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Sending you our very best wishes for a healthy and happy holiday season!

From your friends at HH Angus

This year we turned our card into a delightful set of DIY desk decorations with special holiday messages.

Some assembly required.
(Because we’re engineers and you know how much we like that!)

Click here to download DIY desk decorations

As another year draws to a close, we particularly want to thank you – our clients, project partners and industry friends – for your role in helping HH Angus achieve the milestone of 100 years in business, which we celebrated this year. We’re grateful for the opportunity to build long-standing relationships and to deliver the kind of dedicated client service that builds trust and respect.  

Over this holiday season, we wish you and yours the very best, and look forward to another great year ahead as we begin our second century – Happy Holidays! 

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We’re delighted to announce our expansion into British Columbia with the opening of our new Vancouver office.    

While our office may be new, HH Angus is no stranger to working in BC.  We’ve been successfully delivering projects in Vancouver and across the province for over a decade. Completed projects include Penticton Regional Hospital David Kampe Tower Phase I, commissioning of the TELUS Kamloops Data Centre, Royal Jubilee Hospital Patient Care Centre, and Fort St. John Hospital & Peace Villa.

Current local projects include the Royal Inland Hospital New Patient Care Tower, Royal Columbian Hospital Redevelopment Phases 1 through 3, Lions Gate Hospital power plant replacement, and ongoing mission critical facilities work in the Greater Vancouver Area. We’re also excited to be on one of the pre-qualified teams for the new St. Paul’s Hospital P3 project.   

– Top left & right: Royal Jubilee Hospital, Patient Care Centre – Victoria, BC
– Botton left: Penticton Regional Hospital, David E. Kampe Patient Care Tower – Penticton , BC  
– Bottom right: Royal Inland Hospital New Patient Care Tower – Kamloops, BC

Expanding our presence in Vancouver allows us to better serve our clients on their BC projects. With over 100 years in business, we bring deep expertise in a range of sectors including healthcare, commercial, education, hospitality, mission critical and research facilities, industrial, sports and recreation, and transportation.

 The services we offer include Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Sustainability (LEED, WELL, Net-Zero, Living Building Challenge, low carbon district energy, energy modeling and CFD analysis), Lighting Design, Information and Communications Technology, Smart Buildings, Vertical Transportation, Tenant Improvements, Commissioning and BIM Development. BC’s progressive attitude towards sustainability aligns well with HH Angus’ approach to sustainable design, particularly when it comes to incorporating high performance, low carbon building design and energy solutions. 

“Our Vancouver office is the next logical step in growing our capabilities beyond the large projects we have successfully completed in the province over the years,“We’re looking forward to collaborating even more closely with our current clients and partners while also creating new relationships.”

– Nick Stark, Vice President, HH Angus

Our Vancouver team is led by Nick Stark, Ian McRobie and Ryan Kennedy. Nick has over 40 years of experience as a consulting engineer working across Canada, is a member of the firm’s Senior Management Group, and has overall responsibility for the Vancouver office, where he is Principal-in-Charge for several large projects in BC. Ian is an experienced mechanical engineer with nearly a decade of experience with healthcare, commercial, institutional, industrial and transportation projects. Ryan is our lead electrical engineer and brings diverse project experience in the healthcare, commercial, and institutional sectors. Our Vancouver office is part of an overall team of 250 engineers, designers, technologists, consultants and staff seamlessly connected and collaborating across the country.   

Click to download HH Angus Vancouver Brochure 2019. You can also contact Nick, Ian or Ryan.

HH Angus
555 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V7X 1M8
van@hhangus.com
604 229 3165

We’re delighted to be featured in The Canadian Business Journal’s September issue. The article highlights HH Angus’ accomplishments, our 100 years in business, and explores our plans for the future.  Paul Keenan, President and Sameer Dhargalkar, VP Business Development and Marketing, are interviewed.

