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FEATURES University gets award-winning green roof .......................................1 Cardinal rules of estimating......... 8 LTTR changes for polyiso........... 10 VanDusen roof wins again .........11 Wind uplift tested on pavers ..... 12 Casino sports green roof............ 13 Handling SBS in cold weather... 14 Protecting accessible roofs......... 16 ASSOCIATION President’s message..................... 3 New RCABC staffer listening to members ................... 5 RCABC holds AGM ....................... 6 INDUSTRY NEWS Sustainable roofing standard being developed .......................... 7 Housing starts down .................... 9 Roofing Expo: new director ....... 14 Burnaby starts new towers ...... 14 Firestone announces new GM... 14 Delta gets area’s largest roof .... 15 Commercial real estate forecast stronger in 2014 ......... 15 Victoria sees building boom...... 17 Roof study: green vs white ....... 17 Public projects net bulk of VRCA awards.............................. 18 COLUMN Legal Affairs: ‘if paid’, ‘when paid’ clauses under scrutiny .............. 18

The roof was planted with over 44,000 native coastal meadow sedums, grasses and wildflowers.

Insulation re-figured LTTR calculations for polyiso change as of January 1. See page 10

RCABC member Universal Sheet Metal Ltd. of Saanichton, BC installed the green roof on the award-winning University of Vancouver Island.

$600,000 green roof University provides economics lesson in award-winning LEED construction By Dermot Mack Photos: Sharp and Diamond Landscape Architecture

A multitude of green roofs and a commitment to energy savings helped the University of Vancouver

Island, Cowichan campus, capture both an international environmental award and local commercial building honours. Built in Duncan, BC, the building features six types of living roof systems on three levels, according to Sharp and Diamond Landscape Architecture of West Vancouver. A lightweight green roof covers 88 percent of the campus, and over

Wind uplift tests Concrete pavers studied at NRC. See page 12

30 percent is intensive green roofs, composed primarily of white pumice, growing matter and sand. Level 3 is fully accessible and provides quiet spaces to gather and


Roofing Contractors Association of BC 9734 201 Street Langley, BC Canada V1M 3E8

areas for hands-on learning through small-scale vegetable production. Plants were chosen from the Green Roof continued page 4

Roofing in the cold Tips on handling SBS. See page 14

From the President

The holy trinity of roofing December 12 – seems like a fitting day to sit down and write my first message as the newly elected president of the RCABC. Due to the blizzard in the BC Interior today I elected to work on this message in the cozy confines of my home. Like many contractors in our proud association we have our supervisory staff and crews working feverishly to bring jobs to completion prior to the Christmas holidays. This leads me into the context of my message. At this time of year we share in the joyous approach of the holidays and the usual frustrations of jobsites (poor weather, missing completion deadlines and a general lack of Vitamin D within our biological matter). I would like to focus on what I call the holy trinity of roofing. This three sided geometrical design has become the focus for all RCABC contractors. The congruent sides start as equal parts of safety, quality, and production. I believe this is the main objective of all of our member contractors. The focus on safety starts with each and every member and the pursuit of better safety habits. Our members are industry leaders in safety training and are all proud holders of the BC Construction Alliance Certificate of Recognition (COR). The RCABC is


the industry leader in training for these safety programs, which provide more than individual safety training. They generate awareness of safety for co-workers, the public and the property that is involved within the project. RCABC contractors work with all levels of regulatory bodies to ensure safe work practices. Beyond roofing many of our contractors employ or contract out crane operators, truck drivers, first aid personnel, traffic The inspectors also help RCABC control and hazardous waste member contractors by making specialists. recommendations that provide a The next side of the triangle is the quality side. This is the side that safer and more practical completion of the projects. Member contractors’ separates RCABC members from employees are receptive to an other contractors. It is the uninspector’s simple suggestions as to compromising desire to provide the a safer work environment. Many of best finished roofing project for our the inspectors were once customers. Building owners who journeyman roofers choose to have their themselves and their roof installed by an knowledge is RCABC contractor and invaluable. have the installing Prayers for our contractor supply a employees’ safety and RoofStar guarantee faith in our quality of are doing their best workmanship lead me due diligence for their into the final side of investment. They have the triangle – the added assurance production. Just this that comes with hiring morning our crews a qualified contractor, went to job sites with skilled Colin Rasmussen throughout BC. It tradespeople who are seems like on an hourly basis we trained in the technical application check every type of weatherof accepted manufacturer’s reporting means available. Yes, products. RCABC-accepted third today was the dreaded 40% party independent consulting and precipitation forecast. What to do, inspection firms provide quality what to do? Let’s go for it! The control and ensure that the roof is owners and general contractors just installed to the required standards.

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want roofs on. The standard line we get in our industry is “well, it is not raining now!” By 9:00 a.m. the ceiling in the sky became decidedly closer to the earth and the snowflakes came fast and furious. By the time the noon weather report hit the radio it sounded like a ski report; “10cm base and 5cm fresh with another 5cm in the forecast”. Like all RCABC members the quality does not get compromised. The crews stop the work they have in progress and take all measures to protect the building and the roof installation. This would discourage most people from carrying out their duties on a daily basis, however RCABC contractors are a resilient breed. They will assure their customers that God willing, they will have their crews back on site ASAP to complete the project in a timely fashion. By selecting an RCABC member an owner is choosing a roofing contractor that is diligent and accountable. Members have resources that ensure completion of

the most challenging projects. Human, financial and equipment resources play a huge role in all jobs big and small. I am always amazed as I travel throughout BC and see buildings that have the most challenging roofs installed on them. Most of the roofs have been installed by RCABC contractors, and have RoofStar guarantees. These buildings are true landmarks within our province and were constructed within demanding schedules. I feel very privileged to be the president of such a longstanding and respected association. Our firm, Western Roofing, based out of Kamloops, is one of the original founding members of RCABC dating back to 1962. Whether you are a longstanding member or one of our newer contractors you are part of a likeminded group of leaders in the roofing industry when it comes to safety, quality and production. During this year I would love to field comments and questions from anyone reading Roofing BC magazine. If I do not have the answer I will do my best to point you in the proper direction. With the launch of our own RCABC and RoofStar marketing initiatives we have staff in place at our Langley office to fulfill all of your roof related requests. Please feel free to contact me via email at or on Twitter; @rasmussencolin. Happy new year! Colin Rasmussen, President, Roofing Contractors Association of British Columbia ■


Project: University of Vancouver Island, Cowichan campus Location: Duncan, BC Roofing Contractor: Universal Sheet Metal Ltd. Landscape Architect: Sharp and Diamond Landscape Architecture Architect: Garyali Architect Inc. Consulting Architect: Arlington Group Planning + Architects Roofing membrane supplier: Soprema Canada Construction manager: Yellowhead Construction Ltd. Consultant: Lewkowich Geotechnical Engineering Ltd.

