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Brandt announces plan to create over 1,000 new jobs

The Brandt Group of Companies announced plans to make a major investment in staffing and will hire more than 1,000 employees by the end of 2021. The new positions will span the Regina-based company’s 100-plus location, international network with a focus on roles in Canada and the United States.

“There’s no question that our people are the foundation of our success. In spite of some challenging times for the global economy, an incredible team effort has enabled us to sustain our business and weather the storm successfully,” said Shaun Semple, Brandt Group of Companies CEO. “Looking ahead, the growth trend for Brandt is strong, so the timing is ideal to make a major investment in our team.”

During the past 10 years, Brandt has expanded their employee base by 140 per cent to more than 3,400 employees, with the pace of growth continuing to accelerate steadily. The newly announced hiring initiative will see the company’s workforce grow by 30 per cent overall, with the largest individual gains occurring in the company’s Regina and Saskatoon,Sask., and Hudson, Ill., locations. Half of these hires will occur in the company’s Saskatchewan locations with 40 per cent more spread across Canada, and the balance in the United States.

The new hires will bolster Brandt’s existing operations in industries from construction, forestry and agriculture to rail, mining and steel. The positions include skilled trades, sales, finance, marketing, customer support, IT and more, as the company expands its support team to meet the needs of a rapidly growing customer base.

“As life begins to return to normal and we look ahead to economic recovery, this is very exciting news for workers and their families,” said Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe. “Saskatchewan has what the world needs and Brandt’s success is a testament to the resiliency of our province’s industries in some of the most challenging global economic times.”

Interested applicants can view a current listing of the company’s career opportunities and apply online at
www.brandtjobs.com.

For more information, contact Pam Lougheed at
306-791-5931 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

SNC-Lavalin achieves Certified Building Commissioning Firm designation focused on sustainability

SNC-Lavalin announced that it has been designated a Certified Building Commissioning Firm by the Association of Energy Engineers. This certification demonstrates the company’s high level of competence and ethical fitness for the practice of building commissioning and delivering sustainable, energy-efficient projects worldwide.

“As a global engineering organization, one of the ways we can combat climate change is to help create the energy transition to a low-carbon society. We are committed to improving energy efficiency across our corporate and project activities,” said Sébastien Mousseau, senior vice-president, power, grid and industrial solutions, SNC-Lavalin. “This certification shows our current and future clients we have high, professional standards and will continue to help them create sustainable, safe and healthy working environments.”

A recognized best practice, building commissioning is becoming the preferred process for delivering facilities that reduce energy consumption while maximizing environmental health and occupational safety. From healthcare facilities and pharmaceutical labs, to industrial, institutional, commercial and residential buildings, modern structures include a variety of sophisticated systems. Building commissioning includes verifying and documenting that all of the commissioned systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated and maintained to meet the owner’s requirements. From pre-design to occupancy and operations, the process is a holistic, quality assurance-based approach that encompasses planning, delivery, verification and risk management.

As commissioning professionals, SNL-Lavalin works collaboratively on behalf of their clients with architects, engineers and contractors on energy performance programs and projects in support of the design and construction of green buildings. All work is done in accordance with the U.S. and Canada Green Building Councils.

SNC-Lavalin employs the commissioning process used for a variety of building systems in accordance with several industry standards, such as CSA Z320 Building Commissioning Standards, ASHRAE Guideline 0-2005 The Commissioning Process, ASHRAE 202-2018 Commissioning Process for Buildings and Systems, LEED v4 Energy & Atmosphere, ISPE Baseline Guide Vol. 5 and others.

 

A KPMG and CCA survey finds that 75 per cent of industry rates their digital maturity as “fairly low”

A new report, Construction in a digital world, by the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) and KPMG in Canada, identifies significant opportunity for Canadian construction firms to adopt innovation.

As many as 75 per cent of construction firms surveyed by KPMG and CCA rated their digital maturity as “fairly low,” relative to their competitors, the report finds. Further, almost three in five admit their organization “needs to moderately or considerably” adapt their digital strategy, with most unsure about which technologies and applications would offer them a competitive advantage.

