications The VBInE VaWT, introduces disruptive technology into the area of Vertical axis wind generation. Using 4 worldwide patents on its generator and its blade design, VBInE has designed a VaWT that delivers 5kw of power while providing unmatched durability and performance in lower wind applications. With a blade design that truly starts on its own with just a breeze and draws the maximum horsepower from the wind. VBInE has built a generator with unmatched durability and low maintenance. Ideally suited for applications that require the utmost safety, VBInE’s low tip speed and stealth operation make it a perfect choice for urban and rural settings. The direct drive technology and low rotation speed lends itself perfectly to inline installations on communication towers. (a first for the Telecommunication industry)
industry, particularly as individuals living in remote areas, such as northern Canada, demand better access to communications services.“When you get into remote areas, there is no power grid so the communication tower is entirely powered by diesel or propane and it’s very expensive,” said Ireland. “If they can throw a turbine on their tower and cut their costs by 75 to 90 per cent, it pays for itself really rapidly and it’s a win-win situation.” Many of the design considerations VBINE has undertaken were done with the communications industry in mind. For example, VBINE’s turbines operate at a very low RPM, meaning they do not create vibrations that may interfere with the communication towers’ RF waves, while still producing power. They are also constructed to last a minimum of 15 years and have an expected lifespan of 30 years, with little to no maintenance required. “We’ve built an extremely durable product,” Ireland said. VBINE Energy currently has four patents on their technology, with a fifth patent in progress. By patenting their technology, Dwight Siman, VBINE’s Director of Sales, said the company has essentially eliminated the potential for direct competition when it comes to supplying the telecommunications industry, giving them virtual ownership of that market. Siman said many of the characteristics that make the turbine suitable for the communications industry also make it a fantastic fit for urban settings where they can be installed on top of buildings and other structures without having any noticeable negative impact on the public. While the cheaper cost of power available in urban and most rural locations eliminates the financial benefit of installing a wind turbine in these areas, Siman said the environmental benefits of the product, alone, are a considerable selling feature. “Many companies that we’re in negotiations with right now – large retail chains, large restaurant chains – they’re very interested even if there is no economic case,” he said. “They are very interested in putting up one or more of our turbines as a show of their solidarity with green energy and reducing their carbon footprint.” Siman said VBINE Energy is working on a contract with an American company to supply turbines for all of the federal
Dr. David Suzuki Elementary School in Windsor Ont
PhOTOS COURTESy OF DWIGhT SIMan
Setting the standard for green energy technology
ComPANY ProfiLe VBiNe is looking to build their distribution network and welcome dealer inquiries from North America and around the world. email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. or contact sales ofﬁce in regina at 306-757-3777. Test facility in Moosomin Sk,
buildings in the United States. If they are successful, this order alone could result in the sale of a few million units. VBINE also recently selected a distributor in Romania and will be filling a $47 million order for the country over the next three years. “Those are all very big contracts, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg,” he said. Ireland said the company plans to open a large manufacturing facility in Winkler, Manitoba in 2011, in an effort to consolidate the manufacturing process under one roof. Once this is done, they expect to produce about 300 units per month. The new facility will also lead to a major increase in staff, from the 18 employees they have today to around 100 people. As a young company, Ireland said VBINE Energy has benefited greatly from the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership’s (STEP) services and programs. “They’ve put us in contact with some very good people both in the investment and manufacturing end and we’re actually working with some of those people,” he said. Joining STEP on trade missions and at trade shows, and being able to set up one-on-one meetings through the organization’s network has been invaluable to the company when it comes to making connections and building their reputation, said Siman. For example, during a recent trade mission, STEP enabled VBINE to meet with every level of government necessary to gain approval to do business in Peru, all within a span of only three days, he said. With ingenuity, perseverance and
dedication to perfecting their product, along with a little help from STEP, VBINE Energy has not only set the stage for their
own burgeoning success, but also contributed to a stronger future for green energy technology. PC
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www.interpipe.com Issue 2 2011
Canadian Pile Driving Equipment
Dealership pleased with performance of Junttan equipment in the oil sands
ometimes opportunity meets inspiration, and then a great business partnership begins. Such is the case with Canadian Pile Driving Equipment Inc., a dealership founded by Bruce Patterson in 2009 in Lacombe, Alta., to sell, service and provide parts for Junttan Oy, one of the top manufacturers of pile driving rigs in the world. Junttan, based in Finland, had already made a name for itself in international circles for its high quality pile driving rigs. The company, founded in 1976, demonstrated its leadership early, when in 1979 it developed the original concept for a fully-hydraulic, purpose-built pile driving rig. Once conceived and built, the innovative piece of equipment would go on to revolutionize the whole pile driving industry. Today, Junttan rigs have been sold to 40 countries around the world thanks to a reputation for high productivity in the field, ease of mobility, stability, operator safety, and the ability to reduce environmental impact. A low centre of gravity, ability to work in a 360-degree environment, extendable counter weights, hydraulically-expandable tracks, energy-measuring device and monitors to measure inclinations are just some of the features that make the rigs superior, according to the company. The machines are also energy-efficient, boasting a 95 per cent energy efficiency rating in the hydraulic rigs compared with traditional diesel hammer rigs that achieve about a 65 per cent efficiency rating. Patterson got some first-hand experience with the Junttan rigs when he worked for a piling contractor prior to starting his own business. He recognized the superiority of the product immediately, and because Canadian firms using Junttan equipment had
to import the large pieces of equipment directly from Finland, Patterson decided to open his own dealership. Canadian Pile Driving Equipment became the first dealership in Canada for the equipment and is still today the only Canadian dealership for the top-of-the-line pile driving rigs. “There weren’t any other companies out there really with the quality to compare to what Junttan made,” he says. The rigs worked so well in fact that Patterson credits the equipment with helping to build his former employer’s modest business from an $18-million company into a $40-million venture in just about three years. Nor is it the only success story that Patterson knows of where Junttan equipment has played a major role. “One other piling company has been able to grow from one piling rig into five machines in less than two years,” he notes. “That was how I became familiar with the Junttan product – through a piling contractor that I worked for. And by working with that product through a contractor, I developed a relationship with the manufacturer, and went down that path, becoming a dealer for Canada.” These days, the president is particularly pleased with how the hydraulic Junttan rigs have performed in the oil sands, where they have been working since at least 2004, both in terms of efficiency and worker safety. “Many of the companies have gone from a process that took three men to drive a pile down to two,” said Patterson, explaining above: Junttan Oy headquaters in Finland. Inset: Bruce Patterson, president of Canadian Pile Driving Equipment, stands near one of his rigs made by Junttan Oy of Finland.