Established in Toronto in 1919 by Harry Holborn Angus, HH Angus & Associates Limited has firmly established itself as one of the preeminent engineering and building designs professionals in Canada.

It was 100 years ago when Harry Holborn Angus opened his practice, specializing in mechanical and electrical consulting engineering services. Since then, the firm has enjoyed continuous, sustained growth throughout the decades to where we are a century later.

HH Angus continued to grow through the early years before transitioning to HH’s son Don Angus and now it is led by CEO Harry G. Angus, who has been with the firm for more than 40 years. The family legacy has seen the company blossom from a sole proprietorship to a firm that now has more than 250 people. In addition to the Toronto head office, HH Angus also has established bricks & mortar presences in Montreal, Chicago and Dallas. Due to a large number of projects in British Columbia it was recently decided an office presence in Vancouver would best meet the demands of those western endeavours.

What else was happening in 1919? Canada’s Prime Minister was Robert Borden. Dial telephones were introduced by AT&T and Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity was confirmed when the Royal Astronomical Society witnessed the predicted effect during a solar eclipse. And, there was no Stanley Cup champion declared as the finals between the Montreal Canadiens against the Seattle Metropolitans had to be suspended after five games due to an epidemic of the Spanish flu.

Fast forward to 2019, when The Canadian Business Journal spoke with HH Angus President Paul Keenan and Vice President, Marketing & Business Development Sameer Dhargalkar about the company’s incredible success story over the years as well as its current projects and aspirations for the future.

We’re a Canadian-based firm and we’re very proud of the contributions we’ve made to the growth of Canada and some of the engineering firsts that we’ve been part of in terms of the infrastructure development of this country and others,” 
Paul Keenan
President, HH Angus
Project Development

As part of the overall process of a construction project, architects design a building’s outer shell and then they turn to HH Angus to design and integrate the operational systems and the internal infrastructure, blending the two designs into one convergent finished product. It is the responsibility of the structural engineer to design the skeleton to ensure every component is stable and remains in place. The consulting engineers then ensure everything behind the walls is properly in place, including the heating, cooling, and any specific operational needs the building may have, such as IT infrastructure, security systems, communications, vertical transportation and lighting design.

Although he’s been with HH Angus for 25 years, Keenan is still relatively new to the president’s chair, having taken over from Harry G Angus this past April. The combination of his skills, industry expertise and executive management abilities made him the ideal choice to serve as the day-to-day leader in starting the next 100-year journey.

“I’m the first non-Angus to take on the role. It reflects the maturity of the firm as we continue to diversify while the family component of our business remains very strong,” he says.

Keenan and the entire team at HH Angus have a shared passion and devotion to continue the tradition of engineering excellence and continuing to grow the infrastructure and support of this country and around the world, which becomes more competitive with each passing day.

Reaching the 100-year milestone is a marvellous achievement and a proud milestone for everyone involved, but according to Keenan it’s really just the starting point of the next 100 years with an eye to focusing on the challenges and opportunities ahead. The entire industry has evolved considerably during Keenan’s time as a professional engineer.

“When I first walked in 25 years ago we still had drafting boards,” he recalls. “We’re now two full iterations along in terms of the basic technology of how we deliver the work. The pace and rate of change of communications has fundamentally altered the construction and design business.”

Client expectations regarding timely and efficient deliverables continues to accelerate, which is not unique to engineering or construction but it has certainly deeply manifested itself in this line of business. The engineering fundamentals have remained consistent but the mechanisms to carry them out have become radically divergent.

It is the task of the architect to design a building and then turn to HH Angus as the consulting engineers who design and integrate such commodities as the operational systems and the internal infrastructure.

“An analogy would be that we are the circulatory system – the brains and the beating heart of a building,” explains Keenan. “You’ve got the exoskeleton and the skin, but how the communication flows through the wires and who determines what the temperature is and how to deal with the environmental conditions and what makes a building safe – those are the types of systems that we provide.”

