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WalterFedy was honoured today with a Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Achievement Award in the category of Large Business. This award celebrates the achievements of a local business with over 50 employees in the areas of entrepreneurship, employee relations, promotion of Hamilton, community relations, and product innovation over the past year.

 

WalterFedy has called Hamilton home since 2015, when we opened our second Ontario office in the Hamilton Port Authority building. Just four years later we moved into a new home in the heart of downtown Hamilton, where we are surrounded by big-thinkers, entrepreneurs, and industry trailblazers. The culture of innovation and artistic expression in this city inspires the work that we do. We are excited to be part of Hamilton’s transformation from an industrial haven, into a vibrant business and cultural hub in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). We look forward to being a part of this community and bolstering its success for many years to come.

 

Congratulations to this year’s winners and all those nominated who continue to make Hamilton a great place to live and work.

 

Small Business: Laser Spa Group

Mid-Sized Business: Eccles Auto Service

Not-for-Profit: Amity Goodwill Industries

Young Entrepreneur & Professional: Lohifa Pogoson Acker

Accessibility Award: TownePlace Suites Hamilton

COVID Champion: Good Shepherd

Century Award: YWCA Hamilton and YMCA Hamilton Burlington Brantford and

Citizen of the Year: Paul Johnson and Dr. Elizabeth Richardson

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Image of front lobby looking down at a staircase and offices    

ATS is an industry-leading automation solutions provider for many of the world’s most successful companies. Since the Waterloo Region is known as the “Silicon Valley of Canada”, ATS is following suit and continuing to promote innovation within our community.

 

We had the privilege of providing architectural services, structural, mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering, with support from GSP Group who provided landscaping and site plan application for ATS’s new Cambridge plant and corporate office space. ATS required additional manufacturing space for their life sciences department, a research and development (R & D) innovation lab, a new corporate office space, collaborative spaces (such as kitchenettes), and a cafeteria for up to 400 people. The total area of the project was 120,000 SF. 

 

“ATS has a strong focus and knowledge within automation project management and quality control,” says Will Pentesco, Project Manager. “They showed great interest in the finer details of this project. This gave our team many opportunities to have in-depth design meetings and collaborate using renderings from our 3D modeling programs.”

 

ATS needed an innovation lab that had a functional layout. Underneath this minimalistic design, though, there were highly intricate designs requiring a lot of mechanical, electrical, and structural coordination. Our team’s goal was to keep this complicated technical layout as simple looking as possible.

 

This functional style was carried over into the corporate office space as well. ATS wanted to ensure they had a modern and tech-savvy space for their offices, which included a variety of touchdown and collaborative spaces throughout. During the design development, ATS decided that two floors wouldn’t fulfill the office staff needs, and decided to add a third floor. Our design team showcased the 3D design models via renderings and by utilizing Virtual Reality (VR), which allowed us to showcase and provide an immersive look into the complex details of the whole project. VR also allowed us to reveal the building designs to staff focus groups so they could experience what their new workspaces would feel like.

 

“ATS enjoyed the close relationship with our design team while using VR,” says Will. “It allowed them to fine-tune finish selections for the staff amenity spaces, such as the touchdown kitchenettes on each floor, and the main cafeteria.  We did a series of iterative floor plans, so we could find the right balance for the total number of seats that could fit into the floor plan. It also provided architectural opportunities to showcase their innovative product designs.”

 

A key architectural feature was a grand swooping “A” framing the main entrance. This accent on the façade is reminiscent of the typography used in their corporate logo. It scales the three-stories, peaking at the rooftop. Inside the main lobby, the “A” creates a grand three-story atrium showcasing a prominent staircase, views into the research and development (R&D) innovation lab, as well as a view right into the main cafeteria.

This innovative building, completed in the Fall of 2020, can be seen right off the 401 while driving through Cambridge.

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New Partners: Patrick Darby, Matt Ninomiya, and Russ Parnell

 

KITCHENER, Thursday, November 12, 2020 – The WalterFedy Board of Directors is pleased to announce three new shareholders are joining our ownership team. Congratulations to Patrick Darby, Matt Ninomiya and Russ Parnell who have all proven themselves as leaders within the firm and will be strong representatives of WalterFedy moving forward.

