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Hammer Time!

If you were to ask me at the beginning of this project what the last 30 days of construction would feel like, I would not know how to respond – I’ve never done something like this. I can now answer that question with one word: manic.

Today was one of the darkest days for the project. At three o’clock this afternoon, I found myself smashing holes in the concrete floor on the fourth floor with a carpenter’s hammer. The reason for this active destruction was not anger, but rather an investigation into the root cause of severe cracking in the concrete floors. Over the last two weeks, the interior slab, which, I must add, is not structural, has begun to indicate signs of failure around the electrical conduits that were poured into the floor. Yeah, I was a touch disappointed today, to say the least, and even a bit embarrassed as the emotions bubbled to the surface. We are three weeks from possession and I just finished smashing a twelve-inch diameter hole in a polished concrete floor!

Mark, Chris, Vedran, Shafraz, Jennifer and I knelt down, almost in awe, hunched over the giant hole in the beautiful slab, as the dust was still settling and the hammer still in my hand. There were initial human reactions to defend the design decisions and with that, the near-immediate return to “traditional” project instincts of pointing fingers at others on the team and laying blame. A management team (SMT) meeting was held on site and the IPD process proved to be resilient to the issue.

We drilled test holes in the slab at various locations to ascertain if the thickness was within specified tolerance. We surveyed each major crack to determine if a major repair was required or if we simply needed to inject caulking to seal the gap.

Needless to say, it was a rough day for the team. Without the guidance and framework of the IPD process to guide the project through these last minute issues and deficiencies, I could only imagine the size of mushroom cloud that would have been seen above The Mosaic Centre today.

Dennis Cuku

Dennis is a Mechanical Engineer with expertise in drilling rig design and is acting President of Oil Country Engineering. Paradoxically, his passion lies in the arena of sustainable building design and green building innovation. Dennis’ recent project, The Mosaic Centre, is slated for completion in May 2015 and aims to be the crown jewel of sustainable building in Edmonton becoming the first Net-Zero energy commercial office building in Alberta; an example of Alberta’s oil and gas abundance igniting innovative sustainable projects.

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