Dec 162014
 

As noted in our invited article from Alberta Infrastructure Minister Bhullar, Alberta Infrastructure has numerous project opportunities in the short and long term.   ACA applauds the Minister and Department for their commitment to work with industry to re-engineer contracting policies and procedures and modernize government’s procurement process.  As part of this process, ACA Chairman Scott Matheson is leading a significant industry effort to review contracts with Alberta Infrastructure.

While this work will be underway for some time, ACA applauds Infrastructure for moving forward this Fall to address some longstanding ACA recommendations.  Changes adopted by Infrastructure align with industry standard practices and are a model for owners that strive to remain preferred clients.

In particular, ACA acknowledges key changes:

 Section 01_26_63B Change Order Procedures:

Additions to Direct Costs (under Definition 2.3 page 1):

  • Operation and maintenance of site offices as a Direct Cost
  • Administration at a site office as a Direct Cost
  • additional bonding and insurance cost as a Direct Cost

Increase to Labour Burden 3.6.2.2 (page 3) to 45% of Direct Labour Cost

Section 00_72_00B General Conditions of Contract

Increases in percent mark-ups in 2.5 Valuation of Changes (page 9 of 22):

.4 On extra work authorized by the Province, and to be paid for under method 2.5.1.1, the allowance for overhead and profit shall be based on the following schedule:

.1 For work performed by Contractor’s own forces, including work performed to accommodate work performed by Subcontractors, the Contractor shall be entitled to a mark-up of 15% on its actual Direct Costs related to the change in the work for overhead costs and profit.

.2 For work performed by Subcontractors, including work performed to accommodate work performed by Sub-subcontractor:

.1 Each Subcontractor shall be entitled to a mark-up of 15% on actual Direct Costs related to the change in the work for overhead and profit.

.2 Contractor shall be entitled to 10% on the Subcontractors’ total price to cover their Administrative Fee and profit.

.3 For work performed by Sub-subcontractors:

.1 Each Sub-subcontractor shall be entitled to a mark-up of 15% on actual Direct Costs related to the change in the work for overhead and profit.

.2 Subcontractor shall be entitled to 10 % on the Sub-subcontractors’ total price to cover their Administrative Fee and profit.

.3 Contractor shall be entitled to 10 % on the Subcontractor’s above total price to cover their Administrative Fee and profit.

Dec 162014
 

bhullarSince becoming the Minister of Infrastructure just a few short months ago, I’ve learned a great deal about the construction industry and the importance of the relationship between government and industry.

I’d like to thank your organization for being willing to take the time to meet with Deputy Minister Barry Day and myself to discuss the issues and opportunities we’re all facing. We appreciated the frank and honest feedback and agree there is room to improve how we work together and I’d like to reiterate the value industry brings to the table.

We’re in the process of redirecting the focus of our organization. Based on feedback I have received from your members, work has already started to re-engineer our contracting policies and procedures. This is an important step to standardizing government contracts that will modernize government’s procurement process.

There will be more changes coming to ensure more effective monitoring, faster decision-making and above all, increased accountability. These changes will start early in the New Year as we focus on the business of the Ministry – delivering physical infrastructure.

And with the biggest capital build of schools in Canadian history – 230 – there’s a lot of work to be done in Alberta. Some RFPs have gone out and more are coming for Phases 2 and 3 of the schools plan. But it doesn’t end with schools.  Albertans also need infrastructure like a continuing care facility in Parsons Creek and a provincial facility in High River.  You can find out more about our upcoming opportunities through the Government of Alberta’s Purchasing Connection (http://www.purchasingconnection.ca/.

These are only a few examples of the work that’s going on in our great province and I look forward to continuing to work with the construction industry to deliver these important projects to Albertans.

–Manmeet S. Bhullar,
Minister of Alberta Infrastructure

Dec 082014
 

The ACA Safety WCB Committee is currently working its way through the OHS Code review process.  Thanks to your input we are able to look at a number of issues that concern us and will be pushing ahead to create a position on the overall changes and how to work with the government on this important file.

High on the list of concerns within our industry is the Silica monitoring and it will be an issue we will continue to advocate for our members. We will continue to push for changes within the new code as well as trying to get clarity on a number of rewritten sections. ACA will share with members our final submission in January 2015.