The green roof covers 50,000 square feet and is irrigated through cisterns that collect rainwater. One level of the roof is fully accessible. Green Roof cont’d from page 1

local nursery to reflect the surrounding landscape; and the roof was planted with over 44,000 native coastal meadow sedums, grasses and wildflowers. In all, the green roof covers 50,000 square feet and cost $12 per square foot, for a total of $600,000. The membrane beneath the green roof is from Soprema Canada and described as a “protected membrane roof/inverted roof membrane assembly.” The irrigation is a Rainbird system with a weather-based controller that collects rainwater in cisterns and pumps it up to the roof. A “blue roof” provides additional stormwater retention and treatment on the green roof. It is similar to a rain garden, and offers additional wildlife habitat and plant diversity. Universal Sheet Metal Ltd. of Saanichton, BC was the roofing

contractor and the project carries a five-year RCABC RoofStar warranty. The project has been awarded LEED Gold certification through sustainable site, water efficiency, natural ventilation and daylighting, and high performance building initiatives. The campus received a 2013 Green Roof and Wall Award of Excellence for the University of Vancouver Island. This is one of the awards given by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, which recognizes innovative living architecture in North America. The project also captured a Commercial Building Award from the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board; and the Roy Willwerth Precast Concrete Architectural Recognition Award from the Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute was presented to Victoria-based Garyali Architect Inc. for their design of the campus. ■

The LEED standard campus is built primarily from local materials and even the paving stones are peremeable, allowing water to drain into cisterns, as does the water from the roofs.

A Soprema waterproof membrane was installed beneath the extensive green roofs.


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Roofing BC is published quarterly on behalf of the Roofing Contractors Association of BC and the professional roofing industry by Market Assist Communications Inc.

Roofing BC is online at: Managing Editor and Publisher J. Michael Siddall Phone: 604-740-8369 E-mail: Editor Frank O’Brien E-mail: Production/Art Director and Advertising Associate Paddy Tennant Phone: 604-507-2162 E-mail: Contributing Writers Colin Rasmussen, Jacquie Clancy, Chris Hirst, Tara Landes Circulation RCABC reception Phone: 604-882-9734 E-mail:

Judy Slutsky is the new director of business development for RCABC. Photo: RCABC

New RCABC staff member “ready to listen” Director of business development hears from members Judy Slutsky, director of business development for the RCABC, knew what her first step would be when she started working with the association in the fall: listening. Since October 2013 Slutsky has been communicating with stakeholders throughout the province to get a pulse of the industry and gain insight into how to best represent RCABC and its

programs. “I believe in meeting face to face with people in order to further our relationships,” she said. “I want to hear from all our members and other industry stakeholders,” said Slutsky, who has more than 25 years of experience as a senior strategist and advisor to BC businesses. “We have a great story to tell to a new generation of architects, specifiers and buyers,” she said. As an ambassador for the RCABC brand and its programs, Slutsky strongly believes in finding the ‘win-

win-win’ scenario for all stakeholders by heightening awareness of the RCABC RoofStar guarantee program, technical services, education and training. Slutsky believes in working collaboratively with members and the inspection community to tell new generations of specifiers, architects and buyers about the RCABC and the value of the RoofStar guarantee for their projects. Branding is among Slutsky’s specialities – she holds two

university degrees, several professional designations and has worked for large public and private employers – and she believes the RCABC brand is one to be proud of. “The association and RoofStar are both well respected,” she said. Slutsky will continue meetings and consultations as she helps to shape the ongoing marketing strategy for RCABC. If any member sees an opportunity for Slutsky to showcase RCABC and the RoofStar guarantee program, Slutsky is eager to hear it. “I am here to listen”. ■

While information contained in this publication has been compiled from sources deemed to be reliable, neither the publisher nor the RCABC will be held liable for errors or omissions. The opinions expressed in the editorial and advertisements are not necessarily those of the publisher or RCABC.

Executive Vice President Ivan van Spronsen, TQ Administrative Services Manager Barbara Porth, CAE Technical Manager Rob Harris, RRO Safety & Risk Management Supervisor Roger Sové, I.P., PID, Ad.Ed.


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Ivan van Spronsen presenting the Stan Gregorowich Award to newly elected president Colin Rasmussen

RCABC holds AGM Rasmussen elected president The Roofing Contractors Association of BC held its Annual General Meeting on November 30 at the River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond. Colin Rasmussen, owner of Western Roofing (Master Roofers) Ltd., Kamloops, was elected president of the RCABC, replacing Bruce Taylor of Alpha-Duron Roofing Ltd., Burnaby.

The RCABC annual general meeting also saw Alex Goldie of Admiral Roofing Ltd., Prince George, elected vice-president and John Silva of Flynn Canada Ltd., Surrey, installed as the Secretary-Treasurer. Directors that were also reelected at the AGM include: Howard Schlamb, Chilliwack Roofing Ltd., Chilliwack; Tony Caputo, Eby & Sons Construction Ltd., Prince Rupert; Tom Greenough, Tomtar Roofing & Sheet Metal Ltd., Kelowna; Lyle Nelson, Nelson Roofing & Sheet Metal Ltd., Cumberland; Jamie Mantle, Soprema Inc., Delta; and Enzo Saponaro, Firestone Building Products, Langley. Kevin Moss, Marine Roofing (1996) Ltd.,

Outgoing past-president Laurence Matzek presenting 50 year membership award to Dale Brocke of DM Henderson Roofing


Ivan van Spronsen presenting the top roofing apprentice award to Justin Vandale, who works with Flynn Canada in Kelowna

Burnaby, was newly elected to the Board. Other incumbent directors include: Laurence Matzek, Bollman Roofing & Sheet Metal Ltd., Surrey; Jim Nicholson, Metro Roofing & Sheet Metal Ltd., Langley; Neil Rook, Raven Roofing Ltd., Surrey; Murray Tysowski, Aurora Roofing Ltd., Coombs; Andy Mrak, Pro-Line Construction Materials Ltd., Surrey; and Michael Stewart, Roofmart Pacific Ltd., Surrey.

