A Powerful Learning Experience

PCL and Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) Polytechnic have a valuable relationship having worked together on several significant projects, including the 740,000-square-foot Trades and Technology Complex and an extensive renovation of the Thomas Riley Building on the SAIT campus in Calgary. Most recently PCL built SAIT’s new Power Engineering Technology labs.
A steam turbine installed on a new mezzanine level
in the Power Engineering Technology labs at SAIT.

The PCL Special Projects team
overlooking their work.
The labs include new boilers, turbines, and all of the auxiliary equipment required to effectively train power engineers. Several pieces of equipment are also partially exposed to allow students to see the inner workings.
“PCL came on board to support the complexities of the design—they helped bring the project to life,” said John Millington, manager, SAIT Facilities Operations.


This intricate project consisted of five main scopes of work: piling; concrete; structural steel; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing; and finishes. Work was completed on a sliding schedule, with four to five activities in progress at the peak.
“During the course of the project, SAIT increased the scope by $1.4 million to include additional controls and instrumentation, and PCL still delivered on time,” said Millington.
The lab will open in the fall of 2014 to welcome SAIT students enrolled in the power engineering technology program. Students will experience what is essentially an oilfield in a classroom.


The construction management services for this unique interior fitout were provided by PCL’s Special Projects division​. In an organization known for building major commercial, civil, and industrial projects, PCL’s Special Projects division focuses on smaller tenant fitouts, historical restorations, and renovations.
“Many clients, including SAIT prior to this project, aren’t aware of the services Special Projects can provide in a diverse range of market sectors,” said Marc Pascoli, manager, Special Projects for Southern Alberta.
Special Projects offers clients a small-contractor feel combined with the expertise, advanced systems, and purchasing power of a large construction organization. Typically, the work done by PCL’s Special Projects teams is highly customized, complex, and often takes place within operating facilities where seamless construction is required.

PCL is dedicated to developing construction professionals in the markets that it serves through student programs and scholarships, and by working with partners like SAIT on highter education construction. The power engineers who train in these labs may one day collaborate with PCL as employees, trade contractors, or industry partners.


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