One of the main differences in how things are done in the construction industry here in Canada compared with Australia is the defined construction season. As soon as the snow begins its melt and the days warm up, the contractors are out pushing snow, clearing and grubbing the land and stripping the topsoil. Over the weekend, the smell of burning timber filled the city as a hillside above town was cleared and burnt-off to make way for houses.

For a city to keep growing, houses need to be built. The reason there is construction is because people like me and my family see this region as a desirable place to either raise a family or retire.

Sustainable growth and development doesn’t have to be expensive, it can just be smart. Cities could be offering bonuses to developers who do some of the following:

      • maintaining a certain percentage of trees on a site
      • provide innovative solutions for stormwater management and lot configuration
      • provide water and energy smart appliances in condos and houses, and
      • offering above the required parkland and open space as well as bike and walking trails.

Pretty simple ideas, not necessarily a large cost to the developer, or the cities, but the outcome for the residents and the community is far superior to a product provided without this thought.

I’m glad the snow’s melting in the valley, the days are warming, (we had 19 degrees yesterday, a new record!). It’ll soon be fishing season and time to get out on the bike trails and explore the forests.

Construction season means busy days, but plenty of recreation opportunities too, bring on the sunshine.


Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.