Trace Consulting Group adapts mechanical and electrical engineering consulting to COVID-19 challenges

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By John Devine

Special to Ontario Construction News

As Canada and the rest of the world struggle to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have enacted measures to protect staff, clients, and colleagues. Trace Consulting Group, the Toronto-based mechanical and electrical consulting engineering firm, remains open for business, but like others is employing a strategy designed to mitigate the impact of the virus.

Its office at 505 Consumers Rd., unit 904, remains open, but staff have been given the option to work from home, which most are now doing, using the office location only when absolutely necessary, says company president Sam Soltani. Safety protocols extend to job sites.

“Staff completing site visits are trained on ensuring they keep a safe distance away, carry masks and gloves when accessing the site and are in accordance with Ontario’s safety tips and more,” he says.

While it deals with the reality of a global pandemic, Trace Consulting’s future success is connected to its past record of excellence resulting in a reputation for hands-on designs and consistent service. When the current crisis passes, the firm will be well placed to continue its preeminent role providing engineering solutions that meet the expectations of clients, and more.

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This is achieved, according to Trace Consulting, by working with clients to understand their needs and expectations prior to applying a practical and cost-effective approach in design, site supervision, cost control, scheduling and project management, to ensure the successful installation and commissioning of new and retrofitted systems and equipment.

“Working with our clients to understand their needs and expectations, we have developed systems that integrate with the building’s architecture, increase the building’s efficiency, reduce life cycle costs, and improve operating ability and robustness.”

Trace Consulting’s team of professionals specialize in retrofit applications, providing a superior level of service and expertise. In addition to capital equipment retrofit services, the company offers project management services to manage various types of projects.

“Our principals are actively involved in all projects from initial design to final occupancy, providing a superior level of service to our clients. At Trace Consulting, we know that client needs are of the utmost importance.”

Trace Consulting has extensive experience with the following types of projects:

Mechanical HVAC, plumbing, and fire protection designs

  • Heating and domestic boiler replacements
  • Chiller and cooling tower replacements
  • Air Handling Unit replacements
  • Fan Coil and Heat Pump Replacements
  • Heating and domestic riser replacements
  • Newly enforcedPart 7 OBC – Smoke Control Procedures and Testing

Electrical power, lighting, and communications designs

  • Fire alarm replacements
  • Emergency generators
  • Lighting and power retrofit

Project management

As well as all types of investigations, technical and Performance Audits (PA), Reserve Fund Studies (RFS), Building Condition Assessment (BCA) and litigations (expert witness).

The firm is authorized by the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario, and carries professional liability insurance to provide coverage for all projects. Trace Consulting is LEED-accredited and is an associate member of Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario (ACMO).

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Toronto’s construction industry was in a boom phase. Since deemed an essential business due to their service of the existing high rise residential/commercial buildings, Trace Consulting continued to provide service within the parameters of established distancing measures.

“At Trace Consulting Group, the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff, clients, and colleagues is foremost in our minds as we continue to monitor the current outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We understand the need for our firm to provide continuous and uninterrupted engineering, consulting, and project management services, and have been actively monitoring the evolving situation for weeks while putting contingency plans in place.”

Proactive steps taken to provide uninterrupted service include:

  • Working remotely: We will remain open to collaborate on current and future projects regardless of any restrictions which may be put in place. We are maintaining business as usual operations, while encouraging staff to work remotely where appropriate. We will adjust protocols as the local health authorities issue new guidance. We have enhanced our remote work capabilities and technology to ensure our accounting systems and data are available and secure, and to enhance our teleconferencing and remote collaboration tools such as Zoom audio and video conferencing. Should the outbreak result in our office closure, we are fully prepared as our staff will continue to be able to perform all necessary tasks while working remotely.
  • Meeting/site visits: In keeping with public heath guidelines, and to ensure the safety of all our staff, clients, and colleagues, the firm has moved to limit client meetings and are conducting these by teleconference where appropriate. We will continue to perform site visit as required for design and construction review but will be using enhanced personal protective equipment and protocols in an effort to protect our staff and to reduce the risk of transmitting infection.

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