2021 was a challenging year for everyone, full of uncertainty. It forced us to remain flexible and adapt to an ever-changing world. Our primary goal during the pandemic was and continues to be maintaining a safe working environment. The year also gave us a lot of things to celebrate and I’d like to take a moment to reflect on that!
2021 added 4 new full time employees to our team. Dalton and Ryan joined the drafting team and Merva and Said joined the structural design team as EITs (Engineers in Training). They have all brought new ideas and energy to the office, including some mad ping pong skills, and we are lucky to have them as part of the team. Suzie also restarted full time this year as our office manager and it has been a joy having her back in the office.
Other office news included 4 new little additions to the families of Taylor, Jason, Said, and Adam. Corey adopted a lost kitty that showed up at my doorstep and Rachel got a new puppy, Kepler, who has become an office mascot. In romance news, Osman got married and Merva got engaged. We wish them both congratulations and happiness on this new adventure!
As we continue to grow, I want to ensure we grow properly without losing what makes us special, and continue to uphold our core values and culture.
Investing in one another’s growth and continuous learning are two of our core values. This past year Dylan became a licensed engineer in Ontario and Rachel is now licensed in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. Adam is now also licensed in Québec and we look forward to expanding our geographical reach.
In line with our commitment to excellence we took a huge leap in transforming the way we work in our self-developed agile-based project delivery system. I am very pleased to say that there have been noticeable improvements in our quality of work. It has been successful due to the buy-in of all the staff and continuous refinement thanks to feedback from the whole team.
Many of our projects across all sectors were designed and constructed in 2021 and many more have moved into the construction phase. Below are a few project highlights from 2021:
Glendale Crossing Phase II is a 300,000 sq.ft. addition to an existing long term care facility. It includes an eight-storey retirement home and a two-storey Town Square, featuring gathering spaces, a café, library, and open atrium with lots of natural light. The tower is constructed with hollow core precast floors on concrete shear walls. In the centre core of the tower, delta beams were utilized to support the precast to maximize headroom clearance.
Winston Park Phase V is an 8-storey, 59,000 sq ft long term care building in Kitchener.. Winston Park is being built using cast in place concrete walls and precast concrete floors, along with some structural steel bearing lines. A large duct bank runs below the structure to provide power to the existing building while construction is ongoing, which required careful footing placement and the design of a large retaining wall at the north end.
For a second straight year we collaborated with Inuksuk Construction on the seismic restraining requirements for school upgrades in Nunavut. This year’s focus was on four schools located in the Kivalliq Region. The collaborative process between Inukshuk and our firm allowed for a smooth design build process.
We participated in our annual project to provide foundation design services to the NHC public housing projects. This year we provided structural steel pipe pile shop drawings to seven communities! Collaborating with Canadrill Ltd. on the pile design as well as the consultant team led by Panaq Architecture provided a robust cost effective foundation solution for these much needed developments.
Gray & Fick was called in to verify the structural adequacy of the structure after a fatigue related collapse of an overhead crane. We're happy that nobody was injured and the damage to the building was minor.
Food Processing Plant Expansion: A 3-phase expansion to an existing food processing facility in London, Ontario. Separate additions are under construction on the north and south sides of the facility. The north addition consists of a 2-storey, 9,600 sq ft mechanical and change room addition built using cast in place beams, columns and slab supporting the second level and steel supporting the roof. The south consists of a single high bay, 13,400 sq ft production line expansion including extensive rooftop and roof hung platforms and stages construction.
Contributing to the betterment of our communities has always been an important core value at G&F. It was a difficult year to raise funds and host events but we still managed to make a donation of toys to Toys for Tots, raised funds and grew some mo’s for Movember, and made a donation to the James J Hammond Fund.
The team also made several group blood donations to Canadian Blood Services and participated in other community initiatives throughout the year both locally and globally including Pink Shirt (mask) Day, International Women's Day, Orange Shirt Day and more.
What does 2022 look like?
Looking ahead, I’m excited about the future to see how we can grow and continue to foster the values and quality of work that are important to us. To my team, you are all wonderful people and it makes working everyday an enjoyable experience. Thank you.