HH Angus is honoured to once again be named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for 2020. This is our second consecutive year being selected for this prestigious honour, and we want to thank our clients and employees for the important part they played in helping us achieve this national recognition. The award, now in its 27th year, distinguishes overall business performance and growth of best-in-class, Canadian-owned companies with revenues of $15 million or more.

Paul Keenan, President of HH Angus

“We are grateful for this acknowledgement of our firm’s forward-looking strategy, as well as the engagement of our employees and their ongoing commitment to technical excellence and innovation,” said Paul Keenan, President of HH Angus. “We were thrilled to be selected for this award in our first submission last year. Being recognized again this year is a testament to the ongoing commitment of our employees, and the confidence of our clients, who place their trust in us year over year. Our expansion to Vancouver underscores our growth strategy, with the opening of a permanent office to support our local and national clients in BC. And as a knowledge-based firm, we are investing in continuous learning for our staff, and in the emerging design and collaboration technologies that will allow us to deliver on our clients’ goals for their built environment.”

Tom Halpenny, General Manager and VP Operations

According to Tom Halpenny, General Manager and VP Operations: “Having just celebrated our 100th anniversary, being recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for a second year speaks to the stability of HH Angus, to the strength of our business strategy, and the enduring relationships we have developed with clients over the years.  Those relationships are built largely on the collaborative approach and technical expertise of our staff. This is a team win, and we all share in this award.”

About Canada’s Best Managed Companies

Canada’s Best Managed Companies continues to be the mark of excellence for Canadian-owned and managed companies with revenues over 5 million. Every year since the launch of the program in 1993, hundreds of entrepreneurial companies have competed for this designation in a rigorous and independent process that evaluates their management skills and practices. The awards are granted on four levels:

  1. Canada’s Best Managed Companies new winner (one of the new winners selected each year);
  2. Canada’s Best Managed Companies winner (award recipients that have re-applied and successfully retained their Best Managed designation for two additional years, subject to annual operational and financial review);
  3. Gold Standard winner (after three consecutive years of maintaining their Best Managed status, these winners have demonstrated their commitment to the program and successfully retained their award for 4-6 consecutive years);
  4. Platinum Club member (winners that have maintained their Best Managed status for seven years or more).

Program sponsors are Deloitte Private, CIBC, Canadian Business, Smith School of Business, and TMX Group. For more information, visit:

Deloitte Canada's Best Managed Companies 2020

Canadian Business Magazine Canada's Best Managed Companies 2020

 

HH Angus Contact:
Sameer Dhargalkar | Vice President, Marketing and Business Development
HH Angus and Associates Ltd.
+l (416) 443 8200
Sameer.dhargalkar@hhangus.com
hhangus.com

Philip joined HH Angus in 2006 and is currently a Senior Electric Engineer and Project Manager in our Technology Division. 

What’s your favourite thing about working at HH Angus?

I like the diverse projects and diverse clients. I enjoy the work. It is satisfying to see things get built. I enjoy the travel aspect – working all over the place, different clients, different things.

Where do you travel for work?

So far, I’ve traveled around North America.

How do you personally contribute to design and construction?

I am the Lead Electrical Engineer on a number of projects, responsible for design, project management, and delivery of our design to our clients. We are often the prime consultant on projects, the head consultant. We retain an architect or a structural engineer directly,  or select them on behalf of the client. In those cases, the client retains them but we manage overall the process. We also manage the procurement of equipment and services for the client.

How has working here helped you grow in your career?

It was the first job I had out of school, so I’ve grown quite a bit in my career.

“I've enjoyed diverse opportunities being able to work on multiple projects, with multiple clients, with multiple diverse models.”

 

Why did you want to become an engineer?

I was interested in technology and, I thought it would be interesting to have a career at that field.

What project are you most proud of?

I really felt good about the Sunnybrook High Voltage Emergency Project. That was one I designed and was the Electrical Lead. It was a project where we took a completely functional hospital and rebuilt their emergency power plant without compromising emergency power to the hospital the bew plant was built within the footprint of the exisiting plant. It was a very challenging project, which involved multiple phases of construction. 

What are some of the things about the company that you really like?

I like the dedication over the years to the library collection. I thought that was pretty great. Some of the people who work in Records Management have a background in library science. The company has been dedicated to the knowledge behind engineering we have books from 20s. It speaks to the longevity of the company. Over the years, people have accumulated technical standards, books, journals and things pertinent to older systems and technologies. A lot of places don’t have a comparable knowledge base.

When you started with the company, did you have a time when a senior staff member helped you along? 

When I started, they used to pair the new grads with an inspector and send them to construction projects. I spent probably 2 to 3 weeks doing that. You got to see the practical aspects of construction which puts a lot of things in perspective when you are designing. For me, that had a lasting impact. Additionally, I was fortunate that I had some projects that went into construction when I started. They had already been designed and I was tasked with looking after the contract administration. Seeing other people’s designs, how they were being built, some of the issues that come up, was very useful.

What inspires you?

Family, friends and doing good work. 

What trends or technologies on the horizon excite you most?

I always tell younger staff, one of the best things ever invented was the digital camera. It may not seem all that great now because it is so prevalent. Also PDFs. When I started, the majority of submittals were paper. We would receive paper submittals, we would do our reviews, we would staple our reviews to them and courier it out. You’d do a large project with a wealth of information, and you would no longer have it at your fingertips because it was all on paper, which is now stored off site. But, nowadays, it’s all PDFs. You can keep a copy and everything is readily available. Same with digital cameras. Somebody can go to site and take photos of what they are working on. You’ll always have that reference to go back to later: “oh, this is what I did on the last job. Maybe it didn’t go exactly as planned – let’s do it a bit differently this time”. Today, the technology gives you accessibility that you didn’t have in the past.

