The 19 storey building at 700 University Ave in Toronto was designed by Gordon S. Adamson and Associates entering into service in 1976. The structure formally known as “The Hydro Place Building” ushered in a new era of shimmering glass and aluminum curtain walls in Toronto. The ultra modern look of the silver reflective glass and stainless steel caps has made this building at College and University a uniquely recognizable landmark for 37 years. After approximately 33 years of service many of the IG Units (Insulating Glass Units) in this building have begun to fail. In 2012 a 5 year phased plan to replace the units in a vendor prioritized sequence was put to public tender and won by explore1.ca Ltd.
The award of the contract to explore1.ca Ltd went beyond just price. OPG is well known for its commitment to safety and explore1.ca was able to demonstrate through a well defined safety policy and an exemplary safety record that is was the right company for the job.
Since the replacement IG Units were done on a prioritized basis excellent communication and coordination were elemental to the requirements of the vendor and to the overall productivity and performance of explore1.ca. Following a walk through to create a the prioritized sequence of installation explore1.ca Ltd worked with facility management and security to schedule all the work after hours so as not to impinge on the day to day operations of OPG staff. A busy loading dock and limited on site storage meant that a “Just In Time” pick up and delivery system had to be maintained to move new IG Units into the building a old IG Units off site on a with only a small window of opportunity on weekly basis.
Organization of the work process was another important factor on the 700 University project. To maximize productivity explore1.ca Ltd technicians carefully stripped and numbered all of the stainless caps for reinstallation following the exchange of the IG Units. The stainless steel caps that blend seamlessly into the facade are notoriously delicate and take a considerable amount of finesse to remove and replace without risk of damage. By pre-stripping and numbering the caps explore1.ca technicians were able to fully concentrate on only a single aspect of the replacement process at a time. This helped to improve both the productivity and overall quality of the installation.
At the end of the replacement cycle 197 IG units were replaced on 4 drops in 8 weekends. This more than tripled than the productivity of the previous glazing contractor. This allowed OPG to realize savings through a reduction in project management and security costs plus additional savings in equipment rental due to the compressed replacement cycle.