Construction news across Canada

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Canadian Design and Construction Report staff writer

Here is a roundup of some significant stories relating to architectural, engineering and construction across Canada.

British Columbia

Builders Code honours six companies

The Builders Code has honoured six companies for their leadership at the inaugural Builders Code Champion Awards in Victoria.

To achieve recognition from this pilot program, individuals and organizations must have demonstrated their commitment, leadership, and action toward advancing and retaining women in their company and achieving the provincial goal of 10 per cent tradeswomen by 2028.

Nomination applications were accepted from May to November 1, with winners selected by a judging panel comprising of Minerva BC, the British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA), and the Builders Code Governance Committee.

The winners are:

  • RAM Consulting (Vancouver) in the ‘Recruiting & Hiring Champion’ category;
  • Scott Construction Group (Vancouver) and Kinetic Construction (Victoria) in the ‘Workplace Culture Champion’ category;
  • Westcana Electric (Prince George) in the ‘Community Champion’ category;
  • Durwest Construction Management (Victoria) in the ‘Initiate of the Year’ category; and
  • Westcana Electric (Prince George) and Chinook Scaffold Systems (Nanaimo) in the ‘Contractor of the Year’ category.

“Your commitment to safe and inclusive workplaces contributes to a more accessible sector for everyone,” said Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. “Initiatives like the Builders Code are a rallying point to get more people involved in the trades, helping our province continue to grow while embracing diversity.”

Alberta

New ratings system will qualify contractors for government infrastructure projects

A new rating system for government contractors and consultants will allow Alberta Infrastructure to reward high-performing vendors and suspend problematic ones from bidding on government construction projects, the Edmonton Journal has reported.

The new “carrot and stick” model was requested by the construction and design industry, representatives said Monday, and should improve the likelihood of schools, hospitals and other public buildings being constructed on time and on budget.

“The whole purpose of this is to reward good contractors and good consultants and — I wouldn’t say penalize — but there should be consequences for poor performance,” the newspaper quoted Paul Verhesen, past chairman of the Alberta Construction Association and president and CEO of Clark Builders, as saying.

Starting Jan. 6, 2020, any contractor or consultant bidding on an Alberta Infrastructure project worth more than $100,000 will be required to take part in a “Vendor Performance Management” (VPM) program.

Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda said the program was developed in consultation with the construction industry, engineers and architects. It will assess vendors based on the quality of projects, how well they’re managed, if they stick to the proposed schedule, the cost and their safety record. The government will give companies feedback at regular intervals throughout the project, which should allow them to stave off potential problems earlier, he said.

Saskatchewan

P3Architect wins 2019 Premier’s Awards of Excellence

P3Architecture Partnership has won the 2019 Premier’s Awards of Excellence in Design–Architecture by the Design Council of Saskatchewan (DCS) for its Christ the Redeemer Church project in Swift Current and the College Avenue campus of the University of Regina.

To qualify, entries for design work in the province needed to be designed by a Saskatchewan resident and completed within the past two years.

KSA Group Architecture received the Award of Merit for the 301-1st Ave. North project. Honorable mentions went to Henry Downing Architects for the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital and to Kindrachuk Agreuy Architect for the Skyxe curbside expansion project

Manitoba

A five year RCMP investigation into the construction of Winnipeg’s police headquarters has ended without charges being laid, but Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman has renewed his call for a public inquiry.

The provincial prosecutions service announced its decision after the investigation into fraud and forgery allegations related to the project, which involved the purchase of the former Canada Post complex in downtown Winnipeg and the conversion of its warehouse component into the police headquarters. Work was completed 2016 at a cost of $214 million.

The Winnipeg Police Services building has been saddled with construction deficiencies that remain the subject of a lawsuit between the city and its contractors, CBC reported.

Ontario

 

Ontario Association of Architects highlights Queens’ Park Picks at legislative reception

The Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) has celebrated this year’s World Architecture Day with its fourth annual visit to Queen’s Park, hosting a reception with Members of Provincial Parliament.

At the Dec. 10 event, the OAA underscored the importance of architects and architecture while also discussing the profession’s contribution to Ontario’s economy and the roles that architects play in addressing big issues such as housing affordability and climate change. The event also marked the unveiling of this year’s Queen’s Park (QP) Picks—eight special buildings or structures chosen from a larger list of MPP nominations.

More than 20 MPPs visited the exhibit and spoke with OAA representatives and architects associated with the QP Picks.

 

Nominated by MPP Joel Harden (Ottawa Centre), Ottawa’s Corktown Footbridge (DTAH Architects Limited) was one of this year’s selections. Bringing together structure, architecture and landscape in a way that created a sense of place, this new local landmark serves as a critical connection between communities east and west of the Rideau Canal.

The seven other projects chosen were:

 

  • Gow Hastings Architects Inc.;
  • Waterdown Public Library in Hamilton, architect: Rounthwaite Dick & Hadley Architects Inc.; and
  • Westinghouse HQ in Hamilton, rehabilitation architect: McCallum Sather Architects Inc.
    Quebec

 

Quebec

CISC Quebec Region hands out awards of excellence in steel construction

On Nov. 11, the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction’s (CISC’s) Quebec Region handed out its 21st annual Steel Awards for Excellence in Steel Construction at Montreal’s Windsor Hotel.

