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How to Respond to the Changing Economy

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The economic downturn is only beginning. Banks have dealt with less than 20% of their toxic financial instruments, foreclosures in the US are expected to reach 10 million homes (triple the current level), and the commercial real estate meltdown is just beginning. The US economic crisis has been underway for almost 2 years and the rest of the world (including BC) is starting to feel the effects. The construction industry will have winners and losers, despite weak market conditions. Global infrastructure and stimulus spending, industry consolidation and the exodus of some industry players provides a unique and exciting opportunity for businesses to take advantage of the trends and significantly increase market share.


  • Where We Are – the separation of finance from reality and how the local banking system has lost its way, taking everyone else with it.
  • How We Got Here – a fast-paced ride through the political and regulatory roots of the mortgage crisis.
  • What’s Next – from the US middle-class squatters to Iceland, from social crises in Eastern Europe & China to volatility in foreign exchange – the global impact on local business.
  • Strategies for Success – how to respond to RFPs and other ways to capture market share.


David Podmore is Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Concert Properties Ltd. Owned exclusively by Canadian union and management pension funds, Concert is an award-winning diversified real-estate enterprise involved in acquiring and developing industrial and commercial properties, rental housing, multi-family condominium housing, resort developments and seniors living communities in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. David will provide an insider’s view of the situation.

Stephanie Sharp has served as a lead financial advisor on over $10 billion worth of large financial transactions from RFP through contract negotiations. With her unique combination of investment banking, government and corporate experience, she is in demand providing workshops and seminars to corporations, associations and government to help them understand the crisis and restructure to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. Stephanie’s fast-paced entertaining style makes even the most complex technical information understandable.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Transport 2040 – Planning Metro Vancouver’s Transportation Future

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In addition to planning, financing and managing Metro Vancouver’s major road network and transit system, TransLink has created a long-range plan that lays the foundation for transportation solutions over the next 30 years. Transport 2040 examines our region as a whole. It identifies today’s challenges and forecasts how those challenges might look tomorrow. By outlining a number of goals and strategies, Transport 2040 is a guide to creating a more sustainable transportation system and continuing Metro Vancouver’s standing as one of the most livable cities on the planet.

Tom Prendergast TransLink’s Chief Executive Officer is an internationally respected transportation expert, having held leadership roles with some of the best-known public and private transportation and infrastructure agencies in the world. Prior to joining TransLink in July 2008, Tom was with the international consulting firm Parsons Brinckerhoff, where he served as president of their Transit and Trail Systems subsidiary and became Director of Services, Americas, overseeing over 3,000 infrastructure projects in North and South America.

Join us to learn about Transport 2040 from one of the authors of the plan and where the opportunities will be for the construction industry.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Port Mann Bridge/Highway 1 Project

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Kiewit – Flatiron General Partnership has recently been selected as the design-build contractor for the $2.46 Billion Port Mann/Highway 1 Project which is the single largest transportation project ever undertaken in North America.

The Port Mann/Highway 1 Project includes the construction of a new 10-lane Port Mann Bridge, the widening of Highway 1, upgrading interchanges and improving access and safety from McGill Interchange in Vancouver to 216th Street in Langley – a distance of approximately 37 km.

In this session, Frank Margitan, the Project Director, will provide an overview of this large design-build transportation project; give an overview of the design-build organization; and discuss some of the technical and logistical challenges that will be encountered.

Frank Margitan is Vice President and Assistant District Manager for Kiewit’s Western Canada District. He has over 32 years experience in the civil construction industry and has worked on numerous large engineering projects including highways, light rail transportation systems, dams, marine facilities and mine developments. Frank is responsible for directing the development and construction of large civil construction projects, such as the successful public-private-partnership, $600 million, Sea-to-Sky Highway Improvement Project. Currently, Frank is the Project Director for the $2.4 billion Port Mann/Highway 1 Project and is responsible for the overall management of the design and construction of the project infrastructure.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


MEDIA RELEASE: Vancouver Mayor Brings Development Vision

Directors, members and guests of the British Columbia Construction Roundtable welcomed Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson as the keynote speaker at their annual general meeting. Mayor Robertson spoke about the current state of development and construction in the city including the status of the South East False Creek project, his vision for making Vancouver one of the greenest cities in the world and ideas for finding a socially responsive way to deal with the homeless.

Six years ago, the BC Construction Roundtable Board of Directors established a student bursary for studies in engineering and construction management. The recipients of this year’s $1500 awards were Shawn Tiedeman, who is completing a Bachelor of Technology in Construction Management at BCIT, and Chao-Ying Chiu, who is completing a PhD in Construction Engineering and Management at UBC.

