6 storey wood construction will deliver affordable housing and more to Halifax Regional Municipality

Garden View view towards north east

Garden View, the first midrise project developed under ‘Reinventing Main Street,’ central Dartmouth’s new revitalization plan, will provide much needed affordable housing for seniors and families in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), says an organization representing the wood industry.

The 20-year plan will see the area transformed from a suburban strip mall shopping district into a dynamic, compact mixed-use community with a variety of interdependent residential and commercial developments.

There is a significant shortage of affordable multi-family housing in the neighbourhood and Patrick Crabbe, project co-ordinator at Atlantic Wood WORKS!, says he is pleased to see mid-rise wood construction taking place in HRM to meet this need.

“This innovative, mixed occupancy building will be Atlantic Canada’s first modern six-storey wood building,” Crabbe said in a news release. “In recent years, mid-rise wood construction has been embraced by jurisdictions across Canada for the many advantages it delivers, including lower project costs, shorter construction timelines, and increased sustainability.”

Project developer Greg Fong says “the most exciting aspect of Garden View is the context in which the building is situated.”

Extensive community consultation was undertaken to determine the land use for the development zone, a district of approximately one square kilometer. The resulting plan, Reinventing Main Street, is ambitious, comprehensive, and uses an innovative form-based code to direct development in the zone.

A form based code offers a powerful alternative to traditional zoning regulation. The conventional zoning approach has created the congested urban sprawl that most modern cities suffer from. Conventional single use zoning regulations separate zones according to use and do not allow for the benefits to be gained from compact, walkable urbanism that encourages sustainable, higher density living. The new approach uses the urban form as the organizing principle. The physical form and character of the built environment is determined by the intentions of the community.

A significant advantage to a form-based code is that plan approvals can happen very quickly for projects that meet the criteria of the plan. Garden View met all the requirements of the plan, addressing height, density and sustainability requirements; that, combined with the project team’s close collaboration with HRM throughout the design phase, saw the project receive site plan approval in less than 3 months.

Preliminary construction costs for Garden View are estimated at just $120 per sq. ft.  (including the underground car park) but the project team is aiming to reduce these costs, so the total cost per square foot may come down further.

Intended to deliver more than just affordable housing, Garden View’s design fosters community integration, with commercial units on the ground floor, senior-friendly enriched accommodation on floors 2 and 3, and family oriented units on the top three floors.

Project architect Tom Emodi says he is enthusiastic about what the project means for the future of central Dartmouth and explains why it was the perfect location for this type of development.

garden view south west
A view towards the south west

“It is a compact commercial district, with the highest concentration of health and wellness services in Atlantic Canada. This offers us the chance to provide affordable housing for seniors and families that is close to essential services, to sustainably increase population density and limit urban sprawl. It is the first of many such projects we hope will transform the area into a vibrant and integrated multi-generational community.”

The area has 618 residents currently, but the build-up potential could ultimately see at least 8,250 residents in a progressive, sustainable, planned environment, the Wood WORKS! news release says. Including Garden View, there are at least five buildings generated by this plan in various stages of development.

DND to build new $66 Halifax armoury.

willow park armoury
An artist's rendering of the Willow Park Armoury to be built in Halifax

The federal government has announced it will spend $66 million to build a new armoury at Willow Park in Halifax. The project is expected to be completed by the fall 2018.

The government says the armoury’s design will improve the units’ ability to train, work, and deploy on exercises and operations by providing well-configured administration and training facilities, an outdoor compound for their respective military vehicle fleets, and facilities for storing and maintaining other equipment.

After the new structure is completed,  three existing buildings at Willow Park that currently house 36 Service Battalion will be demolished as part of this project.

Halifax MP Andy Fillmore also announced three other infrastructure investments of $21 million in the Halifax area: the next phase of the rehabilitation of the North Park Armoury in Halifax, upgrades to various naval jetties at the Halifax Dockyard, as well as pavement work at the Department of National Defence’s Shearwater airfield.

