Links to Productivity Tools and Resources | BuildForce Canada

Links to Productivity Tools and Resources



The Alberta Projects Improvement Network (APIN) is a cross-industry network of progressive organizations and leaders working together to improve industrial construction practices in Alberta.

APIN works to improve Alberta's and Canada's track record of delivering successful, productive and capital-efficient industrial construction projects. More specifically, APIN and its founding organizations share a common mission to make Alberta's industrial construction sector Twice as Safe, Twice as Productive and Internationally Competitive by 2020. To learn more visit

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CCInnovations is the result of a challenge by the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) that an Institute be established to instill a new culture for innovation in the Canadian construction industry.

CCInnovations’ goals for the industry will make innovation a driver of growth across our entire economy through:

  • Reduce corporate risk and increase profitability
  • Improved sustainability and minimized life-cycle costs.
  • Create more satisfied clients
  • Attract talented individuals to our industry
  • Improve the image of the construction industry
  • Improve our technological advances

Visit to learn more about innovation in Canada and CCInnovations offerings including:

CCI Clearinghouse: The CCI Clearinghouse was launched last September. This is where industry stakeholders can post innovative solutions free of charge and accessible by the public at large. CCI then uses social media and its own network to promote these posts. CCI will use this tool as a source of information to initiate projects. It is there for you to use!

Survey of Construction Owners: Late last fall, CCI commissioned a study of construction owners to assess the main challenges in construction and then perform a gap analysis to determine how the research conducted by academia and the private sector could best align itself with industry needs.

Incubator for Energy Conservation in Heavy Construction Sector: In January 2016, CCI created an incubator comprised of industry leaders for the purpose of creating an industry-led program for energy conservation in the heavy construction sector. This phase 1 project culminated in a report that addresses the main areas to be covered in this program. Phase 2, soon, to be undertaken, will consist of developing such a program with all the necessary support for its implementation Phase 3.

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The Centre for the Study of Living Standards (CSLS) was established in August 1995 to undertake research in the area of living standards.  Visit for up to date research on productivity, innovation and more.

The two main objectives of CSLS are to:

  • Contribute to a better understanding of trends in living standards and factors determining trends through research; and
  • Contribute to public debate on living standards by developing and advocating specific policies through expert consensus.

The research and advocacy activities of CSLS are motivated by the following general principles:

  • In the long run, productivity growth is the key to improved living standards;
  • In the short to medium term elimination of any output gap is the most effective way to raise living standards;
  • The equitable sharing of productivity gains among all groups in society is an essential element of the economic growth process;
  • Increased cooperation among the various groups which make up our society can contribute significantly to better living standards; and
  • Reliable data are crucial to the monitoring and analysis of living standards and to the development of effective policies to increase living standards.

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The Construction Industry Institute, based at The University of Texas at Austin, is a consortium of more than 130 leading owner, engineering-contractor, and supplier firms from both the public and private arenas. These organizations have joined together to enhance the business effectiveness and sustainability of the capital facility life cycle through CII research, related initiatives, and industry alliances. A learning organization with a wealth of knowledge and information, CII is unique in the engineering and construction industry including:

Advanced Work Packaging: The overall process flow of all the detailed work packages (construction, engineering, and installation work packages). AWP is a planned, executable process that encompasses the work on an EPC project, beginning with initial planning and continuing through detailed design and construction execution. AWP provides the framework for productive and progressive construction, and presumes the existence of a construction execution plan.

Alignment: The condition where appropriate project participants are working within acceptable tolerances to develop and meet a uniformly defined and understood set of project objectives.

Benchmarking & Metrics: The systematic process of measuring an organization’s performance against recognized leaders for the purpose of determining best practices that lead to superior performance when adapted and utilized.

Change Management: The process of incorporating a balanced change culture of recognition, planning, and evaluation of project changes in an organization to effectively manage project changes.

Constructability: The optimum use of construction knowledge and experience in planning, design, procurement, and field operations to achieve overall project objectives.

