SERVING THE CONSTRUCTION & INFRASTRUCTURE INDUSTRY October/November 2009
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Building Strategies Volume 4 Number 3 • Oct/Nov 2009 Publisher | Paul Murphy
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FEATURES 07 Project Profile Building Strategies looks at the top 10 projects to breakgroundin2009,eachofwhichwilltransform the landscape of Ontario and contribute to the province’s future economic success.
34 Enterprising Canadians Awardedfirstplaceinaninternationalaffordable seniorshousingideasdesigncompetition,Burka Architects’GenerationsLivingconceptenvisions multiple generations living under one roof.
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06 Editor’s Note A Change of Seasons
Infrastructure The Sleeping Giant Building for Tomorrow Risk under P3 Transaction 26 Skills Training & Education The Next Generation Partnering to Advance Training A Deadly Practice 29
Steel Raising the Roof The Renewable Construction Resource 2009 Ontario Steel Design Awards
16 Legal File Developing Legal Knowledge Sponsored by Glaholt LLP 18
Environment Corner China’s Toxic Harvest Sponsored by Tri-Phase Environmental Inc.
20 Engineering Forum The Evolution of Building Science Sponsored by Manulife Financial
October/November 2009 5
A Change of Seasons
Autumn is one of my favourite of the four seasons. The leaves on the trees change crimson red, yellow and gold before falling to the ground. Short sleeve ‘Ts’ are swapped for warm sweaters and fall jackets. And there’s no shortage of rustic root vegetables as it’s harvest time. As the weather cools and the days grow shorter, people often feel the need to hunker down in anticipation of the long winter ahead. While this year the opposite is true for me it’s no different for Building Strategies’ publisher, Paul Murphy, who recently welcomed a new addition to his family. Weighing in at seven pounds, baby Charlotte was born Oct. 9 to wife Mary K. This is the second child for the couple whose son, Noah, was born in March 2007. While Paul and his family were busy readying for their new arrival — stocking up on all the essentials and preparing for the first few weeks with baby — my fiancé and I delved into the world of house hunting. Just over a month in — and one house lost in a multiple offer situation — the two of us have come to realize finding (and buying) a house is hard work. It also doesn’t help that the real estate market is hot again. The Toronto Real Estate Board reported sales in October were up 64 per cent from the same month last year. The average price of a home also increased, up by 20 per cent compared to October 2008. These housing market numbers are a good indication the recession is over, which is good news for the Canadian construction industry. Though some sectors saw employment gains associated with increased government infrastructure spending this year, others experienced employment losses. In Ontario, the construction industry weathered the economic downturn better than many other industries. Non-residential construction in the province fell by three per cent in the past year, however, institutional construction increased by approximately 12 per cent due to a surge in government stimulus spending. Of the top 10 projects to begin construction this year — ranked by Building Strategies — half are considered institutional (by definition). Ranked number one by dollar value is the Niagara Health Care Complex, a new state-of-the-art hospital in west St. Catharines, Ont., estimated at $759 million. You can read about it and the other projects that made our list beginning on page 7. Following our “project profile” is our regular infrastructure feature. Here you’ll read about Canada’s infrastructure deficit, the Province of Ontario’s Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) model, which uses private financing to strategically rebuild vital infrastructure, as well as effective risk management for public-private partnership projects. Rounding out this issue is our industry focuses on skills training and education and steel construction. We also pay homage to the seven projects recognized by the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction at the 19th annual Ontario Steel Design Awards. Clare Tattersall Editor-in-Chief
6 Building Strategies
Simply the Best Top 10 projects to break ground in 2009 As 2009 draws to a close it is apparent that Ontario’s construction industry has weathered the economic downturn better than many other industries. In fact, some construction sectors saw employment gains associated with increased government infrastructure spending. Of the top 10 projects to begin construction this year — ranked by Building Strategies — most received some sort of government funding and will create local employment opportunities for engineers, architects, trades people and technicians. These projects will also serve as an economic stimulus following construction, providing jobs for thousands and, in some regions, fostering other developments. Here, Building Strategies looks at these ‘groundbreaking’ undertakings, each of which will transform the Ontario landscape aesthetically and contribute to the province’s future economic success.
Niagara Health Care Complex
To be located on a 32-acre section of a 40-acre site at First Street and Fourth Avenue in west St. Catharines, Ont., the new health care complex will replace the aging St. Catharines General site and Ontario Street site (formerly the Hotel Dieu Hospital). Serving residents of St. Catharines, Thorold, Niagara-on-the-Lake and surrounding communities, it will offer a full range of acute care, surgical, emergency, mental health and ambulatory services under one roof. The facility will include up to 375 beds and state-of-the-art operating suites, feature 80 per cent single patient rooms — the most available in a community hospital in Ontario — and provide new regional services never before available in the Niagara region, including comprehensive cancer care at the Walker Family Cancer Centre along with facilities to support patients with heart disease and longer term mental health issues. It will also act as the hub for regional dialysis services. The centerpiece of the complex will be a fivestorey, 970,000-square-foot patient-focused building with healing gardens, ponds and walking paths. Upon walking through the two-storey glass entryway, visitors will find corridors with external views (to aid in wayfinding and reduce overall anxiety), inpatient rooms enhanced with natural light, which contributes to the well-being of individuals, and small rest areas, alcoves and family rooms that provide places of respite. Designed to achieve LEED certification, the new facility will promote a healing atmosphere while minimizing its ecological footprint. Sustainable initiatives include: diversion of 75 per cent of construction waste from landfill by recycling and reusing materials; implementation of a program to prevent the loss of valuable topsoil during construction by storm water runoff and wind erosion; measures to reduce the impact of dust
and other on-site pollutants on the surrounding community; energy-efficient lighting, cooling and heating, which will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions; water-efficient plumbing fixtures that are projected to reduce potable water use by 20 per cent; and the use of interior materials (paint, carpets, adhesives, sealants and wood products) that emit low or no volatile organic compounds, which can have a negative affect on indoor air quality and potentially harm occupants. Materials native to the area such as stone and brick will also be used to enhance the building exterior and tie the hospital to the architecture and imagery of other iconic buildings throughout the region. When the new facility opens its doors to patients in 2013, it will include a monitoring system to measure the building’s energy and water consumption over time to ensure it is operating efficiently. A second monitoring system will be installed to provide rapid feedback to the building operator for temperature, airflow and humidity levels throughout the facility to allow maximum comfort to staff, patients and visitors. Estimated at $759 million, the Niagara Health System’s new complex officially broke ground in April. The constructor for the project, PCL Constructors Canada Inc., intends to maximize the use of local subtrades and has indicated the majority of the on-site labour will go to tradespersons in the Golden Horseshoe area. PCL will be calling for tenders from pre-qualified subcontractors for the project. The majority of tendering activity will take place early next year. This is the largest project to be undertaken by the Province of Ontario under the publicprivate partnerships (P3) model. Upon completion in late 2012, Niagara will be home to one of the most up-to-date health care facilities in the province.
1 Location: St. Catharines Value: $759 million Status: Substantial completion late 2012 Key Players: Niagara Health System, Infrastructure Ontario, Plenary Health Niagara (comprised of Plenary Group, Borealis Infrastructure, PCL Constructors Canada Inc., B+H Architects, Silver Thomas Hanley Architects and Johnson Controls), Smith + Andersen, Sayers & Associates Ltd., Plan Group, Halsall Associates Ltd., StructformHardrock JV, Quinn Design Associates
October/November 2009 7
8 Wing/CFB Trenton Expansion
2 2 Location: Trenton Value: $500 million (total) Status: Ongoing Key Players: Department of National Defence, Defence Construction Canada, Buddy Haegel Enterprises Ltd. (ATESS refinishing facility), Dufferin Construction Co. (maintenance hangar taxiway U-extension), Gay Co. Ltd. (material distribution centre)
One of the largest and busiest air force bases in Canada, 8 Wing/CFB Trenton is in the midst of a $50 0 mil lion mu lti-year construction program to update and replace dated infrastructure to help produce a firstclass, modern military. This year six projects were announced totalling $334 million. They include construction of a maintenance hangar for the new C-17 Globemasters, air mobility and training centre, electrical/ mechanical engineering and transportation garage, refinishing facility for the Aerospace and Telecommunications Engineering Support Squadron (ATESS), training accommodation building and material distribution centre. Of the newly announced projects, the two bay maintenance hangar is the largest financially. Estimated at $122.6 million, the 179,000-square-foot facility will accommodate first and second line maintenance, including facilities for various technicians, supply and administrative staff. This project includes an interim taxiway providing access to runways throughout construction, which is to begin this fall and expected to be complete in spring 2013. Second to the maintenance hangar, the air mobility training centre is an $84.2 million initiative that will see the construction of a 183,000-square-foot facility to house the equipment and personnel required to train
operators and maintainers of the C-130J aircraft. Construction of the hangar is expected to begin this fall and wrap up in spring 2011. The largest project in size is the electrical/ mechanical engineering and transportation garage. At approximately 188,000 square feet, the facilit y will consolidate all transportation and electrical/mechanical engineering functions under one roof. Construction is slated to begin this fall with a completion date set for summer 2013. Also expected to break ground this fall is the 38,000-square-foot facility for ATESS, which will provide more adequate space to refinish aircraft structures in an effective, safe and environmentally responsible manner. Constr uction of the training accommodation building will begin next year. This sustainably designed project is part of an overall departmental program to modernize Canadian Forces training accommodations across the country. Currently under construction is the material distribution centre. To be completed by summer 2010, the facility will be added to the east side of the current building, which will allow supply and cargo handling to be amalgamated on the f light line, reducing operating costs and improving customer service.
Royal Victoria Hospital Expansion
3 Location: Barrie Value: $258.5 million Status: Substantial completion fall 2011 (new addition and cancer centre), spring 2013 (significant renovations to existing hospital) Key Players: Royal Victoria Hospital, Infrastructure Ontario, Vanbots (a division of Carillion Construction Inc.), Salter Pilon Architecture Inc., Vermeulen Hind Architects, H.H. Angus & Associates Ltd., Geo. A. Kelson Co. Ltd., Accel Electrical Contractors Ltd., Halsall Associates Ltd., Azimuth Three Enterprises Ltd., Vertechs Design Inc.
8 Building Strategies
Located approximately 45 minutes north or Toronto, the Royal Victoria Hospital is the only hospital in Barrie, Ont., serving city residents as well as patients from Simcoe Count y and the districts of Muskoka and Parry Sound. To ensure timely access to services and meet the needs of a growing population — according to Statistics Canada, Barrie is the fastest growing metropolitan area in the country — the hospital has embarked on a major expansion and renovation project that will nearly double the size of the existing facility and include the Simcoe-Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre. Expected to log more than 60,000 patient visits in its first year, the three-storey centre with its four radiation suites will offer comprehensive care to more than 2,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients throughout the geographic region. Also being built is Rotary House, a residential lodge for cancer patients and their families who live more than 40 kilometres outside Barrie. Envisioned as a two phase development, Phase 1 will add more than 360,000 square feet of new space and include
approximately 90,0 0 0 square feet of renovation to the existing hospital. Project h i g h l i g ht s i n c l u d e : a n e m e r g e n c y department that will triple in size and have a trauma unit, isolation ward and mental health crisis team; an expanded laborator y ; a diagnostic imag ing department that will double in size to increase patient flow and privacy; two additional operating rooms that are larger than existing suites for complex surgeries; a dedicated seven-bed coronary care unit for critically ill cardiac patients; and 101 additional inpatient beds. Const r uct ion of t he a mbit ious redevelopment — the largest in Simcoe Muskoka history — began in earnest in April, and is expected to provide more than 1,000 person-years of construction work and opportunities for local suppliers. At its peak, more than 200 workers are estimated to be on-site everyday. The new addition and cancer centre are expected to be completed in fall 2011, followed by the signif icant renovations to the existing hospital, which will wrap up approximately 18 months later in spring 2013.
