Glass Canada

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Beating the odds

August 31, 2023  By Rich Porayko

Dekor got into the project late but executed an award-winning architectural achievement.

AT A GLANCE – BCIT Health Sciences Centre 

  • Location: Burnaby, B.C.
  • Architect: Stantec
  • Glazier: Dekor Glass Ltd.
  • Fabricator: Garibaldi Glass
  • Glass: Guardian SunGuard SNR 43 and SN 68 on clear

The British Columbia Institute of Technology Health Sciences Centre provides an innovative learning environment for students looking to pursue a career in health sciences. Located in Burnaby, B.C., the centre offers both full-time and part-time programs ranging from health care assistant and medical office administration to diagnostic medical sonography and nursing. Encased in Guardian SunGuard SNR 43 and SunGuard SN 68 on clear glass, the HSC is an energy-efficient and low-carbon-emission building that prioritizes student wellness, creating an engaging and sustainable environment.

Alan Milner, project manager for Garibaldi Glass, explains that the project had been awarded to a glazing contractor that closed shop as the work got started, which is where Dekor Glass picked it up. “We did everything with Dekor and it worked out great. They took it over from another company and it still went smoothly. They were able to pick up the slack and still finish on time.” 

“It was a little bit of a messy beginning,” says Dan Jenn, chief estimator and partner at Dekor Glass. “The previous glazing contractor had just started putting frames in and ordered a little bit of glass and then they went bankrupt.” 


The project was already a month behind when it was put back out for tender. “We won the bid and started out four months behind the schedule,” recalls Jenn. “Not a great start. We had to produce our own shop drawings. We had to produce everything, which obviously takes time.” Normally a project of this scope would have a year or two to plan. 

“We worked with Bird Construction and pretty much designed all of the details as we progressed through the project,” Jenn says. “There were some very complicated details that would be quite tricky to achieve at a normal construction schedule, however we just didn’t have the benefit of time. It was pretty amazing to be able to see it completed.”

“Garibaldi was really good,” says Jenn. “Before the legal process had been settled, it was very complicated. The previous glazier hadn’t officially informed any suppliers, so it was still their project. We had to deal with all that in the beginning.”

“Once it went, we were ordering glass like crazy,” shares Jenn. “We ordered around $1,000,000 worth of metal and glass and as soon as we received it, we had to hit the ground running. We actually finished the project on time somehow. It was pretty wild for us. We’re a pretty young company. My partners and I purchased this company six years ago from when we were all 25 years old. We’re just in our early thirties now. We’ve learned a few things as we’ve gone. That was the biggest project we’ve ever done by far and it went really well, too. We already had a great relationship with Garibaldi, which got even better but we also created a really good relationship with Bird Construction as well.” 

Jenn and his partners are high school friends who have owned together at Dekor since in 2018. “We’re up and coming and taking on larger projects,” says Jenn. “BCIT is one of our proudest moments. Guardian Glass presented Dekor with a 2023 Commercial Project Award for HSC as a top project for all of Canada. It is pretty next level, because we were all so stressed out. To see some recognition after is cool.” •

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