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PILING CANADA: THE TOP 10

Some of the best articles that Piling Canada
has had to offer over the past decade

In the Lester Communications Inc. offices, located in Winnipeg, Man., it’s no secret that I love Piling Canada. I’ve been working at Lester for about five years – the first year in our advertising department and the rest as editorial director for the company. One of my favourite projects in both professional capacities has been Piling Canada. As I’m sure you’ve figured out, this year marks the 10th anniversary of the magazine, a milestone that I’m extremely excited about.

 

Piling Canada was launched as a biannual magazine in 2006 in response to requests for a publication dedicated to the Canadian market. Lester published magazines for an American audience, but a Canadian voice was lacking. After some research and a lot of work, Issue 1 2006 hit the desks of new readers across the country. Including this issue, we’ve published 28 issues of Piling Canada, making significant changes along the way – including moving to a tri-annual publication in 2012, and then to a quarterly format (completely redesigned!) in 2013, and adding a digital edition in 2014.

The feedback for this magazine is overwhelmingly positive, and it’s my goal to continue improving over the next 10 years – Piling Canada is the number one publication for Canada’s deep foundation construction industry, and it’s our every intention to keep it that way.

Integral to any successful magazine in any industry are articles that keep readers interested in coming back for more. I’ve been the editor for 14 of Piling Canada’s 28 issues, and while it requires a lot of effort to plan engaging, original content, it’s also a lot of fun. I’ve learned more than I thought I ever would about deep foundation construction (one of my favourite quotes from the magazine is from Northstar’s Tony Evangelista in his Networking Corner profile: when asked if he had ever thought of working with piles, he said, “Piles of what?” – that was me when I started at Lester); and although we haven’t always hit the nail perfectly on the head every time, I’m proud of every issue of this magazine.

To celebrate Piling Canada’s 10th anniversary, I set out to round up my favourite 10 articles that have ever appeared in the magazine. I thought it would be an easy task; however, two hours and 20 articles later, I needed to whittle down my list.

The following are, in descending order, my top 10 favourite articles from Piling Canada’s past decade, along with five more that I couldn’t let slip by without at least an honourable mention. To read each article, go to www.pilingcanada.ca/news/editorschoice. If you think there are any that I should have included and didn’t, I’d be thrilled to hear what your favourite articles are and why you think so.

And so, for the readers of the best magazine for the Canadian deep foundation construction industry (if we do say so ourselves …), I present to you the unofficial Piling Canada Editor’s Choice Awards. I hope you enjoy the magazine as much as I enjoy putting it together for you every issue!

Bridging the Gap

The Deh Cho Bridge connects NWT residents to the rest of Canada

By Barb Feldman

Issue 1 2013, page 12

Why I chose this article:

Aside from providing a beautiful cover shot for Issue 1 2013, this article is a very interesting read. The construction of the Deh Cho Bridge, the first bridge to cross the Mackenzie River (Canada’s longest), cost $202 million and finally connected communities in the North Slave region of Canada (including Yellowknife) to the rest of Canada. The bridge allowed those people access to necessary supplies during winter freeze-up and spring break-up on the river; previously, the only means to access this region was by air. With a project so far north in a rural, limited access site and extreme temperatures, this is a project you need to read about. The Failure-Mechanism-Concept for the bridge design is worth the revisit.

Click here to read the whole article

 

Bow Posed Unique Challenges

Calgary’s newest office tower is one of the most innovatively designed buildings in North America

By Dan Proudley

Issue 2 2011, page 38

Why I chose this article:

As I started at Lester in July 2011, this issue was my first introduction to Piling Canada. The Bow building in downtown Calgary is a beautiful structure, and its crescent shape presented certain challenges to crews. The project partners were able to come up with innovative solutions, like the gigantic raft slab foundation, which was reinforced with several layers of rebar and weighed 33,000 metric tonnes. At construction, it was the third largest continuously poured building foundation in the world and cost $10 million. The meticulous planning and interesting design of the structure make this article a very worthwhile read.

