Ed Brassard of Govan Brown's Prairie Provinces was recently profiled in The Lamont Leader. The Site Superintendent and his crew were acknowledged for their tireless efforts in constructing the Mundare School in Mundare, Alberta. Despite the numerous weather setbacks, Brassard and crew continued to march forward in the harsh Canadian temperatures. Brassard maintains that the school will be prepared and ready for the intended completion date of September 2, 2014.
Below is a copy of the article from the local newspaper, The Lamont Leader: "Neither wind or rain or sleet or snow can stop Ed Brassard. Brassard, the site superintendent for the new Mundare School construction project, says the weather has set back the schedule, but the facility will open when school starts this September.'We are six weeks behind schedule,' stated Brassard, with Govan Brown, but is doing what he can to make up for lost time by having crews work on other aspects of the job and hiring more hands to speed up the process. 'I just finished the roof yesterday,' said Brassard. 'It usually takes two weeks. It took five weeks.' But no matter, he smiles and forges ahead with some of the other work being done on the project. 'We're putting up steel stud walls, and then they (electricians and plumbers) will come behind to do rough-ins. All of the sprinkler lines have been installed,' pointed out Brassard during a recent tour. After the styrofoam and brick have been completed on the outside of the building, then crews can go back on the inside to do mudding, taping and painting of the drywall. The goal is to have everything move-in ready for the classrooms and offices at the end of June.Just as the saying goes, Brassard remains calm, cool and collected and there is nothing that is going to take the wind out of his sails as he diligently works to bring this project to dock for its opening on September 2nd."
This past year, TD Jefferson Wholesale retained Govan Brown as their construction managers to build-out three newly leased floors in Calgary's Canada Trust Tower. The new 39,000 square foot office was to act as a consolidating space for what used to be two separate TD locations. Situated on the 35th, 36th and partially on the 34th floors, the goal of the project was to create a mondern, cutting edge space for brokers specialized in trading energy stocks.
In the small six-month construction window given, Govan Brown was able to build a first-class space filled with all the facilities requested of our esteemed client. The TD Jefferson project was quite unique when considering the amount of facilities allocated to a space of this size. Included in our project scope of work were open workstations, closed offices, meeting and boardrooms complemented by complete build-outs of lobbies and reception areas.
The project also included some particularly tailored elements. The TD server room for example, was an enormously important undertaking. The large room, complete with its own power supply, was so large that it required a UPS that weighed 25,000 lbs. Furthermore, we had to install eight stand-alone cooling units, two 11-ton chilled water conditioners and an emergency sprinkler system.Unfortunately, when the date for the requisite power shut-down to boot the room came, the Calgary flood occurred, halting all progress. Despite this ill-fated event, our team managed to complete the room on schedule; five weeks prior to our client's move-in date as required by TD project standards.
Coinciding with the outfitting of the impressive server room, was the fabrication of the traders' area on the 35th floor. The traders' area, functioning primarily as a centre for energy stock exchange, was built on a raised floor which housed a separate cooling system. Since we were also contracted to install all AV equipment in the office, the traders' area's raised floor factored importantly in concealing the massive amount of cables required of an AV system as large as the one required for the traders' area. Progressively, TD ensured that all facilities included in the project's design were barrier-free. Every washroom on all three floors, was built to be easily-accessible.
This endeavour required an extensive amount of plumbing which was difficult considering the client's partial occupancy of the 34th floor. In order to properly install the appropriate water lines for the multiple barrier-free washrooms, our team drafted a comprehensive schedule allowing us to avoid disturbing the adjacent building tenants. By conducting the majority of work at night, we were able to access the offices below without causing any disruption to the daily operations of our neighboring tenants.
Govan Brown is proud to have constructed all of the corresponding facilities of a first-class office for our client, in their brand new completed 39,000 square foot space.It is always the goal of Govan Brown and our construction managers to deliver a project that both our client and team can be proud of. We are elated with the results of the TD Jefferson Wholesale space and are even more pleased that we were able to realize their vision. Upon completion of the initial space, TD commissioned our team to build-out their other offices.
Govan Brown continues to service the TD Jefferson space by providing equipment training sessions for their staff. Despite extenuating weather occurrences and tight construction conditions, our team was able to schedule and adjust accordingly-an ability that sets us apart from our competitors.