Awards Highlights of the event also included the naming of award winners and the presentation of three plaques for 50 years of RCABC membership. These went to

Chilliwack Roofing Ltd. of Chilliwack, D.M. Henderson Ltd. of Dawson Creek and Penticton-based Nielsen Roofing & Sheet Metal Ltd. The top roofing apprentice award for 2013 went to Justin Vandale, who works with Flynn Canada in Kelowna. The ASM (Architectural Sheet Metal) apprentice award was won by Brodie Harrower of Rite-Way Metals Ltd. in Courtenay. Grant McMillan, former president of the Council of Construction Associations was awarded the Kenneth J. Grant Award for ‘outstanding contributions to the roofing industry’. RCABC Executive Vice President

Outgoing past-president Laurence Matzek presenting 50 year membership award to Howard Schlamb of Chilliwack Roofing WINTER 2013-14

Ivan van Spronsen also presented incoming president Colin Rasmussen with the Stan Gregorowich Award in recognition of his long-time commitment to education in the industry. Francis Gallichan of Alpha Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., Kamloops, was awarded the Douglas Grant Kilpatrick Memorial Award for Sportsmanship. Former RCABC Executive Vice President Brian Hofler was named to the Honorary Council of the RCABC; and Michael Stewart of Roofmart Pacific Ltd. received the Douglas McLean Memorial Award for exceptional contribution to the industry by an Associate Member. ■

Ivan van Spronsen presenting Michael Stewart with the Douglas McLean Memorial Award for exceptional contribution to the industry by an Associate Member ROOFING BC

to be durable without incorporating sustainable properties. In other words, it provides the guidelines for a durable and sustainable roofing system. “Replacing a failed roof and damaged building contents and structure creates an environmental burden,” said Olson. “Current sustainability trends such as use of roofs for open/paved space, vegetation, photovoltaics, and rainwater retention, make life even harder for the roof and further increase risk of roof failure if the

roof is not properly designed.” Additional standards in development include: • ASTM WK26595, Guide for Roof System Durability; • ASTM WK26596, Practice for (Product Category Rule) for Preparing Environmental Product Declarations of Lowslope Roofing Membranes; and • ASTM WK29304, Guide for Selection of Roofing/ Waterproofing Membrane Systems for Vegetative (Green) Roof Systems. ■

Jacquie Clancy is the assistant editor of Construction Canada, the official magazine of CSC-DCC ( Reprinted with permission.

New sustainable roofing standard in the works ASTM WK26599, Guide for Design of Sustainable, Low-slope Roofing Systems, is one of the various sustainable roofing guidelines standards in the development stages. Vegetated roofing assemblies are one example of a sustainable system addressed in the standards. By Jacquie Clancy

ASTM International is currently developing several standards for sustainable roofing systems. ASTM Committee D08 on Roofing and Waterproofing’s subcommittee D08.24 on Sustainability, is working on numerous standards, including

ASTM WK26599, Guide for Design of Sustainable, Low-slope Roofing Systems, which will address the process designers use to determine the demands and factors a roofing system must be able to withstand. These factors include weather, foot traffic, building pressurization, and

interior humidification. “This standard will help designers and specifiers design a durable, long-lasting roof capable of protecting the building structure and contents,” consulting engineer and ASTM D08.24 task group chair Eric K. Olson, PE, explained to Construction Canada Online. “The standard places emphasis on analyzing all the adverse conditions the roof will need to endure to help select a durable system. Roofs are unique building systems in that failure places the building and its contents at risk of damage,” said Olson. The standard will address the gap between roofs being designed


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Don’t get the winner’s curse Never break the three cardinal rules of estimating By Tara Landes

Minimizing costs is every contractor’s goal during the tendering process. Too often, contractors focus solely on price, adopting strategies and pricing that can kill the rewards of winning the contract. These tactics can threaten the company’s overall financial health. Break these three cardinal rules for minimizing costs, and you risk losing any profit you might have earned for the job.

Rule 1: Never adjust the estimate to compete on price Let’s define a couple of terms: A “bid” or “price” is the dollar value the customer is willing to pay to buy your service. It’s largely determined by what the market will bear. The “estimate” is an internal calculation composed of three parts: the dollar value of materials + labour + overhead. The estimate, therefore, should be as accurate as possible and cannot be adjusted for market conditions – your costs don’t change. You can make a strategic decision to decrease the profit on a job, but you can’t decrease the

Tara Landes

estimate. Price – estimate = profit. If you’ve ever heard these comments, you’re probably breaking the first rule of estimating: • To the estimator: “We really need to sharpen our pencil on this one.” • To the project manager: “Put in a fudge factor just in case it’s off.” • To the sales rep: “We need to change the estimate for strategic reasons.”

Rule 2: Never make assumptions when communicating with the field The estimator carefully considers how the job will be constructed, including the materials, the labour, maybe even the specific staff involved. They use formulas and estimating templates and also use their years of experience to make the best judgments of how best to complete the job. The thing about experience, however, is that no two people have experienced life exactly the same

final job costing way. It is unlikely “Successful companies helps determine (impossible?) that one person’s gut rarely ‘buy work’ with the degree of accuracy of your feel about how to pricing discounts” estimates and run the job will be the same as another person’s. If the identify patterns that allow you to tighten the process for next time. estimator is not explicit about their There are three types of errors: reasoning, it is unlikely that the 1. Quantity errors: These typically project manager will meet their include inaccurate estimates of expectations. Best practices for the number of hours or amount communicating with the field of material required for a given include holding kick-off meetings, job. developing project plans, and 2. Rate errors: Most often, these establishing feedback loops while stem from inaccurate the job is in progress. Rule 3: Never skip the final job understanding of a company’s costing cost structure. If a company does Once the job is complete, the not have an annual budgeting final job costing should be detailed process, rate errors are almost enough to determine how accurate guaranteed to be a significant the estimate was. It is statistically problem in the estimating impossible for estimating to be process. totally accurate all of the time. An 3. Errors of omission: These most estimate is simply a best guess of commonly happen when well what will happen in the future, and intentioned, loosely supervised unless you have a time machine, it’s staff perform work outside of pretty hard to predict perfectly. The scope without proper

documentation, and do not charge the client.

