Pub brings a piece of Ireland to new convention centre

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Manley Design and Construction Management Ltd. of Surrey, B.C. has won a VRCA 2011 Awards of Excellence Silver Award for a general contractor on projects worth up to $15 million.

Mahony & Sons Public House earned Manley Design and Construction Management Ltd.a VRCA Silver Award of Excellence.

Manley won for the design/build of a new Irish Pub at Burrard Landing, which is part of the new Vancouver Convention Centre.

Mustang Contracting, also of Surrey, won a Silver Award on the same project for electrical contracting up to $2 million.

Manley was retained by Mahony and Sons Public House, which owns the project.

The scope of the work included design management; material procurement; furniture, fixtures and equipment procurement; drywall; painting; flooring; doors; hardware; security; audio-visual system; beer and pop lines; wash-room accessories; plumbing; HVAC; electrical and millwork.

The pub, which covers 7,000 square feet, has four separate sections: kitchen; Victorian area; Victorian parlor and Gaelic area.

The Irish Pub Company of Dublin, Ireland was the project designer.

IPC supplied the bric-a-brac, light fixtures, tile, finish painting and furniture from Ireland.

Allan Power, president and owner of Manley, said his company already had considerable experience in construction for the food and beverage industry before it tackled the project at Burrard Landing.

“We built the first Mahony and Sons pub on the campus of UBC,” Power said.

“In addition, we built two Joey’s Restaurants on Burrard, in downtown Vancouver. Right now, we’re building another Irish pub in Vancouver, at the corner of Seventh and Burrard.”

Power said food and beverage construction projects are complex.

“Many specialists in different trades – millwork, audio-visual, security, for example – are all working on the project at the same time,” he said.

“There are many complicated processes involved. For example, the kitchen, which requires some very complex mechanical and electrical arrangements, was treated separately from the rest of the pub.”

Power used the same architect and mechanical and electrical contractors for the Burrard Landing project, as he did at UBC.

“What was different this time was that it was an overall design/build project,” he said.

“The first time it was a straight construction job, with us taking direction from Mahony and Sons’ project manager.”

Manley faced a number of challenges on the Burrard Landing project.

“The pub was one of the first tenants to start work on-site in the new Vancouver Convention Centre,” Power said.

“As a result, our project broke new ground as systems were being developed by PCI (Warrington PCI Management tenant management) and VCC. It meant we had to negotiate the bureaucracy of both PCI and the convention centre.”

In addition, the project was late in getting started.

Although the City of Vancouver received the building permit set of drawings in August 2010, it didn’t issue a building permit until the end of October 2010.

The work was completed, while the convention centre was operating.

Manley and its subs had to operate around its schedule, often performing mechanical and electrical work in confined spaces while the rest of Vancouver was in bed.

Another challenge was co-ordinating the delivery of various components from Ireland and, where necessary, making adjustments to the design to meet local code requirements.

“Even with these delays and constraints, we were able to hand over the space to Mahony and Sons for occupation in mid-March 2011,” Power said.

The original construction budget was $2.365 million and the project came in at $2.5 million, a difference of 5.5 percent.

Power said Manley entered the VRCA Silver Award competition for the Mahony and Sons pub at UBC, but didn’t win.

“This time we wanted to highlight to the committee what can be accomplished with a different delivery method (design-build),” he said.

“Fortunately, our client supported the concept and the team approach and left us alone to do our work.”

Power said the client’s faith in Manley and the design-build approach paid off for everybody.

“It took us only four and a half months to complete the job instead of eight months,” he said.

“That’s money in the bank for everybody involved in the project.”

Source: Peter Caulfield,


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