In the vast landscape of civil construction, one name stands out as a driving force behind innovation and sustainability - Ankur Talwar. As Area Manager for PCL Construction’s Long Beach Office, Talwar leverages his more than 30 years of experience across North America to partner with clients on the delivery of large and complex civil engineering projects. Currently Talwar is overseeing operations for civil construction projects along the west coast, from Oregon all the way to the border of San Diego, totaling more than $700 million of work for PCL. Talwar’s journey is a remarkable tale of dedication, passion, and a commitment to ensuring a sustainable future for our nation's infrastructure.
Talwar's connection with the world of construction runs deep. His father was a part of the PCL Construction family starting in the 1970s, and it was this early exposure that ignited Talwar’s lifelong fascination with the industry. "I grew up around PCL Construction," he fondly recalls, "It really felt like construction was in my blood."
Talwar is a chemical engineer by trade, earning a degree from the University of Calgary and MBA from Florida Atlantic University. Talwar's professional journey began within PCL Construction's industrial group in Canada, followed by progressive and senior leadership roles with PCL’s transportation infrastructure group in the United States and return to Canada for a period, with an overall focus on collaborative delivery projects including light rail, road and bridge, water/wastewater, aviation, solar and industrial efforts.
Talwar is especially dedicated to ensuring people continue to have access to safe water, especially in the face of a looming water crisis across the world. Talwar emphasizes that many of PCL Construction's civil engineering projects play a pivotal role in safeguarding access to this precious commodity.
"Water is the lifeblood of our communities," Talwar says, "Many of PCL’s projects are focused on preserving access to this vital resource." The emphasis for many construction projects is on water reuse, a sustainable approach that strives to recycle and repurpose water instead of returning it to rivers or the ocean.
One innovative project is the San Luis Obispo Water Resource Recovery Facility. The San Luis Obispo Water Resource Recovery Facility treats municipal wastewater collected from the city, California Polytechnic State University and the San Luis Obispo County Airport. The facility was built in the 1930s and has since undergone many phases of expansion, leading to a web of obstacles below and above ground. Under Talwar’s leadership, PCL Construction is on track to successfully deliver the most extensive improvements ever undertaken at the facility. The upgrade takes the city of San Luis Obispo one step closer to its sustainability goal of fully reusable wastewater. The project incorporates several technological advances to reduce the project’s carbon footprint.
Talwar is not just an industry observer; he's actively involved in shaping its future. He is a proud member of industry organizations, including the Design Build Institute of America, the Water Collaborative Delivery Association, and the WateReuse Association. It's within these associations that he collaborates with like-minded professionals to drive innovation and progress.
Talwar firmly believes in the power of working in collaboration with owners and designers on civil construction projects. Contract models that use the approach include progressive design-build (PDB) and construction manager at risk (CMAR). These delivery models are also referred to as collaborative or alternative delivery, placing an emphasis on innovation and collaboration. "If a client seeks innovation and a contractor who can be a true design partner," Talwar explains, "they should consider progressive design-build delivery or construction manager at risk for their project."
Progressive design-build is a construction delivery model that combines elements of design-build and traditional design-bid-build methods. It emphasizes early collaboration between the owner and a selected design-build team, which includes a design firm and a construction contractor. The project is divided into phases, allowing for flexibility and adaptability, with each phase building upon the previous one. This form of construction delivery encourages innovation, value engineering, and owner involvement, resulting in better cost and time control. The risk allocation is negotiated in the contract, making it suitable for complex projects where collaboration, flexibility, and ongoing adjustments are essential.
Ankur Talwar’s passion for the construction industry and commitment to sustainable practices remain unwavering. His dedication to preserving access to safe water and driving innovation through PCL Construction projects underscore his vision for a more sustainable and resilient future.