Canadian infrastructure projects earn global recognition

Written by  //  July 24, 2012  //  Arts and culture, Infrastructure  //  No comments

Canadian infrastructure projects earn global recognition

(RCI) Six Canadian urban infrastructure projects have been named to international accounting giant KPMG’s Infrastructure 100: World Cities Edition.

Infrastructure 100: World Cities EditionThe World Cities Edition, a glossy 100+ page report of the most innovative and inspiring urban infrastructure projects in the world, was recently released at the World Cities Summit in Singapore.

Among those who appear in the prestigious publication are the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility in Vancouver, SAIT Polytechnic in Alberta and the Toronto Waterfront redesign in Ontario.
Brad Watson, partner and head of KPMG’s global infrastructure advisory practice in Canada, says the focus of this edition is to show how important cities are to us as a society:
“Well over half of the world’s population lives in an urban setting, more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gases are produced by those of us who live in cities, 80% of the worlds energy are used by people living in cities. (Infrastructure 100) shines a light on how important infrastructure is to a city.
Other Canadian projects to get the nod include Harvest Power’s Energy Garden in Richmond, B.C., Calgary International Airport Development in Alta., and the Durham York Energy Centre in Ontario.

Canadian projects share common success story
The decision to put six Canadian projects on the list was made by an independent panel of industry experts from around the world.
The unsolicited entries were adjudicated in ten separate categories.
Judges assessed scale, feasibility, technical and financial complexity and innovation with a special emphasis on projects with renewable or sustainable elements.
Watson says lots of ingredients go into making great cities, but three key themes emerged from Canada’s winning projects.
“First it’s never too early to invest, you can never invest too soon, (second) Canadians are making great strides finding alternatives sources of renewable energy and the last thing .. all of these projects involved cooperation, buy-in and investment from multiple stakeholders, you can’t underestimate the importance of getting people around a table with various interests and moving things forward.

SAIT shines
Watson, who was not among the judges, says that Alberta’s Calgary-based Southern Alberta Institute of Technology likely made the list because of its emphasis on vocational training.
SAIT has built three new buildings, adding 740,000 square feet of cutting-edge student learning space to address the growing demand for tradespeople.
Prior to the build, SAIT was turning away 4,000 applicants a year, but will now be able to offer a place for 3,600 new full time students. (8,000 if you include students on work studies.)
Boris Dragicevic is the Associate Vice President Facilities Management & Campus Expansion at SAIT.
He says the recognition is very satisfying:
“We’re pretty excited, it’s not something you submit for, they (KPMG) literally scour the world looking for these projects … the fact that we’ve been noted and acknowledged accordingly.. it’s one of those opportunities where the project has spoken for itself.”
Dragicevic says SAIT’s new facilities put their plumbers, welders, power plant managers and oil rig techs on the same playing field as other post secondary schools.
“An education (at) a polytechnic is now as good as the others … now we are at the same playing plateau … we are treating our students accordingly with proper facilities and not treating our students as second class students.”

Continued innovation the key to being a global example
Going forward, Watson says Canada needs to deal with ageing post-war infrastructure by funding, re-investing and then replacing the big public assets that help our daily lives.
However, he says that the Infrastructure 100 report shows that Canada is already a world leader:
“If you look at the top 100, six of them are Canadian, to me it’s an indication that Canadians are leading the way and can lead the way in the development of new technologies and infrastructure that support not just local communities but those around the world. They are fantastic examples of Canadians looking at a problem and finding innovative solutions to help solve it.”

Links
Infrastructure 100: World Cities Edition
Southern Alberta School of Technology (SAIT)
Harvest Power’s Energy Garden
Calgary International Airport Development
Durham York Energy Centre in Ontario
University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility
Toronto Waterfront redesign

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