Enhancing Construction Projects: The Power of Design Assist at Morinwood

At Morinwood, we redefine the traditional role of trade contractors by taking on the dual responsibility of coordinating design and overseeing the budgeting for expansive scopes of work.

The process of building a institutional infrastructure is incredibly complex.  Project teams need partners who can take responsiblity for their part of the project and coodinate effectivly with multiple stakeholders.  While major electrical and mechanical companies are often asked to serve in a Design Assist (DA) role, few other trade contractors possess the confidence, experience, or endurance required to orchestrate a comprehensive DA engagement.

Morinwood boasts a track record of successfully completing numerous DA projects. As variations of Design-Build is the predominant delivery method for Infrastructure BC, our expertise is sought after to contribute across multiple budget cycles, spanning from conceptualization to the final IFC drawings over several years.

Our privileged position allows us to leverage our trade knowledge to shape the planning process effectively, aiding optimal detail selection while maintaining a vigilant eye on interior finishing budgets.

  • Effective DA hinges on robust communication between design and construction teams, ensuring proactive consideration of real-world challenges that may arise during execution.
  • Furthermore, it demands finesse in navigating the sometimes delicate political landscape, as stakeholders often need to reconcile their aspirations with budgetary constraints. At Morinwood, we excel in balancing project budgets, reallocating resources to maximize efficiency and eliminating unnecessary expenditures.
  • The ultimate outcome of DA is a collaborative environment where contractors and designers synergize to troubleshoot construction challenges at the conceptual stage.
  • Design-assist contractors leverage their expertise to identify potential execution hurdles, propose innovative materials, and optimize construction timelines based on local factors like labor markets, weather conditions, and logistical insights.
  • Nevertheless, the DA approach adds complexity to the design process, necessitating exceptional communication skills and a mutual willingness to embrace feedback and revisions.
  • In an industry where traditional roles often siloed planning and execution, not all contractors or designers are equipped to navigate the collaborative nuances of design-assist relationships.
  • Ready to revolutionize your construction project? Reach out to our estimating department at estimating@morinwood.ca to explore how our design assist services can elevate your team’s capabilities.

Buddy Up!

The rash of fentanyl deaths is overwhelming.   Six people die in British Columbia every day from toxic drugs.  20% of those are tradespeople.  These are mostly working men, who use recreationally or have dependencies that see them use drugs unsupervised.  When they overdose there is nobody around to help them.  The Vancouver Island Construction Association is working to control this crisis with their ‘Hammer Time’ toolbox talk program.  Follow this link for more information.

The Toolbox Talk is an introductory conversation about substance use, mental health, the current toxic drug supply, and what harm reduction/recovery services are available in each region of the island. The Toolbox Talk can be delivered in 3 lengths: 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or 1 hour. It can be delivered with a slideshow, or solely discussion-based. And finally, it can be delivered in person at your site or via Zoom.  There is no cost to receive the Toolbox Talk and instructors can come to you up and down the Island and surrounding communities!

Men in general and construction men, in particular, bear their burdens with few complaints.  This makes us great workers, but it stops us from taking good care of ourselves when we need help.  Each of us can help by checking up with any of our fellow trades who we think might be struggling.  Here are some ways to get the conversation going.

Questions like: How have you been? …How’s your stress level lately? …Have you been sleeping? …Is there anything you want to talk about? …What can I do for you? …When should I check in with you again?  These are all good conversation starters.

Here is an innovative program in Alberta that is also working to keep construction workers safe from mental illness: Link

Let’s keep each other safe and buddy up.

Apprentice Success!

Kudos to Mitch Bell who was chosen as the most promising student in his class at BCIT.   It’s great to see such keen students entering our trade and investing in an apprenticeship.  AWMAC members support these students by contributing to a well-stocked toolbag for the highest achieving students.

All the staff at Morinwood wish Mitch continued success in the trade!



Where are all the Women in Construction

Construction has traditionally been considered a male bastion where only a rare few women could succeed. Despite some big shifts by government and business, women still make up only a pittance of the workforce. Douglas sets out to discover why…

Read the article featuring our Morinwood staff here