Click here to read the whole article

 

Gold Medal Pile Driving

Contractors overcome adverse conditions to prepare sites for the construction of Olympic facilities

By Mike Warkentin

Issue 1 2007, page 28

Why I chose this article:

The opening sentence of this article reads, “How do you build the signature venues of the 2010 Olympics on land that could literally liquefy during an earthquake?” The project spotlight details the beginning of the construction process for the Richmond Oval and Vancouver Convention Centre, built for the 2010 Olympics. Agra Foundations had to improve the ground conditions for the Oval site, as the soil was even looser than expected. At the Convention Centre site, $1 million was spent on site investigations alone, and Vancouver Pile Driving dealt with everything from discarded rail lines to large chunks of concrete in what was once a dumping ground, splitting and bending piles in the process. In total, about 8,000 stone columns and 1,500 piles were used for these sites; the project challenges alone are worth going back and reading (and it brings back memories of Canadian Olympic pride!).

Click here to read the whole article

 

The “Bear” Necessities

Taking a closer look at the Grizzly MultiGrip

By Jim Chliboyko

Quarter 1 2015, page 22

Why I chose this article:

The cover story of Quarter 1 2015, this is the only company profile on my “top ten” list. Part of that reason is that the photo Gilbert Products (the makers of the Grizzly MultiGrip) provided for the cover turned out to be one of my favourite Piling Canada covers of all time. However, I love this article for what it is: the story of a company based in rural Quebec – mostly working in the forestry, sawmilling and snow grooming industries – innovating and developing a unique machine for the pile driving sector. Their Grizzly MultiGrip is suited to the small, tight access areas that the company is used to from their typical work areas. The Grizzly, an excavator-mounted attachment with a side-grip clamping device, has had a lot of positive interest from Canadian and U.S. contractors, and will be a product to watch in the coming years.

Click here to read the whole article

 

Get with the Program

Choosing the right construction safety management system

By Sarah B. Hood

Quarter 1 2015, page 37

Why I chose this article:

I try to include some general information articles in Piling Canada that aren’t so specific to only the deep foundation community. This article covered a topic that I had in mind for quite some time before putting the wheels in motion: safety software systems. It was also the first time that Sarah Hood, a writer I had worked with on a few other projects, wrote for Piling Canada, and I remember phoning her after she submitted the copy to me because I thought she absolutely nailed my vision for what I wanted this article to be. Safety is obviously a huge topic in the construction world (in fact, it’s also the theme of the next issue of Piling Canada), and having an effective software program can save a company money while proving compliance and keeping employees safe. Go back and read this article, and start researching a system that could work for you!

Click here to read the whole article

 

Leaner, Meaner, Greener

Overcoming environmental challenges

By Sarah B. Hood

Quarter 3 2015, page 20

Why I chose this article:

When reading through articles to choose my favourites, one of the articles in Issue 1 2006 quoted a contractor who said there was no reason to believe that pile driving had any impact on aquatic life – how times have changed! With more knowledge and research, we know that any construction activity has an effect on the surrounding environment, particularly in marine environments. In this article, the cover story of Quarter 3 2015, we set out to explore some tips from different Canadian companies as to how they best manage environmental concerns and challenges in their projects. Now, having an environmental management plan in sensitive areas is considered a best practice (and is typically mandatory in certain areas), along with additional voluntary measures, such as using biodegradable hydraulic oil. Go back and read what a number of Canadian companies have to offer for their best tips so that we can keep our country as beautiful as possible.

Click here to read the whole article

 

Oh, Canada!

Deep foundation construction in our great nation

By Lisa Kopochinski

Quarter 1 2014, page 28

Why I chose this article:

This was an article that I spent a lot of time coordinating, and writer Lisa Kopochinski did a great job executing my plan. I wanted an article that talked to Canadian piling contractors who worked all across Canada to get their opinion on the state of the industry and what they thought was in store for the future. The people we spoke to gave us some great insights, and it’s a concept I’d like to replicate again with Canadian equipment and materials suppliers as well as engineers. I love learning what different people think about the industry they work in.

Click here to read the whole article

Crossing the “Finnish” Line

Junttan Oy making a push for more North American market share

By Jill Harris and Kristy Rydz

Quarter 3 2013, page 28

Why I chose this article:

When you look at the authors of this article, it could be argued that there might be extreme personal bias reflected in this particular selection. However, I’m choosing this article not so much for the article itself, but for the experience that went into writing it. In preparation for a 2013 issue of the magazine, I contacted Bruce Patterson with Canadian Pile Driving Equipment about doing a company profile. I didn’t hear back from Bruce right away, but when I did, it was with Olli Inkinen at Junttan copied on an email inviting me to Helsinki and Kuopio, Finland to tour the Junttan factory and some jobsites. What followed was flying halfway across the world for a couple of days for an extreme crash-course on pile driving. It’s something that I’m so glad I was able to do, and the knowledge I gained in Finland over those few days has proven invaluable.