Dec 082014
 

The ACA met with our government partners last week on the New West Partnership agreement as we presented our findings on the issues within the agreement that we have some concerns about.  We would like to thank you all for your help on this file as we go forward to try and establish reasonable guidelines in how codes will be used throughout the partners. We would also like to thank our provincial association counterparts who helped us draft our presentation this past week.

You may read our presentation here.

Dec 022014
 

The Chair of the Building Technical Council has called for a Mail Ballot for support of:  “NBC 2013 – proposal 894”.  As discussed at Building Technical Council this proposal falls under the administration of the Building Code and as such BTC should provide a public consultation response. The ACA as requested is seeking member’s feedback.

Supporting Document:

NBC 894 FTC review

If you have any comment or question on this change please contact Lee Phillips at  LeeP@scottbuilders.com.  He will need your comments by no later than December 9th.

Dec 022014
 

Alberta government’s second quarter fiscal results show a strong first six months of the 2014-15 fiscal year; however, the on-going decline in oil prices suggests this is likely not to continue into the second half of the year.

The surplus for 2014-15 is now forecast at $933 million, down from $1.1 billion forecast at budget. The revenue forecast has been updated to $45.0 billion, $637 million higher than originally estimated at budget. Total expense is now forecast at $44.1 billion, up $791 million from budget.

The capital plan is providing $7.3 billion for Alberta’s infrastructure, a $673 million increase from budget, primarily for additional school projects.

The revised revenue forecast is based on $75 US per barrel for the remainder of the fiscal year. For the first six months, WTI averaged $100.08 but with the recent decline in energy prices is now forecast to average $88.88 for the fiscal year.

For further numbers and information please see the government press release here.

Dec 022014
 

The WCB announced that due to increased employer performance they are offering a six cent drop in the average industry premium rate in 2015, to $0.97 per $100 of insurable earnings.

The WCB will begin sharing individual rates with employers over the next few weeks, and wanted to ensure that employers have up-to-date information on what is happening in the workers’ compensation system.

Check out the WCB website for information on sector and industry rates, the factors that went in to establishing 2015 rates, and links to services that can help you improve your rate. If you are an employer, the WCB encourages you to sign up for Loss Control Reporting under myWCB to get a personalized rate statement in December.

If you have any questions please contact corporate.communications@wcb.ab.ca.

BIM in the Cloud

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Nov 242014
 

Cloud computing is a new phrase that has become all the rage in IT industries and in our private lives. Storing information on a central server that multiple people can access to collaborate or create something is becoming more common.

This method is now reaching the construction industry and may create a new way of doing business, getting jobs done quickly and sharing the information with various people and organizations speedily. There are a number of examples of these cloud driven BIM software.  Included here are a couple of examples of paid versions:

BIM Manager a part of Viewpoint For Project Collaboration is an easy to use browser-based application for BIM collaboration. BIM Manager enables you to integrate your construction data from multiple sources into a common model where you can collaboratively review, annotate and comment on large quantities of documents such as RFIs, submittals, schedules and other project related documents.

BIM 360 from AutoDesk is another construction management software which enables almost anytime, anywhere access to project data throughout the building construction lifecycle. BIM 360 empowers those in the field to better anticipate and act, and those in the back office to optimize and manage all aspects of construction performance.

The idea of taking a client through a build just using a web browser or creating real time changes from various locations across the world would certainly be of interest for construction managers and owners.

Nov 182014
 

A couple of weeks ago we asked you to fill out a survey on prompt payment and its effects on your business. After receiving a strong response so far we wanted to keep it open for a few weeks more to get as much response as possible. We appreciate the time spent to fill out this important information as we intend to use your feedback in shaping ACA recommendations on the issue.

You can fill out the survey here and we will publish the results in a few weeks.

Nov 182014
 

Northern Alberta Development Council (NADC) is currently conducting its 2014 Work Force Scan (WFS), and would greatly appreciate your participation in completing the survey.

The WFS is a short survey (10-15 minutes total) designed to gather information on the workforce needs of employers, including which types of workers, students and training are currently in demand by employers in northern Alberta.

Link to Online Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2014_NADC_WorkForceScanSurvey,

 

NADC Bursary Program: Since 1974, nearly 5,000 individual bursaries have been awarded, with 74% of those receiving a bursary deciding to stay in northern Alberta. For more information on the NADC’s Bursary Program, please go to www.benorth.ca.