In detail:


  • Rehabilitation of the North Park Armoury will begin in the coming months, and will ensure this National Historic Site and classified Heritage Building continues to support the Army Reserve in Halifax. It will house The Princess Louise Fusiliers and The Halifax Rifles (Royal Canadian Armoured Corps), as well as two army cadet corps. The upcoming phase of the project will involve reconstruction of the west wall.
  • Repairs and upgrades to various jetties at the Halifax Dockyard will include replacement of lighting infrastructure and electrical transformers, as well as repairs to jetty structural elements.
  • Work at the Shearwater airfield will include pavement upgrades, repair and replacement of existing lighting on the ramps and approaches to the airfield, as well as restoration of security and task lighting.

Acrow Bridge modular steel structure installed during NB military training exercises

Working on building the bridge

Acrow Bridge says it recently provided Club VTT Chaleur with a 45-meter steel bridge, installed as part of NIHILO SAPPER 2016, a large-scale military construction engineering exercise in Bathurst NB, from Nov. 1 to 22. The annual exercise gives both regular and reserve force members hands-on technical training to maintain a high level of readiness for future commitments either at home or abroad.

The bridge construction was a partnership between the armed forces from Base Gagetown, the New Brunswick ATV Federation and the New Brunswick Federation of Snowmobile Clubs and was only one of the many projects the 500 armed forces personnel were involved in during the three-week exercise in Bathurst. The 45-meter span, built over the Tetagouche River, links north and south snowmobile trails, and eventually, ATV trails. While initial plans were for a 30-meter span, it was extended to 45 meters to avoid ice blockages in the spring. It will provide safer crossings and a longer snowmobiling season.

“The Chaleur Three Trail Group, in the Northeastern part of New-Brunswick, is happy to have accomplished what many were unsuccessful in doing for 30 years: having a bridge installed over Tetatouche River for leisure use,” said Jacques Ouellette, project and development co-ordinator for the New-Brunswick All-Terrain Vehicle Federation. “This 45-meter span bridge project came with many issues and concerns that needed to be addressed, but when I was approached by Acrow with their bridge model, I quickly realized that this dream could become reality. The knowledge of Acrow’s experts combined with the National Defense’s NIHILO SAPPER Exercise Program participants were the key to this achievement. Now, Bathurst has a new monument called Atlantic Host Bridge to be used by snowmobilers, ATVers and non-motorized enthusiasts. We are grateful to Acrow Bridge. Your engineering made this happen.”

“Because of its unique attributes, the Acrow 700XS bridge system has been selected by military organizations around the world,” said Acrow president Ken Scott. “Acrow bridges are capable of supporting large armored tanks and other heavy vehicles, designed for fast assembly and disassembly, durable and easy to maintain and the components are easily transported and reused wherever a temporary or permanent bridge is needed.”

New Brunswick businesses invited to free sessions on government procurement

nbon website

Businesses have been invited to a free vendor information session offered by the Strategic Procurement Division of the Service New Brunswick. “The session will inform you on what the Government of New Brunswick purchases, how to sell to them, bidding tips and an overview of the New Brunswick Opportunities Network (NBON).

The sessions will be held between Oct. 13 to Oct. 20 at various locations around the province.

For more information and to register for the free session please visit Procurement101.

Emera replaces contractor on Maritime Link project


Work on the southwest Newfoundland portion of the Maritime Link will resume ‘immediately’ after one of the project’s main contractors was replaced due to ongoing financial troubles, says the company in charge of the project, CBC has reported.

Emera announced in early August that  it had replaced Abengoa S.A. with two other contractors, the Emera subsidiary Emera Utility Services and Rokstad Power, headquartered in B.C.

“As quick as possible, you’ll start to see work on the ground, getting access roads ready as well as getting teams in place to actually do the work,” said Jeff Myrick, a spokesperson for Emera Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Newfoundland portion of the Maritime LInk

Myrick said while some site work has been ongoing in the area between Bottom Brook and Cape Ray by smaller contractors, the new companies involved means there could be new jobs available.

