Category Archives: News & Events

Update February 2016

Events
The next dinner meeting will be on April 27, 2016 at the Delta Edmonton South Hotel & Conference Centre, 4404 Gateway Boulevard NW, Edmonton. Watch for complete registration details which will be forwarded to members shortly and also available in the events section of the MARS web site.

The MARS Golf Tournament will be held on June 23, 2016 at the Red Deer, River Bend Golf & Recreational Area. Again details will be forwarded and available on the MARS web site.

Honourary Members Committee
The MARS Board of Directors, in follow-up to the discussions at the Annual General meeting, has established a committee which will be responsible for sourcing and vetting candidates to receive honourary memberships in MARS. The Board would also like to announce that Paul Kirkland, Auburn Group, has been appointed the chair of the committee. Honourary member nominations forms are now available through the MARS office and will be also be available shortly as a download from the MARS web site.

Technical Committee Update
The committee’s focus for 2016 was noted in the October Newsletter. MARS is entering into contractual arrangements with the Standards Council of Canada regarding the development of a national standard for relocatable structures. The standard will incorporate an updated Part 10 and every effort is being made to have it substantially completed by year end.

Members Web Site Update
Have you checked out your corporate information on the MARS web site recently? Make sure the company contacts and related information are current and that you are listed in the Products and Services Directory under the appropriate categories. Contact the MARS office with any update requirements.

Web Site Advertising
Advertising page banners (see the spaces at www.marsassociation.ca) are available on the MARS web site. Contact Roger Soucy at the MARS office for details.

In Memorial

“Ronald D. Southern, who passed away recently, was a founder and icon of our industry. MARS and its entire membership offers its sympathies to the extended Southern family. An outline of Ron’s life and accomplishments is available at this posting: www.mhfh.com/southern-ronald-donald/

Ron we will all miss you.”

Update December 2015

New Members

The following are the latest new members of MARS:

Regular Members
Double Diamond Industrial Structures LP. – www.ddis.ca
Northern Frontier Corp. – www.nfcorp.ca

Associate Members
Storm Telematics Inc. – www.stormgps.com
True North Oilfield Ltd. – www.truenorthoilfield.com

Please take the time to review their web sites and familiarize yourselves with their capabilities. MARS is pleased to have you join our organization and hope that you take an active participation.

Economic Survey
The regular members will be aware that they had been contacted regarding MARS undertaking, with a third party contractor, a survey of the members. With further review and the current market conditions the Board of Directors felt it was prudent to delay this project and its costs to some future time.

AltaCorp AGM Dinner Presentation
To those who missed the presentation or who are looking for a copy of this exceptional paper, Dana Benner’s presentation is now available at the MARS web site www.marsassociation.ca under the ‘Members Area’ button – see ACC Presentation.

Honourary Members Committee
The MARS Board of Directors, in follow-up to the discussions at the Annual General meeting has established a committee which will be responsible for sourcing and vetting candidates to receive honourary memberships in MARS. The objectives and other pertinent information about the committee can be obtained under ‘Committee Protocols’ at the MARS web site under the ‘Members Area’ button. An announcement of the appointment of a committee chair and members will be made in the new-year.

Technical Committee Update
The committee’s focus for 2016 was noted in the October Newsletter. The committee is continuing with the Part 10 review. In addition contact has been made with the Standards Council of Canada regarding the possible development of a national standard for relocatable structures. Information and results of this contact will be available early in the New Year.

Members Web Site Update
Have you checked out your corporate information on the MARS web site recently? Make sure the company contacts and related information are current and that you are listed in the Products and Services Directory under the appropriate categories. Contact the MARS office with any update requirements.

In addition it is noted that some companies still have the old MARS logo on their web sites. The new logo, in various formats, is available in the ‘Members’ area of the MARS website www.marsassociation.ca

Web Site Advertising
Advertising page banners (see the spaces at www.marsassociation.ca) are available on the MARS web site. Contact Roger Soucy for details.

Update October 2015

Events

The Annual General Meeting was held October 20, 2015 at the Delta Edmonton South Hotel in Edmonton, AB. The AGM itself saw a presentation from MARS to the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation for a total of $5,750.00 as a result of the golf tournament earlier in the year. The membership then reelected the following individuals to a two year term: Cameron Bowie, Alta-Fab; Craig Mitchell, Britco; Aaron Joyes, Northern Frontier Corp.; Dustin Olson, Skyline Group. Directors with one remaining in their term are: Ron Hegdahl, BCT Structures; Wes Patterson, Brokel Stainless; Bud Rich, TA Structures and Larry Roeske will be reappointed as the Technical Committee Chairman. The association’s Executive Director reviewed the 2014 financial statements which were then approved by the meeting. Finally the chairman of the technical committee provided an update of the committee’s activities in the past year as well as plans for the coming year.

