CIQS — Prairies and Northwest Territories    June 22, 2017

June 2017 Cost Connections

Executive update

Message from the President 

As I take the helm as President of CIQS Prairies & NWT, I want to share a few of my initial observations. 

First, Past President Wendy Hobbs has left our affiliate in a very strong position and I would like to thank her for the years of service and leadership provided. Second, I have every confidence in the abilities and dedication of the 2017/2018 Board. These talented members represent a breadth of knowledge, experience and perspectives of quantity surveying, and have offered their time to serving members and the profession across the prairies and into the Northwest Territories. Our goals have become attainable because of the Board and Wendy’s accomplishments as President.

My third observation is that the core strength of CIQS is our membership. Our members are passionate about cost consulting and dedicated to our profession. I know they understand the importance of volunteering and giving back to our communities. I also know CIQS members are very well respected throughout Canada in the construction industry – including by private developers, municipal and provincial authorities and private lenders. CIQS members have proven themselves a strong-willed, tenacious bunch who have thought through the question of what a QS adds to the industry, and how best to do that.

From my perspective, quantity surveying provides an independent third party opinion on the capital costs, life cycle and operations costs as well as risk mitigation during construction (monitor and reporting) that provides owners, authorities, lenders and developers with trusted impartial professional advice. We do it well. The reputation of our profession continues to grow and demand for our unique services continues to spread through an enticing array of clients.

During my term as President, I want to focus on the following priorities:

  • promoting quantity surveying to all sectors, private and public,
  • ensuring the membership has adequate representation and the opportunity to provide services to all different ownership groups,
  • continuing to raise the profile of the profession in our region, and
  • providing member benefit through advocacy and an increase in membership events where we can gather to view presentations and seminars, and kick around ideas across the region.

And I want to hear from you. Email me anytime, and I commit to getting back to you as quickly as my schedule allows.

This 2017-18 term is going to be a good one for CIQS Prairies & NWT. I hope as many of you as possible plan to attend PAQS in Vancouver, July 24-26, to fly the flag.


Michael Gabert, PQS

Mike Gabert, PQS

Note: Check out Mike’s bio on the CIQS website.

Message from the Past President

As I start to enjoy the role of Past President, CIQS Prairies and NWT, I want to leave a simple message with you – THANKS!

Thanks to all our members who recognize the importance of CIQS and its member benefits. Thanks to those of you who supported the events we organized. Your active participation makes us stronger. And thanks especially to the 2016/17 Board for their dedication, innovation and support.

I first got involved at the Board level because I wanted to improve several administrative processes. As an example, my experience earning my PQS had its frustrations. Questions were often ignored or answered so slowly they weren’t useful to me. Developing my diary taught me how to circumvent the process to find the help and advice I needed. You get the idea.

I am delighted to say process efficiency took a giant leap forward when the administrative functions were moved under the national umbrella. National simply has the resources on hand to answer calls immediately and find the answers members need to progress their careers. I know other members also appreciate the responsiveness we are now able to offer. National is also responsible for the much-speedier evaluation of new members, again a huge benefit to the individuals involved and to our profession overall. I am confident we will all benefit from these improved processes.

I want to offer just a brief word about each member of the 2016/17 Board.

Mike Gabert, Vice President. What can I say about our new President? Our affiliate is in very, very good hands. I have huge faith in Mike’s abilities to move our affiliate forward in the most professional and inclusive manner possible. However I can support you, Mike, just say the word.

Michael Bernier, Past President. Thanks for teaching me the ins and outs of the President’s position and for your wise counsel on so many occasions.

Ryan Devereaux, Treasurer. Ryan sorted out some tangles, got everything ship-shape and went over and above what he expected the job to entail. Good job!

Stuart Boyce, Secretary. The entire Board, and especially I, was delighted when Stuart stepped up to the role of Secretary. As the first Board member in this role for a long time, he has established a precedent that will serve our affiliate very well.

