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Building Strategies


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Building Strategies Volume 4 Number 1 • May 2009 Publisher | Paul Murphy 416.512.8186 ext. 264 Editor-in-Chief | Clare Tattersall Senior Graphic Designer | Annette Carlucci

Graphic Designer | Ian Clarke

Production Coordinator | Rachel Selbie

Circulation Manager | Cindy Younan Contributing Writers

Camille Atrache David Kubbinga M. Saeed Mirza Nat Morlando Ken Newbert Soizic Reynal de St Michel Klaas Rodenburg Cristian Sipos Hart Starr Crawford Sherry Sutherland Jackie Wedley Rodney Wilts Published by

President | Kevin Brown

5255 Yonge St., Suite 1000 Toronto, Ontario M2N 6P4 Tel: 416.512.8186 Fax: 416.512.8344

FEATURES 07 Project Profile Envisioned as a place where the broader learning environment comes to life, the Queen’s Centre in Kingston, Ont., integrates academics, sport and recreation and student community activities.

30 Enterprising Canadians Stantec’s new president and CEO, Robert Gomes, is a natural choice to lead one of North America’s largest engineering, architecture and design firms into the next era.

Building Strategies is published five times a year by MediaEdge Communications Inc. Subscription Rates (Canada): 1 year $46.30, 2 years $82.60, single copy $12. For all subscription inquiries or changes of address, please contact Reprints: No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form – print or electronic – without written permission from the publisher. Requests for permission to reprint any portion of this magazine should be sent to Copyright 2009. Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40063056




Infrastructure Durham Consolidated Courthouse Rebuilding Ontario

06 Editor’s Note More than Meets the Eye


Green Building Greener Pastures Designing for Adaptability


Insurance & Bonding Why Bond? Builders Risk Insurance


Concrete Self-Consolidating Concrete Putting Rainwater back where it Belongs


Legal File Lienable Off-Site Supply Sponsored by Glaholt LLP

14 Environment Corner Controlling PCBs Sponsored by Tri-Phase Environmental Inc. 16 Engineering Forum Going beyond Green Sponsored by Manulife Financial

On the Cover: The Durham Consolidated Courthouse touts a number of firsts for the province of Ontario. Photo courtesy WZMH Architects.

May 2009 5

editor's note

More than Meets the Eye





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6 Building Strategies

When people ask what I do for a living, most are surprised to hear I write and edit a construction and infrastructure magazine. Why? Because many people have a preconceived notion the industry is not particularly interesting. However, having spent nearly three years covering the industry I can safely say it’s not only one of the most fascinating but diverse and complex sectors — one that I have grown to appreciate. Today, I look at buildings in a completely different light. A hospital is not just a static institution where the sick and injured are treated. A courthouse is more than a concrete structure wherein justice is administered. Rather, these buildings are works of art comprised of a variety of different parts. And just like a magazine — which few people see behind the scenes — they require a collective effort to complete. As I step into the role of editor-in-chief of Building Strategies, I want to thank my coworkers, particularly publisher Paul Murphy, for making the move a smooth transition. Under his direction the magazine has become a well respected industry source. Going forward, I plan to build on this success by bringing my experience, skills and knowledge to the publication team. With the May issue being my first you will notice a few changes. In addition to the magazine’s revamped aesthetic, we have introduced a new feature and industry focus — Enterprising Canadians and Infrastructure, respectively. In this issue, we chat with Stantec’s incoming president and CEO, Robert Gomes. Whether he’s been in a managing role leading a team or on the practice side working with clients, Gomes has been successful at every level of North America’s largest engineering, architecture and design firm during his 20 years of service. Turn to page 30 to read all about this “enterprising Canadian.” But before you do you can read about our infrastructure project — the Durham Consolidated Courthouse. Pictured on the cover, the P3 project consolidates two court systems and services currently provided in eight locations under one roof, making the Ontario justice system more transparent and efficient — literally. Designed to obtain LEED-NC silver standards and meet a LEED-EB gold rating, the courthouse will be the largest judicial complex in the province upon completion in late 2009. You can read about it beginning on page 18. Rounding out my inaugural issue is our project profile, the Queen’s Centre, and our regular “corners” — legal, environment and engineering. Additionally, we look at construction bonding and insurance, concrete and green building, the latter of which is not only an industry focus but a common theme that runs throughout the magazine. We hope you enjoy the latest edition of Building Strategies as much as we enjoyed piecing it together. Please feel free to e-mail me any news, story ideas or even feedback. Clare Tattersall Editor-in-Chief

Project profile

A Home Fit for a Queen

By Clare Tattersall


School is out for most students at Queen’s University. And yet, while the corridors are empty and classrooms quiet, the campus is still abuzz with activity. Heading into the homestretch, crews are busy wrapping up the Queen’s Centre, a large portion of which is slated to open its doors to users this fall. “It is going to vastly improve student life,” says Ann Browne, associate viceprincipal, facilities, about the $169-million multi-purpose complex, which will house athletic, recreation, academic and student life facilities. Located in Kingston, Ont., the university’s athletic and recreation facilities have not been upgraded since the ‘70s even though the student population has almost tripled in the last four decades.

“Nowadays, with the ‘out of classroom’ experience considered as or even more important than the ‘in classroom experience,’ it is important that Queen’s improves its inadequate student life to attract the finest students and faculty,” comments Browne. Comm it ted to c reat ing a broader learning environment, Queen’s retained Boston-based architectural firm, Sasaki Associates, in 2002, to come up with a concept plan for the new facility. Joined by Bregman + Hamann Architects of Toronto and local firm, Shoalts & Zaback Architects, in 2004, construction began two years ago with site preparations. Led by construction manager PCL Constructors Canada Inc., Restoration Env i ron ment a l C ont r ac tor s (R EC) Demolition was responsible for asbestos May 2009 7

Project profile

abatement and demolishing the Jock Harty Arena to make way for construction of the aquatic centre, fitness and weight centre, gymnasium with room for 2,000 spectators and new home for the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies (formerly the School of Physical and Health Education), which is scheduled to open in January 2010. “We actually maintained the stone from the arena and are using it for the façade of the school,” says Browne who, along with Q ueen’s, is a st rong proponent of sustainability. In fact, it is a mandate of the university to construct every building to a minimum of 18 LEED points. The Queen’s Centre has been designed to a LEED certified level (between 26 and 32 points); however, Browne is hopeful it will attain a higher rating. Assisting in this endeavour is REC Demolition. The contractor not only salvaged significant amounts of limestone but used a 350-tonne crane to carefully

remove the steel roof joists from the Jock Harty Arena (to be used for scrap metal recycling). This was no easy feat considering the tight site constraints. “The university is right in the middle of residential housing, so it’s hard enough getting trucks in and out let alone cranes,” comments Browne. Other project cha l lenges inc luded dismantling and removing 24 houses, preserving nine heritage homes on the Queen’s Centre site during extensive rock bl a st i n g, m i n i m i z i n g d isr upt ion to students and local residents, securing skilled subtrades at a time of unprecedented construction activity in Kingston, Ont., and combatting the ever-increasing cost of construction materials. To prevent the budget from ballooning, Queen’s changed the project deliver y met hod in December 2 0 0 6, f rom a stipu lated bid to a constr uction management contract. However, the

universit y has since rever ted to the original agreement. “The school thought it could save money by going the construction management route but because the market was so volatile it didn’t help much.” As a result, the university had to get creative with cost-saving measures. “We looked at every single element of this project — from the hardware to the height of the doors — to find ways to save money,” she says, adding the school successfully reduced the inf lated budget by an astounding $26 million. How? By opting to use less costly materials and installation methods; for instance, the project team substituted polished and stained decorative concrete topping with thinset applied decorative porcelain tiles in some areas and used Galvalume instead of zinc in others. Also, “One of the buildings is clad in a new resin plastic based panelling system that

