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Alpha Mechanical Contracting Ltd.: A Step Above the Rest
Alpha Mechanical Contracting Ltd. (Alpha) is a leading mechanical contracting firm in western Canada. The Alpha team has been developing the company’s capabilities since its founding in 1974, specifically in the field of specialty piping systems and plumbing.
Alpha prides itself on being able to consistently deliver complete mechanical systems and a diverse set of services for an equally diverse set of clientele. Plumbing, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, medical gases, specialty piping, fire protection and gas fitting systems are all within the comprehensive skill set of the company’s dedicated staff. Alpha typically employs 15 people in its corporate office in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, while having between 20 and 50 skilled tradesmen out in the field on any given day.
“It usually depends on our job flow,” says Lisa Wong, general manager for Alpha. “We could have 10 projects going on simultaneously or we could have three.” Since Wong’s father was the original founder and her brother is the vice president, the company has a long-standing tradition of being family-owned, -operated and -oriented. Alpha offers a personal guarantee with its undertakings, and many customers are happy to trust the company’s friendly and knowledgeable office staff and field personnel as well as the general contractors who service larger sites.
A Platform of Efficiency and Creativity
Alpha’s record can stand by itself as a testament to the company’s exceptional service and efficiency in many ways. The company has the capacity to manage major, complex and varied projects. Alpha enjoys the multiple roles of equipment installers, retrofitter and turnkey contractor equally. One project that called upon all of Alpha's skills was at the Vancouver Aquarium.
From 2001 to 2006 the aquarium was in need of a contractor with varied experience in the realm of pools and life support systems. Specialized saltwater and filtration methods sustain the living environment of the sea animals and are critical life support systems. However, Alpha is well experienced with such delicate systems. The company completed the aquarium’s new west coast exhibit, the aquaculture and diversification laboratory, and various life support upgrades.
Alpha returned to the aquarium in 2012 to provide design assistance and budgeting for the facility’s upcoming upgrade and expansion. “It is always sensitive working with life support systems, especially at the aquarium where it is crucial to maintain absolute normal conditions for the sea animals while working on their existing systems,” says Wong. “Experience in this area is so vital to success on these types of projects. Our knowledgeable field staff and dedicated project teams thrive with the intense pressure and preplanning of these technical projects.”
The high-tech applications Alpha uses to implement these systems are a standard of the contracting company’s attention to detail and meticulous execution of the task at hand. The aquarium project demonstrates Alpha’s inherent understanding of the requirements of a job and how best to get it done.
However, Alpha’s specialty piping expertise is not limited to life support and pools. The team at Alpha is proud of its long-standing reputation in the hospital and medical gas piping disciplines. The company has expansive experience in the field.
In 2011 Alpha completed a three-year design-build project for Chilliwack General Hospital, a major medical facility servicing the population beyond the Fraser Valley to Hope. The company undertook a major renovation to the existing emergency department, as well as an addition to the hospital, all while the hospital was in operation.
The project was planned and technically executed by the team in order to tie into the existing mechanical and medical systems without interrupting hospital operations. Alpha’s design assistance, preplanning, execution and technical expertise showcased the company’s capabilities on this challenging project.
In addition, Alpha completed the plumbing installation for the Vancouver Convention Center Expansion Project (VCCEP) as a subcontractor to the prime mechanical contractor. The projects architects and Alpha’s team envisioned VCCEP to add to the landmark on the spectacular waterfront of Vancouver, which juts out sharply into the skyline. The three-year project was a major plumbing and piping job for Alpha in 2007 and was completed on time for the 2010 Olympics. The convention center now measures in at 466,500 square feet and is one of the largest centers in Canada.
The VCCEP was also up for LEED Silver certification, which it achieved shortly after its opening. The Canadian Green Building Council awarded the building with another LEED certification in late 2010, but this time the facility had worked its way up. Achieving LEED Platinum status made hosting the 2010 Winter Olympic Games all the more gratifying for both Alpha and the convention center.
Another project that Alpha has been working on is the University of British Columbia’s Earth Systems and Science Building (UBC ESSB). The UBC science department had outgrown its 30-year-old facilities and required the necessary upgrade to modernize its facilities for energy efficiency and to continue its research.
Alpha is assisting with the upgrade and is currently completing the entire mechanical systems for the new facility at the UBC ESSB project. The company has understood the importance of sustainability and innovation in the construction industry and Alpha is staying ahead of the game in this arena.
Winning the Accolades of the Industry
Alpha’s commitment to exceeding industry standards has been recognized by the western Canadian community with numerous awards, most notably the Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA). The VRCA represents more than 700 general contractors, specialty trade contractors, manufacturers, suppliers and building professionals that are active in the multibillion dollar nonresidential construction industry in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. The association's standards of excellence are high and the awards are given to a select few, Alpha being one of them.
One of Alpha’s most interesting award-winning projects was the Yaletown Roundhouse Station, which was one of 16 built for the Vancouver Lower Mainland rapid transit Canada Line; Alpha completed six of these stations. The majority of Alpha’s work on the project was completed 19 meters below street level and then transitioned to Yaletown Station. A massive underground boring machine was brought in by the general contractor to tunnel through Vancouver’s downtown core for the rapid transit line. Alpha was awarded the 2009 VRCA Mechanical Contractor Award of Excellence for the unique and technical project.
In 2006 Alpha won the VRCA Mechanical Contracting Gold Award for its work on the Killarney Community Pool. The pool was featured in Construction Business magazine and is truly a sight to behold. One wall is entirely made of glass windows, which both reflects and lets in natural light, also allowing both the water and design to shine.
Alpha also won the 2004 VRCA Mechanical Contractor Award of Excellence for the company’s work on the Vancouver International Airport authority domestic terminal building’s solar and hot water systems upgrade project. The award-winning project provides substantial energy savings for the airport and was also one of the first solar projects of its kind to be completed in the Vancouver area.
The company enjoys each of these successes, but doesn’t lose sight of forging new paths of excellence in the commercial and industrial markets. Alpha Mechanical Contracting Ltd. is looking forward to applying its plumbing and piping expertise, vast experience and excellent customer service to interesting and technical projects in the mechanical contracting industry.