The day’s activities also included a trade show, sponsored by eighteen exhibitors from the ranks of the Associate Members and held immediately following the AGM. A selection of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and an open bar greeted the attendees and led to an afternoon of excellent networking. The day ended with a dinner headlined by guest speaker Dana Benner of AltaCorp Capital who provided a very well received presentation, now available on the MARS web site.

mars_oct15_update

Mars Chairman, Cameron Bowie presents donation to Joanna Begg Pattison of the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation.

AltaCorp AGM Dinner Presentation

Dana Benner’s presentation is now available at the MARS web site www.marsassociation.ca under the ‘Members’ button.

New Board Appointment

The 2015/16 Board has appointed Craig Mitchell, Britco LP as the Chair of the board replacing Cameron Bowie who will continue as a Director.

Technical Committee Update

The committee’s plans for 2016 will be focused on three elements with the first two having the higher priorities. The first is the update to the PART 10 code. The committee has begun a line by line review of part 10 and will be requiring the help of a technical writer to complete the project. Anyone who knows of a technical writer with building code experience who is prepared to take on this contact may pass the information on to Roger Soucy at MARS.

As a result of the association’s meetings with governments it has become clear that PART 10 will not likely be accepted outside of Alberta. For a province to introduce an addition to their building codes would likely require two years of effort navigating the various departments affected. It has been determined that a much easier approach would be to develop a ‘Reference’ standard with an organization such as CSA. Many such references are already being used by the provinces and therefore the second element will be to develop such a standard. MARS is working with Alberta Municipal Affairs on this matter. The PART 10 review would ultimately feed into the development of a reference standard.

The third element is the development of a Best Practices Guide for PART 10/reference standard. The committee’s investigation into this has resulted in the identification of a possible experienced entity that could be contracted to develop the guide. However, the cost is prohibitive for MARS to take on alone. The committee is therefore working with the contractor to determine if other funding sources are available. The development of the guide will therefore likely take more than a year to complete assuming that additional funding can be identified.

Members Web Site Update

Have you checked out your corporate information on the MARS web site recently? Make sure the company contacts and related information are current. Contact the MARS office with any update requirements.
In addition it is noted that some companies still have the old MARS logo on their web sites. The new logo, in various formats, is available in the ‘Members’ area of the MARS website www.marsassociation.ca.

Web Site Advertising

Advertising page banners (see the space at www.marsassociation.ca) are available on the MARS web site. Contact Roger Soucy for details.

True North Oilfield Ltd.

Box 985
Lamont, Alberta T0B 2R0

Contacts
Michael Crossman
Office 855.996.58585
Other Phone 780.801.0845
mike@truenorthoilfield.com

Angie Burwash
Office 855.996.58585
Other Phone 780.801.0845
ap@truenorthoilfield.com

www.truenorthoilfield.com


Black Diamond Group Limited

Suite 2000, 715- 5th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta T2P 2X6

Contacts:
Mike Wozimirsky, Northern AB Manager
Email: mwozimirsky@boxxmodular.com

Mark Schofield, Southern AB Manager
Email: mschofield@blackdiamondgroup.com

www.blackdiamondlimited.com


Update August 2015

Events

The Annual General Meeting is scheduled for October 20, 2015 at the Delta Edmonton South Hotel in Edmonton, AB. The event will again include a trade show, introduced for the first time last year. Regular members (manufacturers and operators) are invited to have representatives from their logistics department attend the trade show and reception to support the exhibitors and get the latest information from the supplier community. Full details and registration information are available on the MARS web site. Mark your calendars for this important event!
Click here for complete registration details

Government Meetings

The Board of Directors and the Executive Director continue to follow up with initiatives noted in the previous newsletter. Contact was again made with representatives of Alberta Municipal Affairs who have agreed to contact their counter parts in B.C. and Saskatchewan to expand on the MARS meetings and discussions. We are all working towards and hope to reach an acceptable approach on relocatable structure standards with the western provinces.

Technical Committee Update

A detailed outline of the committee’s activities was provided in the last newsletter. The following is an update of the committee’s activities over the summer:

  • Guide for Best Practices working session – The committee is working with a third party contractor to develop a best practices guide. It has provided the contractor with feedback on their draft table of contents which is to lead to a budget/quote for the project.
  • Resource Expertise – The Technical Committee is developing a list of resource expertise that can be leveraged for input and overview of various information or challenges being brought forward as the guide material is being assembled. This could also relate to Part 10 review changes as well.