As a tribute to the commitment of our staff and Partners, Queen Victoria Public School presented Govan Brown with a mural during one of their school events. The mural is going to be hung in Govan Brown's soon-to-be-completed Clubhouse, located in our new office in the Junction.
Govan Brown has been an avid sponsor of Queen Victoria Public School, an inner-city school located in Toronto's Parkdale neighborhood since 2009. As such, we have thus far, implemented many initiatives including the Reading Readiness Program, the Morning Meal Snack Program, the Back-pack Program and the Spoon Program. The mural was unveiled amongst a crowd of students and their families during the inauguration of QVPS's new corridor.
In an attempt to refresh the stairwell/corridor, David Finkelstein, Principal at Queen Victoria P.S., and with Govan Brown providing all the paint, engaged the students to participate by painting murals, one of which was painted on a large board, just for Govan Brown. "Our new four-storey stairway mural at Queen Victoria is inspired by the TDSB monthly character traits. As a long-standing friend and supporter of our school, we feel that Govan Brown embodies many of these traits, especially KINDNESS & CARING."
Almost 300 students contributed their artistic talents to complete this massive mural in our honour. Govan Brown happily contributes to the community through various initiatives, and we are proud to continue working with Queen Victoria Public School.
Govan Brown is honoured to have been awarded the CIBC High River project in light of Calgary's current situation. We are thrilled to know that our partners turn to us in times like these and we are proud to be helping with the restoration of the High River community.
In June 2013, Alberta experienced heavy rainfall that triggered catastrophic flooding described by the provincial government as the worst in Alberta's history. Areas along the Bow, Elbow, Highwood, Red Deer, Sheep, Little Bow, and South Saskatchewan rivers and their tributaries were particularly affected, as water levels rose and numerous communities were placed under evacuation orders. Preliminary estimates suggest damage from the flood could be between $3–5 billion.
Govan Brown is currently working hard in effort to restore Calgary’s structural landscape to pre-flood conditions. In March 2013, Govan Brown completed an interior fit out for the 3,900 square foot CIBC branch in High River. A short three months following the completion of this branch, 4 feet of water filled the main level, fully flooding the basement.Govan Brown is determined to complete this job promptly allowing the branch to reopen as soon as possible. The restoration includes electrical, boiler system, flooring, drywall, paint, security and millwork.
The Govan Brown team is committed to working in two shifts around the clock within extremely tight deadlines to ensure the branch is operational ASAP and the client is satisfied.
Govan Brown is pleased to announce the completion of the Yorkdale Mall Holt Renfrew renovation and expansion project. The 8-phase project was completed over 18 months, allowing the store to remain operational throughout all phases of construction.
Govan Brown was involved from the early planning stages seeing the project through to completion. A key challenge to the project was a second storey addition built over the existing store while the store remained operational. This task required extensive coordination to ensure scope and schedule alignments continued smoothly. Organization of dozens of leases, vendors and millworkers along with coordination with daily store operations were required to maintain a positive shopping experience for Holt Renfrew patrons.
Meticulous coordination contributed to the successful completion of the second floor addition in which Govan Brown managed all demolition, structural, building envelope and fit-out work. Project highlights include 150 linear feet of interior mall façade with integrated stone, wood, glazing and AV components. A feature staircase, two new escalators, and three new elevators were added to create a more comfortable shopping experience. A state-of-the-art back-of-house was also created to facilitate administrative, shipping and receiving and storage needs.
We are pleased that Govan Brown's partnership with Holt Renfrew will continue and we are looking forward to providing pre-construction services for their new store located at Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.
On November 20, 2013, industry leaders and guests joined Govan Brown to celebrate the grand opening of their new National Headquarters located in the Junction at 108 Vine Avenue. The historic brick and beam building was transformed into a true event space as spotlights lit up the stage where local roots-rock icons The Skydiggers performed a medley of their hits. Lounge areas were scattered throughout providing relaxing areas where guests and employees could mingle and catch up.
The evening was filled with great food, cocktails and entertainment. The iconic Junction industrial buildings originally built by Roman Meal Baker in the early 20th century, were most recently home to the Canadian Rogers Eastern Limited, an architectural metals manufacturer that moved into the space in the 1930's and remained the owners until it wase purchased by Govan Brown in 2012. The new open concept office space consists of a carpenter's shop and a raised main boardroom with elegant themed finishes throughout.