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Project profile

looks like warm wood siding,” says Bill Nankivell of Bregman + Hamann, the architect of record. To be completed on time and close to budget, the final design of the Queen’s Centre is the result of three rounds of consultation during which the public requested it fit with the character of the surrounding community. In response, the architectural team proffered to reduce the massing of the facility and break it down into smaller components — each having a slightly different character — to respect and complement the nearby residential area. “This creates a feeling of a series of buildings even though it is one large interrelated facility,” explains Nankivell. Connecting the different buildings is a large, indoor public space. Dubbed the ‘crossroads,’ this space also ser ves to anchor the school, uniting the t wo campus districts, and creates a meeting

space around which ever y thing circulates. “It has glass at all four ends … so it’s flooded with daylight, creating an open feel with views of the streets,” he says. Inside, the Queen’s Centre contains food space, a 38 by 25-metre pool with seating for 150 spectators, three gymnasiums (with the main gym able to accommodate 2,000 spectators), a fitness and weight centre, which includes cardio-fitness equipment, weights and strength training equipment, as well as eight squash courts and t wo racquetball courts. Envisioned as a place to develop the whole student — mind, body and spirit — original plans for the Queen’s Centre made it the la rgest project in siz e, duration and dollar value ever undertaken by the universit y. Initially slated for completion in 2014, future phases of the Queen’s Centre have been put on hold pending funding availability.

Queen's University will be transformed with the opening of the Queen's Centre in fall 2009. Located behind the John Deutsch University Centre, the multi-purpose complex integrates academics, sport and recreation and student community activities.

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Legal File

Lienable Off-Site Supply By Soizic Reynal de St Michel


Subsection 14(1) of the Construction Lien Act creates “a lien upon the interest of the owner in the premises improved” for “a person who supplies services or materials to an improvement for an owner, contractor or subcontractor.” Since the supply of services and materials to an improvement gives rise to lien rights attached to the premises improved, it is logical to expect these services and materials are supplied on the actual site where the construction takes place. In some circumstances, however, courts have stretched the limits of the construction site to the point where services supplied off-site may give rise to lien rights. A little more than 10 years ago, the Ontario divisional court clearly stated (for the first time) a claimant can have a lien for services performed off a project site. I n Be nny Haulage Ltd . v. C a rosi Construction Ltd., the contractor, Carosi, entered into a contract with the HamiltonWent worth Catholic Separate School Board for the construction of a new school. Carosi also entered into two agreements with Benny Haulage; the first for the excavation of the site and the second for the haulage and disposal of the excavated material off-site. Carosi wanted to avoid the cost of d isposing of t he f i l l and made t he excavated fill available to anyone who

12 Building Strategies

period prior to the registration of the lien. It was therefore critical to determine whether the offsite work could give rise to lien rights. The court considered two essential factors in concluding Benny Haulage was entitled to lien rights for the services supplied off-site. First, the prime contract required Carosi to remove all excavated material from the site and dispose of it. Second, Carosi knew Benny Haulage had to level and compact the soil as a condition of dumping it at the landfill site; in other words, it was a “package.” The court held that off-site work can give rise to lien rights if the claimant shows the work “physically contributed in a direct and essential way to the construction of an improvement on the site and comes within the definition of ‘supply of services’ and ‘in respect of’ as defined in Sec. 1(1) of the Act.” The Ontario courts had the opportunity to consider the issue of off-site work two years later in Desourdy 1949 Paving Inc. v. Teperman and Sons Inc. (2000). In that case, the subcontractor,

A little more than 10 years ago, the Ontario divisional court clearly stated a claimant can have a lien for services performed off a project site. needed it. The contractor could not get rid of the fill and subcontracted with Benny Haulage to supply dump trucks and operators for the removal of the excavated fill from the construction site. The dump site where the fill was disposed required Benny Haulage to place a bulldozer on the landfill and spread the fill. One of the issues in the case was whether Benny Haulage had a valid lien. According to Sec. 1 of the Construction Lien Act, supply of services refers to “any work done or service performed upon or in respect of an improvement.” The last supply of services (loading trucks with the fill) on-site occurred more than 45 days prior to the registration of the lien by Benny Haulage, which meant Benny Haulage did not have a valid lien; that is, unless the definition of “supply” encompassed off-site work done at the landfill, which occurred within the 45 day

Desourdy, was required to crush concrete rubbish from the construction site so it could remove the rebar and then dispose of both. Desourdy did not haul the rubbish from the site and performed the work entirely off-site. The court applied the “direct and essential” test from Benny Haulage and found Desourdy’s work was a lienable supply because it was part of the scope of work in the prime contract. Where will the court set the limits of the application of the test in Benny Haulage? Consider this: If the company that made its landfill site available to Benny Haulage was not paid, would the company have lien rights on the project site? There is no doubt the answer would be no. Soizic Reynal de St Michel is an associate at Glaholt LLP, a leading construction litigation boutique firm. Contact her at

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environment corner

Controlling PCBs A look at the new regulations By Camille Atrache


Polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs are a class of chemicals characterized by two phenyl groups with varying numbers of chlorine atoms. In general, the higher the chlorination of the molecule and mixtures, the longer PCBs remain in the environment and more likely they will infiltrate the food chain. Prior to the 1970s, PCBs were used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications, including electrical, heat transfer and hydraulic equipment, as well as plasticizers in paints, plastics and rubber products and in pigments, dyes and carbonless copy paper. More than 1.5 billion pounds of PCBs were manufactured in the U.S. prior to cessation of production in 1977. Since 1977, the Canadian government has adopted a number of regulations to control the different activities related to PCBs, including Chlorobiphenyls Regulations (1977), Federal Mobile PCB Treatment and Destruction Regulations (1990), storage of PCB Material Regulations (1988), PCB waste Export Regulations (1996) and Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulation (2005). On Sept. 17, 2008, Environment Canada published the PCB Regulations in Part 2 of the Canada Gazette, which publishes all laws and orders in council issued by the federal government. The new regulation consolidates, revokes and replaces the Chlorobiphenyls Regulations and the Storage of PCB Material Regulations. The requirements of this new

regulation, together with the more stringent release limits, will further reduce releases of PCBs into the environment. The new regulation is designed to implement Canada’s national and international commitments on the use (including exports and imports), storage and elimination of PCBs. It sets specific deadlines for the elimination of all PCBs and PCB-containing material currently in storage. Additionally, it limits the period of time PCBs can be stored before being destroyed and requires all PCB equipment to be phased out. The labelling and reporting requirements of this regulation also provides necessary information to monitor progress towards end of use targets. The significant requirements of the regulation are divided into three parts. End of Use Deadlines Equipment containing more than 500 parts per million (µg/g) PCBs must be removed from service by Dec. 31, 2009. An extension up to Dec. 31, 2014, may be granted by the Minister of the Environment if application is made and certain conditions met. Equipment with concentration of PCBs between 50 and 500 µg/g and located in sensitive areas must be removed by Dec. 31, 2009. Sensitive locations include drinking water treatment plants, food or feed processing plants, child care facilities, preschools, primary schools, secondary schools, hospitals, senior citizens’ care facilities and the property on which the