Ottawa Convention Centre Redevelopment
Bu i lt i n 19 83 , a s p a r t of t he revitalization of Ottawa’s downtown core, the original Ottawa Convention Centre (OCC) was an economic driver for the tourism industr y in the national capital region. But in recent years, it had been turning away medium-sized meetings and conventions due to a lack o f c a p a c it y a n d w a s p r o g r e s s i v e l y losing market share and business to other mid-sized Canadian cities. To re-solidif y its position as one of the most successful meeting facilities of its t y pe in Canada, the OCC is undergoing a complete redevelopment. W hen the doors open in t wo yea rs t ime, t he ne w 2 0 0,0 0 0 -squa re-foot c o n v e nt i o n c e nt r e w i l l m o r e t h a n double the f loor space available in the original OCC, offer up to 30 separate meeting spaces, including a spectacular ballroom on the top f loor, and be a l e a d i n g e x a mpl e of e n v i r on m e nt a l innovation and sustainabilit y. Designed to LEED silver standards, the ‘green’ facilit y will feature stateof-the-art roof technolog y with light membranes that will cover more than 2.5-acres of roof, contributing to the reduction of heating and cooling costs,
and an innovative glass system with inv isible therma l threads in the material that will control the amount of light and warmth from the sunlight and coordinate with the heating and cooling mechanisms to reduce energ y us e a nd g re en hous e g a s em is sions. Ninet y per cent of the debris from the original demolished structure will also be recycled, a major portion for reuse in the new building. R ising on the location of the existing OCC site, the new convention centre will be an architectural marvel upon completion in 2011. The core design feat ures a bold, modern, cr ysta l line building that is shaped like a tulip form laid on its side to ref lect one of the most prominent and beautiful symbols of the city. The elegant, predominantly glass structure is 300 feet in length, with an air y, inviting ambience. One of the key elements of the design is the abilit y for v isitors to look out on t he R ideau Canal, Parliament buildings and other h i s to r ic s it e s t h a t d e f i n e O t t a w a . Meeting and convention participants will be visible within the building and organizations will be able to market themselves to passersby.
4 Location: Ottawa Value: $159 million Status: Substantial completion April 2011 Key Players: Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Graham Bird & Associates, PCL Constructors Canada Inc., Brisbin Brook Beynon Architects, Goodkey Weedmark & Associates Ltd., Modern Niagara Group Inc., Plan Group, Adjeleian Allen Rubeli Ltd., Lashley & Associates
Export Development Canada Tower
Towering 18-storeys, the new head office for Export Development Canada (EDC) represents the largest office construction project in downtown Ottawa in the past 25 years. Located in the heart of the city’s business district at the corner of Slater and O’Connor streets, the sleek 520,000-square-foot building will add depth and sophistication to the Ottawa skyline and set a new standard for office towers in the city. A recessed and setback design up to the fifth floor will allow the building to interact with the urban landscape upon which it will sit. Composed of metal and glass curtain wall with full glazing, the exterior envelope will maximize the use of natural light fostering a pleasant work environment for EDC’s more than 1,000 employees who will occupy most of the structure; documents previously filed with the city show it will contain street-level commercial space and three levels of underground parking with more than 200 parking spaces. Targeting LEED gold certification — a third party, nationally accepted benchmark for evaluating sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere efficiency, material and resource selection and indoor environmental
quality — construction of the prestigious structure began in earnest in spring 2009. The building will replace a 100-vehicle surface parking lot and four lowrise structures. Upon completion in two years time, the office tower will bring many benefits to EDC and its employees, including lower operating costs and an innovative design that maximizes functional space with an environment that encourages flexible workspace and promotes collaboration. The design and development stage of this signature project was initiated in 2008. Through a competitive bidding process, Broccolini Construction Inc. and the Canderel Group of Companies were selected to build the new head office for Canada’s export credit agency. EDC, a Crown corporation that helps Canadian exporters and investors expand their international business, has entered into a longterm lease agreement with the joint venture, which will span two decades extending to 2031. Currently, EDC occupies approximately 400,000 square feet in two neighbouring buildings. Estimated at $150 million, this project will consolidate its operations and bring all employees under one roof.
5 Location: Ottawa Value: $150 million Status: Substantial completion fall 2011 Key Players: Export Development Canada, 150 Slater (Ottawa) Inc. (comprised of Broccolini Construction Inc. and the Canderel Group of Companies), Béïque, Legault & Thuot Architects, X-L-Air Energy Services Ltd., Pageau Morel & Associates, Britton Electric Canada Inc., Halsall Associates Ltd., Gino J. Aiello (landscape architect)
October/November 2009 9
Centre for Engineering Innovation, University of Windsor
6 Location: Windsor Value: $112 million Status: Substantial completion March 2011 (Phase 1), summer 2012 (Phase 2) Key Players: University of Windsor, B+H Architects, Mike D’Maio (local architect), JPT Management
The University of Windsor continues to grow and has recently entered its most ambitious capital expansion since its founding in 1963. Part of this includes plans to build a new Centre for Engineering Innovation (CEI), which will help establish Windsor, Ont., as a North American centre for automotive and manufacturing engineering. To break ground in November, the 300,000-square-foot building will be Canada’s largest facility of its kind upon entire completion in 2012, expanding the faculty of engineering’s annual combined undergraduate and graduate enrollment to 2,000. Representing an entirely new university facility as well as a new approach to engineering, it will focus on research and development that will team the university, business and other partners in an environment to facilitate a direct connection between education, research and industrial innovation. The CEI will also provide opportunities for local entrepreneurs in the machine tool, die and mould industries to access qualified people and research to expand and develop their businesses to address future needs of industry. Slated to be the largest LEED gold building in the region, environmentally-friendly
technologies will be used extensively throughout the structure. The CEI will be constructed of recycled materials (where possible) and incorporate a green roof, water recycling, low energy heating and other sustainability systems. It will be a living building where students can learn from the electrica l, mechanica l, civ i l and env i ron ment a l en g i ne er i n g s y stems displayed throughout the structure. Construction of the ‘green’ facility will take part in two stages. To be completed in spring 2011, Phase 1 will focus on learning and include a manufacturing courtyard and laboratories. Scheduled for completion the following year, Phase 2 will include office and classrooms and focus on research and development, systems management, valueadded technologies and leadership inspiration. The university has begun to call for tenders on the project, which will provide a boost to the local construction industry, generating more than 1,600 jobs over a three-year period. As well, the CEI will help Ontario maintain its position as one of the leading global intellectual centres in the environmental and automotive sectors.
Niagara Health & Bioscience Research Complex, Brock University
7 Location: St. Catharines Value: $111 million Status: Substantial completion March 2011 Key Players: Brock University, Ellis Don Corp., Architects Alliance, Crossey Engineering Ltd., Halsall Associates Ltd., PMA Landscape Architects Ltd.
10 Building Strategies
Bringing together research and industry, the Niagara Health and Bioscience Research Complex (NHBRC) at Brock University will play a key role in advancing Canada’s science and technology infrastructure. In addition to world-class work by researchers in areas like cancer, infectious diseases, biotechnology and green chemistry, the sophisticated facility will house Canada’s only research-dedicated level three containment laboratory, providing safeguards against inhalation of infectious and disease-causing agents, and a business incubator for entrepreneurs to capitalize on the innovative research and knowledge transfer undertaken at the complex. Brock faculty have to date initiated more than seven independent companies based on their research, not including spin-offs created by graduate students. Located at the university’s St. Catharines campus, the new 169,000-square-foot facility is being built to meet increasing demand for a Brock education and provide much-needed teaching and learning space with the ability to accommodate 400 students, visiting and current faculty, scientists and researchers. The innovative complex will house the following laboratories, research facilities and office space: synthetic chemistry laboratory; applied health sciences, biotechnology and biology laboratory space; vivarium; phytotron (enclosed greenhouse); photophysical science laboratory; teaching
laboratories; computer teaching space; and Department of Child and Youth Studies laboratory space. It will also include the new Centre of Innovation for Biomanufacturing, where leading researchers will advance k nowle d g e i n hu ma n he a lt h c a re , pharmaceutical drugs, green science and the development of value-added agricultural and horticultural crops. Upon completion, the centre will help move jobs in the province from traditional manufacturing to profitable green opportunities as Canada’s knowledge economy continues to develop. Research and teaching facilities for the Niagara campus of the Brock-McMaster Medical Education Centre will also be incorporated into the innovative complex. The McMaster University faculty of medicine will locate its undergraduate medical students at the Niagara campus with the goal of addressing the chronic shortage of physicians in the region. Targeting a certified rating or higher on the LEED scoring system, the NHBRC will be developed based on principles of sustainability and quality environments. Upon completion of the first phase in 2011, the new complex will support the university’s vision for quality stateof-the-art facilities with innovative design, quality materials and sustainable systems. A groundbreaking ceremony in September kicked off construction of the $111 million project.
Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario
With more than 1,000 students currently dispersed across five different locations, including one off-campus building, its PhD program having tripled in size over the last decade and its world-renowned undergraduate program expected to double in size by 2013, the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario urgently needs a new consolidated facility with 60 per cent more space than what’s currently available to bring its faculty, students and business leaders together and accommodate strong enrollment growth. This is the impetus for the $100 million building project to house the school, which is being built on the west side of Western Road in front of Brescia University College in London, Ont. Situated on a site where soccer pitches were previously located, the federal and provincial governments have provided $50 million in infrastructure support for the first phase of the striking three-storey structure. Phase 2 — also valued at $50 million — is supported by $22.5 million from the university and $27.5 million raised by Ivey fundraisers. In September, the school received a large donation from the Ivey family of which $5 million will be used to
ensure the structure achieves a gold level LEED certification from the Canadian Green Building Council. To use the greenest technology and be as environmentally friendly and energy efficient as possible, the 235,000-square-foot glass and cut-stone structure will be the second LEED-certified building on campus. The building project will also be the university’s largest and one of the biggest in the city’s history, providing almost 600 jobs in Ontario — more than half in London — over the next year and approximately 200 jobs during the second portion of the project. Planning for the unnamed new building began in 2005, when the school launched a comprehensive strategy for growth, including identification of the need for additional space. The intensity ramped up in January 2008, when a task force conducted a review to ensure the new building would be on par with top business schools in Canada and internationally. Construction officially got underway in August, with Phase 1 slated to be complete in March 2011. While crews are facing an aggressive construction schedule the university is now beginning to look at uses for the current building.