The following members were elected to the Board of Directors:

Doug Hinton, Hatch Mott MacDonald – President; Elisa Brandts, PBK Architects Inc. – Past President; Roger Woodhead, Woodhead Consultants Inc. – Treasurer; and directors Beth Currie, BCIT Construction Management; Bill Frost, Graham Construction and Engineering Inc., Geoffrey Glotman, Glotman Simpson Consulting Engineers, Robin Johnston, Collings Johnston Inc., Peter Judd, City of Vancouver Engineering Department; Chris McCarthy, SNC-Lavalin Inc., Jim McLagan, Canron Western Constructors Ltd., Jeff McLellan, BFL CANADA Insurance Services Inc., Don Nishimura, Scott Construction Ltd., Marina Pratchett, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Alan Russell, UBC Civil Engineering, Peter Smith, Axxent Engineering Ltd. and Dave Walker, Stantec Consulting.

The British Columbia Construction Roundtable is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide an independent forum for decision-makers of all sectors of the BC construction industry to share information, examine issues and collaborate on new or more effective strategies for the healthy growth of the industry. It is independent of all other construction groups.


Vancouver Convention Centre Expansion Project – A LEED Showpiece

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Vancouver’s astonishing new Convention Center Expansion is set to open to the public this spring. It sits on the best of sites on the downtown Vancouver waterfront. To the north are breathtaking views of Coal Harbor, Burrard Inlet and the North Shore Mountains. Across the street to the south is the city center. Directly to the west is the landmark Stanley Park. A 90 metre connector provides a covered walkway between the existing convention centre and the new facilities to form a new integrated convention and exhibition centre. The new plaza and walkways provide a smooth transition from new Canada Place Way elevated extension to Harbour Green Park. The Convention Centre will triple Vancouver’s capacity for hosting conventions and allow Vancouver to compete as one of a limited number of centres worldwide capable of hosting major conventions.

This is your opportunity to participate in a walking tour before the building opens to the public. The guided tour will include a view of the plaza built on the 4.5 hectare site immediately west of Canada Place and the existing Vancouver Trade & Exhibition Centre, a visit to the 2.4 hectare ‘living roof’ featuring a range of native west coast plants and a walk through of the future 2010 Winter Olympics international broadcast and media centre. Learn about the many sustainability features of the Convention Centre, including the Centre’s on-site blackwater treatment, the unique habitat skirt surrounding the Centre now successfully operating as a bio-engineered environment, the amazing showcasing of BC wood and much more.

Our guide is Dave Walker, project manager.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Annual General Meeting

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Guest Speaker:
Mayor Gregor Robertson

Building Vancouver: Creative Collaboration & Green Growth

Just as the construction sector has played a key role in establishing the Vancouver Model for livable cities, our housing & development industries will drive new strategies for recovery and sustainable growth. Newly elected Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson believes collaboration between government and business to build affordable housing and develop new green engineering methods will be the hallmark of a Vancouver Model 2.0. The Mayor will talk about working together for creative, environmentally sustainable and socially responsible measures to spur economic activity in our city.

Gregor Robertson was elected Mayor of Vancouver in November 2008. Prior to entering politics, Gregor co-founded Happy Planet, and grew the Vancouver-based socially responsible company up to 50 employees in 10 years. For his achievements as a successful entrepreneur and community leader, Gregor was named one of Canada’s “Top 40 under 40” by The Globe and Mail in 2004. In 2005, Gregor was elected to the provincial legislature as Member of the Legislative Assembly for Vancouver-Fairview. As MLA, he led a successful campaign to protect affordable rental housing, fought for the regulation of carcinogens and toxins throughout BC, and advocated for small businesses impacted by Canada Line construction.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


BC Hydro’s Strategic Procurement

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As the third largest electric utility in Canada, BC Hydro serves customers in an area containing over 94% of British Columbia’s population. BC Hydro endeavours to provide energy solutions to its customers in an environmentally and socially responsible way by balancing British Columbians’ energy needs with the concerns of the environment. Through the efficient and reliable supply of electricity, BC Hydro supports the development of British Columbia and has constructed a world-class integrated hydroelectric system. Due to this efficient, reliable system, British Columbians enjoy some of the lowest electricity rates in North America.

But as many plants are coming to the end of their life cycle an intensive capital investment is planned for the next 5-10 years. Our speaker, Bill Earis, will provide an overview of BC Hydro’s upcoming planned Capital Program including an explanation of the strategic plan, where they are going for procurements, what is the meat of the capital plan and immediate projects many under $50 million.

