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March/April 2013 Vol. 10 No.3

UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences Building PM 40063056

2013 ACEC British Columbia Awards | Mechanical Concrete | Water & Waste | Construction Law Michael Kennedy, Stantec Consulting 2013 WOOD WORKS! BC AWARDS

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Inside 06 Feature Project UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences Building The UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences Building is a signature structure on the university campus and its bold design will serve as a model for future laboratory and research facilities.

March/April 2013 | Volume 10 No 3


MANAGING Editor Contributing writers

Dan Gnocato Cheryl Mah Angela Alambets Terry Beck

11 Special Supplement

Carolyn Campbell Ray Collver


Ayman Fahmy Mike Hill

22 Connections Michael Kennedy

J. Marc MacEwing Rachel Moscovich

Michael Kennedy, Stantec’s vice president and regional leader for B.C, focuses much of his time on growing the company and the talent within it.

Talya Nemetz-Sinchein Marina Pratchett David Simkins John Singleton

Industry Focus

Roger Steers P. Kim Sturgess Kevin Yuers

27 Construction Law

Warranty Language in a Supply Contract Pay When Paid: The End is Near Resolution of Holdback Liability in B.C.



32 Mechanical

New Code Provisions Condensing Boilers Come of Age District Energy: a Proven Technology

36 Concrete

The Evolution of Concrete Concrete Waterproofing Types Assessment and Maintenance

39 Water & Waste

Deconstruction Strategy Raising Awareness Water Reuse and the Alberta Economy

Departments 04 Message from the Editor 44 Architect Corner

Rehabilitating a Community Icon

46 Industry News

Cover Photo

UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences Building. Photo courtesy of Saucier + Perrotte Architectes / Hughes Condon Marler Architects.

Dan Gnocato Tel: 604.549.4521 ext. 223

PRESIDENT Kevin Brown vancouver office 114 – 42 Fawcett Drive Coquitlam, BC V3K 6X9 Tel: 604.549.4521 Fax: 604.549.4522 Toronto office 1000-5255 Yonge St. Toronto, ON M2N 6P4 Tel: 416.512.8186 Fax: 416.512.8344 Copyright 2013 Canada Post Canadian publications mail sales publication agreement no. 40063056 — ISSN 1710-0380 Return all undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Suite 1000 — 5255 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario, M2N 6P4


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Construction Business is British Columbia and Alberta’s construction magazine. Each issue provides timely and pertinent information to contractors, architects, developers, consulting engineers, and municipal governments throughout both provinces. Complimentary copies are sent bi-monthly to all members of the Architectural Institute of B.C., B.C. Construction Association, B.C. Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association, Consulting Engineers of B.C., Construction Specifications Canada — B.C. Chapter, Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association, B.C. Ready-Mixed Concrete Association, Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C., Urban Development Institute of B.C. and Vancouver Regional Construction Association.

November 5 & 6, 2013

Editor’s Note

Dramatic Change


he University of BC has changed dramatically since I attended there to obtain my bachelors degree. The amount of construction on the campus has almost been non-stop in recent years  with the university under constant change with renewal, renovation and modernization projects. From new academic buildings to the rise of entire new residential communities, UBC has been a hub of opportunity for the industry. When I went to UBC, the buildings were old and dark institutional boxes. But recent new buildings like the Pharmaceutical Sciences Building are changing all of that. Gracing our cover, the building with its bold design is now a landmark for the southeast end of the campus. Ledcor Construction achieved substantial completion in November 2012. The facility will allow for an increase to the enrolment of students, addressing the shortage of pharmacists in B.C.

Labour shortage is top of mind for many companies. Our profile for this issue Michael Kennedy, Stantec vice president and regional leader of B.C., dedicates most of his time today to nurturing the talent within the company. The importance of the next generation is not lost on him. He believes the demand for skilled trades is a huge issue that needs to be carefully addressed. Also in this issue you will find our coverage of the ACEC British Columbia Awards for Engineering Excellence winners. Many of you will recognize the familiar face of Keith Sashaw, who assumed his new position as ACEC-BC president and CEO earlier this year. Features in the following pages include mechanical, concrete, construction law and water and waste. Legal topics sure to peak your interest include holdback liability in B.C., warranty language and possible changes to pay when paid

clauses. In our mechanical focus, read about new code provisions, condensing boilers and district energy systems. As always, we welcome corporate news or story ideas. Please feel free to email me and let me know what’s happening.

Cheryl Mah Managing Editor

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Feature Project

Innovative Learning Environment story By Cheryl Mah | photos courtesy Saucier + Perrotte Architectes / Hughes Condon Marler Architects


hen a project team is tasked to create a world class building, success is usually dependent on one thing — collaboration. Fortunately the team responsible for the UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences Building brought that and more to the table to create a signature structure on the campus that will — through its bold design — serve as a model for future laboratory and research facilities. Officially opened on September 18, 2012, the new building is a state-of-the-art facility that brings together all of the faculty’s teaching, learning, research, and outreach under one roof for the first time. It also houses the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD). “The new Pharmaceutical Sciences Building is a remarkable achievement, and redefines the future of pharmacy education and practice in the province,” says UBC President Stephen Toope.


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March/April 2013

The design, a joint venture between Montreal’s Saucier + Perrotte Architectes and Vancouver’s Hughes Condon Marler Architects, delivers an innovative learning environment that has already garnered several awards. “We’re very happy with the result. It’s exceeded my personal expectation in terms of the impact it’s had on people and the recognition it’s receiving around the world,” says design partner Gilles Saucier. “An enormous effort was made to create an interesting new environment for the faculty and research centre.” Adds HCMA principal in charge Roger Hughes, “The Pharmacy project was a wonderful collaboration. The team agreed from the start that the concept would reflect the reality that what happens outside the classroom is as important as what happens inside and Pharmacy delivers on this idea powerfully.” Ledcor Construction broke ground in July 2010 with substantial completion achieved in

November 2012. The project was a $100 million contract. At peak, manpower was approximately 350. The biggest challenge was the accelerated schedule, according to Ledcor project manager Matt Artis. “The fast track approach created some challenges when the construction was ahead of the design in certain areas,” he says. “We had to make a lot of decisions on site and hold daily meetings with consultants to coordinate these issues so that they would not slow down the construction schedule.” The building had to be open for students at the start of September so Ledcor did a phased occupancy to turn over the student floors (levels 1 to 3) ahead of the rest of the building. Saucier also cites the tight schedule as the main challenge on this project. “Everybody was on track to make sure this was delivered on time and within budget,” he


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Feature Project

says. “It’s incredible to see what we were able to achieve on that type of schedule but we had very good people involved.” The 250,000 square foot building consists of six storeys above grade and one below. Approximately 18,200 cubic metres of concrete was used for the structure. The majority of the building (levels 4 to 6) includes very specialized labs for researchers along with approximately 150 offices on the north elevation. It also has a 5,000 square foot data centre in the basement that will be a centralized location for the campus computer infrastructure. The first three levels are for the pharmacy students and they include two lecture halls, classrooms, teaching labs as well as various study and meeting rooms. “There is also a cafe in the main lobby,” notes Artis. 8

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On the ground and mezzanine level is an exhibit called Story of Medicines that tells the history and development of pharmaceutical drugs through interactive screens. The exterior skin features a custom designed curtain wall with zinc panels on the soffits and “boxes” on the west elevation. The interior is a mixture of cedar siding, metal panel, glazed par-

titions and drywall with high gloss paint in the atriums, describes Artis. “There are also architectural concrete walls that tie into the curtain wall on the exterior,” he says. The west elevation, overlooking the main entrance and a plaza, houses meeting rooms in a series of glass cubes that seem to protrude and recede from the façade.

A good structural solution is unique to the most intricate detail.

UBC Pharmacy Building

A careful look into the world of nature reveals complexities and beaut y that most of us never notice. Every snowflake, for example, is tiny, unique, and yet absolutely precise. The best structural engineering often emulates these exact qualities. UBC’s new Pharmacy Building is an example. Two atriums separated the design into three distinct structures. But, from a seismic perspective, the building needed to behave as a single entity. Glotman . Simpson designed uniquely thin link slabs to transfer loads. The design also had cantilevered

walls that required us designing steel columns that were offset and hung on each level from a roof beam. The UBC Pharmacy Building is just one of our recent projects. On each, we’ve offered our clients intricate yet elegant structural solutions, developed in a highly collaborative environment. To find out more about these innovative and highly detailed engineering solutions, and how Nature designs snowflakes, please visit our website. You’ll see a number of very intricate structural solutions there.

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Feature Project ier. “We’ve created the equivalent of an abstraction of a natural form where the ground floor is like the trunk of two trees interlacing and angling up into the building — the canopy.” The lobby features polished concrete floors and angled walls that are defined by cedar wooden planks. “We carved the ceiling in the shape that is like you are standing under this fantastic structure which is the canopy of a tree,” says Saucier, adding the use of wood continues the tree idea as well as acting as a wayfinding cue. “If you have to go up, this is clearly identified through stairs and through the way the ceiling is carved to bring the attention of the people up into the building.” Also key to the design concept was to have the ground floor serve a very public function to connect with the people and surrounding campus. With this in mind, the ground floor is transparent and inviting. “The vision was that when you look at the building you see the movement of people — the building is animated by the people,” says Saucier.

The lobby features polished concrete floors and angled walls that are defined by cedar wooden planks.

“The reason for doing that specifically on the west façade is [because of the] plaza in front of the building. The plaza is large enough so it can accept that kind of sculptural gesture. [The cubes are] like the extremity of a branch projecting through the space to create a more dynamic relationship with the plaza,” says Saucier. The unique building design with its geometry and angular spaces made it a challenging project to build. “The constructability of the design required a lot of creative thinking at certain times. It is such a custom designed building that we weren’t always able to draw on past experiences,” says Artis. “Luckily we had a great team that worked well with the consultants and owner so that we were always able to come up with a solution to any problem that arose.” 10

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BIM technology helped to bring this project to realization and proved to be invaluable in identifying potential conflicts. “It allowed us to spot conflicts ahead of time which in the past you wouldn’t have discovered until the pipe/duct/conduit has already been installed,” says Artis. “It was especially helpful for the interstitial level where a large portion of the ductwork was run. It was also used in determining ceiling heights and layout.” From its dynamic exterior to its organic wood interior, Saucier’s interpretation of a modern laboratory breaks from the traditional in many ways. The building form is a striking architectural expression, inspired by an abstract idea of a tree. “It’s an invocation, not direct translation. Don’t look to find a tree — this is not a tree but is inspired by the structure of a tree,” explains Sauc-

The building is targeting LEED gold and addresses sustainability in several areas including transportation, energy and water usage. Mechanical features include heat pump chillers, low temperature heating system and an integrated lab control system. Heat recovery chillers will also contribute to energy reduction. Potable water consumption is expected to be reduced by 20 per cent. During construction, 90 per cent of waste was diverted from the landfill. Two full height atria provide natural daylight to all interior spaces and have been described as the building’s “lungs” in balancing temperature and ventilation year round. Designed to function as a gateway to the academic core, the building is now a landmark for the southeast end of the campus. “Everybody who sees the building is excited,” says Saucier. “It’s a building in a way complex and in a way not so complex. It’s accessible in its concept. The success of the design is the quality of the detailing. A project like that doesn’t forgive a mistake.” The facility will allow the faculty to increase the enrolment of students into graduation and undergraduation programmes by 47 per cent a year, addressing the shortage of pharmacists in B.C. “This was a very challenging and exciting project to work on,” sums up Artis. “I think that this was a huge accomplishment for everyone involved.”

2013 ACEC bc Awards for Engineering


Lieutenant Governor’s Award

2013 ACEC British Columbia

for Engineering Excellence

Awards for Engineering Excellence

The Association of Consulting Engineering Companies - British Columbia (ACEC British Columbia) is the business voice for our province’s consulting engineering industry.

and Award of Excellence - Soft Engineering

Seismic Retrofit Guidelines Ausenco with Bush, Bohlman & Partners Ltd.; GENIVAR; and Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd. Owner: BC Ministry of Education Client: APEGBC

Awards of Excellence

UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences Building Glotman Simpson Consulting Engineers

Bridgeview Sewer System AECOM Canada Ltd.

South Fraser Perimeter Rd. - Eastern Section Stantec Consulting with exp Services

The Awards for Engineering Excellence celebrate our member firms’ internationally recognized innovation and technical excellence in engineering. The 2013 ACEC British Columbia Awards were presented at a gala dinner on Saturday April 6th at the Vancouver Convention Centre. This year 32 outstanding projects were entered in five categories... buildings; municipal; transportation; natural resource, energy and industry; and soft engineering.

Wilson Farm Habitat Enhancement Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd.

Seismic Retrofit Guidelines Ausenco with Bush, Bohlman & Partners Ltd.; GENIVAR; and Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd.

ACEC-BC Awards... celebrating innovation and technical excellence in engineering

Awards of Merit

ACEC British Columbia congratulates the winners presented here. All of the project entries will be on display through the year as the Awards Road Show tours public venues across BC. Tsingtao Pearl Visitor Centre Fast + Epp Structural Engineers 2013 Chairman’s Award

Hon. Ralph Sultan, P.Eng. Minister of State for Seniors

2013 Meritorious Achievement Award

Harvest Energy Garden Opus DaytonKnight Consultants Ltd.