Effective one year after the date these regulations come into force (Dec. 31, 2010), PCBs cannot be stored at or within 100 metres of a sensitive site. 14 Building Strategies

plant or facility is located and within 100 metres of it. All others have until Dec. 31, 2025. Specific equipment, such as light ballasts, pole-top electrical transformers and pole-top auxiliary electrical equipment, has until Dec. 31, 2025. Storage Requirements PCBs currently in storage have to be removed and sent for destruction by Dec. 31, 2009. Effective one year after the date these regulations come into force (Dec. 31, 2010), PCBs cannot be stored at or within 100 metres of a sensitive site. Light ballasts are exempted. PCBs that go into a storage site after the regulation comes into force may stay in storage for a maximum of one year. PCBs stored at or within 100 metres of a sensitive site must be eliminated within one year of the regulation coming into force. Labelling, Reports and Records PCB owners must prepare annual reports outlining quantities in use and stored as well as progress towards achieving end of use targets. Additionally, PCB owners must label all known PCB items, including PCB cables and decontaminated transformers. Ballasts are exempted. The owner’s name as well as the date the material was placed in storage must be clearly visible. The regulations also establish sound management practices for the remaining PCBs in use (those with content of less than 50 µg/g) — until their eventual elimination — to prevent contamination of fluids and dispersion of small quantities of PCBs into other liquids. It is expected the deadlines for ending the use and storage of PCBs will result in the removal of 90 per cent of PCBs still in use and 100 per cent of PCBs currently in storage by the end of the year. The remaining PCBs, comprising equipment in use containing low level concentrations of PCBs (for example, less than 500 µg/g), will be eliminated by 2025. Camille Atrache is chief operating officer and partner at Tri-Phase Environmental Inc. C o n t a c t C ami l l e a t 9 0 5 . 8 2 3 .7 9 6 5 o r

engineering forum

Going beyond Green Healthy building tenets for tenants

By Hart Starr Crawford & Ken Newbert


A truly healthy building is one that carefully balances its environmental performance with providing healthy and comfortable space within its walls. In recent years, the green building industry has seen dramatic growth fueled by increased public awareness of the impact of carbon emissions, more government incentives and improvement in sustainable materials and practices. Now more than ever before, there is great focus on improv ing energ y performance in buildings, which has the potential to shift this balance away from the quality of the indoor environment. In response to the 1973 oil embargo, buildings designed with increased energy performance contributed to the development of sick building syndrome — a combination of ailments occupants of a building experience that appear to be linked to time spent in the structure. Sick building syndrome is also related to an increase in the use of synthetic building materials and an improvement in the sealing of envelope constructions. These factors have led to a decrease in the quality of air breathed by occupants. Air quality is an important factor in a healthy building but for a building to provide the ultimate indoor environment, the visual, thermal and acoustical performance must also be considered. Ideally, direct views to the outside provide a physiological connection to the outdoors as well as natural daylight. In the case where this is not desirable or possible, carefully designed lighting can ensure comfort. Important aspects to consider include colour, degree of flicker, glare and contrast. Traditionally, thermal comfort has been considered the result of the temperature and humidity of the air inside a building. It is now evident thermal comfort is a blend of the radiative, convective and evaporative forces in a space. Radiant energy is the transmission of heat from one source, such as the sun or a campfire, to another (for example, people) in a direct line of sight. Convective and evaporative forces tie into how air passes over the body. Cooling from wind and sweat are good examples of these forces at work. By considering all forces, a resultant temperate can be calculated that better represents thermal comfort of an occupant.

16 Building Strategies

Radiant non-symmetry.

External solar shading reducing radiant non-symmetry.

It is also important to minimize radiant nonsymmetry, which occurs when a surface on one side of a person is much warmer than another. This is especially apparent when sitting next to a campfire on a cool night. Often, a person will have a warm face but a cold back. Radiant non-symmetry frequently occurs when sunlight shines directly into a space, overheating the window and floor on which it shines. This can easily be addressed by using external shading to block out the sun during peak cooling demand. Radiant nonsymmetry of an opaque external surface may occur with extreme outdoor air temperatures but can be mitigated easily by adding additional insulation. To maintain the acoustical performance of a building, excess noise must be minimized from sources within the building as well as from the exterior. A well-designed envelope will easily take care of the exterior noises. Mechanical

equipment should have vibration isolation and duct acoustical lining. Acoustical treatments can also be added to rooms to minimize internal noise. However, a small amount of white noise often contributes to a more comfortable space, acting similarly to the murmur of a waterfall. Green buildings currently enjoy a broad definition. Everything from a standard building with a new coat of low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paint and low-f low aerators to net-zero water and energy buildings share this title. For this reason, it cannot be assumed that all buildings labelled “green” will have a better or even equal indoor environment compared to a standard building. To validate a green building claim, rating systems have become increasingly popular with the most common being the Canadian Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). In this rating system, one of the main credit categories is dedicated to the indoor environment. Most rating systems in use today address the health and comfort of the building in some way. When addressing the indoor environment, LEED has credits associated with visual performance, thermal comfort and air quality. However, prerequisites only address minimum outdoor air volumes and smoking; acoustical factors are not considered. So, for buildings to be certified “green” by a rating system, such as LEED, it is not mandatory to address all aspects of occupant comfort. In the end, green building and healthy buildings are different but complementary. As demonstrated by its inclusion in most green rating systems, designing for a healthy indoor environment plays a part in producing a green building. But it is not mandatory. Hart Starr Crawford, EIT, LEED AP, is a sustainable designer with Cobalt Engineering, a leading mechanical and engineering firm dedicated to engineering ideas beyond sustainability. Ken Newbert, P.Eng., LEED AP, is a founding partner of the firm. He designed the first C2000 project in Western Canada (pre-LEED) and one of the countr y ’s first 10 0 per cent naturally ventilated office buildings. Contact Hart at or Ken at


Improving the Administration of Justice

By Clare Tattersall

18 Building Strategies


More than 15 years in the making and two years under construction, Ontario’s newest and most modern court will soon begin to mete out justice. Totalling 350,000 square feet, the Durham Consolidated Courthouse brings two court systems, the Superior Court and Ontario Court, as well as justice services currently provided in eight locations across the Durham region under one roof — making it the largest judicial complex in the province. Located in downtown Oshawa, the $334-million integrated facility touts a number of other firsts. Comprised of 33 courtrooms, three motion rooms, two conference/settlement rooms and related legal and court services, the state-of-the-art structure will be the most technologically advanced courthouse in the province. It will also be the first Ontario government building to receive LEED-NC (New Construction) silver certification and a LEED-EB (Existing Buildings) gold rating.

“It will set a precedent within the province and nationally,” says Peter Wilson, vicepresident of project delivery for Infrastructure Ontario, a crown corporation responsible for the transaction management of the project under the province’s alternative financing and procurement program. “Compared to other courthouses built in the last 10 years, it’s going to achieve significant improvements in energy performance.” In fact, when the building opens in early 2010, Access Justice Durham — a consortium of companies including WZMH Architects, PCL Constructors Canada Inc., Babcock & Brown Infrastructure Group and Johnson Controls LP chosen to design, build, finance and maintain the courthouse, respectively — has agreed to reduce energy consumption by 42 per cent (compared with similar, existing leased facilities). If energy use exceeds this target, Access Justice Durham must pick up the tab


Photos courtesy WZMH Architects

over the length of the 30-year contractual service period. “The energy performance targets are quite aggressive,” notes Wilson, adding the courthouse will also be certified (and recertified every three years) under the BOMA BESt program, a tool used to measure the environmental performance of existing commercial buildings. Harmonizing the best practices of BOMA (Building O w ners and Managers Association) Canada’s Go Green program and the online assessment of Go Green Plus, BOMA BESt (Building Environmental Standards) was launched in October 2008 as an updated and simplified certification program. It includes four possible levels of certification, each of which provides ways to make buildings more environmentally friendly and cut operating costs. To be certified, existing structures must fully

comply with BOMA’s Best Practices. Areas addressed include energ y and water management, emissions and effluents, waste reduction, the indoor environment and environmental management systems. “This (program) offers us the ability to benchmark this building against other BOMA certif ied buildings within the province,” says Wilson. With an emphasis on energ y management and conservation, notable “green” features incorporated into the building’s design include high-efficiency boilers and chillers, a partial sodded roof with drought tolerant plants to reduce storm water runoff, cistern for rainwater collection to irrigate local landscaping, computerized lighting control system capable of turning on and off lights, ultra low-f low plumbing fixtures, dual f lush toilets and waterless urinals.