“There’s still an opportunity for local people to have work opportunities,” he said.

Abegonia’s original $197 million Maritime Link contract was originally awarded in March, 2015.  However, the company filed for creditor protection that November, and has since failed to meet both payroll deadlines and project milestones, CBC reported.

“We are immensely proud that we’ve been selected by Emera’s NSMPL Company to step in and finish the Maritime Link Project,” Rockstad Power president Aaron Rokstad said in a statement. “Even more exciting is that we will be performing the work with our new joint venture partner, Emera Utility Services.  This is a huge win for us!”

Image: Rockstad Power linesmen at the ENMAX Lineman Rodeo and Safety Expo in Calgary.

EllisDon and MySafeWrok continue Jersey of Courage tour at Nova Centre project

nova centre

EllisDon’s Nova Centre jobsite will host the third stop of the Next Level Safety plan on May 17 with the signing of a renowned symbol of workplace safety, The Jersey of Courage. Industry leaders in workplace safety, along with EllisDon and MySafeWork, will gather to further demonstrate their continuous efforts to making safety paramount, amongst everything else in the workplace. This is the third stop on the nationwide tour, with Ottawa and Toronto being the first two stops respectively.

Created by Rob Ellis, founder of MySafeWork, The Jersey of Courage is a mobile safety charter, used to engage employees and students in important issues surrounding workplace safety. With more than 500,000 signatures collected, each signature represents a commitment to making Canada the world’s safest place to work.

“This is an important event that will raise the standard of safety performance across Canada and ultimately save lives,” said Rob Ellis. “It takes courage for employees to say no to unsafe work — and it takes courage for companies to step up and lead in this area.” Rob also states, “But it begins with tremendous companies like EllisDon; great leaders inspire other leaders to be courageous and impact the future of our nation.”

With safety paramount to EllisDon, and Rob Ellis’ lifelong commitment to the cause, the collaboration was a natural fit. EllisDon has earned a safety record that consistently exceeds the industry average.

“We can and must commit ourselves to a new, higher standard of safety – not only EllisDon employees, but every single person on our jobsites,” said Geoff Smith, EllisDon president and CEO. “Safety is more important than making money, more important than making schedule, more important than client service, it is more important than absolutely anything,”

“I salute the constant, daily efforts of everyone who makes this the top priority at EllisDon and I am excited for EllisDon to partner with Rob Ellis and MySafeWork to continue to elevate our efforts.”

NS contractor wins CertainTeed Gypsum trophy for role in Halifax Central Library Construction

Prague 2016

Dartmouth, NS-based Tartan Interiors, Ltd. will represent Canada at the 10th Saint-Gobain Gypsum International Trophy Awards ceremony this June in Prague after winning top honors at the inaugural CertainTeed Gypsum Canada Trophy event in Vancouver. Hailed for creative use of CertainTeed Gypsum products in the construction of Halifax Central Library, the Nova Scotia finishing contractor is one of only three companies selected to represent North America in the international ceremony, CertainTeed said in a news release.

“The CertainTeed Gypsum Canada Trophy expresses our appreciation and respect for talented building professional partners who have demonstrated creative and exceptional uses of our gypsum products,” says CertainTeed president Dave Engelhardt. “We were especially impressed with Tartan Interiors for their exemplary interior wall work in the new Halifax Central Library. This world-class building and community centre falls in line with our aim of providing innovative solutions that meet the growing demand for high-performance, sustainable interiors, and we commend Tartan Interiors for their role in the project.”

Halifax Central Library is a five-storey, 11,000 sq. m. structure with several design features, including a skylighted atrium – criss-crossed by stairs and walkways – that spans the interior height of the structure and a rooftop terrace that offers a broad view of the city and its harbour.

“Our experienced team at Tartan Interiors did an excellent job creating a sustainable, bright and welcoming interior space at Halifax Central Library that offers endless opportunities for civic and social interaction, as well as quiet individual use,” says Tartan Interiors owner Chris Chisholm. “We are honored and grateful to be recognized by CertainTeed Gypsum for this project and look forward to representing Canada in Prague in June.”