202 Street Bus Rapid Transit Project Hatch Mott MacDonald with MMM Group, McElhanney, Delcan and CMS Focus

Gibraltar Development Plan 3 Ausenco

Deh Cho Bridge Associated Engineering

2013 Young Professional Award

John Watson, P.Eng., FEC

Selena Wilson, P.Eng. McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd.





SILVER BCIT School of Construction and the Environment Bull Housser FTG Constructors (Dragados Canada, Ledcor CMI, BelPacific Excavating & Shoring, and Vancouver Pile Driving) Urban Systems Ltd. Vancouver Airport Authority

BRONZE B & B Contracting Group McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. Buckland & Taylor Ltd. McMillan LLP Dentons Canada LLP MMM Group Langley Concrete Group Moffatt & Nichol Matcon Civil Constructors Inc. Port Metro Vancouver BC Road Builders & Heavy Construction Association


Special Supplement 2013 ACEC British Columbia Awards for Engineering Excellence


president’s message


nce again, the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of BC celebrated excellence in engineering by recognizing extraordinary projects and people that make a difference to British Columbians and others around the world at our 24th Annual Awards of Excellence Gala. As in previous years, all of the entries in the competition demonstrate technical excellence, innovation, sustainability and creativity. Those selected as award winners are truly worthy of recognition. In addition to recognizing excellent engineering projects, we also recognized the outstanding contributions of individuals. The Meritorious Achievement Award is presented annually to an individual for significant lifetime contributions to engineering, the industry and the community. The recipient of the 2013 Meritorious Achievement award is John Watson, P.Eng. Through a lifetime of achievement, he has made significant contributions to organizations such as APEGBC, Vancouver International Airport Authority, British Columbia Safety Authority and many other business and charitable organizations. The Young Consulting Engineer Award recognizes an individual for achievements in the first 10 years of their career, and the worthy recipient this year is Selena Wilson of McElhanney. Selena

has already many successful projects in her portfolio and has been actively engaged with the Young Professional Group, not only locally with ACEC-BC but also with the international organization FIDIC. This year, ACEC-BC presented a new award, the Chairman’s Award. This award is to be presented annually to an individual or organization that has consistently provided exceptional support to B.C.’s consulting engineering community

or to the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of B.C. This year’s recipient was Hon. Ralph Sultan, Minister of State for Seniors, who has contributed significantly to ensuring the concerns of the engineering community are heard and acted upon. The project awards were selected from a total of 35 entries in five categories: building; transportation; municipal; natural resource, energy and industry; and soft engineering. Awards of Excellence and Awards of Merit are given in each category, with the prestigious Lieutenant Governor’s Award given to the project that excelled above all others. The winner of the 2013 Lieutenant Governor’s Award was Ausenco (with Bush, Bohlman & Partners, GENIVAR, and Read Jones Christoffersen) for the work they did on the Seismic Retrofit Guidelines on behalf of the Ministry of Education in conjunction with APEGBC. The award winners demonstrate the fine work of B.C.’s consulting engineers, both in B.C. and abroad. Congratulations to all the winners! Keith Sashaw President and CEO ACEC British Columbia

March/April 2013

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Special Supplement 2013 ACEC British Columbia Awards for Engineering Excellence


Lieutenant Governor’s Award of Engineering Excellence Ausenco | Seismic Retrofit Guidelines

Groundbreaking Research


n 2004 the B.C. Ministry of Education initiated a $1.5B seismic mitigation program for public school buildings. The Ministry retained the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC to manage the development of new, innovative, performance-based technical guidelines for structural engineers to use in seismic risk assessments and to produce cost-effective retrofit designs. The team consisted of UBC; a seismic peer review committee (SPRC) comprised primarily of structural engineers from ACEC-British Columbia firms; and an external peer view committee with seismic specialist from the U.S. The unique collaboration between government, academia and the engineering community developed: • New assessment tools and procedures for engineers to determine how different sections of school buildings in different parts of B.C.’s seismic zones will withstand different types of earthquakes; • Cutting-edge technical guidelines for engineers to follow when planning school retrofits and access to ongoing support from APEGBC’s technical review committee; •A data analyzer that gives engineers access to more than eight million sets of peer reviewed seismic retrofit analysis to assist in the assessment and retrofit design of school structures. The Guidelines consist of a nine-volume, 300+ page manual and a companion tool — the unique state-of-the-art web-based Seismic Performance Analyzer. This analyzer accesses a database containing millions of non-linear incremental dynamic analyses for different structural systems and high-risk partition walls, evaluated for earthquakes expected to occur in B.C. Users can rapidly and with province-wide consistency determine the seismic risk of an existing building, and optimize the extent of new structure required to achieve “life-safety” seismic performance. Interim guidelines were released in 2005 and 2006, followed by the 1st edition in 2011. The 2nd edition (draft) was issued in 2012 with full release scheduled for 2013. The SPRC had direct involvement in all releases, including training of the structural engineering community. 14

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Prior to the development of the guidelines, there were significant drawbacks to seismic mitigation programs where there was no uniform approach to seismic assessments and retrofit designs by the engineering community. In recognition of this ground breaking work, Ausenco (with Bush, Bohlman & Partners, GENIVAR, and Read Jones Christoffersen) received the prestigious 2013 ACEC-BC Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Engineering Excellence. The project earned the Award of Excellence in the category of Soft Engineering. “This is an extremely comprehensive and ground-breaking structural upgrade program. The standardized, peer-reviewed methodology provides a roadmap for assessing and addressing seismic risk in a prioritized and focused way,” said Andy Mill, chair of the APEGBC seismic peer review committee. The Seismic Retrofit Guidelines are being used by all B.C. school districts and their structural engineering consultants for the seismic assessment and seismic retrofit design of school buildings.

The guidelines have also been recognized nationally and internationally with the U.S. and China expressing interest in using the methodology of these guidelines to assess the seismic performance of their buildings. Ausenco also took home an Award of Merit in the category of Natural Resources, Energy & Industry for the Gibraltar Development Plan 3 project. Ausenco provided engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services for the Taseko Mines Limited project in McLeese Lake, BC — the second largest open pit copper mine in Canada.


Special Supplement 2013 ACEC British Columbia Awards for Engineering Excellence


BUILDING Award of Excellence Glotman Simpson | UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science


ith its combination of state-ofthe-art laboratory, teaching, research and public exhibit space, the UBC Pharmaceutical Building is able to bring the entire Pharmaceutical Sciences department under one roof for the first time. Opened in September 2012, the building is pursuing LEED Gold certification. The ingenious design of the building combines four structurally distinct buildings into a single complex, integrated together with three large atriums — the “lungs” of this living, breathing building. This signature building features a two level open entrance, abundant natural light and sloped walls at its base. To create its iconic cantilevered west façade, columns connected to each slab were offset, set tight to the exterior curtain to leave corner boardroom spaces with unobstructed views. The design required a structural solution that combined individual elements, making them behave together as a single entity seismically. Glotman Simpson integrated the building’s structural elements through the use of thin-link slabs 250 millimetres thick. These discreet con-

crete slabs were integrated into the overall design, and effectively transfer loads throughout the structure while supporting the architect’s overall vision.

Incorporating BIM modeling into the fasttracked project schedule, completed in under 34 months, required strong project team collaboration from the early design stages.

MUNICIPAL AWARD OF EXCELLENCE AECOM Canada Ltd. | Bridgeview Sewer System


urrey was faced with a vacuum sewer system that was not reliable and its operating costs were 20 times higher than conventional systems. AECOM was challenged to evaluate options for replacement of the vacuum sewer system and design a solution that offered the optimal mix of practicality, potential for phasing and economic viability. In order to minimize costs and the number of pump stations that a conventional sewer system would require, AECOM developed an innovative replacement strategy that combined conventional sewer installation with GPS based trenchless technology in a manner that had never before been used for municipal sewer servicing in B.C. The Bridgeview Pump Station is on a residential lot and architecturally designed to blend into the existing community. The station was designed to look like a two-storey home so that all of the electrical, controls and generator equipment could be located on the second storey and above the Fraser River 200-year flood level. The station featured acoustic and odour control equipment to minimize impact on the neighbouring homes. AECOM’s design provides area residents and local businesses with a highly reliable sewer service that saves the city $1 million per year. March/April 2013

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Special Supplement 2013 ACEC British Columbia Awards for Engineering Excellence



Stantec Consulting Ltd. | South Fraser Perimeter Road — Eastern Section


tantec, as prime consultant for the P3 team, led a design team that was challenged to create a cost-effective infrastructure solution that would remove truck traffic from commuter roads in the greater Vancouver area, while minimizing environmental impacts and improving adjacent communities. The South Fraser Perimeter Road project, approximately 40 km long, includes the design, construction, finance, and operation of a new four-lane, 80 km/hr route along the south side of the Fraser River, extending from Deltaport Way in Southwest Delta to 176th Street in Surrey. The Eastern Section opened to traffic on December 1, 2012. As B.C.’s newest highway, SFPR (Hwy 17) is currently accessible from 136th Street for travel under the Port Mann Bridge and onward to connect to Hwy 1. The design team faced significant design constraints including a very limited right of way, which was confined by parkland, archaeologically sensitive areas, and existing municipal infrastructure; poor ground conditions extending

to great depths; ecologically sensitive locations requiring ongoing monitoring and resolution prior to any construction; and an accelerated

schedule driven by the Gateway Program, demanding substantial completion one month ahead of schedule.

NATURAL RESOURCE, ENERGY & INDUSTRY Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd. | Wilson Farm Habitat Enhancement


he Wilson Farm Habitat Enhancement Project, located within Metro Vancouver’s Colony Farm Regional Park, encompasses 178,000 m 2 of aquatic and riparian habitat enhancement for fish and wildlife. It was undertaken by Transportation Investment Corporation to provide environmental compensation for the Port Mann Highway 1 infrastructure improvement project. The goals for Wilson Farm were to re-establish the tidal connection and fish access to the floodplain channels, improve drainage for wildlife habitat, and minimize disturbance to park users. The project includes a self-regulated tide gate and overshot gate, new channels and ponds, enhancements to existing channels, pump station upgrades, and riparian plantings. Kerr Wood Leidal Associates completed hydraulic modelling of habitat channels and prepared the detailed engineering design for the tide gates, overshot gate, and channels. The innovative self-regulated tide gate system enables full tidal exchange and easy fish passage thus restoring habitat while at the same time providing a simple, low-maintenance means of flood protection. 16

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The tide gates were opened in November 2011. In 2012, young coho, chum, pink and chinook salmon were found in the reconnected channels.

The project is a success from a fisheries and wildlife perspective and has enhanced a valuable recreational and wildlife viewing area for area residents.




Engineers chose Redi-Rock Gravity AND Reinforced walls to repair this slide—restoring access to a dam that provides water to a Pacific Northwest city. How did they do it? Read on to find out!


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Rock walls because they are unique in that they are large blocks that have a positive connection between the geogrid and the block itself. This area is subject to very high dynamic forces as a result of the debris flows that occur during major climatic events. The big blocks and positive connection provides the greatest resistance under these circumstances for the lowest cost.”


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On the lower wall, engineers were able to utilize the Redi-Rock Gravity solution to speed installation and cut costs. The ability to utilize both Gravity and Reinforced walls on the same project— with the same great look—is a major benefit of the Redi-Rock system. There’s no need to mix and match between different vendors on a project that requires both Gravity and Reinforced solutions— even within a single wall. Visit WHATSBEHINDTHESEWALLS today to get a quote on your next project! | 866-952-7133


Special Supplement 2013 ACEC British Columbia Awards for Engineering Excellence



Fast + Epp | Tsingtao Pearl Visitors Centre, Qindao, China

Opus DaytonKnight Consultants Ltd. Harvest Energy Garden, Richmond, B.C.



he 28,000 square foot Tsingtao Pearl Visitor Centre highlights the beauty of its surroundings, serving as a welcome portal to the growing community development in Qingdao. Wholly designed and constructed in eight months, the project encompasses the role of a “game-changer” for the use of staple wood products in China. Structural engineers at Fast + Epp teamed with design-builders at StructureCraft and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects to realize this innovative building, which required extensive prefabrication and planning. Inspired by ideas of creating a warped solid wood plate, the team developed 39 novel solid-laminated wood roof panels to be fabricated on site using ordinary lumber. Concurrently, 93 glue-laminated wood columns of varying length were individually milled and fitted with custom universal connectors, and shipped to China.

David Thompson National Geomatics Award for Unusual Applications in Geomatics (2011)

he Harvest Energy Garden uses an innovative High-Solids Anaerobic Digestion (HSAD) technology to process solid organic waste, including food and yard waste, into renewable energy and high quality compost. This facility enables the diversion of 30,000 tonnes of organic waste from landfills with enormous social, economic and environmental benefits. The facility is the first of this kind in North America. Developed in Germany, the HSAD technology is new and transformative due to its ability to accept high solids organic material such as mixed food and yard waste, and produce high quality biogas in the range of 70 – 85 per cent methane. Commissioning started on schedule in November 2012, with full operation by April 2013.

