Levelton projects and our employees have been making the news with latest awards, employee interviews, and community support.

 

News


We Are Now WSP!

Effective May 10, 2017, we celebrate an important milestone with the public unveiling of our new WSP brand and identity, while officially retiring the Levelton co-brand shared with WSP over the integration process.

And while our brand identity may be changing, our brand promise remains the same.  We’re committed to providing you innovative solutions, excellent service, clear communications and the same team approach in everything we do.

This website will remain live for your convenience for several months, but to connect with us, please visit: www.wsp.com

Learn more about WSP and our brand new identity here.

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Surrey Board of Trade’s Environment Awards

Environment and Business Awards 2015-1122The Annual Environmental Awards are presented to a Surrey Board of Trade member or to a Surrey-based business that has demonstrated exceptional dedication to environmental leadership and/or issues. The award recipients are guided by a sense of respect for the environment and demonstrate this initiative consistently.

This year’s awards, presented by Levelton’s Jay Rao, went to three outstanding companies:

 

Small Business Category – TBF Environmental
Medium Business Category – Executive Mat Service & Janitorial Supply
Large Business Category – Emterra Environmental

 

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WSP Acquires Caravel Investments

Levelton - Richmond Head OfficeThis is exciting news. On July 1, 2015 WSP acquired Levelton Consultants’ parent company, Caravel Investments.

With WSP, Levelton’s disciplines will thrive. We will help strengthen WSP’s footprint nationally, and most importantly, leverage the team to a market leading position in British Columbia and Alberta. This transaction, which fits perfectly with our Strategic Plan, will provide the leadership we need for continued growth and will enable the team to solidify our presence in Western Canada. This is a great opportunity to accelerate our growth, together.

WSP is thrilled to encompass the entire Levelton Group – all employees and all disciplines – in their team. For more information please read the Press Release.

 

ABOUT WSP

WSP, through its acquisition of Parsons Brinckerhoff, is one of the world’s leading professional services firms in its industry, working with governments, businesses, architects and planners and providing integrated solutions across many disciplines. The firm provides services to transform the built environment and restore the natural environment, and its expertise ranges from environmental remediation to urban planning, from engineering iconic buildings to designing sustainable transport networks and from developing the energy sources of the future to enabling new ways of extracting essential resources. It has approximately 31,000 employees, including engineers, technicians, scientists, architects, planners, surveyors and environmental specialists, as well as other design, program and construction management professionals, based in more than 500 offices, across 39 countries, on 5 continents.

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YVR RESA Projects

YVR Airport RunwayAs an international airport committed to excellence in safety, YVR is proactively building Runway End Safety Areas (RESAs) to meet international recommendations and exceed the Canadian standard requirements.

Levelton has been engaged by the YVR Airport Authority to provide a multitude of services for the construction of the RESA projects. Prior to construction, Levelton was involved in determining some of the design parameters, such as the confirmation of the thickness of Runway 08R and in situ measurement of the California Bearing Ratio of the native soils present at the south side of Runway 08L. Currently, the Materials Group is providing Quality Assurance services and will work closely alongside two different contractors to review submittals for compliance with the specified requirements. Independently, the Team will also provide materials testing to validate the results of the Contractor’s quality control measures.

What is interesting about the construction of the RESA project is that both contractors are working simultaneously on either side of the runways and all work must be completed at night, requiring runway closures. This project will continue until fall of 2017.

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A Clean Energy Project

Nanaimo Reservoir buildNanaimo Reservoir No. 1 and Energy Recovery Facility

Carl Miller, P.Eng. was asked to represent the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of BC, as part of his Board Director role, to present the City of Nanaimo Mayor McKay and Council with the ACEC-BC Award of Excellence in the Energy & Industry category for the Nanaimo Reservoir No. 1 and Energy Recovery Facility – a Clean Energy Project. The presentation was made at a televised City Council meeting on June 1, 2015.

The lead consultant for this project was Associated Engineering with Levelton, as a subconsultant, providing geotechnical and materials engineering services for almost a year. The project comprises a new 14 million litre enclosed reinforced concrete water reservoir and associated pipelines. The reservoir receives filtered and treated drinking water from the City of Nanaimo’s $60 M South Fork Water Treatment Plant that was fully operational in April 2015. The centrepiece for the Energy Recovery Facility is a “pump-as-turbine technology system” designed to produce enough clean electrical energy to power 100 homes. This, in turn, provides additional revenue to fund the city’s water supply system through BC Hydro’s Standing Offer Program.

To read more about this project and award, Nanaimo Business News.ca posted an article on the subject.