Sudhir Jha, Education Director. Sudhir, our sparkling North Star, worked hard on our education portfolio, to good effect. As well, his perspective from Yellowknife gives depth to our affiliate, reminding us that our affiliate stretches far beyond the Alberta borders.

I also want to offer Sudhir sincere congratulations on his honour of being named the Young Alumnus of the Year – 2017 from Concordia University where he studied civil engineering.

Roger Ward, Newsletter Director. Roger offers the position his years of experience and his unique perspective. His vast network of contacts has also provided newsletter gold on many occasions.

Jerry Crawford, Events. Jerry pretty much singlehandedly revived the Calgary Chapter and is working with Edmonton and Winnipeg to revive their Chapters. Look forward to more great events this term under his tutelage. Between Jerry and Sudhir’s efforts, we can truly celebrate the regional diversity of our affiliate as we bring members together even though they are hundreds of kilometres away.

Kelly Bhela, Director at Large. Amidst the years – OK, decades – of experience around our Boardroom table, Kelly brought a spark of youth, with new ideas and easy comfort with social media. Kelly’s other commitments meant he had to step away from the Board, but his contribution is appreciated.

Best regards,

Wendy Hobbs, PQS
Past President

Wendy Hobbs, PQS

Your 2017/18 Board

Congratulations to your CIQS Prairies and Northwest Territories Board of Directors. Board positions were determined at the first Board meeting held after the May 12 AGM.

President & CIQS Representative Michael Gabert
Vice President Stuart Boyce
Past President Wendy Hobbs
Treasurer Ryan Devereux
Secretary Carl Pedersen
Education Director Sudhir Jha
Newsletter Director Roger Ward
Calgary Chapter Representative/Marketing Jerry Crawford
Winnipeg Chapter Representative Carl Pedersen
Edmonton Chapter Representative Vacant

If you have a question for any member of the Board, or want to throw around a few ideas, send us an email!

AGM Collage

Those attending the May 12 Annual General Meeting enjoyed the get-together.

Board profile: Carl Pedersen

Carl Pedersen, the newest member of the CIQS Prairies & NWT Board and the sole Board representative of our affiliate’s eastern-most province, is a proud Manitoban and a great advocate of his profession and of his fellow Winnipeg cost consultants.

Carl has been an estimator with Stuart Olson’s Winnipeg office for the past three years. Before that, while attending Red River College’s Construction Management course, he worked with Parkwest Projects Ltd., splitting roles between estimator and assistant project manager.

Construction, generally, had always made sense to Carl. “My dad is a carpenter. I worked for him summers and weekends as soon as I could confidently pick up a hammer. It made sense to carry on the proud Pedersen tradition.”

Carl started the Construction Management course in 2010 and graduated in 2014. One of his first-year instructors, Adam Ding, was instrumental in introducing Carl to the potential of estimating and cost consulting as a career option. “He introduced my class to the concepts of cost consulting and to the existence of CIQS. He got me thinking about cost consulting.”

Carl kept his options open as he worked through the four-year course, joining CIQS as a student member. Through his work experience, his interest grew in the pre-construction aspects of a project.

“I enjoy the early stages of a project, the ability to help shape the project and how it’s approached. I like having some influence while it gets underway. I enjoy the challenge of ensuring our team can work successfully within a schedule and a budget. That’s so easy to say, but it’s rarely a small task.”

While the early stages of a project hooked Carl’s attention, he also gets satisfaction in seeing the project through to the end. “After a project gets going, you remain part of the project team on an intermittent basis and do a cost review every month. It’s great to see how a project comes together sometimes after years.”

At the same time he was settling into his new career, Carl also worked through the process of earning his PQS designation. He became a PQS in January 2017.

With his career on track and his PQS complete, Carl found the time he needed to get his group of professional colleagues more involved in the profession. “Our group in Winnipeg gets together now and then to kick things around. It’s a really good group and we always seem to get to good outcomes — just not often enough and not always with a clear purpose.”