As an example, if dealing with a banking client, HH Angus provides the electrical redundancy – the emergency power systems – to do everything to ensure that the essential data centre of the bank never goes down and that it consistently achieves its reliability targets.

“The costs of a building, typically the mechanical and electrical systems, can come out to more than 40% of the total construction costs so what we do is a good chunk of what that building represents,” notes Dhargalkar.

“With a healthcare building it can be 45% and sometimes it’s more than 50% of the entire cost of the work being done in constructing the building,” adds Keenan.

The process of interfacing with architects to make an energy-efficient building begins on Day One. The architects have fundamental ideas on the massing and the components that will be part of the shell and how the program of the building works together. HH Angus is a part of those early planning stages and discussions to achieve the aspirations of it being a low-energy building, or a Net Zero building and determines how everything can be neatly packaged to achieve the targets expected by the client.

“Oftentimes when you design a building you think about the construction and design of the building that you’ve handed off but we, as mechanical and electrical engineers, more so than any other consultants, can stay with the building throughout its life cycle, which can easily be 25 to 30 years-plus,” offers Dhargalkar. “There are upgrades and helping the building’s owner with such things as energy efficiency and helping them in managing the costs of operating a building.”

Pillars of Strength

Employee retention at HH Angus has always been notably above the industry norm. It’s that type of continuity and commitment to excellence in meeting and exceeding client expectations that has led to the firm being acknowledged by its peers with a number of awards, including the prestigious 2017 Schreyer Award for its outstanding contribution to the work provided on a Montreal hospital and most recently being named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies earlier this year.

There are three main pillars that Keenan wants to focus upon as the company forges ahead and continues to grow. The first pillar is doing right by the people at HH Angus. The second is aligning the firm’s services with its clients and the third objective is to chart a successful course to be in business for the next 100 years.

“It’s important that we get the right people with the proper skills and talent working for us,” he emphasizes. “For those employees now with us we want to help them develop new skills. I think over 30 of our employees have been with us for more than 30 years and that speaks to the culture of the family company and the environment that has been created.”

Keenan and Dhargalkar are in agreement that HH Angus has a sound reputation for taking the right level of risk on each individual project. The company is known for accepting complex projects that can be challenging and in some cases have never been done before.

“We did the first skyscraper in Canada – TD Centre in downtown Toronto,” points out Dhargalkar. “We worked on the SkyDome (Rogers Centre) and got to work on the first P3 hospital project in Ontario. A lot of firsts have come through but it’s because of our people – we are innately curious.”

Equipped with confidence in their experiential skills and abilities is what orchestrates the professionals at HH Angus to respectfully challenge what a client may initially be thinking because oftentimes there are better solutions, resulting in a more efficient final result and a savings in terms of materials, space and costs.

Over the last 20 years HH Angus has established a particularly strong foothold in healthcare and in the data technical business. As the company has matured so too has the marketplace and as such the diversity potential has expanded in the realm of public, commercial and institutional projects.

“We have intentionally set out to grow other areas that are of commensurate size and feel that we are in a strong position to cope with changes within the construction business. The next few years will see a strong focus on transit,” reveals Keenan.

“The transportation side has really grown for us over the last several years, We’re involved with several stations on the Eglinton crosstown (in Toronto) and we’ve done some of the early design work on a couple of stations for the downtown relief line for the Toronto Transit Commission. We’ve also done airports and bus terminals.”
Sameer Dhargalkar
VP Bussiness Development & Marketing, HH Angus
Angus Connect

A vital component that determines success is the ability to recognize, develop and implement innovative technologies. Significant growth has been achieved over the past five years with the company’s Angus Connect, which provides Information, Communications and Automation (ICAT) Technology consulting to a wide range of industry sectors. This proprietary vehicle drives the planning and design of information, communications and automation technologies to take a client’s project from the conceptual phase all the way through to occupancy and beyond.

