Jan 262015

In an editorial in the Edmonton Journal Monday Marvin Moore, who served as minister of both Municipal Affairs and Transportation in the Lougheed government called on Premier Jim Prentice to maintain and increase capital funding in the face of economic concerns.

Moore said, “It would make sense and be a good economic decision for Prentice and his team to expand capital construction over the next two or three years rather than put more pressure on the economy by cutting back.”

Please click here to read the article.

Jan 262015

On Friday the annual general meeting of the Alberta Construction Association will take place.  The meeting will feature the introduction of the new board including the new chairman. The ACA looks forward to working with the new board and we congratulate outgoing Chairman Scott Matheson who has served with great distinction.

Jan 202015

ACA Vice-Chair Paul Verhesen and Executive Director Ken Gibson met with Advanced Education Minister Don Scott on Monday. Once again the ACA was able to reach out to the government minister in a cordial atmosphere.

As part of their discussion the pair brought up the past partnerships with the Alberta government and advocated for continued success.  The ACA also reiterated its advice to the Minister as outlined in the letter sent to him last fall.

Please see attached letter.

Jan 152015


ACA Past Chair – 1994

William Lawrence KEHOE


March 17, 1935 – January 12, 2015

It is with great sadness the family announces Larry’s passing.

Larry passed away from complications of lung cancer, he died peacefully in his bed and on his own terms.  Larry is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Joan; his two daughters, Lana Gelineau and Patti Kehoe (John Wheelwright); six grandchildren and one great-grandchild on the way. He was predeceased by his eldest daughter, Ardis Kehoe; only son, David Kehoe and his parents.

While we are broken hearted, we are very grateful for the time we did have with him.

Larry’s life was a full one lived with intention and gusto. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather and soon to have been a great-grandfather. Larry’s gifts and contributions were many – the first being character, he was honest, ethical and committed to the construction industry.

He served on many boards – ECA, ACA, CCA, ASHRAE, and was recognized as a true professional and mentor to many. He was well and warmly regarded within the industry. He was known as the “Silver Fox”, Fossil and many other terms of endearment.

Larry’s passing leaves a vast absence in our lives, he was the patriarch full of wisdom, kindness and honour. We grieve his loss but cherish his memory.

Memorial Service Friday, January 16 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Augustine of Canterbury Anglican Church, 6110 Fulton Road, Edmonton with Reverend Jonathan Crane officiating. Cremation has taken place. In lieu of other tributes, donations may

be made to the charity of one’s choice.

To send condolences, visit www.parkmemorial.com

Note: Larry served on the ACA Executive 1992 – 1995 and as ACA Chair in 1994

Jan 132015

2015 could turn into the year of the election.  As the price of oil continues to fall and budgets start to tighten Premier Prentice is rumoured to be considering a spring election campaign which could come as early as March.  If Alberta does have a spring election this will mean that there will be an abbreviated sitting of the legislature.

Upper most on the minds of some of our members will be meeting the demands for school construction which were announced in the last year and how the province will afford them under tighter budget constraints.

On the Federal scene the set election date is scheduled for October 19, 2015. In both cases the ACA will work with our partners, including local construction associations, to ensure the politicians know the concerns of our members going forward. Specific to our interest is how the changes to the immigration and education programs will fill the skills gap in our workforce. The ACA and others are working toward a common front on these items.

Jan 132015

On Jan. 1, the federal government launched Express Entry, a new immigration application management system intended to prioritize applicants and accelerate the process.

Skilled workers, who want to apply to Canada’s key economic immigration programs, now must create an online profile to express their interest in coming to Canada permanently. Candidates who meet the minimum criteria will be accepted into the pool and will be given a score based on language proficiency, education and work experience.

According to the government, these are leading indicators of one’s likelihood of integrating fully and quickly into Canada’s economy and society. The highest ranking skilled workers will be invited to apply for permanent residence and can expect to see their application processed in six months or less. The first invitations to apply will be issued during the last week of January.

