About Samaritan's Purse
Samaritan's Purse - Canada is an evangelical Christian organization that provides relief aid and spiritual support to people in need around the world. One of the more widely recognized programs of Samaritan's Purse is the Operation Christmas Child shoebox program. This program raises overall awareness of the need to help those who are in crisis. Many schools, civic groups, churches and individuals across Canada are engaged by actively participating in the collection and preparation of shoeboxes that will be sent overseas.
On an annual basis approximately 730,000 shoeboxes are collected and distributed. Samaritan's Purse employs approximately 55 people year round. During November and December when Operation Christmas Child activities are at a peak, approximately 50 extra staff are added, and upwards of 4000 volunteers are working on the project.
This program is very effective in getting aid directly to those who need it and raising awareness in Canada. Children see it as "kids helping kids", which gives them a sense of satisfaction and a good feeling because they are helping others. Samaritan's Purse is also affiliated with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which is a non-profit organization that uses a variety of print and broadcast mediums to share the Gospel message of Jesus Christ with people around the world.
The Canadian arms of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association operate under one roof in Calgary, Alberta. Recently a new building was constructed to provide more office space to accommodate these growing organizations, as well as a warehouse, which is used to process Operation Christmas Child gift-filled shoeboxes for international travel. Funds for the new facility are being raised by Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Len Komhyr of Hopewell Development Corporation advises that this particular project was conceived years ago when Samaritan's Purse began the search for a new home. Hopewell was able to provide an ideally situated piece of industrial land with sufficient room for expansion and also provide construction management services. A building committee headed by Jack Neufeld undertook the project of designing and constructing this modern functional facility.
The energy efficiency of the building was very important. The goal was to reduce operating costs thus allowing Samaritan's Purse and The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to use the savings realized to provide humanitarian aid. In addition to reduced operating costs, the organizations were conscious about minimizing any negative impact of this project on the environment. In addition, Dr. Jim Love provided his expertise to ensure the building met the highest energy efficiencies possible. An application was made under the Commercial Building Incentive Program (CBIP). Under this program grants are available for buildings that are 25% better than the national energy model. This particular building shows an approximate 40% reduction in energy consumption when compared to this model.
Insulated Precast Concrete Sandwich Wall Panels
Precast concrete insulated panels, 230 mm thick and 9.2 m tall, with an R-15 rating, in combination with other materials, were used in the construction of the warehouse portion of this project. Hopewell uses significant amounts of precast concrete on the buildings they construct in Calgary and Toronto. Hopewell felt that precast concrete would be an ideal material choice for exterior wall cladding on this project. This view was also shared by architects Barry Pendergast and Carmen Bennett and the building owners.
Durability was a major concern and precast concrete wall panels were the best construction solution. Precast concrete provides an esthetically pleasing long lasting wall system that is not subject to rot, rusting or colour fade. In addition, precast concrete walls do not burn and are unaffected by impact damage from vandals or the worst hail storm that nature can deliver. Precast concrete sandwich panels also provide a durable interior wall. This building has storage racks and interior forklift traffic which drive a requirement for walls that are resistant to impact. Precast concrete sandwich panels are an excellent material choice to meet interior and exterior wall durability needs.
Speed of Construction
Mike Desroches, Hopewell's project manager responsible for construction, identifies another major benefit in using precast concrete. From Mike's perspective, speed of construction is very significant. He wants to see his building enclosed as quickly as possible to allow his other sub-trades an early start. It is possible to commence production at the same time as other work on the jobsite is undertaken.
The panels are delivered and installed as soon as the site is available. It takes only a day to two to assemble a large wall area on site. There is no need to provide any temporary enclosures or heat for exterior wall construction when precast wall panels are used. According to Mike Desroches, precast walls provide an immediate insulated building enclosure that enables him to offer a warm working environment that enhances the efficiency of his other trades.
Quality was another important need that Mike Desroches identifies. Precast panel production is undertaken in a controlled plant environment and completed in accordance with engineered drawings. The plant environment allows for very tight controls in the production and curing of concrete as well as tight dimensional controls on the precast concrete elements. However, Mike is quick to point out that product quality also includes delivering the product on time, which takes us back to speed of construction. Don Jasper, Director of Operations for Samaritan's Purse said that construction was faster than expected which helped ensure a timely delivery of the project.
Jack Neufeld, chairman of the building committee for Samaritan's Purse, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, identified cost savings as a benefit of using precast concrete. These savings are recognized in the first cost of construction as well as the ongoing operating costs. Mr. Neufeld says that the organizations received a quality structure that came in under budget. This is important to a group who wants to maximize the use of funds for humanitarian purposes. He also observed that precast concrete provided flexibility as there were numerous late changes that were accommodated into the wall system without any construction delays.
Samaritan's Purse and The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association are pleased with their new structure and have many good words to say about Hopewell, the designers and the construction trades that worked on this project.
Developer: Hopewell Development Corporation
Structural Engineers: TRL and Associates Ltd.
Architects: Barry Pendergast and Carmen Bennett
Mechanical Engineers: Sterling Engineering Inc.
Electrical Engineers: A.D. Williams Engineering Ltd.
Precast Concrete: Lafarge Construction Materials