Have you got the winner’s curse? Contracting can be a bitterly competitive line of work. In lean times, it feels like your competitors are “giving it away” in order to keep their guys on the tools. In prosperous times, it feels like it’s who you know, more than what you know, that wins the best jobs. In reality, successful companies rarely “buy work” with pricing discounts. Instead, they have the processes and systems in place to ensure they never break the three cardinal rules of estimating. That’s the winner’s curse; whoever makes the biggest estimating mistake wins the job. ■ Tara Landes is the President of Bellrock Benchmarking Inc., a Vancouver firm with an impressive track record of helping contractors make more money and feel less stress. She’d like to tell you how. Contact to receive their “Top 12 Bidding and Estimating Improvement Areas.”





There are consequences to choosing badly. Saying yes to the RoofStar Guarantee means peace of mind knowing your investment is backed by the best in the industr y. You’ll access the best materials, the most reliable contrac tors & installers—and you’ll have an independent, 3rd par t y inspec tor on your team: someone who will monitor the installation process and work on your behalf to ensure things are done right from square one. And that means one less thing to worr y about when the storm hits. Roofing: It ’s what we do. | 8

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Housing starts track down from 2012 Victoria – BC housing starts slowed in October following a September bump in activity, reports Statistics Canada. Starts in BC’s urban markets pulled back to a seasonally adjusted pace of 23,900 units, marking a 19 percent drop from September as fewer multi-family projects got underway. October’s drop suggests a softening in construction activity – a trend also evident in September building permits. Following an August uptick, residential permit volume retreated in September. Total volume fell to a seasonally adjusted $513.1 million during the month, down 14 percent from August on lower volume in both the single and multi-family sector. Through three quarters, residential building intentions were about 3 percent lower than in the same period in 2012. A decline in permits to the weaker levels of late 2012 points to a slowdown in new home and renovation construction in the fourth quarter. A slowdown would be consistent with an expected moderation in the resale market and elevated levels of new home inventory in markets across the province. Full-year starts are forecast to end 2013 at 25,800 units, down 6 percent from 2012 before advancing 4 percent in 2014. ■



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Change in effect for polyiso insulation “The products’ physical properties won’t change. Only the way LTTR values are calculated” As of January 1, 2014, changes to R-values for polyisocyanurate insulation go into effect in accordance with the newly updated ASTM C1289-11 standard for insulation testing. The new industry-wide standard used in determining long-term thermal performance for polyiso roofing products brings new testing methods for the determination and calculation of Long Term Thermal Resistance (LTTR) values. “The products’ physical properties won’t change. Only the way LTTR values are calculated will be adjusted,” explained Mike Duchame of Carlisle SynTec, a leading supplier of polyiso insulation. In the new year, the LTTR values will change according to ASTM C1289-11. As projects are bid for installation in 2014, roofing contractors should verify the specified LTTR values and ensure that quotes reflect the appropriate thickness for the new LTTR values.

This change is being made in order to provide a comprehensive approach resulting in increased reliability and consistency in the prediction of long-term thermal performance of North America’s most popular rigid roof insulation, according to a Firestone bulletin. ASTM C1289-13e1 now incorporates two test methods, ASTM C1303-11 and CAN/ULCS770-09, which offer a similar approach to predicting the long term thermal performance for foam insulation materials that exhibit air and blowing agent diffusion or aging over time. Both test methods employ a technique called “slicing and scaling” to accelerate this aging process and provide an accurate and consistent prediction of product Rvalue after five years, which is equivalent to a time-weighted thermal design R-value for 15 years. Based on extensive research over the past five years, including bias

Securing Resista polyiso insulation over a vapour barrier. Photo: Firestone Building Products

and ruggedness testing, most thermal insulation researchers now agree that the results of both ASTM C1303 and CAN/ULC–S770 provide similar and consistent results predictive of actual age performance. As roofing projects are bid for installation in 2014, the specified LTTR values must reflect the appropriate thickness for the new LTTR values (see chart on right). ■


1.5” 2.0” 2.5” 2.6” 3.0” 4.0”

Old 2010 R Value (ASTM C-1289-08) LTTR Value R/inch 9.0 6.0 12.1 6.0 15.3 6.1 15.9 6.1 18.5 6.2 25.0 6.2

New 2014 R Value (ASTM C1289-11) LTTR Value R/inch 8.5 5.7 11.4 5.7 14.4 5.8 15.0 5.8 17.4 5.8 23.6 5.9

Chart courtesy of Carlisle SynTec

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VanDusen roof takes seventh award Vancouver – The metal roof on Vancouver’s VanDusen Botanical Garden visitor centre has won Metal Construction Association’s 2013 award for Metal Roofing. The award recognized the metal roofing material supplied by 3A Composites USA of Statesville, NC. The project employed Alucobond natural Aluminum Composite Material panels — a panel consisting of two 0.020” aluminum cover sheets thermobonded to a 4mm-thick polyethylene core. The roof covers more than 11,000 square feet and includes five petals that radiate from a central skylight. The roof pitch ranges from two to 55 degrees, undulates significantly, slopes down to form a wall and ends at the ground. Metro Roofing & Sheet Metal Ltd. of Langley worked with Houston Landscaping on the “living roof” that was designed by Cornelia Oberlander with Sharp and Diamond Landscape Architects. The green roof areas are covered by a five year RoofStar guarantee. Metro installed the Soprema 2 ply SBS materials for the green roofs, and the metal flashings. Keith Panel Systems Co. Ltd. of North Vancouver

Remarkable roof has taken local and international awards. Photo: VanDusen Botanical Gardens

installed the curved architectural metal panels used on portions of the roof. The VanDusen project has won

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Three-quarter-inch 4’ x 8’ (19 mm x 1219 mm x 2238 mm) sheets of plywood were placed on top of the steel deck. Sheets were attached with 8 fasteners per board to the steel deck using #14 – 2 ¾” (70 mm) fasteners.