Employee satisfaction was a high priority when creating the second floor staff lounge uniquely named The Govan Brown Clubhouse, which consists of a full servery, TV's with seating areas, ping pong tables and a full roof-top deck for parties and BBQ's. Giannone Petricone Associates Architects embraced the building's long history of metal manufacturing and took into consideration the nature of Govan Brown's business and incorporated blackened steel, corrugated metal paneling and clear-coated plywood into the playful industrial-themed finishes.
Govan Brown's new office occupies 1,674 square meters of the 3,862 square-metered building space. The other 2,188 square meters will be leased out by Ashlar Real Estate. Govan Brown was very proud to showcase their new space.
After 18 years of calling the Toronto core home, Govan Brown has packed up and moved its National Headquarters to the up-and-coming Junction district in the west end. In addition to being much larger than its original office, the new office has a whole new array of features to keep our staff motivated and entertained, including; a pool table, a golf simulator, TV’s throughout the office, and an employee club house complete with a ping pong table, lounge area and video games! Of course, not all of the new features can be purely for entertainment purposes.
The new office also includes practical amenities such as bike racks, free parking and a main boardroom cleverly named “The Batcave”, which comes complete with a red bat phone. The new office is an open concept workplace. According to recent studies, open concept floor plans that promote socialization and interaction, combined with unique and visually stimulating design concepts actually have happier and more productive employees. Sarah Paul, our Director of HR is super excited about the move, “our new workplace is awesome and will change the way we work as a company.
The open concept allows for greater collaboration and productivity among team members. We have also amped up the fun factor, with ping pong, video games, a pool table, employee gym and regular team events. The goal was to give employees a workplace they are excited about coming to each day and to further solidify Govan Brown’s reputation as a top employer in the industry.”
Govan Brown is continuing to grow as a leader in the industry, and both employees and management are excited that this new space will facilitate the growth in the future. The new building is located at 108 Vine Avenue in Toronto.
After months of hard work, Govan Brown would like to congratulate Equinox for opening their first location in Canada. Located in the heart of the Financial District in Toronto, the Equinox Fitness club construction began in the fall of 2012. The first of its kind in Canada, Equinox clubs are uniquely designed to provide unprecedented service, innovative fitness programming and restorative wellness treatments.
With over 60 locations in the US, Govan Brown is proud to be a partner in the construction management of this unique fitness concept. The club stretches over 37,000 square feet including extravagant locker rooms completed with luxury Steam rooms, Saunas and state of the art shower facilities.
When Govan Brown was chosen as the construction manager for the new Google Canada office in Toronto, they knew this would be a project unlike any other. Around the world, each Google office has its unique themes and features, chosen by employees known as Googlers, to reflect both their city and their highly collaborative working environments.
Spread over 89,125 square feet and seven floors at 111 Richmond Street West, the office is designed to wow visitors the moment they walk in. Three giant monitors are hooked up to a joy-stick to surf Google Earth while a camera-equipped robot waits nearby. A wall sculpture, made of Rubik’s cubes, seems to be falling apart in front of your eyes.
From a construction perspective, the offices posed special challenges. There’s a fully stocked micro-kitchen on every floor. The larger 14th floor café is built to restaurant grade to provide nutritious meals around the clock. On the roof, a mini-putt golf course givesGooglers a chance to get fresh air with a unique view of the city. To get the creative juices flowing, Google specified a fully equipped sound-proof music studio, in addition to a DJ room for turntable spinning. In the gym, a bike features a blender mounted on the rear wheel, so that a few minutes of peddling creates the perfect smoothie to produce even more energy.
John Wyman, Govan Brown’s project manager for this assignment said, “This was definitely an interesting project, but it stretched us too. Getting the mini-putt on the roof required extensive coordination. And whom do you call to create a secret meeting room accessed only by removing specific book from a bookshelf, or to create decorative screens from recycled bicycles? We managed it all, on time and on budget.”
But the offices aren’t just fun and games. Working with HOK Architects and Oxford Properties, Google is aiming for the coveted LEED Platinum status for their new offices. Carpets, walls and even much of the lighting, are made from recycled or reclaimed material. All energy to power the office is 100 per cent renewable and waste and water are recycled.
The project was extensively covered by the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, the National Post and numerous websites and blogs. Dignitaries at the November opening ceremonies included Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and federal MP Peter Van Loan.
For Googlers, this may be just another day at the office. But for Govan Brown, it was a chance to showcase their construction management expertise to help create an entirely unique and environmentally conscious workplace in downtown Toronto.