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Event Coordinator: Joshua Baylis

The CSCE student chapter facilitated an industry tour of the Armtec precast concrete facilities. We set a cap on attendance at 25 people and we had 27 signed up for the tour. We worked closely with Jim McKay from Armtec and he was extremely helpful and accommodating. We ended up organizing a two-hour tour broken up into two parts. The first part would be a tour of the yard and warehouse, and then we had a 45-minute presentation about precast concrete.

On the Day of the tour, all of the attendees met in the Design Studio at 12:25 pm. We then boarded the bus at 12:30 and left for Armtec. We arrived and met up with Jim at Armtec at 1:00 pm. He put on a brief safety orientation for the group then we broke into two groups of 12 and began the tour. Jim and Med lead one group and went one way around and the other group went the other. By reducing the size of the groups we were able to hear more of what Jim was saying throughout the tour. We saw all kinds of precast concrete. Some pieces were for the new Ponderosa building at UBC, which Jim described as architectural pieces. We also saw some pieces for a project in Kitimat where confidentiality agreements prevented us from taking any photographs. There were also pieces described as “matchcast” which were basically precast guideway segments for the new light rail transit system being built in Port Moody and Coquitlam. These are the major things we saw and with all of these we saw how they were formed, reinforced, poured, cured and stored. It was fascinating to see the entire process from start to finish all in one tour.

The last portion of the tour was a Power Point presentation put on by Jim but aided by their lead engineer. Jim highlighted some of Armtec’s larger and more prominent projects. He also talked about the precast industry as a whole and its place in the construction industry. The final slide of Jim’s presentation was in regards to students getting involved with the CPCI (Canadian Precast Prestressed Concrete Institute) and how we can all get free memberships and what information would be available to us.

All in all this was a great tour, which was extremely applicable to our degrees in civil engineering. Our host, Armtec, was exceedingly accommodating as well as knowledgeable. On behalf of the UBC CSCE Student Chapter, I would like to thank Jim and Armtec for taking the time to host our members.

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