Keeping concrete pavers in place Wind uplift testing of roofing systems has become critical for insurance approval, architects, engineers – and roofing contractors Photos: National Research Council of Canada / SIGDERS

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC), in collaboration with Special Interest Group for Dynamic Evaluation of Roofing Systems (SIGDERS), has been investigating low slope roof assemblies for wind uplift performance. In recent years, commercial roofs are being used (abused) as a platform with several add-ons. These add-ons can include pavers and solar panels, for example. In this report, the focus is on the most popular roof add-on: concrete pavers. (In our Roofing BC summer issue we discussed the NRC study looking at wind resistance of solar panel setups.) The complete study, released in 2013 at the 28th annual RCI convention and trade show, was authored by NRC’s Dr. B.A. (Bas) Baskaran, Dr. Sudhakar Molleti and engineer Steven Kee Ping Ko.

Concrete pavers were interconnected with plastic H clips of 5” x 3 ¼” x 2 ½” (127 mm x 83 mm x 64 mm).


Concrete ideas Applying the Canadian Standards Association (CSA A123.21-10) dynamic test protocol, the study looked at concrete pavers as add-ons over a modified bitumen membrane. “Wind uplift forces acting on a roof system can cause severe roof damage. Irrespective of the roofing system, the wind dynamics introduce stresses within the roofing system causing fatigue, which may result in catastrophic failure over time. Depending on the magnitude and frequency of the wind events, this could lead to costly insurance losses,” Dr. Baskaran writes. “For this reason, wind uplift testing of roofing systems has become a critical design consideration for insurance approval agencies, architects, engineers, roofing contractors and manufacturers.” Two separate systems were used

Cap sheets were torched to the base sheet layer of the modified bitumen membrane system.

to wind test concrete pavers on a roof. • System 1 consisted of a steel deck, plywood, support board, modified bitumen membrane (cap and base sheets), Fabrene fabric, two layers of polystyrene insulation and concrete pavers with plastic H-clips (see photos). • System 2 consisted of poured-in concrete composite deck, modified bitumen membrane (cap and base sheets), Fabrene fabric, two layers of polystyrene insulation and concrete pavers with H-clips.

Failed at 125 psf The first system failed at a wind suction pressure of 125 psf (pounds per square foot) [6.0 kPa (kilopascals)]. During the failure investigation it was noticed that the weakest link in the system was the support board attachment to the structural deck (steel deck). The metal plates and fasteners pulled through the support board, causing the delamination of the membrane. This delamination resulted in discontinuity in the load transfer path thus allowing air intrusion into the system. The lifted membrane was subjected to a pressure difference of 125 psf (6.0 kPa). “The H clips maintained the interconnection of the pavers [but]

the whole paver setup was uplifted during wind gusts,” the researchers noted, adding “It should be noted that in cases where the failure of the roofing components led to the uplift of the pavers, the lifted pavers settled back to their original position without any damage to themselves or to the clips.”

Poured in place The second system, with a poured-in monolithic concrete deck, performed exceptionally well in resisting the extremely high wind pressures greater than 270 psf (12.9 kPa). With an air-sealed concrete deck, the air intrusion into the system was completely negated, and therefore the suction pressures were transferred equally across all the surfaces of roofing components (no pressure gradient) without any uplift forces acting on them. “The applied uplift force is resisted by concrete deck and its attachment to the joist, which in this case was the strongest link, thus allowing the system to sustain high uplift pressures,” the researchers noted. Conversely, if any air intrusion into the system occurs, it can break the load transfer path within the system components, and their response might induce significant uplift movements of the pavers.

This has been evident in System 1, which demonstrated the necessity for air tightness in the system at the deck level. When testing a roofing system for dynamic wind uplift performance, many component details and construction methodologies are considered. Some considerations for component details include the deck type, deck attachment, insulation compressive strength, membrane tensile strength, and air permeability (leakage) of the individual components and the roof system collectively. For this reason the reported wind uplift ratings from this study only applies to systems built at the NRC in the manner described in this report. Takeaway: Preventing air intrusion into the assembly is a key factor for concrete pavers to be durable against wind uplift. ■ SIGDERS was formed from a group of partners who were interested in roofing design. These partners included: Atlas Roofing Corporation, Canadian General-Tower Ltd., Canadian Roofing Contractors’ Association, Carlisle SynTec Incorporated, Chemlink, Dow Roofing Systems, Duro-Last Roofing, Inc., Exp, Firestone Building Products Company, GAF-Elk Materials Corporation, IKO Industries Ltd., National Roofing Contractors Association, OMG Roofing Products, RCI, Inc., Roxul, Sika Sarnafil, Soprema Canada Inc., Tremco Inc., and Trufast Corporation.

View of roof assembly during dynamic wind testing, inside the wind machine. The concrete pavers began lifting at 125 pounds per square foot.

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Taking no chances Maple Ridge’s new casino covered by RoofStar guarantee

Green roof over a Soprema membrane includes a selection of hardy plants and flowers. The plantings are along the roof perimeter, in bands from 5 feet to 20 feet wide. Photos: Durante Kreuk Ltd.

Lady luck may be popular inside the new Chances Gaming Centre in Maple Ridge, but the owner took no chances on the roof for the 27,500-square-foot casino that officially opened in November. Rendering shows exterior of new Chances Gaming Centre. Photo: Chris Dikeakos Architects The roof, partially installed with plantings, is covered by a five-year RoofStar guarantee, assuring trouble-free coverage for years. Cascade Roofing & Waterproofing Inc. of Chilliwack installed Soprema Soprafix, a highperformance, double-layer waterproofing system for the main roofing material. Soprafix is mechanically fastened directly on the insulation panels with screws and end plates, and a heat-welded cap sheet. A Soprema green roof membrane was installed for the green roofing system around the roof perimeter. Roughly half the perimeter is edged with green roof, with the perimeter bands ranging in width from 5 feet to 20 feet. “The plant material was installed in rows, using a combination of helictotrichon, rudbeckia, calamagrostis, carex and achillea plantings,” explained landscape architect Dylan Chenoff of Durante Kreuk Ltd. (In layman’s terms, that is hardy grasses and flowers.) Calysta Consulting of Abbotsford acted as the roofing consultant. Among a number of Chances-brand casinos being developed by Great Canadian Casinos, Chances Maple Ridge was designed by Chris Dikeakos Architects Inc., and was built by general contractor Capo Construction. ■



