Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) traditionally recognizes special achievements through an awards ceremony at its national convention. But this year, the annual event which was to have taken place in San Diego in March, was cancelled at the last minute as COVID-19 lockdowns began and travel became unsafe or impossible.
Nevertheless, the national association, with about 20,000 members firms drawn from 63 local and provincial integrated partner associations, still has recognized special achievements through an “Un-Conference” and virtual awards program.
Here are the 2020 CCA National Awards winners. Details below are excerpted from the association’s awards citations and images published from the CCA website.
CCA Person of the Year Award
The CCA Person of the Year Award recognizes individuals who demonstrate the qualities of a leader and who apply the highest standards and principles of the construction industry and business community.
This year’s award recognizes the late Grant Beck.
Beck served as president and CEO of Graham Construction from 2012 until his death in 2019. He started his career at Graham in the early 1990s, and was instrumental in establishing Graham’s place in the delivery of P3 projects in Canada.
“It was not just his business acumen that people respected; it was also his dedication to constant improvement, both for himself and for his company,” the CCA citation says. “Having 40 years experience in the construction industry, he understood how to motivate employees. His leadership throughout the years focused on adjusting properly to situations, including adjusting people’s roles and responsibilities to align with their own skills and desires as well as identifying unique attributes in team members and providing them with the best opportunity to perform and shine.”
“Grant was an unfailingly hard worker, a meticulous leader, and true friend,” said Graham president and CEO Andy Trewick. “He was such a compassionate person both at work and in his personal life. It often amazed me how much he fit into his life.” Having travelled with Grant Beck doing a series of town halls.
“It was a great opportunity for me to just listen, learn and really absorb his understanding of the organization, what he believed in and how he inspired the people around him. I’ve taken many of those lessons away and use them every day,” Trewick said.
CCA Excellence in Innovation Award
This award, one of two granted to PCL, recognizes outstanding construction firms in Canada who have implemented innovative construction practices within the past two years. These practices must have been a “first-time” use or “adoption-for-use” in Canada, but may have been previously applied or used elsewhere.
The award citation says that PCL discovered that dwindling margins significantly increased the risk of project failure due to scheduling delays, building damage and rework, ultimately increasing insurance costs.
“To respond to this challenge, PCL developed and built Job Site Insights (JSI), a cloud‐based, smart platform that provides real‐time monitoring of environmental and energy conditions on a construction site, which led to real cost savings in energy consumption and reductions in re-work and damages due to environmental issues.” the citation says.
“It’s a technology that actually saves time and money not just for ourselves, but also for our trades and for owners,” said Mike Wieninger, PCL’s Chief Operating Officer, Canadian operations. “It is a real change-maker that we are seeing – not just now, but (we) see a tremendous opportunity in the future as well. And that excites me quite a bit.”
This approach reduced the total project manhours by as much as 35 per cent and working over the river at heights by more than 98 per cent. In addition, the need for the instream temporary supports was eliminated, thus significantly reducing the environmental impact.
CCA Workforce Award of Excellence
This new award is granted to CCA member firms and partner associations that champion diversity and inclusion in the construction industry with demonstrated results.
The BC Construction Association (BCCA) received the award based on its strategic plan focusing on careers, training and workers’ well-being.
BCCA has initiated various activities to encourage employers attract, develop and retain the skilled workers they need. “This includes an ongoing focus on engaging new workers from non-traditional sources within BC by implementing programs such as the Skilled Trades Employment Program (STEP) and Integrating Newcomers program,” the citation says. “The Builders Code was created to ensure construction employers adopt and champion HR policies that guarantee equal and fair treatment of all workers in BC’s construction workforce, so that those who were attracted to joining the workforce want to stay in workforce.”
BCCA president Chris Atchison says he considers the launch of the Builders Code to be a game changer.
“When a contractor signs the Builders Code pledge they’re publicly saying they don’t tolerate hazing, bullying or harassment,” he said. “That sets them apart as leaders and fast-tracks them on a path to culture change, supported by a powerful mix of resources like free HR policies and advisory services.”
CCA Environmental Achievement Award
PCL won its second award, the CCA Environmental Achievement Award, created in 1991. This award recognizes the leadership role that CCA member firms and associations have taken to promote and undertake exemplary environmental conduct within the Canadian construction industry.