Carl decided that filling the role as a Manitoba rep on the CIQS Prairies & NWT Board would help focus his group of colleagues at the same time as giving himself a new challenge. “Serving on a board is a “first” for me. I’ll have to learn what to expect, but I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”

Carl is also looking forward to supporting CIQS in general. “Since the days I attended Red River, I’ve seen a significant increase in the amount of visibility CIQS has in schools and through the industry, particularly to potential or newer members. They’re certainly getting their name better known.”

He sees more benefits to the increased marketing efforts than simply gaining new members. “CIQS is likely to gain new members from their marketing efforts but, as important, many other cost consultants will go into various segments of the industry. When they know about CIQS and how it supports our profession, that knowledge will be used in future.”

As qualified cost consultants continue fanning out through the Canadian construction industry, the profession will cement its place as a valued part of industry. “Qualified quantity surveyors work with a wide variety of companies, illustrating the value of our profession. The entire profession is getting better known. The young professionals are becoming the influencers, and that bodes very well for our profession across Canada.”

Carl Pedersen photo

Concordia University honours Sudhir Jha

Sudhir Jha, CIQS Prairies and NWT Education Director and Manager, Community Infrastructure Planning with Municipal and Community Affairs, NWT Government, has been named Concordia University Young Alumnus of the Year – 2017. He successfully completed his Masters of Engineering degree at Concordia.

The Young Alumnus of the Year award is awarded to a graduate who has demonstrated professional excellence and community leadership.

Those who know Sudhir can readily understand why he was awarded the Concordia honour. As a civil engineer, he has led or been involved with numerous public infrastructure projects for communities in both the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

“It is very important to me to understand the unique community character of each project, why it is important to the community and what barriers exist,” explains Sudhir. 

Examples of recent projects include the Ko Gocho Centre Sportsplex where Sudhir provided the required technical advice and much more. He was given a certificate of appreciation at the centre’s grand opening from the Behchoko band and community for his detailed, committed involvement.

Another example is his extensive work on a solar farm in the LutselK’e community, the North’s first independent power producer. He knew the small community had a limited budget for the project so he focused his search for projects with less capital investment and operating cost requirements. The solar farm was commissioned in May 2016.

Also in LutselK’e, Sudhir led the commissioning of a new water treatment plant in the LutselK’e – Band Community and educated councillors and residents about the importance of safe drinking water and Health Canada guidelines.

Of equal importance to his professional contributions is Sudhir’s community service. The Concordia team looks closely at each nominee’s commitment to Canada and its individual communities.

Over many years of volunteering for an extensive array of organizations, Sudhir has earned significant respect from community leaders and residents for his unwavering commitment to causes that help maintain the Northern lifestyle and, at the same time, allow Northern residents to keep in touch with the rest of the world.

“Volunteering helps me grow as a person. It teaches me to look at the perspectives of my neighbours and bands, and allows me to better understand what they value about their community and country, and why these attributes are important to them,” offers Sudhir.

Of particular note are the organizations focused on helping Northern youth develop their life and career skills so they can have confidence they have the tools needed to develop and maintain a good quality of life throughout their lifetimes.

To support youth, Sudhir volunteers for organizations including the Computers for Schools program and Skills Canada. He has invested hundreds of hours to these two organizations alone.

For Computers for Schools, he has facilitated the donation of hundreds of refurbished laptops and computers to various youth and community residents to give them direct access to 21st century technology. In turn, their computer skills will help them communicate more effectively with family and friends, and explore the larger world as well.

For Skills Canada, Sudhir has helped organize – and has worked – many conferences and tradeshows, talking with hundreds of youth about skilled careers in engineering or the trades and discussing how professional-level careers will help them achieve a good quality of life.

Sudhir also volunteers his time and talents in support of community residents and new immigrants, supporting causes as varied as day care, canoeing and Red Cross fundraising.

He also belongs to, and volunteers with, several professional organizations where he directly supports the engineering profession. In addition to CIQS, Sudhir currently serves as President of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists (NAPEG). He also serves, or has served, on the boards of the Northern Territories Water and Waste Association (NTWWA), the Alberta Professional Engineers and Geoscientists (APEGA) and Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO). He also volunteered in several roles while living in India.