David Thompson National Geomatics Award for Innovation in Geomatics (2011)

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GPS Monitoring of BC Place Stadium Roof

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Mobile Mapping of the South Fraser Perimeter Road

Engineering | Surveying | Mapping | Community Planning | Environmental 18

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Special Supplement 2013 ACEC British Columbia Awards for Engineering Excellence


Focused on Building Opportunities

TRANSPORTATION AWARD OF MERIT Hatch Mott MacDonald 202 Street Bus Rapid Transit Project, Langley, B.C.

areas of practice construction disputes contract drafting builders liens professional liability mediation and arbitration contacts

john r. singleton

stephen j. berezowskyj


he 202 Street Bus Rapid Transit project provides an eastern terminus for non-stop highway bus service linking Langley with SkyTrain via the Port Mann Bridge. This sustainable initiative was built for the first reliable transit over the bridge since 1986 and provides future connectivity to other eastern Fraser Valley communities. Scope elements improve stormwater management, support local wildlife habitat, and support future community re-development. The consultant team developed cost-effective and innovative solutions, and successfully managed costs and schedule while maintaining high quality. Technical challenges included compressible soils, traffic management, drainage, environmental protection and properties acquisition. The project commenced operation on December 1, 2012 — the same day the new Port Mann Bridge officially opened.

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Singleton Urquhart llp 1200 – 925 West Georgia Street Vancouver, BC V6C 3L2 T 604. 682 7474 | F 604. 682 1283 |

NATURAL, RESOURCE, ENERGY & INDUSTRY AWARD OF MERIT Ausenco | Gibraltar Development Plan 3, McLeese Lake, B.C.


usenco provided EPCM services for the third phase of the development and modernization program at the Gibraltar mine, located in McLeese Lake, B.C. The GDP3 project included the construction of a new stand alone concentrator which will add an additional 30,000 tons per day to the mine’s processing capacity, with minimal interruption to existing copper and molybdenum production. These modifications and upgrades will enhance the Gibraltar’s operating flexibility and reliability and ensure that the mine continues to be an economic cornerstone for the region for years to come. The GDP3 project will increase Gibraltar’s overall processing capacity to 85,000 tons per day with an annual copper production averaging 165 million pounds.

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construction business



Special Supplement 2013 ACEC British Columbia Awards for Engineering Excellence


SOFT ENGINEERING AWARD OF MERIT Associated Engineering | Deh Cho Bridge, B.C.


he new Deh Cho Bridge, located on Highway 3 near the town of Fort Providence, is the first fixed crossing of the Mackenzie River. At a total length of 1045m, the $182 million structure is the longest bridge in the Northwest Territories. A dream 50 years in the making, the Deh Cho Bridge now spans the Mackenzie River, connecting communities and creating new opportunities in the North. Associated Engineering assumed the project management role midconstruction. Effective communication was the critical ingredient to maintaining project progress and ensuring ultimate project success. The team developed unique approaches to control schedule, budget, quality and risk, and to keep the public informed. Key challenges included its location in an extreme, remote environment and a geographically diverse team new to the project. Communication was critical and a tailor-made, web-based project document control system allowed all team members to access project information, at any time and from any location. The Deh Cho Bridge now stands as a testament to northern perseverance, bridging new opportunities in the North.

Your Local Partner Since 1910

OVER 100 YEARS OF STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS to provide our valued clients with award-winning project solutions ACEC-BC Award of Merit (2013) and BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s Deputy Minister’s Award – Finalist (2013)

202 Street Bus Rapid Transit Project / Carvolth Transit Exchange and Park & Ride

Greater Vancouver Institute of Transportation Engineers’ Bill Curtis Award for Project of the Year (2012)

Port Mann / Highway 1 Improvement Detours and Traffic Management

BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s Deputy Minister’s Award – Finalist (2012)

BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s Deputy Minister’s Award – First Place (2012)

Highway 37A Flood Response Project

Peace Flood Response Project along Highway 97 in Pine Pass

Engineering | Surveying | Mapping | Community Planning | Environmental 20 construction business

March/April 2013


Special Supplement 2013 ACEC British Columbia Awards for Engineering Excellence

Chairman’s Award Hon. Ralph Sultan | Minister of State for Seniors


Meritorious Achievement Award John Watson, P.Eng., FEC


his inaugural award is to be presented annually to an individual or organization that has consistently provided exceptional support to B.C.’s consulting engineering community or to the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of B.C. This year’s recipient was Hon. Ralph Sultan, Minister of State for Seniors. Ralph was appointed Minister of State for Seniors on September 5, 2012. He was elected to the BC Legislature to represent the riding of West Vancouver-Capilano in 2001, 2005 and 2009. He has served on the Government Caucus Committee for the Economy and the Legislature’s Public Accounts Committee, and the Caucus Liaison for the Ministry of Finance. Ralph previously served as the Chair for the Government Caucus Committee for the Economy and the B.C. Mining Task Force. Ralph is an economist, educator and businessperson who also maintains registration as a professional engineer (P.Eng.). Graduating from UBC in 1956 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, he worked as a technical sales representative for a major international company before earning MBA, MA, and Ph.D. (Economics) degrees from Harvard University. He

then served as Assistant and Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University, for nine years.

Young Professional Award

Selena Wilson, P.Eng | McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd.


elena Wilson graduated in 2005 with a Bachelors of Applied Science in Civil Engineering from the University of British Columbia. She has since worked for McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. in Surrey for the last six years specializing in highway design for the Design-Build division. In 2008, she completed the FIDIC Young Professionals Management training program, and after completion, joined the FIDIC Young Professionals Forum Steering Committee representing Canadian young professionals within the International consulting community. She is the current vice cair of the YPFSC, and in this role, assists in planning the YP program at FIDIC annual conferences, publication of the YPFSC quarterly newsletter, and promotes the development of young professionals through networking and training opportunities provided by FIDIC and MA Young Professional Groups. Selena is actively involved with the Consulting Engineers of British Columbia Young Professionals group. As a member of the YPG steering committee, she participates in the development of local training seminars in Vancouver and is the group’s liaison representative for the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies — Canada and FIDIC Young Professional activities.


fter earning his BASc in civil engineering from UBC in 1963 and his MBA from SFU in 1971, John worked on numerous high-profile projects with Wright Engineers (now Fluor Daniels Inc.) and H.A. Simons (now AMEC) over 24 years. He currently operates Tranquille Management Inc, a project and engineering management firm. John has worked tirelessly for several organizations within the engineering industry. His extensive work promoting the industry includes spending time as president for both ACEC British Columbia and APEGBC. During his term as ACEC-BC president in 1988/89, he led three important changes which helped the association grow and mature: formation of a Ministry of Transportation and Highways Liaison Committee to improve government relations; an updated dues formula to achieve the goals of hiring a full time executive director, upgrading the association’s premises and increasing ACEC-BC’s visibility; and collaboration between ACEC-BC and APEGBC to create province wide fee guidelines and to promote quality based selection. In 2008, he was honoured as a Fellow of Engineers Canada. This Fellowship recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly to the profession of engineering. March/April 2013

construction business



Diverse Strength By Cheryl Mah

Kelowna Hospital P3 project


any factors influence the success of a company, but none more so than its employees. Stantec, one of B.C.’s largest and most diversified consulting firms, invests a significant amount of resources and money into developing its people. “The company has got a fantastic bandwidth of talent that is in the 25-40 year old range. The most important thing I do is developing our young leaders and giving them opportunities to succeed,” says Michael Kennedy. “I’m proud of the team we’ve got here that are moving into senior leadership positions.” Over the course of his 20 year career, Kennedy has worked on a variety of major infrastructure projects in Canada, the US and Europe. But today Stantec’s vice president and regional leader for B.C devotes much of his time to growing the company and the talent within it. “We put significant resources into training at all levels. We invest in universities, training programs, mentorship programs…,” notes Kennedy. “The demand for skilled trades in this province over the next 10 years is eye-popping. It’s a huge issue that needs to be carefully addressed. I personally put a lot of effort into it because I believe it’s probably the biggest issue facing many companies. We’re going to see some profound changes as the baby boomers really do retire en masse.” 22

construction business

March/April 2013

Born and raised in England, Kennedy was exposed to the construction industry at an early age. As a teenager, he worked with his father who was a carpenter and became fascinated with the dynamic nature of the business. He attended the University of Manchester to initially pursue a civil engineering degree but figured out quickly he didn’t want to be an engineer. “What I wanted to do was to build things,” recalls Kennedy, who graduated in 1992 with a bachelor of science in construction management. A recession at the time meant very few jobs but he was one of the lucky ones finding work with a construction company. “Looking back, it was actually really good experience to come into the industry when it was going through tough times,” reflects Michael Kennedy Kennedy. In 1995, he joined a construction manage- first project was the Millennium Line. The ment company in London as project manager. firm was acquired by Stantec in 2002. He then moved to Vancouver in 1999 with his Other projects followed where he led the wife and joined The RPA Group where his teams on the construction of the BC Cancer


Whistler Sliding Centre

Research Centre, Whistler Sliding Centre, Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute and more recently the Kelowna and Vernon Hospital P3 project. “I really enjoy facilitating teams to be good at what they do,” he says. Kennedy counts the BC Cancer Research Centre as a highlight project. Completed in 2004, the award winning facility is one of the largest freestanding cancer research centres in Canada. “You probably do two of these projects in your career,” he says. “There’s a huge emotional component working on a project like that because of what it’s for. It really brings home the value of what you’re doing on a day to day basis. It becomes this very personal way that you interact with the community and make a difference.” Kennedy continued his climb up the corporate ladder where he eventually became vice president and then in 2008 was promoted to regional leader of B.C. In his role, he oversees a diverse team of 800 dispersed throughout Stantec’s seven offices in B.C. The company’s services include planning, engineering, architecture, project management and environmental sciences for public and private sector clients.

“We’re heavily involved in the resource sector — mining, oil and gas, power — right through to designing airports, schools and hospitals,” says Kennedy. “We also do a lot of work in the community.”

Stantec’s diverse strength and focus on a culture of creativity and teamwork have resulted in many award winning, successful projects He adds, “some people think of Stantec as a big company doing big things. I think we’re a sizable company that works at all scales. People would be surprised at the extent to which we work on small community based projects.” While Stantec provides integrated services on projects around the world with locations

throughout North America and internationally, each office is regionally specific. “The way we do things in B.C. is very tailored to B.C. We want to be much more responsive to what each community wants. And we think that’s a real strength of the organization,” explains Kennedy. “That’s the way we’ve done things for years and it’s been successful.’ Current projects include the South Fraser Perimeter Road, Oakridge Mall redevelopment, Capital Regional District waste water treatment program and environmental permitting work on the LNG proposals in northern B.C. Stantec has also been heavily involved in P3s from the first one in B.C. (Abbotsford Regional Hospital) to the most recent P3 hospital project in Kelowna and Vernon. “We’re participating in almost all pursuit P3 teams that have been announced,” says Kennedy, citing North Island Hospital and BC Children’s and BC Women’s Hospital redevelopment as examples. “P3s aren’t for the fainted hearted. You need to have some of your best people on them.” Stantec’s diverse strength and focus on a culture of creativity and teamwork have resulted in many award winning, successful projects over the years. The company’s commitment to its people has been recognized as well, March/April 2013

construction business


2013 Wood WORKS! BC Wood Design Award winners Awards evening held on Monday, March 4th, 2013 - Vancouver Convention Centre, West

Residential Wood Design

Multi-Unit Residential

Kimberley Smith and Bo Helliwell, Helliwell + Smith Blue Sky Architecture BCSolar Crest, Sidney Island, BC

Oliver Lang, LWPAC Lang Wilson Practice in Architecture Culture

Institutional Wood Design: Large

Western Red Cedar

Monad, Vancouver, BC

Green Building

Peter Busby, Perkins+Will Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability, Vancouver, BC

Wood Innovation

Jana Foit, Perkins+Will

Pam Chilton, Zimba Design

Peter Busby and Jim Huffman, Perkins+Will

Earth Sciences Building, Vancouver, BC

The Urban Longhouse, North Vancouver, BC

VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre, Vancouver, BC

Event Sponsors

Trophy Sponsor

Jury Sponsor


More than 350 distinguished design and building professionals, including architects, engineers, project teams, industry sponsors and their guests gathered to honour the nominees and winners of the 2013 Wood WORKS! BC Wood Design Awards. The annual awards evening recognizes leadership and innovation in wood use while being an opportunity to publicly salute and encourage continued excellence in the building and design community. This year there were 98 nominations in 12 categories from all over BC as well as some national and international submissions. Wood WORKS! is a national industry-led initiative of the Canadian Wood Council, with a goal to support innovation and provide leadership on the use of wood and wood products. Wood WORKS! BC provides education, training and technical expertise to building and design professionals involved with non-residential construction projects throughout BC.

Commercial Wood Design

Interior Beauty Design

Institutional Wood Design: Small

McFarland Marceau Architects Ltd.