The design-build contractor, PCL, has also agreed to divert 75 per cent of construction waste from landfills to be salvaged, recycled and reused. “The way things are going we’re probably going to exceed that,” notes construction manager Don Gilliland. Beginning in June 2007, construction of the six-storey (plus mechanical penthouse) courthouse with below-grade parking has moved along at a rapid pace. Today, roughly six months out from entire completion, the longawaited project is 80 per cent complete. “Everyone is working hard to make sure this is a successful project,” says Gilliland about the 400 workers currently on-site. But while morale is high, the project hasn’t been without its challenges. Prior to the official groundbreaking, the project team had to submit a design proposal that met the functional requirements needed to May 2009 19


accommodate the advanced technology and expanded services the courthouse will provide. This includes five courtrooms outfitted for video conferencing, two remote video testimony rooms to accommodate vulnerable and child witnesses, a jury room permanently equipped with simultaneous translation and three portable translation booths. “It’s a technologically complex building,” says Gilliland. Another challenge was maintaining the cardinal rule in courthouse design. There must be three separate and distinct circulation systems for the public, accused and judiciary, each with its own respective entrance, set of stairs, elevators, corridors and fire exits. The only time the three

groups can meet is in the courtroom. And because courtrooms have higher height requirements than office towers, there are several different floor-to-floor elevations that occur throughout the building. “The courthouse is called a six-floor building but the overall height is probably equal to an 18-floor apartment building,” explains Gilliland. “Normally, an apartment building is three metres from floor-to-floor but there are areas in the courthouse that are seven metres floor-tofloor or more.” One area is the double height public lobby. Outfitted with terrazzo floors, natural wood doors and soaring glass walls, the atrium allows natural light to penetrate the interior of the courthouse.

“It gives the perception of openness,” says Hady Lofty of WZMH Architects about the large indoor public space, which was designed to mimic the transparency of the criminal justice system. It also makes the building appear less formidable and more approachable to both users and passersby thereby improving access to justice — one of the project’s mandates. On time and within budget, the Durham Consolidated Courthouse will not only meet the needs of the growing community, which, over the next 20 years, is forecasted to have one of Ontario’s highest rates of population and caseload growth, but spur economic growth in the region. This is one of the reasons the City of Oshawa bid on the P3 (public-private partnership) project. “We’ve been pursuing the courthouse since (former) Premier Bob Rae announced it,” notes Tom Hodgins, commissioner of development services, City of Oshawa. “It’s instrumental in achieving our plan for the redevelopment and revitalization of the downtown core.” A great example of partnership — governments working together for the benefit of the community and each other — the Province selected Oshawa as the willing host community in December 2005. “The team put together a very compelling argument for why the courthouse should be here,” says Hodgins. This included building on a remediated brownfield site located on a major transit route.

Beyond Your Expectations

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4/16/2009, 8:05 AM

Rebuilding Ontario C


By M. Saeed Mirza & Christian Sipos Canada’s infrastructure is in an extremely dire state. In May 2000, E-coli contamination of water in Walkerton, Ont., caused seven deaths and 2,500 cases of illness. This disaster alone cost approximately $64.5 million and another $90.5 million in related human suffering. That same year, an overpass collapsed during construction in Laval, Que., causing one death and two injuries. In 2006, another overpass in Laval — this one in operation for roughly 35 years — collapsed, dramatically killing five and seriously injuring six. A public inquiry was launched to determine the cause of failure. The inquiry’s recommendations led to the examination of several deficient and deteriorated overpasses in Quebec, with the provincial government deciding to invest heavily in transportation infrastructure. Age and Condition Extensive infrastructure facilities, including highways, roads, bridges and overpasses, were constructed between 1962 and the mid-70s. However, during the next 25 years, infrastructure spending and government investment in maintenance, repair and rehabilitation of existing assets decreased considerably. Consequently, there was a significant continuing increase in the average age of Canada’s infrastructure, resulting in an increase in the rate and extent of deterioration. In 2003, the Civil Infrastructure Systems Technolog y Road Map presented a comprehensive 10-year plan of new and innovative ways to significantly improve the maintenance and rehabilitation of Canada’s deteriorating infrastructure. At that time, the study noted 31 per cent of the country’s infrastructure was between 40 and 80-yearsold, with another 28 per cent more than 80 years old. Excellent quality control during the design and construction phases and subsequent preventive and regular maintenance can prevent and significantly impede the deterioration rate. However, if quality control standards are not stringently applied and regular maintenance is overlooked or deferred, onset of deterioration can occur earlier resulting in considerably higher repair and rehabilitation costs. With continued absence of these actions, the rate of deterioration will accelerate considerably with associated exorbitant costs. In some cases, it may not be possible to salvage the system. Rather, it will have to be decommissioned, demolished, disposed and then replaced at many times the

monetary, socio-economic and environmental cost of the original asset. Associated Costs of Deterioration In 2007, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) estimated it would cost $123.6 billion to upgrade Canada’s municipal infrastructure to an acceptable level, with another $115.2 billion required to build new infrastructure to fulfill the changing needs of communities. The survey established the total deficit for all infrastructure assets in Canada could easily range between $350 and $400 billion. Based on population, Ontario’s share would amount to approximately one-third or $130 to $140 billion. According to a report by the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario, no large infrastructure investments have been made in Ontario since the late 1950s. As a result, much of the province’s infrastructure is rapidly approaching the end of its service life. In 2006, the Ontario government announced a five-year, $30-billion plan for infrastructure investment and has provided consistent funding in its annual budgets to address the following municipal infrastructure needs: transportation, rural communities, research, social housing, education, environment, culture and health care. Economic Stimulus W hile Ontario has taken signif icant steps to obviate the infrastructure crisis, more support is needed. The FCM and others urged the federal government to considerably increase its infrastructure investment as part of the economic stimulus in the 2009 federal budget. These groups argued investment of every billion dollars would create between 11,000 and 12,000 jobs, with approximately half directly in the construction industry. The resulting income, sales taxes and other savings would return between $350 and $400 million to the federal and provincial/territorial governments as well as favourably assist local economies and environment amelioration programs. The Federation also argued infrastructure must be significantly ameliorated over the next 15 to 20 years to avoid seriously impacting Canada’s productiv it y, internationa l competitiveness and the overall quality of life. This would require an investment of approximately $20 to $25 billion annually. Although this year’s budget included a $40

billion economic stimulus, the provision for infrastructure in cities is only $4 billion over two years. For this reason, it is essential all levels of government increase investments in infrastructure renewal and, if needed, involve the private sector through investments. A National Infrastructure Policy Based on an evaluation of existing infrastructure conditions and management, several orga n iz at ions a nd ind iv idua ls have recommended adoption of a national infrastructure policy to provide a framework to deal with all infrastructure-related issues in Canada. If adopted, all levels of government should be required to acknowledge the prevailinginfrastructurecrisis,theaccompanying deficit to suitably upgrade existing deteriorated assets and the need for new infrastructure. The policy should be based on rationally established national priorities and provide sustainable funding for new infrastructure as well as the maintenance, repair and rehabilitation of existing deteriorating assets. In addition, there needs to be a profound change in the current philosophy of designing and building infrastructure assets. Currently, great emphasis is placed on initial construction costs, with little consideration given to the system or facility’s future performance and lifecycle costs. These are, in turn, dependent on fulfillment of the minimum performance limit for each infrastructure asset as well as the development and implementation of appropriate maintenance programs to combat the local effects of the microclimate in the immediate vicinity of the various asset components over the entire lifecycle. The policy must arrange for routine maintenance. This is essential to ensure the quality and performance of the asset is never deferred for any reason, whatsoever. M. Saeed Mirza, PhD, P.Eng., is emeritus professor of civil engineering at McGill University, specializing in structural engineering and rehabilitation of infrastructure. Cristian Sipos is a PhD candidate in civil engineering at McGill University. May 2009 21