What skills or traits helped you advance in your career from the new grad stage?

I always believed in making the product you are selling better in order to be more competitive. Have diverse experience. Obviously, getting licenses and certifications speak to a broader experience and broader knowledge base. When you are selling services, you want to make sure the clients understand they are paying for experience, for somebody who does this for a living. They don’t have people on staff to do the work, so they are hiring us. 


 

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our great friend and colleague, Peter Willings, Chief Engineer (Emeritus) of HH Angus and Associates.

Peter joined HH Angus in 1963 as a young engineer out of Australia.  With obvious skill and tremendous engineering knowledge and instincts, he rose steadily through the ranks to become the company’s Chief Engineer in 1987, responsible for all facets of the firm’s engineering practice, directing and advising staff engaged in the design and preparation of drawings and specifications of Mechanical and Electrical Systems, and the supervision of installations for institutional, commercial and industrial undertakings.

One of Peter’s milestone projects at HH Angus was working with Architect Rod Robbie on Toronto’s SkyDome (now the Rogers Centre).  He had previously worked with Robbie on the Canadian Pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal. Other career highlights include winning a National Low Energy Building Design Award; the iconic Toronto Dominion Centre (shown at left); the Queen’s Park office complex; the Eaton Centre’s Dundas Tower; and a long list of hospitals, computer centres and post-secondary projects too numerous to mention.

Peter’s dedication – to engineering in general and to HH Angus and Associates in particular- is a remarkable and increasingly rare achievement. He served the firm with distinction for -  54 years, continuing to work and to make significant contributions long after his official retirement. We have been the fortunate colleagues who benefited from Peter’s insight, his innate understanding of engineering, and his vast generosity in sharing that knowledge.

He will be deeply missed.

Hospital redevelopment projects provide a unique opportunity to build for the future

The increasingly critical role of technology in patient care has resulted in a dramatic increase in demands on communications and information technology infrastructure in hospitals, but aging facilities pose significant challenges to the staff who support and maintain these systems. Many hospitals in Canada were constructed well before the emergence of modern information technology, which typically means telecommunications equipment is squeezed into undersized spaces without sufficient power or cooling to ensure these important systems stay operational.

IT spaces added as an afterthought to existing construction In older buildings, telecommunications spaces have gradually expanded as the systems grow, creating a
number of challenges:

  • Locations are often chosen based on what space is available, rather than what is appropriate, meaning that the size and shape of the rooms may not properly support the equipment, or the site may be adjacent to
    wet piping or sources of interference.
  • Addition and removal of equipment over many years often results in an inefficient layout and lack of appropriate cable management or identification, making maintenance more difficult.
  • Supporting services, including power and cooling, may not have the appropriate capacity or redundancy for IT loads, and equipment shutdown for maintenance and repairs can impact the availability of these services.
  • Limited ceiling space in older facilities can impact the ability to add services (i.e. chilled water loop) or new communications cables.

Limitations have a significant budget impact
All of these challenges can have a significant impact on operational and capital costs, and can add up to multiples of what is typical of a new installation with properly designed spaces and systems.

The greatest impact is seen in operational costs, where limitations make the systems more difficult to maintain, support and upgrade. From a user perspective, network performance can be affected by things such as heat or interference, which can create unnecessary delays in accessing information or even unplanned network downtime – a condition which critically impacts patient care across the entire facility. However, capital costs are not immune to these conditions either; overheating, dust and vibration can reduce the lifespan of equipment, meaning it must be replaced sooner.

Redevelopment with the future in mind
Hospital redevelopment provides the opportunity to build new IT systems that can withstand the test of time, and to address issues with existing systems in order to support expansion. While no one can predict the needs of technology decades from now, the following principles will help avoid creating similar challenges in the future:

  • Engage users early on in the planning process, and design IT systems to align with the technology vision for the hospital. This approach facilitates adoption later on and helps ensure IT systems can support the
    unique needs of the facility.
  • Consider the facility as a whole when implementing new IT systems and infrastructure; design decisions for new spaces can have a significant impact on existing IT infrastructure, and a gap analysis can help prevent unpleasant surprises later on.
  • Provide additional capacity and flexibility in infrastructure, spaces and supporting systems so they can be adapted as technology progresses.
  • Aim for consistency in services throughout the facility. Differences in system performance or user experience can impact adoption, staff satisfaction and, in the case of clinical life safety systems, even patient safety.

It is also worth investigating which challenges can be addressed in place and which would benefit from a “greenfield” solution. For example, building a new data centre in a newly constructed area of the building is often less complex and cheaper than mitigating issues with the existing location. Many redevelopment projects use this opportunity to create a space that is properly sized and designed to support critical IT systems for the entire facility. The practicality of options should be evaluated as part of the planning process.

Ultimately, redevelopment projects are a chance for hospitals to create efficient and cost-effective IT systems capable of supporting the critical nature of technology in healthcare, and support the highest standard of patient care.

Author:

Kim Osborne Rodriguez,P.Eng., RCDD
kim.osbornerodriguez@hhangus.com
Published June 2016 in the Canadian Healthcare Engineering Society website