Morinwood’s new Ops Man

I’m delighted to announce that Jay Timothy BCom PMP CSPO has started in the position of Operations Manager at Morinwood.
Jay and I go back a long way. He was one of the first people to join me when I put out my shingle. His precise estimating work won us our first major P3 hospital project – Surrey Memorial – that launched us on our path.
Jay and I always made a good duo. I remember teaming up for client meetings where I would handle the relationship while Jay wrangled the details and figures to drive a constructive meeting. What I didn’t realize in those early days was just how rare and productive our partnership was. Somehow, even though we came at a given problem from different directions we could always end up at a common solution.
I feel lucky and excited to have his partnership and wide experience as we grow our network of millwork and interior finishing trades. I know you’ll appreciate his level of reliability and professionalism.

Design Assist at Morinwood

In most of our major projects, we play a design assist (DA) role for our GC clients.  Since Design-Build has become the default delivery method for Infrastructure BC we are typically asked to contribute to multiple budget rounds as the project is built up from concept, through design development, all the way to IFC drawings over a span of several years.  We are fortunate to have the opportunity to contribute our knowledge of our trade to help in this planning process.  In the end, it helps ensure that the right details are chosen and that the interior finishing budget is kept in check.

DA relies on ample communication between the design teams and the construction teams to ensure that project planning accounts for the real-world issues that can arise.  Not to mention it also requires a delicate political touch as frequently owners need to be told they cannot have everything they want.  Instead, we get to balance the overall budget of the project and move that value around between buckets to put the dollars where they go to best use and remove them from where the details are overkill.

The end result is that DA creates a project environment where the contractor and designer work together to solve construction problems while they are still only on paper. Design-assist contractors use their expertise to identify areas in the plan that may be difficult or impossible to execute. They can use their knowledge of construction technology to suggest newer/different/better materials, and they can communicate with sub-contractors to devise more efficient systems and construction timelines based on local labor markets, weather considerations, and delivery insights.

However, the design-assist method of construction adds another layer to the design process, and not every building contractor (or designer) is up for the challenge. Design-assist relationships require excellent communication skills and a willingness for each party to learn and accept revisions from the other. Because designing and building a project was traditionally a process in which there was no cross-over between the parties responsible for planning and execution, not all contractors or designers are educated on how best to communicate with one another.

Contact our estimating department to if we can add our design assist services to your team.

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