Sudhir also created the new 28th Concordia University Alumni Chapter. The new Chapter held its first meeting in Yellowknife in December 2015.

He received a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for “outstanding contributions to Canada.”

Sudhir receives his award at the Concordia awards presentation ceremony

Sudhir receives his award at the Concordia awards presentation ceremony.


Derek Sanft: happily retired

Editor’s note: Following is an excerpt from a note Derek Sanft wrote to CIQS Executive Director Sheila Lennon. Printed with permission.

Hello Sheila Lennon and CIQS / QSBC.

It is not without some regret and nostalgia that I relinquish my Professional Membership of CIQS. I will not be renewing my CIQS membership for 2017.

It is time close up shop and retire — all now in place — and move into a different phase of life after 53 years in the QS and Cost Consultant chair and more than 40 years of CIQS Membership.

I qualified as a QS in New Zealand in the late 1960s, worked there and in Aussie & UK before immigrating to Canada in 1970. I worked and lived in four provinces: New Brunswick, Ontario, Alberta and BC. I joined and became active in CIQS in Toronto in the early 1970s. I moved to Calgary and was a founding member and the second President of AQSA in the late ‘70s. In the mid-80s I moved to BC and was an active Board member of QSBC for 10 years.

More than 50 years working our trade was hard work but satisfying — a lot of tenders, projects, consulting and counselling, a lot of CIQS involvement, admin, education and mentoring with a lot of terrific people.

I know the ground work that was established by the "old school" lives on because the organization is still here, moving ahead and growing here with PAQS and RICS affiliations. It is expanding exponentially to keep this vocation healthy and maintaining that valuable resource to the construction and development industry.

Thank you CIQS for your decades of work to keep us current and connected.

I wish CIQS, members, colleagues and friends all the best for the future. It's been a great ride. Yeah — no CPD points in retirement.

Graeme Alston and Derek Sanft . . . way back when

Graeme Alston and Derek Sanft
. . . way back when

Keep your listings current

When was the last time you looked at the listing of consultants on the CIQS Prairies and NWT website? This listing is a valuable member benefit, helping to build profile for consultants large and small.

The current listing is a good representation of larger firms — but listings for the smaller firms are sadly lacking or out of date.

Particularly if you represent a smaller QS consulting firm, take a minute today to add your firm’s 411 to the list. It only makes good marketing sense.

Photo gallery

Enjoy these photos from recent CIQS Prairies and NWT events.

Klaas speaking at the SAIT event Roger arranged. Winnipeg membership, evening of March 14

SAIT - 1st Year Student Awareness of CIQS Future Career Possibility - Held on March 21st

Jerry Crawford, Klaas Rodenburg and SAIT students

Top left: Jerry Crawford speaks at the March 9 3rd Construction & Project Management Seminar sponsored by CIQS/RICS.

Top right: Klaas Rodenburg, Mammoet Canada Western Ltd., speaks to Winnipeg CIQS members on March 14.

Bottom: Jerry Crawford chats with students about CIQS and future career possibilities March 21 during SAIT’s 1st Year Student Awareness event.


PAQS 2017: July 24-26, Vancouver

Congratulations! You’ve registered for PAQS 2017 in Vancouver. What?! You haven’t done that yet? Register now!

Please remember to book your hotel accommodation at the Westin Bayshore ASAP. Monday, June 19, was the deadline for hotel bookings at the PAQS 2017 rate. There is still urgency to book your hotel even if you miss the Congress rate deadline as July is a heavy tourist month in Vancouver and hotel space will be at a premium. Email the Bayshore or call (604) 682-3377.

Education & CPD

CIQS October exam session

Registration for the October 2017 exam session is now open. You can register for exams in the Member's Only Section or by calling Aliya Karim, CIQS Administrative Coordinator, at (905) 477-0008. Please click here to view the exam registration form.

Cost to members for each exam is $150 + tax.