8 Location: London Value: $100 million Status: Substantial completion March 2011 Key Players: Ellis Don Corp., Hariri Pontarini Architects, Smith + Anderson Consulting Engineering, Halcrow Yolles, Janet Rosenberg & Associates
Ontario Realty Corporation Office Building Retrofit
To be undertaken at the former head office of Sears Canada, the iconic building at 222 Jarvis St. in downtown Toronto is believed to be among the largest retrofits in North America. Headed by the Ontario Realty Corp. on behalf of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, the project building will also be a signature green building for the provincial government upon completion in spring/summer 2011. Estimated at $100 million, the project involves the retrofit and modernization of the inverted pyramid-shaped property, which includes base building upgrades. The design and construction will adhere to the guidelines and sustainability principles set forth within the LEED rating system, with a goal of achieving a LEED gold standing. Sustainable measures include recycling of existing materials, a grey water treatment system, high efficiency windows and curtain wall, the efficient use of space to maximize natural light, daylight and occupancy sensors for optimal lighting control, state-of-the-art IT infrastructure, wireless infrastructure and tele-presence technology to reduce the need to travel to meetings, less parking and provisions for bicycle storage with showers and change rooms to encourage ‘green’ commuting. A green roof and solar energy are also being considered.
The retrofit of 222 Jarvis St. is the first step in the Toronto Accommodation Plan, an Ontario government infrastructure initiative to retrofit a number of public buildings in the cit y. It w il l create approximately 1,000 jobs and lead to a greener, more efficient and sustainable workplace for the Ontario public service. Built in 1971, 222 Jarvis St. was acquired in 2007 by the Ontario Realty Corp., which manages one of the largest real estate portfolios in the country on behalf of the Ontario government, consisting of approx i mately 6 , 50 0 bu i ld i ng s a nd structures, more than 100,000 acres of land and approximately 50 million square feet of space (both owned and leased across the province). The building sits on a three-acre lot and is comprised of a ninestorey commercial building of approximately 455,000 rentable square feet, 250 sub-grade parking spaces and two surface parking lots. It was once connected to the adjacent building, a former department store warehouse that has since been converted into lofts. The Ontario government is showcasing 222 Jarvis St. as a model to illustrate older buildings can be retrofitted to significantly reduce a building’s carbon footprint.
9 Location: Toronto Value: $100 million Status: Substantial completion spring/summer 2011 Key Players: Ontario Realty Corp., Ontario Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure, WZMH Architects, Hidi Rae Consulting Engineers Inc., Mulvey & Banani International Inc., Halcrow Yolles, Urbacon Buildings Group Corp.
October/November 2009 11
YWCA Elm Centre
10 10 Location: Toronto Value: $80 million Status: Substantial completion early 2011 Key Players: YWCA Toronto, Wigwamen Inc., Jean Tweed Centre, Bondfield Construction Co., Hilditch Architect, regionalArchitects, Goldsmith Borgal & Co. Ltd. Architects, Lam & Associates Ltd., Nekison Engineering & Contractors Ltd., Jablonsky, Ast & Partners Consulting Engineers, Cobalt Engineering, Ferris & Associates Inc.
Taking up an entire city block in Toronto, the YWCA Elm Centre will be the largest permanent supportive housing development for women and their families in Canada. The complex will consist of three buildings — a main 17-storey tower on Elm Street, named Irma Brydson Place, in addition to 10-storey and five-story towers. It will provide 150 affordable apartments for low income single women and women-led families, 100 apartments for women living with mental health and addiction issues and 50 apartments for people of Aboriginal ancestry, including 10 designated for Abor ig ina l women f leeing v iolence. Fifteen per cent of the 300 units will be designated for women over the age of 50. Set to become a hub for women in the downtown core, the YWCA Elm Centre will also feature several public venues, including a 200-seat auditorium, meeting space for public use, reception hall, women’s resource centre, indoor and outdoor secure play areas for children and their caregivers, a restaurant with outdoor terrace and the YWCA International Boutique, the latter two of which will also provide job training opportunities for residents. YWCA Toronto’s
administrative headquarters will relocate to the Elm Centre, which marks a homecoming for the organization whose founding location was Elm Street House in 1892. The complex will also become the new home of YWCA Canada. An acronym for Young Women’s Christian Association, the YWCA is the largest provider of shelter to women in Canada. Upon project completion in 2011, the Elm Centre will more than double the YWCA’s permanent housing capacity. Currently the only development of its kind in the country, the Y WCA Elm C e nt r e i s t a r g e t i n g L E E D s i l v e r certification. It will incorporate a number of ‘green’ features including geothermal radiant in-slab heating and cooling, a recovery ventilation system, five green roofs and two rooftop gardens, Energy Star rated appliances throughout as well as a tri-sorter garbage disposal system for tenants. The 1848 heritage façade of an existing building on the site will also be preserved. Construction of the $80 million womenfocused communit y got under way in February. The development was made possible by both public and private investment.
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12 Building Strategies
The Sleeping Giant Canada’s infrastructure deficit By Michael Atkinson
Infrastructure has been at the heart of economic development in Canada. From the first roads built to help bring wood and furs to European markets to the development of the Canadian Pacific Railway that made settling the West possible, infrastructure and public support for its development has been critical to the country’s growth. In the post-Second World War period, governments at all levels contributed to the construction of Canada’s modern infrastructure. The bulk of the funding came from the federal and provincial governments, with municipal governments (due to their limited taxation and spending powers) contributing just under onethird of the overall costs. Since then, successive federal and provincial governments have decreased their infrastructure funding forcing governments at the local or municipal level to take on an ever increasing share of the costs. Today, federal and provincial support accounts for slightly more than 50 per cent of annual infrastructure funding, leaving many local or municipal governments with the responsibility for the remainder. But given that taxation and spending powers of municipal governments have not changed since the 1950s, many simply have not been able to keep up with the growing demands. As a result, an estimated $200 billion “infrastructure deficit” has emerged. According to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, most of the core public infrastructure upon which Canadians depend daily — roads, bridges, highways, sewage systems and water treatment facilities — has reached approximately 80 per cent of its useful service life and is in urgent need of replacement or expansion to keep up with growing demand. If governments at all levels do not reverse the present trend, the size of the overall bill may outpace the ability of governments to feasibly fund infrastructure renewal, which will have catastrophic implications for Canada’s economy and future prosperity. In a recent study conducted by the University of Waterloo, professor James Brox found that not only is the national infrastructure deficit growing but a strong correlation exists between declines in public spending on infrastructure in Canada and declines in manufacturing productivity rates, especially as measured against those of the U.S. The study found manufacturing productivity levels were comparable in the mid-1990s but by 2006, the U.S. level was 20 per cent higher than that of Canadian manufacturing. During this period, infrastructure investment in Canada
declined by 3.5 per cent whereas in the U.S. it increased by 24 per cent. With President Barack Obama now considering a further sizeable investment in infrastructure, Canada not only needs to keep up but make up for time lost if it hopes not to get left behind. For the past two decades, the issue of infrastructure renewal has been of significant concern. Recent federal governments have begun to take notice and implement new measures to create additional capacity within local and municipal governments to begin tack ling Canada’s now sizable infrastructure deficit. Starting with the Liberal government of former prime minister Paul Martin, the federal government began transferring a portion of the federal excise tax on gasoline to municipalities and rebating their GST expenditures. In the 2006 budget, the Conservative government dramaticallyexpandedfundingforinfrastructure renewal with the introduction of the Building Canada plan. This plan makes $33 billion available over the next seven years for investments in core public infrastructure, with $17.6 billion of the total going directly to local and municipal governments. When combined with new provincial investments, these measures represent the first tangible steps in several decades to renew Canada’s decaying infrastructure. The recent global economic downturn has further focused government attention on the important issue of infrastructure renewal. To help stimulate the economy, infrastructure renewal and acceleration of infrastructure spending has emerged as the consensus choice of governments across Canada, economists and academics alike. And there are several good reasons why: • It remains the most effective form of economic stimu lus ava i lable to
governments as it produces far more jobs and economic activity than any other government measure, including tax cuts. • It will not produce long-term structural deficits as these funds are part of a multiyear program and have already been accounted for in future budgets. • It improves manufacturing productivity by reducing congestion and pollution and increases economic efficiency. • It permits governments to aggressively tackle the maintenance, repair and replacement of Canada’s core critical infrastructure, much of which is rapidly approaching the end of its useful service life. • It creates jobs today and leaves behind a long-term asset that will be enjoyed and utilized by future generations. • It allows governments to benefit from lower labour and the cost of materials brought on by the recent economic downturn, thereby increasing taxpayer value and reducing the relative cost of infrastructure renewal overall. While accelerating infrastructure spending will, in the short-term, stimulate the economy and help governments address their most immediate infrastructure needs, the funds committed to date remain insufficient to allow Canadians to overcome the legacy of “design-build and forget” that has produced an infrastructure deficit that could be as high as $200 billion. A far more concerted and sustained effort is needed to overcome this critical economic challenge and safeguard Canada’s future prosperity. Michael Atkinson is president of the Canadian Construction Association. This article originally appeared in the January/February 2009 issue of Construction Business. October/November 2009 13
Building for Tomorrow
Infrastructure investment through AFP By Derrick Toigo
In response to the economic downturn in Nor t h A mer ic a , gover n ments have dramatically increased their investment in infrastructure projects. Many jurisdictions have come to the conclusion the most effective way to invest taxpayer dollars is in building long-lasting concrete assets. Through its agency, Infrastructure Ontario, the Province of Ontario has brought more than $13 billion in capital construction to market in the past three years. The projects in Infrastructure Ontario’s portfolio use an Alternative F i na nc i ng a nd Proc u rement (A F P) model, which effectively delivers projects on time and on budget. The AFP model has two approaches to delivery of its projects: Build Finance (BF) and Design, Build, Finance and Maintain (DBFM). Projects with significant renovations and phasing utilize the BF model of delivery because the complexity of these projects and sensitivity to the ongoing operations of the facility reduces the ability of potential bidding proponents to offer meaningf ul innovations to the design. The result, in many cases, is designs that are fully developed and have the necessar y approvals before being issued to the market. The DBFM process for project delivery is used on larger and more complex projects that are primarily “new build” with minimal phasing. DBF M projec ts use p er for ma nce requirements defined by the client or users of the facility to establish the design criteria for the project. This allows the proponent’s design team to develop innovative design solutions that focus not only on the capital construction cost of the project but operations and lifecycle costs for the facility or asset. As opposed to the BF model, where design risk remains with the client, the responsibility for the design, construction and operation of the facility or asset rests with the developer. Satisfactory asset availability and service levels are enforced through a payment mechanism that can be adjusted depending on performance. The key benefit of AFP is the transfer of project risks to the party best able to manage
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them. This requires extensive due diligence before a contract is awarded to avoid cost and schedule overruns. As an example, in a BF project where the design may exist, proponents are afforded the opportunity to meet with the client and identify issues during the transaction period while still in a competitive environment. This includes potential areas where there may be inconsistencies in the design, incomplete design drawings or designs that may not be able to be constructed, allowing the owner to revise the design prior to a bid being submitted. This interaction reduces the need for contractors and owners to carry additional contingencies or risk premiums. Contractors in the BF model have the ability to carry a contingency as part of their bids (referred to as the contractor’s design contingency), which is used to deal with
issues that should be readily observable and discoverable by the contractor. The DBFM model takes risk transfer f u r t he r b y m a k i n g t he prop one nt responsible for ensuring the design meets the client’s needs. The design, construction, long-term operation and lifecycle of the facility must be considered in a proponent’s submission. It is therefore incumbent on proponents to carefully choose a design team, facility operator and constructor able to deliver the project on time and on budget and that is focused on the longterm effectiveness of the asset. The first step for contractors wanting to participate in AFP projects is to understand the model. Contractors should be utilizing resources such as Infrastructure Ontario’s website and trade organizations to gain an understanding of the form of contract, bidding documents and t y pica l requirements noted for the different types of projects. Careful consideration of the terms in the project agreement and responsibilities for each part y allows proponents to understa nd t he r isk s associated with this type of project. Contractors across the province have successfully bid on AFP projects and many smaller firms have come to realize that by joining resources with other contractors they make formidable bidding teams. Contractors should (through their trade associations) investigate the possibilities of forming partnerships with other contractors. The Province of Ontario has identified infrastructure investment as a continuing priority in the coming years. Construction is currently underway on nearly 30 projects, which could not have been achieved without qualif ied and experienced developers, designers and contractors. Derrick Toigo, P.Eng., PMP, is vice-president of project delivery at Infrastructure Ontario, an arm’slengthcrowncorporationthatmanages projects assigned to it under the Province of Ontario’sAlternativeFinancingandProcurement (AFP)model.InfrastructureOntarioencourages participation from developers, designers and contractors,especiallyfromsmallerandmediumsized firms, as it moves forward on the next generation of infrastructure projects.
