Canadian Consulting Engineer

Up Front

March 1, 2012
By Canadian Consulting Engineer



U.S. Departures

opens in Edmonton

Edmonton International Airport opened the first of a series of expansions to its terminal in February. The U.S. Departures area is an 11,000-sq.m addition to the terminal, adding eight gates, restaurants and new lounges. MMM Group is the project manager and Stantec is the design consultant providing architecture, structural, mechanical, electrical and some geotechnical services.

The U.S. departures building includes terraced roofs that provide daylight and views outside. There is also a living wall of hydroponic plants to enhance the indoor air quality.

The airport’s Expansion 2012 program has other components due to open this year. They include a new air traffic control tower that sits above 12,000 square metres of offices and retail areas, and new baggage screening facilities. DIALOG is the design consultant. The airport’s central utilities plant is also being upgraded, with AECOM as design consultant. MMM is project manager for all phases.


Alberta’s Night of Awards

Consulting Engineers of Alberta gave out its Showcase Awards on February 10. The 15th annual event was held in Calgary, and as usual a colourful theme added to the excitement. This year it was “A Night at the Opera.”

Seven awards of excellence were given as follows: DIALOG for the Energy Environment Experiential Learning building, University of Calgary (buildings category); AMEC Environment & Infrastructure for the East Calgary Landfill Stormwater Management project (environmental); Stantec for the Centennial Center for Interdisciplinary Science, University of Alberta (project management); KTA Structural Engineers for the Peace Regional Eco Centre (small firm/big impact and sustainable design); Ready Engineering for the Ringhals AB Unit 2 Control System Replacement for Westinghouse, Sweden (international); MMM Group for the BOW building, Calgary (studies, software, special services); and Klohn Crippen Berger for the Harvie Passage, Calgary Bow River Weir Project (community development and water resources/energy).

As an example of the excellence of just one award-winner, Klohn Crippen Berger’s Bow River project involved creating pools and rapids downstream of a weir to eliminate an extreme safety hazard for recreational users. The engineers increased the river water levels to drown out the weir, creating whitewater play areas and enabling passage for non-motorized boats.

CEA awards of merit winners were Read Jones Christoffersen, EBA/Tetra Tech, AECOM, Associated Engineering, ISL Engineering, Stewart Weir, CH2M HILL, Morrison Hershfield, BPTEC-DNW and Urban Systems.

The CEA Lieutenant Governor’s Award for distinguished achievement went to four people who helped create Consulting Engineers of Alberta 34 years go, namely Elmer Brooker, Harold Page, Norm Lawrence and Stan Lawrence. Cameron Franchuk, P.Eng. won the 2012 Harold L. Morrison Rising Professional Award.


Manitoba starts 1000-kilometre road network

In Manitoba, work is under way on the first permanent roads to connect First Nations communities along the east side of Lake Winnipeg to the provincial road system.

The government of Manitoba’s East Side Road Authority is overseeing the project, which will cost approximately $3 billion and take 30 years to complete.

Totalling 1,028 kilometres in all, the network is actually divided into two. The southern section starts at provincial route 304 near Hollow Water and threads 150 kilometres north along Lake Winnipeg, connecting communities such as Bloodvein, Berens River and Poplar River.

The northern section is a 650-kilometre route going east from the northeastern tip of Lake Winnipeg near Norway House and provincial roads 373 and 374. The road splits into a Y section at Molson Lake, with one arm going to God’s Lake, and the other to Red Sucker Lake.

SNC-Lavalin established the routes in a two-year long study released in 2011. Now AECOM is the prime consulting engineering firm implementing the project, and Dillon Consulting is the contract administrator. Both companies are working on the road and bridge works.

First Nations communities make up 97% of the area served by the new network and thanks to a $50-million Community Benefits Agreement they will help with construction. Once the all-seasons roads are built, the cost of transporting goods and supplies to the communities is expected to be halved, while the cost of medical transport is expected to be reduced by 40%.


Trump tower in Toronto

opens … sort of

The hotel portion of the Trump International Hotel tower opened in Toronto in January, although the upper portion consisting of condominiums is still under construction.

The tower, a granite, glass and steel tiered box with a curved spire rising from one corner, is located at Bay and Adelaide Streets in the banking district downtown.

Zeidler Partnership is the architect, Yolles is the structural engineer, and Hidi Rae is the mechanical electrical engineer.

At 60 storeys and 277 metres high (including the pinnacle), it is the fifth tallest tower in Toronto (First Canadian Place is still the tallest at 72 storeys), according to Wikipedia.


Towering Resource

The Council on Tall Buildings & Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has launched a comprehensive website of information on tall buildings around the world. (


Glass walkway in Jasper approved

The Glacier Discovery Walk in Jasper National Park, Alberta received environmental approval from the federal government in February. There had been opposition from environmental groups to the privately owned project.

The walk is a 300-metre interpretive trail that cuts into the face of a cliff high above the Icefields parkway. It includes a 35-metre cantilevered structure affording spectacular views of the icefield and mountains. To add to the drama, the walkway has a section with a glass floor.

Structural engineers are Reed Jones Christoffersen (Simon Brown). Sturgess Architecture is the architect.


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