Green Building

Greener Pastures Innovations in sustainable building products By Rodney Wilts


Canada’s design and construction industry is witnessing the emergence of a green building-related manufacturing sector, one that is rapidly maturing. The continuing exponential growth in LEED registered and certif ied projects has proven to many entrepreneurs and existing manufacturers that there is a market for “green.” Over the past year, a number of trends have emerged. Monitoring and measuring tools have become increasingly sophisticated yet are much more user friendly. Designers are finding new ways to incorporate natural elements on roofs, walls and ceilings. And renewable energy continues to incrementally improve in both efficiency and affordability. Water conservation is another emerging trend fuelled by organizations that are aiming to demonstrate responsible stewardship of the world’s most valuable resource. Here are the most innovative “green” products in these four trending areas. Better Tools for Measuring, Monitoring Lucid Designs provides a real time dashboard that can be accessed over the Internet. This dashboard tells building owners and occupants energy use, water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy generation and more all in real time. Occupants can view historical data to look for trends and even compare against similar facilities elsewhere. This technology is proving to be especially beneficial for universities and colleges, which can use the monitoring dashboards as a teaching tool and to continually improve their buildings environmental performance. Going Natural For years, the natural building world and the world of high-performance green buildings were separate and distinct. But today, these worlds are starting to come together as manufacturers incorporate natural elements into building materials. American Clay’s original earth plaster allows for relatively easy application compared to conventional plaster and contains no VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Additionally, the natural plaster is made from recycled and reclaimed aggregates. Then there are living walls, which are helping bring nature back into indoor environments. Also known as biowalls or vertical gardens, these green façades have grown in popularity in recent years and can be found across the country at, for instance, the Vancouver Aquarium, Queen’s University, the University of GuelphHumber and the new Canada Line station at

22 Building Strategies

With last year’s spike in oil prices, Canada saw the next generation of renewable energy technologies being piloted, one of which was showcased at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. Vancouver International Airport. Canadianbased Elevated Landscape Technologies (ELT) Inc. is now offering economical living walls. Available in a wide range of sizes, these modular pre-grown walls can be used to green both vertical and steep slopes inside and out. The Next Generation of Renewables With last year’s spike in oil prices, Canada saw the next generation of renewable energy technologies being piloted, one of which was showcased at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. Mounted on the roof of one of the central buildings in the Beijing Olympic Village is one of the world’s first, commercially viable photovoltaic/thermal (PVT) hybrid solar systems. SolarWall by Conserval Engineering Inc. produces electricity and heat from the same surface area, generating 200 to 300 per cent more energy than a conventional PV unit. It combines air heating technology with photovoltaics to create a total energy solution in which the payback period is reduced and the carbon dioxide displacement is maximized. As an added benefit, the panel acts as a racking system to the PV, removing the heat and channelling it into the facility’s traditional heating system making it more efficient than a stand-alone unit. Water is the New Carbon Concern about global climate change has placed carbon emissions mitigation at the forefront of designers and developers’ minds. However, builders are increasingly recognizing the global water shortage, contamination of

watersheds and the ancillary effects from water purification — in particular, energy and chemical use — require equal attention. Two technologies demonstrate significant potable water reduction is possible — the Brac Greywater Recycling System and the Sloan Ecos hands-free dual flush toilet. Greywater recycling — whereby water from dish washing, laundry and bathing is filtered and cleaned for re-use in toilets and irrigation — is not a new concept; however, Brac has finally made it accessible in Canada by offering very inexpensive technology to do the job. Starting under $2,000 for small homes and condominiums, the Brac system will save approximately one-third of total water usage for a typical home. Sloan has also put a new twist on a proven technology. Long been the norm in places like Australia, dual-flush toilets are gaining ground in the North American marketplace. And Sloan is the first to offer a hands-free model for commercial use that can sense whether a full or half flush is required. Importantly, Sloan’s dualflush electronic flushometer is an easy retrofit for existing toilets. Rodney Wilts, LLB, LEED AP, is a partner in BuildGreen Solutions, a Windmill company. BuildGreen works on some of the most innovative green projects across the country offering consulting services and solutions that are sensitive to local ecosystems, responsive to community needs, use local resources and promote the local economy. Contact Rodney at

Publisher’s Pick

Eco Insulating Glass Inc.’s insulating glass windows with heat mirror are specifically suited for sustainable buildings. Offering design freedom, this product saves more energy at a lower total cost than any other low-emissivity insulating glass on the market. It also offers the highest R values (up to R-20), the most ultra-violet protection (up to 99.5 per cent) and contributes significantly to LEED points.

Green Building

Designing for Adaptability By Klaas Rodenburg


As the demand for sustainable structures increases, designers, builders and developers need to ensure buildings use resources efficiently. In Canada, the building industry represents 12 per cent of the gross domestic product and maintains more than $5-trillion in assets. Buildings are also responsible for more than 30 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. Constructing buildings that are durable, adaptable and easy to disassemble will result in improved environmental performance by reducing the impacts of the extraction, processing and transportation of materials used to construct them. Often, buildings are thought of as permanent and static. They are designed, financed, constructed, maintained and taxed not to change. Yet from first drawing to final demolition, buildings are constantly adapting to the changing needs of occupants and new technologies. Those that are too rigid to adapt will be replaced at great economic and environmental costs. With a little extra care, time and investment at the beginning of a building project, designers can reduce a building’s environmental footprint allowing owners to reap financial benefits throughout its lifecycle. Materials used to construct a building represent the direct non-renewable energy consumed in transporting them and the energy used during construction. In addition, they reflect the indirect energies resulting from harvesting, processing and manufacturing raw materials and the maintenance, repair, refurbishment and replacement of materials throughout the lifecycle of the building. The use of these materials results in resource depletion, environmental degradation, reduction of biodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions. For this reason, it is imperative to choose materials wisely.