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Tips for cold weather SBS applications Roofing Expo readies with new leader Raleigh, NC – Cold “equiviscous weather calls for special temperature” (EVT), handling and application which is the temperature of styrene butadiene at which asphalt has the styrene (SBS) modified viscosity similar to olive bitumen, cautions SBS oil. Notes Goodrum, “The expert Kirk Goodrum in viscosity of mopping the latest issue of the asphalt increases at an RCI’s Interface journal. exponential rate: it can The research and go from the consistency technical development of olive oil to molasses in manager at Siplast notes minutes or seconds, that “installation and depending on the storage techniques” weather conditions.” should change when the • When using cold Photos: Topside Consulting (2004) Ltd./ D.M. Henderson Roofing Ltd. temperature falls below adhesives, follow the 10 degrees Celsius (50 manufacturer’s to facilitate uniform adhesion. degrees Fahrenheit). recommendations for cold Allow the cut sheets to lie flat The following are some tips for weather applications. When outside for 15 minutes to allow installing SBS in colder weather: installing the membrane, apply the membranes “to acclimate and • Adhesives and roll goods should consistent pressure to ensure relax.” be stored in a warm place. uniform contact between the • When using heated asphalt as an • In cold weather, torch-grade membrane and the adhesive, adhesive, do not overheat the systems are the most forgiving because the membranes will be asphalt as this can damage the and offer the best results. stiffer in cold weather. ■ asphalt, change its physical • If the system will be applied properties and is a fire using hot asphalt or cold process, risk. cut the sheets in halves or thirds Type 3 and Type 4 are the most commonly used asphalts for application of SBS modified bitumen membranes. Such asphalt should be at a minimum of 204 degrees Celsius (400˚F) when it makes contact with the membrane. • Apply (mop) the heated asphalt no more than four feet ahead of the roll. • Be aware of the

Dallas, TX – The giant International Roofing Expo will be held in February in Las Vegas, Nevada featuring a new show director. Tracy Garcia, an industry trade show veteran, was named to the post recently. She succeeds Lindsay Roberts, who has served as the Roofing Expo Show Director since 2010. Tracy Garcia The 2014 International Roofing Photo: Hanley Woods Expo will be held February 26-28, 2014, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. For information, visit or call 972-536-6415 or 800-684-5761. ■ Shape Properties plans to build up to 11 towers around a central plaza in a multi-year expansion of its Brentwood Town Centre mall site in Burnaby. Photo: Shape Properties

Brentwood site cited for new town centre Burnaby – Shape Properties plans to transform its Brentwood Town Centre shopping centre with some of the tallest residential towers in BC and a new 500,000-square-foot outdoor shopping centre and plaza. Darren Kwiatkowski, executive vice president of Shape Properties, says that the 28-acre site presents a rare mixed-use opportunity directly on a Skytrain line. Shape has already begun work on the site. The plan includes two highrise apartment buildings of 60 storeys each, but these specific towers have yet to complete public hearings and achieve municipal approval. A further nine towers are planned in a project that could take 20 years to build out. The City of Burnaby identified Brentwood 10 years ago as one of the town centres ripe for redevelopment, according to Kwiatkowski, and the Town Centre master plan received civic approval in September. ■

Firestone announces new GM



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Firestone Building Products Company has announced that Olivier Denis has been promoted to General Manager – Canada. He previously held the position of International Market Manager in the Brussels, Belgium, office, and relocated to Mississauga, Ontario. Denis has overall responsibility for directing day-to-day operations, setting strategy and providing leadership to the Canadian team. Denis has more than 20 years of industry experience, including 12 years in managerial roles at Firestone. His experience includes enhancing profitability and market share, building strong sales

organizations and developing marketing strategy. Olivier holds a Master’s degree in Commercial and Finance Science from ICHEC in Brussels. He speaks French, English and Dutch. He can be reached at 905-3633144 or via email at ■ ROOFING BC

Boundary Bay Industrial Park will boast the largest industrial space in Metro Vancouver. Photo: Dayhu Group

Industrial builders target Delta Delta – The Boundary Bay Industrial Park is set to become greater Vancouver’s largest new industrial development – and the largest roofing project in the region – when Phase I completes in 2014. The 47-acre project, by real estate development company Dayhu, will boast warehouse spaces upwards of 900,000 square feet. “We’re effectively the only option under construction that can offer contiguous space of this magnitude,” says Paul Tilbury, COO of The Dayhu Group. According to CBRE’s Chris MacCauley, there isn’t a single option right now in Vancouver for companies in need of warehouse

space in the 300,000 to 400,000 square foot range. Delta has become the new industrial destination. Triovest is building the South Fraser Industrial Centre, with 277,000 square feet in just two buildings, while Grosvenor is completing a 160,000-square-foot project. Also, Beedie Development Group is finishing its smaller, 120,000-square-foot Tilbury West Corporate Centre this year. Hindered by a lack of land, Metro Vancouver has historically been less competitive in attracting big users compared with Calgary, Toronto and the US. But with the expansion of Port Metro Vancouver and the continued growth trade, the shortage of industrial space has

BCREA sees commercial strengthening Vancouver – The BC Real Estate Association is forecasting stronger commercial construction for 2014, based on its “commercial leading indicator.” The indicator is running 0.8 percent above the same period in 2012, at 114.1 BCREA economist Brendon Ogmundsen said the indicator, which tracks retail sales and office employment, points to “an improving economy and stronger commercial real estate action in 2014.” The recovery would be welcomed. While total non-residential construction permits in BC increased in September from August, the outlook for the year is not positive, according to Statistics Canada. In September 2013, municipalities issued permits valued at $326.5 million, marking a monthly gain of 10 percent. Stronger public-sector activity offset a decline in the industrial space. Volume has generally climbed since the end of 2012. Despite this positive trajectory, year-to-date activity was still down 25 percent from the first three quarters of 2012, reflecting fewer major project starts. Annual non-resident permit volume in 2013 is forecast to settle at 20 percent below 2012’s levels, but remain above levels seen between 2009 and 2011. ■

spurred a rush of speculative construction. Victoria, by comparison, is seeing near zero industrial development, despite an increase in retail, office and multi-family projects. Colliers International reports that Victoria has seen more industrial space given back to the market than leased up for the first time in at least 15 years. This is known as negative absorption. At 4.5 percent the industrial vacancy rate has touched at least a 10-year high, new construction has fallen nearly 50 percent in the past year to 78,000 square feet and 33,400 square feet was pushed back onto the market during the first nine months of last year. ■



