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Math is Fun!

1.4 vs. 2

Dean once took a graduate class in "Decision Support Systems" taught by Dr. Mohamed Al-Hussein at the University of Alberta. He did a lot of work with Excel models in this class. The models were built to help make decisions (get it...decision support systems?). Dr. Al-Hussein made it very clear that the models did not make the decisions, they merely helped people make informed decisions.  

This week, just for fun*, Dean made a decision support system in the form of a graph. It shows how quickly COVID-19 and the flu can spread through a population. It's a simple exponential function like this (please don't be scared of the math, it's fun!): 

y=x^n 
y=number of people infected 
x=number of transmissions or "touches" 
n=average infection rate 

The numbers are debatable, but some of the figures I've seen indicate one flu carrier can infect 1.4 people (yes, there's no such thing as 0.4 of a person...it's a statistical average). One...

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Get a Better Falsework Inspection

Canada’s largest Canadian Tire store is now open in Edmonton, thanks in part to the falsework inspections by Boreal Services’ Engineering department.

You’ve got to get to the store if you have a chance (or take a virtual tour); this place is unlike any Canadian Tire you’ve been to before. With 140,000 square feet across two floors, a driving simulator, and a virtual patio (among other features), it might just become a family destination store this summer.

The falsework inspections for this high-profile showcase store were an opportunity to prove exactly how much value Boreal can add to your project. Is an inspection just an inspection? Not when we get involved!

Why Do an Inspection At All?

A falsework inspection is required by CSA standards, but there are much stronger reasons to do something than because we have to.

Third-party falsework inspections offer a fresh perspective (and a fresh set of eyes) on complex construction...

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Skeleton Steel Plans So Your Job Isn’t D.O.A.

The to-do list on a construction project can seem impossibly long. When everything has to be done in order and every extra day costs money, it can be tempting to look for ways to trim the budget and the schedule without trimming the final project.

There are lots of ways to trim, and we can help you find them, but your skeleton steel erection plan is not the place. In fact, a good plan for this stage of your project will save you time and money both immediately AND in the long run.

How so?

Let’s start at the beginning.

What is Skeleton Steel?

Skeleton steel goes by a few names. Maybe you know it as structural steel or skeleton structure. Accordingly, it’s the skeleton of the structure you’re building. It’s the bones; it’s what gives form, structure, and strength to everything that goes up after it.

Executed properly, skeleton steel is a connected web of columns, beams, and girders that lock together like LEGO pieces. The strength...

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You take stuff off the truck and put it up?

I have attended many career fairs selling engineering students on the merits of a career in construction. At one such fair, a student said to me “Construction? All you do is take stuff off a truck and put it up” after which they walked away. While the work of the Hole School of Construction has helped to change some of the negative attitudes, the stereotypes still persist.

I’ve worked in the construction industry for over 15 years, and I can say that is a constantly changing and challenging career, but also a highly rewarding career. Full disclosure: I am an engineer and don’t typically perform any tasks requiring manual labour (I don’t think anyone wants me to do any of that anyways), but I have the utmost respect for the skilled trades that execute the construction projects I’ve been a part of. Construction isn’t for everyone. Here’s how I explain construction to non-construction types (and the under-informed job...

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