Andreas Kaminski, aka architecture + design inc.

Graham D. Fligg, Merrick Architecture - Borowski Sakumoto Fligg Ltd.

Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility, Vancouver, BC

Queen of Peace Monastery, Squamish Valley, BC

Klahoose First Nation New Relationship Centre, Cortes Island, BC



Wood Champion Award

Kimberley Smith and Bo Helliwell, Helliwell + Smith Blue Sky Architecture

Eric Karsh, Equilibrium Consulting, Vancouver, BC

Equilibrium Consulting

Miracle Beach House, Miracle Beach, BC

City of North Vancouver Civic Centre Renovation

Vancouver, BC


being named one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People as well as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. Kennedy believes successful projects always have great clients behind them. “A great client is probably the number one factor in the success of a project. A client that has vision, leadership, has enthusiasm for what they’re doing…makes it easy for the team to succeed.” Growth will continue to be a priority for the company. Much of Stantec’s growth in the past 10 years has come through acquisitions. “We expect acquisitions to continue but we’re also seeing very strong organic growth in the company and that will become more of a factor moving forward,” says Kennedy. As for the outlook for 2013, Kennedy is optimistic and cites activity in the services and resources sector as well as commercial and aviation is keeping the company busy. “I can see there are lots of opportunities,” he says. “B.C. is a trading province because it has oil, gas, forestry…it’s the reason why this province has grown up in the last 100 years. It’s one of the reasons why it’s going to be successful in the next 100 years.” Kennedy also gives his time to the industry and community when he can. He is a founding executive committee member of the BC District Council of the Urban Land Institute. Last year he was invited to join the BC Cancer Foundation board of directors. Married 11 years, Kennedy leads an active family life outside of work. He has three children aged 10, seven and five who enjoy organized sports. He coaches at the Capilano Rugby Football Club. “I like to think I can build $100 million projects in my sleep but trying to get rugby into the heads of seven-year-olds is a whole other thing,” laughs Kennedy. 26 construction business

March/April 2013

Architect: IBI Group / Henriquez Partners

BC Cancer Research Centre

Construction Law

Warranty Language In a Supply Contract Greater Vancouver Water District v. North American Pipe & Steel Ltd., 2012 BCCA 337 (Leave to Appeal to Supreme Court of Canada refused) By Marina Pratchett


orth American Pipe & Steel Ltd. (“NAP”) was the successful bidder in a competitive tendering process for the supply of water pipes for two projects in Vancouver. A contract for the pipe supply was awarded by Greater Vancouver Water District (“GVWD”) to NAP in December 2005. The pipes were manufactured in Korea. The design of the pipe, including detailed specifications for a coal tar enamel coating of the pipes, was provided by GVWD. The specifications required the application of a seal coat over a fibreglass mat outerwrap. GVWD engaged a consultant to go to Korea and provide full time inspection during the manufacture of the pipes. The pipes were also inspected by GVWD on delivery and found to be acceptable. However, problems with the pipe were identified by the installation contractor. GVWD immediately advised NAP that it was then refusing to accept delivery of the pipe and refusing to pay. Experts were retained and investigations on both sides ensued. GVWD developed a remedial plan that required removal of the seal coat and outer wrap and application of a polyurethane coating for the entire pipe surface. NAP argued that the problems were not so extensive as to demand this level of remediation. NAP performed the remedial work required by GVWD under protest. In 2010, the matter proceeded to trial for almost 30 days. The trial was heard before Madame Justice Gerow, a judge who, while in practice as a lawyer, had considerable experience in construction and insurance matters. The vast majority of trial time and expert evidence was taken up with the issue of whether the coating on the pipe, as manufactured, met the requirements of the specifications provided by GVWD. The trial judge found that the evidence did not support a finding of that the pipes were defective in the manner alleged by GVWD or that the manufacture of the pipes failed to meet

specification as alleged by GVWD. The trial judge found that the pipe was manufactured in accordance with the GVWD specifications and that the “most probable cause of the de-lamination, thin spots, and voids in the CTE coating [was] the GVWD’s specification requiring the application of the seal coat over the outerwrap” [para 125]. One might expect that this finding would have ended the issues between NAP and GVWD, with NAP taking its legal and claims team out for an expensive celebratory dinner. That, however, is not how the story ends. This finding of the trial judge took the parties to a legal argument on the meaning of certain contract language, with the issue being framed by the trial judge as “Is NAP contractually responsible for any defects arising from the GVWD’s specification?” The supply contract as executed by NAP contained two express provisions: • NAP warranted to GVWD that the water pipes would conform to all applicable specifications, and would be fit for the purpose for which they are to be used. This particular clause included a statement that GVWD was relying on NAP’s’ skill and judgment in selecting and providing the proper water pipes; and •“The Supply Contractor warrants and guarantees that the goods are free from all defects arising at any time from faulty design in any part of the goods.” GVWD argued, on the basis of these contractual provisions, that the fact that GVWD had itself supplied the design for the coating was irrelevant. The trial judge did not accept GVWD’s position, stating that to hold NAP bound to the contractual guarantee of fitness for purpose ignored the fact that NAP was contractually obligated to manufacture to GVWD’s specifications and there was no evidence that GVWD relied on

NAP’s skill and judgment. GVWD developed the specifications without input from NAP and was fully responsible for and had control of the design process. The trial judge found that the guarantee and reliance provisions of the supply agreement were in direct conflict with the obligations to build to specification and concluded that “it was not the intention of the parties that NAP would guarantee any defects arising out of the design prepared by the GVWD. Looking at the Supply Agreement as a whole … the parties could not have intended that liability would be imposed on NAP for deficiencies arising from manufacturing the pipes in accordance with the GVWD’s specifications.” [para161] “the reasonable interpretation of the guarantee … is that NAP warrants and guarantees that the pipes are free from all defects arising at any time from faulty design performed by NAP.” [para 167] The trial judge’s practical interpretation of the contract language did not withstand the scrutiny of British Columbia’s Court of Appeal (“CA”). On August 14, 2012 the CA overturned the decision of the trial judge and remitted the matter back to the Supreme Court for a determination of all elements relating to damages. NAP was unsuccessful in an attempt to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. The finding of the CA is foreshadowed in the court’s characterization of the issue, which telegraphs the conclusion: “This appeal essentially concerns the legal question whether the judge erred in refusing to hold the supplier to its contractual warranty” [para 7] The CA was not prepared to read down the design guarantee as the trial judge had done. The CA considered that the language of that guarantee was clear and unambiguous and the CA did not see the design warranty and the obligation to manufacture to GVWD’s design to be inconsistent, either logically or legally. The CA stated that the “warranty and guarantee provisions reflected “a distribution of risk to which the parties agreed”. Essentially the CA concluded that NAP submitted a tender which included a design guarantee and it was therefore NAP’s responsibility to assess the risk associated with that guarantee and either not bid for the work or build in sufficient contingency for the risk it was assuming. The CA justices applied a very black line approach to the interpretation of the contract language. Lesson Learned: read your contractual warranty carefully and make sure you are not agreeing to assume design liability in relation to design you are not performing. Marina Pratchett QC is a partner with Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. She practises in the area of construction and engineering law. March/April 2013

construction business


Construction Law

Pay when Paid, the End is Near By John R. Singleton and Talya Nemetz-Sinchein


ash flow, particularly in the construction industry, is king. Without it the entire process can come to a grinding halt with the inevitable finger-pointing, delay claims and in some cases, litigation. The sources of interrupted cash flow are multiple, but their effect is similar. Poorly financed projects can result in both unattended and intended delay in payment to builders, who in turn are unable to pay their trades and material suppliers. The dire consequences of such a situation were recognized some time ago with the insertion in the CCDC contract of the requirement that the owner demonstrate its financial strength at the outset of a project so there is some assurance of uninterrupted cash flow. Of course such contractual provisions are only as good as the parties to the contract, but there is some recognition of the importance to properly arrange and then honour one’s financial obligations in the complex setting of a construction project. Even a well-financed project can run into difficulty with an over-extended builder. The consequence of a builder being unable to pay its trades can have widespread ramifications for all project participants, including the project sponsors, the builder’s trades and material suppliers and consultants. In recognition of this difficulty the industry long ago adopted the use of performance bonds and labour and material payment bonds in an attempt to soften the blow of a builder, who for any one of a number of reasons, runs out of cash. Although bonds go some distance to alleviating the consequences of this situation, even the bond underwriters can be the reason for cash flow interruption if they adopt the position of a desperate builder who has provided indemnities to the underwriters in the event of the bond being called upon. But bonds do go some distance to assuring orderly completion of a project placed in peril by interrupted cash flow. A still further reason for interruption of cash flow on a project can be the use of contract payments on other projects or for the purpose of discharging general overhead expenses of the payment recipient, unrelated to the project in question. In recognition of the impact this might have on all project participants, the Builders Lien Act SBC 1997 c.45, places on notice not only the payment recipients but, if they are corporation, their directors, that use of contract funds for unauthorized purposes, such as general overheads, personal expenses and so on, is a breach of the trust provisions under the Act, with dire consequences for those who offend this prohibition. Yes, there will still be and still are offenders, but these provisions in the Builders Lien Act should cause anyone thinking upon unauthorized use of project cash flow to think twice about using 28 construction business

March/April 2013

payments for this purpose rather than paying accounts owing to subtrades and material suppliers. Of course cash flow can also be interrupted due to incidents on the project, whether it be significant deficiencies in work of the builders or subtrades, delays in producing drawings and specifications or approval of shop drawings or delayed progress certificates. The contracts entered into between and amongst the parties attempt to deal with these situations in a fair and equitable manner and many offer expedited dispute resolution techniques to solve these problems in a expeditious manner so as to not interrupt the progress of the work and therefore the cash floor required to move the project forward. Against the background of these multiple causes of interrupted cash flow on projects and the various statutory and contractual dispute resolution mechanisms put in place to handle them, there remains one source of interrupted cash flow which begs for a similar solution. It is

…certain organizations within the construction industry in Canada have advocated for the adoption of prompt payment legislation the “pay when paid” clauses which one often sees in trade contracts or subcontracts entered into by trade and material suppliers with a builder or another trade. The raison d’etre or gist of the clause is that the builders or trades’ obligation to pay its trades or material suppliers will not be triggered until the builder or trade responsible for the payment is paid by the party with whom it contracts. For example, if an owner delays payment to a builder then the builder’s trades are not entitled to payment of their certified progress claims until the builder is paid for those claims by the owner. Needless to say such a contractual provision can have a debilitating effect on trades and material suppliers who rely on the day-to-day cash flow from their projects to remain financially viable. I would venture to say if all of their contracts contained “pay when paid” clauses there would be considerable shrinkage in the industry. Although there has been no contractual or statutory recognition of the inequity of such clauses to this point of time, change is on the horizon. Instigated by the need to remedy this unfairness of delay in payment for completed work, certain organizations within the construction industry in Canada have advocated for the adoption of

prompt payment legislation comparable to that found in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Ontario is currently leading the way with Bill 211, titled an “Act to Protect Contractors by Requiring Prompt Payment of Construction Contracts: (the “Bill”). The bill is a private member’s bill introduced by Ontario MPP Mr. Levac. The bill passed the first reading in the legislature on June 1, 2011, and that same day, the provincial government was prorogued until after the October 2011 provincial election. Leading the lobbying movement in Ontario is a joint task force of the Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA) and the Ontario Caucus of the National Trade Contractors Coalition of Canada (NTCCC) who have met to discuss revisions to the bill. The task force hopes to present its recommendations to the provincial government in March of this year. Under the proposed legislation, no owner would be able to contract out of the payment requirements. Payment and valuation of payment terms in construction contracts are to be followed, with the exception that payments are to be made no less than monthly. If a contract does not provide for payment and valuation terms, the bill provides governance of those payments. Payment of an amount due under a contract is to be made within five days after a payment application is approved. A payment application is deemed to be approved 10 days after it is received by the owner, an agent of the owner or the engineer or architect of record. If a payment certifier fails to issue certification within the prescribed time period, the submission would automatically be deemed certified and due unless the payer provides a timely written statement explaining any disapproval or amendment of such payment application. Payment is still able to be deferred when contractors are awaiting payment, but only the actual value of the amount disputed can be held back, and no holdbacks other than those provided for in the Construction Lien Act (RSO 1990, c. 30) will be allowed. Furthermore, the Act would mandate that Canadian Derivatives Clearing Corporation clauses allowing access to owners’ financial information cannot be deleted from construction contracts. Various members of the construction industry in B.C., including the Vancouver Regional Construction Association and Roofing Contractors Association of BC, eagerly await the completion of the Ontario legislation from which they hope a comparable piece of legislation in B.C. will be developed. It is change which is far overdue. John Singleton, Q.C., is a partner at Singleton Urquhart LLP in Vancouver. Talya Nemetz-Sinchein is an articling student at the firm.

