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Reflections on IPD and Site Progress

Mosaic: The Centre for Conscious Community and Commerce. As I write this, I realize that I haven’t visited the site in approximately 6 weeks (also, that I don’t know how to spell conscious). Having all the mechanical parties heavily involved in the design from the get go means there really isn’t much need for little old me out in the trenches. Sure, I can take a trip out to site, snap some pics for our records, and scrawl up a glowing construction report, but at the end of the day I could just as easily have taken a spin through the 3-D model.

The biggest advantage to integrated project delivery (IPD), from a mechanical engineer-with-training-wheels’ standpoint, thus far, is that each contractor is involved in the design from the start. Before pen goes to paper (or mouse goes to screen?) the engineer and contractor’s initial concepts, ideas and thoughts are examined, scrutinized and streamlined. Each piece of the mechanical puzzle mulled over and over until each team member is safely and firmly on the same page. By the time the drawings go through the door, the plumbers, sheet metal contractors and controls contractors already know their jobs inside out, reducing my job to a few gravy site visits and some fleeting correspondence. Go team!

Another good IPDism is that there is a whole mechanical team of us at design meetings, no longer just me on my lonesome. A whole mechanical team of us to go to battle! Design meetings aren’t, and shouldn’t really be, a battle, but if it came to it, we’d be stacked! There are quite a few in the envelope PIT, however.

The Mosaic Centre definitely is a unique opportunity for a mechanical engineer, especially for someone so early in their career. At Clark Engineering we do get some neat projects coming down the pipe (ha!), but it is not everyday that you get to work on the furthest north net-zero building in the world. The uniqueness of the project is one thing, but it really doesn’t compare to the small community of designers and constructors that has formed around it. I’m glad to play a part.

It’s probably time I should be getting out to site again to witness the finishing touches being put on the super efficient, good lookin’, top shelf mechanical system. Maybe then I’ll be inspired to get a nerd on and spill the beans in an enthralling follow up post detailing the ins and outs of the Rolls Royce of mechanical systems.

See you soon, Mosaic…

Lee Birkett

Mr. Birkett has proven himself in the engineering and design industry since graduating in from university in 2009. He has been employed as a mechanical design engineer for nearly five years, gaining experience in institutional, commercial, residential, and industrial projects. His experience has been applied using modeling software for the development of energy models and building simulations, as well as the use of AutoCAD MEP and Revit MEP for the production of construction documents and Building Information Modeling (BIM).

Through integrated design and integrated product delivery programs, he is able to work effectively in a team environment to manage project costs, deadlines, and outcomes.

Lee has a strong background in engineering and computer science, both of which promote a structured, logical thought process to project completion. This is easy to see in his work and leads to a practical, sensible design of systems.

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