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IMC Celebrates 15 Years of Construction Safety Leadership

Ira McDonald Construction was recently recognized at the Hamilton-Halton Construction Association’s Christmas Luncheon for 15 years of membership in the Regional Construction Safety Group.
The Safety Group program, funded by the WSIB, guides employers in the integration of health and safety into their management systems, and brings similar organizations together to develop better health and safety practices and policies.

“It is great to be a part of a group of colleagues who are passionate about making sure that No One Gets Hurt. It is an excellent environment where you can share best practices in safety and stimulate continuous improvement.”

-Jake DeJong, Director of Human Resources & Safety

The Regional Construction Safety group is open to members of the HHCA, as well as the Toronto Construction Association, the Niagara Construction Association, the Hamilton-Halton Home Builders Association, and the Ontario Road Builders’ Association.

For More Information, contact:

Jake DeJong

Director of Human Resources & Safety
jake@iramcdonald.com
(905) 297-4653 ext. 45

Ira McDonald Construction Fundraises for Movember

movember-logo-small

Many employees of Ira McDonald Construction are sporting a mustache during Movember to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health. Our team page can be found on the Movember Canada website.

“Ira McDonald Construction is always supportive of initiatives that give back to the community. Movember has been a great way to bring everyone together for a common goal. It’s also been fun to gauge the moustache-growing ability on the IMC team.”

-Mick Riley, Movember Team Captain for IMC

Employees participating in the initiative include:

  • Wynn McDonald (President)
  • Dale McDonald (Past President, Director of Strategic Partnerships)
  • Ron Worrall (Director of Operations)
  • Chris Campbell (Director of Finance & Administration)
  • Jake DeJong (Director of Human Resources & Safety)
  • Ken Johnson (Project Manager)
  • Chris Wills (Project Manager)
  • Greg Cartwright (Project Manager)
  • Mick Riley (Project Coordinator & Movember Team Captain)
  • David Petrie (Senior Estimator)
  • Brady Jonker (Estimator)
  • Anthony Mazzeo (Site Superintendent)
  • Dave Roussey (Site Superintendent)
  • Ben McIntee (Labourer)
  • Zachary Strong (Inside Sales / Marketing)
  • Dave McDonald (IT)

All donations and support are appreciated! In order to donate to the Ira McDonald Construction team, follow this link or click on the ‘Donate’ button located on our team page.

Wynn McDonald speaks at the IMC town hall meeting on October 24, 2014.

Wynn McDonald speaks at the IMC town hall meeting on October 24, 2014.

Ira McDonald Construction Announces New Leadership Team

Since our beginnings as a small builder founded in 1941 by Ira E. McDonald, we have developed into a successful family-owned general contractor under the leadership of Ira’s three sons; Larry, Dale and Wynn McDonald. Effective October 24th, 2014, we are pleased to announce that Wynn McDonald, G.S.C has been appointed as the new President of Ira McDonald Construction.

Growing up with the family business, Wynn has fulfilled many roles within the company, including labour foreman, site superintendent, estimator, and project manager. These positions, along with his most recent role as Vice President (Operations), have given him the opportunity to understand every facet of the construction process, and we are excited for new opportunities for growth under Wynn’s leadership.

“Over the past seven decades, Ira McDonald Construction has differentiated itself through our attention to detail, accountability, and a client-focused approach. As someone who has been part of Ira McDonald Construction in so many different capacities, it’s exciting to be leading the company as we develop construction solutions for the future.”

-Wynn McDonald, IMC President

Our senior leadership team is designed to deliver excellence in five key business areas, and will report directly to the President:

Director of Business Development: Kristen Balendra, B.A (Hons)

A recent addition to the company, Kristen is going to provide support for the IMC vision of sustainability and growth. She will market our company in new networks that fit our business plan.

Director of Estimating: Kim McCarthy, Dipl.T.Arch, PQS, GSC

Kim brings 18 years of valuable estimating experience in formulating the cost and benefit of new and existing opportunities for Ira McDonald.

Director of Operations: Ron Worrall, Dipl.T.Arch, GSC, LEED AP

Ron has dedicated 20 years of his career to the successful delivery of the project management at IMC, and will be managing the operations arm of the business.

Director of Finance and Admin: Chris Campbell, BBA, CPA, CGA

Chris has been a dedicated resource for 12 years and will provide financial expertise in supporting all business units.

Director of Human Resources and Safety: Jake DeJong, B.A, HRMD

Jake ‘s focus is on growing the Ira McDonald team to support the vision of sustainability and growth. Jake is also very focused on creating a safe environment where “No One Gets Hurt.”