Construction Law

Resolution of Holdback Liability in B.C. By J. Marc MacEwing


hen a general contractor or a trade contractor pursues a builders lien claim, the recoverable amount will be limited only by the owner’s ability to pay. This is because the entitlement of a lien claimant who is contracted directly with an owner is by virtue of that contract not limited to recovery from holdback. In contrast, under the multiple holdback system provided by the British Columbia Builders Lien Act, subcontractors and other claimants who are not directly contracted with the owner are not only restricted to recovery from holdback, but also are entitled to look for recovery only to the holdback which was retained from the party with whom they contracted. This means that depending on the number and valid amounts of the lien claims and the amount of the available holdback against which they apply, recovery by a class of holdback claimants may be subject to proration, based on the ratio of the total of their valid claim amounts to the applicable holdback fund. The method of calculating the applicable holdback is therefore of considerable interest to subtrade lien claimants. The following factors may apply to that calculation: 1. Assuming that the total of the subtrade lien claims is equal to or more than the amount of the holdback, the basic minimum holdback liability figure is the statutory 10 per cent of the value of the work completed under the applicable intermediate contract or subcontract. 2. If the total of the lien claims is equal to or less than the statutory holdback amount, the

lien claimants should recover in full, as long as holdback has actually been retained or is otherwise able to be realized from the assets of the party liable for holdback or the equity in the liened property. 3. If the intermediate contract or subcontract work has been fully performed, the value of the work for the purpose of calculating statutory holdback is the final adjusted intermediate contract or subcontract value; i.e. inclusive of change orders, delay costs and value added tax.

The purpose of the Builders Lien Act is not necessarily to guarantee full payment 4. Holdback liability is not necessarily limited to the statutory 10 per cent amount. If more than that amount is actually retained from the intermediate party by the party liable for holdback, then the retaining party can be liable to subtrade holdback claimants for that actual holdback amount, subject to item 5 below. 5. Unlike statutory holdback liability, which cannot be reduced in the face of equivalent or greater amount liens, any excess of actual holdback over the 10 per cent amount can be applied by the retaining party to pay

valid contractual back charges or set-offs which it has against the intermediate contracting party, such as for completing the work, repairing deficiencies or compensating for other damages arising from the intermediate party’s contractual default. Depending on the circumstances of the intermediate contract or subcontract, the application of these factors will determine how much the retaining party will be liable to pay subtrade lien claimants relative to the amount retained, and whether those lien claimants will recover some, most or all of their claims. The purpose of the Builders Lien Act is not necessarily to guarantee full payment, but to provide potential security for the recovery of payment, the amount of which will depend on the variables at play on a given project. In that context, the scheme of the Act is to limit the holdback liability of paying parties to their contractual liability, as long as they satisfy their responsibility to retain at least 10 per cent of the value of a contract or subcontract. Subtrade lien claimants must therefore reconcile themselves to the possibility that their lien rights may not yield full recovery, and that owners and others responsible for holdback are within their rights to limit exposure by way of a holdback defence. It should especially be understood that security which is posted for a lien against the improved property in the full value of the lien claim does not guarantee the eventual payment of that amount to a successful lien claimant. The standard terms of a lien security order or informal security arrangement specify that the posting of security does not waive the securing party’s defences. The determination of holdback liability will occur at the end of the construction dispute process or at such earlier date as the party liable to pay holdback is able to evidence the extent of its liability to the lien claimants in a settlement or to the court in a Builders Lien Act Section 23 application. If such an application results in holdback liability being paid into court, the paying party and those above it in the contractual chain will be absolved of further lien liability and from the necessity of further active involvement in the construction dispute litigation. The holdback in court will remain available for distribution following settlement among the claimants or judgment(s) being rendered on their claims. J. Marc MacEwing is associate counsel with Shapiro Hankinson & Knutson Law Corporation. He provides his expertise in many areas of construction law, focusing on tendering disputes, builders liens and the preparation and analysis of contract documents. March/April 2013

construction business




BUI BUILD LASTING CHA CHANGE Living roof - the Vancouver Convention Centre

CaGBC National Conference and Expo

Vancouver, B.C. June 4-6, 2013

Get the latest green building knowledge in five education streams, including:

Get the latest green building knowledge in six education streams, including: » Leading the Way: Green

» Next Generation of Products

» LEED in Canada: 10 Years Commercial Real Estate of Innovation

» Leading the Way: Green Commercial and Materials Real Estate

» Future Green: Neighbourhoods and Cities

» Next Generation of Products and Materials

»» Pushing LEED in Canada: 10 Years of the Boundaries: Net Positive Innovation Buildings (SB13) » Master Speaker Series

is proud to be organizing the inaugural Real Estate stream at the CaGBC National Conference

CaGBC National Conference and Expo 2013 June 4-6, 2013 - Vancouver

ALL NEW FOR 2013 MediaEdge is proud to be an active participant in the development of an inaugural real estate stream that will be incorporated into the highly successful CaGBC National Conference and Expo. The content of this stream has been specifically geared towards Canadian real estate professionals and includes information on a wide range of timely and informative topics. Since 1986, MediaEdge Communications has been a leader in producing trade magazines, digital products and events in the Canadian real estate industry. We have seen firsthand the interest and growing acceptance of energy conservation best practices, new technologies and sustainable design and we commend the CaGBC on adding this important industry component to its annual conference.

Real Estate Stream Sponsored by



The focus is on industry leadership in greening new and existing buildings to meet investor expectations, tenant demand for green office space and CSR goals. Benchmarking results, performance management, performance disclosure policies and programs; tenant engagement programs; and market research on green office space will be covered in these sessions.


9:45 A.M. - 11:00 A.M. Green Premium or Brown Discount: Sustainability and the Real Estate Professional 11:15 A.M. - 12:30 P.M. Occupant Engagement: What’s the Opportunity?

8:00 P.M. - 10:00 P.M.

REAL ESTATE STREAM’S RECEPTION, MAHONY & SONS IRISH PUB Don’t miss the Real Estate Stream’s Inaugural Reception at Mahoney & Sons authentic Irish Pub! Your host, MediaEdge Communications, publisher of Canadian Property Management, Building Strategies & Sustainability and many other leading trade publications, dishing up some great appetizers and complimentary drinks for all those in attendance. Please plan to attend this reception which offers a fun and informal setting for real estate professionals to kick back, network and receive prizes, all over a cold pint and some canapés.

Less Water Sod & Seed

3:15 P.M. - 4:30 P.M. Seeing Green: TELUS Garden


9:30 A.M. - 10:45 A.M. How Do Green Buildings Perform After They Are Occupied? 11:15 A.M. - 12:30 P.M. Leveraging Benchmarking to Reduce Energy Costs and Accelerate Sustainability Projects

These industry leading magazines are proud to be part of the inaugural Real Estate stream at the CaGBC National Conference

For sponsorship or exhibit space, please call Dan Gnocato at: 604 549 4521, ext. 223 or


New Code Provisions By Terry Beck

It is imperative that the mechanical industry be prepared for the anticipated requirements to improve the distribution of whole house ventilation


omfort is a word used in the BC Building Code (BCBC). When talking about houses in particular, the BCBC actually twice refers to comfortable conditions for the occupants. The code priority for comfort is further underscored in one of the required objectives of the BCBC which reminds us to “limit the probability of the inadequate thermal comfort of persons”. All of this seems pretty obvious, after all most builders would find it difficult to sell an uncomfortable home. It does, however, serve as a reminder that building a comfortable home will require new design considerations and construction skills in an era of increasing requirements for energy efficiency and sustainability. Building science applied to the more energy efficient building envelope highlights required changes for the mechanical systems of houses in response to greater airtightness and increased levels of insulation. There was a time where homes were made relatively comfortable by installing a fireplace or two. This massive consumption of fuel was able to overcome the poor energy performance of walls and roofs that leaked heat through little or no insulation and gapping holes that allowed heated air to escape outside. The next step in the evolution of home comfort saw the introduction of furnaces with distributed ducting. Forced air furnaces improved comfort by getting the heat to the entire building, but the quality of the air was still generally ensured by the gapping holes through the building envelope and the furnace burned massive amounts of fuel inefficiently to compensate for the massive energy loss through the building enclosure. 32

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Controlling energy loss in older homes was not a priority as fuel was seen as pretty cheap to buy and the impact on the environment of burning all of that carbon was not recognized by most people. One of the unintended benefits of this energy flow through the enclosure, however, was the heating of the wall and roof structures in the winter to temperatures that virtually eliminated the formation of condensation, and cooked any other moisture out of the sensitive wood structure before decay could set in. If energy were free, unlimited in supply, and using it had no negative impacts on the environment, it might make sense to continue designing and building homes in this way. Homes continued to evolve and airtightness and insulation began to become a priority as fuel costs got higher and the social conscience for the environment began to recognize the impact of carbon emissions. Drafty homes in the cold Canadian winters contributed to the choice of designers and builders to embrace better airtightness. The mechanical systems for homes evolved from inefficient fuel burners to increasingly efficient home comfort appliances, and mechanical ventilation was required to compensate for the reduction of natural ventilation through the building envelope. The new, energy efficient home continues to focus on greater airtightness and greater levels of insulation. The building envelope forms the bones of a durable and efficient home, and building it right the first time is the only cost effective time to do it. By increasing insulation and airtightness, the walls increasingly lose the unin-

tended advantage of massive energy loss through the enclosure that controlled condensation in the walls and ‘cooked’ out unwanted moisture. New basement, wall and roof assemblies include for greater air barrier systems, vapour diffusion control defenses and rainscreen cladding approaches to increase, and it is important that the mechanical systems be designed, installed, commissioned and maintained in a manner that results in even greater control of the interior environment. The 2012 BCBC came into effect on December 20, 2012. Additional requirements for energy efficiency and the mechanical systems for B.C. have been developed collaboratively with the Thermal Environmental Comfort Association and the Province of B.C., and are expected to come into effect later in 2013. It is imperative that the mechanical industry be prepared for the anticipated requirements to improve the distribution of whole house ventilation through central ventilation systems or through heat recovery ventilators. The mechanical industry must prepare today for the new code provisions. The services of qualified designers, installers and service technicians in the residential mechanical industry have never been more important. The future of comfortable, durable, energy efficient homes depends on it. Terry Beck is a special advisor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University Trades and Technical. He has 35 years in the construction industry in commercial and residential buildings. He sat on the steering committee for the H.P.O. for the seismic development of part 9 of the BCBC.


Condensing Boilers Have Come of Age By Roy Collver

types of heating systems. The old adage that installing condensing boilers in conventional fin-tube baseboard buildings will not result in significant energy savings has been completely discredited, from Vancouver to Halifax, and everywhere in between.

Increased Reliability These boilers aren’t backyard experiments anymore. A deeper understanding of operational requirements and better materials of construction, as well as evolved components, have increased reliability tremendously since the early days. Trades people have become proficient at installing and servicing them, and regular preventative maintenance programs mean that service issues are negligible. In larger buildings, it is becoming very common to install multiple condensing boilers in order to increase efficiency through superior boiler plant turn-down ratio. Multiple boiler plants also provide the redundancy that results in a “call me in the morning” response when a single boiler shut-down fails to result in an instant “no heat” emergency.


hat’s not to like? More manufacturers, more choices, maturing technology, increased reliability, competitive pricing. This is a list of just some of the things that are leading to the current resurgence in interest for condensing boilers. Enhancing this list is the existence of an increasingly large installed base, with maturing installations showing stunning energy savings. All of the factors needed for a revolution in commercial, institutional and residential hydronic heating are in place, and the revolution is underway.

More Manufacturers In the 1980s, there were just two manufacturers of condensing boilers active in the market. Both product offerings were revolutionary and unique, and headed in the right direction. Great interest was generated in condensing boiler technology at that time, but unfortunately, both designs were seriously flawed. We still had a lot to learn about condensing boiler construction, and failed to realize how to best deal with corrosive condensate. Serial failures resulted in withdrawal of both products from the market — but stories about how much fuel had been saved caused some newcomers to go to the drawing board and design the second generation. The much more reliable secondgeneration products kick-started a renaissance, and sales of condensing boilers soared. New and existing boiler manufacturers started to jump

Competitive Pricing on the bandwagon, and today there are dozens of product line offerings to choose from.

More Choices There are many new products and technologies to choose from today when it comes to condensing boilers. The pressure vessel/heat exchanger is getting special attention as manufacturers present various grades of stainless steel, copper and aluminum, and also various configurations designed to provide both durability, and heat scrubbing ability. Controls are also getting much attention, as features like web communication, BACnet connectivity, self-diagnostics, ease of use touch screen interfaces and application specific programming, greatly increase ease of use and utility.