Awarded every two years, CertainTeed says the Saint-Gobain Gypsum International Trophy recognizes excellence in design, drywall installation and finishing. The competition judges building professionals for their gypsum-related skills in the following categories: Gypsum Board Craftsmanship and Design; Finishing Application; Innovation and Sustainability; Residential; Mixed Use – Commercial; and Hospitals, Hotels and Education. The 10th anniversary of the renowned event will be held in June in Prague, Czech Republic.

Construction Association of Nova Scotia wins CCA Gold Seal Association Award at Canadian Construction Association annual conference

CCA Gold Seal

The Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) received he Canadian Construction Association’s (CCA) Gold Seal Association Award in early March at CCA’s annual conference in New Orleans.

“As part of our Strategic Plan we set out to be a leading provider of industry education and training to the construction industry,” says CANS president Duncan Williams. “Over the past four years we have continued to increase the sophistication of offerings and have been promoting Gold Seal Certification as the industry standard.”

The CCA Gold Seal Association Award recognizes outstanding achievements by CCA partner associations to promote and support the CCA Gold Seal program.

“Our entire course catalogue is Gold Seal Accredited,” says Williams. “This translates to over 80 courses, and approximately 44 Gold Seal credits or 220 hours of training, that members can then take and apply towards their Gold Seal Certification.”

Through a variety of communications channels, including Lunch and Learn sessions, CANS provides members with the benefits of Gold Seal Certification, the certification process, the paths to certification, and the process to apply for certification. CANS also works directly with individuals and organizations to develop customized training plans designed to help individuals become certified.

“In 2015-2016 CANS had over 100 members engaged in one of the phases of the Gold Seal process,” Williams said. “Looking forward to 2016-2017 we are continuing to see growth as more and more members understand the benefits of Gold Seal Certification.”

To-date the construction industry in Nova Scotia has through CANS invested over $2.5 million in training and education. CANS has also assisted members pursuing their Gold Seal Certification in securing funding through the Department of Labour and Advanced Education and an initiative of the Canada-Nova Scotia Job Grant Workplace Innovation and Productivity Skills Incentive (WIPSI). To date CANS has helped member companies secure more than $400,000 in government funding for training.

The CCA’s National Awards Program recognizes the important contributions of individuals, organizations and projects that promote and enhance the Canadian construction industry, whether through innovation, projects, or dedication to the industry.

“We are always working to find new ways to engage our members and increase value and this Award is really the icing on the cake,” says Williams.” It is always great to be recognized for your achievements, especially on the national stage.”

“On behalf of CANS, we’d like to extend huge thank you to all of those who have had a hand in making this happen and to our membership for their support and commitment to the enhancement of the construction industry,” he said.

More information about the Canadian Construction Association’s National Awards Program can be found at

CANS represents more than 760 large and small companies that build, renovate and restore non-residential buildings, roads, bridges and other engineering projects.

Nova Scotia builder unveils Net Zero Energy Ready home near Halifax

ribbon cutting
Ribbon cutting VIP's from left to right: Salvitore Ciarlo, Technical Services Manager, Owens Corning Canada John Greenough, President, Provident Development Tim Outhit, Councillor, Bedford-Wentworth Mike Savage, Mayor, Halifax Sherry Donovan, CEO, Nova Scotia Home Builders' Association Jane Morgan, President, Canadian Home Builders' Association David Hilchey, Provident Development

Provident Development completes the first of five homes it will construct as part of a Canada-wide Net Zero Energy initiative

Provident Development hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 2 to celebrate the completion of the first of five homes built as part of a national project that will almost double the amount of Net Zero Energy homes in Canada. Provident is the only homebuilder from Atlantic Canada to be selected for this initiative.

The Net Zero Energy Ready home at 70 Aspenhill Ct. in Bedford aims to demonstrate that these energy-efficient homes can be built using existing technologies and are accessible to the average homebuyer.