Members Web Site Update

Have you checked out your corporate information on the MARS web site recently? Make sure the company contacts and related information are current. Contact the MARS office with any update requirements.

In addition it is noted that some companies still have the old MARS logo on their web sites. The new logo, in various formats, is available in the ‘Members’ area of the MARS website www.marsassociation.ca

Web Site Advertising

Advertising page banners (see the space at www.marsassociation.ca) are available on the MARS web site. Contact Roger Soucy for details.

Update June 2015

New Member

The following is the latest new member of MARS:
Worksite Construction – Edmonton, AB – www.worksiteconstruction.com
Please take the time to review their web site and familiarize yourselves with their capabilities. MARS is pleased to have you join our fold and hope that you take an active participation in the organization.

Web Site

Have you checked out the MARS web site? It is hoped that you will find it useful and if you haven’t taken the opportunity to look through it try it soon. We look forward to any feedback you might have. The password and user name for the ‘Members Area’ will be sent to each member upon payment of the 2015 membership fees.

Events

The Annual General Meeting is scheduled for October 20, 2015 at the Delta Edmonton South Hotel in Edmonton, AB. The event will again include a trade show, introduced for the first time last year. Plans are currently being developed to include an economic update/forecast session and a special dinner speaker. Full details and registration information will be available on the web site in August. Mark your calendars for this important event!

The MARS Golf Tournament was held on June 25, 2015 at the Red Deer, River Bend Golf & Recreational Area. Given the economic circumstances the 56 registrants provided a good turnout. By comparison 85 people attended last year. Congratulations to the winning team, shown below, being presented with the winners cheques by Roger Soucy. Additional pictures of the event are included at the end of this publication.


From Torch Industries Stephen Sinclair, Scott Patterson, Andrew Archer, and Glen Baron.

Government Meetings

A MARS delegation consisting of MARS chairman, Cameron Bowie, MARS directors Craig Mitchell and Bud Rich and Executive Director Roger Soucy met with British Columbia Office of Housing and Construction Standards Assistant Deputy Minister Jeff Vasey and Executive Director Trudy Rotgans. Discussion items included confusion created by various agency interpretations of regulations, Alberta’s Part 10 and its possible inclusion into B.C. relocatable construction standards and possible alternatives, in the short term, for agreed upon ‘referenced’ standards.

The meeting was very positive with commitments by the B.C. representative that they will contact their opposite numbers in Alberta to discuss potential go forward options.

MARS Surveys

It was noted in the last newsletter that MARS would be conducting two surveys of the membership. The first involved the MBI Education Fund and a request for the members to provide ideas on potential research initiatives to be funded in Canada. MARS conducted the survey in April/May and some twenty ideas were proposed and forwarded to the Canadian representatives on the MBI committee. Thank you to those who participated. The suggestions were wide ranging and very useful.

With regards to the Canadian market economic survey it was decided that rather than develop its own report MARS would work with its members to increase the robustness of the Canadian market information currently included the MBI report. The survey will be conducted sometime in the late summer or early fall.

Technical Committee Update

MARS – Part 10 Update and Part 10 Guide for Best Practices

Overview – As per membership mandate, the MARS Technical committee has been directed to pursue manners in which to execute a Part 10 of the Alberta Building Code review. This process to date has involved a MARS Technical Committee partnered with an outside consultant to carry out a membership survey. Results provided the Technical Committee with more specifics as to key areas of concern and supported a two prong approach to Part 10 review. The first approach is to review the present Part 10 code for changes necessary to re-establish it as a credible code document for relocatable building compliance reference. The second was to begin building a Guide for Relocatable Industry Best Practices.

FIRST – Alberta Building Code – Part 10 Update – Scope of Work
Vision – Part 10 is an exclusive to Alberta Code application that since its inception (1976) has provided compliance variances from the Alberta Building Code for relocatable industrial Housing and related accommodations. In its present form it has not kept pace with current construction technology, current building materials and life safety awareness considerations. Other provinces as well as the United States have seen value in its purpose but found issues with parts being current and shied away from referencing. The outcome of this scope is to elevate Part 10 to represent current building compliance and life safety expectations that are fitting for relocatable industrial housing and related accommodations for and by way of this establish credibility on a national and international level.