Maturing Technology Condensing boiler manufacturers have learned from past mistakes. They have improved product construction, controls, and application engineering, to the point that former naysayers are now eagerly embracing the technology. The savings are real. The boilers are robust, and have an acceptable life span, and as the installed base gets larger and more diverse, it has become undeniable that this technology is the wave of the future. Case study after case study is presenting typical fuel savings of 25-50 per cent over conventional gas-fired equipment in retrofit applications — in all climate zones of the country — in all

With more manufacturers springing up and competing for a piece of the growing pie — as well as increasing innovation resulting in more efficient design — condensing boilers have never been more affordable. Prices are closing the gap with conventional appliances. Pay back times are decreasing, even without the boost they are getting from low interest rates — but there’s more. Don’t forget the incentive grants! In many jurisdictions, gas utilities or governments are offering significant incentives to building owners in order to get them to upgrade from their old fuel guzzling boilers to newer energy efficient models. It is not unusual to see a pay back of two years and less on many retrofit installations. In many cases where building owners are “trying out” condensing boilers in one of their buildings, with the intent of doing an assessment to determine if the retrofit has a practical pay back, the owner suspends the trial mid-way, and orders a scheduled retrofit of all of the remaining buildings in the fleet. They didn’t want to waste any more time getting to the savings. Condensing boilers have indeed come of age, and should be given high priority whenever building owners are looking at ways to not only save money, but reduce their carbon footprint as well. Green is good. Roy Collver, P.Eng, is a hydronic heating specialist at IBC Technologies Inc. March/April 2013

construction business



District Energy: a Proven Technology By Ayman Fahmy and Elizabeth Mosier


n Canada, and in British Columbia specifically, communities are becoming more actively involved in dealing with environmental concerns. Many terms such as renewable energy, sustainability, global warming, and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) are becoming familiar to the public. Technological solutions such as district energy (DE) are proving effective in reducing the carbon footprint of communities on the planet. More than 50 per cent of Canadians’ energy consumption is for heating and cooling. Effectively utilizing thermal heated energy allows communities to achieve higher energy efficiency and develop more cost-effective infrastructure. DE enables communities to benefit from a diverse range of energy sources, including renewable ones. A community or neighborhood can centralize energy generating equipment in one location. This is often referred to as the central energy centre. In other words, all end users, whether a school, a community centre, or even a residence, will have neither a furnace nor air-conditioning equipment. Instead, the central energy centre becomes the heat source and/or heat sink for the entire community (see Figure 1.) The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a great local example of how this can work. It has one of the largest and oldest (since 1926) DE systems in the province. The system is currently un-

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dergoing a steam-to-hot-water conversion, which is in keeping with the university’s philosophy of “the Campus as a Living Laboratory”. This huge project will upgrade all heating infrastructure such as distribution piping, boilers and heat exchangers throughout the university. The five-year phased construction will be completed in 2015. It will include more than 14 km of hot water distribution

Technological solutions such as district energy are proving effective in reducing the carbon footprint of communities… piping, and approximately 130 energy transfer stations that transfer heat from the hot water loop to individual building heating loops. A new Campus Energy Centre (CEC) will also be constructed in early 2015. In addition, a Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility, which hosts a Biomass Combined Heat & Power (CHP) plant, is currently in the final commissioning stages.

Pre-insulated piping before being put in the ground

This new and improved DE System will: • p rovide a more energy efficient campus, meet the challenging GHG reduction targets that UBC set for 2015, • enable fuel diversity (refer to Figure 1), • e nable capturing waste heat from a nearby research facility, and • e nable the university to develop a more reliable and efficient combined heat & power (CHP) facility. The main mechanical components of the system include the hot water distribution piping, energy transfer stations (ETS), and the Campus Energy Centre (CEC). The distribution piping system is Danish manufactured Logstor pre-insulated piping, which is a thin-walled, pre-insulated pipe with a plastic jacket. This is a cost-effective and reliable system that is capable of detecting leaks. The ETS will provide separation between the hot water circulated in the new DE system through the CEC and the existing piping within the aging buildings. All ETS will be controlled automatically to realize the maximum system efficiency.


In addition to the advanced mechanical components of the system, innovation lies in the ability for fuel flexibility that comes with the DE system through the CHP plant. The biomass plant will produce 3 MW of thermal energy and 2 MW of clean electricity. The thermal energy produced by the plant will provide heat to the DE system. UBC’s DE steam-to-hot-water conversion is one of four projects in the “Campus as a Living Laboratory” initiative designed to help the campus meet its greenhouse gas reduction target of 33 per cent by 2015. Upon completion, the steam-to-hot-water conversion alone will reduce campus greenhouse gases by 22 per



cent. The campus will benefit from the replacement of aging and end-of-life steam piping, and a power plant that will provide an annual operational cost saving of approximately $4 million through reduced natural gas consumption. This will reduce the university’s carbon tax and maintenance costs because of the lower operating pressure and temperature. Phases 1 through 3 of the project saw the installation of more than 5 km of underground piping and 12 ETS. The university was not only successful in decommissioning the steam line feeding the south west quadrant of the university in January 2012, but it is already realizing significant operating savings.



Figure 1: Left-hand figure shows the DE concept while the right-hand figure illustrates how DE enables fuel diversity.

UBC’s hot water DE system provides a valuable example of the possible cost savings, fuel flexibility, and renewable energy opportunities that can be realized through implementing a DE system. It is a proven technology that can help keep British Columbia beautiful. Ayman Fahmy, P.Eng., is senior thermal power engineer at Kerr Wood Leidal. Elizabeth Mosier, EIT, is a project engineer at Kerr Wood Leidal Associates.




We’re there for you! (604) 451-WEST (9378)

March/April 2013

construction business



The Evolution of Concrete By Carolyn Campbell


n the early 1960s, concrete was pretty simple, often batched as a “5-sack mix” and sold by the yard. The trucks held about 7 or 8 yards and, for the most part, concrete played a traditional, if not utilitarian role in architecture. Around that same time, in 1963, young architects Arthur Erickson and Jeffrey Massey won an international competition to design Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C. Their modernist vision for the campus — expressed through concrete as both the structure and finish — ushered in a new era of contemporary Canadian architecture. Concrete never looked — and was never looked at — the same. Striking repetitive angular geometries and and exposed structural details such as buttresses and columns emerged and began to characterize urban Westcoast design. Over the last half century, concrete has evolved to a sophisticated building product to meet the creative vision of the specifying community and the schedule of one of the most sophisticated construction markets in North America. In the 1970s, computer batching revolutionized batching with consistency and ability to speed up production. Concrete began to be sold by strength, in MPa, and by the cubic metre. Larger capacity mixer trucks evolved, offering more consistency in bigger loads and reducing the number of trucks required to complete bigger pours. Today concrete mixers hold about 11 metres, and some even 14 metres. Superplasticizers came into wider use in the early 1980s, allowing producers to increase the slump without adverse effects on other properties (i.e. air entrainment and set times). B.C.’s concrete industry was also on the

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leading edge of using of supplementary cementitious materials, or SCMs, in concrete mix designs for added strength, lower heat of hydration, reduced carbon footprint and economic mixes. By the 1990s it was almost routine to see a 20 per cent flyash mix in many parts of the province, which was well in front of many other parts of North America where SCMs were just beginning to be used. In the last 15 years, hydration stabilizers have advanced considerably, allowing concrete to be retarded for almost any schedule, but with much more predictable results. The arrival of self-consolidating concrete, also known as self-compacting concrete, (SCC) was a huge advancement for the construction market. This highly flowable, non-segregating concrete can spread into place, encapsulating even the most congested reinforcement and complex shapes of formwork, which may otherwise be impossible to cast, all without any mechanical vibration. The superior surface SCC delivers has made it almost the standard for architectural concrete. Today, the sustainable development and green building movements continue to shape the future of the construction industry along with the concrete industry. The BCRMCA and its members are committed to process innovation such as the use of reclaimers, water recycling and biofuels to improve the way concrete is manufactured and used. Concrete products, such as pervious concrete pavements and portland limestone cement (PLC), continue to innovate as well, to reduce environmental impacts and improve the economic benefits of concrete.

In order to help concrete producers and concrete product suppliers meet new requirements in LEED v4, International Green Construction Code (IgCC) and the Architecture 2030 Challenge for products, the industry is participating in the development of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) — third party certified reports, published by product manufacturers, that provide quality assured and comparable information regarding environmental performance of their product. While the last three decades have seen a fair amount of market consolidation, many ready-mix businesses across B.C. are run by second and third generation “cement heads” — people who grew up around mixer trucks and aggregate pits, batch plants and slump cones. Their love for concrete and their willingness to share knowledge for the betterment of the industry is what keeps them united. And BCRMCA has remained a gathering place where concrete producers and suppliers to the industry can exchange ideas, build best practices, advocate, educate and connect.  In the next 50 years, concrete will continue be essential in creating the structures of the future, while the industry remains committed to socially and environmentally responsible construction in B.C. Carolyn Campbell is the director of communication and education for the BC ReadyMixed Concrete Association. The association celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012. She is based in Kelowna, B.C.


Concrete Waterproofing Types By Kevin Yuers

Integral concrete waterproofing systems can be densifiers, water repellents or crystalline admixtures


oncrete is porous and, if not waterproofed, absorbs water that can cause cracks, water-borne contaminants and chemicals that can cause deterioration. If you want to protect your concrete and ensure it has a long, serviceable life, waterproofing is essential.

But how? What’s the best method and the best material? To make concrete really waterproof — which means both preventing water passage and resisting hydrostatic pressure — you can waterproof from the positive (exterior) side, negative (interior) side or from within the concrete itself (integral systems). Although the most widely used positive-side technology is sheet membrane waterproofing, its failures and limitations are also common and costly. Since the 1980s, many construction projects around the globe have used integral crystalline admixtures to waterproof concrete. Integral systems block water passage from any direction by working from the inside out, making the concrete itself the water barrier. It can be difficult to keep up with advancements in both membranes and crystalline admixtures — and there have been substantial advancements in both technologies. Here’s a summary that can help make the choice more clear.

Sheet membrane systems Cold-applied polymer-modified bitumen is a sheet membrane composed of polymer materials compounded with asphalt and attached to a polyethylene sheet. The polymer is integrated with the asphalt to create a more viscous and less temperature-sensitive elastic material compared to asphalt on its own. These sheets are self-adhering and eliminate the harmful toxins typically associated with asphalt adhesion. They also increase tensile strength, resistance to acidic soils, resilience, self-healing and bondability. Despite such advancements, disadvantages persist. Installation can be challenging as membranes require sealing, lapping, and finishing of seams at the corners, edges and between sheets. Additionally, sheet membranes must be applied

to a smooth finish without voids, honeycombs or protrusions. Because the membrane can puncture and tear during backfilling, protection boards must also be installed. In spite of all these drawbacks, sheet membranes have been the industry norm in waterproofing for many years — they still hold the majority of the market share. Their continued use is due to impact resistance, toughness and overall durability compared to other membrane options.

Liquid-applied membranes Liquid-applied membranes can be applied with a brush, spray, roller, trowel or squeegee, and usually contain urethane or polymeric asphalt (hot or cold applied) in a solvent base. These membranes are usually applied on the positive side of set concrete and have high elastomeric properties. More recent technologies have also made negative-side applications possible. Successful waterproofing with liquid-applied membranes depends on proper thickness and uniform application. They call for skilled, experienced labour to apply them, a clean and dry substrate — which can often be a construction environment challenge — a protection layer before backfilling, properly cured concrete to avoid problems with adhesion and blistering and, on horizontal applications, a sub-slab. Liquid-applied membranes deteriorate when exposed to UV radiation and cannot withstand foot traffic. The liquids themselves also contain toxic and hazardous VOCs. Although liquid-applied membranes work well on projects with multiple plane transitions, intricate geometric shapes and protrusions, they are typically only used when prefabricated sheets do not work.

Admixtures For the last three decades, a new type of waterproofing has been used around the globe. These integral admixture systems are added at the batching plant or onsite, and react chemically within the concrete. Instead of forming a barrier on the positive or negative side of concrete, they turn the concrete itself into a water barrier. Integral concrete waterproofing systems can be den-

sifiers, water repellents or crystalline admixtures. Densifiers react with the calcium hydroxide formed in hydration, creating another by-product that increases concrete density and slows water migration. They are typically not characterized as waterproofing materials or repellents because they have no ability to seal cracks and joints. Concrete under hydrostatic pressure requires additional waterproofing methods to protect it from damage and deterioration. Water repellents are also known as “hydrophobic.” These products typically come in liquid form, and include oils, hydrocarbons, stearates or other long-chain fatty acid derivatives. Although hydrophobic systems may perform satisfactorily for dampproofing, they are less successful at resisting liquid under hydrostatic pressure. Precuring and post-curing stresses cause cracking in any concrete, which creates pathways for water passage. So the effectiveness of water repellents is highly dependent on the concrete itself.