PhOTOS COURTESy DaRRyn EPP
By Gloria Taylor
PhOTOS COURTESy DaRRyn EPP
ComPANY ProfiLe that with today’s hydraulic Junttan rigs, a worker only has to place the pile in the area where it is to be driven, then move away, ensuring the safety of the ground worker. “Once the rig starts hoisting the pile, the ground man is completely out of the way; there’s no more physically putting the pile into place,” added Patterson. “Prior to the Junttan (hydraulic) pile driver, companies would use a variety of machines with hammers on them. The pile would be hoisted, and then the ground man would have to move that pile into place and hold it there with the hammer on top,” he said. Safety is an important consideration to the Finnish company that designed the Junttan rigs. The top performance has not gone unnoticed, and major oil companies are now giving an unexpected boost to the dealership – and the manufacturer. Patterson said it is not uncommon these days for companies to specify in their tender bids that successful piling contractors will be those that use the Junttan rigs. Patterson estimates there are currently about 14 pile driving rigs in northern Alberta using several different models of Junttan pile driving rigs in the oil sands. “What they realize is when the machines come in, they work so fast and so efficiently, Junttan can do the job faster and give contractors a real good return on their money,” said Patterson. “They are also fairly fuel efficient,” he adds. “In comparison with some of the other machines on the market, they are using anywhere from 30 per cent to 50 per cent less fuel than some of the traditional machines.” Moving a Junttan rig is also relatively simple, thanks to their superior design. “One of the other advantages is that these machines can basically fold down to be easily moved to another site. In 10 minutes, you’re actually back to work. Traditionally, part of the rig had to be disassembled and moved by several trucks,” he added. “Now, we only need one truck. You oﬄoad the rig, and you’re back to work within 10 minutes.” Service is an important part of the business, says Patterson, but thanks to the superior design of the Junttan rigs, the first line of service may just be a talk on the phone with an operator in the field. “If it’s something that can be fixed over the phone, we will help the company that way. Often, that’s all it takes.” However, when Canadian Pile Driving Equipment needs to go to a job site for a
first-hand look, Patterson has no qualms about dispensing a Junttan-trained professional crew to get the equipment back to work as soon as possible. It’s been an auspicious start for the young dealership, but Patterson is not finished yet. He looks for even more growth for Junttan products and Canadian Pile Driving Equipment in the years to come. This year, Junttan celebrates 35 years of becoming the respected name in the international community and has amply lived up to its mission to develop and produce piling
machines that help customers to do their work better. The company’s vision is to become the most successful piling equipment manufacturer in the world as well as the most desired partner to its many customers. At this special milestone, Junttan Oy is well on its way to achieving its goals. As for Patterson, he expects to sell an ever increasing number of Junttan pile driving rigs across the country as contractors look for better and better ways to drive their business. PC
CANADIAN PILE DRIVING EQUIPMENT INC. 3801 – 53 Avenue Lacombe, AB | T4L 2L6 P: 1-403-782-1900 C: 1-403-350-8116 F: 1-888-407-7309 E: email@example.com
Issue 2 2011
liebherr – Foundation equipment
eep foundation machinery has to be profitable at all costs: highly productive under extreme conditions, reliable under continuous pressure, versatile in its application and operationally economical. Maximum profitability through maximum utilization – Liebherr deep foundation machinery is known world-wide for these qualities. In the field of deep foundation Liebherr does not only offer sales and service subsidiaries but also the departments process engineering and technical advice giving the customers an understanding of the possible processes and applications using Liebherr machinery. Construction engineers use their many years of experience to develop new methods and applications. They give practical information concerning the types of application and advise customers. Technical advisors provide support for machine operation and jobsite organisation and carry out trainings for operators. Liebherr offers a wide range of deep foundation machinery: rotary drilling rigs (LB), piling and drilling rigs (LRB), piling rigs with fixed and swinging leader (LRH) and duty cycle crawler cranes (HS).
liebherr Piling Rig lRH 100: The LRH 100 is the smallest representative of the range of carrier machines with fixed and swinging leaders and completes this Liebherr series. The LRH 100 is based on the proven LB 20 carrier machine of the Liebherr LB series of rotary drilling rigs. The 16
Liebherr Piling Rig LRh 100.
piling rig LRH 100 has a maximum lifting capacity of 15 t and its fixed leader has a max. length of 24 m. Compared to the other rigs of the LRH series the LRH 100 offers completely new leader kinematics allowing working radii of up to 8,75 m and inclinations of maximum 18° in all directions. Thus, a complete pile group can be installed from one location without displacing the carrier machine. The LRH 100 is equipped with a powerful and emissionoptimized 270 kW / 362 hp Liebherr diesel engine. Due to the high engine power of the Liebherr carrier machine and hydraulic hammers can be driven by the on-board hydraulics. No additional power pack is required which significantly reduces the costs for operation and maintenance. The flexible hammer design of the LRH 100 offers the possibility of mounting drop weights between 2,5 t and 7 t. This guarantees optimum adaption to the required pile type, whether it is a timber pile, concrete pile or a heavy steel pile. The proven Liebherr Litronic control system optimally supports applications with leader. All relevant information, e.g. the leader inclination in X and Y direction, the pile driving depth and the operating data of the hammer, is clearly displayed on the high-resolution monitor. The automatic control system allows for the vertical adjustment of the leader at the push of a button
PhOTOS COURTESy OF LIEBhERR-WERk nEnZInG GMBh.
liebherr piling and drilling rigs (lRB series): The robust leader concept of the Liebherr piling and drilling rigs offers maximum versatility and is a prerequisite for precise work. Furthermore, the innovative rope crowd system featuring extremely high pull and push forces contributes to the excellent performance of the Liebherr piling and drilling rigs. The powerful Liebherr diesel engines of the LRB series allow operation of equipment solely via the rig’s on-board hydraulics. Thus, no additional power packs are needed for the equipment, which leads to a significant reduction of the total costs for the contractor. Apart from the enormous savings in fuel consumption this also entails a reduction in maintenance costs and noise emissions. Thanks to state-of-the-art CAN-Bus technology the Liebherr piling and drilling rigs are controlled entirely from the operator’s cab. Liebherr Rotary Drilling Rigs (LB series): The LB series offers an ideal addition to the existing range of combined piling and drilling rigs of the LRB series. The machines in the LB series have been designed for Kelly drilling, continuous flight auger drilling, double rotary drilling and soil mixing applications. A significant advantage of the rotary drilling rigs is the high torque capability and the control features. This provides the operator with maximum performance and reliability even with the most difficult soils and extreme operational conditions. A unique technical feature of the LB series is the solid design of the leader as well as the extremely robust kinematics with large cross section.
Experience the progress. Liebherr piling and drilling rigs (LRB series)
PhOTOS COURTESy OF LIEBhERR-WERk nEnZInG GMBh.
