At first, the Mosaic Centre was an idea. Could they build a commercial building a better way? Could they build something that actually makes employees live healthier lives? Could they build it in a way that gives back to the environment rather than take? To be honest, the first time I heard about it, I didn’t fully understand what it all meant.
Christy and I are fairly practical when it comes to undertaking large engineering projects, as this is what we do in our day jobs. We also understand commercial financing strategies because we have owned and leased-out properties of the like for quite some time. Admittedly, we were rookies in commercial building construction. So, when Christy and I set out to actualize our dream of building the perfect workplace for our family, we naturally expected there to be some challenges in obtaining financing for our first-of-its-kind project...
What happens when you have a functioning team? You save money. From a site perspective, the usual procedure is to get drawings on construction day. You show up and get building. The typical process has been altered on this project and that definitely has its benefits. True teamwork is being defined in this process. I know we all talk about it, but in my experience we are truly learning the meaning. By having the ability to be involved with a project since inception and throughout the design process, all parties have been able to add value to the outcome.
Back in the old days people would dress for the weather, put another log on the fire or head to the beach to deal with extreme weather variations. Today, we adjust a thermostat and expect an immediate response and thermal gratification regardless of the capital, energy cost and GHG emissions required to support our high expectations of comfort.
You cannot design a net zero building without a detailed Energy Model to accompany you throughout the design process. Nor can you design a geothermal system without a detailed energy model providing a clear picture of the loads extracted and rejected from the ground. You also need an energy model for the LEED submission process. A casual observer might naturally assume that this energy model is always done by the same person. Unfortunately, this is almost never the case.
Wow, who would have thought contracts could be so much fun! In setting up the tri-party agreement for the Mosaic Centre, we had to start from an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) template that was provided by Hanson Bridgett, a legal firm from the U.S. In Canada, we typically use the Royal Architectural Institute of Canadaís (RAIC) standard contract document for an agreement between owner and architect and then facilitate a separate contract between owner and contractor. So when we are asked to use something different, the fun begins.
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.