New site visit routine ensures ongoing fairness for contractors during project tendering

DCC Coordinator, Construction Services Doug Thompson (left) and Gagetown Site Manager Craig Mercer inspect the completed gym floor. The new floor will serve the base and local community for years.
DCC Coordinator, Construction Services Doug Thompson (left) and Gagetown Site Manager Craig Mercer inspect the completed gym floor. The new floor will serve the base and local community for years.

One way DCC ensures fairness in procurement is by providing contractors interested in bidding on projects access to visit the work site. But what if a pandemic-related lockdown makes that seem impossible?

That was the challenge a DCC team had to overcome in the spring of 2020 so that a project to replace a 20-year-old gym floor at CFB Gagetown could go ahead.

Ordinarily, DCC invites contractors to walk through a site in a group, explains Doug Thompson, Coordinator, Construction Services. This can mean up to 20 people gathering for a tour, sometimes in constrained spaces.

With physical distancing restrictions in place, Doug and his colleagues had to consider alternatives for the gym project. These included simply sending out photos, "but we didn't want to prevent contractors from seeing the site."

To meet health and safety requirements, DCC scheduled appointments for touchless walk-throughs. Individuals wore masks and entered and exited the gym though an exterior door. They could look at anything they wanted and then e-mail any questions to DCC later.

The approach worked (five companies bid on the $1.2‑million floor replacement) and has been used for other projects, Thompson says. "Being fair to industry is non-negotiable. We want to encourage competition and give everyone equal access to DCC procurement opportunities."

As for the gym floor, it is top-of-the-line poured epoxy. Completed in September 2020, it has a smooth, spike-proof surface and cushiony feel, while the surrounding running track is textured for traction. The new floor will serve the base and local community for years and be easy to replace when the time comes, notes Thompson. "You simply pour another floor on top."


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