• • • •
Multi-functional machines for all common piling and drilling methods Rigid leader for excellent stability Robust and variable kinematics Rope crowd system
Liebherr-Canada Ltd. 1015 Sutton Drive Burlington, Ontario L7L 5Z8 Tel.: (905) 319 9222 Fax: (905) 319 6622 firstname.lastname@example.org www.liebherr.com
Left: Liebherr Rotary Drilling Rig LB 36. Right: Liebherr Piling and Drilling Rig LRB 255.
and for radius adjustment without changing the leader inclination. A new joystick design allows simultaneous operation of swing motion and leader inclination with one hand and therefore makes the process smoother. For the new LRH 100 Liebherr also offers a wide range of powerful equipment. This assures that the excellent performance of the basic machine is ideally converted into high productivity. liebherr iT solutions for deep foundation applications: Deep foundation work makes various demands on machinery and material. The optimization and documentation of the working processes are of major importance in completing construction projects cost-effectively and in accordance with the contract. For this purpose Liebherr-Werk Nenzing GmbH offers a wide range of software solutions facilitating not only planning and quality assurance but also process optimization. All this is based on the well proven and robust Litronic control system which uses CAN Bus technology for data transmission and allows to record, combine and calculate various values. PDe process data recording: In order to support the operator and to control the quality of the work executed Liebherr deep foundation machinery is equipped with the Liebherr PDE process data recording system. Via a colour touchscreen in the operator’s cab current process data, e.g. depth, amount of suspension and geometry as well as working processes, can be displayed in real time thus the operator is continuously informed about the working process and can control the unit accordingly. The PDE process data recording system enables recording of process-related values on a memory card in the operator’s cab for a large number of deep foundation methods. Thanks to this flexible modular system additional external sensors can be integrated in the process data recording. Depending on the method visualisation adapts to the specific challenges and thus provides the operator – in addition to partially automated working processes such as concreting or similar – with maximum support and allows him to fully concentrate on his main tasks. 18
PDR process data reporting: With the aid of the process data reporting software SCULI PDR the data recorded by the PDE system can be managed, displayed and extensively evaluated on a PC subsequent to the working processes. A central component of the process data reporting system is the Report Generator allowing for the generation of individual jobsite protocols. The protocols can be freely configured, displayed in a variety of languages and either printed directly or saved as PDF file. Evaluations can be adapted to individual requirements, e.g. scaling, definition of variables, integration of logos and much more. Moreover, PDR process data reporting provides protocols for proof of quality and facilitates the settlement of the jobsite. liDAT: Transmission of the process data recorded on the machine can either be carried out via Compact Flash memory card or via the LiDAT telematics system. Based on state-of-the-art data transmission technology LiDAT provides information on the location and operation of the machines enabling efficient management, optimal operation scheduling and remote supervision. Information, such as a machine leaving a predefined zone, fuel consumption, service intervals or notifications of specific operating parameters, can also be accessed. Detailed knowledge of the machine’s application provides a basis for rental calculations. The various LiDAT functions are included in the basic packages LiDAT Standard and LiDAT Plus. On the basis of LiDAT Plus several additional packages are available. Permanent readiness for operation of Liebherr units is a major prerequisite for a smooth and efficient application on the jobsite. Using the LiDAT additional package Teleservice a Liebherr service engineer can log directly into the machine in case of malfunction in order to carry out first analyses and provide solutions quickly and without having to travel. Thus, delays and downtime can be avoided and service costs kept to a minimum. PC
Acier de Geostructural pour le Canada.
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Architects throw down challenges for builders
n architecture, there have always been some buildings more challenging than others. What may be a whimsical project for a particular architect may turn out to be a crazy challenge for the people who actually have to build the thing. Case in point: Antoni Gaudi’s head-turning Barcelona church (and UNESCO World Heritage site), the Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, (aka the Sagrada Familia), a project that began in 1883, and is technically still under construction (and will be for a while). 20
The two curvy towers have been nicknamed “the Marilyn Monroe condos.”
Canadian architecture has varying degrees of conservatism and whimsy, none quite as fanciful as that in Barcelona, depending where in the country you are. For example, there is a set of new buildings in Mississauga so unique they’ve already got their own nickname. The Absolute World complex is a collection of five buildings, but it is the two of the hippier buildings that have earned the nickname “the Marilyn Monroe condos.” The two curvy towers will look like a pair of 50-plus-storey dressmaker’s mannequins. It’s a fun and provocative look
for something as permanent as a building, and adds intrigue to the Mississauga skyline. They also look like they were a challenge to build, with what had to be challenging issues of balance and atypical alignments; not one floor is the same as the one below it. These are no mere boxy post-modern buildings. But what was remarkable about the buildings is that for some of the earlier, underground work, it was rather straightforward. “They’re landmark projects,” says David Bradshaw of Deep Foundations
PhOTO By PhOTOnaRRaTIVE/FLICkR
By Jim Chliboyko
Contractors, who worked on the Absolute World site. “It was a shoring job.” The foundation for the two distinct towers involved “spread footings,” said Bradshaw, “excavated into the rock, 40 to 50 feet. They were conventional spread footings.” “Our job, it was a soil nailing job, so for us it was a shoring project,” says Bradshaw. “The geography there is 3 to 5 meters of overburden. We pinned, or shored with soil nails, the overburden. We went 4 to 4.5 metres into the shale.” The Mississauga towers do make demands, though. to have greater
requirements. Thus, more rebar is required than normal as well as more expensive self-consolidating concrete (according to The National Post). But architects and builders are always looking for a challenge, whether it’s a dramatic change of form, or a whole new way of putting a building together. And there are many other buildings that have just been completed in the past decade, or that are on the drawing board, that feature an atypical shape. Take the Turning Torso, in Malmo, Sweden, for one. Designed by Spanish artist Santiago Calatrava, the 190metre, 54-storey mixed-use skyscraper twists dramatically along its length, as if a giant had turned the top of the building 90 degrees, making it look slightly unstable, and perhaps causing headaches for the glaziers; every window is, necessarily, a
parallelogram. The Turning Torso is also the tallest building in Scandinavia. According to a Museum of Modern Art booklet entitled Tall Buildings, “The structure is further reinforced by a steel truss, or “exoskeleton” – an external frame consisting of a columnar tension spine situated at the edges of the triangular extensions of the five-sided volumes, to which a series of horizontal and diagonal rib-like struts is attached. The exoskeleton is then tied to a large anchored-pile foundation slab, which provides additional lateral stability.… The central core is anchored to a foundation nearly one hundred feet in diameter and nearly 50 feet deep, which lifts the nine volumes, or approximately 23,000-square-foot subbuildings, two storeys off the ground to form an exposed basement.” Meanwhile, in China, work continues on the Shanghai Tower, a project that Gensler, the tower’s international design firm, calls the forefront of the new generation of super high-rise towers. It has
“The geography there is 3 to 5 meters of overburden. We pinned, or shored with soil nails, the overburden. We went 4 to 4.5 metres into the shale.” – David Bradshaw of Deep Foundations Contractors
Issue 2 2011
MaRILyn MOnROE PhOTO: ky_OLSEn/FLICkR, TOP RIGhT PhOTO By PaUL (DEX)/FLICkR
PhOTO By PhOTOnaRRaTIVE/FLICkR
The absolute World complex is a collection of five buildings in Mississauga.