Risk under P3 Transaction A subcontractor’s perspective
By Mark Krahn & Suzanne England
Increasingly, owners are placing more emphasis on formal risk management as an integral part of their construction projects. Effective risk management is well-suited for public-private partnership (P3) projects because of the added complexity precipitated by the multiple political, organizational, interface, technical and operational risks inherent in this arrangement. Globally, under investment in new capital and deferment of maintenance expenditures is creating a signif icant infrastructure deficit. The reasons for this are manifold but are largely attributable to population growth, scarce resources and insufficient project delivery models. The P3 delivery model represents one procurement strategy to address these challenges. P3 is a generic descriptor for a peculiar family of relationships between public and private sectors, more complex than designbuild but falling short of privatization. Commonly under a P3 arrangement the private sector funds, builds and maintains facilities on behalf of the public sector for a concession period lasting between 25 and 30 years. The private sector recoups its capital investment through a fee paid in instalments during the concession period. Not infrequently, the private sector sells its interest to institutional investors once the facilities are completed. This secondary market has now reached maturity in Europe. The contract between public and private sectors is the project agreement; often the private sector party is a consortium of funders, facilities managers and contractors. P3 transactions tend to be structured so that obl igations and entit lements of the consortium under the project agreement f low down to subcontractors that are collectively responsible for the construction, operation and maintenance of the facilities. At the heart of the flow down of risk is the notion of equivalent project relief or EPR. An EPR clause is introduced into each subcontract and is intended to deflect risk away from the consortium; essentially, EPR amounts to a “pay if paid” condition. The EPR condition is supplemented by an express right to refer clause. Typically, such clauses seek to restrict the subcontractor’s
opportunity to commence dispute resolution until the EPR issues are determined under the project agreement. For all practical purposes, when a subcontractor signs a subcontract it is signing off its final account as opportunities for claims that permit upward adjustment of the contract price are severely restricted. Of lasting importance to subcontractors is their liability for delay damages. In a P3 transaction, the liability of the subcontractor will be precipitated by the terms of the project agreement. The funders’ lawyers will be keen to ensure the damages extracted from the subcontractor enable the consortium to satisfy debt service should its revenue stream be delayed, which militates toward a draconian liquidated damages regime under the subcontract. For these reasons, it is crucial the subcontractor properly plans its undertaking and anticipates the hazards that might transpire. Effective risk management is a ‘cradle to grave’ inclusive process that enables lower overall execution and operation costs, probability-based cost and time targets, greater capacity to recognize and capitalize on opportunities, control of “external” risks through strategic uncertainty management, audit trail and increased resilience to the cascade affect of unplanned events. The following steps are instrumental in establishing effective risk management and increasing a subcontractor’s chances of a successful P3 experience. 1. Establish context. Practicable, risk management must integrate and align with all aspects of project delivery, management, cont ract ing and operations.
2. Communication and consultation. Effective and timely communication w it h a l l i n t e r n a l a n d e x t e r n a l stakeholders is essential; stakeholders should be party to the risk identification process. 3. Risk identification and assessment. Workshops involving all stakeholder g roups or subject mat ter e x per ts minimize the risk of bias, anchoring and assumptions that potentially skew risk data. To bring focus, the limits of the exercise must be clearly defined and a risk breakdown structure used. For each risk, cause must be defined and the risk and effect described in detail. To ameliorate “group think,” consensus around the risk evaluation and risk scoring must be reached. 4. Risk treatment. Action plans must be specific and detailed and individuals should be named as risk owners for each risk. 5. Risk monitoring and review. R isk management is an active, continuous process that requires updating on a regular basis; a project risk culture is a pre-requisite for this. Mark Krahn, PhD, PMP, and Suzanne England, M.Sc., MCIArb, are consultants at Revay and Associates Ltd.,aleadingindependentproject management, risk management and dispute resolution service provider to the Canadian construction,engineeringandenergysectors. For more information on risk management, co n t a c t M a r k a t 4 03 . 6 8 0 . 70 6 0 o r email@example.com.Formoreinformationon contracting strategies, contact Suzanne at 403.777.4901 or firstname.lastname@example.org. October/November 2009 15
Developing Legal Knowledge The foundation for success
By Keith A. Bannon
As it is surely true of all professions, a builder’s professional development should not be limited to its trade. Learning its way around a few basic legal concepts can produce great benefits for any builder. Here are several simple concepts and potential scenarios that may be of some benefit to builders.
Using the Contract Contractors negotiate to protect their legal rights throughout a project. They then secure those rights in an agreement, believing the time to be vigilant is before the relationship crystallizes. All too often, once the project begins contractors ignore their contractual rights and obligations by treating the contract as an insurance policy to be filed away for a rainy day instead of using it as a roadmap to guide their conduct throughout the project. Once the document is signed, builders should make themselves aware of its terms and follow the contract throughout the project. Not only does this practice tend to avoid liability but it empowers builders by making them aware of their rights under the agreement. Contractors must take care to clearly define which documents should comprise the “contract documents” and understand them. Most contracts incorporate documents by reference. Builders should, at the very least, insist on being provided with copies and an opportunity to review all documents that will later be included as “contract documents.” Prior to 2008, all of the CCDC standard form construction contracts required notice be given personally or by registered mail. When using these documents builders should consider adding far more practical methods of delivery, such as fax or e-mail. Finally, contractors should pay attention to their contract’s dispute resolution clauses
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Builders should, at the very least, insist on being provided with copies and an opportunity to review all documents that will later be included as “contract documents.” throughout the project. The clauses may include forms of mediation, arbitration, expert determination or adjudication. These clauses often allow work to continue in the face of an ongoing dispute, preventing delay and allowing money to flow. In addition, CCDC contracts allow for the appointment of a project mediator before a dispute arises. Appointing a project mediator at the outset of a project streamlines the dispute resolution process and gives the parties more certainty throughout. Documenting the Project Contractors should carefully prepare, deliver and preserve correspondence and project documents as well as follow a set procedure when documenting the project and their relationships with other parties. Moreover, a record should be kept of all e-mails, fax transmittal pages, letters and meetings. Furthermore, builders should preserve all correspondence in an organized manner. Having 1,000 e-mail communications from five projects in one inbox will prove difficult to sift through. Maintaining chronologically kept binders for correspondence and electronic folders for e-mails will save time and money should a dispute arise. Rules have been developed relating to the preservation of electronic documents. A positive obligation exists to preserve electronic documents. Standard overwriting practices will
not constitute an excuse for deletion of relevant documents. Pursuing a Claim It is not always possible to preserve a construction lien within the permitted 45-day period. However, all is not lost if a contractor fails to preserve its claim for lien. Breaches of construction trust — another powerful remedy under the Construction Lien Act — remain actionable for far longer. Trust actions allow a plaintiff to recover its loss from not only the corporate defendant that was a party to its contract but its officers and directors. Defending a trust action requires attention to detail because the defendants bear the onus of documenting they have distributed the trust funds properly. Therefore, builders must structure their commercial relationships to their benefit and protect their rights from the outset of any contemplated project. Constantly remaining aware of their rights and obligations and documenting their conduct throughout the project allows contractors to use those rights as ably as their tools to secure the project’s financial success. Keith A. Bannon is a partner at Glaholt LLP, a leading construction litigation boutique firm. ContacthimatKeithBannon@glaholt.com.This articlewaspreparedwiththeassistanceofFilip Gavanski, a student-at-law at Glaholt.
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China’s Toxic Harvest Imported drywall poses potential health, safety risks By Camille Atrache
The issue of toxic Chinese drywall may well become the biggest environmental crisis to hit North America. Defective Chinese drywall emits hydrogen sulphide and other toxic gases that migrate into the indoor air, especially when exposed to humidity. These sulphide gases are alleged to cause serious health conditions and illnesses, such as breathing problems, dizziness, headaches, bloody nose, fatigue, insomnia and eye irritations. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prolonged exposure to the compounds in the drywall, particularly high levels of carbon disulfide, can cause chest pains, affect the nervous system and even result in death. As the sulphur in the drywall off-gases it produces a noxious odour, which does not dissipate. It also creates a corrosive atmosphere that requires immediate attention. Chinese drywall has been reported to corrode metals and cause significant damage to HVAC systems, metal plumbing components, electrical wiring, light bulbs and fixtures, smoke detectors and other appliances. It has been estimated that as few as three sheets of drywall in a 1,500-square-foot space can be enough to contaminate it to the point of making it uninhabitable. So far, most complaints about Chinese drywall have come from the southern U.S. states, where a warm, humid climate encourages the emission of sulfur fumes. In dryer, cooler climates, it may be years before people begin to see the health and safety risks associated with this material.
The Suspected Culprit When compared to its American counterpart, Chinese drywall has shown to contain higher levels of sulfuric and organic compounds as well as traces of strontium sulfide. Strontium sulfide is a grey powder that reacts with acids to emit hydrogen sulfide gas or a “rotten egg” odour when exposed to moist air. Chinese drywall has also been found to contain higher levels of hydrogen sulfide, carbonyl sulfide and carbon disulf ide than American-made dry wall. All of these compounds are potentially toxic and carbon disulfide in liquid form is extremely flammable.
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While there is no conclusive evidence to explain why Chinese drywall gives off sulfur fumes, its composition may provide a clue. Chinese drywall is made with fly ash, a waste product generated in the combustion of coal. The process of “scrubbing” the smokestack emissions creates calcium sulfate or gypsum, which can then be used to produce drywall. In the U.S., drywall is also made from fly ash but the material is taken from the smokestack where it is scrubbed, resulting in a cleaner product. In China, however, the fly ash may be obtained before it makes its way to the smokestack. This creates a “less refined” product. Remedying the Effects The controversy surrounding Chinese drywall relates to products brought into the U.S. between 2001 and 2007. It is estimated that hundreds of millions of sheets of the defective drywall were imported by the U.S., with as much as 929,000 square metres of Chinese drywall arriving in Canada through Vancouver, all bound for Canadian destinations mainly in Lower Mainland, B.C., though there is evidence that some made its way to the Prairie provinces and Toronto. Properties built or renovated with contaminated Chinese drywall cannot be repaired. The only possible fix for affected areas is to have tenants move out for several weeks, gut the entire space and then rebuild the interior. In addition, because surrounding areas may have become contaminated by the sulphide gases, these areas will also have to be removed and replaced. Anything within the space may have been contaminated by the sulphide gases,
so they will also have to be destroyed and replaced. Unlike airborne hazardous materials, such as lead-based paint and asbestos, phosphogypsum-based drywall cannot be “sealed” with a coat of paint. Camille Atrache is chief operating officer and partneratTri-PhaseEnvironmentInc.Formore information,contactCamilleat905.823.7965or email@example.com.