Alongside these new appointments, Dale McDonald, B.A will be acting as Past President and Strategic Director. Dale will take on a supporting role and provide continued strategic advice in research, partnerships and advice drawn from his four decades of experience in the construction industry.

About Ira McDonald Construction:
Ira McDonald Construction Limited is a family-owned construction company that was built on a foundation of integrity, honesty, and quality. We have been Building Vision and Value for businesses and communities in Southern Ontario since 1941.

For more information, contact:

Wynn McDonald, G.S.C

President
wynn@iramcdonald.com
(905)297-4653 ext. 14

Career Night at Mohawk College

Career Night at Mohawk Sets Graduates Up for Success

On October 7th, 2014, Ira McDonald Construction attended the Meet the Grad/Employer night for the Building Sciences programs at Mohawk College. We met many talented and passionate young people looking to make the next step in their careers at the event, which was held in “The Arnie”, an iconic restaurant and event space that Ira McDonald Construction renovated in 2011.

It was great for us to be involved in a local career evening and support the next generation of construction professionals. We believe that people are the cornerstone of our company’s sustainability and we couldn’t be prouder of supporting Mohawk, as several members of our staff are graduates from the Building Sciences programs.

For more information on career opportunities with Ira McDonald Construction, connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn, visit www.iramcdonald.com/careers/, or email Jake DeJong, our Director of Human Resources & Safety.

A worker pours high-density concrete at the CANS-PIE facility on September 24th, 2014. (Photo Credit: Ken Johnson, IMC Project Manager)

A worker pours high-density concrete at the CANS-PIE facility on September 24th, 2014. (Photo Credit: Ken Johnson, IMC Project Manager)

Hot Cells Project Uses Highest Density Concrete Ever Poured in Canada

On September 24th, Ira McDonald Construction, as construction managers, began pouring the highest-density concrete ever used in Canada for the Centre for Advanced Nuclear Systems’ Post-Irradiation Examination (CANS-PIE) facility at McMaster University.

The CANS-PIE facility will be a heavily shielded research lab at McMaster University where highly radioactive samples can be examined and manipulated remotely. Researchers will use this facility to examine the behaviour of materials used in operational nuclear reactors and Generation IV Reactor technology, as well as isotope research.

Because of the high levels of radiation released by ‘hot’ samples, shielded facilities made of steel, lead, specialty glass, and specially-formulated concrete are necessary to protect researchers. Regular concrete has a density of between 1400 kg/m3 to 1900 kg/m3, compared to the concrete used in the CANS-PIE facility, which has a density of over 5000 kg/m3.

“Besides the fact that we’re using unprecedented materials, we’re working in an occupied facility and a small physical space, which makes this project particularly complex. For projects like this to succeed, everyone has to be working closely together. It was great to see representatives from all of the contractors, consultants, and clients involved attending yesterday’s pour – it speaks to how invested all parties are in this groundbreaking project.”

– Ken Johnson, IMC Project Manager

In order to provide adequate protection against radiation, the concrete formulation uses large quantities of iron aggregate, which results in a mix that is too heavy to use conventional equipment like concrete pumps. Instead, concrete was poured the old-fashioned way – using one-tonne buckets.

The confined space and unprecedented building material presented unique challenges during the pouring process. (Photo Credit: Ken Johnson, IMC Project Manager)

The confined space and unprecedented building material presented unique challenges during the pouring process.

Because of the extraordinary density of the concrete, one-tonne buckets were used instead of pumps.

Because of the extraordinary density of the concrete, one-tonne buckets were used instead of pumps.

About the Centre for Advanced Nuclear Systems:

McMaster’s Centre for Advanced Nuclear Systems is scheduled to open in 2015, and will utilize infrastructure like the CANS-PIE facility and McMaster’s existing nuclear research program to study the effects of radiation on reactor components. The CANS-PIE lab will be the only one of its kind located in a university campus, according to the program director, Dr. John Luxat, a professor at McMaster’s Department of Engineering Physics and the NSERC/UNENE Industrial Research Chair in Nuclear Safety Analysis.

Read More: McMaster Daily News

A standing-room-only crowd at the Arts Centre & Lofts listens to seven talks about the link between design and prosperity.

A standing-room-only crowd at the Arts Centre & Lofts listens to seven talks about the link between design and prosperity.

Architecture, Commerce, and Community: Conversations on Urban Design

On September 12, representatives from Ira McDonald Construction attended a lecture series about the relationship between architecture and a prosperous local economy. The series was hosted by the Ontario Association of Architects in partnership with the Hamilton/Burlington Society of Architects and the Renew Hamilton Project as part of the annual Supercrawl festival.

The seven speakers presented in the PechaKucha format, which limits presentations to 20 slides or images and 20 seconds per image. The standing-room-only event was an engaging look at how architectural design can create both cultural and economic value for communities.

Many themes addressed in the talks are relevant to both the construction process and design process, including sustainability, client-consultant partnership, trust, procurement, and project implementation.

One of the key messages common to all speakers’ presentations was that the development of facilities and infrastructure is an investment in the prosperity of the community, and the up-front commitment of time and resources will pay off for many years to come. We believe that general contractors and construction managers also play an important role when it comes to the implementation of infrastructure planning. As a general contracting firm based in Hamilton, we are excited to work with architects, planners, and communities to help drive the city’s urban revitalization.

Speakers List:

Richard Allen (Director, Renew Hamilton Project)

  • Driving Hamilton’s Future Economy: “People need to love their city.”

Bill Curran (Principal, Thier+Curran Architects)

  • The Power of Design: “Architecture is a product of many forces that exist in a society at that point in time.”

Robert Freedman (Principal, Freedman Urban Solutions)

  • The Value of Urban Design: “Hamilton has a buzz surrounding it. The creative class wants to be here, and great urban design helps cities compete for talent.”

Jeremy Freiburger (Chief Connector and Cultural Strategist, CoBALT CONNECTS)

  • Expressing Neighbourhood Vibrancy: “A neighbourhood’s culture can’t be expressed in absolute numbers, but we can compare attributes to understand what makes a community vibrant.”

Drew Hauser (Principal, McCallum Sather Architects)

  • Renewal: “Knowing your neighbourhood and knowing your client is paramount. Trust is earned and respected.”

Joanne McCallum (Principal, McCallum Sather Architects)

  • Sustainability: “Clients must be engaged in the process to have truly sustainable buildings.”

David Premi (Principal, David Premi Architects)

  • Does Hamilton Have a Supportive Design Culture?: “In the new municipal economy, lifestyle is competitive. A supportive procurement process is essential to good design.”
Pictured, From Left: Geri Tino (ATA), Diana Parker (McMaster), Deidre Henne (McMaster), Shawn Miller (VRM), Alexander Temporale (ATA), Greg Cartwright (IMC), Wynn McDonald (IMC). Photo Credit: Cliff Birkett.

Pictured, From Left: Geri Tino (ATA), Diana Parker (McMaster), Deidre Henne (McMaster), Shawn Miller (VRM), Alexander Temporale (ATA), Greg Cartwright (IMC), Wynn McDonald (IMC). Photo Credit: Cliff Birkett.

IMC Celebrates Re-Opening of McMaster Campus Store

Although the McMaster University campus was relatively quiet over the summer months, Ira McDonald Construction was completing accessibility improvements to McMaster’s Campus Store on an accelerated schedule.

The historic bookstore resides in the basement of Gilmour Hall, which was built in 1959 at a time when accessibility concerns were not a primary concern in building design. Ira McDonald’s contribution to the two-year, multi-stage renovation included barrier-free renovations to the front entrance of the store, as well as a new entrance at the back of the building.

“On projects with aggressive timelines, it’s important that the client, consultants, and contractors collaborate to ensure that work is completed on time and on budget. On this project, we worked closely with McMaster University, ATA Architects, and VRM Engineering to open the McMaster Campus Store in time for students’ arrival.”

– Greg Cartwright, IMC Project Manager

The Campus Store was officially reopened at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 9th, 2014, which was attended by representatives from McMaster University, ATA Architects, VRM Engineering, and Ira McDonald Construction.

McMaster President Patrick Deane cut the ribbon on the new access ramp. (Photo Credit: Andrew Baulcomb, McMaster Daily News)

McMaster President Patrick Deane cut the ribbon on the new access ramp. (Photo Credit: Andrew Baulcomb, McMaster Daily News)

McMaster Campus Store Project Team

Pictured, From Left: Geri Tino (ATA), Diana Parker (McMaster), Deidre Henne (McMaster), Shawn Miller (VRM), Alexander Temporale (ATA), Greg Cartwright (IMC), Cliff Birkett (McMaster).

About McMaster University:

McMaster University is ranked 4th among Canadian universities and 92nd in the world by the 2013-2014 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. It is home to over fifty world-class research facilities such as the Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy, the McMaster Nuclear Reactor, and the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research.