Photos courtesy Stantec Architecture

By using an integrated sustainable design approach, designers can reduce the environmental impact of a building’s structure. Ultimately, the most environmentally preferable building is the one never built. Accordingly, the first step in any planning process is for the owner to determine whether it really needs a new building or if an adaptation of existing space will meet functional requirements. If new space is required, the next step is to explore the reuse of an existing building by adapting it to the owner’s needs. Abandoned warehouses are often turned into unique spaces. For example, Stantec’s Spadina Avenue office in Toronto (pictured above) adapted the original retail entrance to the MacGregor Sock Factory into a vibrant office environment. Originally constructed in 1905, the timber post and beam building offered the perfect opportunity to reclaim, transform and recycle this property. The open studio environment features a low profile, open and flexible layout that maximizes daylight. A raised floor system offers under-floor air, power and data distribution, exposing the beautiful brick and wood structure to emphasize the industrial heritage of the building. If a new building is required, it should be designed with durability and adaptability in mind. Although exact numbers vary based on the type of building and geographic location, up to three-quarters of a building’s initial embodied energy is found equally in the structure, envelope and services. Ensuring these elements are durable makes enormous environmental and financial sense. At the same time, designers want to ensure a building expected to last upwards of 100 years is flexible enough to adapt to new uses and space configurations with minimum downtime, need for construction trades or specialists, costs or waste of resources.

With this idea in mind, the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute in Edmonton was built on top of an existing emergency centre to reduce its physical footprint. The six-story cardiac care facility includes flexible space to accommodate advancing cardiac care practice. To respond to the continually changing technology used within operating rooms, interstitial spaces are provided between floors to allow maintenance staff to change HVAC, medical gas, electrical and other services quickly and with minimal disruption to patient care and hospital operations. Whether building a new facility or adapting an existing one, care should be taken to select materials that can be easily recycled and designed with disassembly in mind, so their constituent parts can be reused or recycled with minimal effort. Opt for independence of materials that have an inherent finish, for instance, and use mechanical fasteners rather than glue. Expose connections where possible and plan for easy access to allow for disassembly with minimal damage to adjacent assemblies. Designing and constructing buildings with longevity and flexibility in mind is good for the environment, healthy for the occupant and beneficial financially for the developer and owner. All it takes is a creative integrated design team, a progressive developer and a public that demands environmentally preferable and healthy buildings. Klaas Rodenburg, BA, CET, LEED AP, is the sustainable design coordinator for the design firm, Stantec. Klaas has more than 30 years of experience in the building design industry and is responsible for developing the multi-disciplined integrated design processes for Stantec’s sustainable solutions team. He is currently the chair of the Alberta chapter of the Canada Green Building Council. May 2009 23

Insurance & Bonding

Why Bond? By David Kubbinga

As a heavily detailed and often misunderstood part of the construction business, the question often arises: Why bond? The benefits of bonding contracts are numerous for both project owners and contractors, ranging from meeting security requirements to freeing up capital. First and foremost, contract bonds provide peace of mind to contractors by allowing them to meet contract security requirements. Additionally, contract bonding is an accreditation — when a surety company issues a bond it reflects the skills and capabilities of the contractor as well as the financial health of the operation. This provides the project owner an overall assessment and recommendation of the contracting firm. For contractors, contracts can require substantial financial security from the tendering stage through to completion and even beyond, tying up funds for long periods of time. A contract bond secures the contract and leaves funds available for the contractor to use more effectively. This is especially important as it allows the contractor to submit bids for multiple projects, letting it get on with the next project without having to wait for the release of tender security. Many contractors have come to look at surety providers as a business partner, providing an ongoing source of information 24 Building Strategies

to help establish and maintain a business plan. The surety provider assists in the selection of appropriate contracts and considers the overall fit of the work to the general operation of the company. It also helps maintain the c o n t r a c t o r ’s c o n s i s t e n t a p p r o a c h , highlighting its strengths and capabilities, targeting areas of improvement and reinforcing a l l a reas of operat ions. Furthermore, a bond facility helps assess potential contracts, which may lead to an expansion of the contractor’s f ield of expertise or territory. By assisting in the pre-selection of contractors best suited to the nature of a project, a bonded contract helps level the tendering playing field. It assists with the pre-qualification of contractors. This benefits the contractor as it can now compete against others that are equally suited for the project. The project’s owner can then be confident it is seeing qualified contractors. Contractors that provide bonds have a partner willing to vouch for its ability to perform its contractual obligations. It demonstrates a company is willing to stake a financial risk in the contractor’s ability to perform — quite the advantage in a competitive marketplace. For a project owner, the contract bond process is as much a pre-qualification process as it is a source of f inancial s e c u r i t y. K n o w i n g p a r t i c i p a t i n g contractors have gone through a screening process by t he su ret y compa ny ca n substa nt ia l ly reduce t he nu mber of tenders considered. The surety provider w il l rev iew the requirements of the project and match them up against the capabilities of the contract partners. Ultimately, the surety company is willing to take a financial risk on the contractor’s ability to complete the project. Additionally, owners can rest assure the

bonded contractor is not only qualified but properly resourced. A bonded contractor is less likely to overextend resources on other work that, at some point, may impede its ability to perform the contract. With the proper bonding in place, the project owner is better protected in cases when a contractor has failed to complete the contract, resulting in cost increases to finish the project. Lending institutions value the benefits that accompany a bonded contract and often make it a requirement. As with the project owner, general contractors use bonding requirements as a means to qualify subtrades for contracts; all aspects of surety pre-qualification can be applied to the subtrade fields as well. Subt rades enter ing into cont rac ts supported by contract bonds between the owner and general contractor will be comforted knowing contract funds are protec ted w it h a rel iable sou rce of alternate funding. Bonding benefits all parties, providing peace of mind for all involved. Contractors gain a business partner that is willing to share financial risk. Project owners get a pre-qualif ication process and f inancial assurances. General contractors receive a pre-qualif ication of subtrades and, in t u r n , subt r ade s a nd suppl ier s g a i n financial assurance. There is simply no other form of contract security that works as hard as a bond does for all parties in the construction industry. David Kubbinga is a senior surety specialist at Aviva Surety and has more than 20 years of expertise, specializing in both the contract and commercial surety business. Aviva Surety offers a complete range of contract bonds for the construction industry as well as commercial bonds for individuals, businesses and organizations. Contact David at 416.228.2498, toll-free 1.800.363.6330 or

How do you reduce your construction risk? Contractor pre-qualification and accreditation Placing a high importance on contractor selection A trusted guarantee that provides you with financial security of job performance Find a solution that does all of the above Your goal – the successful completion of the project. Your solution – a surety bond, the best tool on the job to immediately reduce your organization’s construction risk. At Aviva Surety, we have an in-depth knowledge of what makes our contractors successful. We carefully evaluate the overall quality of our client’s business, and assess how each contractor uses its resources, skills and experience to be competitive in today’s construction market. Only when we are confident that our client is capable of performing a project successfully, do we issue an Aviva Surety bond. Reduce the risk of experiencing project performance problems. Find out how surety bonds can benefit your construction project by contacting Aviva Surety, Canada’s most trusted and valued surety advisor. Toronto • (416) 228-2492

Insurance & Bonding

Builders Risk Insurance I By Jackie Wedley

In today’s savvy construction market the buzz words, “owner controlled insurance program,” whereby the ultimate end owner of the building purchases builders risk insurance, and “contractor controlled insurance program,” which has the general contractor procuring insurance coverage, are often heard. While who should be in control of the policy and subsequent claim (should it arise during or after construction) is an argument in itself, the most important thing is to make sure proper coverage is purchased. Additionally, it is essential both parties request a review of coverage and wording via an insurance broker before the project starts. This will allow each party to make w ord i n g c h a n g e s to t he i n s u r a nc e program. After coverage is already “in force,” change requirements are ver y difficult to make and often over-charged

or refused by insurance companies. W hen purchasing builders risk insurance and wrap-up liability coverage, it is important to understand the nuances between various insurers wordings as well as what extensions are needed to ensure protection during a loss. While a broker may have years of general insurance experience, a specialist in this area can arrange for the best value for a company’s dollar. Another common argument in today’s construction market is: Should the liability be covered under the individual contractor’s insurance policies or a project specific wrap-up liability policy? With an individual contractor’s liability policy: Each contractor must arrange for its own coverage resulting in inconsistent coverage, sub-limits and gaps. The annual aggregate liability limit applies to e a c h c o nt r a c t o r ’s operations. T he policy excludes damage to each contractor’s own work after completion. S ma l l cont rac tor s usua l ly ca r r y low liability limits. T here are sma ller deductibles. A d m in ist rat ion is extensive in requesting certificates, reviewing e a c h c o nt r a c t o r ’s coverage and obtaining renewal certif icates throughout the project and into the completed operations stage. Claims hand ling administration are also extensive due to dealing with several insurance companies. A large claim will affect the contractor’s general insurance rates in the future. Disputes often occur between the various interests in the event of a claim.



