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Achieving Success Together

When we were first brought in to this project, it didn’t take long to notice that this was unlike any other enterprise we had been involved in. The walls between the various trades, engineers, architects and owners were nowhere to be found. If this project were a house, it would definitely be open concept.

By the end of the initial meetings, we had worked through problems we had encountered with past projects. The engineers (roofing, siding, electrical and structural) and contractors all had a clear path forward to make each other successful.

This was very different from a typical construction project. Usually, you are given a set of drawings, go to the site, eventually meet the other trades, hope no issues arise and try to stay out of each other’s way.

Traditionally, it can get quite adversarial on the site at times. During a past project conflict arose when the electrical contractor (EC) had an apprentice drill a few hundred holes through joists on Friday so they could start running cabling on Monday. The plumbing contractor (PC), who was working the weekend, saw he could save himself a day’s work by using those holes to run his plumbing lines. As you can imagine, the EC was not a happy camper on Monday, and they asked the PC to either drill new holes, or remove the installed copper line. Apparently, they didn’t get the answer they wanted; fifteen minutes later, ten electricians showed up with sawsalls and 500 feet of copper piping was turned into 500 one foot pieces. Many man-hours were lost as well as some expensive material.

This is the exact situation that IPD will avoid (if you don’t know what this is check out here: In an IPD project, everyone loses since the cost of the lost time and material comes out of everyone’s profit. It doesn’t matter if your company saves time and money at another’s expense, it will still reduce your profit.

Website: Great Canadian Solar

Clifton Lofthaug, Photovoltaic Power System Designer and Installer, Great Canadian Solar

As President of Great Canadian Solar, Clifton Lofthaug’s role includes managing project development, engineering and day-to-day operations. In addition to his impressive qualifications, he has installed 4 of the 5 largest PV systems in Alberta. In fact, by the end of 2014, Clifton will have installed over a megawatt of solar.

Clifton was inspired to become involved in the Mosaic Centre because of the whole “outside the box” approach, from the conceptual design of the PV system right down to the IPD approach. The solar industry is continuously using new, innovative approaches to try to decrease project costs in order to be competitive with traditional industries that receive incentives. With this in mind, Clifton believes that the IPD approach to projects could help the renewables industry take that next step.

Outside of work, Clifton is a new father and enjoys gardening and spending time at the lake.

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