“It essentially started in healthcare with the Smart Hospital. Where we differentiate from other mechanical and electrical engineering firms is that we provide the up-front, strategic consulting side for the owners. It has since transitioned over to commercial, hospitality and other sectors as well,” remarks Dhargalkar.

“The way that we think about the information and the idea of a database that is storing the collective engineering information about a project is a fundamental shift at a production level for the business,” says Keenan.

Throughout a wide range of Canadian business industries the disruption of the next piece of technology is without doubt rooted in artificial intelligence. There is an element of the unknown; so much continues to evolve on a constant basis. Keenan points out the necessity for the company to remain ahead of the curve and work closely with their clients to understand how AI will both disrupt their clients’ businesses – and their own – and properly assess the level of support required, which includes updating skillsets within the organization.

At HH Angus dedicated groups have been formed and they are constantly examining various emerging technologies, including building information modelling software and digital twinning.

“We’re looking at artificial intelligence machine-learning aspects and what it means from a design process and using it day-to-day and what kind of value it brings to the client. We’re also looking at virtual reality technology,” says Dhargalkar.

“A big component of all this is partnerships,” adds Keenan. “We’re a fair-sized company but we’re still only 250 people so it’s crucial to find good partners. We’ve got a research project with Ryerson University to explore some of this digital twinning together and I think that’s the future for companies such as ours.”

Looking to the Future

According to Keenan one of the foremost and exciting challenges facing the industry is capacity, with an insatiable appetite for infrastructure renewal and expansion. HH Angus faces the prospect of having a plethora of new projects being put on the table, which means it’s imperative that the team is able to provide solutions to carry out the expanded workload and meet timelines.

“How do we deal with the disruption of other technologies? It all goes back to the talent piece. If we ensure we bring in the right people with the proper skillsets and develop a strong culture it will be successful,” says Keenan.

Within the healthcare sector HH Angus is part of an expansive project at the Royal Columbian Hospital in British Columbia. The firm is also in the process of pursuing two other substantial projects in this space – one on the east coast and one on the west coast. Commercially, the company is working on several large casino gaming and hospitality projects in Ontario.

The constant drive to attain sustainability and implement the most energy-efficient designs reflects upon a direct response in terms of what is important in society but also represents sound engineering principles. Sustainability as a race without a finish line; it’s an ongoing process, constantly improving and seeking new solutions for clients and society as a whole.

“Society and the group around us have moved some of those traditional constraints and so that opens up a world of new possibilities. People are prepared to invest in sustainable designs and low carbon solutions. We want to continue down this path and do the best type of engineering we can do,” reflects Keenan.

“We are fortunate that we have a very strong energy group within the firm. We’ve seen a lot of interest and demand from our clients regarding low-carbon energy solutions such as how we can reduce the footprint for our clients,” says Dhargalkar.

HH Angus continues to challenge technological convention, and encourages employees to envision change by asking questions, fostering creativity, and promoting inventiveness — all with the singular goal of delivering innovative, effective, and efficient design solutions. A robust company that is able to cope with this capacity while being able to withstand challenges and vagaries the market dishes out is essential.

“We want to be able to continue to attract and retain top talent. We have some growth targets and coupled with that is a focus on aligning our work with that of our clients. We want to create additional productivity improvements, which includes technology as well as enhancing relationships with clients. That encapsulates the main focus over the next three to five years,” envisions Keenan. “HH Angus has been able to succeed for 100 years and it’s now beginning work on the next 100.”

Enhancing the BIM process with 3D image capture

Prior to the digital age, engineers conveyed their work and collaborated through hand-drawn designs. Building inspections and site investigations were conducted using a tape measure, a pencil and graph paper. At that time, drawing by hand was the only way to accurately capture existing information and to develop new designs.

Advances in technology have since changed the way that engineers capture and convey information. Digital cameras replaced hand drawn sketches during site investigations, and computer-aided design programs, such as Sketch-up and Revit, replaced the practice of drawing by hand. These new tools lead to increased accuracy, efficiency during site investigations and design, and the ability to digitally store and reuse information.