26 Building Strategies

It is more costly. While premiums are buried

in the contractor’s bid, various subcontractor liability rates are much higher than wrap-up coverage. With a wrap-up liability policy: There is consistent coverage for owners and contractors, broader coverage and higher limits. Aggregate is dedicated to the project and can only be exhausted during completed operations. The policy excludes damage to each contractor’s work during construction but not during the completed operations period. The liability limit can be purchased as high as the owner requires. There are larger deductibles or self-insured retention limits. Administration is minimal. The claims handling process is much smoother when dealing with just one insurance company. A large claim isolates each contractor from its own general insurance rates because the policy is project specific. There are minimal disputes during a claim due to having a single insurer. The insurance premium costs are lower because the policy is project specific. When purchasing wrap-up liability coverage, make sure the policy has an additional extension clause to protect against loss after construction. Since problems with a project are often not revealed until a year or two after completion, the completed operations portion of the policy should extend at least 24 months after final completion. It is also prudent to negotiate extensions to the term of the policy should the project be delayed. These terms can be negotiated in advance of such an event. Some insurers will even offer extensions for a specific amount of time at no additional charge. Having these terms arranged in advance can save thousands of dollars.

Jackie Wedley, vice-president and associate, BFL Canada, has been in the commercial insurance business for more than 25 years. She is also an owner in BFL Canada Risk and Insurance Services Inc. BFL is the largest independently owned commercial insurance broker in Canada with offices in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Halifax, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria. Contact Jackie at 416.599.5530, toll-free 1.800.668.5901 or


Self-Consolidating Concrete S By Nat Morlando

Self-consolidating concrete (SCC) is not the concrete used by past generations. This modern concrete technology has a high viscosity and consolidates on its own, providing a superior finish and appearance. Additionally, it can do things “normal” concrete just can’t while maintaining or improving on the strength and durability of conventional concrete. Developed in the mid-1980s, this emerging class of concrete is a mixture of high-quality cement, minerals, aggregates and admixtures, allowing high flowability without segregation of the constituents. SCC can be made to meet any strength requirements and can be used in a variety of applications, including pre-cast or pre-stressed concrete, construction of cast-inplace reinforced concrete structures and repair of the nation’s concrete infrastructure. In architectural applications, SCC increases design flexibility and improves the finish of exposed concrete. Complete consolidation can be assured even in thin-walled, highly reinforced units. In vertical applications, SCC allows for more flexible construction because it can be placed in

restricted or hard to reach areas. It can also pass freely through narrow openings and in congested reinforcement. In flatwork or horizontal applications, SCC exhibits a high level of workability without segregation. Surfaces can be placed and finished using minimal labour. Depending on the surface treatment, finishing operations can be virtually eliminated. Still considered new to the construction industry, SCC is gaining ground. Benefits include: Conservation of time and labour costs positively impacting the schedule and budget. Generally, SCC is more expensive than conventional concrete. However, because it can be placed at a faster rate, it saves contractors money in the long-run. A competitive advantage. Because of the reduced labour requirement, some contractors may be able to take on more projects at one time. No need for mechanical vibration to reach the desired compaction and strength. Rather, SCC achieves compaction by means of its own weight.

Reduction or elimination of mechanical

vibration means projects can potentially increase construction hours in areas with noise bylaws. Increased jobsite safety by reducing the force needed to move SCC and compact it. A more uniform surface finish with little to no remedial surface work. Assured contact between concrete and steel reinforcement. Proper water-cement ratios are more easily maintained since there is no need to add water to increase flowabilty. However, because of SCC’s high flowability, formwork must be tight to reduce leakage through openings and be built to support this highly viscous material. Consequently, using SCC requires a level of technical expertise and good raw materials to produce.

Nat Morlando, CTech., is the marketing manager for Canada Building Materials (CBM) Co., a division of St. Marys Cement Inc., a leading manufacturer of cement and related construction products in Canada and the U.S. Contact Nat at

Special Advertising Feature Precast Adopts Building Information Modelling

The Eagle Ridge project is a 371-acre residential development in Fort McMurray, Alta. Consisting of seven precast buildings, Phase 1 was modelled entirely using Tekla Structures – a testament to the true power of the Building Information Modelling (BIM) solution. Modelling included the hollow core roof and floors, interior loadbearing wall panels, columns, beams, balcony slabs, stairs and landings, temporary bracing, exterior insulated wall panels and elevator and stair shafts. The software, which can be used for both simple and complex structures, provided excellent visualization to all members of the project team during the development of the structure. Additionally, the overall speed of detailing precast increased by at least 30 per cent with reduced manpower; this technology made it possible to create piece shop drawings (tickets) for simple cloned pieces in five to 10 minutes whereas complex pieces could take up to 1.5 hours. The consulting engineer was also able to reduce cross coordination and checking of drawings. As a result, there were no fit, geometry or hardware replacement errors reported. BIM is changing the way business is done in the construction industry. The software provides clients with accurate contract drawings that can be easily updated if design changes occur. The Tekla 3-D model can also be utilized in estimating, engineering, production as well as erection. To learn more about Tekla Structures, visit Dowco Technology Services Ltd. is the official reseller, support and training provider for Tekla Structures in Canada. May 2009 27


Putting Rainwater back where it Belongs Pervious concrete in practice By Sherry Sutherland


While pervious concrete has been around for more than 50 years, it has only recently gained people’s attention. Today, it is one of the hottest topics in land development. Pervious concrete is a performance engineered material using the components of conventional Portland cement concrete — coarse aggregate, cement, water, admixtures and little or no fines — at a very low slump. These elements combine to produce a hardened material with connected pores ranging in size from two to eight millimetres through which water can easily pass. The void content varies from 15 to 25 per cent, with typical compressive strength of 2.5 to 28 MPa (megapascals). Addressing Environmental Issues With increased pressure to be “green” while spending less “green,” owners, architects, engineers, land developers and others involved in the built environment are seeking out new and innovative alternatives. Existing hardscaping and continuing development has raised concerns about the amount of untreated pollutants carried with runoff into waterways, lakes and rivers. Pervious concrete is environmentally responsible as it significantly diminishes these harmful contaminants from reaching the food chain. Pervious concrete also diverts the load and treatment cost of storm water from municipal water treatment facilities. When used as pavement in conjunction with an underlying stone reservoir, pervious concrete can capture the first flush of rainfall, allowing it to percolate into the ground where soil chemistry and biology then “treats” the polluted water naturally. Due to current hardscaping practices, the ambient temperature of storm water running off dark surfaces has increased. This negatively affects vegetation, fish and other aquatic life. Pervious concrete boasts similar environmental 28 Building Strategies

advantages to its conventional counterpart. For instance, the light coloured surface of a concrete parking area reflects more light than its black coloured alternative, providing a cool surface and reducing energy needed to light outdoor areas. Pervious concrete can also contain recycled material and is manufactured locally. Under the Canada Green Building Council’s (CaGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, using pervious concrete as a storm water management system allows for points in the following areas: Sustainable Sites (SS) Credit 6.1: Storm Water Management: Rate and Quantity; Sustainable Sites (SS) Credit 7.1: Heat Island Effect, Non-Roof; Materials and Resources (MR) Credit 4: Recycled Content; and Materials and Resources (MR) Credit 5: Regional Materials.