Photo by Missi1005/flickr
a subtler, curvier twist to it, different than the Absolute World condos and the sharp corners of the Turning Torso. The tower will be an anchor for the Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, will rise 632 metres (2073 feet) with 128 storeys, boast a floor area of 4,090,000 sq. ft., and will become the biggest building in Asia, as well as the second biggest building in the world. According to Gensler, “the clay-based soils in Shanghai meant supporting the tower on 831 reinforced concrete bore piles sunk deep into the ground. For
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three days, an army of workers assembled to complete the marathon concrete pour of the six-meter-thick mat foundation.” Overall, the project will use 2000 piles, and the foundation mat required 61,000 cubic metres of concrete. However, timing is an issue for some of these large landmark projects, as they seem to be occurring at not the best time for the world’s economy. Many of these projects, like the stalled one called the Chicago Spire – also ironically designed by the Turning Torso’s Calatrava – are currently at a financing standstill. Compared to a 150-storey drill bit, the Chicago Spire’s 34 concrete and steel caissons were drilled 120 feet into the bedrock, before the project screeched to a halt. But just because something is old doesn’t mean it doesn’t need a decent strengthening, the kind provided by improving or further stabilizing the foundation. The aforementioned Sigrid Familiar church in Barcelona, it turns out, lies directly in the path of an underground high-speed transportation link, known as the AVE Tunnel, throwing more complication into the 125year construction job. To allay fears that the tunnel would weaken the landmark church, there was construction of a “cut-off wall with a length of 230 metres,” according to the literature released by the city of Barcelona. “This wall is made up of a total of 104 concrete piles with a diameter of 1.5 metres and a depth of 42 metres, connected by concrete blocks with a cross-section of 3 × 3 metres. In addition, 2344 ground-stabilising injections have been made.” Intense monitoring revealed that the tunnel work didn’t shift the tunnel a single millimetre, perhaps thanks to the stabilization efforts. But it also shows that no matter the reason, it’s perhaps never too late to get involved in a landmark project. PC
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Providing a Foundation for Soccer
Canada & the US welcome new generation of soccer-speciﬁc stadiums
hile it has been hovering in the background in Canada for decades, soccer is now proving its formerly underground popularity by acquiring some decent infrastructure. The leaders of the sport – or Major League Soccer, anyway – figure that key to the growth of soccer is the addition of the soccer-specific stadium across the North American landscape. The timing seems good for a sport that has always seemed on the verge of becoming more popular in Canada and the US. While the fans of the Toronto FC have been known for their immediate and generally good-natured energy ever since the team’s birth in 2007, still, the fanaticism of the Canadian sports fan barely rivals that of the average European soccer nut. In fact, soccer crowds in Europe have been known to be so difficult to contain, that they changed the way that stadiums were designed, especially after a five-year period in the 1980s, which made places like Hillsborough, Bradford City and Heysel Stadium shorthand 26
for tragedy. Many stadium improvements have come out of those tragedies. May of 1985 was a particularly bad month for soccer. On the 11th of that month, at the Valley Parade stadium in Bradford during a game between Bradford and Lincoln, a fire broke out, thought to have started when a discarded cigarette fell upon years of accumulated litter underneath the stands. The stadium, scheduled for renovation, was made largely of wood. Good Samaritans couldn’t find fire extinguishers, and people tried to escape down passages that led to padlocked exits. Over 50 people were killed, a large proportion of them being children and older people. Amongst other changes after Bradford, the fire spelled the end of any new wooden stadiums built in England. A mere few weeks later, a dilapidated Heysel Stadium in Brussels was hosting a game between Liverpool and the Italian club Juventus. Rowdy Liverpool supporters attempted to battle
TOP: PhOTO USE COURTESy OF JUSTIn qUnITaL SOCCER BaLL & GRaSS: PhOTOS.COM
By Jim Chliboyko
TOP: PhOTO USE COURTESy OF JUSTIn qUnITaL SOCCER BaLL & GRaSS: PhOTOS.COM
fenced-off Juventus supporters in the next section (rival fans were actually throwing rubble from the stadium at each other) and in the panic 39 Juventus fans were crushed to death, mostly against a retaining wall, which eventually collapsed. The powers-that-be initially failed to take any responsibility for the disaster, solely blaming the Liverpool fans, when the stadium wasn’t in any shape to support such a highprofile game in the first place. Hillsborough Stadium is the home field of the Sheffield Wednesday football club, and it was there in April, 1989, that issues of stadium design, and poor crowd management resulted in the death of 96 people. Prior to the incident, high fencing between the crowd and the pitch was a common solution to reign in rowdy soccer hooligans (high fencing wasn’t yet in place at Bradford in 1985 which allowed many fans to escape onto the pitch). But the fencing also penned people in, cutting them off from the field in an emergency situation, crushing them. A poorly designed ticket entrance area on the Leppings Lane side of the building, a lack of crush barriers, combined with a dearth of proper security and the importance of the game itself all lead to such a bottleneck that some of the 96 people were asphyxiated while standing up. Amongst the many safety standards affected by Hillsborough was the adoption of “all-seater” stadiums; that is, every fan must have a seat, as opposed to the old pens where people stood for the games. In a University of Leicester report about the sociology of sport (entitled Football stadia after Taylor [the Taylor report, post-Hillsborough]), it says, “A combination of poor facilities and poor crowd management and the sometimes aggressively passionate support for the sport in Britain have worked together to claim the lives of at least 306 fans since the turn of the century in 27 separate incidents in which a further 3,500 fans have been injured Furthermore, the report notes the changing nature of football in England, which could also apply to North American venues, saying, “it has become clear that rather than being seen by public authorities as a focal point for social problems, football stadia today are now regarded more as an important boost to the local economy and to local identity and ‘place marketing.’” In Canada, and the United States, there have been relatively few of these types of instances. There has been the occasional incident during construction, distant historic collapses or panic at rock concerts throughout the years, but North America seems to have largely benefitted from advances in stadium design. Indeed, much of the attention of the builders of these parks seems to be focused on creating this new generation of goodlooking, people-friendly facilities, rather than the holding pens that stadiums used to resemble. And just because it is soccer, it doesn’t mean these buildings are small. New York’s Red Bull Arena, for the New York Red Bulls, seats 25,000 and used 3000 timber piles when construction of
that facility began in the spring of 2007. Philadelphia’s gorgeous PPL Park, home of the Philadelphia Union soccer team only since 2010, seats 18500, and used 2200 timber piles. (Though it wasn’t a straightforward process, as piles were fracturing halfway down to their 40-foot planned depth. Construction was halted as an investigation was undertaken.) The Toronto Football Club was christened at the handsome, open-air BMO Field, back in 2007, on site of the old CNE grounds right on the Toronto waterfront. The Vancouver Whitecaps Football Club, meanwhile, are playing in the temporary Empire Field facility on the west coast, before they head over to the re-roofed BC Place Stadium in 2012 – most certainly not a soccer specific stadium. Montreal alone is seeing the benefits of growing soccer popularity in two different ways, with the construction of one facility and the expansion of another. There is currently an architectural competition for the new soccer complex that will be at the former quarry site at the Saint-Michel Environmental Complex (SMEC) in Montreal. According to the SMEC website, “The Ville plans to build a covered stadium with stands (1000 seats) and, at a later stage, an outdoor playing field… The architectural vision shall clearly reflect the intended use of the building as well as its ecological objectives. Harmoniously integrated with the park of the SMEC, the building is intended as a model of sustainable development, targeting the LEED-NC ‘Gold’ certification.” Saputo Stadium, or Stade Saputo, only built in 2008 on the site of the former track and field venue for the 1976 Montreal Olympics, is undergoing an expansion to accommodate more fans, now that the Montreal Impact has been added to Major League Soccer for the 2012 season. The multi-million dollar job is pushing the seat total to approximately 20,000, while more than doubling the number of luxury boxes, increasing the number of concessions, adding more covered seats and putting up another entrance to the facility. Clearly if the construction activity is any indication, maybe soccer has finally, truly arrived on the North American sports scene. PC Issue 2 2011
PhOTO COURTESy OF IMPaCT DE MOnTRÉaL / PÉPÉ
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Digging Down 100 Years Toronto Union Station Revitalization Project is well on track
t was time for a media close-up nearly 100 years in the making as the stalwart pillars that have been responsible for supporting years of above ground pedestrian, railway and bus traffic through Toronto’s iconic Union Station, was visited by media members to witness a full year’s worth of excavation work. The June 13, 2001 media event called the “dig-down” marked the completion of the initial stage of the Union Station Revitalization, that will result in a new, lower-level pedestrian retail concourse and two new GO Transit concourses. The dig-down involves excavating several metres below the existing floor level and the replacement of hundreds of concrete columns. The magnitude and complexity of the project may be one of the largest of its kind in Canada but the fact that Toronto citizenry go about their daily business overhead unimpeded by construction barriers and switchback detours is a major coup for the project in and of itself. “It’s an amazing feat of engineering; it’s really something to see,” said Bruce Bowes, Chief Corporate Officer of the City of Toronto. “The trains are running and a quarter of a million people a day are going through the station, while all this work is happening underneath.” While street level activities go on unabated, machines more frequently used in underground mining operations deliver nightly payloads of excavated materials, about 45 truckloads varying anywhere from 600 to 900 tonnes.