Organized by Quebec Region manager Hellen Christodoulou, the event highlighted projects that demonstrate the beauty, resilience, durability and other benefits of steel as a construction material. The awards program received 111 nominations this year, which were narrowed down to 40 finalists before the jury announced 13 winners.

Twelve of those awards honoured projects and teams that included consulting engineers, as follow:

  • Buildings outside Quebec: Soprema factory, Woodstock, ON Elema Experts-Conseils.
  • Bridges outside Quebec: Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, New York, NY. – Tappan Zee Constructors (TZC) Engineering.
  • Erection/Ingenuity/Constructability (1st winner): Pont Haubané, Montreal – SNC Lavalin.
  • Erection/Ingenuity/Constructability (2nd winner): Annexe Ferrier generator building, McGill University, Montreal – CIMA+.
  • Building renovations: Grand Théâtre de Québec, Quebec City – WSP.
  • Commercial buildings: New Maison de Radio-Canada, Montreal – NCK.
  • Institutional buildings: Infrastructure rehabilitation for Formula 1 Grand Prix of Canada, Montreal – CIMA+.
  • Residential buildings: Urbano condos, Sherbrooke – St-Georges Structures et Civil.
  • Stairs/Walkways: Quad Windsor Skybridge, Montreal – RJC Engineers.
  • Bridges: New Samuel De Champlain Bridge corridor, Montreal – Arup and SNC Lavalin.
  • Young Engineers/Architects: Félix Bédard, vice-president and co-founder, Elema Experts-Conseils, for l’Hôtel Humaniti, Montreal.
  • Jury’s favourite building project: 2018 expansion of Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) – Stantec
  • Jury’s favourite bridge project: New Samuel De Champlain Bridge corridor, Montreal – Arup and SNC Lavalin.

New Brunswick

$5 million Moncton hospice breaks ground

Hospice Southeast New Brunswick held a ceremonial sod-turning at the site of its $5 million residential hospice in December, despite some frigid temperatures.

“I’m already overwhelmed today and it’s just the shovel,” said Dr. Janice Cormier, a general practitioner who works in oncology at the Dr. Georges-L. Dumont University Hospital Centre.

.           The bilingual 10-bed hospice, the first for southeastern New Brunswick, is scheduled to open in late 2020 and will include a pediatric palliative care bed.

Dennis Cochrane, chair of the board of directors of Hospice Southeast New Brunswick, said that despite the ceremonial shovels in the ground on Thursday, construction won’t start until April.

Nova Scotia

Construction supervisor charged after worker falls off Dartmouth Crossing site roof

Police have charged a Halifax man in connection to the tragic workplace fall that took Brandon Alcorn’s life on a construction site last year, Global News has reported.

 

Jeff Gooch, 37, was arrested last month and faces one count of criminal negligence causing death. He was the supervisor at the Dartmouth Crossing shopping area construction site where Alcorn fell off a roof on March 13, 2018.

 

Alcorn suffered irreparable brain damage and died of his injuries in the hospital. He was just 22 years old.

In an emailed statement, the provincial Department of Labour confirmed it has yet to complete its own investigation into Alcorn’s death, and whether any violation of the Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act took place.

Prince Edward Island

A new committee aimed at getting more women working in construction on P.E.I. met for the first time in December.

The 10-member committee, mostly made up of women who work in the industry, was formed by the Construction Association of P.E.I.

“There is all kinds of roles that are played in building anything in construction,” said Jessie Champion,  a second-year construction technology student at Holland College.” And I think that women could challenge those ideas more often and not just think about the pigeonhole of manual labour that comes into construction.”

Newfoundland and Labrador

A Corner Brook company has been charged with violating health and safety regulations after an employee died on the job in Labrador, CBC reports.

Johnson’s Construction Ltd. has been charged with the six counts under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Service NL provided information to the broadcaster that the fatal incident happened at a construction camp near Lodge Bay on the Trans-Labrador Highway on June 22, 2018, while a crew was preparing to move a construction camp trailer from one site to another.

There will be a hearing in Wabush provincial court on Jan. 14.

Nunavuit

            The Nunatisaq News reports a building boom  is under-way in Iqaluit. The local publication reports six new major developments began construction this past sealift season. That includes 92 residential units and 179 hotel rooms, according to the city’s planning and development office.

The city saw almost three times more residential units permitted in 2019 than last year.

Most of the 92 units approved this year may go towards government staff housing, rather than public housing units needed to address the city’s long-standing housing crisis, Mark Brodrick, Iqaluit’s new director of planning and development, was quoted as saying.

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. says last year Iqaluit needed nearly 200 more units to meet its housing demands. Iqaluit also needs as many as 105 new units per year to keep up with its growing population, according to the city’s general plan.

Meanwhile, commercial development saw well-established corporate landowners, mostly based outside Nunavut, gain even more properties. “It’s no secret that there’s a lot of competition for housing and that the city needs more residential units,” Brodrick told Nunatsiaq News.

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