On Thursday, Apr. 27, over 450 leaders and guests gathered for the 2023 Grand Valley Construction Association Building Excellence Awards. Hosted at the Bingemans Conference, the evening was an opportunity to reconnect in person and celebrate some of our members’ fantastic work across the region. Attendees were treated to an interactive art performance from performance artist JESSGO and were greeted by the Trusscore Wall of Fame.
The awards recognize the behind-the-scenes work of some of the most remarkable construction projects completed by GVCA members over the last five years. Eighteen awards were presented to members.
2023 Building Excellence Awards Bingemans Conference Center Reception
Among the award winners were two projects for critical community organizations in our region.
Melloul-Blamey Construction Inc. was named the Building Excellence Award winner for the Institutional – $10 million – $20 million category for its work on the Hospice Waterloo Region Gies Family Centre. This project was privately funded, including donations through construction by Melloul-Blamey Construction and the project’s trades.
The new building opened its doors in March 2020 to expand its “Whole Person” palliative care for people living with or dying from advanced illness and their families. Alex Sherman, communications & marketing specialist at Melloul-Blamey, said it was one of the most complex and unique buildings they’ve worked on.
“This new facility is all about creating a ‘home-like’ feeling for those with an end-of-life illness and their caregivers. The structure’s architectural design was meant to mimic a barn-like structure,” Sherman said. “It used unique products such as cryptomeria wood cladding for the exterior of the “Silo” Spiritual Room, located in the central courtyard, and cedar and pine board elements inside and out.”
From Left to Right – Rob Agley (GVCA), Mike Murray (GVCA), MapleBall
Judy Nairn, executive director at Hospice Waterloo Region, said Melloul-Blamey went above and beyond to deliver the unique layout and features that represent the spirit of the organization’s work.
“The journey that got us to today was certainly a learning experience for everyone at Hospice. Our line of work is very different, and entering into a construction project of this size was a leap of faith for all of us,” Narin said. “Choosing Melloul as construction manager to oversee the creation of our vision was one of the best decisions that we made.
Sierra General Contracting was also recognized in the Institutional $5 million – $10 million category for its work on The Nshwaasnangong Child Care & Family Centre at the Southwestern Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre (SOAHAC). The centre is a first-of-its-kind, Indigenous-led child care centre in London. The centre provides early childhood services and cultural and language programming to children and families across Southwestern Ontario.
Sierra Construction has worked with SOAHAC for over ten years and has worked to learn about the Indigenous communities SOAHAC serves. Brian Dokis, chief executive officer at SOAHAC, said Sierra Construction brought expertise and understanding to the project.
“The design itself provide many opportunities and challenges both on the exterior and the interior with making sure the building sat properly on the site is where our cultural experience began,” Dokis said. “Our belief is that we enter in the east and exit through the west. Sierra and their team took the opportunity to learn about our beliefs, culture, ceremonies and the importance of those to the centre as we built it.”
Clinton Carr, project manager at Sierra Construction, said the centre’s unique turtle-shaped building design gave them opportunities to push their boundaries.
“There are no main grid lines as with a standard foundation, every line had to be laid out individually. The site superintendent had to be on top of the layout and by using autoCAD, he was able to ensure the foundation walls and anchor bolts were in the exact location,” Carr said.
The building’s main component is timber, and Carr said they wanted to ensure they had exceptional detail and workmanship. Sierra Construction turned to Toronto-based Element5 for the building’s glulam beams and columns and the CLT ceiling and walls.
“Mass timber requires a high degree of planning during the design stage to ensure project success. Sierra’s culture of collaborative relationships provided an efficient design and planning stage with impeccable attention to detail to avoid risks and potential issues,” said Chris Latour, VP of Operations at Element5.
The material choices were important to SOAHAC and its clients. Carr said they chose mass timber because it is natural and non-toxic, something critically important for the young children and families who would use the space. Carr added that the space is a true collaboration between Sierra Construction and SOAHAC.