Bill Earis manages BC Hydro’s Generation Engineering Construction Management Division. The Division is responsible for ensuring Construction Projects at Generating Stations and Reservoirs are completed safely, on time and within budget. Bill is a Professional Engineer, a Project Management Professional and has a Masters degree in Construction and Project Management from UBC.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Being Prepared: Day to Day Transportation of People and Goods During the 2010 Winter Games

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Individuals and companies have started to ask how they should plan their day to day operations and activities during the period of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (“the Games”). Part of the question involves having an understanding of what the transportation plan for Vancouver and surround will look like and how staff and goods will move through and around the City during this period.

Dale Bracewell is a professional engineer and has worked in the Transportation Division of Engineering Services at the City of Vancouver for the last nine years. He holds a Master’s degree in Transportation and his experience includes working for both municipal and provincial governments and the private sector. Dale is currently the Director of Olympic Transportation and is responsible for coordinating the City’s transportation planning and operations with VANOC (Vancouver Organizing Committee) and other transportation partners for the Olympics.

Dale will discuss the City’s proposed transportation concept plan for the period of the Games, the various objectives, challenges, considerations and alternatives that lead to the development of this concept plan.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


MEDIA RELEASE: Director of Planning Brings Vancouver Vision To Members of Construction Industry

media1Directors, members and guests of the British Columbia Construction Roundtable welcomed Brent Toderian, Director of Planning for the City of Vancouver, as the keynote speaker at their twelth Annual General Meeting. Mr. Toderian gave a presentation on his vision for the next stages of development of Vancouver.

Four years ago, the BC Construction Roundtable Board of Directors established a student bursary for studies in engineering and construction management. The recipients of this year’s $2000 awards were Roman Goldmann, who is completing a Bachelor of Technology in Construction Management at BCIT, and Madhav Nepal, who is completing a PhD in Construction Engineering and Management at UBC.

media2The following members were elected to the Board of Directors:

  • Elisa Brandts, PBK Architects Inc. – President;
  • Ian Rokeby, CH2M Hill Canada Ltd. – Past President;
  • Roger Woodhead, Woodhead Consultants Inc. – Treasurer;
  • Bill Frost, Graham Construction and Engineering Inc. – Secretary;
  • And Directors :
    • Beth Currie, BCIT Construction Management;
    • Doug Hinton, Hatch Mott MacDonald;
    • Don Jacobsen, Peter Kiewit Sons Co.;
    • Robin Johnston, Collings Johnston Inc.;
    • Trevor Lumb, Trow Associates Inc.;
    • Jim McLagan, Canron Western Constructors Ltd.;
    • Marina Pratchett, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP;
    • Alan Russell, UBC Civil Engineering;
    • Joe Scholte, Sandwell Engineering;
    • Alan Shopland, Shopland Projects Ltd.;
    • Peter Smith, Axxent Engineering Ltd.;
    • Tom Timm, City of Vancouver Engineering.

media3The British Columbia Construction Roundtable is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide an independent forum for decision-makers of all sectors of the BC construction industry to share information, examine issues and collaborate on new or more effective strategies for the healthy growth of the industry. It is independent of all other construction groups.

For further information on the BC Construction Roundtable and its monthly seminars contact Jeannie Bates at or visit the website at


Roger Woodhead Honored by American Concrete Institure – Paper written about difficulties proves constructive

Dr. Roger Woodhead, a 30-year international engineering design and construction professional, was presented with the annual Construction Award by the American Concrete Institute (ACI) for his paper titled “Experiences with the Caisson Sinking Method”. The ceremony took place on April 22, 2007 in Atlanta, Georgia at the Atlanta Hilton.

Roger_ACIThe ACI Construction Award is given to authors of papers for outstanding merit in concrete construction. Dr. Woodhead who co-authored the paper with Kevin Main, details the difficulties and lessons learned when building underground concrete structures in high water table areas. This paper provides valuable insight and guidance to engineers planning on using this method of construction.

Dr. Woodhead has 30 years of experience as a professional engineer and lead quality auditor on construction projects spanning the globe. He has also taught construction management, project management, motivation and leadership at various universities and educational institutions throughout his career.

Dr. Woodhead is currently the technical director with SNC-Lavalin Inc. for the design/build component of the Canada Line Rapid Transit Project in Vancouver, British Columbia. Dr. Woodhead is responsible for overseeing engineering and quality management for this $1.9 billion public-private partnership. The Canada Line is currently the largest public infrastructure project in Canada and is scheduled for completion in November 2009.

For more information about Dr. Woodhead please visit and/or for the ACI and the Construction Award please visit