Embarking on a project of this scale with minimal pedestrian and traffic inconvenience called for a raft of stringent safety recommendations from many agencies and regulating bodies. “The main focus of our attention is the safety of the workers and the travelling public,” says Rick Tolkunow, Principal Engineer, Union Station Revitalization, the City of Toronto. “The structural work and the design details are handled by Carillion Construction Ltd and their sub-trades, but at the end of the day, the design and design details are reviewed by NORR, the City’s design consultant, the railways and their operating structure, by Parks Canada/Transport Canada because they are a regulating body, and by our building department with their approval regulations. We also have an automated monitoring system that can detect unexpected movements and lets us know on a moment to moment basis if something is not right.” “The news regarding the existing foundation is fairly good,” says Tolkunow. “Columns are in quite good shape, probably because they have not been exposed to the freeze-thaw cycle that above: Image of the future Bay Street pedestrian retail concourse. The “dig down” is creating space for this retail level as well as a new GO concourse.
Issue 2 2011
IMaGE COURTESy OF nORR aRChITECTS EnGInEERS PLannERS
By Margaret Anne Fehr
“The main focus of our attention is the safety of the workers and the travelling public.” – Rick Tolkunow, Principal engineer, Union Station Revitalization, the City of Toronto.
LEA IM ST RE CU SIT PR
above: The future GO concourse. GO stands for GO Transit, one of our partner organizations. GO is owned by the province, not the City. Below: a rendering of the Great hall where there will be escalators and stairs leading to a new GO concourse and a new lower-level pedestrian retail concourse.
IMaGES COURTESy OF nORR aRChITECTS EnGInEERS PLannERS
objects above ground must endure or the deteriorating effects of materials like road salt.” The project requires the replacement or reinforcement of 447 concrete columns, nearly half of which support the train tracks. “Not all columns will need to be replaced. Some column groups only require carbon fibre wrap reinforcement.” Once completed, Tolkunow expects that the foundation will be equipped to clock another 100 years of service. Preparation for the column work involved a prototype column replacement in October 2010 which helped establish the preferred construction methodology to be used for the remaining columns. “Applying modern day materials to the century old concrete pillars involved pushing the engineering envelope a bit,” says Tolkunow. “But it’s not so much a revolution in terms of materials as it is an evolution.” The station was designated a National Historic Site in 1975 which means there is a limit to what can be done in terms of modern-day techniques towards green building practices embodied by LEED criteria. The Leadership In Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is an independent certification program that provides voluntary guidelines for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. The program awards varying levels of certification to buildings that meet LEED rating standards in five major categories: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. “Since the station is a heritage building, there’s only so much that can be done,” says Tolkunow. “But we are employing advanced environmental designs such as deep-lake water cooling, district heating and energy-efficient technology.” Once complete, the station’s new underground level will add tens of thousands of square feet of retail, expected to generate revenue for the city to help finance the project. A new VIA Panorama lounge will overlook Front Street, one of Toronto’s premier arteries, and easier to access to the station will be facilitated for pedestrain traffic through a new PATH corridor. It’s all part of $1-billion worth of work going into the immediate area that includes a second TTC platform at Union Station and GO replacing its giant train shed roof, the length of two football fields, in part with a central glass atrium. The goal is to have the York concourse open to the public by 2013, and the Bay concourse side ready in time for the Pan Am Games in 2015. PC
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Youth in Pile Driving
Businesses, unions, governments and not-for-proﬁts working to attract young people into the construction trades By Barb Feldman
he biggest challenge in the foundation industry is getting enough people with the right skills to be able to cope with the coming workload,” says Manny Fine, Executive Director Emeritus of the Deep Foundations Institute and publisher of the DFI Journal. “Young people seem to be coming out of school feeling they need to get a job where they don’t get their hands dirty. They want to be in an air-conditioned office.” The construction trades have not been attractive to young people for some time. “Everybody is having trouble getting people. They’re having trouble getting young engineers, they’re having trouble getting skilled people” in all the trades, not just in piling, says Eric Lewis, Executive Director of the Heavy Construction Association of Toronto. And as the Baby Boom generation retires, the shortage is only going to get more severe. Recognizing this problem, businesses, unions, governments and not-for-profit organizations are increasing their efforts to attract young people into the construction trades. Skills Canada promotes skilled trades and technology programs to Canadian high school students and apprentices with an annual Olympicstyle, multi-trade and technology competition, bringing approximately 500 young people from all regions to compete in over 40 trade and technology areas, and a website with construction job profiles, a newsletter, links to career resources and other information. The Canadian Construction Association has designed an
informative and easy-to-navigate “Careers in Civil Construction” website that lists a broad range of job descriptions, pay ranges, duties, work conditions, required skills, and a “Career Information in your Province” function. The Ontario Civil Construction Careers Institute, created by 17 construction industry associations, sponsors career fairs and high school presentations, and also has a website, with information about in-demand jobs and their potential rates of pay. The site notes in bold type that “Only 1 job out of 10 requires a university degree” and “Apprentices earn while they learn and avoid debt.” Both are important selling points, since the average university graduate today finishes school almost $27,000 in debt and with no guarantee of employment. In contrast, operators can earn up to $100,000 per year or even more, depending on experience and credentials. Even assistants can make an average of $4,000 plus per month, and safety and performance bonuses can boost wages considerably. Many companies will pay part or all of the costs of training that upgrades their employees’ skills and qualifications. Copp’s, for example, will pay for extensive hands-on equipment training for operators and assistants before they go into the field, and for Class 1 training for assistants who want it. In 2006 PCL, Canada’s largest contractor, announced that it was giving a $1.25 million donation to the Northern and Southern Alberta Institutes of Technology in Edmonton and Calgary and to the British Columbia Institute
of Technology in Burnaby, to enhance apprenticeship training. In Ontario, the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) helps to facilitate training for crane operators. The IUOE offers a three-year apprenticeship program consisting of 6,000 hours of paid on-the-job training and 480 hours of classroom instruction each year. Apprentices must get at least 70 per cent in a trade examination given by Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) to obtain a Certificate of Qualification. Since the MTCU pays for some of the training and the union picks up the difference, apprentices have to pay only about $400 towards their training. And apprentices in the crane program are paid at an increasing rate as they learn from half the journeyman’s rate to begin to 80 per cent at 6000 hours, all with benefits. In Western Canada, young people apprentice to become pile drivers and bridge workers. For a British Columbia Certificate of Qualification they’ll need to take approximately six weeks a year of in-school classes and 3,600 hours of hands-on work training to learn fitting, welding, rigging, form-work and timber/ concrete construction, seamanship, heavy-duty equipment operation, and environmentally safe practices. Although students are not paid during the in-class sessions, employers pay into a general training fund to offset costs. When inschool assessments and a standardized examination are passed, graduates may be given a bursary. Graduates are qualified
