ACA and the Jake Thygesen family provide 32 scholarships valued at $1000 each to students enrolled in technical training for construction trades. The application for the 2014 scholarships is now available. The deadline to apply has been extended to August 8, 2014.

See the application here.


Brian Soutar of Alberta Infrastructure has retired.  Brian shared his thoughts with us:

“I want to let you know that I have decided to retire from full time employment.  This was by no means a simple decision after 41 exciting years in the business, but I know that it’s the right one at this point in my life.   I have been blessed with an extremely rewarding and varied career in the private sector (project management, development, design and construction of industrial, commercial and institutional facilities) and also in the public sector (project management, procurement, cost management and capital planning of institutional and water management facilities).  While I will still maintain an active interest in all aspects of projects, I am very excited about the freedom that this new phase of my life will provide for my wife and I to spend much more time together and with our family.

It has been a genuine honour to have worked with you, the Alberta Construction Association and its membership over the past years.  I have consistently appreciated your individual and corporate leadership and communication styles, enthusiasm, frankness, expertise and professionalism in creating a supportive environment for all stakeholders.  We have collaborated to advance our mutual successes through understanding and respecting each sector’s perspectives.  I believe that this approach has improved productivity, performance and value for all, and has also reduced many of the impediments to these efficiencies.  Together we have made significant progress in supporting Alberta’s development as a leader in many ways within North America and beyond, and I will always be proud of our positive contribution.”

ACA’s Chair Scott Matheson spoke for ACA and the entire industry in responding:

“Brian, I wish you all the best as you move along to take part in other adventures. Your leadership will be missed. I always felt we could discuss anything related to work or family which is a testament to the effort you put into your relationship with our industry. Our challenge will be to find the next champion that is willing to work with us to the benefit of all participants in whatever challenges lay before us.

On behalf of the ACA our heartfelt thank you for your dedication and friendship building a bridge between the Government and our challenging construction industry.”



The Ministry of Innovation and Advanced Education hosted the “Let’s Talk about Supports for Post-secondary Learners” event on July 14th. The Ministry is interested in collecting your thoughts and reflections to support this important project. To that end they invite you to participate in a short online survey.

Click here to access the survey:

Your feedback will be anonymous. The survey closes August 1st.

The information collected will be used to develop a 3 year strategic plan with program enhancements that will remove financial barriers for post-secondary learners and other strategies to assist Alberta apprentices in progressing and completing their post-secondary studies.

It is through continued dialogue and collaboration that the Ministry will develop effective and efficient strategies to assist Alberta’s post-secondary learners in achieving their educational goals.  We look forward to continuing the conversations with you on this topic.

As a follow-up, we will also be sending out a summary report of what we heard by the end of the summer.

We have included the information package provided prior to the July 14 event for delegates engaged in apprenticeship training as background for your participation in the survey.


As technology, best practices and the industry’s aptitude advance, how will BIM shape the AEC industries over the next decade? The CanBIM-aceBIM Super Session will examine current and future BIM trends with a focus on Facilities management, Collaboration, Procurement and More!

Download Save the Date and register.


The Short-Term Employment Forecast provides a three-year overview of occupations expected to be in demand from 2014 – 2016. This forecast examines 260 occupations and ranks them in categories of high, moderately high, medium, and low demand.

Short-Term Employment Forecast 2014-2016



The User’s Guide to the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2011 (NECB) is available in the NRC virtual store.

This first edition of the guide is designed to complement the NECB and to build on the code requirements by providing additional background information, as well as detailed examples and calculations. Of particular interest to designers are the checklists at the end of each Part to help them verify that provisions in the NECB have been considered in their design.

Used along with the NECB 2011, the User’s Guide facilitates its usage by providing explanatory material and suggested approaches to design or compliance questions. As the NECB offers a number of compliance path options including trade-off paths, code users will find this guide provides clarity by describing the various compliance approaches and including detailed examples of trade-off path calculations.

Code users familiar with the explanatory material in the appendices of the Model National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 1997 (MNECB) will note that this material has been updated in the new User’s Guide and augmented with additional examples and background information. This material includes the calculation examples of thermal properties of building assemblies.

The User’s Guide is an ideal training tool for educators and trainers and is available for purchase as a soft-cover book as well as via online subscription or downloadable PDF.

As with all Code documents, the public is welcome to submit or request additional material and suggest revisions.


The 6th Annual IT Forum Conference  will be held Thursday, July 31 to Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, at the Swissotel in Chicago. This is the construction industry’s one-stop-shop for the latest on technology trends, tablets in construction, mobile technology, cloud computing, affordable solutions and much more.