 

Carl Miller, P.Eng. - Geotechnical Division Manager About Carl Miller, P.Eng.

Carl is the Manager of Levelton’s Geotechnical Division focusing on the coordination and leadership of multidisciplinary project teams for land development, municipal infrastructure, and site characterization projects. He currently serves on the Board of the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of BC and Chairs the ACEC BC Vancouver Island Liaison Committee.

 

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Scientists and Innovators in the Schools

Scientists and Innovators in the SchoolsMark Byram, P.Eng. was invited to a STEAM* school to talk about recycled asphalt shingles to Grade 1 students. The presentation was part of the Scientists and Innovators in the Schools (SIS) Program, a volunteer organization through Science World at Telus World of Science. Mark is hoping to inspire the students to become an engineer or technologist to help society solve problems using science.

The presentation provided a problem: Asphalt shingles are being deposited in our landfills, taking up valuable landfill space. The students helped solve the problem and to come up with possible solutions.

Mark says “It was amazing to see that the kids’ first response was to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. They enjoyed dissecting a road and looking at all of the samples of the constituents of a road.”

*STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics.

Mark ByramAbout Mark Byram, P.Eng.

Since graduating from UBC in 2007 with a degree in Civil Engineering, Mark Byram, P. Eng., has risen to the challenge of being a Group Manager with Levelton’s Vancouver Island Region while acting as Chair of the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies (ACEC-BC) Professional Development Committee. Most recently, Mark was presented with the ACEC-BC’s Young Professional Award.

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Infrastructure Management

Asbestos PipeAsbestos Cement Pipe and Water Infrastructure

Written by Jim Bagley, MCOIB, EP (OHS) and Glenn Stark, P. Eng.

Asbestos cement (AC) pipe was first introduced in the 1920s and installed extensively between the 1940’s and the mid-1980’s.  At its peak popularity, AC pipe was chosen to replace ductile iron (DI) pipe and vitrified clay pipe (VCP) due to its light unit weight, durability, relatively low production and installation cost, and relatively low friction factor.  AC pipe is manufactured from a mixed slurry of Portland cement (80-85%) and a matted mixture of chrysotile and/or crocidolite asbestos fibres (15-20%). It is estimated that there are approximately half a million miles of AC pipe used for potable water distribution and waste water collection in North America. The use of AC pipe was largely discontinued in North America in the early 1980s when the use of alternate pipe materials such as PVC and ductile iron became the norm.

The two main concerns regarding AC pipe in the coming years are the continuing degradation of aged AC pipe distribution and collection networks and safety concerns for the public and workers required to repair and replace this infrastructure as it deteriorates.

Read more about the concerns:

The major problem experienced with AC pipes, other than mechanical fractures, results from leaching of the cement mortar binder from both the inside and outside diameter surfaces. This attack can severely lower the pipe’s overall strength. The leaching rate depends on a number of factors, the most significant of which are the aggressiveness of the groundwater and internal contents in contact with the pipe surfaces. Cement mortar leaching can vary dramatically from pipe section to pipe section, and external attack can be highly localized due to variations in pipe bedding, local soil conditions, groundwater paths, and dissolved iron content in the groundwater.

The cement mortar leaching of AC pipe appears to occur due to an inward movement of a distinct front separating the leached material from good pipe wall. The leached material remaining on and near the surface tends to act as a barrier through which moisture and leaching products must diffuse in order to continue the leaching process. As the thickness of this barrier increases (i.e. as more of the pipe wall is leached), the rate of leaching slows. Previous studies by Levelton and others have shown that the depth of leaching of asbestos cement pipe is approximately proportional to a function of time. Thus, the future depth of attack can be estimated if the age and current depth of attack are known.

By developing a strategic replacement plan for aging AC pipe networks, taking into account current pipe condition through direct assessment, municipal authorities can develop a proactive approach to infrastructure management, rather than a reactive approach based on responding to breaks.

Asbestos is a potent carcinogen and when friable fibres are inhaled in high concentrations over a prolonged period of time they can cause asbestosis, an occupational disease similar to silicosis, which results in hardening of the lung tissue and grave health consequences. Shorter term exposure to inhaled asbestos fibres has the potential to cause lung cancer and mesothelioma, a particularly aggressive cancer.

Following extensive studies, Health Canada, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), The World Health Organization, and many other bodies have all concluded that there is no association between asbestos fibres in water and cancer risk. This is likely because our digestive systems are far more capable of removing potential contaminants than our lower respiratory system.

The US EPA [1] has set a maximum risk level of asbestos fibres in drinking water at 7 million fibres per litre as:

Some people who drink water containing asbestos well in excess of the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for many years may have an increased risk of developing benign intestinal polyps.