“Throughout the process of design, tendering, award and construction, SOAHAC was involved from start to finish, and together we created an exceptional building in which everyone was proud,” Carr said.
The last award of the evening was the Community Builder Award. This year, the award was presented to the family of Roger Farwell. Farwell, a long-time industry veteran and community advocate, died unexpectedly in a car accident in August 2021. The community continues to struggle to replace the void left in the community since his passing.
Farwell was an Architect, senior partner, and project manager at Walter Fedy. He always said that the projects that provided the opportunity to help people were the most meaningful and satisfying work.
“Roger was focused on what we could do to make the community better. He led by example with humility and without ego. Every person who interacted with Roger received the same attention, kindness, and treated with respect,” said Jeff MacIntyre, CEO of the Grand Valley Construction Association.
Roger received numerous awards, including induction into the Grand Valley Construction Association’s Hall of Fame in 2015, Waterloo Region Record Barn Raiser Award, and the Greater K-W Chamber of Commerce Michael R. Follett Community Leader Award.
In addition to receiving the award, the Grand Valley Construction Association has chosen to rename the award the Roger Farwell Community Leader Award.
Industrial – Up to $2 million
Ball Construction Ltd. for Outcast Foods
Industrial – $2 million – $5 million
Nith Valley Construction Ltd. for Leis Pet Distribution
Industrial – $5 million – $10 million
Academy Construction Ltd. for Nedlaw
Industrial – $10 million – $20 million
Sierra Construction Group for Day & Ross – Woodstock Terminal
Industrial – More than $20 million
Maple Ball Joint Venture for Woodward Waste Water Treatment Plant
Commercial – Up to $2 million
Newground Canada Corporation for the Libro Credit Union Downtown Kitchener interior fit out
Commercial – $2 million – $5 million
Schiedel Construction Inc. for Apex Cycle
Commercial – $5 million – $10 million
Collaborative Structures Limited for the Westinghouse Head Quarters
Commercial – $10 million – $20 million
Collaborative Structures Limited for The Metalworks Development & Distillery
Commercial – More than $20 million
Ball Construction Ltd. for the West Lincoln Multi-Use Recreation Centre
Institutional – Up to $2 million
Gordner Construction Ltd for the University of Waterloo – EC5 – GEDI Renovations
Institutional – $2 million – $5 million
AEC Developments Inc. for Renison University College
Institutional – $5 million – $10 million
Sierra Construction Group for Southwestern Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre – The Nshwaasnangong Child Care & Family Centre
Institutional – $10 million – $20 million
Melloul-Blamey Construction Inc. for Hospice Waterloo Region – Gies Family Centre
Institutional – More than $20 million
Collaborative Structures Limited for the John W. Tibbits Conestoga College Waterloo Campus Expansion
Restoration or Conversion
Zehr Group for the GloveBox
Innovation & Sustainability
Melloul-Blamey Construction Inc. for evolv1
GVCA Staff Choice Award
Melloul-Blamey Construction Inc. for Tapestry Hall
Thank you to our sponsors for their generous support.
Premier Event Sponsor
Home Depot Pro & Stubbe’s Precast
Hewson Brother Building Supply
White Wine Sponsor
AEC & Merit Ontario
Red Wine Sponsor
ABA Architects Inc & Ball Construction
Strassburger Windows & Doors & C&H Fire Suppression Systems Inc
Individual Award Sponsors
BuildSafe – Construction Safety Services Inc.
TD Commercial Banking
AGF – Rebar inc.
Brody Enterprises Inc.
Bigelow Flooring Inc.
Battlefield Equipment Rental
C3 Building & Infrastructure Inc.
Cowan Insurance Group
Home Depot Pro
MTE Consultants Inc.
Black & White Sponsors
Great Northern Insulation
May – June 2023
Article Author: Alex Kinsella