CanBIM Awards will recognize technology initiative in construction


Ontario Construction Report staff writer

Aecon Group has been nominated by CanBIM for a 2021 Innovation Spotlight Award in the construction management category. The awards honour Canadian companies making the use of technology and innovation in the building industry.

“The Innovation Spotlight Awards program is getting more competitive each year with very diverse and innovative submissions coming in from across the membership,” CanBIM said in a statement on the awards website. “This year’s applicants are utilizing digital tools and technology to improve how we design, build and maintain the built environment. Congratulations to all applicants for the great work they are delivering.”

Awards will be presented on Oct. 27.

The construction management award is given to a CanBIM member general contractor, engineering/procurement/contractor, design build, and/or construction manager who demonstrates leadership and innovation through working with or implementing digital technologies and processes that improve productivity in the management of a construction project.

Aecon is nominated for the Gardiner Expressway rehabilitation project. Details of the project are explained in the nomination:

Since the Aecon team produced 400 panels off-site and transported them to the expressway deck for installation, measurements had to be precise in millimetres.

The bridge replacement technique demanded extremely tight engineering parameters with limited tolerance for panels not meeting exact specifications.

Enter the IDD team. We were able to utilize the IDD software (scan to BIM) application from the start to finish on this project. The Aecon Survey and IDD team scanned the steel to ensure the camber, length, and steel geometry was unique in its design location. Putting the bridge deck together was like constructing a huge jigsaw puzzle.”

Once the steel girders met tolerances, they were sent to formwork, concrete pouring and accelerated steam curing to meet schedule and, eventually form removal.

Once this step was complete, the IDD team stepped in again to ensure Aecon was withing 5-10 mm of the design specifications, accounting for settlement once installed and under load. Anything exceeding tolerance was evaluated and a mitigation plan was developed.

The IDD and survey team were also relied on for ensuring the panels were in alignment once installed on the deck. Non-conformance reports from the client were minimal and what was issued was resolved through IDD generated visualized models of the entire deck, demonstrating the required adjustments within the design tolerances and to the performance criteria. As a result, none of the panels required any rework.

The other nominees are:

  • Etro Construction: the Etro Milestone Tracker (EMT), a custom-built tool that provides progress updates of key project milestones.
  • Magil Construction: construction, redevelopment and expansion of the Montreal Heart Institute in which the company used a BIM and Integrated Design Process (IDP) approach;
  • Pomerleau: New Enfant-Jesus Hospital Complex, in which the company employed technology to improve the design and construction communication process;
  • EllisDon: Royal Columbian Hospital, which required BIM to be applied through the entire process, from demolition to design, to construction and operations management; and
  • Pomerleau: West Side Terminal modernization project, part of a seven-year plan to modernize the Saint John port’s infrastructure.


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