Canadian Consulting Engineer

Up Front

June 1, 2012
By Canadian Consulting Engineer



Telus Garden development

takes up a city block in Vancouver

By Jean Sorensen

Excavation is starting for the new $750-million Telus Garden mixed-use complex that will transform a downtown Vancouver city block into a green showcase by 2014. The project aims to be designated LEED Platinum.

The $750-million complex is bounded by Georgia, Robson, Seymour and Richard streets. It will house the new headquarters for communications giant Telus on nine floors of the 22-storey tower. A second 46-storey residential tower will have 400 units.

Between the two towers along Georgia Street there is a large pavilion which Anthony El-Arij, P.Eng., associate with structural engineers Glotman Simpson, describes as “like a spine with ribs.” It will span 220 feet with a steel arch and 30-ft. glulam outriggers.

The architecture, by Henriquez Partners, incorporates a 10,000 sq. ft. green roof and has cantilevered sky-gardens located over several floors. Along Georgia Street the building will have LED lighting as a media wall that can be used to broadcast events to the public.

Cobalt Engineering designed the project’s energy conservation features, which include a district energy system.


GENIVAR buys large

U.K. company

GENIVAR, based in Montreal, is acquiring WSP Group PLC, a multi-disciplinary consulting firm based in London, U.K. In a statement issued June 7, the companies said they would “combine their reputation, respective expertise and geographic reach to create a world-class professional services firm with approximately 14,500 employees in over 30 countries.” Genivar currently has 5,500 employees. Together the companies will have a strong presence in Canada, Northern Europe (mainly Sweden and Norway), the U.K. and the United States.”

Christopher Cole, the current chief executive of WSP, will become executive chairman of the board of directors of the Genivar corporation. Pierre Shoiry will continue as president and chief executive officer. In 2011, WSP had revenues of approximately $1.1 billion.


Mining engineering students squeeze under roof

Just as mining companies worldwide are crying out for engineers, the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto has expanded its facilities for mining students.

The century-old Lassonde Mining Building on College Street in the heart of the downtown campus was the original home of the Mining Hall of Fame. Recently the building was renovated and new studio and meeting spaces were squeezed into the attic space. The renovations preserved the history of the building by exposing dark brick walls complete with graffiti scrawled by students over past decades.

Skylights were punched into the roof, and photovoltaic panels were added to power the suite’s lights and computers. The fourth and fifth floors in the institute — now served by an elevator — have 100 new workstations for mineral and civil engineering students in space known as the Goldcorp Mining Innovation Suite.

Blackwell Bowick were structural engineers; Crossey Engineering did the mechanical and electrical engineering; Baird Sampson Neuert were the architects. Other consultants included William N. Greer (heritage), Brook Van Dalen (building envelope), Curran McCabe Revindran Ross (costing), Leber Rubes (code), Ted Kesik (sustainabilty), and ACSI (elevator).



Petitcodiac Causeway and Saint John wastewater plant

in New Brunswick winners

The Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – New Brunswick (ACEC-NB) gave five awards of excellence at a gala dinner in Moncton on April 23.

The winners were selected from approximately 30 entries.

One winner is the Petitcodiac Causeway Restoration Project by AMEC Environment & Infrastructure/New Brunswick Department of Supplies and Services (environmental category). AMEC first did an environmental impact assessment to study possible modifications to the causeway, addressing fish passage and other ecosystem issues. The selected option was to permanently open the gates and construct a bridge along the alignment of the existing causeway. The completed project included 22 kilometres of dykes and aboiteaux, a new municipal watermain crossing the river and shoreline protection.

Another winner was the Eastern Wastewater Treatment Facility in Saint John, N.B. by CBCL and the City of Saint John (municipal/civil category). The plant serves as the cornerstone for the Saint John Harbour Cleanup, a major project to intercept and treat raw sewage outfalls that discharge directly to the Bay of Fundy. The EWWTF is located adjacent to Red Head Marsh in Saint John and is the largest secondary wastewater treatment facility in Atlantic Canada.