The last day to register for the October 2017 exam Session is August 1, 2017 — no exceptions.

CIQS exam sessions are now scheduled for February and October each year.

Alberta Sustainable Building Symposium 2017

Alberta’s premier green building event celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, in Edmonton on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

The program for the Alberta Sustainable Building Symposium (ASBS) 2017 is posted and plans are in place for another memorable symposium.

This year’s green building event is organized into four categories:

  • Stories of the Green Building Movement,
  • The Way We Build,
  • Climate Change, and
  • Next 20.

As you review program options — and make your selections for the individual sessions, another change this year! — pay attention to the colour coding as key to the categories.

Keynote Kevin Hydes, an internationally recognized leader in sustainable design and for his contributions to the building industry, will wrap up the day. A pioneer of sustainable building systems’ design, Kevin’s commitment to advancing its cause began over 20 years ago. He has helped shaped healthy building codes and standards at the policy level, internationally, serving as a Technical Advisor for many organizations. He currently serves on the Board of the Northern California Chapter of the USGBC. Kevin is the former Chair of the USGBC and World Green Building Council, past Chair of the Cascadia Chapter and a Co-Founder of the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).

ASBS is eligible for self-reported continuing education credits.

ASBS logo

Industry Update

Increase building net operating income with solar!

Submitted by Ryan Dick, Director of Market Development, Terrapin Geothermics

If you are a property owner looking for a value-added opportunity for your property, then it’s a great time to consider a light industrial or commercial solar installation. A solar installation will reduce utility electricity consumption which leads to reduced building operating cost and reduced exposure to the volatility of energy prices. Light industrial and commercial buildings with high energy performance outpace their neighbors on operating expenses, rent premiums, increased marketability, occupancy and asset value.

As of last year, solar ranked as the number one source of new electric generating capacity in the United States at 39%. Bloomberg News reported that 190 Fortune 500 companies collectively managed to save as much as $3.7 trillion in 2016 through emission and energy reducing projects like rooftop solar. These days, going green doesn’t just mean having a greener corporate image, it means saving green. With solar panel prices having dropped 80% since 2008 and the Alberta government offering a limited time 25% rebate on the cost of a solar installation, the time is now to outfit your building with solar.

Terrapin Renewables helps building owners go solar with a complete turn-key solar project that will increase the value of your building, increase the net operating income and improve your sustainability with little to no attention required from building owners. Terrapin Renewables will design your solar system, procure the highest quality equipment, project manage the construction of the project, handle the rebate and grid interconnection regulatory process, monitor the systems functionality 24/7, allow you to see hourly energy production and take care of the operations and maintenance to ensure maximum energy production and profits over the life of the system. In addition, Terrapin Renewables can assist building owners finance the projects with lenders in a manner that could equate to net savings from day one. 

To learn more about solar, call us at 587.590.4564.

Terrapin photo

In the News

In the News

Oil majors embracing push to green energy: Wood Mackenzie (Financial Post, June 12) — CALGARY — Major oil and gas producers will put more of their capital into wind and solar developments as returns from renewables are poised to exceed some hydrocarbon projects, according to a report from Wood Mackenzie.

Opinion: Polytechnics train workers for next-generation infrastructure (Edmonton Journal, May 31) — Canada’s economy is inextricably linked to our infrastructure – and it’s always been so.

Our nation and its economy would have developed very differently were it not for the construction of a transcontinental railway just 14 years after Confederation in 1867.

Reaching net zero will take a top-to-bottom makeover of how buildings are constructed and operated (Alberta Construction magazine, Spring 2017) — Want a glimpse into the future of sustainable construction in Canada? Take a trip to Hamilton, Ont. That’s where you’ll find Mohawk College’s Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation, a rare example of a net-zero energy institutional building that is currently under construction for a 2018 opening. Boasting a 500-kilowatt solar array, 24 geothermal wells and numerous efficiency features, the project will serve as a living laboratory for students to learn about sustainability, with live data from the building systems easily accessible to support hands-on education.



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Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors - Prairies & NWT

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