This year’s conference, themed, “Changes in Construction IT: Mobile, Data, Cloud,” will explore solutions to challenges presented by ever-changing technology in the construction industry. Cutting-edge educational sessions include:

  • Apps and Concepts for Using Tablets in Construction
  • Ups and Downs of Cloud Computing
  • BIM: How to Stay Above It
  • Affordable Solutions

Keynote speakers include James Vaselopulos, Senior Vice President, PSC Group,  LLC on big data and James Benham, President, JB Knowledge, Inc. on construction IT trends.

The Swissotel has sold out. A limited number of rooms are available at the Fairmont Chicago, but the Fairmont Hotel room block is closed. Please call AGC at 703.837.5369 for assistance with accommodations.

Register today, as all paid attendees will be entered for a chance to win an iPad or one of four Amazon gift cards.


ACA was pleased to provide input to a Government of Alberta consultation July 14 on apprenticeship strategies to enhance access, progression and completion of apprenticeship training.  Much of the discussion focused on the need for industry to work with the primary and secondary school system to provide greater skills and experience to students before they enter post-secondary as apprentices. This is an area that ACA and partner associations have been focused on with a number of initiatives under consideration.  We’ll keep membership informed as these initiatives move forward.


Provincial and territorial education and labour market Ministers met July 9-10 in Charlottetown with stakeholders to discuss how best to align education, skills, and training sectors with the needs of Canada’s labour markets.

Ministers have agreed to joint efforts to ensure that provincial and territorial skills training and education systems continue to innovate and that our economy remains among the most competitive in the world.

Three core principles will anchor the pathway forward:

  • Pathways to employment success

Education and skills training systems must provide a variety of flexible ways for Canadians to acquire the knowledge and skills they need for success in the job market.

  • Partnerships to strengthen skills alignment

Partnerships and alignment with business, labour, education, and training providers are key to ensuring synergy between education and skills training systems and Canada’s labour markets.

  • Informed choices

Access to accurate, relevant, and timely labour market and education information is essential to support Canadians to make smart career choices, as well as enable government and business to make evidence-based decisions in planning for the future.

The following pan-Canadian activities will be initiated as part of the ongoing efforts of all provinces and territories to align education and skills training with labour market needs so that all Canadians have the skills they need to succeed:

  • Building on the success of Skills for the Future, provincial and territorial ministers will put together a toolkit of promising practices that will assist in the alignment of skills and education systems with the needs of the labour market. The innovative new ideas will be accessible to all jurisdictions. Ministers will present their conclusions to Canada`s Premiers.
  • To support skills alignment and improved labour market data, partnerships will be expanded to ensure accurate and timely information exists for all stakeholders.  Areas of common interest with the federal government on how best to support labour market data collection and analysis will be explored.
  • Provincial and territorial education and labour market ministers will recommend to Canada’s premiers that provinces and territories reconvene to ensure progress and measure success on both initiatives as well as to continue dialogue to determine next action steps.



Trade Definitions have been updated (download here).  Please destroy the previous January 2014 edition.  Changes from the January edition include:

  1. Removed line item reference numbers from Inclusions/Exclusions to simply read (See Included) or (See Excluded) on pages 23, 30, 31, 93 and 95.  This eliminated issues with referring to the wrong line.  The Contractor knows to refer back to the Inclusions or Exclusions.
  2. Changed the Cash Allowance line to “Cash Allowance and/or Contingency funds when a specific dollar amount is listed in Division 01 or this trade’s specification section” in all sections.
  3. Removed line 40 from the Ventilation Section on page 94. This was a conflict with the correct line 66.

Trade Definitions provide clarity to all construction project stakeholders as to the allocation of work to be bid and performed.  This clarity in turn reduces confusion, error, disputes, and litigation. Please review your scope carefully if you have not already done so as inclusions and exclusions may have changed from pre-2014 versions.  Bidding without complete familiarity of the 2014 Definitions could have expensive consequences.

The 2014 Trade Definitions represent a comprehensive update to reflect current technology and business practice, and are the consensus result of input from many industry volunteers.

The Trade Definitions are a living document and will continue to be periodically improved and updated.  Stakeholders will be advised as updates are published.

ACA, its member local construction associations and the 3000 plus member firms endorse adoption of the 2014 Trade Definitions as a best practice. We encourage all tender authorities and their design consultants, specification writers, and contractors and suppliers to cite and utilize the 2014 Trade Definitions for their projects.

© 2012 Alberta Construction Association Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha