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Advanced Material Handling

Summarize the project's program, features and achievements.

Advanced Material Handling chose the city of Abbotsford as the next stage for its business growth plans. The company specializes in manufacturing material handling equipment for pulp and paper, mining, oil and gas, cement, and co-generation. It owns a manufacturing plant and head office in Canada and a warehouse in the USA. This project features a high-quality single-user 40,000 sq ft manufacturing plant designed for a large-scale industrial supplier with 56 revealed panels and a total panel surface of 31,756.97 sq. ft. Strategically choosing tilt-up as the construction method enabled the project to be fully completed in an exceptional nimble time frame of 9 months. Among other challenges that make this project unique, there was mass coordination on overhead crane assemblies with a heavy exhaust system requirement due to a large amount of welding bays in the facility. The focal point of the project from an aesthetic point of view is the office pod in the SE corner of the building. The pod is fully glazed to provide lots of natural light to the offices and training areas with staff and is encompassed by a large corner canopy to provide shading and solar control on the south and east-facing elevations. The separated pod from the warehouse building provides a strong architectural articulation that distinguishes the building from the typical warehouse frontage. Advanced Material Handling has now moved to its new manufacturing, distribution, and head office location, which employs approximately 25 people on-site and contributes to the local community's economic health.

What obstacles were overcome related to the schedule, budget, program, specification, site, etc. on this project?

* Mass coordination on overhead crane assemblies with a heavy exhaust system requirement due to a large amount of welding bays in the facility.

* Neighboring properties with fencing requirements: The neighboring sites on the south, west, and north had functioning industrial businesses operating throughout the construction schedule. In order to safely construct in such time constraints required coordination with these neighbors, as well we constructed permanent fencing at the property lines to separate properties.

* Hydro Delays: Delays at BC Hydro were extremely long throughout the pandemic and there are no other options for power. We were able to work closely with BC Hydro and have the power delivered just before the substantial completion date.

* Roadway easements: The developer of the parent parcel was to deliver the site fully serviced with the access road completed before the closing of the property. Given the COVID-related delays at the City and BC Hydro, we advised our client to close on the property early with a holdback for the outstanding road works. The road was eventually delivered and substantially completed alongside the base building. Had we not advised the client, it would have resulted in over 10 months of delay.

Communicate any engineering complexities or unique features of the panel design for this project.

* Office pod: The office pod was decreased in height to be separate from the warehouse rather than the traditional model where they share a roofline. By doing this we were able to provide 7' of perimeter surface area in the external envelope and glazing to provide cost savings to the client while maintaining the same 9' t ceiling height throughout. * Integral crane: Being in control of the base building and the shop improvement we were able to collaborate to have the two 10-tonne cranes integrated into the base building structural steel system. This achieved significant savings in secondary steel supports and crane rails that would have been required would it had been delivered separately.

What is the potential for this project's impact on the community and/or environment?

This facility employs approx. 25 people and contributes to the local community's economic health.

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Project Location

Abbotsford, BC V2T 6J8


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Project Team (TCA Members)

General Contractor:
Concrete Contractor:
Fyfe Photography

Project Specifics

Project Category:
Building Types:
Manufacturing Plant
Paint (Flat)
Sandwich Panel (Composite)
Number of Floors:
Number of Panels:
56 panels
Tilt-Up Wall Area:
31,757 sq ft (2,950 sq m)
Total Floor Area:
40,976 sq ft (3,807 sq m)
Project Footprint:
38,726 sq ft (3,598 sq m)
Tallest Panel:
33 ft 7 in (10.24 m)
Widest Panel:
25 ft 3 in (7.70 m)
Largest Panel:
764 sq ft (71.0 sq m)
Heaviest Panel:
95,738 lbs (43,426 kg)
Tallest Cantilever:
12 ft 11 in (3.94 m)
Longest Spandrel:
25 ft 3 in (7.70 m)