Click here to read the whole article

 

Into the Arctic

Battling Arctic temperatures, 24-hour darkness and shipping delays, the Ruskin team constructed an iron ore loading dock with great precision

By Lisa Kopochinski

Quarter 2 2015, page 46

Why I chose this article:

I really like reading about northern construction projects, and this project spotlight is no exception. Arctic temperatures, 24-hour darkness and shipping delays threw major challenges for the construction of an iron ore dock on the northern end of Baffin Island. Ruskin Construction needed to plan meticulously and work with their numerous project partners to get the project finished on time and on budget. They also worked on some unique solutions with PND Engineers, such as steaming holes prior to pile driving to get through permafrost layers. Trust me – this is a very cool project that you need to go back and read. The pictures that Ruskin sent us to include are also worth a second (or third!) look.

Click here to read the whole article

Up in the Clouds

Constructing the Glacier Skywalk

By Heather Hudson

Quarter 3 2014, page 40

Why I chose this article:

Stunning, mountainous photos aside, this is my undisputed favourite article that we’ve ever included in Piling Canada. The engineering and mechanics that went into constructing the Glacier Skywalk and anchoring it to a mountain 900 feet over the Sunwapta Valley in Jasper National Park, Alta. is mind-boggling. I was so interested and inspired by this article that after this issue came out, the following spring I got in my car and drove the 17-plus hours from Winnipeg to Jasper so that I could personally see the Skywalk up close (and give an impromptu, likely unwelcome talk to some tourists on the attraction about how the structure was anchored to the mountain). In the end, I think the article turned out so well, and the gorgeous photos that Brewster Canada supplied didn’t hurt, either.

Click here to read the whole article




There are a few articles that didn’t quite make my top 10 list, but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to bring your attention to them. These honourable mentions are all worth revisiting.

Honourable Mention #1

Piling Protection

Can deep pile foundations protect against disaster?

By Jim Chliboyko

Issue 1 2010, page 23

Why I chose this article:

Of course we really know now that piles help protect structures against disaster; since this article was published, that’s only been proven more by the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Click here to read the whole article




Honourable Mention #2

Connecting to a Global Market

The ins and outs of buying and selling used
heavy construction equipment online

By Judy Penz Sheluk

Quarter 2 2014, page 22

Why I chose this article:

As the world evolves, the way we do business does, too. We put this article together to showcase how and when (and when to avoid) buying heavy equipment online. In this article, learn from three online purchasing facilitators what you should and shouldn’t do.

Click here to read the whole article




Honourable Mention #3

BLUE Piling Technology

The future of offshore piling: bigger, deeper, quieter

By Judy Penz Sheluk

Quarter 1 2014, page 21

Why I chose this article:

This article was the Technology Update for Quarter 1 2014, and explained a new method being tested in Europe for installing offshore wind turbines that is quieter and more friendly to surrounding marine ecology.

Click here to read the whole article




Honourable Mention #4

Heavy Crime

Equipment theft in Canada is an ongoing, expensive problem for companies

By Kelly Gray

Issue 3 2012, page 56

Why I chose this article:

I didn’t think that the theft of huge pieces of heavy machinery was all that prevalent, but it’s an issue that’s been haunting the construction industry for a long time. This article offers tips to protect your company against the theft of your assets.

Click here to read the whole article




Honourable Mention #5

Attracting More Women to the Trades

Women Building Futures is fully committed to training women for lucrative careers in the construction industry

By Lisa Kopochinski

Quarter 2 2013, page 50

Why I chose this article:

Diversity and inclusion are topics that are extremely important to me, and seeing women succeed in non-traditional fields is a huge starting point. As worker shortages loom into the future, having more qualified workers in construction can only be a good thing. Attracting women to the trades also offers women the opportunity to have a fulfilling career and strengthens the backbone of the Canadian economy. A number of Piling Canada readers take part in the Women Building Futures program; I highly encourage more of you to check it out, and let me know how it goes! 

Click here to read the whole article



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