The government of Alberta is able to use the system to select a portion of candidates for their Provincial Nominee Programs.

For more on this article click here

Jan 052015

Workplace Essential Skills enable people to perform job tasks competently and continue to develop other skills along a growth spectrum.  They are the skills that allow employees to adapt quickly to the unprecedented rate of technological change showing up in every workplace.  Having the right skills for the right job at the right time helps organizations stay current and safe as equipment, procedures and products change. See http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/les//index.shtml for more information about Workplace Essential Skills.

A recent article highlighting the benefits of workplace essential skills training (25% average return on investment with as high as a 300% ROI; revenue gains, increased company loyalty; greater productivity) (http://www.canadianbusiness.com/insights/literacy/) clearly speaks to many of the issues today’s employers are facing:

  • Employees don’t have the right skills to perform competently
  • Too many health and safety incidents
  • Increasing rates of change and new technologies
  • Problems with retention
  • Lack of productivity in terms of waste, mistakes, re-do’s, sick time, refusal of employees to upgrade training or take promotions

Please visit Alberta Workforce Essential Skills at www.awes.ca or email cindy@awes.ca for more information on:

  • Workplace Essential Skills (WES) training
  • Booking an information session outlining the benefits of WES training
  • Organizing a needs assessment

Alberta Workforce Essential Skills training is eligible for Canada Job Grant Funding.

Jan 052015

As part of the ENR Future Tech Conference Sue Klawans, vice president with Gilbane Building Co., a longtime BIM user, is starting to use other rapidly improving digital tools, including laser scanning and gaming software—and hardware—to enhance current construction and design approaches.

One of Gilbane’s newest additions to the digital toolbox is the Oculus Rift, a 3D gaming headset device, for instance.

John Myers, a VDC engineer with Gilbane, demonstrated how he had used the headset with Unity, a gaming visualization software, to display a navigable, 3D immersion experience to visually explore a Connecticut office-building atrium design. The atrium idea was a late-stage owner-driven design change to enclose and bridge a space between two buildings. By the time the design was complete, the actual site was heavily occluded by scaffolding and equipment for other work, making visualization of the design on site nearly impossible.  By using the Oculus Rift, Meyer was able to give the project’s field staff a realistic, navigable view of the complex design.

View the Unity 3D engine here:

To see the Oculus Rift in action on a 3D construction site view here:

Jan 052015

While the use of building information modeling in the U.S. is becoming more commonplace it still has some ways to go before it could be considered the market standard. Steve Jones of Dodge Data & Analytics, showed survey data, at the ENR FutureTech Conference, demonstrating that the United Kingdom—which has mandated contractors use BIM on all public projects by 2016—and other countries are moving considerably ahead in adoption.

Noting recent research findings on BIM adoption by owners, Jones reported that two-thirds of all U.K. owners plan to require BIM on future projects, including 70% of private-sector owners. Also, according to the study, 68% of U.K. owners currently require BIM, with the U.S. rate well behind at 25%. On the positive side, however, U.S. contractors lead the world in using BIM for model-driven prefabrication, with a rate of more than 80%. According to the report, “around two thirds of both public sector (65%) and private sector (70%) UK owners say they will require BIM on new projects they will be starting, compared with less than a third (30%) of US public owners and just a handful (11%) of US private sector ones.”

In Canada, as recently as 2011, statistics showed that BIM take up in Canada was slower than the United States. However the turnaround in recent times has Canada creeping up on the European standards. A 2010 IBC survey showed that 60% or more of commercial and institutional projects in Canada were employing BIM, with use in the commercial and residential sectors approaching the 50% mark.

Dec 222014

treeThe Alberta Construction Association would like to wish all of its members, associations, and everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  With the approach of the holiday season it is a time that we appreciate all that we achieved and renew ourselves for 2015. We look forward to making even more progress during this next year.

Our Office will be closed from December 24th until January 2nd and we hope all of you will enjoy the season. No matter where you are in our great province have a happy holidays.