Indications of Toxic Chinese Drywall
Foul, sulfurous “rotten egg” odour coming from walls. Continuous, inexplicable failures of air conditioning coils, HVAC units or appliances beyond anything normal. Black corrosion in electrical wiring in the walls Metal in contact with relatively new drywall is corroding quickly. Severe upper respiratory problems, nose bleeds, headaches or other potentially serious medical conditions. Drywall is newer than 2001.
The Evolution of Building Science Adapting to Change Early research did not focus entirely on the building envelope — everything from acoustics to earthquakes was studied. However, scientific knowledge gradually evolved, with most practitioners today considering the field as “enclosure” science or building engineering. In Canada, the focus gradually shifted to the building envelope when it became apparent its cold climate and wide range of climatic conditions were affecting the comfort and productivity of people in the indoor environment, which was directly related to the performance of the components (foundation, roof, walls, doors and windows) of the building envelope. Canada’s approach to building science also evolved in response to changing circumstances, including demographics, soc ieta l e x pec tat ions of t he indoor environment, innovations in materials and technology, revisions to the National Building Code, advancements in computer technology and the introduction of the Internet, availability of resources and increasing concern about the impact construction operations and products have on the environment. Behold the Future As the field of building science continues to evolve, people’s attitudes to the “science” of building will change; so too will the education and training of construction professionals and the design-build approach. Many predict the complexity of building science and necessity to include it in all aspects of the design, construction and maintenance of buildings will be formally recognized. At present, the industry is witnessing the emergence of a new kind of architecture — “performative” architecture — in which longterm building performance serves as a guiding principle for design and construction. This approach is quite different than the current practice where aesthetics and short-term
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Photo courtesy Foster & Partners.
Building science or building physics are terms that apply to the study and analysis of buildings, construction materials and building systems. Most attention is generally given to the components of the building envelope, with a focus on optimizing building performance and maximizing service life while ensuring the health and safety of building occupants.
Photo courtesy William Conway, Progress Photography.
By Brian Burton
Canada’sapproachtobuildingsciencehasevolvedinresponsetoalonglistofchangingcircumstances,includingdemographics, expectationsoftheindoorenvironment,innovationsinmaterialsandtechnology,12revisionstotheNationalBuildingCodeandthetools at the industry’s disposal.
economics are typically the primary concerns. It involves highly focused interaction between architects, engineers and building scientists who use computer simulations to design the built environment. Some professionals have suggested the concept may eventually be included in the building code in some manner. “Designing buildings that generate energy, harvest water, treat waste, grow food and house people is not possible without building science … (And) building science aided by computer simulation and fabrication will be the key to (creating) sustainable buildings,” says Ted Kesik, a professor of building science at the University of Toronto. “This speciality will likely become the new entry level degree required by progressive schools of architecture that will teach students how to design aesthetically-pleasing buildings that do not cost us the earth.” However, it will do no good to simply train people in this field; their knowledge and skills must be put to use. “We would not consider constructing a building without the participation of a structural engineer yet we continue to design buildings without the input of engineers specializing in building science,” says Dr. Paul Fazio, a professor of building engineering at Concordia University. “We need professionals that can look at the entire building system throughout its service life to ensure maximum compatibility
bet ween subsystems to achieve high performance for economica l ly v iable construction and operation costs.” Building in 2030 What is built and the materials used to build will radically change in the next 20 years. While a large percentage of the building materials used today were invented within the last 15 years, many experts believe more than 75 per cent of the materials that will be used in 2030 have yet to be invented. Also, because of the high level of raw resources consumed by buildings and their significant impact on people’s lives, the Canadian economy and environment, Dr. Fazio predicts society will simply not tolerate the current approach to building in 2030. He envisions a future where a restructured design team, with the full complement of professionals, delivers comprehensive expertise, including building science, in the design, construction and operation of buildings. “New buildings will perform better and consume less,” he says. “Old buildings will be adapted and new architectural forms, materials and innovations will be adopted with less risk of failure.” Brian Burton is the business development manager for CAN-BEST (Canadian Building Envelope Science and Technology). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roxul Grows Green
Weaving sustainable initiatives into a new stone wool facility
“The initial reaction is amazement,” says Mike McLaughlin, vicepresident of business development at Roxul Inc., about the results of an attic insulation study. “Everybody just steps back and says, ‘Wow, I really had no idea that was the case’.” Conducted by Rockwool International, the insulation study found the energy used in the production and transport of Roxul stone wool is recovered in less than five months following installation through reduced heat loss. The study even took into account the eventual disposal of the stone wool at the end of the building life. Roxul is a leading manufacturer of stone wool insulation for the North American market, serving the commercial, industrial, roofing and residential sectors. Along with its head office and plant in Milton, Ont., Roxul has another production facility in Grand Forks, B.C. The company is part of Rockwool, the largest producer of stone wool insulation in the world, with 21 facilities in 14 countries and employing more than 8,500 people. According to McLaughlin, the energy savings offered by insulation do not get the same attention as big-ticket items such as lighting retrofits. “Insulation doesn’t seem to get the kind of press that some of the sexier products do,” he laments. But that hasn’t stopped Roxul from adopting many of those highprofile energy-wise practices at its new production facility in Milton. In fact, starting in the early ‘90s, the company adopted an Environmental Management System (EMS) and began to focus on being a leader in environmental innovation.
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Time to Expand The original Milton facility — Rockwool’s first North American plant — was commissioned in 1988. The plant has operated at capacity since 1998. With the plant at maximum capacity, the company decided to invest $150 million in a production expansion. More than a simple expansion, it would exceed the provincial environmental standards and be a model of energy awareness and efficiency. Isaac Fehr of Graham Construction, which managed the construction of the building, describes the one-year window allotted for construction as an aggressive schedule. “We met that deadline,” says the senior project manager about the March 2009 start-up at the new facility, which includes 14 new buildings and a renovation of existing facilities. However, it wasn’t without challenges. Fehr notes there was an unusually high level of rainfall over the summer while the winter had some exceptionally cold spells, all of which led to delays. “Trying to schedule around the rain is not easy,” he says with a laugh. Playing catch-up meant taking advantage of any opportunity to get the work done — a task made more challenging because the site was alongside the existing, continuously operating facility. Fehr notes crews worked many night shifts and took advantage of one four-day shutdown when construction took place around the clock. “(One of) the biggest challenges on the job was marrying the various parts of the existing structure,” says Ed Thomson, a customer service manager at Steelway Building Systems, which supplied some of the steel building systems for the project.
But because everyone involved wanted the project to succeed, construction went very smoothly. Recycling Production Heat In keeping with the focus on energy efficiency, the expansion provided a good opportunity to include a system to capture heat generated during production for the heating of the factory and warehouses. Jack Silva, the Roxul project manager overseeing the new expansion, explains hot water is used in the production process and following production the remaining heat is captured with heat exchangers. Along with a reduced energy bill, Silva feels good about the reduced carbon dioxide emissions. Reducing Water Consumption Roxul also reduced its use of municipal water. Water used in the production process is collected and reused, reducing consumption by 50 per cent. The reuse of water requires strict quality control to make sure any water reintroduced into the manufacturing process has been conditioned and cleaned. Along with reuse of water, the project included the construction of a storm water collection system so that storm water can be captured for use in production. Silva says the system collects storm water from approximately half the site, including buildings and parking areas, and then diverts the water to underground storage tanks. The system
October/November 2009 23
ROXUL INC. TOR-3 PROJECT
Special supplement LOCATION: Milton, ON, CAN CLIENT: Roxul Inc. CONSULTANT: Sandwell Consulting Engineers Ltd. CONTRACT TYPE: Construction Management DURATION: Apr 2008 to June 2009 VALUE: $48,000,000 SCOPE OF WORK: Construction and renovation of an existing industrial facility that includes all aspects of Building works as required to meet the complex needs of the Roxul TOR-3 project, while still allowing Roxul to continuously operate their existing facility. This project includes the construction of 22 new facilities and the renovation of 3 existing facilities. In addition to the items mentioned above, this project also comprises the completion of all site works including underground services, asphalt paving, concrete paving, landscaping and storm water systems including underground storage and storm water ponds. The new facilites are constructed using a variety of different construction methods including conventional structural steel framing with insulated metal clad walls and structural concrete construction with metal clad facades. The anticipated completion of this project is scheduled for May, 2009
Project Manager: Superintendent:
Since 1976, Steelway has been in the business of manufacturing the highest quality steel buildings across Canada and around the world. From arenas and entertainment venues to commercial and manufacturing facilities, Steelway has helped industrial, commercial, recreational, institutional and agricultural
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will be able to deal with rains like those that hampered construction of the facility because it was designed to withstand a 100-year weather event. Going Green with Recycled Content Along with the green features in the new buildings, the company pursues other environmentally conscious practices. Its stone wool was initially made by combining raw materials such as basalt rock with solid fuel under high temperatures, resulting in the fibrous insulation. Today, Roxul’s stone wool contains 40 per cent recycled material, mainly slag from steel production used along with the basalt rock. McLaughlin points out that the 40 per cent figure does not even include any of the raw materials recycled within the plant. He notes positive feedback on the recycled content from both commercial and consumer customers. “Consumers are very happy to buy green products,” says McLaughlin, adding the interest in green products does not necessarily translate into a willingness to pay more. He explains that on the commercial side, interest in recycled content is driven by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, which considers the recycled content of a product. While having recycled content is good for the environment and an attractive feature, McLaughlin notes it requires diligence on the production side. “We have to be very sure of what we’re putting in through our process.” He adds there is a lot of quality control that takes place prior to production to ensure any slag with undesirable impurities is not used in production. Zero Production Waste to Landfill Roxul processes material leftover from manufacturing into briquettes that are used as a feedstock in future manufacturing. Because the manufacturing process already uses byproducts such as slag from other industries, it is often the third time the material has been recycled. “If there are off-cuts or the line is starting up and there is waste material, that is all captured and put back into our process,” explains Dan Giansante, the North American marketing manager at Roxul. McLaughlin notes that recycling adds complexities to the process. “The more waste you recycle back through the process, the more attention you have to pay to controls because the last thing you want is for those waste products to have a negative impact on the quality of the product you manufacture,” he says. Despite the balancing act, McLaughlin foresees the possibility of eventually recycling used insulation despite the added logistical and quality challenges it would pose. ‘Order in Our Own House’ Beyond these ‘green’ initiatives, McLaughlin describes a Rockwool International internal program called Order in Our Own House. The idea behind this program is that the company should be doing what it preaches to customers: implementing energy-saving measures. “Everything we do now internally is focused on trying to drive energy efficiency,” says McLaughlin, noting savings such as lighting retrofits were already implemented on the original Milton production line. As part of the same internal program, the new plant also has energyefficient lighting. Another initiative is the company’s no idling policy, which
requires the shut-off of motorized vehicles to minimize exhaust pollution. “It’s a hard one to argue against,” says McLaughlin, adding it has not caused any pushback from trucking firms. Roxul also produces an annual environmental report. The 2009 report concludes with a quote by Samuel Bodman, the former U.S. secretary of energy. “The largest source of immediately available, cost-effective ‘new’ energy is the energy we waste every day. Indeed, it is the cheapest, most abundant, cleanest, most readily available source of energy we can access.” Not only do Roxul products help users harvest waste energy, the company has made an example of its own buildings, which, of course, are insulated with Roxul products. Roxul marketing manager, Giansante, reflects on the fact that the energy used in production and transport can be recaptured in five months. “I don’t know that there are too many products out there that can make any claims about recovering the energy used to produce it,” he says. It’s a pretty unique claim — one that can likely only be made by certain building materials.