The Panda Passage project at the Calgary Zoo achieved Petal Certification as part of the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge (LBC). “In this project, innovative construction methods and creative procurement delivered a product that met the rigorous LBC requirements while still delivering a thematic experience and working within a budget,” the citation says.
“Our construction industry has a tremendous opportunity to be very impactful on Canada’s landscape. We want to do our part to show leadership in sustainability and environmental stewardship,” said PCL’s Wieninger “I think the thing that stands out the most is really overcoming some of the unique challenges related to material usage that our teams were challenged with.”
CCA National Safety Award
The CCA National Safety Award recognizes CCA partner associations and member firms for demonstrating outstanding achievement in program development, staff training, industry contribution, as well as safe work record accomplishments in the pursuit of safety in the construction workplace.
Alberici Constructors Ltd. received the award goal for its success in executing its work in the safest means possible to achieve zero incidents on all projects. Alberici’s safety statistics are consistently below the industry average, with an LTI rate of 0.00 and an NLTI rate that is two times lower than the industry average.
“The tenets “Plan, Communicate, Observe and Improve” form the foundation of its SafeRing safety program,” the citation says. “Its approach to safety is driven from the top down and includes actions for staff at all levels, including management.”
Safety culture is “about demonstrating that we’re committed to safety at all levels of the organization,” said Greg Brokenshire, president at Alberici Constructors Ltd. “You have to have a good team that is empowered, engaged and able to take situational leadership.”
CCA Partner Association Award
The CCA Partner Association Award of Excellence recognizes an association that has demonstrated outstanding leadership in industry enhancement, education, and member recruitment.
Association de la construction du Québec – Région de Québec (ACQ-Quebec) received the award because it believes that strong foundations enable associations to better adapt to changes.
“This means not only understanding the issues facing its membership, but also providing strong services and resources that respond to those needs,” the citation says. “This includes multiple partnerships providing additional expertise in the areas of business management, work/life balance and workforce.”
ACQ-Quebec has responded to members concerns about the future workforce with Chantier de l’Emploi, the association’s first annual training and job fair dedicated exclusively to Québec’s construction industry. The event promoted the variety of rewarding construction careers to the public.
“It’s through powerful communication tools and the dedication of its permanent team that ACQ-Québec remains in constant contact with its members,” said ACQ-Québec board chair Daniel Plante. “This careful attention to their needs, coupled with the relationship of trust we have built with them, is what enables ACQ-Québec to stay on top of everything that is happening, of everything that is going on across its network.”
CCA Community Leader Award
The CCA Community Leader Award recognized Westcor Construction Ltd for its initiatives.
“Westcor has always believed that if you have the capability to act, you have the responsibility to act,” the association said. “To celebrate its 15th anniversary, Westcor reflected on its purpose and culture. It firmly believes that its purpose is to build a better world, and it does this by putting people first. This purpose is not simply a plaque on a wall or a motto it puts on its trucks; it is a culture that Westcor has grown and nurtured. The latest expression of this purpose is “Building a Better Community – A Westcor People-First Initiative.”
This initiative proposed 15 acts of kindness within one year, and each activity put emphasis on sweat equity rather than on writing a cheque
Cathleen Peter-Swart, vice-president of corporate services and People Champion at Westcor said: “We have amazing employees who are dedicated to helping the community. We have an incredible community that stepped up whenever we asked for help. We had our business and community partners asking us in advance for details on the next act of kindness so that they could line up their support.”
CCA Gold Seal Association Award
The CCA Gold Seal Association Award recognizes outstanding achievements by CCA partner associations to promote and support the CCA Gold Seal program. This year’s award went to the Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS).
“CANS is the leading voice of the construction industry in Nova Scotia,” the award recognition says. “Their members have played an integral role in shaping the services and programs CANS offers – including professional development with a focus on Gold Seal. In 2018-2019 alone, over 620 learners, representing more than 155 unique companies, enrolled in CANS courses – 100 per cent of which are Gold Seal-accredited.
For CANS, the most important aspect of promoting and supporting Gold Seal is the personalized assessments and training plans it provides. This allows individuals to ask questions, discuss their career path and build their training plan in a one-on-one environment.
“Getting to know the individual really helps build their training plan and encourages them to continue in the process,” said Chantal Arsenault, CANS manager, education and training development. “Working closely with each member and watching them achieve this milestone is truly rewarding.”