As technology continues to develop, so too do the methods for which buildings are designed and their data is captured, stored and used. Revit has become the industry standard for accurately modeling new buildings and their systems in 3D – more commonly included as part of Building Information Modelling (BIM). Even with BIM tools, designers and engineers are confronted with days of laborious and time consuming BIM modeling due to hand-drawn measurements, notes and 2D photographs from the site which add to the length of the project schedule and budget. New technologies are emerging, including lasers and infrared beam scanners, which allow for data-rich information of existing spaces to be rapidly captured, stored and digitally explored.

HH Angus uses a Matterport 3D Scanner to capture existing spaces which is then converted into 3D models for our clients. We have used these models in a variety of situations and continue to push what can be accomplished by having an accurate, to-scale 3D model of existing buildings and their systems as well as the value it can help us deliver to our clients.

The value of 3D image capture and modeling for existing buildings projects:

1. Capture site information faster and accurately

An accurate 3D model of existing conditions (typically within a centimetre of hand measurements) through image scanning the space. This process can usually be done up to 60% faster than traditional hand measurements. Because the image scanning captures information in a point cloud, this information can be automatically imported into Revit, eliminating the need for manually entering hand measurements and reducing the time of creating the Revit model by nearly half. The BIM model can be provided to consultants, potential bidders and contractors allowing them 24/7 access. When the site information is available in a digital and 3D photorealistic format, the result is fewer questions during RFP periods and fewer site visits are required.

2. Capture spaces during construction

The ability to use image scanning to capture site information and create a 3D model at any time during construction can be very useful in a variety of situations. For example,  recording a snapshot of progress for contractor payment draws or to provide enhanced construction documentation to project stakeholders. Capturing the space when services are installed but before walls and ceiling are in place can be a great reference for reference for future maintenance and renovations.

3. Digital representation of spaces and assets

 While many newer buildings may have accurate construction data stored in a BIM model which is helpful for future renovations, expansions or retrofits, many older buildings were built before CAD and BIM was common. 3D image scanning can quickly create digital models of these existing buildings by vastly streamlining the time-consuming process of collecting building details by hand measurements and then subsequent manual entry to create a BIM model.

Information can also be associated to a building space or asset within a 3D model such as a piece of mechanical equipment or electrical panel. Information that can be mapped to an asset can include the O&M manual, last service date, information from a building condition assessment, and other types of information. This can be done for an existing facility without requiring a complete BIM model.

4. Remote access for facility managers

A 3D model can allow facility managers to ”walk” through building areas and read equipment information from a nameplate remotely with only an internet connection required. It could also be done from a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. The ability to access this level of detail remotely can be extremely useful for troubleshooting and for organizations that have multiple sites spread out geographically. 

5. Future Developments in 3D Image Scanning 

Currently, point cloud data generated in 3D image scanning still needs to be converted into useable data to create a BIM model. This is typically an additional and fairly manual process. With advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence, research is underway where algorithms can be used to automatically identify structural elements and interior furnishings, elimintating the need for a person to manually identify these items in the process of converting a point cloud file to a BIM model. This could even further streamline the process allowing engineers and designers to focus on value-added tasks rather than losing time on determining the status of the existing building condition.

3D Model in Action

HH Angus has captured and converted over 165 of our clients’ spaces to 3D models. We were engaged by St. Joseph’s Healthcare Centre to redesign and renovate the Nuclear Medicine and MRI areas of their Digital Imaging Suite. During the first site visit, HHA scanned the area using the Matterport Scanner to create a 3D model of the space. This model has since been used throughout the design and tender process of the project, and will continue to be used in the construction phase.

Authors:

Akira Jones

BIM Lead

akira.jones@hhangus.com

Melissa Parry

BIM Specialist

melissa.parry@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.