Disputes Prevention & Resolution: Techniques that include the use of a Disputes Review Board as an alternate dispute resolution process for addressing disputes in their early stages before affecting the progress of the work, creating adversarial positions, and leading to litigation.

Front-end Planning: The essential process of developing sufficient strategic information with which owners can address risk and make decisions to commit resources in order to maximize the potential for a successful project. FEP is often perceived as synonymous with front-end engineering design (FEED), front end loading (FEL), pre-project planning (PPP), feasibility analysis, programming and conceptual planning.

Implementation of CII Research: The comprehensive and effective use of proven CII products by member organizations as outlined in the CII Implementation Model.

Lessons Learned: A critical element in the management of institutional knowledge, an effective lessons learned program will facilitate the continuous improvement of processes and procedures and provide a direct advantage in an increasingly competitive industry.

Materials Management: An integrated process for planning and controlling all necessary efforts to make certain that the quality and quantity of materials and equipment are appropriately specified in a timely manner, are obtained at a reasonable cost, and are available when needed.

Partnering: A long-term commitment between two or more organizations as in an alliance or it may be applied to a shorter period of time such as the duration of a project. The purpose of partnering is to achieve specific business objectives by maximizing the effectiveness of each participant’s resources.

Planning for Modularization: The evaluation and determination of offsite construction in the front end planning phase to achieve specific strategic objectives and improved project outcomes. Includes developing a business case and execution strategy for large-scale transfer of stick-built construction effort from the jobsite to fabrication shops or yards.

Planning for Startup: Startup is defined as the transitional phase between plant construction completion and commercial operations, that encompasses all activities that bridge these two phases, including systems turnover, check-out of systems, commissioning of systems, introduction of feedstocks, and performance testing.

Project Risk Assessment: The process to identify, assess, and manage risk. The project team evaluates risk exposure for potential project impact to provide focus for mitigation strategies.

Quality Management: Quality management incorporates all activities conducted to improve the efficiency, contract compliance and cost effectiveness of design, engineering, procurement, QA/QC, construction, and startup elements of construction projects.

Team Building: A project-focused process that builds and develops shared goals, interdependence, trust and commitment, and accountability among team members and that seeks to improve team members’ problem-solving skills.

Zero Accidents Techniques: Include the site-specific safety programs and implementation, auditing, and incentive efforts to create a project environment and a level of training that embraces the mindset that all accidents are preventable and that zero accidents is an obtainable goal.

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The Construction Owners Association of Alberta (COAA) has been working to improve productivity and achieve world-class productivity in the heavy industrial construction and industrial maintenance sectors for many years. Visit for a wealth of information, resources and tools to address productivity.

Advanced Work Packaging: Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) is a disciplined approach to improving project productivity and predictability. It accomplishes this by aligning planning and execution activities throughout the project life cycle, from project set-up to start-up and turnover.

Benchmarking: Work collaboratively with all industry stakeholders to create a historical database measuring the construction productivity of Alberta projects and put an on-going measurement system in place.

Alberta Report II: The Construction Owners Association of Alberta (COAA), in partnership with the Construction Industry Institute (CII), first established a Benchmarking Database (also referred to as the COAA Performance Assessment System or COAA PAS) of capital industrial projects in 2006, allowing participating COAA members to assess the performance of their projects against similar projects in Alberta and the U.S. The database includes project cost, schedule and safety data, and engineering and construction information that is inputted into the COAA Benchmarking Database at two specific times in the project life cycle, at sanction and completion. The system utilizes the project data to calculate metrics that can be analyzed to assess project performance along with engineering and construction productivity.

Modularization Strategy: There are a variety of challenges related to modularization, such as remote coordination, quality assurance, transportation and tie-in on site, which can be addressed in a Best Practice to provide guidance to owners, contractors and fabricators who wish to adopt a modularization strategy.

Rework Reduction: Tools and resources to reduce the total direct cost of redoing work in the field regardless of initiating cause or source.

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Go Productivity is a national not for profit productivity firm that works with clients to develop the best solution for their productivity challenges. Their services include training, advising or coaching. Their expertise and experience will improve your organization’s capacity and productivity. Visit to learn more about their services, resources, and tools.

