2016 Year in Review: Alberta’s Construction Industry
With the year rapidly coming to an end, pause for reflection includes looking at some of the positive accomplishments of the construction industry in Alberta. With uncertainty in the economy, it is reassuring to remember that several outstanding projects were completed this year. Many of the projects included buildings located in Edmonton.
In October, the Enbridge Center was the first new office tower to have opened in the financial district in downtown Edmonton in 30 years. The 28 storey tower was built on the historic site of the Kelly Ramsey Building. The original building was damaged by a fire in 2009, but the original bricks were removed, cleaned and reinstalled at the base of the tower. The projected $300 million budget cost an additional $3.8 million for the restoration work. The City of Edmonton paid half the cost of the facade reproduction. An overhead pedway connects the building to Manulife Place while an underground pedway connects to Scotia Place.
The most advanced sports and entertainment venue in North America has 24,000 square feet of public event space. Ford Hall provides a pedway connection between Rogers Place and the Public Plaza, surrounding towers, hotel, LRT and the rest of downtown. Seating capacity for hockey games is 18,641 and for concerts; 20,734. The arena opened on September 8, 2016, and was awarded the top prize at the Alberta Construction Magazine’s 15th annual top project awards.
Located in the Ice District in Edmonton, the office building opened in December 2016. It has 40,000 square feet of retail space and over 520,000 square feet of office space for lease. Floors 3 and Floors 5-19 will be occupied by the City of Edmonton. Over 200 city employees will work hotel style with only lockers, a tablet and a briefcase. The space is designed to save costs and empower employees to choose how and where to work. They will have access to sit/stand desks throughout the building if they need a place to work. Also located within the building will be a floor for child care services, restaurants, cafes and other conveniences.
Royal Alberta Museum
Designated as the largest museum in Western Canada, the new building provides double the exhibition space of the old building. At 419,000 square feet, the museum has over 82,000 square feet of exhibition space. The building was completed in August 2016 but transitioning the exhibits will take some time. The anticipated opening date is scheduled for later in the year in 2017. With the capability of providing facilities for cultural and historic exhibits, Edmonton can establish itself as an attractive destination for a variety of exhibits.
Calgary International Airport
On October 31, 2016, Calgary International Airport opened a state of the art International Terminal. The project added 2 million square feet to the terminal building as well as a 14,000-foot runway for arriving and departing flights. The new construction provides passengers with the ability to connect from concourse to concourse without leaving the secure area. With the International Terminal opened, construction will begin on improving the Domestic Terminal building.