The other ACEC-NB winners were the Combined Energy Recovery and Particulate Removal System for McCain Foods, Harbin, China by QES and McCain Foods (natural resources, energy and industry category); CN Intermodal Pavement Rehabilitation, Gordon Yard, Moncton by Hatch Mott MacDonald & CN (transportation); and New Brunswick Community College, Fredericton Campus, by exp Services and the Province of New Brunswick (buildings).


Engineers win three

big Ontario projects

AECOM has been chosen as the lead design subconsultant for a joint venture that will design, build and finance part of the much-anticipated rail link between Union Station in downtown Toronto and Toronto Pearson International Airport, approximately 30 kilometres to the northwest. As lead designer for the consortium AirLinx Transit Partners, AECOM will provide architectural, structural, rail, utility relocation and other services for a 3-kilometre spur line and passenger station.

Parsons Brinckerhoff has been named as the general engineering consultant to the Regional Municipality of Waterloo for a major new transit program in the region. The program includes a 19-kilometre light rail system and a 17-kilometre bus rapid transit network through the Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo area. Parsons Brinckerhoff will help the regional government prepare its criteria and performance requirements for a private partner to design, build, finance and operate the LRT. Parsons Brinckerhoff will also help with construction management.

A new 50/50 joint venture between SNC-Lavalin and Cintra Infraestructuras has been awarded the contract to design, build, finance and maintain the first phase of an extension to the Highway 407 toll highway that runs east-west across the Greater Toronto Area. The new stretch, expected to open in 2015, will go 22 kilometres from Pickering to Oshawa. It includes a 10-km north-south connection to Highway 401. The SNC-Lavalin-Cintra joint venture — known as 407 East Development Group General Partnership — will operate and maintain the highway for 30 years but the province will own it and collect the tolls. The value of the contract is $1 billion.


“New wave” sustainability advocates should look

to the past

Re: “Sound Engineering: Sustainable Outcomes,” by Herb Kuehne, P.Eng. (ACEC Review, CCE May 2012, p.15).

I found Herb Kuehne’s message regarding the fundamentally inherent nature of the engineering profession being in step with the recent trend of “Sustainability” very refreshing. There is a lot of rhetoric regarding “Sustainability” that seems to confuse and overshadow many things, especially the nature of engineering; specifically, the importance of remembering the history of engineering and how the profession came to possess its classic qualities of optimization/efficiency, environmental/social integration, practical experience, and economy — particularly in civil engineering —all founded on sound applied science and mathematics. I agree with Mr. Kuehne that it certainly is encouraging to see other professions and callings
embracing the principal qualities of engineering.

One would expect what I’ll call the “new-wave” of Sustainability should openly deal with far more fundamental and deeper sustainability issues that need to be addressed beyond the realm of engineering, in our world that has added six billion human beings in just the past century; however, it remains to be seen. Perhaps the next time a brand new building on previously undeveloped land, for example, is branded with a “Sustainable” accolade, one will seriously consider if that new building — which did not exist before — is truly sustainable at all.

There are many who seem to think Engineering is catching up with “Sustainability” when it is actually the other way around. One should remember the past a lot more, where the lessons of the future are, and not get caught up in the alluring waves of the present; otherwise, we may all suffer in the undertow.

Keep sustaining your work on this great magazine.

Marcus Cassolato, P.Eng.

Burlington, Ont.


Hatch and Cegertec

forge alliances

MEK Engenharia of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has joined forces with Hatch Group of Mississauga, Ontario to serve Brazil’s and Latin America’s power sector. MEK was established 22 years ago and has designed nearly 70 hydropower stations.

Cegertec and WorleyParsons have agreed to form a new joint venture company named Cegertec WorleyParsons. Cegertec is a Quebec family business founded 60 years ago that specializes in energy, industry, transport, infrastructure and buildings. It had $46 million in revenues for the year ended November 2011. Cegertec’s vice-president and general manager Stéphane Leduc has been appointed president of Cegertec WorleyParsons. The joint company employs 525 people in nine offices throughout Quebec.


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