“The industry is on the cusp of digital transformation with leading firms already adopting technology – from analytics to drones, robotics, 3D printing and augmented reality (AR), to yield improved productivity, safety and decision-making,” said CCA president Mary Van Buren. “Our survey reveals, however, that smaller and medium-sized firms are not yet capitalizing on the benefits technology can bring. For many contractors, the low bid model simply does not allow for innovation or to invest in new technologies.”

While some firms have invested in digitizing their front and back-office operations to reduce redundancy, costs and improve the employee and customer experience, the report suggests there is even greater opportunity to be gained from embracing technologies such as predictive analytics, building information modelling, digital twins, wireless monitoring and autonomous equipment and AR.

Construction companies embracing digital transformation will achieve greater efficiency, generate substantial productivity gains, improve onsite safety for workers, reduce the cost of goods sold and modernize operating models, the report says.

“Digital innovation is a continuing process, not an end game,” said Lorne Burns, KPMG’s national industry leader, building, construction and real estate, based in Vancouver. “Many construction entities rely on legacy systems, and those that improve their competitive positioning will use this time as an opportunity to integrate disparate systems and adopt new ways of operating.”

Too often, companies implement a technology concept or software package to reduce costs or get a quick payback on a single project, only to leave the tool with that project and never use it again. This issue is compounded when a company grows through acquisitions, each with their own set of legacy technologies, the report says, pointing out the necessity of having an integrated strategic digitization strategy.

 

CZM Foundation Equipment hires John Konwick

CZM Foundation Equipment announced the appointment of John Konwick as northeast sales manager for the company. Konwick will oversee all aspects of sales/consulting in the foundation, utility and pile driving industries for that area.

Konwick has over 20 years of experience in the industry including sales and products support specialist for American Piledriving Equipment and J&M Hydraulics based in Pittsburgh, Pa., new parts manger and service manager at ECA and he sits on the board of directors for the ADSC Northeast.

 

Half of businesses have increased priority on disaster preparedness since the start of Covid-19

First Onsite Property Restoration released a survey of Canadian businesses that takes the pulse of how they prioritize emergency preparedness. The survey reveals that more than half of businesses (52 per cent) have placed an increased priority on disaster preparedness since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Although managers have realized the importance of preparedness and planning for business continuity, only two-in-five businesses are very confident that their company is prepared to deal with future emergencies or disasters.

First Onsite, surveyed managers, owners, executives and employees at 500 companies to find out what types of disasters they had encountered, and the level of preparedness they felt they had in place.

Four-in-five Canadian businesses have been interrupted for one of several reasons over the past five years. Of those who have experienced interruptions, the pandemic leads the way with 77 per cent of business interruptions over the past five years.

Surveyed during the third wave of the pandemic and lockdowns, the study found only 37 per cent of businesses feel fully prepared to deal with future emergencies or disasters. Meanwhile, one-in-10 feel this isn’t an urgent concern, seven per cent feel they are not investing the appropriate amount, five per cent have been putting this off due to resource constraints and three per cent are unprepared or don’t know enough about the topic.

“Major incidents can include anything from wildfires to full-scale floods, ice storms and hurricanes. However, it doesn’t have to be weather related to take a business offline as we have seen through the pandemic lockdowns,” said Bill Fender, SVP commercial property portfolios, at First Onsite Property Restoration. “Businesses in all industries are faced with a unique challenge – hibernating commercial facilities that are left vacant and unattended. This is a new problem that business owners and property managers haven’t faced on this scale before.”

When respondents were asked which types of future disasters they were concerned about affecting their business, pandemics again took the lead with 75 per cent of businesses expressing concern about pandemics affecting their business.

Proactive planning for business continuity

To understand how businesses prepare, the poll asked how often disaster recovery plans are tested and only 46 per cent of businesses test/review plans at least once a year. Twelve per cent of businesses never test/review their plan and eight per cent do not have a disaster recovery plan at all.

Twenty-eight per cent of businesses have a preferred disaster response restoration partner already in place. The top three services they value most from a disaster response/restoration company are speed of response (47 per cent), knowledge and expertise (39 per cent) and “gets my business back online, avoiding long-term disruption” (36 percent).

