By Exchange Magazine and the GVCA
Restoration and Conversion



Restoration and Conversion Nith Valley Construction

Nith Valley Construction picked up its second award of the evening for The Imperial in New Hamburg. The judges called it “a jewel of project has easily earned this award.” They added, “the project wasn’t at all an easy one – it was a project that become a passion for the owner and the builder as they restored this building to more than its former glory. “



The Imperial in New Hamburg has undergone a majestic restoration from a tired, decrepit hotel into a magnificent mixed-use building that has transformed downtown New Hamburg.
More than 140 years after being first constructed, the Imperial has been reincarnated into thriving retail stores and luxury adult living suites on its upper floors. The owner and the team responsible for this amazing work have certainly shown us what is possible when professionalism and passion work together.

Owner Marie Voisin has been quoted as saying: “Nith Valley’s workers were phenomenal. They did everything that could be imagined, and worked really hard… They were perfectionists. I was very appreciative of what they did.”
Subcontractors involved in The Imperial include: AGF-Albrecht Inc.; Brian Haid Construction Ltd.; Brody Enterprises Inc.; C&H Fire Suppression Systems Inc.; Conestogo Mechanical Inc.; Delta Elevator Co Ltd.; Ed Lau Ironworks Limited; Electricomm Services (Ont.) Ltd.; G & B Masonry; H.A. Madill Drywall Ltd.; Helmutz Landscape & Interlock; Knell’s Door & Hardware; Provincial Window & Glass Systems Inc.; Rombald Inc.; RSA Architects Inc.; Steed and Evans Limited; Stybek Roofing Limited; Winser Doors Inc.; and Witzel Dyce Engineering Inc.



Innovation Award



Innovation Award Zehr Levesque

The judges said, “This year in our innovation category we are going outside the box. We understand that innovation is not just about technology, but innovation is also about adopting new methodologies and processes, and having an innovative mindset.”



The 2018 Innovation Award was presented to Zehr Levesque for Catalyst 137.


The GVCA comments continued: “To bring you this story of innovation, we also are including a new GVCA member – the Waterloo Region Chief Building Official Committee, who have nominated this project. “

The winning project is a large existing industrial building at 137 Glasgow Street in Kitchener, a former single-tenant rubber tire plant that has been repurposed and given new life to host multiple high tech companies and prospering businesses.

The judges’ noted, “The issue was that the owners and their consulting team, including SRM Architects, were faced with real Building Code compliance issues, namely life safety egress. In this converted building, with its new grid of public corridors, it was impossible for all of the tenants of the fifty thousand square meter project to meet the 45-metre travel distance to an exterior exit door in case of fire.

“But a dozen years ago, building code compliance began to include an ‘Alternative Solutions’ method to solve some complex code problems. Yet not all municipalities wanted to adopt these alternative solutions, instead holding fast to the traditional prescriptive method. Change is scary and building code compliance is based in safety. Building code officials are not well known for taking risks.

“Yet one of these approved alternative solutions was to undertake a time egress study with simulated smoke testing in a building to confirm that in the event of the start of a fire, occupants in the building would be able to safely exit the building prior to the smoke disrupting their ability to exit safely.

“This innovative time egress testing method was used to prove that the building occupants would have ample time to exit the building prior to the smoke reaching a level that impeded escape. And because the City of Kitchener believes in innovation and alternative solutions, the time egress study met building code and was accepted, proving that an innovative mindset when designed properly including tested data in regards to alternative solutions is a viable solution to truly difficult problems.”



Subcontractors on Catalyst 137 include: Alles Drywall & Interior Construction Inc.; Black and White Roofing; Blackwell Structural Engineers; Blue-Con Construction; Brantco Construction; Brian Haid Construction Ltd.; CMT Engineering Inc.; Decortile Limited; Dun-Rite Paint Inc.; Enerliv / P2 Group Inc.; Fortech Engineering Ltd.; Inter-Co Inc.; JAS 3 Heating Cooling Refrigeration Ltd.; K-W Glass Systems Inc.; M.A. Bryan Engineering Inc; On-Site Mobile Welding & Repairs Ltd.; Pinchin Ltd.; PPC Group Ltd.; ProMark Window Film & Blinds Inc.; Remak Inspections; Sittler Demolition; Spira Fire Protection Ltd.; SRM Architects Inc.; and WALTERFEDY.



New event awards




In addition to the GVCA Building Excellence Awards, the Gala also saw the presentation of two new participant awards.
The first was the “President’s First Time” applicant award, given to a company that entered the GVCA excellence competition for the first time. It was presented to Graham Construction (above).



As well, a GVCA member company was chosen to receive a centre-spread profile in the GVCA Journal; winner was The Newton Group (above).






Community Builders

GVCA Building Excellence Awards are handed out every two year. At the previous Gala, in 2016, the association launched the Community Builder Category.

A statement from the GVCA says, “We knew our GVCA members do great things for our community and we thought we should recognize the best of them as a winner. But it has proven an impossible task. There is no one Community Builder in our community.”
The solution? In 2018, the GVCA is acknowledging three “community builders” with the prestigious award: Walsh Canada, Melloul Blamey, and Ball Construction.



The introduction to the award to Walsh Canada reads: “GVCA is not just a geographic area, it is a construction community that has no boundaries. As a Community Builder this firm is committed to investing in the communities they help build in with a goal of making a better Ontario. Their participation in events include CANStruction, Habitat for Humanity, Evergreen Tree Planting, George Brown College Bursary, Holiday Toy Drive, Movember Foundation, Sick Kids Heatwave, and MySafe Works to name a few. All of their efforts help citizens in Ontario. Through this company, hundreds of individuals have had a better life.”

The comments introducing award-winner Melloul Blamey (above) were: “Giving is about caring…. This community Builder award is given to Melloul Blamey for their substantial contributions to community building. From their Fire to Food Bank program that sees the Melloul Blamey working with Waterloo Fire stations to ensure Waterloo Food Bank are stocked, to their work with Canada’s Armed Forces to support the many Melloul Blamey employees who are also reservists serving their county, Melloul Blamey goes the extra step. They donate staff time to teaching local high school students about construction and they support our tech community as it grows to international prominence. They support our local arts and our festivals because they feel that since they live and work in this community they should support all aspects of our community.”



And in the final award of the evening, the introduction was: “For more than 95 years, the Ball family has been building our community. Its most recent contribution to strengthening our city is the launch of the KW Titans, a professional basketball team. Bringing pro sports to KW is a big deal – it generates jobs, revenue, and attracts people to our city. As we grow in reputation as part of the Toronto-Waterloo corridor amidst the technology world, it’s important that we offer as many cultural and sporting events to entertain families. We don’t have to drive to Toronto for pro sports…we can do it here! As we grow, so must our aspirations, and with the Titans, Ball Construction has definitely made an impact.



National honours

At the Gala, Steve Stecho noted that the GVCA has received significant national honours, recently. He told the audience that in March, at the Canadian Construction Annual Conference in Banff, “not only did our very own Paul Seibel win the Community Leader, but GVCA was the recipient of the Partner Association Award. This is a big deal. There are 20,000 members of CCA, there are 63 Associations and we came out on top with two awards.”


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ISSN 0824-45
Copyright, 2018.