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IPA improves the competitiveness of ITS customers through more effective use of capital in their businesses. It is IPA’s mission and unique competence to conduct research into the functioning of capital projects and project systems, and to apply the results of that research to help its customers create and use capital assets more efficiently. Some of their services include the following. Visit to learn more about the available services and resources.

Risk Analysis and Benchmarking: IPA benchmarks key elements of capital effectiveness, enabling companies to improve the performance of their capital projects, systems, and targeted functional activities.

Training and Education: IPA Institute delivers public and private courses that provide attendees with real-world insights and data-driven observations about capital project development and management issues. Now companies can integrate these same core course teachings in their own project organization training programs through the Institute’s In-House Learning Program.

Research: The Project Research Division (PRD) examines the functioning of capital projects and project systems and applies the results to help our customers create and use capital assets more efficiently.

Site and Sustaining Capital: With a database of more than 200 small project sites and a proven Site Benchmarking Methodology, IPA can identify potential capital project savings for clients and provide clear recommendations as to how those savings can be realized.

Organizations & Teams: IPA has identified the key elements of project organizations and teams that drive capital effectiveness through robust data-based research linking practices and behaviors to concrete performance measures.

Cost Engineering: IPA research has demonstrated a link between the use of specific Best Practices for Estimating, Planning, & Control and overall capital project effectiveness. The Cost Engineering group focuses on understanding what estimating practices drive capital project performance outcomes based on the analysis of industry clients’ project evaluation and benchmarking data.

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The Lean Construction Institute – Canada (LCI-C) was established in 2015 as a special committee of the Canadian Construction Association to help transform the building industry in Canada by making a difference in how projects are planned, designed and managed, in all forms of project delivery.

Visit for more information on LCI and its information, resources and tools.

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Canada's premier innovation assistance program for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the National Research Council-Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) supports many initiatives to help industry to mitigate risks of technology. Visit for more information.

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UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA – NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Strategic Construction Modeling and Delivery

The NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) Industrial Research Chair in Strategic Construction Modeling and Delivery brings together construction industry owners, contractors, and labour groups working in Alberta and across Canada to develop comprehensive, research-based solutions to key industry problems. Giving particular attention to Canada's oil and gas, utilities, industrial, and commercial construction sectors, the Chair focuses on strategic concerns related to construction management—such as construction industry productivity, organizational competency and project performance, and risk analysis and management. Research undertaken includes improvements to productivity, structuring projects and teams, project delivery methods, and reducing project execution risk.

The Chair's research program takes advantage of fuzzy logic's ability to capture and quantify the many subjective uncertainties that challenge construction projects. Researchers combine fuzzy logic with other forms of uncertainty modeling, artificial intelligence, and simulation techniques to develop advanced decision-support tools and approaches.

The NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Strategic Construction Modeling and Delivery collaborates closely with industry partners in working toward the goal of using advanced modeling techniques to deliver effective solutions to practical industry problems. The Chair strives to meet the needs of partner organizations with specialized solutions designed for individual parties, as well as joint collaborative projects involving multiple partners. Partners represent a wide variety of construction industry stakeholders, including construction owners, owner associations, contractors, contractor associations, labour associations, and labour unions.

For information on their latest research projects, industry partners, opportunities to participate in research, and news and events, please visit the University of Alberta website

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Valency is a Waterloo, Ontario-based provider of construction project management solutions and best practices that reduce risk for organizations managing a large portfolio of capital projects. They are Registered Education Providers with both the Construction Industry Institute (CII) and the Project Management Institute (PMI). Valency’s mandate is to help organizations implement CII best practices that dramatically improve performance in capital projects. 

Their solution offerings are based on the CII’s methodologies and best practices that are fully aligned with PMI’s Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). 

CII has identified 17 best practices areas for improving capital project delivery. Of the 17, Valency focuses on providing training and support on these eight:

  • Front-End Planning
  • Risk Management
  • Scope Definition
  • Alignment
  • Change Management
  • Lessons Learned
  • Partnering
  • Planning for Startup

Event calendar:

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