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TEL: 905.544.6380 FAX: 905.544.3288 email@example.com www.mattina.ca
INDUSTRIA COMMERCIAL INSTITUTIONAL MECHANICAL CONTRACTING ERVICE & MAINTENANCE
October/November 2009 25
Skills Training & Education
The Next Generation Finding a new way to get down to business By Rosemary Sparks
“In my day, we walked five miles in the snow just to get to school.” Every generation hears this or some variation of it: “Kids these days have it too easy.” The difference is today’s youths are not hearing it from their parents but from their employers. And it is not just because they want a drive to the mall. Some of tomorrow’s construction workforce is showing up today with an attitude that is prompting the industry to think outside the box. Young workers want a say in decisions that affect their work and personal lives. But who changes: the employee, employer or both? Rolf Priesnitz, director of apprenticeship programs at George Brown College in Toronto, says the sense of commitment of Generation Y — those born between 1977 and 1999 — is different than past generations. “I’ve had students not interested in excellent job opportunities (and) some who just don’t show up for co-op work placements,” says Priesnitz who has taught young people for more than 30 years. “Their attention spans are shorter and they take a longer time to decide what they want to do,” he continues, stressing not all students are like this but a high percentage are. Terry Burton, manager of construction labour relations for Shell Canada, points out some young workers have never experienced the challenges the marketplace sometimes brings. “In Alberta, one of the challenges of the industry is absenteeism but the work doesn’t wait until someone feels like doing it,” he says. “Delays can be extremely expensive … so people should not expect a 40-hour (work) week as this is often not the reality in the construction industry.” Like many industries, the construction sector is facing a dwindling workforce with the demand for skilled labour over the next decade expected to reach a record high. According to research from the Construction Sector Council, approximately 317,000 new workers will be needed in Canada by 2017, to replace retirees and meet new demand. Though industry stakeholders recognize “Gen Yers” have different expectations, opinion varies on how to deal with them. Romeo Bellai, CEO of Ottawa-based Bellai Brothers Construction Ltd., says that in the case of labour shortages his company prefers to rehire retirees even if it means providing flexible hours and work days to accommodate them. “We are interested in (employing) people who want to get up on time and come to work,
26 Building Strategies
(so) we are more selective when hiring and have a better workforce because of it,” he says. While some employers feel workers need to adapt to the industry others believe — especially over the long-term — the industry needs to adapt to the workforce. “In a few years employers will be vying for these kids,” says George Brown’s Priesnitz. “Things have to change to get more youth interested in the industry and employers have to adapt.” Priesnitz recommends a three-pronged approach that dispels the myth that trades are for the bottom rung of society, encourages employers to be more proactive in partnering with training institutions and teaches a new type of mentorship training. “A tradesperson may understand his trade but not how to teach it. Somehow we need to help journeypersons learn how young people learn,” he says. “Some older journeypersons don’t relate as well as they could to this generation. In their day, they were simply told to do something and they did it.” Shell Canada’s Burton agrees that more awareness by industry stakeholders at all levels is key to better management of this new workforce. “Contractors and owners need to make the environment more appealing with structured learning, such as on the job training,” he says, adding “Gen Yers” cannot be pigeonholed or they will get bored. Other ways to make the trades more attractive to yout h inc lude ta x c red its for
apprenticeships and completion bonuses. Burton also points to the disproportionately low number of scholarships available to the trades compared to other professions. Derm Cain, the Canadian director of the International Union of Operating Engineers, says this new generation and the construction industry “are a good fit.” “It’s all about managing the projects and scheduling the work,” says Cain. “Many (Gen Yers) are not interested in working 12 hours a day, seven days a week for long periods (but) they do like the concept that construction work gives them time off and, in some respects, is seasonal.” He adds the younger generation also likes that the interrupted work schedule provides time to participate in activities important to them. “These young people are very astute, can be very productive and are a lifeline to help us reshape the industry in this country,” says Cain whose son, a Gen Yer, isn’t afraid of hard work but when it is his scheduled time off, it’s ‘give me my cheque.’ “They feel entitled to it. And they are.” RosemarySparksistheseniordirectorofplanningand developmentfortheConstructionSectorCouncil(CSC), anationalorganizationcommittedtothedevelopmentof ahighlyskilledworkforce—onethatwillsupportthe futureneedsoftheconstructionindustryinCanada. CreatedinApril2001,theCSCisapartnershipbetween labourandbusiness.Formoreinformation,contact Rosemary at 613.569.5552.
Skills Training & Education
Partnering to Advance Training
George Brown program prepares non-traditional students for entry-level construction jobs By Tony Priolo
The Ontario college system has a long and storied reputation for its ability to help students find work in a wide variety of fields through practical and applied programming linked to industry. For urban post-secondary institutions like George Brown College in Toronto, access to this level of higher learning and career building is an operational priority as the college looks to provide opportunities for disadvantaged community members to climb out of a constant cycle of poverty and onto a path of job and life stability. In 2002, the college began to look at ways of removing the barriers to employment for those suffering from addiction and mental health issues. According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the rate of unemployment for people suffering from addiction or who have a history of mental health is approximately 80 per cent. Through a detailed review of the obstacles faced by this group and the challenge of finding — and keeping — a job after graduation, the college developed “augmented education,” a jobfocused education and training model based on quality support throughout the training and employment process and funded entirely by external government agencies. Nearly two years after the research began the college joined forces with the CAMH to launch the assistant cook extended training program, the first ever augmented education offering by George Brown’s school of work and college preparation. Through this six-month program, approximately 30 people with mental health or addiction histories receive assistant cook training (as defined by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities) and on the job support from teachers, program administrators and job coaches as they
transition from student to full-time employee. To date, the program has been a major success with graduates thriving in entry-level food preparation jobs with institutions like St. Joseph’s Health Centre and Mount Sinai Hospital as well as organizations such as Thuet Bakery and Bistro, Pan Mediterranean Cuisine and Woodbine Entertainment. With a workable model in place, George Brown and CAMH began to explore the option of providing augmented education to students with mental health issues (past or present) who were considering other career options. The school didn’t have to look far as the college’s centre for construction and engineering technologies already had the infrastructure in place to educate and train students for jobs in the construction industry. By 2006, the proper support mechanisms — both in-house and on the job — were developed for this new approach and the construction craft worker extended training program was born. The construction craft worker extended training program is a six-month, full-time curriculum that accepts 30 students per intake. Students are at school for approximately seven hours a day, attending a variety of theory classes, construction laboratories and off-site workshops and events. During the six-month period, students cover all the material necessary to make the jump from school to a job. Courses include construction site safety, tools and equipment; plans, specif ications and calculations; construction site works; concrete work, scaffolding and hoisting; metal cutting; and field integration, which is specially designed to help students integrate the classroom, lab and work environment with self-leadership, goal setting, critical thinking, problem solving and conflict resolution workshops. There are also
academic upgrading courses available to those who need to brush up on their English or math skills. Upon graduation, students should have certifications in workplace hazardous materials information system, hoisting and rigging, standard first aid and CPR, fall arrest and on-slab forklift. Similar to the assistant cook extended training program, those studying and training to become construction craft workers are monitored by job coaches who work with students from the classroom to eventual job placement in entry-level positions. These support workers play a crucial role in the development of students as health setbacks and other personal issues may become roadblocks during the education and training process. The job coaches are also responsible for finding a suitable placements and providing support during the 160 hours of unpaid work necessary to complete the construction craft worker extended training program. Over the last three years, more than 27 program graduates have found full-time employment with contracting firms throughout the Greater Toronto Area and in retail building centres, such as Canadian Tire and Rona. With a new intake of students scheduled to begin the curriculum in April 2010, those in the construction industry are encouraged to learn more about the construction craft worker extended training program and the value graduates can add to their organization. After all, everyone deserves a second chance. TonyPrioloisprogrammanageroftheaugmented educationprogramswithGeorgeBrownCollege.For moreinformationonaugmentededucationorthe constructioncraftworkerextendedtrainingprogram,call 416.415.2000. October/November 2009 27
Skills Training & Education
A Deadly Practice Live work on electrical equipment By Gavan Howe
Working ‘live’ on energized equipment or circuits is the single greatest threat to electricians and those who work on or near electrical machinery or equipment. Between 1998 and 2006, 503 electrical contact incidents (not accidents) or 50 per cent of the total number were caused by working live. Further, 22 per cent of all injuries were caused by an arc f lash incident, a deadly electrical explosion. Of those injured and killed on the job, more t ha n t h ree-qua r ters were not electricians. They were employed as m a i nten a nc e work e r s , m i l l w r i ght s , labourers, HVAC technicians, equipment operators, supervisors and drivers. This begs the question: Why are people who are not trained to be electricians working live? There are t wo main reasons: The ‘supply’ of those who will work live and the ‘demand’ for people to work live. There are at least nine reasons why people, pa r t ic u la rly men, work l ive including ignorance of the outcomes, peer inf luence and a machismo attitude. Equa l ly, t here a re as many reasons employers, supervisors, property owners and others ask people to work live. Limiting the Supply, Demand for Live Work Two major Ontario-wide programs have been introduced in the past 18 months to address the deadly practice of live work. The first, launched in spring 2008, is the Arc Flash campaign. Created for the Electrical Safety Authority of Ontario, it is aimed specifically at the ‘supply’ drivers of live work. The focus of the campaign is a n ei ght m i nute s a fe t y v ide o t h at illustrates the potential consequences of working on energized or live electric
28 Building Strategies
At the centre of this harm reduction program is an authorization form that raises the serious implications of asking a person to work live, prompting the client, general contractor or engineering consultant to reconsider the request. panels or equipment and encourages workers to disconnect before doing so. Approximately one year later a second i n it iat iv e w a s l au nc he d . A i me d at suppressing the ‘demand’ for live work on energiz ed electrica l equipment, this electrical safety campaign is created to encourage clients to ‘Just Don’t Ask ’ people to work live. At the centre of this harm reduction program is an authorization form that raises the serious implications of asking a person to work live, prompting the client, general contractor or engineering consultant to reconsider the request. The form — a first in the North American electrical trades — also clearly outlines the responsibilities and liabilities that are assumed by each party if an agreement to work live is made. If a client signs this form, it acknowledges it has assessed the haza rds of the requested live work , confirmed the work can be undertaken safely and assumed all risks of property damage. The intent is to create awareness about just how severe the consequences may be of working live; perhaps a better, safer way can be realized.