Crystalline admixtures Crystalline-based systems typically come in a dry, powdered form and are hydrophilic in nature. Unlike their hydrophobic counterparts, crystalline systems actually use available water to grow crystals inside concrete, effectively closing off pathways for moisture that can damage concrete. They block water from any direction because the concrete itself becomes the water barrier. The crystalline formula can allow concrete to selfseal hairline cracks up to 0.5 mm (0.02 in.), even years after the original construction. It contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and can be completely recycled when demolition occurs. Additionally, crystalline admixtures offer installation advantages. Unlike traditional membrane waterproofing, which tends to be labour-intensive and expensive, crystalline admixtures can be shipped in dissolvable, pulpable bags that are thrown into the concrete batch during mixing. This speeds up the construction schedule and decreases labour costs by combining steps with concrete placing. Integral crystalline waterproofing systems should not be used in applications under constant movement. During the crystallization process, crystals align in a three-dimensional array that breaks when subjected to excessive movement. Areas that require flexibility and face recurring movement — such as plaza decks or rooftops — would be better waterproofed another way. Kevin Yuers, vice president, Kryton International is responsible for product development and technical services. March/April 2013

construction business



Assessment and Maintenance Unbonded post-tensioned concrete structures By Roger Steers


ore than 100 million square metres of concrete structures in North America have been built using unbonded post-tensioned (P/T) reinforcement. This reinforcement consists of high-strength steel strands coated with grease, inserted into plastic sheathing and anchored to the building. The assembly is called a tendon. The strands are tensioned at one or both anchors using a hydraulic jack. Unbonded P/T buildings perform well provided the tendons are kept free from moisture. However, problems became apparent with tendons corroding and breaking, particularly in structures built prior to the late 1980s. As a result, many P/T systems built prior to this time have special maintenance requirements.

History Prestressing technologies have been used since the 1920s. It was not until the 1950s, however, that P/T began to see any significant usage in buildings. In the early 1960s, P/T systems consisted of a number of bundled high-strength wires surrounded by grease, wrapped in paper. The intent of the grease and paper was to provide a bond-breaker to allow for stressing after the concrete set. Very little was known about corrosion of the tendons, thus no special provisions were incorporated. In the mid-1960s, developments in tendon technology yielded a new unbonded P/T system. This system replaced the paper bond breaker with a plastic sheath. By the mid-1970s, this was the predominant P/T technology. The strands were pushed into the sheath with grease applied continuously during insertion. This system, known as a push-through or stuffed system, allowed greater ease of handling and placing as the plastic sheathing was generally less susceptible to contamination. The insertion of the strand into the plastic sheathing could be completed more efficiently than by wrapping each strand in paper. The stuffed system had limitations, some of which were not readily apparent. In order to facilitate insertion of the strand, the diameter of the plastic sheath was oversized to minimize instances of the strand snagging the inner face. The resulting annular space around the strands was susceptible to filling with moisture and other contaminants which could promote corrosion activity. In 1970, the extruded coated strand was invented. This system allowed for continuous application of grease and sheathing onto the P/T strand. This sheathing minimized the void around the strand, reducing the amount of required grease while enhancing corrosion resistance. The extruded system gained popularity in the late 1980s and is still in use today. 38 construction business

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Dealing with the Problem While stuffed strands are no longer used, there is a significant inventory of buildings that contain these systems. Understanding the extent to which deterioration has occurred and developing an appropriate assessment and maintenance strategy is essential to ensuring durable structures. Corrosion in stuffed P/T structures and the time to strand breakage varies widely. Some structures experience widespread strand breakage within seven years of construction, while in others breakage begins after 25 years or beyond. Evidence of failure is often not present. In rare instances, strands may erupt from the slab. In most instances evidence of damage is completely concealed. An investigation program involving selective exposure and testing of strands is necessary to: 1) Assess safety, 2) Predict the likelihood of strand breakage, and 3) Decide if monitoring or repair is required. Investigations generally proceed as follows: • Strand inspection at recesses Assessment programs typically include testing of short lengths of strands exposed at recesses chipped into concrete structures at representative locations. Visual inspection for moisture should be done as the strands are exposed. Grease samples should be tested for water and strand tension assessed. • Strand extraction and inspection Removing and inspecting a small number of strands can yield additional information regarding the extent of moisture and corrosion present. If testing indicates strand tension deficiencies, a number of suspect strands should be removed to confirm the cause of failures. • Measurement of humidity within strand sheathing Humidity testing can be conducted

to estimate the potential for corrosion. The test can provide information regarding moisture along an entire strand length rather than just at inspection points. Expert judgment must be exercised in interpreting results obtained at inspection recesses, as they may not reflect overall conditions. Familiarity with the design of P/T structures is required to assess the impact of strand breakage on a building’s structural capacity. Knowing the tolerable tendon loss ratios and strand failure rates will assist in estimating the time until repairs are required. Other factors must be taken into consideration as well. A building’s test results and other specific information must be taken into account in predicting future performance, as strand breakage does not occur uniformly over time. Where problems exist, monitoring of strand tension is recommended. An acoustic monitoring system can identify ongoing strand breakage throughout a structure, reducing uncertainty in predicting future breakage and timing of repairs. When tension deficient strands are identified, strand replacement may be done on a selective basis, or repairs could involve replacing all strands once the tolerable tendon loss ratio is reached.

Summary Stuffed P/T structures are unlike ordinary reinforced concrete structures. Assessing their condition requires considerable expertise with post-tensioned systems. Damage is not usually evident externally, even if strand breakage is extensive, and conditions can vary widely within an individual structure. Roger Steers, M.Eng., P.Eng. LEED AP BD+C, is managing principal, building science and restoration at Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd. in Vancouver.

Water & Waste

Deconstruction Strategy Reduce Waste, Increase Green Jobs By Rachel Moscovich


he City of Vancouver is rethinking demolition and taking a new approach to managing demolition ‘waste’. Construction and demolition activities generate 1.3 million tonnes of waste in the region on an annual basis and in Vancouver, building materials comprise 36 per cent of the city’s solid waste stream. As Vancouver sets its sight on being the Greenest City in the World by 2020, efforts are being made to reduce the volume of disposed waste. The city has set a target to reduce solid waste disposal by 50 per cent by 2020. To keep building materials out of the landfill, Vancouver is encouraging deconstruction as an alternative to conventional demolition. By dismantling a building into its component parts to maximize salvage, reuse and recycling of building materials, a pile of rubble may turn into valuable material for a builder or designer. Metro Vancouver’s approach to diversion is based upon the “5R hierarchy” which emphasizes the value of waste as a resource. The hierarchy sets out the relative value of different methods of waste management: • Reduce waste at source • Reuse where possible • Recycle products at the end of their useful life • Recover energy or materials from the waste stream • Residuals managed in an environmentally sound manner.

Don’t Demolish, Deconstruct Metro Vancouver’s 2010 Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan includes two goals aimed at reducing waste disposal from the construction and demolition sector. The first is to divert 80 per cent of demolition, land-clearing and construction waste by 2015. The second is to ban all wood from disposal by 2015.

The city has set a target to reduce solid waste disposal by 50 per cent by 2020. Of the resources that come out of buildings, diversion of wood is identified as a priority. Since the majority of wood waste is generated from the demolition and renovation of single family homes, the city introduced a new voluntary deconstruction permit program designed to encourage reuse and recycling of materials from single family homes. An applicant who is planning to demolish and build a single family home may be eligible for a Deconstruction Permit. To qualify, the applicant must commit to diverting at least 75 per cent of materials from their project, and track waste diversion on a Waste Management Compliance Form. The permit strives to remove the barriers associated with deconstruction such as time and money.

In a standard demolition, the city issues the Demolition Permit at the same time that the Building Permit is issued. Once the permits are issued, builders quickly demolish a home in preparation for construction of the new project shortly after. In contrast, the Deconstruction Permit is issued at least two weeks in advance of the Building Permit to allow extra time to sort, reuse and recycle materials. Deconstruction Permit holders have the advantage of being able to begin construction on the day the Building Permit is issued. A Deconstruction Permit holder is also eligible for a 50 per cent reduction in tipping fees at the Vancouver Landfill and Vancouver South Transfer Station.

A Diversion Economy Vancouver is exploring the potential of wide scale materials diversion in preparation for the introduction of new waste disposal bans. There is great potential for the development of an emerging local economy around materials reuse. Diversion of thousands of tonnes of wood and other products presents a broad range of business opportunities such as new product development, fabrication, manufacturing, and recycling. The City of Vancouver supports this evolving sector through its Greenest City goal to create a thriving green economy. Rachel Moscovich is green building planner at the City of Vancouver. To learn more, or to take advantage of Vancouver’s Deconstruction Permit, visit: March/April 2013

construction business


Water & Waste

Raising Awareness

The BC Water and Waste Association (BCWWA) is a not-for-profit organization with a mandate to safeguard public health and the environment on matters related to water and wastewater. CB speaks with the association CEO Daisy Foster to get an update on the association and what’s happening in the industry.

Walkerton tragedy in 2001, many new regulations have been implemented resulting in better trained water and wastewater operators, and improved technologies and infrastructure. New environmental protection regulations have had similar effects on the wastewater side as new wastewater treatment plants are being built or existing plants upgraded.

CB: How big is the association today? What types of work are members responsible for? DF: BCWWA has 4,700 members all of whom are connected to the water sector and to water or wastewater utilities in some way, either as employees or in roles such as consultants, educators or regulators. Our members are the people who ensure our drinking water is safe to drink; that used water is returned safely to the environment, or manage water resources in some other way. CB: Why is BCWWA an important association? DF: BCWWA provides training and education for the water and wastewater sector and acts as a network for those connected to the sector to share knowledge and information on new and emerging technologies, regulations, policies, products and best practices. We have been providing operator training for more than 50 years in B.C., and our annual conference and trade show attracts around 1,400 people and 175 exhibitors each year. CB: What do you feel has been key to the association’s success? DF: I find that what people value most are the opportunities to network with others in the sector. While there is a very diverse group of individuals across the water sector, BCWWA provides many opportunities to connect with peers, current or potential customers, regulators, etc. BCWWA also provides a voice for the water and wastewater community and our members appreciate having a way to influence best practices. CB: What have been some of the major changes in the industry? DF: There have been a number of changes in this industry, many of which have been driven by increased regulation to protect water resources and the environment. For example, since the 40 construction business

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CB: What are some of the initiatives the association is working on? DF: We are currently developing position statements to guide the sector in implementing best practices on subjects such as climate change adaptation, water metering, infrastructure funding, and how to set appropriate rate structures for full cost recovery. We are also working on public awareness about the value of water, so people understand the full cost of these services and are willing to pay for full cost recovery. Drinking Water Week in B.C. is May 20 – 26, 2013 and many municipalities in B.C. will be partnering with BCWWA to raise awareness of the value of our water as well as the impacts our habits can have and how we can make changes that both conserve our water and protect the environment. The risks and potential impact of climate change on infrastructure and the need to understand and plan for this is another area we are working to create awareness and encourage service providers to take appropriate action. CB: What are some major issues and/or challenges? DF: Here are a few of the key ones: Infrastructure Funding: According to the Canadian Infrastructure Report Card released September 2012 by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, 40 per cent of wastewater infrastructure and 30 per cent of pipes are in fair to very poor condition and the replacement cost for wastewater infrastructure is $39 billion. In addition to this, as a result of the new federal Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulation under the Fisheries Act, wastewater infrastructure rated as ‘good’ or ‘very good’ may require upgrading or replacement to meet the new regulatory standards. The same report estimated the replacement cost for drinking water infrastructure is $25.9 billion and the replacement cost for stormwater infrastructure in ‘fair’ to ‘poor’ condition is $15.8 billion. Addressing this is critical because there are additional costs associated with delay. Climate Change: We are already seeing more frequent and intense storms causing flooding and damage to dams and infrastructure. In other re-

gions, longer periods of drought require better water management planning. Not only will this impact the supply of drinking water, but there are huge potential impacts for industries when there are competing priorities for scarce resources. Monitoring Water Use: We need better ways of monitoring the amount of water that is available and the amount being used. The old adage ‘you cannot manage what you don’t measure’ is relevant. A new Water Sustainability Act for B.C., expected to be approved in 2014, is likely to include improved requirements for reporting water use. The potential impact on water resources resulting from hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas development in northern BC, the need to ensure an adequate supply for agriculture to feed a growing population, and the unpredictability associated with a changing climate, are all reasons to regulate and improve management of water use. CB: Are you seeing any areas of growth or demand for future work? DF: Absolutely. The need to replace aging infrastructure and to upgrade or build new infrastructure to meet new regulatory requirements, particularly in the area of wastewater treatment, will require a lot of work. Also, developing new technologies for recovering resources such as energy from wastewater, and implementing ways to reuse rainwater and to better manage stormwater will be areas of growth for the sector. CB: Has the focus on sustainability impacted the industry? DF: The focus on sustainability has had a very positive impact on water management. Provincial government grant criteria are very focused on building sustainability measures into planning for new infrastructure. This has required service providers to consider sustainability in their funding models such as developing water conservations plans, and preparing financial plans that provide for renewal and replacement of infrastructure. CB: What does the future hold for the association? DF: BCWWA is very fortunate to have a growing membership which includes an increasing number of very engaged young professionals. These new people bring new perspectives and issues to the forefront, have a strong interest in improving water resource management and the environment, and bring innovative and creative ideas and approaches to the table. The future of BCWWA is in very capable hands.

