JosefHanus/Photos.comWorker mobility and retirements will affect construction industries for Canada's East Coast

Submitted by BuildForce Canada

As opportunities arise in other locations and the Baby Boomer generation inches closer to retirement, many industries are facing an impending labour shortage in the coming years. In February

2014, BuildForce Canada released the 2014-2023 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast, and shared findings about the construction industries in our East Coast provinces – New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador – with Piling Canada.

As a skilled labour shortage looms on the horizon, now is the time for Canadians in the construction industry to implement plans to recruit, train and retain workers. For more information, turn to the HR Department column starting on page 71 of this issue of Piling Canada, and read Barbara Bowes’ advice on how to help your business pull through by making sure you put your people first.

MilleFloreImages/Photos.comDeep foundation construction in our great nation

By Lisa Kopochinski

Although the piling industry in Canada is relatively young, the history of piling as a technique can actually be traced back to the fourth century B.C., when Herodotus, the Greek writer and traveler, recorded how the Paeonians lived in dwellings erected on lofty piles driven into a lake bed.

Other references to ancient piling include lake dwellers in Switzerland, who approximately 6,000 years ago were thought to have built structures on piled foundations to elevate dwellings to protect the occupants against attack. Not to be outdone, Greek and Roman engineers used piles along the Mediterranean coast. Early records show that piles were formed by using timber branches that were trimmed down with a small diameter at the bottom. They were driven into the soil as deep as the ground would allow.

The industry has come a long way. And while piling today is largely steel and concrete, the one thing that remains constant is that piles continue to be used as deep foundations to support many types of structures and in many types of ground conditions.

Courtesy of Fistuca BVThe future of offshore piling: bigger, deeper, quieter

By Judy Penz Sheluk

In Europe, offshore wind turbines have become an accepted technology for producing energy. Although offshore wind is not yet used in Canada and the U.S., America’s first offshore wind farm, Cape Wind in Nantucket Sound, Mass., is planned for 2014. 

Offshore wind turbines are typically mounted on monopile foundations, large steel tubes with a diameter of four to seven metres and around 50 metres long, which are then hammered into the soil with large hydraulic hammers. While effective, this installation technology has some significant drawbacks. Because the turbines tend to get bigger and are installed in ever-deeper water, the monopiles need to get bigger, which in turn demands the ram and anvil to be bigger and heavier. Global production capacity for exceptionally large parts such as these is limited and the prices are high.

The use of conventional hydraulic hammers, which create a high peak force within a short time span, also poses significant ecological concerns with regards to marine life. As a result, their use has been restricted in many countries, although the type of legislation varies per country. In Germany, for example, there is a strict norm that must be met, while in The Netherlands, there are seasonal restrictions, permitting pile driving only half of the year. In general, the current trend in Europe is legislation getting stricter.

Mary Pohlman has recently joined Jeffrey Machine, Inc. as the company’s new international sales representative. She brings 13-plus years’ experience in the foundation drilling and construction industry. Pohlman has been previously successful at building solid relationships with contractors and is expected to continue that success in her new position.

Her extensive marketplace knowledge has helped to accurately identify customers’ needs. It also helps the manufacturing team to develop the right drilling tool solution for their job sites. Her broad understanding of the foundation tooling industry will help to extend Jeffrey Machine’s excellent customer service into the international marketplace.

For more information about Jeffrey Machine, Inc., visit their website at www.jeffreymachine.com.

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About Us

Piling Canada is the premier national voice for the Canadian deep foundation construction industry. Each issue is dedicated to providing readers with current and informative editorial, including project updates, company profiles, technological advancements, safety news, environmental information, HR advice, pertinent legal issues and more.