SECOND – Part 10 – Guide for Relocatable Structures Best Practices
Vision – Relocatable housing and related accommodations buildings are often located in remote areas. These are often absent of the traditional support and life safety services defined by conventional compliance requirements. Manufacturers and constructors of site built Part 10 structures have developed approaches to situations that conventional codes are challenged to address. Collaboration with local authorities has over the years also developed practices that meet the intent of conventional compliance. This has led to interpretation inconsistencies and gray areas. New entrants into the industry have no visibility of the various “understandings” – – Best Practices. The outcome of this scope is to establish a continuous improvement document in a “Guide for Relocatable Industrial Structures and Related Accommodations” that captures the Part 10 manufacturing, the site constructor, and municipal and local authorities present and future “Relocatable Structures” best practices.

The initiation of a two prong approach to Part 10 review provides both short term actions (Guide for Relocatable Structures Best Practices) and a long term approach (Part 10 Code Update). A Guide can serve as a first step to a Part 10 Code change in next code cycle changes.
There are opportunities within these initiatives to be more inclusive of processes beyond the manufacturing aspect.
These relate to design and site completion of structures which at this point, is the source of various interpretations and therefore “grey” areas and resulting unnecessary disconnects between owner, manufacturer, professionals and local authorities.
As MARS is a non-profit association, secondary funding for the expertise required to carry out these initiatives will be paramount and is currently being investigated

Web Site Advertising

Advertising page banners (see the space at www.marsassociation.ca) are available on the MARS web site. Contact Roger Soucy for details.

Golf Action and Frolic:

 

Update April 2015

New Member

The following is the latest new member of MARS:

Versatile Concepts Industries Ltd. – Vonda, Saskatchewan
www.versatileconcepts.ca/

Please take the time to review their web site and familiarize yourselves with their capabilities.
MARS is pleased to have you join our fold and hope that you take an active participation in the organization.

New Web Site

Have you checked out the new MARS web site? It is hoped that you will find it useful and if you haven’t taken the opportunity to look through it try it soon. We look forward to any feedback you might have. The password and user name for the ‘Members Area’ will be sent to each member upon payment of the 2015 membership fees.

Events

The MARS Golf Tournament will be held on June 25, 2015 at the Red Deer, River Bend Golf & Recreational Area and will include the closing banquet at the golf course. Again watch for details on the MARS web site. Those wishing to help on the committee are invited to submit their names to Roger Soucy at the MARS office.

The dinner meeting held on April 9, 2015 at the Edmonton Delta South was well attended with 50 people registering. The meeting started with a 5:00 pm session updating the membership on the Part 10 code review followed by a status update of the MARS three year strategic plan. A report on Part 10 is listed below under the Technical Committee update and the Strategic Plan report is on the web site in the ‘Members Area’. Those present were then advised of and invited to participate in two surveys the organization will be conducting in the next few of months.
One involves obtaining the insights of the members regarding what kind of economic and statistical information they would like collected and disseminated. The second will ask the members to provide research ideas for the industry that could help target the MBI funding directed to the University of Alberta for that purpose. Note the additional information about these two subjects below under MARS-MBI joint Board meeting.

Following the 5:00 pm session dinner was held which included a report, from the Petroleum Human Resources Council, on the findings of their recent MARS survey on open and closed camps. The complete survey results will be available at the MARS web site in the coming days.

Membership Drive

Given the current economic circumstances the industry faces the anticipated membership drive did not ‘accelerate’ as hoped for. We’ll try again when circumstance are more favorable. However, don’t hesitate to encourage potential member companies to join the organization. We will be stronger for it!

Modular and Offsite Construction Summit (2015 MOC)

The MARS Board of Directors has decided to make a commitment to support the MOC which is undertaken by the University of Alberta Engineering Department and Dr. Mohamed Al-Hussein. MARS will have a booth in the trade show. This is the third edition of the summit with delegate interest being shown from around the world including Europe, Korea, and China to mention a few. All details are available at the MOC web site (www.mocsummit.com). The Summit dates are May 19-21, 2015.

MARS – MBI Joint Board Meeting

The majority of the MARS Directors attended a joint board meeting with the MBI Board on March 13th 2015 at the World of Modular conference. The agenda included discussions on North American economic and market information, educational initiatives and promotion of the modular industry.

On the first subject it was decided that rather than develop its own report MARS would work with its members to increase the robustness of the Canadian market information currently included the MBI report. In the matter of educational initiatives MARS committed to solicit its membership for research ideas which could then be forwarded to the MBI Education Foundation. MBI has been providing funding to the University of Alberta for the last several years and are interested in new ideas for this funding. On the final agenda item, promotion of the industry, MBI indicated that it is in the midst of developing a program titled ‘5 in 5’ and targeted to increase modular construction in North America to 5 percent of total construction in 5 years. As the program details are finalized MARS will be invited to participate.