Water & Waste

Water Reuse and the Alberta Economy By Angela Alambets and P. Kim Sturgess


s outlined in the Water for Life: Alberta’s Strategy for Sustainability almost a decade ago, there is a significant need to address Alberta’s water supply challenges and ensure that access to water, or lack thereof, does not constrain or hamper community development and economic growth. While the political support for water reuse has grown, findings of research undertaken by WaterSMART Solutions Ltd. (Alberta WaterSMART) for the Alberta Economic Development Authority (AEDA) suggest that current legislation in Alberta has not allowed the practical application of water reuse to match this political will. If Alberta is to meet growing demands on water resources and maintain a competitive and sustainable economy, the province must update its water management and reuse policy, legislation, technologies and practices, and integrate the concepts into its current water governance and water license allocation systems. This conclusion is based on a review of existing policies in Alberta, Canada and abroad to understand current barriers and opportunities, interviews with individuals from the water industry in five land use regions, as defined in Alberta’s Land Use Framework (LUF), and specific research on case studies. Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) recognizes the need for the development of “appropriate regulations, and water quality and technical standards or guidelines to facilitate the safe use of reclaimed wastewater”. Although such standards and guidelines have

been published by federal authorities and organizations, ESRD states that “reclaimed wastewater from any source cannot be used inside buildings or for other domestic applications in Alberta” (Government of Alberta, 2012). However, Alberta passed the 2010 Alberta Guidelines for Rainwater Harvesting, which allows the reuse of water collected from roofs. In addition, Alberta Municipal Affairs has released a fact sheet entitled “Alternative Solutions Guide for Reclaimed Water Reuse”. The fact sheet provides clarification on how stakeholders should proceed with developing proposals for obtaining approvals of water reuse applications, indicating that individuals must obtain a variance under the Safety Codes Act and a variance by the technical administrator of the equipment used for the application. It also indicates that individuals must obtain approvals to use certain natural source water through the authority having jurisdiction or ESRD, as well as a number of other detailed information requirements. Some progress has been made on a national level with the 2010 updates to the National Plumbing Code, which supports the use of reclaimed water and governs plumbing in Alberta, the publication of the CSA B128.1-06/B128.2-06 (R2011)/ B128.3-12 Design and Installation of Non-Potable Water Systems/Maintenance and Field Testing of Non-Potable Water Systems/Performance of Non-Potable Water Reuse Systems, and the publication of the 2010 Health Canada Canadian Guidelines for Domestic Reclaimed Water for Use in Toilet and Urinal Flushing, which refer-

ence these CSA standards. The National Building Code only allows the use of non-potable water for flush toilets, urinals and subsurface irrigation systems; it does not allow for closed loop greywater use applications within buildings. The Alberta Municipal Affairs fact sheet references the National Building Code, and the Health Canada guidelines. However, these documents have not been used in Alberta to develop provincial water reuse policies and regulations. Alberta appears to be lagging behind other jurisdictions in Canada and around the world in providing a legislative framework to support water reuse, in spite of the interest of communities to develop water reuse projects, thus hampering innovative solutions to water challenges; and advances in water reuse technology and processes. In addition to those identified above, Alberta WaterSMART reported a number of other key challenges of implementing water reuse in Alberta including: a lack of clarity in current legislation and among various stakeholders on water and water reuse definitions; a lack of clarity on ownership and who may receive economic benefit of reusing water for another process or application after it has been treated; and a lack of understanding of the relationship between water reuse on return flow and maintaining adequate river flow. Due to the complexity of some of these issues, it is expected that ESRD will not issue water reuse related approvals in the near future, especially in the South Saskatchewan River Basin. The findings from the study were clear: that water supply challenges resulting from increasing water demand, water governance restrictions, and allocation system provisions are limiting community development and economic growth, particularly in the closed South Saskatchewan River Basin. In northern Alberta, opportunities for cross-sector water reuse projects are under investigation. Water reuse offers an opportunity to address these water supply challenges. However, new legislation and regulations that can be applied consistently across Alberta, and designed with the appropriate flexibility for the unique needs of different land use regions, are required to ensure sustainable use of our water resources. The final report “Water Reuse in Alberta” will be publicly released by AEDA in April 2013. P. Kim Sturgess, P.Eng., FCAE, is the founder and CEO of Alberta WaterSMART, a services organization committed to improving water management through better technologies and practices. Angela Alambets, P.Eng., is a professional engineer currently working for Alberta WaterSMART with a focus on policy, collaborative processes and technical projects. March/April 2013

construction business


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Architect Corner

Rehabilitating a Community Icon Laura Secord Elementary School Seismic Upgrade By Mike Hill


he recently finished Laura Secord Elementary School seismic upgrade project situated in East Vancouver incorporates numerous innovative structural and envelope detail solutions to rehabilitate and modernize the nearly 90 year old school. In addition, the project updated the school space configurations to suit the current ministry floor area approvals for the school, creating an extremely relevant facility for its community.

Project Challenges The existing school is an icon in East Vancouver, with the two original main structures built between 1913 and 1928. The local community and the City of Vancouver were very interested in seeing the school upgraded, rather than replaced. A feasibility study concluded that, despite numerous structural and envelope issues, the upgrade costs could be managed to be in line with costs for new construction. Structural challenges were many, and more were discovered when detailed construction documents were underway. The original concrete frame design was known to be substandard by current code standards. It was also known that while good soil conditions existed, foundation 44 construction business

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design and construction would be unsatisfactory. Many interior walls were clay tile and could not be maintained for seismic reasons. And based on his experience, the structural engineer was highly suspicious of the potential strength of the existing contract, so once funding was approved, extensive testing was conducted on the existing concrete, and it was found to be even less than feared. The columns and suspended floor slabs were found to be significantly inadequate. The exterior envelope was the original construction of brick veneer on clay tiles, with no insulation. So it was concluded that moisture penetrating the brick face was counteracted by heat transfer through the un-insulated wall. There also was no insulation in the attic space. With regard to space configuration and instructional goals, the Ministry of Education, along with the funding approval set down an approved space programme for the entire school. These space requirements had to be established within a school whose structure would be augmented with new or larger shear wall, expanded columns and bracings to the floor structures. During construction, the original heritage structures would have to be vacated in order to permit the extensive work. The school was there-

fore moved into single story portable schools and into a recent addition for the duration of construction. This made the time frame and project deadlines a major constraint for construction.

Upgrade Concepts Key to the implementation of this project was the construction procurement process. The school district and architect were very familiar with the approach and benefits of ConstructionManagement-at-Risk, which was the chosen approach for this project. A proposal call and selection of the CMAR contractor where completed early in the documentation process, so the contractor and consultant team were working together early to collaborate on the documentation process. Included in this approach were a number of onsite explorations to investigate concrete strengths, wall constructions, sub-floor soil conditions, detailed dimensions, etc. This approach and investigation resulted in documents which predicted and resolved many onsite problems, before construction began. Early in design, the team and client committed to room layouts with fixed shear wall locations, many of which were new, and some existing walls were increased in size and thickness. Once a

Architect Corner

building code analysis was complete, it was determined that a major stair system in the building was redundant. With the determination to remove the stair system, it was determined that extra floor area was not needed, so the resulting two storey volume permitted the development of a required major activity room. As a result, the design layouts fit the resulting floor plans perfectly with no surplus or deficit regarding the approved space allocation. The seismic upgrade requirements required the removal of all interior partitions (mainly inadequate clay tile) and the removal of finishes off the existing concrete columns and walls. As a result it was necessary to gut the existing building right down to its original interior frame. The structural upgrade solutions were numerous and included: • Strengthening the floor slab diaphragm, primarily with lateral steel truss framework through centre zones of the floor plates, plus in some areas with fabric reinforcing. • Upgrading the lower columns and foundations in the basement level, in some locations with total column replacement. • Addition and upgrade of concrete shear walls located throughout the school.

• Steel support frames backing up and connected to the brick veneer, to secure the exterior wall. The brick was connected to the steel frame on a regular grid, using stainless steel dowels. • Lateral steel truss framework above and connected to the concrete slab forming the floor of the original attic. The construction was completed on time and on budget and the school is now much more functional and a more community focused facility.

Conclusion The completed project has saved a community icon, as well as creating a stronger community and educational facility in this part of East Vancouver for the next century. It also demonstrated that it is sometimes feasible to rehabilitate the inadequate structure of a heritage school, and that the Construction Management-at-Risk procurement procedure can work effectively at creating value and cost control. Mike Hill is a partner at Vancouver based Bingham Hill Architects. March/April 2013

construction business


Industry News

Alberta Steel Design Winners were announced at the 2013 Alberta Steel Design Awards, held at the Northlands Edmonton Expo Centre by the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction. Triangle Steel Ltd., DIALOG Stantec Consulting and CANA Construction were the winners of the 2013 Architectural Award for the Telus Spark at the new Science Centre in Calgary, Alberta. Whitemud Ironworks Group Inc, Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning, Stantec Consulting and Clark Builders won the 2013 Building Communities award for the Edmonton Federal Building, parkade and Centennial Plaza project. The Peace Bridge project in Calgary, Alberta was the winner of the 2013 Engineering award and the Steel Edge award. Santiago Calatrava LLC, Stantec Consulting, Graham Infrastructure Ltd and Norfab Mfg all shared the win. The 2013 Industrial award went to the Suncor Tro Water Barges near Fort McMurray. Supreme Steel LP, Hall Marine Design Ltd., Weir Minerals Canada, and Midwest Constructors were the winners of the award. The Pembina Hall student residences at the University of Manitoba was the winner of the 2013 Sustainability award. Supermetal Structures, Raymond S.C. Wan Architect, Crosier Kilgour Partners, Bird Construction, Techdess Inc and Supermetal Construction were the winning firms involved in the project. New Organization Construction industry leaders from across the country have formed a new national organization to help keep a steady flow of highly skilled workers available to the growing industry. BuildForce Canada opened its doors on April 1, 2013, replacing the Construction Sector Council (CSC) after 10 years of operations working with industry to provide credible, wellrespected labour market forecasting and other resources and services. The new BuildForce Canada Board of Directors has broad representation from the construction industry and its members include contractors, labour groups and owner/client companies. Located in Ottawa, Ontario, BuildForce Canada ( is a national industryled organization committed to working directly with the construction industry to provide information and resources to assist with the management of its workforce requirements. LEED LAB The University of Calgary’s Energy. Environment. Experiential. Learning (EEEL) Building has been certified LEED Platinum. Designed by Perkins+Will and DIALOG, the building is one of the largest LEED platinum certified laboratory buildings in North America. The EEEL building brings together multiple departments in the Science and Engineering faculties, and features modular lab and classroom layouts as well as interior glass corridor walls to allow students to look into classrooms in session. 46 construction business

March/April 2013

Unemployment Rate According to Stats Canada, B.C.’s unemployment rate rose 0.7 percentage points to 7.0 per cent in March compared with the previous month. Employment in the province declined by 15,000 jobs, which offsets most of February’s increase of 19,800 jobs. The report shows the unemployment in B.C. remains lower than average. Nationwide, the rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 7.2 per cent. There was a loss of 55,000 full-time jobs — the lowest single-month increase since 2009. The lowest unemployment rates were found in Saskatchewan (3.9 per cent, up 0.1 percentage point from February); Alberta (4.8 per cent, an increase of 0.3 percentage points); and Manitoba (5.0 per cent, up 0.1 percentage point). Newfoundland and Labrador had the highest unemployment at 12.3 per cent. Border Upgrade The Sumas border crossing will be getting a $25 million upgrade jointly funded by the B.C. provincial government, federal government and the City of Abbotsford. Highway 11 south of Highway 1 will get a major upgrade to ease congestion. The work includes a two-lane overpass over the Southern Rail and CP Rail lines on Vye Road and a new crossing for both rail lines along McConnell Road, connecting Riverside Road to Highway 11. The Nexus lane on the Canadian side of the border will be also be extended 1.8 kilometres to improve traffic flow. The project is in the preliminary engineering phase and is expected to start next year, with completion in the fall of 2016.

Strong Market for Engineers The job market for engineers is strongest in western Canada according to data in the report, Engineering Labour Market in Canada: Projections to 2020. Sponsored by Randstad Engineering in conjunction with Engineers Canada, the report shows that there is job growth in that sector in British Columbia, Alberta, and the prairie provinces. One of the two strongest engineering markets in Canada, B.C. faces skills shortages and volatile markets in resource related occupations like mining, metallurgical, and petroleum engineers. However conditions are more balanced for computer and industrial engineers. B.C employers will need to source engineers from other markets, however it is hard to attract them from other western provinces due to competitive compensation levels. On a national basis, expansion demand is expected to create an additional 16,000 jobs for engineers by 2020.

WIDC Preferred Proponent PCL Constructors Westcoast has been selected by the B.C. provincial government as the preferred proponent for the proposed Wood Innovation and Design Centre (WIDC) in Prince George. Other team members include Michael Green Architecture Inc., Equilibrium Consulting Inc., B.R. Thorson Consulting Ltd., RDH Building Engineering Ltd., MMM Group Ltd., Opus DaytonKnight Consultants Ltd., Equity Plumbing + Heating Ltd. and Houle Electric Limited. The design of the Centre will be made of wood from across all corners of the province including Douglas-fir, cedar, hemlock, pine and spruce. Engineered wood products used in the design, such as glulam columns and beams, cross-laminated timber and laminated veneer lumber are produced in B.C. The WIDC will be built in downtown Prince George on a site selected and donated by the City of Prince George. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2013 and finish by fall 2014.





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