Work is moving along steadily here at the Mosaic Centre. The freezing temperatures over the past few weeks have allowed us to work without fighting the mud and soft soil conditions. This has improved efficiencies as well as the general mood onsite; nobody likes playing in the mud for 10 hours a day. Who would have thought the return of winter would be such a blessing!!
Wow! I must have done something pretty awesome in a previous life to land this sweet gig. As champion of the working group for the Mosaic Centre, I help represent the thoughts and opinions of the staff from Oil Country Engineering, EcoAmmo and NotBox, the first three tenants of the space. It’s a big job trying to make everyone happy, but I’m more than ready for the challenge.
After months of design and teamwork, I’m happy to report that we have finally broken ground on the Mosaic Project. We are in the midst of finishing the last details on the construction drawings. The building permit drawings are into the City for their approval. The project is moving along!!!
BIM, Building Information Modeling, is nothing more than a virtual three-dimensional digital design with embedding information. This information can be about cost, materials, qualities, source of manufacturing, contact information for servicing, instructions for recycling or, simply, length, width, height and weight. This information can evolve as the BIM model is constructed into reality or as the design gets renovated and remodeled.
As I rewind through this journey, I look back at the road our team has travelled thus far on The Mosaic Centre project. What was first believed to be “just another project”, has certainly evolved into something far more extraordinary.
I approached the Mosaic Centre construction site and felt my stomach flip. A carefully constructed labyrinth of security fence, job shacks and survey stakes consumed the corner lot. Holy shit … “we’re really doing this Harry”. At that moment, it felt like the entire project experience to that point in time was like a fire drill. Unprepared for the emotion that would rise up, I sat frozen in the driver’s seat and looked on.
When we were first approached by Chandos to be a part of the Mosaic Centre, we felt excited about a new and innovative building in the Edmonton market and uneasy about the unknown Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) process. As a material supply company that has been around for over 60 years, we had never been a part of an IPD project nor heard of the IPD construction process. We were accustomed to the standard or “old” way of tendering and supplying structural wood for a project, and this was a totally different way of thinking.
It’s been a busy few weeks here onsite with setup of project offices, pile layout, water & mud management along with piling. Startup is my favorite part of a project. The decisions made early in the game regarding site setup and logistics have such a huge impact throughout the course of construction. One of the most challenging parts of this setup was to get a good feel for the "lay of the land" and how the site surface characteristics would affect runoff. We received a large amount of snow this winter and it was decided to do a bulk snow removal from site to help mitigate some of the surface runoff.
When the team agreed to capture stories and lessons learned from the Mosaic Centre project, I had no idea what we were committing to. A project of firsts in many respects; I underestimated the amount of learning required to position the team for success. The first net-zero commercial building in Alberta, the first LEED Platinum attempt for commercial north of Calgary, the first Living Building Challenge Petal Certification attempt in Alberta and the first IPD contract delivery for anyone on our team. We were creating design decision logic at an alarming rate, all the while attempting to record our “breadcrumbs”.
I’m not an architect. I’m not a building or construction expert, by any means. I’m a project manager for TransparentC, a company focusing on internal marketing and communications. I originally met Dennis and Christy through an article we'd written profiling the impressive organizational culture at their mid-sized engineering company (Oil Country Engineering). We had no idea, however, that another year down the road we would be involved in spreading the word about a super exciting project that was completely different from what initially drew us in.