feAtUre to construct, install, repair or remove all types of deep piles and caisson foundations and other types of marine installations. And as members of the Pile Drivers, Divers, Bridge, Dock and Wharf Builders Union (Local 2404), they will be able to work throughout British Columbia and in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Local 2404 does not do much recruiting, according to spokesperson Sheila McCrea. Instead, “It’s like everything else – if you’ve got dads or uncles who are in the trade, they’ll come and try it.” She describes a family of five in which three brothers recently completed the pile driving apprenticeship program. Now, along with their uncle, “they’re all busy working in the trade – anywhere between BC and Manitoba. Last fall a whole slew of them were out working on the wind farms in Manitoba.” “Things are looking pretty good, with bigger and bigger infrastructure projects coming out. The backlog of work is pretty respectable for everybody,” says Manny Fine. And across Canada, hundreds of apprentices are graduating every year. But according to some forecasts, the shortfall by 2020 in Canada’s construction sector will be one million workers. “These jobs pay so much more than a guy working, for example, in Home Depot as a stock clerk or a sales associate,” says Fine. “They’re good jobs and a good field to be working in, they’re not second choices. But you got to get the word out somehow. You’ve got to get kids in school educated to the fact that these jobs exist.” PC
Construction Looking Forward, The Construction Sector Council bit.ly/CSC_Forecast manuel fine 190 San Francisco ave, hamilton, Ontario, Canada L9C 5n9, 1-905-389-3909
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Sheila mcCrae Pile Drivers, Divers, Bridge, Dock and Wharf Builders Local 2404 #101 580 Ebury Place, Delta, BC V3M 6M8 604-526-2404, Toll Free: 1-800-562-2404 Canadian Construction Association: www.careersincivilconstruction.ca/ ontario Civil Construction Careers institute: www.occci.ca/ Skills/Compétences Canada: www.skillscanada.com/
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Safety on the Worksite Weâ€™ve come a long way By Lisa Kopochinski
he Trade Unions Act of 1872 was the first piece of Canadian labour legislation that legalized labour unions in the country. The late 1800s was also the time when 15,000 Chinese immigrants died during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Fortunately we have come a long way since then.
feAtUre Since 2009, the Canada Labour Code has remained the main source of health and safety standards. Each province has its own legislation and each is responsible for regulating occupational health and safety within their jurisdictions. While procedures and circumstance may vary, one thing remains static: workers’ legal right to a healthy and safe workplace. And although we still have a long journey to completely eliminate accidents and fatalities on the construction worksite – or any worksite, for that matter – concerns for safety have improved and progressed significantly over the years.
“Safety has shifted from being an ‘add on’ to an expectation of the job.” – Sean Scott, executive director of Construction Safety Association of Manitoba
increase in Awareness
“Safety has shifted from being an ‘add on’ to an expectation of the job,” reports Sean Scott, executive director of Construction Safety Association of Manitoba (CSAM), a Winnipeg-based nonprofit organization, whose main objectives include providing information regarding accident prevention methods and changes to health and safety regulations as well as developing information, resources, tools and training programs to enable contractors to meet their legislated responsibilities. “Awareness has consistently increased over the past decade, along with development of practical tools and programs to allow employers, supervisors and workers to implement safety,” says Scott. “It is viewed simply as a condition of employment.” So much so that nearly a decade ago, in 2002, significant changes were made to Manitoba’s Workplace Safety and Health Act so that it focused more heavily on the expansion of responsibilities to all people and organizations involved in work, says Scott.
“It maintained its original intent of ‘internal responsibility’ and expanded accountabilities to include owners, employers, prime contractors, contractors, suppliers, self-employed persons, supervisors and workers,” he adds. “A key shift has been the requirement to ‘share required information’ among all people and organizations.” Ian Cunningham, president of the Council of Ontario Construction Associations (COCA) in Toronto, Ont., a federation of 30 construction associations, whose more than 10,000 contractor members work in the industrial, commercial and
Issue 2 2011
The construction industry has seen significant decreases in accident rates in the past number of years, resulting in lower assessment rates.
industrial (ICI) sector as well as in heavy civil construction, says that the scaffold accident of Christmas Eve 2009 – in which four workers died and a fifth was seriously injured in Toronto after falling from a 13th-floor balcony – caused the Ontario government to undertake a year-long study/review of the province’s occupational health and safety system in 2010. The review was led by former Deputy Minister of Labour Tony Dean and contained 45 recommendations, of which eleven were recommended to be implemented as priorities in 2011. “The first major step was the swift passage of Bill 160,” says Cunningham. “This amended the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act, transferring responsibility for the provision of prevention programs and services from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to the Ministry, creating a new prevention entity within the Ministry for that purpose, and also creating the position of chief prevention officer in the Ministry to lead that new entity.” Cunningham adds that while the statistics on workplace accidents and injuries over the past decade reflect steady signs of improvement, this tragedy underscored the fact that there is still work to be done. “That event was an alarm bell and elevated awareness of prevention on worksites across Ontario.” The Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Safety Association (NLCSA) is a not-for-profit corporation that is committed to providing effective and affordable safety training, programs and services that lead to the creation and maintenance of a positive cultural shift within the province’s construction industry, thereby reducing the human, social and economic loss as a result of work-related accidents, injuries and death. NLCSA Chief Executive Officer Jackie Manuel says that in the last couple of years there has been intense and rapid growth in the 36
construction industry due to numerous mega-projects in mining, oil and gas, and municipal infrastructure in Newfoundland and Labrador. “The province’s aging population and history of outward migration of skilled trades has led to labour shortages. And for those working in construction, tight deadlines and a shortage of labour places extra pressure to get the job done quickly.” However, good news came in September 2009 when the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador introduced significant changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act in areas related to protective equipment, machinery, hazard assessment, excavation, demolition and much more. Along with these changes, the government announced that over the next three years the Workplace Health and Safety Compensation Commission (WHSCC) would be phasing in new training standards in traffic control, fall protection and working in confined spaces. Additionally, Manuel says that in the past number of years, the construction industry has seen significant decreases in accident rates, resulting in lower Workplace Health & Safety Compensation Commission (WHSCC) assessment rates. “The drop in the average base assessment rate and in all specific assessment rates across all construction categories is a clear indication that safety cultures are becoming more prevalent in the construction industry in Newfoundland and Labrador than in the past.” Clear across the country in British Columbia, the amalgamation of the Construction Safety Network and the Construction Association of B.C. last fall resulted in the province’s construction employers and workers now having access to health and safety programs through the B.C. Construction Safety Alliance (BCCSA).
feAtUre The BCCSA is dedicated to raising health and safety awareness and reducing injuries through safety consultation, risk management, injury prevention and more. The association develops programs, tools and resources for more than 35,000 construction employers and 180,000 workers in the province. “The safety of workers across British Columbia is a priority for my ministry,” says Murray Coell, Minister of Labour. “The Alliance will provide a focused approach to workplace safety at all levels across the B.C. construction industry by centralizing resources and expertise.” The BCCSA will concentrate its resources on the top three causes of injuries and deaths – falls, being struck and overexertion. Solutions will be developed and implemented through consultation with WorkPlaceBC and the industry.
