Association Members on Winning Teams

Don Procter

July 2005

Most people wouldn’t think of a 19th century coal gasification works plant as a thing of beauty, but that is exactly what people are saying about such a plant recently remade as a police station in Toronto’s inner city. The job, which called for the construction of the police building within the shell of an existing heritage-designated plant, received praise from architectural critics and garnered top marks at the Pugly Awards, an online competition created to recognize the best and the worst buildings in Toronto’s ICI and residential sectors.

A couple of members of the Interior Systems Contractors Association of Ontario and the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry were part of the team that constructed the new cop shop. They were Granolite Company Ltd. and Oakdale Drywall & Acoustics Ltd.

While Granolite’s contract wasn’t one of its most daunting, it had its peculiarities. One element of the job called for a high-impact EIF system with a 3/8-inch thick cementitious layer—2/8-inch thicker than Granolite had ever applied. Consisting of metal lath applied to an SM board type 4 insulation, the system was installed at grade and rose 8 feet in a parking area, says project manager Danny Faienza. Oakdale’s contract called for drywall and metal stud in both the old building and the new addition.

Meanwhile, another project winning the hearts of architectural critics also included the work of an ISCA/AWCI member. It is the recent renovation of the Art Gallery of Hamilton, 30 miles southwest of Toronto. Originally built in the 1970s, the gallery was a dark and unappealing brutalist box. The makeover, which involved encapsulating the original building in a steel and glass structure, illustrates just how good architecture can be in a downtown hit hard in the 1970s by urban renewal done with good intentions but bad results. The gallery will draw a big crowd not only for its good looks and well thought out design but also for its current exhibit of 19th century European art and sculptures—the largest outside of Paris.

P.J. Daly Contracting Limited was the drywall contractor for interior renovations. "The contract was small but tricky,” says Dan Daly, noting that architect Bruce Kuwabara of KPMB was a stickler for fine details. Along with drywall, P.J. Daly installed unusual 3-foot by 7-foot acoustical panels on the ceiling between tracks of lighting.

New Fee Structure

On another front, the EIFS Council of Canada is close to developing a new fee structure that will help cover the salary of a full-time executive director. The executive director would take over much of the work that the overworked volunteer executive board is saddled with now.

Kevin Day, president of the council, says considering the size and stature of the EIFS Council, hiring an executive director is long overdue. More on details of the new fee structure in an upcoming column.

Also on the EIFS front, the EIFS Best Practice Guide is proving to be a best seller. About 500 have sold since it was published last fall by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. Luis de Miguel, architect and CMHC senior researcher, says the guide is much more comprehensive than others published in North America. "What differentiates it is that we include all the building components such as real windows, back-up wall and even the roof if it is a roof detail.” Most guides are put out by manufacturers covering specs and applications only about their own products.

The guide costs $89 (Cdn.) plus shipping. Canadian customers can order it by calling 800.668.2642; U.S. customers can visit the CMHC Web site, or call 613.748.2000.

About the Author
Don Procter is a free-lance writer in Ontario, Canada.