A Refreshing Take on Project Management in Alberta
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.
It wasn’t hard to get pumped about the Mosaic Centre; Dennis and Christy’s passion for the project was evident and their excitement was contagious. However, it was the way the build was being organized that initially stood out to me. Perhaps it was because here at TransparentC I’m a project manager – so I was interested in HOW this would actually happen. Perhaps it was that my husband owns a company in the construction sector, which has given me exposure to a lot of the issues and barriers that come up for traditional construction projects. I’ve heard the inside scoop on cost overruns, the lack of communication between trades, and how some companies only look out for their own bottom line, even to the detriment of the project’s overall success. I was completely intrigued to see how this project would unfold. The Mosaic Centre is being constructed using what’s called an Integrated Project Delivery approach. The IPD framework takes all of a project’s participants (from consultants and architects to trades and other contractors) and turns them into collaborative team members, simulating a “one-firm” mentality where each member has a stake in the entire project.
Putting aside all of the other awesome facets of this project (Passivhaus Design Philosophy, LBC Petal Certification, Leed Platinum certification…), the fact that they were using an IPD approach was amazing to me. As far as I know, it’s never been done before in the construction industry. It’s especially exciting in a province like Alberta, where innovation can sometimes be overshadowed by our petroleum-driven economy. I knew immediately that I wanted to be part of this project.
One thing is for sure: each person on this team can feel proud. Proud of getting involved in something that will set the stage for changing the construction industry over the next decade. Proud of pushing society to complete more projects like this one or taking them even further.