Technical Committee Update

MARS membership survey results were presented by Wayne Rose of riddell kurczaba (MARS consultant) at the April dinner meeting. The complete survey results can be viewed on MARS website. Briefly, as most know, we have worked on this survey to help us better understand the best approach for our industry to take in regards to a Part 10 overhaul. In addition to the survey content the survey also contained input from Municipal Affairs as a result of a joint Municipal Affairs and Technical Committee meeting workshop. The main take away of the survey results, were support for a guide for best practices for the industry as well as a basic Part 10 code review for the upcoming code cycle.

A committee session was held prior to the dinner meeting to explore the various guides to best practice pathways. Preliminary consensus was one of tackling grey areas caused by default compliance going back to other parts of the Alberta Building Code that were inappropriate fits to a relocatable structure.

Also at the dinner presentation Ron Hegdahl from technical committee presented an overview of committee achievements in exempting Part 10 from some key areas of the new Energy Code (9.36). As part of this exchange, the exemption from use of high energy efficient furnace was tabled as well. We are waiting for a formal confirmation from Alberta Municipal Affairs on these items. Notice of the confirmation will be circulated to the membership and posted on the web site.

Web Site Advertising

Advertising page banners (see the space at www.marsassociation.ca) are available on the MARS web site. Contact Roger Soucy for details.

Update February 2015

New Web Site

Welcome to the new MARS web site! Its development has been several months in process with input from a number of quarters including a beta version opened to the membership in the first two weeks of February. It is designed to be adaptable to changing circumstances so its functionality should provide for long service. It is hoped that you will find it useful and if you haven’t taken the opportunity to look through it try it soon. The password and user name for the ‘Members Area’ will be sent to each member upon payment of the 2015 membership fees.

Events

The next dinner meeting will be on April 9, 2015 at the Edmonton Delta. Watch for complete registration details coming shortly in the events section of this web site.

The MARS Golf Tournament will be held on June 25, 2015 at the Red Deer, River Bend Golf & Recreational Area. Again watch for details on the MARS web site.

Membership Drive

A membership drive was announced at the AGM in November with a follow-up note to members in December. There is one month left in the drive and I would encourage all the members to “get out there and pitch one for the Association”. To encourage the regular members to appeal to their suppliers to join a sample letter was recently distributed. Should you require another copy don’t hesitate to contact the MARS office.

Modular and Offsite Construction Summit (2015 MOC)

The MARS Board of Directors has decided to make a commitment to support the MOC (www.mocsummit.com) which is undertaken by the University of Alberta Engineering Department and Dr. Mohamed Al-Hussein. This is the third edition of the summit with delegate interest being shown from around the world including Europe, Korea, and China to mention a few. The MARS support will include the promotion of exhibitors. All details are available at the MOC web site. Time is of the essence since the dates for the Summit are May 19-21, 2015. Give this exhibitor opportunity serious consideration.

Modular Building Institute (MBI) – Town Hall

A February 20, 2015 MBI Town Hall meeting in Edmonton saw many MARS member representatives attend including Board of Directors member Dustin Olson and Executive Director Roger Soucy. The primary focus of the meeting was a presentation and Q&A session with Assistant Deputy Ministers for Alberta Infrastructure Brian Fedor and Andrew Sharman along with the Minister’s Chief of Staff Tom Bradly. It was a lively session with the industry participants peppering the three officials with questions about the current state of the government’s status with regards to modular construction projects and their general disposition to this construction method. The meeting was informed that the department has seen a growing interest in modular though they will need to adjust a number of their current standards in order to accommodate modular. An outcome of the discussion is that the industry needs to reach out to more groups that are involved in the government buying process such as local Boards of Education in the case of school construction.

Technical Committee Update

MARS Survey – The final draft of MARS survey questions was provided to our consultant in mid-January. The survey was sent to the members the first week of February with a 2 week timeline for responses. At the 2 week point in time, based on industry business climate and response to that point, it was agreed to extend deadline to end of the month. At that time, the results will be compiled and analyzed for determining MARS direction in various key areas.

The Technical Committee’s most recent work has involved the imminent adopting of the new Energy Code. As a result of committee working session in October of 2014 with Municipal Affairs and keeping our foot in the door, we received the heads up directly from Mr. James Orr of the adoption of the new Energy Code. As of this day February 26th/15, we have scheduled the first Technical working session to begin digesting the 60 pages of A-9.36 and the impact on our industry. Due to less than a one week notice, we initiated a conference call with Municipal Affairs to at the very least minimize “truly relocatable” Part 10 impact as it relates to A-9.36. In an unintended way, the present Part 10 specifically specifies insulation compliance which way of Part 10 variance, minimize impact for Alberta located relocatable structures. This however would apply to any other structures.