COR™ Gains Popularity
CSAM’s Scott says that safety in the construction industry across the country continues to evolve as contractors become more knowledgeable and look to achieve Certificate of Recognition™ Programs. COR™ is an occupational health and safety accreditation program that is nationally endorsed by the Canadian Federation of Construction Safety Associations. The program’s objectives are to provide industry employers with an effective safety and health management system to reduce accidents and injuries, as well as associated human and financial costs. The achievement of COR™ is determined by the authority having jurisdiction in that province or territory. COR™ is also frequently used as a prequalification and/or condition of contract by public and private owners across Canada. And once a company has
“Awareness has consistently increased over the past decade, along with development of practical tools and programs to allow employers, supervisors and workers to implement safety.” – Sean Scott, executive director of Construction Safety Association of Manitoba implemented their safety program and has met the national standards of COR™ Certification – it has an excellent safety management system in place. NLCSA’s Manuel is also a firm believer and says her association’s COR™ program is the construction industry’s standard under Part I of WHSCC’s PRIME employer incentive program. “COR™-certified companies in good standing automatically qualify for a full refund under Part I of the Commission’s PRIME program,” she says. “What is most significant with this accomplishment is that the construction industry, through the NLCSA, has set its own (higher) standard for refunds under PRIME.” Adds Scott, “[COR™ graduates] are better equipped to identify, communicate and control hazards associated with their work. This has a direct correlation to reducing the risk of incidents, which directly reduces the potential costs associated with incidents. Simply put, it’s awesome!” PC
Pile Drivers, Divers, Bridge, Dock and Wharf Builders Local Union 2404 #101-580 Ebury Place Delta, BC V3M 6M8 Phone: 604-526-2404 Fax: 604-526-2446 Toll Free: 1-800-562-2404 email: email@example.com www.piledrivers2404.ca
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feAtUre Construction of the Bow Building will be completed in 2012.
“i truly believe, we ended up with a very elegant structural solution that really looks good architecturally.”
– ian Washbrook, Halcrow-Yolles
Challenges By Dan Proudley
hen Calgary’s newest 58-storey office tower opens next year, it will be a magnificent accomplishment of architectural design and engineering ingenuity. The unique crescent shape design of the $1.5 billion Bow building presented some colossal challenges to architects, structural engineers and construction crews. But innovative solutions were found from how to produce curved ceiling tiles to constructing the gigantic raft slab foundation. Construction of the downtown office tower began in 2007. Once finished, it will serve as headquarters to oil and gas companies Encana and Cenovus Energy. The Bow building is the tallest skyscraper west of Toronto occupying two city blocks and featuring three sky gardens consisting of trees and plants. In addition, there’s a six level underground parkade spanning two city blocks providing 1,316 parking spots and 320 bicycle stalls. H&R Reit owns the Bow building; Matthews Development (Alberta) Inc. is the developer; and Ledcor Construction Limited is the main contractor. Numerous architectural and engineering companies brought world-class expertise and talents to bear in turning design concepts into reality. One of the companies involved is Halcrow Yolles, the structural engineering firm of record for the project. Halcrow Yolles works collaboratively on the project with the UK based architectural firm of Foster and Partners. Architectural services are also provided by Zeidler Partnerhsip Architects of Calgary. Ian Washbrook, an engineer with Halcrow Yolles, says his company was involved from the beginning of the project taking architectural ideas to the completion stage. Specifically, the engineering firm was responsible for the office tower’s structural frame design.
Calgary’s newest office tower is one of the most innovatively designed buildings in North America, combining sustainability with jawdropping views of the Rockies. Issue 2 2011
FEATURE “We just try and make it work,” says Washbrook. “I truly believe, we ended up with a very elegant structural solution that really looks good architecturally.” A key priority was to maximize floor space while keeping an eye on construction costs. What’s unique about the Bow building is the curved external steel frame of girders - shaped in diagonal grids. The dia-grid is a complicated piece of geometry and gets its name from of six steel frame members meeting at one point, or node. There are other buildings with dia-grids but they’re not curved. There’s no other office tower like it in Canada. Washbrook points out that in conventional office tower design, the core frame of the building is typically within the structure. But with the Bow building, the exterior steel frame dia-grid is the primary structure that gives the building its lateral strength. Essentially, what’s normally the core of the building forms the exterior of the Bow building, thus allowing for the open-space design of the interior. Still, a secondary steel frame inside the office tower adds to the structural strength, explains Washbrook. The crescent shape of the building also adds to structural strength. Says Washbrook: “A lot of commercial towers have a square or rectangular plan shape.” The building length isn’t all
that different from the width. “But the Bow building is 100 metres wide, it’s massive in the width,” he says. In order to support the massive weight of the Bow building, getting the foundation built properly was going to be critical. Plans called for building a concrete raft slab foundation that would rest on sandstone bedrock. The raft slab - reinforced with several layers of 35mm rebar and vertical ties - would be 3 metres thick and weigh 33,000 metric tonnes. When complete, it would be the third largest continuously poured building foundation in the world. Still, it’s one thing to plan, but could it be pulled off? Never in Canada had a pour this big been attempted. Success would hinge on carrying out the continuous pouring of concrete forming the foundation. This had to go off without a hitch. For three months contractors hashed out the logistics. During excavation, a caisson wall with soldier piles was required to shore up the surrounding soil. On May 9, 2008, the concrete run began. A construction crew of 500 workers and 12 concrete pump trucks were involved as 94 trucks delivered 1,436 truckloads of concrete over a period of 39 hours. In the end, 13,780 cubic metres of concrete was poured. The foundation cost $10 million.
Photo courtesy of Halcrow Yolles.
Rebar cage reinforces the foundation.
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Photos courtesy of Halcrow Yolles.
Concrete pour begins.
Twelve concrete pump trucks were involved as 94 trucks delivered 1,436 truckloads of concrete to form the foundation.
The strength of the raft foundation is 50 megapascals and it sits on sandstone bedrock with a bearing capacity of 1,200 kilopascals or 25,000 lbs per square foot. As a result of the compression of the sandstone bedrock under the foundation, the building has settled 20 to 25 millimetres or about 1-inch, which is within the design range, says Washbrook. “There won’t be any further settlement, once the full load is on, that’s it.” Everything about the Bow building was meticulously planned, even at which angle it’s positioned. A scaled-down version of the Bow and the adjacent buildings was built and tested in a wind tunnel to determine the best orientation for the structure. The designers could then angle the building so as to minimize the wind forces on the building and the pedestrians at ground level while at the same time maximize views of the city, foothills, and
Rocky Mountains. The aerodynamic shape also significantly reduces urban wind tunnels. Katherine Robinson, a senior member of the architectural firm Zeidler Partnership Architects in Calgary, is the project manager responsible for overseeing the interior design of the Bow building’s 2 million square feet of office space. The interior features a combination of both private and group workspaces, says Robinson. The aim in designing the interior was to create a work setting that encourages communication and collaboration between employees. There are private offices as well as casual meeting places such as coffee bars where employees can interact and share ideas in a relaxed environment, she says. The interior features portable partitions, wiring in the floor and contemporary glass, wood, and steel finishes.