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Protecting accessible roofs

Walkpads installed on a TPO commercial roof. The pads protect the membrane and direct traffic flow for maintenance staff and others. Photo: Tamko

Walkpads, hatch safety gates and tape all recruited to protect and direct roof traffic By Dermot Mack

Commercial roofs today are more accessible to more people than ever before. Higher maintenance access required for green roofs, HVAC and other mechanical systems, the use of roofs for solar platforms,


skylights and communication equipment – and for amenity spaces – mean that the integrity of the membrane and safety concerns have become much more pronounced. “It is especially important to take safety measures when dealing with specific areas of the roof, such as access points (ladders, hatches, and doorways) and around mechanical equipment requiring maintenance,”

Notes notes Jim Tierney, Tierney, Building “Rooftop Owner Services access should Manager with be restricted Firestone to trained Building professionals Products. “Extra who are safety mindful of precautions are their also necessary surroundings. in the winter Safety months or protocols and following a products are storm since being driven roofs can be by [safety] as slick after rain, well as rising frost, or insurance snowfall.” costs.” A recent trend Roof hatches should be protected by safety railings. Some, such as the A-Mezz Roof He adds that is the use of Hatch shown here, include self-closing safety gate. Photo: A-Mezz Industrial Structures building owners safety guards Walkway pads often around roof hatches and “ladder Walkway pads can be another purchase up” safety posts on roof hatch essential item that helps preventive ladders. Roof hatch safety should increase safety levels. Walkway maintenance be taken very seriously, and guards pads serve two purposes. First, programs and posts can help to minimize the they provide a non-slip surface from risk of falls. for those commercial The Canadian High-quality products accessing the building Roofing Contractors installed by pros roof. Second, manufacturers Association notes in a will require less the pads in order to safety bulletin that maintenance and actually maximize the roof access should repairs – and fewer protect the life of their ideally be through people on the roof surface from roofs and follow interior staircases, wear and warranty and the roof hatch tear associated with guidelines. “There access should be well away from individuals accessing the is a trend of moving roof edges and be equipped with roof for maintenance away from purchasing guardrails. On buildings where and repairs. Walkway the standard 10 year interior access is unavailable, pads safeguard warranty and investing in permanent ladder tie-off anchors people and roof 15 year or even 20 year should be strategically placed for systems year warranties,” Tierney says. safety. round, but The CRCA agrees, noting A good first – and affordable – these are that high-quality products step is to use brightly coloured also installed by pros will require safety tape and markings around ideal roof perimeters and hazards. These less maintenance and repairs – for products serve to create a safety and fewer people on the roof. ■ the winter zone around the roof edge, months as they can be mechanical equipment, and other Reflective safety tape manufactured to display cold hazards by visually drawing can mark off roof edges and other potential hazards. Photo: 3M flexibility. attention to these areas. WINTER 2013-14


Victoria’s secret A building boom is underway in the city after five years of slow construction By Dermot Mack

of The Rise of the Creative Class].” Even as multi-billion dollar shipbuilding contracts fire up, a new wave of high-rise housing ascends and the airport expands to meet international demand, Gislason says lifestyle will remain Victoria’s economic trump card. A $3.3 billion federal shipbuilding contract alone will provide decades of employment at Esquimalt’s Victoria Shipyards where finishing and maintenance work will be done on non-combat vessels and smaller ships. Such investments have further spurred $1.2 billion in residential and commercial developments. The construction projects include the $100 million mixed-use Eagle Creek by Vancouver-based Omicron on a 10-acre site across from Victoria General Hospital. Now underway, it will include 190,000 square feet of retail and offices and 160 homes. Meanwhile, every major shopping mall in Greater Vancouver is being renovated or expanded. New condominium and rental apartment construction in Victoria was running at more than 100 units

After snoozing for most of the past five years, Victoria has seen its construction pace accelerate heading into 2014. In 2013, total building permits were running 10 percent ahead of 2012 as of mid-year at an average of $52 million per month, but this year could easily surpass that pace. Metro Victoria is the home of Canada’s Pacific Navy, a strong public sector employment base and Jawl Properties plans a two-phased commercial project with a six floor tower in the first phase and a 13-storey tower in the second, facing Douglas Street thriving tourism, which keeps the in downtown Victoria. Note the green roof component in this design by D’Ambrosio Architecture. The contractor has yet to be named. Photo: Jawl Properties unemployment rate among the per month in 2013, with much of retrofit work for sheet metal and the capital region include a $9 lowest in Canada. Yet the real the action downtown where half a roofing contractors. The old Crystal million upgrade to Ecole Quadra growth is being shaped by a dozen high-rises are under Palace is being eyed for a $58 Elementary School; $180 million to knowledge economy characterized construction. million replacement or at least a $6 modern the maintenance facilities at by high technology, advanced One is a major proposal from million makeover. Victoria’s Fire Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt; engineering, clean energy and two Jawl Properties for an entire block, Station No. 1 will be upgraded to and a new $104.8 million helicopter top-ranked post-secondary anchored by the former Royal Bank the tune of up to $18 million. base and buildings at Victoria institutions with the University of building on Douglas Other major projects underway in International Airport. ■ Victoria recently being Street across from City named Canada’s No. 1 Hall, which Jawl plans as Comprehensive University. a mixed-use residential “The Metro Victoria and commercial project. region is really positioning Another is an entire as a tier-two creative and block in the James Bay entrepreneurial centre in area that was sold in North America, very 2013 by the provincial similar to a Boulder, government. Colliers Colorado or Austin, Texas,” International is says Dallas Gislason, marketing an office and economic development retail complex called officer for the Greater Capital Park for the site, Victoria Development and the province has Agency. “We’ve been pledged to lease ranked as the second most White outline (lower right) shows location of proposed Capital Park office 180,000 square feet of it. creative city in Canada by complex near the Legislature in Victoria. Photo: Colliers International There will also be Dr. Richard Florida [author

Green versus white

David Sailor of Portland State University is leading a study atop a Walmart to compare the energy performance of green roofs vs. white roofs. Photo: Portland State University

Unique Walmart roof tested under two-year university study Portland State University (PSU) is constructing a green roof research site on the top of a new Walmart store in North Portland, Oregon and comparing it with a white roof in a bid to better understand how they work and how they can be improved. The two-year partnership with Walmart Stores Inc. will allow PSU’s Green Building Research Laboratory to study the way the roof filters rainwater, enhances energy efficiency, mitigates heat island issues and improves wildlife habitat on a 40,000-square-foot installation. The team will embed sensors and a weather station on Walmart’s new Hayden Island Meadows store along with vegetation. The balance of the Walmart roof will have a 52,000-square-foot white membrane roof for ROOFING BC

comparison purposes. A similar green roof in Chicago will provide comparison data to the Portland structure. “The data we collect will help the green building industry improve upon the many benefits provided by green roof,” said David Sailor, director of PSU’s Green Building Research Laboratory.

