(April 2017) – Consulting Engineers of Ontario (CEO) have awarded Toronto-based civil engineering firm R.V. Anderson Associates Limited (RVA), in association with DTAH, their premier prize for engineering excellence. The Willis Chipman Award for 2017 was presented to RVA on Saturday, April 8th, for the East Bayfront Stormwater Management System, a project undertaken for Waterfront Toronto. The Ontario Consulting Engineering Awards Gala, which this year celebrated its 15th year of existence, is Ontario’s most prestigious industry awards program for consulting engineering.
Per CEO’s award application guidelines, the Willis Chipman Award is presented to the project that “best demonstrated the important contribution of consulting engineering to improving the economic, social, and environmental quality of life in Ontario.” The East Bayfront project is part of a substantive revitalization being undertaken at the Toronto waterfront. As part of the revitalization, the waterfront is being divided into precincts that will be developed into unique neighbourhoods.
“As civil engineers, some of our best work is buried in the ground and no one knows it’s there and it’s really the lifeblood of a city,” said Peter Langan, Vice President of RVA and Project Manager for this award-winning project, in conversation with Plus Delta, CEO’s publication, for their 2017 Accolades issue. “Without water main infrastructure, sanitary and storm sewer infrastructure, this city could not exist and all of that is below grade and works seamlessly to keep civil society functioning. This is just another good example of that.”
The East Bayfront Stormwater Management System, nicknamed the “EBF Shaft,” replaced a previous concept for the East Bayfront precinct development that was found to be prohibitively expensive. Waterfront Toronto retained RVA, who had been actively working on development projects in the adjacent West Don Lands precinct, to review the concept and provide cost-effective alternatives.
The system comprises a 2,200 m3 attenuation tank and a pumping station capable of pumping 180 litres per second. The system conveys “first flush” stormwater flows to the West Don Lands Stormwater Treatment Facility, which will be expanded to service both the West Don Lands and East Bayfront precincts. The tank is located within a new road allowance beside the waterfront promenade.
The major challenges of the project included finding an appropriate location for the attenuation tank that wasn’t too close to Lake Ontario and safely removing poor soils at the project site. The solution reduces risk, achieves considerable cost savings, and has been seamlessly incorporated into the public surroundings thanks to high-quality land- and streetscaping provided by the public realm designer, DTAH. For example, a small local control panel was specifically designed to look like a mailbox, and placed within the boulevard next to the tank.
The success of the project would not have been possible without collaboration within the project team, whose members included RVA, DTAH, Waterfront Toronto, MMM Group, PCL, Technicore, and the City of Toronto.