Aplin & Martin Consultants Ltd.

Civil engineering and design services
Written by: 
Erica Berry
Produced by: 
John Carioti

Aplin & Martin Consultants Ltd. (Aplin & Martin) is a full-service civil engineering, planning and survey company serving clients throughout British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. The consultancy offers an array of cost-effective and innovative design and project management solutions for private and public sector clients alike.

Founded in 1968 by Peter Aplin and Bob Martin, the company began with just a handful of engineers and surveyors and has since grown in size, reputation and geography. Headquartered in Surrey, British Columbia, the company has expanded across the province to include branch locations in Kelowna and Vancouver, as well as Calgary. Due to its geographic span, the company is able to serve clients and projects throughout the respective provinces and also overseas—many of which are return clients.

Since incorporating nearly 50 years ago, Aplin & Martin has evolved from a civil engineering company into an interdisciplinary firm of civil engineers, urban planning professionals and land surveyors.

Aplin & Martin, along with its affiliated land survey firm Murray & Associates, provide expertise in project management, land development, civil engineering, urban design, public consultation, regulatory negotiations, land surveying and construction management.

Aplin& Martin Consultants Ltd.

Size advantage

The company, which now operates under the direction of Ed Fujii, president and CEO, finds edge over competitors not only in its diverse expertise, but also in its size. While many land development consultants in British Columbia offer boutique services, Aplin & Martin can handle larger projects due to its strong manpower. Aplin & Martin’s size, agility and adaptability also contribute to its success in Alberta, where larger companies reign, because it is able to take on smaller projects that the larger corporations overlook.

“Our passion for development, coupled with our 115 team members, enables us to take on large projects, while also staying nimble enough to tackle smaller scale jobs,” says Ed. “The capability to complete a wide range of project sizes keeps us competitive and earns us the lion’s share of development work in the lower mainland. No job is too big or too small.”

Aplin & Martin works with both private and public clients, such as municipalities and commercial developers. Over the years, the company has contributed to an array of projects and uses a unique project team structure, which consists of smaller groups working within the larger company framework, to ensure personalized service for each client.

No 4. road project

In 2012, Aplin & Martin completed the No.4 road drainage pump system for the city of Richmond in Richmond, British Columbia. The consultancy’s experienced design team was able to reuse the existing wet well by applying structural modifications to improve the hydraulics and facilitate the installation of new pumps. These improvements doubled the capacity of the station to 6.0 centimeters per second.

This project, which involved a number of innovative principles, won the 2012 Award of Excellence (Municipal Category) from the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies British Columbia and 2011 Project of the Year from the British Columbia Public Works Association.

“We designed and coordinated construction of the entire No. 4 road project,” says Ed. “Creating a functional and cohesive design were main factors in this project. We were able to raise the dyke to accommodate a plaza and lookout area, incorporate public art into the landscape and also use complimenting themes found in the surrounding neighbourhood.”

Highway 97 improvements

Aplin & Martin was retained by Treegroup Developments Corporation to provide the consulting civil engineering services to support its Highway 97 improvements project in Peachland, British Columbia. Once complete, the upgrade provided primary access to the highway from an adjacent 400-acre, 2,310-unit Ponderosa master-planned community.

From conception to completion, the company worked in collaboration with the District of Peachland, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and Treegroup. Design work included a new signalized intersection connecting Ponderosa Drive to 13th Street and the widening of Highway 97, as well as municipal road upgrades on Clements Crescent, Ponderosa Drive, 13th Street and Princeton Avenue. Additional works on this project included upgrades to the existing sanitary sewer, storm sewer and waterworks infrastructure. The project was successfully completed in July 2012, on time and within budget.

“It’s essential we work together with contracting allies because at the end of the day they help us with design issues and we help them select the right contractor,” says Ed. “We learn from each other and help one another prosper.”

Diverse skillset

As a showcase to its diversity, Aplin & Martin acted as the civil engineering consultant for the new Surrey City Center project. Working with the city of Surrey and a team of external professionals, Aplin & Martin prepared detailed designs for offsite roadwork and onsite surface drainage improvements.

“Surrey City Center consists of a new City Hall, office tower and Simon Fraser University building around a civic plaza,” says Ed. “All of our clients, and this one in particular, benefit from our team leadership, knowledge and experience, which covers strategic planning, critical path scheduling, project administration and budget control. By addressing regulatory and technical issues, we were able to manage project details and reduce the risk within a time and cost-sensitive environment.”

Aplin & Martin staff engineers also provided detailed design for the storm sewer, sanitary and water main services of the Surrey City Center project, as well as service connections to the municipal system.

Additionally, the team prepared and monitored the Erosion & Sedimentation Control Plan for the site, during construction. To minimize site runoff, Aplin & Martin developed underground detention tanks with the intension of utilizing collected water for site irrigation.

The company has also completed design and construction services on a multi-phased, mixed-use residential and commercial development project for Aspac Developments Ltd. The development, which is located adjacent to the Olympic Oval in Richmond, British Columbia, won the 2014 UDI Award for Best Master Planned Community.

Aplin & Martin completed an uptown shopping center redevelopment in Vancouver, where it, in-tandem, introduced 10 high rise buildings, as well as on and offsite design and construction services of Highland Park Industrial Subdivision in Airdrie, Alberta for Beedie Group.

In development business downturns are inevitable, but an experienced team and a diverse client base offer a positive outlook for future growth. Aplin & Martin is optimistic about its future and plans to continue its legacy of staying relevant and providing exceptional business practices.

Plans for expansion

As more developers and construction-based businesses are becoming involved in the green building movement, Aplin & Martin is also doing its part to contribute to the initiative. Over the past five years, the company has been moving forward with its goals to provide eco-friendly services to its clients, with a focus on improving its systems, policies and processes. The company has also completed several projects, which have obtained, or are pursuing, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

With an experienced team capable of completing all aspects of general civil and development planning, the company is able to keep most work in-house, but looks to environmental and geotechnical subcontractors for specialty projects.

“Environmental roadblocks are probably the biggest issue we face,” Ed says. “We are embracing new ways of looking at construction and are dedicated to protecting the environment. In certain cases help from specialists who can determine if we can build on the prospective site or if we need to take special precautions to protect an animals’ habitat. It causes setbacks but it’s worth it.”

To increase its size, the company has opened new positions at the management level, which have allowed it to better strategize and implement the company’s vision, streamline processes and provide support and developmental programs for its team of professionals effectively and efficiently. Aplin & Martin is also looking to expand its market share and geographic footprint – with plans to open offices in northern Alberta and Saskatchewan, as well as further diversifying of the service offerings.

With 46 years of experience, Aplin & Martin has established itself as a leader in the industry. Dedication to continuously building upon its strong foundation of talented and experienced engineers, designers, planners and surveyors has set Aplin & Martin Consultants Ltd. up for continued success.

Strategic Partnership(s): 
ADS Canada
B&B Contracting Group
BFL Canada Insurance Services Inc.
Hall Constructors
IPEX Inc.
Rainwater Management
Royal Building Products
Targa Contracting (2013) Ltd.
Terminal City Ironworks Ltd.