Sault Ste. Marie Construction Association
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Interpreting Documents and Specifications

Day 1- Monday Febraury 25th
Day 2- Wednesday Febraury 27th 

$500.00 for members, $750.00 for non-members.

Prices include course materials, lunch and a light breakfast each day

Course description-

The importance of reading, understanding and using drawings is pivotal in maintaining effective communication that impacts cost, time and overall management of a successful construction project.  Drawings created by different disciplines including architects, engineers, interior designers, technologists all mean different things and must be read in conjunction with one-another for project success.

This course has been accredited with 2 Gold Seal Credits.  Delivered over 2 full days, and using an example project, Architectural, Structural, Mechanical, Electrical and Landscape drawings are coordinated, evaluated and groups of students work toward understanding clearly how to read all of the information on the various disciplines of drawings.

Using an example $2 million – 3 story addition to an existing commercial project, the student can expect the following outcomes:

  • Understand the role and responsibility of contributors to the construction document process: Architect, Engineer, Designer, Draftsperson, Sub-Contractor shop documents, Manufacturers and Suppliers.
  • Decipher between a complete set of drawings and incomplete for scope requirements and how to determine quickly where elements are missing
  • Read and interpret INTENT versus construction detailing of different drawings and how and where to get further information.  Understanding how to apply scale and the challenges obtaining information that may not appear to be on drawings
  • Understand issuances of drawings and obsolete or amended information
  • Understand how to interpret and cross reference schedules to align with scope of work
  • Understand all symbols and abbreviations used by design professionals and what they mean relative to each other when needing to navigate a set of drawings
  • Concepts in Law for the use of drawings and specifications in the project
  • Basic understanding of Ontario Building Code, NFPA, and other codes that impact drawing content.
  • Basic understanding of requirements of authorities having jurisdiction for planning control and satisfying permit to construct requirements
  • Introduction to using and navigating a specification and its purpose relative to the responsibility of stakeholders
  • How to create a 3 Part format specification document and what the 3 parts mean relative to the overall project information being created by the various designers
  • Basic introduction to current physical changes happening in the electronic creation of construction documents.
  • Recognizing the diverse roles of the various students in the class, the course will be adjusted to suit each in the room and address where they fit in the process. This course is valuable for new project managers, owner agent project managers and administrators, buyers of construction services, interns in the architectural or engineering disciplines, junior estimators or sub-contractors required to produce shop drawings.


    We will use a grouping format for seating to allow participants to work together solving challenges issued by the instructor.  There will be part slideshow and interactive learning by working in groups using the model set of drawings.



Construction 201 – Essential Skills for Project Managers and Field Coordinators - Master Class

Day 1- Tuesday, February 26th
Day 2- Thursday, February 28th 

$500.00 for members, $750.00 for non-members.

Prices include course materials, lunch and a light breakfast each day

Course description-


This course will be 14 hours in length and cover 4 topics of interest to participants.  It has been modified from a 4 day course specifically for Sault Ste Marie Construction Association and offers 2 Gold seal points.


Day 1 Morning – Introduction and Negotiation Styles

  • Learn and understand the definition of Project management as defined by PMBOK
  • Learn and understand the Project maturity model as it relates to construction
  • Understand and deploy the 7 elements of principled negotiation
  • Learn the behaviors of a successful negotiator
  • Introduction to the Harvard Program on Negotiation
  • Apply your BATNA, ZOPA and WAP consciously in your next negotiation
  • Active listening to refine collaboration


Day 1 Afternoon – Communication Style 

  • Map a communications model for different projects, hierarchical and flat
  • Developing a circle of safety model that will optimize performance of your entire construction team, top to bottom
  • 1 way and 2 way communication exercises
  • How good of a Communicator are you? - Personal Test
  • Learn constructive and destructive response styles that lead to developing develop empathy in project group dynamics


Day 2 Morning – Productivity in the Construction Process

  • Charting the “split” where projects tend to begin to show signs of stress
  • Human needs to remain productive
  • Health and Safety results in higher productivity
  • Field tests for productivity assessment
  • Resolving contractual and scope conflict effectively to improve productivity


Day 2 Afternoon - Leadership Skills for Project Teams

  • Identify Ego States physically and emotionally
  • Identify and analyze 16 Types of Personalities
  • Assessing your Leadership Style
  • Behaviors that work for and against leadership selection
  • Deploying the circle of safety to motivate your team


Seated in working groups, this workshop will require you to work with other members of your group, employing critical thinking to solve problems.



Introduction to Construction Act in Ontario, the Pitfalls of Adjudication –

Friday March 1st

$100.00 for members, $150.00 for non-members.

Prices include course materials, lunch and a light breakfast each day

Course description-

The Construction Act, now law in Ontario and soon to be throughout Canada. This non-lawyer site practitioner-based course is essential for all of today’s general and sub-contracting companies as well as architects and engineers that will be certifying progress, final and holdback payments.


Designed specifically to suit a 4 hour -½ day session, this workshop will explore the following:

  • Obligations of payor top to bottom in a cascade trust payment scheme
  • Dates and deadlines in a new reality of prompt payment
  • Various formal notice that will be required under the new Act effective in Fall 2019
  • Ways in which an adjudication process may be triggered
  • What to do when an adjudication is triggered
  • An introduction to the adjudication process – who, when, how
  • Qualifications to becoming an adjudicator *much still be determined but the framework is in the Act*
  • The realities of what an adjudication process will be on the industry

This will be an interactive session, with slideshow format and Q+A.  Each participant will receive a package including all notice forms, along with a synopsis of best practices developed by Constructionlab.


Meet your instructor-


2018 marks 25 years Derek has been serving the ICI and residential construction sector in Canada.  His growing firm; Constructionlab, serves owners and buyers of construction, architects, engineering firms, general and sub-contractors by providing independent productivity services including drawing and specification audits designed to improve document quality and drive efficiencies on-site.

A trained evaluative mediator for construction disputes, he has mediated disputes between parties in excess value of $300 thousand using interest-based mediation techniques.   As a leading Canadian construction industry facilitator, author and curriculum designer; construction associations rely on Derek to author and deliver engaging in-class sessions.  Since 2013, Derek has tirelessly delivered over 150 courses to over 2000 attendees, as subject matter expert in supply chain theory, project management skills, ethics and best practices.  Formally trained in architectural sciences, Derek is a former mixed trade construction association executive in Ontario and draws on his leadership experience in labour relations, government relations, and practical end to end construction project knowledge in any undertaking he is involved with.

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