More than $4 million in funding and in-kind contributions from the federal government, Owens Corning Canada and the building industry will allow for the construction of at least 25 Net Zero Energy homes in four provinces. Net Zero Energy homes generate as much energy as they consume, on an annual basis.

“We believe that this is the future of the housing industry and look forward to providing input to create net-zero housing that will be sustainable for production building,” said Provident Development president John Greenough. “Our team is truly excited about being part of this initiative and advancing efforts to deliver acceptable consumer design and cost-effective home construction products and procedures.”

ribbon cutting
Ribbon cutting VIP’s from left to right: Salvitore Ciarlo, technical services manager, Owens Corning Canada; John Greenough, president, Provident Development; Tim Outhit, Councillor, Bedford-Wentworth, Halifax mayor Mike Savage; Sherry Donovan, CEO, Nova Scotia Home Builders’ Association; Jane Morgan, president, Canadian Home Builders’ Association; David Hilchey, Provident Development

The 2,070 sq. ft. home, which features three bedrooms plus a lofted den, has been designed for Net Zero living. While it looks remarkably similar to most other newly constructed homes from the outside, key features that ensure the home is Net Zero Energy Ready, include:

  • Advanced insulation techniques, including the Owens Corning™ CodeBord Air Barrier System that will help retain warmth in colder seasons and protect against drafts
  • Triple-pane, high-performance windows
  • Advanced heat pump technology for space heating
  • LED lighting
  • An energy monitoring system to track energy consumption in real time
  • A roof designed to accommodate solar panels for electricity generation to achieve Net Zero Energy

“Owens Corning is proud to be on the East Coast to celebrate the next achievement in our national Net Zero project that is greatly influencing the future of energy-efficient housing in Canada,” said Salvatore Ciarlo, technical services manager, Owens Corning Canada. “We applaud Provident’s contributions to our collaborative mission to demonstrate homeowners can afford to live in energy-efficient, clean and comfortable houses.”

Halifax Mayor Mike Savage  was centre stage at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Just prior to wielding the ceremonial scissors, Mayor Savage applauded the efforts of both Provident and the project.

“This milestone would not have been possible without the contributions of our staff, trusted trades suppliers and project partners,” Greenough concluded. “This has been a great experience and it is clear that the new owners will be getting an excellent home which will be inexpensive to operate and a pleasure to live in.”

Bill Fallow from New Brunswick wins CAPCP award

Bill Fallow

Bill Fallow, chief plumbing inspector, technical inspection services, Department of Public Safety, New Brunswick, is the fifteenth recipient of the Joseph K. Seidner Award. The presentation took place at the annual Canadian Advisory Council on Plumbing (CACP)  meeting in Vancouver, BC, on Aug. 18.

The CACP provides a forum for industry, regulators, and product certification organizations to share new concepts and ideas, to discuss policy and programs, and to review innovations and new technologies that affect plumbing standards, and the certification and testing of plumbing products.

The award is in recognition of Mr. Fallow’s outstanding contributions to Canadian plumbing codes and standards.

Plumbing Industry Advisory Council chair Kevin Ernst (Oakville Stamping & Bending Limited) said: “The honour is bestowed on those in our industry who share their knowledge and expertise in developing safer plumbing codes and standards through Canadian code development committees and the Canadian Advisory Council on Plumbing. Bill has been an integral part of the codes and standards development community, participating on several committees, task groups and industry advisory bodies over the years. He has been a sought after, steady and reasonable voice within the Canadian Regulatory Council on Plumbing and within the standards community in Canada.”

In his acceptance speech, Fallow said the award was the result of the dedication of many in the room that he has had the honour of working with over the last two decades.

The award was established by the CIPH board of Ddrectors in November 2000 to honour Joe Seidner, the first recipient and an industry leader and friend of CIPH. Mr. Seidner died in 2003 at the age of 96. The award honours his legacy in the standards community.