Best Management Practices As new developments are required to handle runoff, valuable land resources are often used for storm water management ponds when they could be more profitably employed for residential or commercial development. All water sent back to city facilities costs money to treat. With

growing municipalities, this price only increases. If more water is directed back to the soil, less pressure is placed on the municipal system. As owners, architects, land developers and concrete professionals become more familiar with pervious concrete’s benefits, interest will continue to grow. It is important to note pervious concrete behaves and is constructed differently than conventional concrete. With this in mind, contractors, consultants, concrete producers and those working in a supervisory capacity during concrete placement should be certified by the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association’s pervious concrete contractor certification program to ensure quality placement. It is also recommended current pervious concrete specifications be followed. Sherry Sutherland, M.Sc., P.Eng., is a technical engineer with the Ready Mixed Concrete Association of Ontario (RMCAO). Prior to joining the RMCAO, Sherry was a technical services representative for St. Mary’s Cement, where she gained extensive experience in the cement and concrete industries. She is the current president of the American Concrete Institute’s Ontario chapter. Contact Sherry at

Enterprising Canadians

Natural Born Leader

Introducing Stantec's new president and CEO, Robert Gomes By Clare Tattersall


Born and raised in Edmonton where the “Great One” honed his skills to become the most dominant hockey player of his generation, Robert (Bob) Gomes never imagined he too would one day be at the top of his game. But after more than 20 years with one of North America’s largest engineering, architecture and design firms, that is exactly where he’ll be in a few days time. “I’ve had many opportunities in my years with Stantec and this is one I just couldn’t pass up,” says Gomes, 54, as he prepares to take over the billion dollar firm’s reigns from current president and CEO, Tony Franceschini. However, the decision to throw his name into the ring — 10 of the company’s senior vicepresidents were considered for the prestigious position — wasn’t taken lightly. “I had just assumed a new position when Tony asked me where I saw myself in the future and if I’d ever considered the role of CEO,” recalls Gomes. “At that time I just didn’t know. So I spent a few months soul searching and the more I thought about it, the more excited I got.” Full of enthusiasm and passion — a trait inherited from his soon to be predecessor — Gomes has spent the last eight months shadowing Franceschini, learning the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of this very visible position, which comes w ith a whole host of added responsibilities. For many, the transition would be overwhelming but having served in a multitude of managerial roles and consistent ly demonst rated st rateg ic leadership, this seasoned member of the Stantec executive team says it has been relatively smooth and orderly. However, he does anticipate some bumps along the way. “The exciting part is no matter what you expect, you get the unexpected.” This is also one of the draws of the engineering profession, which lured Gomes to the field. Originally pre-med at the University of Alberta, Gomes transferred into the engineering program after just one year. “It wasn’t that medicine was too hard,” he explains. “I just didn’t like inorganic chemistry, so I figured I better get into a science that doesn’t rely upon it.” After graduating in 1978 with a degree in civil engineering, Gomes joined a small

30 Building Strategies

consulting engineering firm that Stantec (formerly known as the Stanley Group of Companies) bought out 10 years later. “Ironically, I left that firm to come here,” he says. “At that time, Stanley was known as a municipal engineering firm but Tony had a vision that the company should branch out into land development.” W h ich, hav ing spent a decade at Walker Newby & Associates Ltd., was Gomes’ area of expertise. So, in 1988, on the encouragement of Franceschini, Gomes joined the already established firm as a project manager. Three years later, he was appointed pr incipa l eng ineer in-cha rge of t he Edmonton off ice and, in 1998, was named vice-president of the Edmonton urban land group, which he led to become the largest and most successful land development firm in the city. “We still do 75 to 80 per cent of the work,” he says with great pride. Gomes has also been successful in other areas of the organization. In 1999, he was appointed vice-president of Alberta North, Stantec’s largest region. Overseeing a staff of 500, he was responsible for overseeing all activities in the Edmonton off ice and

northern A lberta, including building engineering, architecture, surveying and environmental sciences. “We grew that group to 1,000 people, which is what we are today,” he notes. Then, four years ago in 2005, Gomes was given the role of senior vice-president for the industrial and project management group. By the end of 2007, he had more than doubled the group’s revenues and tripled the staff. Today, it is one of the fastest growing practice areas within the firm. “The strength of Stantec is building up the company’s capabilities in a number of different practice areas,” says Gomes who, like Wayne Gretzky, has the ability to recognize opportunities to the benefit of his team. “Diversification allows the firm to ride through economic storms because we’re not reliant on any one area of the economy.” Though diversification (by sector and geographic location) is key — especially in today’s uncertain economic climate — so too is consolidation of services. “More and more, clients are looking for companies to provide them with a full range of services through an integrated delivery system.” Something Stantec has achieved through organic and inorganic growth. Under Franceschini, who led the firm through its more dramatic stretch of expansion, Stantec acquired more than 50 companies in approximately 10 years — the most recent being Jacques Whitford, an environmental consulting services firm with more than 1,700 employees and 40 offices principally in Canada — resulting in the opening of several new offices in Canada, the U.S. and the Caribbean. “It’s going to be a challenge to continue that growth, especially when you get as large as we are, but there are opportunities across North America and even internationally,” notes Gomes, adding the firm now employs well over 10,000 people compared to 1,500 when Franceschini first stepped into the role of CEO. “The key will be to continuously get our name out there.” Something Gomes takes to heart as he plans on being on a plane every week. “It’s time for Stantec to step outside Canada and let people know we are a North American firm — soon to be an international one.”


The 2009 National Summit - EVERY BUILDING CAN BE GREEN, hosted by the Canada Green Building Council, is the premier industry event for green building in Canada. After its successful inaugural summit last year, the CaGBC, expects more than 1,000 delegates, 150 exhibitors, 40 speakers and panelists, and dozens of journalists to attend – experts who are helping to advocate and shape the direction of green building in Canada.



Impact our sustainable future. Learn about new rating systems including LEED® Canada for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance, and LEED Canada for Homes, as well as the next generation LEED Canada for New Construction. Learn more about the progress being made with the development of the Green Building Performance System, a national database of benchmarks on energy efficiency, water use and GHG emissions for buildings of every type. Find out about the role building owners and managers can play in shaping future green building tools and systems, by participating in CaGBC pilot programs. Education Sessions…reserve a front row seat and learn from the industry experts.

Gain insights into the economic, corporate responsibility, marketing, risk mitigation and occupant health opportunities of green buildings and sustainability. And come away with solutions that respond to the challenges of the current marketplace. Participate in this dynamic national forum, and reinforce your organization’s place as a leader in social and environmental stewardship. Align and network face-to-face with your green building peers. This year, exhibitors will enjoy the spotlight, with each afternoon of our summit being dedicated to the new technologies, products and solutions featured on the tradeshow floor.

Experience the beauty and culture of Montreal,one of Canada’s most exciting and historical cities.

Register online at For more information call: 613-241-1184 or 1-866-941-1184

June 9-11th, 2009 • Palais des congrès de Montreal Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Building Strategies - Spring 2009  

In this Issue: Durham Consolidated Courthouse, Building Green, Bonding Basics, Pervious Concrete

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