From the January/February issue of Canadian Consulting Engineer Since 2015 a stunning new building has served as a “beacon” and gateway to Ryerson University off Toronto’s most famous downtown street. Located on Yonge at the corner of Gould Street, the…
Brief reflection on major shifts in the Canadian consulting engineering industry over the past three decades
The striking architecture of a 76-storey condominium tower at the corner of Yonge and Bloor makes its mark in an upscale area of midtown Toronto. The structural, mechanical and electrical engineers describe their contributions to the design.
In Calgary a new tower is rising 58 storeys to transform the city skyline with a distinctive curved and textured facade.
Typical condominium towers leave residents vulnerable during power emergencies. This research shows what design features could improve the units’ “passive survivability.”
The next generation of building certification programs is putting much more focus on indoor air quality and occupant health.
When consulting engineering companies hire new graduates they need them to be productive quickly. But are the universities preparing students for this role?
Winners in the 2016 Canadian Institute of Steel Construction National Awards demonstrate the imagination and creativity of structural engineers.
Most large projects have to undergo extensive public consultations in order to win approval. Here’s advice on how to effectively handle these delicate community and stakeholder encounters.
Bruce R. Reynolds and Sharon Vogel of Borden Ladner Gervais led an independent expert review of the Ontario Construction Lien Act this fall. One of their recommendations was for a 28-day payment period.
From the October-November 2016 print issue, p. 4 Why should engineers give themselves awards?” asked Robert W. Lucky in an article posted late this summer online by IEEE. Lucky points out that despite our best efforts to engage the public…
From the October-November 2016 print issue, page 16. The competition was tough! On the following pages we are proud to present the winning projects in this year’s Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards / Prix Canadiens du genie-conseil. The winners were announced…
Jury Comments: “We gave this project the top technical award. It shows out-of-the-box thinking, particularly in how it spans the primary structure across the long span rather than the short span, and accommodates an undulating roof structure that has hanging timber ‘cables’ suspended between concrete buttresses.”
Jury Comments: “Winner of a special award for environmental stewardship, this commercial refinery for converting non-recyclable garbage into biofuels deals with the challenges of being a “first” technology. The process converts the waste material to biomethanol, and has the potential for very significant environmental benefits, potentially reducing landfilled material by 90%.”
Jury Comments: “Winner of the special
award for international
work is this project in a
Caribbean country that is
subject to dramatic weather events. The engineers proposed all manner of civil works to help contain flooding and help to sustain the agricultural community. Perhaps as important is the transfer of knowledge to the Island residents, helping them to continue to make improvements.”
Jury Comments: “This bridge won the special award given to a project that showcases how engineering enhances the social, economic or cultural quality of life of Canadians. The bridge demonstrates the strength of wood in a demanding design, supporting road traffic loads on four spans each nearly 43 metres long. It also provides a vital link in a remote community, and the local Aboriginal work force participated in its construction.”
Jury Comments: “Winners of the Outreach special award, COWI engineers reviewed the design for this 81-metre footbridge, provided funding and sent a team to help with the construction. The bridge crosses a fast-moving river and gives the remote community its first year-round access to schools, clinics and markets in a nearby town.
The impact of the project is truly life changing both for the community and the engineers involved.”
Jury Comments: “Demonstrating “the small community that could … and did, “this municipal library is proof that net-zero buildings can be achieved at any scale while making no compromise in the design. Visits to the library have doubled since it opened, and it serves as a model and inspiration for the citizens and the engineering profession. ”
Jury Comments: “This project showed an innovative use of seawater in a geo-exchange system. It reduced the use of energy by 35 per cent, and helped to create a sustainable and healthy work environment. The approach was also respectful of the historical surroundings.”
Jury Comments: “We see this building as a testimony to the value of multidisciplinary engineering.
It uses a bridge building
method with long spans in order to create a green roof above an underground arena. The steel girders are six metres above the arenas and withstand significant unequal pressures from the earth without using internal buttresses.”
Jury Comments: “At the time this was the only government building in Canada to meet a LEED-EBOM Platinum designation. It shows a high level of commitment to sustainability by Infrastructure Ontario and demonstrates that it is possible to drastically reduce water and energy consumption, while improving the comfort of workers and reaching out to the community.”
Jury Comments: “Engineering elegance and simplicity! We were impressed by the originality and the environmental savings in this arena retrofit. The new systems require practically zero operating and maintenance costs, even in this challenging northern landscape.”
Jury Comments: “At one of the busiest underground transit stations in Canada the engineers successfully designed and managed the construction of a second platform. Since it was critical to keep the subway trains running, they found ways to control the dynamic and static forces on the structure and used a complex shoring and staging process. A side benefit of the project was enhancing the public “space on Front Street.”
Jury Comments: “This project’s team found a unique technical solution using bridge slide technology to improve the performance of a 103-year old infrastructure. By using silent piling they also minimized the impact on the surrounding residential area. The project shows a remarkable understanding of the strategic significance of rail and public transit in our communities.”
Juror Comments: “The engineers brought harmony to a project that had multi-faceted conflicting and complex needs. It involved changes to 2.5 kilometres of roads and included the replacement of three at-grade rail crossings with new vehicle overpasses. Pedestrian and cycle trails and bridges, street lighting, and the relocation of utilities were involved.
Jury Comments: “This was an urgent, high-risk project, and its execution protected workers, the public and the environment in an exceptional way. The engineers’ work involved assessing and remediating a large former gold mining site, where a variety of hazardous materials had to be removed, notwithstanding that some of the buildings were near collapse.”
Jury Comments: “This is a “first of its kind” project creating a standalone generating station fuelled by liquid natural gas (LNG) to feed into a small hydro grid. The experience gained here can be leveraged for further LNG use across Northern Canada to reduce the reliance on diesel for back-up power, with its associated greenhouse gases. The project also involved the local community and First Nations in the construction.”
Jury Comments: “Another “first,” this project is a global leader — the first in the world to capture post-combustion carbon from an existing coal-fired power plant at a large commercial scale. It extends the life of the existing plant by 30 years and has the potential to keep coal as an energy option for the future. The challenges of integrating the systems into the existing plant were of a huge magnitude.”
Jury Comments: “In this innovative project, the engineers met the challenge of using energy recovery while reducing the downstream water pressure in a potable water supply system. It uses a large energy recovery turbine at the terminus of a 7-km tunnel that carries treated potable water at high pressures. The energy that would otherwise be lost is expected to save Metro Vancouver 9,600 MWh a year.”
Jury Comments: “This major mining infrastructure project in the remote James Bay region of Northern Quebec required
well executed up-front planning and had a very good risk management process. The project involved building the above ground facilities for a gold mine, including the ore processing plant, a work camp for 400, administrative buildings, wastewater treatment plant, and tailings management facilities. There was also good involvement with First Nations.”