“For the businesses that don’t have a restoration provider in place, this should be the next step in their emergency planning to ensure business continuity,” said Fender. “Disaster plans, once only required for government, are now being insisted upon by corporate boards, bond rating agencies, investors, insurers and customers. Once plans are in place, it’s critical to test them on a regular basis.”

Emergency response planning

Emergencies can strike without warning. First Onsite’s Priority Response Emergency Plan can accelerate a company’s recovery through preparedness planning, rapid response, expert mitigation and business continuity.

“It’s critical for property restoration experts to understand the client’s infrastructure. That way, when a fire or flood happens, we already know the company’s needs and can be on site immediately to begin remediation, leading to a quicker recovery and minimized disruption,” said Fender. “We have seen firsthand how businesses that plan ahead are much more resilient and functioning more quickly after facing a disaster than those that have no restoration partner in place, nor planning for how to respond to an unforeseen emergency.”

 

Equipment Sales & Service, Ltd., named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies

Equipment Sales & Service, Ltd. (ESS), was recognized for overall business performance and sustained growth with the prestigious Canada’s Best Managed Companies designation. The 2021 Best Managed program award winners are amongst the best-in-class of Canadian owned and managed companies with revenues over $25 million demonstrating leadership in the areas of strategy, capabilities and innovation, culture and commitment and financials to achieve sustainable growth.

Michael and Peter Willis, co-executive chairmen and owners of ESS said, “[Last year,] 2020 was without question the most complicated and different year for ESS. As we entered March, like most everyone, we had no idea how the year would unfold. Trepidation was the overriding sentiment. Thanks to the ingenuity, flexibility and hard work of all of our employees, we implemented protocols, which despite never having been experienced before, were embraced, and worked. Thankfully, ESS was deemed an essential service and benefited from the Canada Employment Wage Subsidy to the extent not one employee in Canada was laid off or lost their job. We were very fortunate. As the year closed, we were pleased that our acquisitions and strategies had proved effective, in spite of the pandemic, and that once again we were and are honoured to be awarded the Best Managed Companies Platinum designation.”

“This year’s Best Managed winners are a shining example of the importance of leadership in the face of adversity,” said Kari Lockhart, partner, Deloitte Private and co-leader of Canada’s Best Managed Companies program. “By using their unique purpose as the bedrock of their organizational foundation, they were able to chart a path forward with courage and resilience. In a year unlike any other, these companies should be proud, not only of this prestigious designation, but the ever-important role they play in the progress and prosperity of Canada.”

Morgan Cronin, president of ESS said, “It is very gratifying to again retain our Best Managed Companies Platinum status for the year 2020. I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the people of Equipment Sales and Service. Our staff came through for us during a challenging 2020. They worked tirelessly as the company adjusted to the challenges presented by Covid-19. Though some had to work remotely and others had to observe strict pandemic protocols, our people still made 2020 a successful business year. A thank you to all our people.”

 

HCM and RWH take an adaptive shoring approach

HCM was brought on to complete a deep excavation for a residential project in the Kitchener-Waterloo (KW) area. As part of the first phase of the development, the shoring spanned an entire city block and extended 14 metres deep for three levels underground. The large site footprint allowed HCM to use two crews for both the vertical drilling and tie-back installation to meet the strict schedule requirements.

HCM with RWH Engineering worked closely with the developer to provide a design-build solution, having extensive experience in KW, which is known for varying soil stratigraphy. To manage the ground water and challenging soil conditions, the shoring consisted of a combination of caisson wall and piles and lagging. HCM tracked the soil conditions onsite during vertical drilling, allowing for adaptations to the tie-back design and installation method based on the conditions encountered.

The design-build approach minimized the risk in the varying soil conditions on this project. HCM was able to work with RWH to provide a full scope of services, including design, anchor stressing and monitoring.

 

 

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Piling Canada is the premier national voice for the Canadian deep foundation construction industry. Each issue is dedicated to providing readers with current and informative editorial, including project updates, company profiles, technological advancements, safety news, environmental information, HR advice, pertinent legal issues and more.