Health Canada’s [2] current position on asbestos fibres in distributed potable water is:

Based on information available in extensive toxicological and epidemiological studies conducted to date, there is no consistent, convincing evidence that ingested asbestos is hazardous to health. There is, therefore, no need to establish a maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) for asbestos in drinking water.

For infrastructure workers who are called upon to assess, repair, and replace aging AC pipe there are greater safety concerns than are encountered by the general public. In Canada, asbestos exposure is still the number one leading cause of death for workers accounting for more than a third of total workplace deaths. The number of asbestos exposure fatalities was higher than fatalities caused from highway accidents, fires, and chemical exposures combined. However, many of these deaths were a result of unprotected workers installing friable asbestos materials in buildings in the 1970s and early 1980s as it can take decades after the original exposure for cancer to develop. As long as safe work procedures are followed, appropriate respiratory protection is worn, and the AC pipe is continuously wetted during work, the assessment, repair, and replacement of aging AC pipe infrastructure can be carried out without undue risk to workers and the public at large.

[1] US EPA – Basic Information about Drinking Water

[2] Health Canada – Environmental and Workplace Health – Asbestos

 

About the Authors:

Jim BagleyJim Bagley, MCOIB, EP (OHS)

Jim Bagley is a Senior Project Manager in the Hazardous Materials group of Levelton’s Environment Division, and he is involved in many occupational health and safety, environmental/hazmat projects in addition to mould assessments and indoor air quality assessments for residential, commercial, and industrial projects.

Glenn StarkGlenn Stark, P. Eng.

Glenn Stark is a Senior Materials and Corrosion Engineer and the Group Leader for the Water Infrastructure Group in Levelton’s Richmond Office. He has over 12 years of experience completing diverse projects in the following areas: corrosion surveys; structural steel and infrastructure assessment; failure investigations; nondestructive testing; water and waste water pipe evaluations (asbestos cement (AC), PVC, steel, ductile and cast iron); polymeric materials analysis; and scanning electron micro-analysis (SEM/EDS).

 

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Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal

Berth 1 at Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal

Berth 1 Marine Structure

BC Ferry Services is proposing a complete rebuild and upgrade of the Berth 1 Marine Structures at its Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Delta, with an estimated capital cost of $20M.

Levelton has been retained, through Herold Engineering, to provide geotechnical design and construction support services. The geotechnical aspects of the project are being managed through Levelton’s Nanaimo office with additional technical support in marine structures from the Richmond head office. The project team is a continuation of that assembled in 2012 for the BC Ferries rebuild of the Alert Bay Ferry Terminal (Northern Vancouver Island).

Work-to-date has included an extensive land and marine subsurface assessment, detailed ground response analysis, and the provision of geotechnical recommendations in support of structural design. The subsurface assessment, completed in March 2015, included back-to-back shifts to complete subsurface characterization to depths of 75 m below mudline. Construction on the rebuild is expected to commence later this year.

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Welcome to Levelton

Levelton would like to welcome three new employees to our team of professionals.

Snezana LazarSnezana Lazar – Calgary

As an Environmental Scientist, Snezana will be part of the Hydrogeology team providing site liability assessments, groundwater monitoring, groundwater remediation among other services.

 

Tim BanduraTim Bandura – Richmond

Tim is a recent graduate from the University of Waterloo with a Master of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering. He studied the corrosion of various grades of stainless steel in reinforced concrete structures which will allow him to fit right in with our Concrete Technology team.

Charlotte WattsCharlotte Watts – Abbotsford

Charlotte comes to Levelton after spending seven years in the UK working for a health & safety and a property development company. She is joining our Abbotsford office as a receptionist extraordinaire.

 

 

 

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Young Professional Award 2015

(L) Carl Miller, Manager BC Geotechnical Discipline. (R) Mark Byram, Group Manager Vancouver Island.

Mark Byram, P.Eng. has won this year’s Young Professional Award, presented by the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies (ACEC-BC)!

This award recognizes an individual that brings leadership, commitment, and achievements within the engineering industry and the community. Mark has done that in spades. Since graduating from the University of British Columbia in 2007 with a degree in Civil Engineering, he has risen to the challenge of being a Group Manager within Levelton’s Vancouver Island Region, mentoring staff in both the Victoria and Nanaimo offices. He has served as the Regional and Provincial Chair of ACEC-BC’s Young Professionals’ Group and as an ex officio member of the ACEC-BC Board of Directors. Currently, Mark is acting as Chair of the ACEC-BC Professional Development Committee. Wow!

Levelton would like to congratulate Mark on this amazing achievement.

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