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The node of the dia-grid is raised into position.
Yet, another objective in designing the interior was to take advantage of the jaw-dropping view of the mountains, the Bow River and cityscape. The crescent shape of the building allows for the vast majority of the offices to have windows. About 70 per cent of the employees will have an office view. Plus, this design feature offers access to more natural light that contributes to the sustainability aspect of the building, notes Robinson. However, the unconventional shape of the Bow building has produced challenges for material suppliers. For example, the ceiling tile manufacturer had to specially cut and taper tiles to accommodate the curved design of the building. Meanwhile, the glass supplier had to custom cut glass to fit into the skyscraper’s mixture of rectangular and triangular shaped window frames within the dia-grid. The building has more than 84,000 square metres (900,000 square feet) of glass. Says Robinson: “A lot of them (suppliers) had to take their standard product lines – adapt them, and be very innovative to incorporate them in our building.” Clearly, not only is the Bow building an impressive addition to the Calgary skyline, but it’s also a testament to the ingenuity of the people who worked on erecting the skyscraper. Western Canada’s newest landmark stands as one of the most distinctive office towers in North America. PC
Irving Equipment provides innovative solutions to your Deep Foundation requirements. Our diverse fleet of Cranes and Pile Driving equipment enables us to be responsive to demanding projects, regardless of size or complexity. We are committed to excellence in both the planning and executing of innovative solutions to your most complex projects. WWW.IRVINGEQUIPMENT.COM Issue 2 2011
Fibreglass Pilings Why ﬁbreglass stands up as a strong alternative to wood, concrete and steel
hen selecting materials for building boats, fibreglass is one of the strongest contenders so you’d think someone in the marine industry would think of using fibreglass when manufacturing pilings. Well, someone did. Mark Pearson of Pearson Pilings in Fall River, Massachusetts left the boat building business to work with his entrepreneurial father, Everett A. Pearson, a pioneer in the composites industry, and in 2004 Pearson Pilings was formed. The potential opportunities for using fibreglass are virtually endless. As Pearson says, “Steel and composites are used in golf clubs, whereas they used to be wood. Steel and aluminum were once used on wings of airplanes, now composite components are being used.” The strength and versatility of fibreglass applications are widely understood in various industries from cars to boats to sports equipment and now to pilings. Pearson Pilings has grown to be the leading supplier of composite pilings for the marine construction industry, with products that are progressively becoming the material of choice for building foundations on wa44
terfront and flood plain properties. According to Mark Pearson, “The day you cut a tree it starts to rot, steel starts to rust, concrete crumbles, fibreglass lasts. No rot. No rust. No problem.” The progressive strength of fibreglass, combined with its lengthy lifespan, appears to be a clear winner when selecting building materials, so why don’t we see more of it in Canada? Pearson believes in time we will. “People use what they’re most comfortable with – which is often wood. When grants are involved, engineers turn to the material they are most familiar with. We are more expensive than wood but the life cycle of our pilings will give the customer a much greater return on their investment.” Transporting from the U.S. to Canada can add to those costs but with fibreglass being lighter, hollow, and more manoeuvrable than steel, wood or concrete, smaller pilings can be stowed inside larger pilings thereby increasing the number of pilings in each load. As opposed to some of the Southern States, Canada’s colder ocean waters provide very agreeable conditions for pilings and
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By Shelley Wildgen
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© 2011 Skyline Steel, LLC. Skyline Steel is a wholly owned subsidiary of ArcelorMittal, the largest and most globally integrated steel company. (07-11)
Skyline (PHP) Canada Ltd / Ltée, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Skyline Steel, a premier steel foundation supplier serving the US, Canada, Mexico, Central America, Caribbean and South American markets. Skyline Steel has over thirty sales offices across two continents and a robust infrastructure comprised of manufacturing, coating, and fabrication facilities; dozens of stocking locations; an efficiently-coordinated supply chain; and exclusive engineering support. Collectively, these functions support a dynamic sales team that supplies hundreds of thousands of tons of steel foundation products to the industry every year.
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the perfectly cylindrical shapes of fibreglass pilings are beneficial because ice can’t grab onto them. “As fibreglass gets colder, its strength values increase,” adds Pearson. Sun splintering comes to mind as a possible drawback when using fibreglass and Pearson agrees that UV rays are the nemesis of composites so his company uses an engineered thermoplastic finish called PPT, as well as UV inhibitors built into their resin which will help to prevent blossoming. As to the question of movement, Pearson asserts that fibreglass “absorbs energy. We have great flexibility, and ours will bend a certain amount, then come back. Engineers can design systems when they understand how our pilings react. Sometimes this will not be suitable for a project – depends what the engineering requirements are.” Combined with its flexibility and resiliency, fibreglass possesses a certain amount of versatility, and can be combined with other materials. Depending on applications, fibreglass can be combined with other materials such as HDPE high density polyethelyne for fendering applications. In an effort to broaden their North American appeal, Pearson Pilings has recently started working with Sunnybrook Marine in Nova Scotia. Michael O’Connor, co-owner of Sunnybrook Marine, has found “our biggest challenge is the same in Canada as it is anywhere. This is a new product and there is an education process involved. We are finding that when we get in front of the younger engineers who have studied composites during their training, there is a much higher level of familiarity with the product and therefore a higher level of comfort when it comes to recommending the fibreglass pilings to their customers.” As far as where O’Connor foresees fibreglass becoming a viable option in Canadian projects, he says “Anywhere you can drive a steel or wood piling using the ‘traditional’ methods (drop, impact and vibratory hammers), you can drive a fibreglass piling. The advantage of the fibreglass piling is it will not rot, rust or crumble and will last 100 years or more; therefore, in my view, the potential for fibreglass pilings in Canada is almost unlimited. A fibreglass piling can be used anywhere a wood piling can be used so we’re seeing our pilings used in house foundations more and more as the engineers begin to realize the advantages of the fibreglass piling.” 46
Residential boat house, St augustine, FL.
A common concern for engineers, architects and construction businesses alike, is how certain structures acclimate to their surroundings. With a growing focus on being ‘green’, O’Connor is quick to add, “It’s important to take note that these pilings are environmentally friendly. One of the primary criteria in the development of our piles is that they must be inert and unaffected by the environment – and that they have no deleterious effect on the environment.” Ultimately, the project will dictate the material, but more and more the industry may be shifting to match the benefits of fibreglass. Protective coatings on steel and wood will lengthen the lifetime of those products but it’s tough to compete with a material that will still be standing decades after the builders are not. Fibreglass pilings already have the benefit of century long durability and in a world of innovation the fibreglass piling is a product that arguably matches and exceeds the features of existing products. Looking ahead to how wood, steel and concrete piles will compete, Michael O’Connor states simply, “The industry is trying to keep pace and I don’t think it’s possible.” PC
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