The Lower Mainland’s construction leaders came out to celebrate each other’s projects and the 30th anniversary of the Vancouver Regional Construction Association’s (VRCA) Awards of Excellence.
When the awards were co-founded in 1988 by former Journal of Commerce publisher Brian Martin, only one award was given out. This year, 205 nominations totalling more than $2 billion in construction value vied for 26 awards including 15 Gold awards, and nine outstanding achievement awards.
A heritage award and an innovation award were also given out at the gala event.
“Those awards don’t come up every year, but because of the calibre of the competition in each of the categories this year, the judges felt that, in addition to making the project awards, it was really important to recognize a couple of projects in particular ways,” said VRCA president Fiona Famulak.
Ledcor Construction took the General Contractors – Over $50 Million category with their work on the BC Children’s and BC Women’s Redevelopment Project Phase 2, while Graham Construction won gold in the General Contractors – $15 to $50 Million category for the Metrotown Station and Exchange Upgrade project. In the General Contractors – up to $15 Million category, Peter Kiewit Sons ULC won gold for the Powell Spillgate Rehabilitation Installation.
Ledcor Vancouver regional manager Dana Buchart said the hospital project was an enormous challenge.
“We were working 24/7, at least from January 2017 to July 5, 2017. To turn the hospital over on time was critical for the children of the province,” Buchart said.
Western Pacific Enterprises won gold in the Electrical Contractors – $2 to $5 million category for their work on the Johnson Street Bridge, a Victoria, B.C. landmark which faced numerous delays before completion. In the Electrical Contractors – Up to $2 Million category, Status Electrical Corporation won for work done on the Fraser Valley Cancer – ACU & Chemo Expansion Phase 1, and Allteck Line Contractors Inc. took the Electrical Contractors – Over $5 Million for the Shinish-Pennask 34.5kV collector system and transmission line.
In the Mechanical Contractors category, Gisborne Industrial Construction Ltd. won the Up to $3 Million category for the BC Hydro Wahleach Powerhouse Fire Protection System. Gisborne also took the Construction Workplace Health and Safety Innovation award for their hazard assessment and control process.
Division 15 Mechanical’s work on the West Vancouver Public Service and Municipal Hall Building netted the firm gold in the Mechanical Contractors – $3 to $9 Million category. In the Over 9 Million category, Fred Welsh Ltd. was the winner for BC Children’s and BC Women’s Redevelopment Project Phase 2.
ETRO Construction Limited won in the General Contractors – Tenant Improvement category for work on Parq Vancouver, and ETRO founder Mike Maierle was the winner of the U40 Excellence in Construction award.
Engineered Assemblies took the Manufacturers and Suppliers award for the Langara College Science and Technology Building.
Famulak said several trends emerged in the judging of this year’s entries.
“There’s a real uptick in the use of wood in construction both from an internal and external point of view, and that’s quite noticeable,” she said. “There’s also an increased use of technology, which is good to see. It needs to be as we build faster, greener and more productively.”
Famulak also noted while women are still a minority in the construction industry, many of the project managers who presented this year were female.
“It’s great to know that the project managers coming through now are women,” Famulak said.
Safety records were recognized in two different categories at the awards. In the Superior Safety Record category, the winners were Andama Construction Ltd. (Trade Contractor 10,000 to 49,999 person hours), Houle Electric (Trade Contractor 200,000 or more person hours), Status Electrical Corporation (Trade Contractor 200,000 or more person hours) and Western Pacific Enterprises Ltd. (Trade Contractor 200,000 or more person hours).
In the Zero Frequency Injury Rate category, the winners were Canadian Turner Construction Co. (General Contractor 100,000 to 199,000 person hours), Gisborne Industrial Construction Ltd. (General Contractor 200,000 or more person hours), Graham Management Services Ltd. (General Contractor 100,000 to 199,999 person hours), Omicron Canada Inc (General Contractor 200,000 or more person hours), and Peter Kiewit & Sons (General Contractor 200,000 or more person hours).
In addition to the safety awards, other outstanding achievement awards won by member firms included the Innovation and Productivity award, won by Cascadia Windows and Doors, and the Member of the Year award, given to EllisDon.
Individual awards went to Wilma Leung of BC Housing for Education Leadership and Angie Duquette of ITC Construction who won this year’s Outstanding Woman in Construction award.
Clark Campbell of Smith Bros & Wilson was the newest Life Member Inductee, and John Scott of Scott Construction won the Lifetime Achievement award.