Job Safety a Two-Way Street I n s ome c a s e s , l iv e work mu s t b e performed, for example, on high voltage power lines where precise safety measures are always in place; however, for the vast majority of situations there is no need for a client to ask someone to work live rather than undertaking the service work with a planned shutdown (or locking out or tagging out) and without other protective procedures in place. There is also no justif iable reason an employee should agree to work with energized electrical equipment and put their lives at risk. Gavan Howe is CEO and founder of Ebranders, whichspecializesindevelopinguniqueriskand safety communications programs. Gavan is currently working towards his PhD in organizational development, building on his Masters research into the creation of highly effective risk and harm mitigation strategies because workers continue to be injured by unnecessary risk taking on the job. For more information,contactGavanat416.363.6591or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Raising the Roof
Properties, specifications of cold-formed steel trusses By Alex McGillivray
Over the last decade galvanized cold-formed steel (CFS) has received praise and plaudits from all sectors of the construction industry for its inherent strength and versatility. Today the design-build communit y is specifying it more frequently on a whole host of different applications. Pre-fabricated CFS trusses are now found widely in schools, banks, retail developments, hotels, assisted living and correctional facilities, churches, office buildings and residential homes. This is due in no small part to the fact that they can accommodate practically limitless roof and ceiling profiles. Proprietary trusses can span up to 25 metres (80-inches) from bearing wall to bearing wall, allowing more open plan designs and maximizing usable space within the building. Essentially any truss design — be it scissor trusses, cathedral trusses, piggy-back trusses, flat trusses or bow string trusses, traditional or unconventional — can be catered for in light gauge steel and any architectural or structural features, such as turrets or dormers, can be engineered. Using pitched CFS trusses on a flat roof is a fast and effective method of adding an attractive roofline to an otherwise uninspired structure. These generally take the shape of full-length, continuous-bearing, ‘aesthetic’ roof trusses or, more common ly, mansa rd tr usses — architectural ‘half truss’ features that give a flat roof the appearance of being a pitched one. These are often used to make a commercial property look more residential or allow the building to ‘blend in’ with residential surroundings. Mansard trusses are also used for canopies, entrances, carports and other such applications. Galvanized CFS is an inorganic material that is resistant to all manner of infestations and
deterioration. Whereas wood has ‘weak spots’ and other imperfections that must be taken into account during truss design, cold-formed steel is considered of uniform quality, formed according to exacting national standards without regional variations. It does not warp, shrink, crack or twist and is not adversely affected by temperature fluctuation so as to compromise the structural integrity of the building. As it is inorganic, it is a material that not only prevents infestations from mould, termites, insects and rodents but does not release potentially harmful toxic gases into the building envelope. Galvanized CFS is also 100 per cent noncombustible, will not contribute any fuel to the spread of a fire and can withstand extremely aggressive conditions. After a steel-framed single-storey building caught fire in Brentwood, Calif., in 1996, research found the steel frame of the structure suffered little to no structural damage. Although the damage to the property was estimated at $75,000 US, it could have been substantially more had the structural elements of the building been of a combustible material such as wood. Furthermore, metallurgical analysis performed on the framing members (both unaffected and charred studs) illustrated the mechanical properties of the steel, even the charred members, appeared to be consistent. Currently available CFS truss systems include site-built, generic ‘C’ section stud trusses with little or no pre-engineering and pre-fabricated, pre-engineered proprietary trusses that utilize a specific patented profile. Proprietary software is used to design and engineer roof profiles that take into account various loads and specific requirements on a case by case basis. In the hands of professionals, these program suites can convert architectural
drawings into reliable, comprehensive proposals for truss packages (including bracing, connections and engineering) in a matter of hours. They can also generate 3-D images, screw counts and layouts as well as cutting sheets and accurate system pricing. The use of integrated software allows for fast production, effected by self-drilling screws that negate drilling holes or the use of a welder. Fabrication takes place in a dedicated environment with job-specific jigs under controlled conditions, eliminating many of the errors commonly found with site built components If space allows, CFS truss installers often prefer to pre-assemble the trusses on the ground at the jobsite. The trusses are then assembled, decked and hoisted into position as a roof section using a crane. This method is considerably faster than erecting the trusses individually at roof level and reduces the need for safety harnesses and tie-offs for the installation crew. If space is limited and the project dictates otherwise, then trusses can be erected at bearing level. With building code changes coming into effect regarding non-combustibility, green issues at the forefront of many people’s minds and the reputation of cold-formed steel trusses continuing to grow, the future of this construction material looks very bright. AlexMcGillivrayisthesalesandmarketingmanager at VanderWal Homes & Commercial Group, a specialistcold-formedsteeldesignandfabrication companythatservicesallofCanada,providingroof trusses,pre-insulatedpanelizedwallsandfloor systems.Formoreinformation,contactAlexat 1.877.251.6875 or email@example.com.
October/November 2009 29
The Renewable Construction Resource Steel recovery strategies to help buildings bypass the grave By Sylvie Boulanger & David MacKinnon
As a building nears the end of its life, steel recovery strategies can result in the reuse or recycling of steel. In the former case, the process involves the reuse of elements of the original structure for another building project, the reuse of the steel structure in situ (which may include a str uct ura l design upg rade) or the dismantling and reuse of the structure at another location. Steel recovery strategies also include the recycling of steel building products (combined with other post-consumer steel products to produce other structural steel members). Recover y st rateg ies should be considered not only at the end of a structure’s life, as it is commonly done, but be integrated from the onset during the conceptual phase. This will extend the sustainable life of a structure and the material thereby honouring the “cradle to cradle” concept and avoiding “the grave.” “Second Hand” Steel “Second hand” steel can come from a steel service centre, a fabricator’s yard or, more likely, a current or future demolition site. Some steel service centres have made it their business to warehouse second hand steel, which may represent 10 per cent of their inventory. The second hand steel inventory consists mainly of ‘W’ shapes and a n g le s , s ome t ubu l a r s e c t ion s a nd occasionally joists. However, one cannot expect to call a service centre, ask for 10 identical I-beams of a specific length and strength and have it delivered the next day. While the major motivation for holding second hand steel is the cost — approximately half the cost of new steel — the possibility of reuse for obtaining Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) points is promising, even if at this point the option appears more fe a sible for sma l ler proje c t s . Through leads from structural engineers who track previous projects and keep close contacts with demolition companies, a contractor can find and pre-select some members.
30 Building Strategies
What about joists? The best chance of obtaining this st r uc t u ra l element is to have good contacts with demolition crews before a building is torn down and make sure the joi s t s a re h a nd le d w it h c a re . O ne suggestion is to find the used joists first and then finalize the layout according to the available lengths instead of vice versa. Also, consider asking what is available to the fabricators involved in the project. The Quality of Second Hand Steel The quality of reused steel is provided by a mill test certificate or results from a coupon test. Any batch of steel produced today comes with a “mill test certificate.” A mill test certificate provides important information about the chemica l and physical properties of the steel. Another albeit conservative approach is to rely on clause 5.2.2 of the steel standard CSA S16-01, which specifies that the yield capacity used to calculate the resistance of unidentified steel shall not exceed 210 MPa. However, the steel will need to be tested if either (or both) of t he fol low i n g c r ite r i a i s r e q u i r e d : weldability and strength. Weldability dictates whether steel elements can be at t ac hed t h rou gh weld i ng to ma k e connections or improve capacit y. Of course, bolting is always an option if welding is undesirable. Strength refers to the yield strength and ultimate tensile strength of the steel. If only concerned about weldability, just the chemical test may be performed. A chemical test indicates the carbon, iron and silicon content, which will result in a n “e qu iv a lent c a r b on” content , to evaluate the weldability of the steel. In such a case, only a small sample of steel is required. However, if physical properties are required, one or more test samples of the steel, called “coupons,” will be needed. A test coupon 300 millimetres (mm) long and between 50 and 75 mm wide must be cut out of a neutral zone, which is an area
where the stresses are not too high and preferably not too visible. One basic test will generally cost less $500 if the coupon is delivered to the testing company and up to $1,000 if the testing company is asked to take the coupon on-site. A typical palette includes a chemical test and mechanical test. The usual mechanical test is a tension test to determine the stress-strain characteristics; for example, yield strength, ultimate tensile strength and elongation. It is important to note the recycled c onte nt of r e u s e d s te e l c a n not b e determined through testing. Traces of certain impurities might provide hints but that is not a reliable measure. With regards to steel performance, the homogenous nature of steel allows the information coming from a coupon test to assess the capacity of the steel within a high level of conf idence of cu r rent standards. Reusing a Steel Structure “In Situ” The ability to reuse a steel structure in situ depends on the condition of the origina l steel, age of the str uct ure, information archived from drawings and whether the steel needs to be reused “as is,” retrofitted to satisfy current seismic criteria or reinforced through welding. Data about where and when the steel was produced and to what standard will help an engineer assess a structure. The steel industry made technological leaps as early as the turn of the 20th century, so steel dating as far back as the 1910s can be reused today though there is some concern about its weldability, which is a function of the higher carbon content present in many of the grades produced around this time. However, higher carbon steel can be welded successfully with slight modifications to standard welding procedures. What can sometimes be more difficult with the steel of this era is obtaining the proper dimensions for calculating its capacity. Fortunately, reusing steel has been relatively common since the turn of
the century and a guide published by the American Institute of Steel Construction indicates sizes, yield strengths and other useful information for rehabilitation purposes. Recovering by Dismantling Bolted structures are very conducive to being disassembled and moved. Fortunately, this is the case for the majority of steel structures where most of the welding takes place in the fabricator’s shop and transportable pieces bolted together on-site. There are several factors that will inf luence the process, including the types of connectors, bracing elements, spans of beams, complexity of the column splices and use of composite construction. Basically, when planning for relocation, use mecha n ica l fasteners a nd avoid composite construction. Steel erection specialists rather than demolition crews are generally required to perform the dismantling and erection of the structure at a new location. This area is rapidly e volv ing a nd a l ready some spec i f ic standards addressing these issues are b ei n g con sidere d by t he Ca n a d i a n Standards Association (CSA). Although designing for deconstruction is not yet an established practice, it has been and is present ly being done for severa l structures. Steel Recovery by Demolition Crews T h e m e t h o d of s t e e l r e c o v e r y b y demolition crews is dependant on whether the steel needs to be cut into pieces for recycling or dismantled for reuse. There are basically two methods to extract steel members for reuse: unbolting the beams or shearing. Shearing involves using giant metal scissor-like equipment to cut the member near the connection or support. This introduces residual stresses. As a result, the member must be further cut back by two to three feet in the fabr icator shop using more ref ined c ut t ing equ ipment a nd t hen a ne w connection material applied. The impact
of shortening the members is that most reused sections w il l be deeper than required, often creating reserve capacity. The Retrieval Process The complexity of recovering steel for recycling depends on the initial site. In general, the skeletal and assembled nature of the steel structure facilitates the process. Recovery of steel from demolition sites is fairly straightforward provided it is not contaminated or no other material is attached. Additional processing (energy) is needed to separate attached materials, which explains why the recovery rate for rebar is more expensive and about half the rate of that of steel beams and girders. Planning for the Future The future of steel recovery is very ‘green.’ In terms of reuse, more work needs to be done with respect to the sharing of information on potent ia l reuse projects and t he availability of recovered steel. At the
moment, reused steel requires a one of a kind individual effort. Howe ver, a l l sig ns ind icate t hat improvements will continue given the many advantages, both env ironmenta l and economical, that recycling steel offers, particularly as it is an “open loop” material. As industry awaits such developments, it makes good sense to involve structural engineers and fabricators early in the design of a ‘green’ steel building as they are more likely to have knowledge of possible demolition sites or other sites (to be inventoried and explored for possible recovery) — an added contribution to a more integrated design approach, better LEED ratings, effective recovery results and, resultantly, better green buildings. Steel recovery strategies will no doubt help a building bypass the grave. SylvieBoulangeristhemanagerofsustainabilityat theCanadianInstituteofSteelConstruction(CISC). DavidMacKinnonisdirectoroftrainingattheCISC. October/November 2009 31
2009 Ontario Steel Design Awards Replacement of Sioux Narrows Bridge
Best Converted Project Owner: Ontario Ministry of Transportation Structural Engineer: McCormick Rankin Corp. General Contractor: MLA Northern Contracting Ltd. CISC Fabricator: Capitol Steel Corp. CISC Detailer: KGS Group (steel detailing division)
Built in 1936, the existing 210-foot long Sioux Narrows Bridge had to be replaced due to advanced deterioration in the original timber truss. However, because the structure was designated a heritage bridge, the project team had to preserve as much of the original bridge as possible. The ingenious engineering solution was to build a steel girder bridge with a timber truss. Steel girders were a natural choice for the main structural elements as they could carry present day traffic loads and be haunched to fit the site
geometry. The timber for the truss was to be salvaged from the original bridge but given the state of decay this was in limited supply. As a result, instead of building solid timber truss members it was decided the timber would be a facing placed overtop a steel skeleton. This made the choice of hollow structural steel sections ideal for this application; they are not only lightweight but have a high load capacit y and excel lent fatig ue characteristics.
