Customer Stories
Chandos: Deploying new technologies to drive an innovative and sustainable future
Established in 1980, Chandos Construction is one of North America’s most collaborative and innovative technical builders.
Chandos: Deploying new technologies to drive an innovative and sustainable future
| 4 minute read

Established in 1980, Chandos Construction is one of North America’s most collaborative and innovative technical builders. Employing more than 700 field and office staff in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Kelowna, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Toronto. Chandos is 100 percent employee owned and B Corp Certified specializing in a range of challenging projects, including social housing, wastewater treatment plants, schools, fire halls, nuclear facilities and more.

We sat down with Vincent Plourd, VDC Director at Chandos, to discuss their innovative approach to the management and implementation of construction technology.

Chandos uses markup tools in for site planning and site logistics

A Mission to Balance Profits & People

Vincent mentioned how one of the key factors that sets Chandos apart from the pack is their employee-owned organization structure. Every employee, from hourly craft workers on site to those in the c-suite, can purchase shares in the company, in keeping with the idea of “balancing profits and people”. In fact, this philosophy also extends to Chandos' technology implementation, which they aim to democratize among all employees. There has been no better example of this than the roll out and adoption of the cmBuilder platform for 4D site logistics, where after an initial pilot by the Chandos innovation team, the number of users on the platform has grown to over 250 and over 30 projects; all project team members are encouraged to use technology to its fullest extent to assist their projects. Another key guiding philosophy at Chandos is collaboration, as illustrated through their leadership in bringing the integrated project delivery (IPD) framework to Canada. As the recognized leader of IPD in Canada, Chandos has integrated this collaborative approach to project delivery with the same philosophy in technology implementation, centering around the use of BIM and extending that value out to their field teams with platforms like cmBuilder.

“Our project teams started really liking cmBuilder, because it was easy for them to modify what they were looking at, without relying on the VDC team”.

- Vincent Plourd - Director, VDC at Chandos Construction

Chandos uses for Site Logistics

Technology as an Employee Retention Tool

When discussing the stakeholders that benefit the most from the deployment of new construction technology, Vincent intuitively stated that - “people are the winners. Because problems are going to exist, whether we find them in the beginning, middle, or end. So, the goal is to frontload the start of a project with all the issues that we have found through the use of technology. Then, we can take time to properly fix them so that no additional issues get found. This alleviates the financial and mental stress for everyone involved, from the workers on the site to owners”.

Technology as a Problem-Identifier

This proactive approach towards problem-solving with the use of digital technology is where Chandos has benefitted the most from cmBuilder. Vincent shared the following testimonial of a recent project where they were preparing to demolish a 2-story building and construct two new 4-story buildings. As part of the construction sequence, they were required to preserve existing trees and their root system that are present on the property – with a quick resource request for the cmBuilder catalog, “the cmBuilder team was able to not only build the type of trees that we needed, but they also added root ball areas to the underground of the trees. This provided a clear picture of the roots balls and we could see that they not only encroached on the new buildings but the new sanitary drains would cut right through the roots of the trees. We realized that the plan to keep the existing site trees was at risk, we had the tough conversation with the project developer and city officials before we even started demolition of the existing buildings”. The advanced planning and 3D modeling was critical in identifying this site-specific risk and helped with finding solutions to these challenges.

Technology as a Visual Language

Furthermore, Vincent shared how cmBuilder serves as a visual language between Chandos and other stakeholders involved in this example project. “cmBuilder tells a massive story, that we could not have explained verbally or through a typical 2D drawing. During the meetings, the consultants, the municipality, and our clients were able to truly ‘see’ the problem in 3D. This saved us financially and allowed us to attain a new budget, provided by the municipality, to replace the trees”.

Speaking to the accessibility and ease of use of cmBuilder, Vincent said: “We were doing 3D logistics plans on a separate platform previously. But it was only accessible to high-end computers, required us to install software, and learn how to use it. However, after being introduced to cmBuilder a couple of years ago, I learned that cmBuilder offered unlimited users and unlimited projects. And that it was online - we did not have to install any additional software on people’s computers or upgrade them”.

Chandos uses for site planning and 4D simulations
Example of macro vs micro site logistics planning & simulation

An Innovative and Sustainable Future

As we talked about the future of technological advancements in construction, Vincent shared an insightful perspective that the software side of technology is advancing at a faster rate than the hardware side, and that once the hardware catches up, technologies like augmented reality could be game changers in the construction industry. While Chandos’ future shows a commitment to continuous innovation, they also show a dedication towards sustainability within their practices. In fact, they strive to remain environmentally conscious by reducing carbon intensity by 15% annually, diverting 80% of waste across all active sites, and aiming to attain a net zero carbon footprint by 2040. Chandos is truly adopting the triple bottom line approach to modern day business and is setup to scale into the future by leveraging new technology and better processes that bring value to their clients across the country.

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