The project team includes PSU’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions, which provided funding, along with the City of Portland, which will monitor stormwater runoff. The Cadmus Group will offer environmental consulting while the Audubon Society of Portland will conduct bird counts. ■ – Daily Journal of Commerce

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Courts frown on ‘if-paid’ and ‘when-paid’ clauses “Courts have been hesitant to penalize subcontractors by enforcing this type of clause”

conditions precedent that generally depend on the conduct of the subcontractor, pay-ifpaid clauses are activated by a nonby Chris Hirst paying owner, a situation Those in the construction industry subcontractors have no control over. will have heard of the “pay-whenFor this reason, courts have been paid” clause and its evil twin, the hesitant to penalize subcontractors “pay if paid” clause. by enforcing this Though widely type of clause. “The Court of Appeal used, these clauses Ruling reversed the trial remain Take the Nova decision and awarded controversial and the subcontractor the Scotia Court of are often confused. Appeal case, balance owing” While both of Arnoldin these terms attempt to affect a Construction & Forms Ltd. versus general contractor’s obligations to Alta Surety Co. (1995), where the subcontractors when the owner owner failed to pay the general does not pay that general contractor. The surety in turn contractor, they differ in important refused to pay the subcontractor ways. under the labour and materials A “pay-when-paid” clause (i.e., payment bond. Surprisingly enough, that the general contractor will pay the subcontractor was dissatisfied the subcontractor within “X” days of and sued. receiving payment from the owner) At issue was a clause in the trade really only addresses the timing of contract that stated the final payments; it does not affect the payment to the subcontractor would underlying obligation to pay for be made within 30 days of the work performed. general contractor being paid. The On the other hand, a “pay-ifsurety claimed the clause was a paid” clause (i.e. that the general condition precedent, pay-if-paid contractor only incurs an obligation clause. to pay the subcontractor if, and only The subcontractor argued the if, it is first paid by the owner) may clause was not a condition constitute a condition precedent that precedent but a pay-when-paid excuses the general contractor from clause that only affected when having to pay the subcontractor if payment was to be made, not the owner does not pay the general whether payment would be made. contractor. The subcontractor lost at trial and The issue with a true pay-if-paid appealed. clause is that it attempts to create a The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal condition precedent, that is, a clause agreed with the subcontractor, upon which the entire trade contract stating the clause “did not negate depends. But, unlike other the [prime] contractor’s obligation to

pay for the work.” The court looked at the clause in the context of the whole contract and the obligations it imposed on the general contractor. In this light, the clause only outlined when payment was to be made, and did not constitute a condition precedent. The Court of Appeal reversed the trial decision and awarded the subcontractor the balance owing on the completed contract, $547,857.27. The Court of Appeal also noted that pay-if-paid clauses require much clearer language than that used in this clause, stating that “an intention so important cannot be buried in obscure language that would not alert the subcontractor that payment for the subcontract work was conditional on the owner paying the [prime] contractor.”

Court’s “disdain” Another example of the court’s disdain for these clauses is a recent decision out of Ontario where a pay-when-paid clause was examined in the context of Ontario’s lien legislation. In Bradhill Masonry Inc. v. Simcoe County District School Board, it was argued that the paywhen-paid clause eliminated the subcontractor’s entitlement to a builder’s lien. The owner argued that since the subcontract provided that the subcontractor would only be paid once the general contractor had been paid and since the general contractor had not been paid at the time the lien was filed, the subcontractor had no right to lien. The court had little time for this argument and found that the owner’s argument amounted to little more than a shell game that was contrary to the purposes of the Lien Act.

It based its decision on two grounds. First, the court found that the contract, like all building contracts, was subject to the Ontario Lien Act, not the reverse. Accordingly, this contractual payment provision could not affect the rights of the subcontractor under the Lien Act. Second, the court found that the fundamental nature of the lien right, based as it is on the price of the material or services and the supply of those materials and services to the improvement, could not be affected by the status of the accounts as between the general contractor and the subcontractor.

Despite impediments to the enforcement of these clauses in the courts, it is unlikely that pay-whenpaid or pay-if-paid clauses will disappear from construction contract vocabulary anytime soon. Subcontractors can, however, take some comfort in the fact that an unpaid subcontractor’s rights to lien a project for its unpaid accounts are not likely to be significantly impaired by such clauses. ■ Chris Hirst is a partner with the law form of Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP Vancouver. This column, by Chris Hirst and Norm Streu, president & COO of the LMS Reinforcing Steel Group, first appeared in the October 8, 2013 issue of ‘Business in Vancouver’.

A new food court at Richmond Centre mall was the only non-government construction project to win a 2013 VRCA Award. Photo: Richmond Centre

Public projects dominate VRCA awards Vancouver – The domination of public spending in construction was underscored when awards were presented this past fall for the leading building projects across the province. Ten of the 12 awards in the 25th annual Vancouver Regional Construction Association Awards of Excellence were for government buildings. The only private project awarded was a new food court at Richmond Centre mall, which took two awards. In 2012, public buildings accounted for 10 of the 14 winners, with an 11th being a P3 hospital project in Kelowna. In the 2013 competition, there were 42 total entrants and 38 projects considered. The total value of projects considered represented $1.1 billion of construction throughout BC. The 2013 General Contractor over $40 Million Award winner was an Acciona Stuart Olson joint venture for its work on the Fort St. John Hospital and Residential Care Facility. The project also took home the Chairman’s Trade Award, awarded to Flynn Canada Ltd. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Larry Mierau of Mierau Contractors Ltd. ■

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RBC Winter2013 - 14  

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