Camilla & Peter Dalglish Atrium, Royal Botanical Gardens
Architectural Award of Excellence Owner: Royal Botanical Gardens Architect: Diamond & Schmitt Architects Inc. Structural Engineer: Halcrow Yolles General Contractor: Ira McDonald Construction Ltd. CISC Fabricator: Central Steel Fabricators Ltd.
This elegant new facility serves as both a literal and conceptual gateway to the botanical garden of the 21st century. The atrium, new fountain court and terraced wetland utilize contemporary architectural and landscape design and sustainable environmental technologies to enhance the visitor experience and highlight the local geography. For the designers, steel presented an unparalleled opportunity for creativity. It allowed them to create a roof structure that supports the glazing elements and creates a gravity and lateral support system. Subsequently,
the entire roof structure is supported by a series of inboard cantilevered steel box columns. This eliminated the need for cross-bracing or sheer walls for lateral support. The roof was created by a network of compression and light structural steel members, which were configured to produce a unique custom space-frame design. Sculpted architecturally exposed steel completed the roof by providing the sleek “brow” structure around the perimeter to accept the glazed walls below and complete the transparent envelope and “floating” feeling of the roof.
Clyde Avenue Bridge, Rapid Replacement on Highway 17 Engineering Award of Excellence Owner: Ontario Ministry of Transportation Structural Engineer: McCormick Rankin Corp. General Contractor: Dufferin Construction Co. CISC Fabricator: Central Welding and Iron Works CISC Erector: Ganawa Co. Ltd. Engineered Heavy Lifts: Mammoet Canada Eastern Ltd.
32 Building Strategies
Highway 417 is a major freeway carrying more than 150,000 vehicles each day through Ottawa. Five twin-underpass bridges were at the end of their lifespan and needed to be replaced. Conventional replacement of bridges has a tremendous impact on the travelling public with lane closures and staged construction often occurring over multiple construction seasons. Accordingly, it was decided these bridges had to be replaced overnight with all lanes on the highway opened by noon the following day. A pilot contract was undertaken in 2007 to replace the Island Park Drive
superstructure using rapid replacement technology. Following the success of this project, the technology was extended to the widening and replacement of the Highway 417-Clyde Avenue overpass. This was the first application of bridge replacement and widening involving rapid replacement technology for a major freeway bridge in Canada. The choice of steel was predicated by the need for an optimal superstructure depth and flexible design that would allow the rapid replacement and highway approach restoration to be completed in minimal time during a full highway closure.
Art Gallery of Ontario
Engineering Award of Merit Owner: Art Gallery of Ontario Architect: Gehry International Structural Engineer: Halcrow Yolles General Contractor: Ellis Don Corp. CISC Detailer, Erector & Fabricator of Main Structure: Benson Steel Ltd. CISC Fabricators of Stair Structure: Mariani Metal Fabricators Ltd.
Eight years ago the A r t Ga l ler y of Ontario (AGO) began planning for a major renovation that added 97,0 0 0 square feet of newly built space to the museum. However, the new AGO is much more than the sum of its new squa re foota ge. Its sc u lpt u ra l st yle breat hes ne w l i fe into t he or ig ina l buildings as well as the Toronto landscape. The use of steel is evident in many of the building’s striking features, such as the
600-foot glass and Douglas fir glulam façade. Spa nn ing t he leng t h of a l l previous building additions and rising 70 feet above st reet level, the façade’s s t r u c t u r a l s t e e l s up p or t s y s t e m i s connected by a sliding bearing system capable of subtly shifting as the glass and wood e x pa nd a nd cont ract w it h temperature changes. Steel was also used in the feature staircase that spirals up 90 feet.
Lakefield College School, Hadden Hall
Engineering Award of Merit Owner: Lakefield College School Architect: Diamond & Schmitt Architects Inc. Structural Engineer: Blackwell Bowick Partnership Ltd. General Contractor: Percon Construction Inc. CISC Fabricator: Mirage Steel Ltd.
Lakefield College School’s new student recreation and outdoor education wing represents the most ambitious capital project in the school’s 130-year history. Built and designed to LEED gold standards, the 37,000-square-foot building features a gymnasium, fitness centres, rock climbing wall, study spaces and classrooms. With a recycled content of 60 per cent (at a minimum) and no less than 25 per cent postconsumer recycled material, structural steel
was the obvious choice to express the mandated language of shingle-clad dormers and sloped roofs characteristic of the existing buildings, allowing the structure to integrate seamlessly while achieving large open spans. Within Hadden Hall, the gym features a vaulted wood ceiling supported on steel trusses. Structural steel helped to keep the roof light as well as reduce its depth, maximizing the space above the main basketball court.
GO Transit, Streetsville Bus Facility
Green Buildings Award of Merit Owner: GO Transit Architect: Strasman Architects Inc. Structural Engineer: Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd. General Contractor: Buttcon Ltd. CISC Fabricator: Skyhawk Steel Construction Ltd.
Designed and built to LEED silver standards, GO Transit’s new bus facility in Streetsville houses and services more than 200 buses and has storage for more than 100. Because good vehicle flow and minimal obstructions to view are important features to transit facilities, long spans achieved by steel trusses, with minimum supporting columns, were the structural solution to GO Transit requirements. Tota l l i ng 22 0 ,0 0 0 squa re feet, t he
environmentally-friendly facilit y was designed with flexibility in mind. As GO ridership continues to grow, the facility’s steel structure has the capability to expand to meet demand. The perimeter joist girders, braces and columns are designed to accommodate the load of a new adjacent bay of bus parking. The precast concrete wall panels can be easily removed and relocated for future expansion to allow for an additional 104 buses.
Orlando Speculative Industrial Warehouse
Green Buildings Award of Merit Owner: Orlando Corp. Architect: Orlando Corp. Structural Engineer: William Leung & Associates Ltd. General Contractor: Orlando Corp. CISC Fabricator: Telco Steel Works Ltd. CISC Erector: KC Welding Ltd.
One of the goals for this 328,300-squarefoot building is for it to be the largest LEED certified warehouse in Canada. As such, steel was sourced from manufacturers that were able to provide steel products with high recycled content. More than half the steel used in the building is from postconsumer recycled sources. Recycled steel accounts for 27 per cent of the total recycled content materials found in the building. Steel was also the preferred choice for this
building because of the long spans usually seen in warehouses. Located in Brampton, the facility is predicted to achieve more than 40 per cent energy savings and a 50 per cent reduction in water use. The bu i ld ing incor porates an innovative 1,400-square-foot steel Solarwall. As the sun heats up the steel wall fans draw air through the structure preheating all incoming fresh air, significantly decreasing the energy use of the facility. October/November 2009 33
A New Vision for Seniors Living By Clare Tattersall
The needs and wants of today’s aging population are very different from those of previous generations. Requiring increased assistance (as life expectancy is at an all-time high) but desiring to maintain independence, Canadian seniors living on a fixed income have limited affordable housing options available to them. With the demand for seniors housing expected to outstrip supply in the next 20 yea r s , t he Atlantic Seniors Housing Research Alliance (ASHRA) recently held an international design competition to generate new and innovative ideas for affordable seniors accommodations. Architects from Canada and the U.S. participated in the contest. Toronto’s Burka Architects Inc. took top honours for its design concept, Generations Living. “The concept is designed to appeal to multiple generations,” says Eduardo Ortiz, one of the lead designers on the project. “It’s a place where people can grow old.” Touted as a revolutionary concept with the potential to solve the current and future housing needs of seniors within urban and suburban conditions in Atlantic Canada, Generations Living proposes a sustainable mixed-use village that provides affordable housing options for people of all ages and lifestyles under one roof. It is designed to address the housing and health care needs of seniors through all phases of retirement and promote resident interaction through common areas and retail spaces. “We felt the village was the most suitable concept to illustrate the idea of growing old in place,” says Ortiz. “You could buy a unit and upgrade it; it’s flexible enough that you could go through all the different phases of retirement, even long-term care.” Available in bachelor, one, two and three bedroom models, the modular residential units could also be combined, rented or sold (partially or in their entirety). For instance, with the three bedroom unit, extra bedrooms could be rented out either short or long-term for additional income or sold as circumstances change for the family, such as the death of a spouse. Additionally, semi-private and private rooms are included in the ‘master’ plan. Targeted to those requiring the services of a long-term care facility — seniors can take advantage of on-site nurses and doctors that
34 Building Strategies
would otherwise be unavailable in conventional buildings — these rooms would permit existing residents to remain in a familiar environment with friends and, perhaps, family. Located on the top floor of what would be a lowrise structure, these rooms would also offer residents more privacy while allowing for the option to participate in social activities scheduled on lower floors or in the village. “The worst thing about (current) longterm health care facilities is they’re sort of segregated from the rest of society,” says Mark Zwicker, the other lead designer on the project, adding this is counterproductive given that seniors appear to benefit from better health when they have more social interaction. For this reason, the inclusion of atrium space is a crucial element in the concept’s success. To span the full height of the fourstorey structure, the light-filled atrium would provide a walking and recreation area for residents. Extensive indoor landscaping would help create a more pleasing environment, assist with sound absorption and condition the building’s air. “It promotes year-round activity and, at the same time, helps with indoor air quality,” says Zwicker about the atrium.
Fostering energy savings, the proposed building would include other sustainable elements such as a green roof with rooftop vegetable and plant gardens that could provide a portion of seniors’ food needs. Further, the use of brick as the external construction material would afford the structure a long service life. “Brick also absorbs some of the sun’s energy and then gives (the heat) off at night (when the temperature cools), which helps warm a space,” says Zwicker, adding the durable material can be recycled after it reaches the end of its original service life, which enhances its sustainability. What’s more, “it is suitable to the climate.” A lthough Generations Liv ing was designed specifically with the Atlantic region in mind, the award-winning entry is ga r ner ing at tent ion count r y w ide. Shortly after the win, the provincial government in A lberta contacted Burka Architects as it’s interested in the ideas behind the concept. “As the number of baby boomers get closer to retirement, people everywhere are rethinking the way they want their communities and cities to work and this design concept is part of that movement,” he notes.
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