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Winnipeg museum garners kudos

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by Russell Hixson

Winnipeg's Museum of Human Rights won big at the 46th annual Canadian Consulting Engineers Awards, taking home the Schreyer Award for most technically innovative project.
Winnipeg museum garners kudos

The project was designed by U.S.-based engineering firm CH2M HILL.

"Being recognized for the Schreyer Award for such an iconic project is truly the greatest achievement in my career," said  Neb Erakovic, principal, buildings at CH2M HILL. "I am grateful to have come through this incredible challenge, with a team I respect and with such enjoyment along the way. This was the easiest, most complicated project I have ever been involved with. Having the opportunity to represent CH2M HILL among my peers at the ACEC Awards was the icing on top."

Erakovic was the lead Structural Engineer on the project and he accepted the award at the awards gala in Ottawa last month.

The $350-million project took some nine years from the initial design to completion, taking 44 months for structural construction. The caissons went in April 2009 and the last of the 18,000 cubic metres of concrete was poured Nov. 2010. The steel itself took from July 2010 to Nov. 2011. The facility opened to the public last month.

In all the MHR has 24,500 square metres of total floor space and absorbed 5,100 metric tonnes of structural steel with 165,000 bolts.  One of the keys to designing the building's iconic, flowing shape was Building Information Modeling with 3D visualization.

More than 20 consulting engineering firms received recognition for engineering excellence at the 2014 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards Gala in Ottawa this month. The awards are presented by Canadian Consulting Engineer magazine and the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Canada (ACEC).

The presentation was held at the Ottawa Convention Centre near the Parliament Buildings. There were 20 Awards of Excellence for engineering projects. Five of these were recognized with Special Achievement Awards.

The Tree for Life Award, given for outstanding environmental stewardship, went to the New Victoria Mine Water Treatment Plant, Cape Breton, N.S. by CBCL.

The Ambassador Award,  given for a project outside Canada that best showcases Canadian expertise, went to the New Quito International Airport, Ecuador by MMM Group.

The Engineering a Better Canada Award, given for a project that shows how engineering enhances the social, economic or cultural quality of life of Canadians - went to the Detour Lake Gold Mining Project in Ontario by BBA.

The Outreach Award, presented for a company's role in donating their time or services, went to Dillon Consulting for its Environment and Community Investment Fund.

Fifteen others won awards of excellence, including Fast + Epp for Bow River Pedestrian Bridge and Utility Crossing, Banff, Alta; Hatch Mott MacDonald and MMM Group Limited (H5M joint venture) for the Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project in Surrey/Coquitlam, B.C.;  and Glacier Skywalk in Jasper National Park, Alta. by Read Jones Christoffersen.

"Now in their 46th year, these awards showcase the outstanding expertise and innovation of Canadian consulting engineering firms," said ACEC president and CEO John Gamble. "By recognizing these firms and their projects with national awards, we are showcasing the positive contributions our industry makes to enhance Canadians' lives every day."

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