 

“We are proud to be adding these three talented professionals to our shareholders' table,” says Jamie Van Dyk, Chair of the WalterFedy Board of Directors. “Each one brings different skills and experiences to the group and their voices will be valuable additions to our ownership team.” 

 

All three represent different departments and showcase the breadth of talent within our organization. 


Patrick Darby, P.Eng., CEM, CMVP, LEED AP, has been a champion for sustainability in engineering at WalterFedy since joining the team in 2008. Patrick meshes his mechanical engineering background with environmental advocacy to develop future-conscious solutions for his clients. As manager of our Energy and Carbon Solutions department, he challenges his team to explore new approaches to carbon reduction and energy conservation, and actively encourages clients to make savvy, green choices for their buildings. He is also the chair of Smart Energy Oxford that has the mandate to support the county-wide goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050. 

 

Matt Ninomiya, MBA, P.Eng., leads the Land Development practice with our Civil Engineering group. Matt joined the WalterFedy team in late 2018 and has made big strides for our business since coming on board. He brings a strong energy and client focus to every project he works on. Whether it be finer details on a small site or a big picture vision of a subdivision, Matt is passionate about designing and building the communities we all call home. He is also actively involved in the home building industry and serves as a Director on both the Waterloo Region Home Builders Association Board and the Brantford Home Builders Association Board.  


For Russ Parnell, P.Eng., M.ASc., structural engineering isn’t just his job – it’s his passion. This seasoned engineer joined WalterFedy in 2014 and believes building collaborative relationships is just as important as creating structures that will stand the test of time. As a creative problem solver, Russ is known for his ability to deliver large, complex, and multi-phased projects on accelerated timelines. Empowering those around him to grow and excel in their positions is something Russ takes great pride in. Outside of work, he is a dedicated member of the Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region Board of Directors. 


Congratulations Patrick, Matt and Russ. The WalterFedy community is happy to have you joining our leadership team to guide us toward a successful future for our organization. 

 

ABOUT WALTERFEDY

WalterFedy is a dynamic, integrated firm delivering creative design solutions and practical built environments. Our expertise includes architecture; mechanical, electrical, structural, and civil engineering; energy and carbon solutions; asset and facilities management; project management; and construction management through our sister company, AEC Developments.

 

Our staff of nearly 200 people serve from two locations in Kitchener and Hamilton. Together, we support clients across Canada with their commercial, healthcare, education, municipal, industrial, and residential projects.

 

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Website – walterfedy.com
LinkedIn – linkedin.com/company/walterfedy/
Facebook – facebook.com/walterfedy
Instagram – Instagram.com/walterfedy 

 

WalterFedy Media Contact
Katie McQuaid
519-576-2150 x229
kmcquaid@walterfedy.com

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Parisa Fazeli

 

Parisa Fazeli was an engineer long before she knew what the term meant. As a child, she would collect the discarded matchboxes from the family’s gas stove and pack them with soil from the backyard. Next, a splash of water before stowing them away to dry. “In my head I was making bricks, hoping someday I would have enough to build a little house for my dolls,” said Parisa. “I never wanted to be a doctor or a teacher. I always knew I would like to be someone who does something in a building.”

 

Many years later, Parisa enrolled in the Civil Engineering program at Buali-Sina University in Hamedan, Iran, graduating in 2011. Shortly thereafter, she was ranked in the top 3% of participants in her master’s degree entrance exam and was admitted to the Building and Housing Research Center-Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology in Tehran. Parisa completed her Master of Science in Civil Engineering in 2014 and was able to apply her thesis research in friction dampers to real-world project work during her first co-op placement. By all accounts, she was on track for success in her field.

 

In 2015, Parisa’s career journey became unexpectedly complex when her husband decided to pursue international schooling. “I hadn’t planned to come to Canada, so I didn’t know anything about English,” she explained. Parisa spent her first two years learning the language and studying for a proficiency exam. “I was always told that if I want to find a job in my field, I have to have a Canadian degree. So once I had my certificate in language, I was desperately looking for a position and considered maybe another master’s degree or a PhD so I could find a job.”

 

In a chance social gathering, a friend mentioned they had a connection with a long-time WalterFedy employee and offered to make an introduction. Soon after, Parisa began job shadowing with the structural engineering team two days a week. What started off as an opportunity to observe life at an engineering firm within the Canadian context soon turned into a part-time employment offer. “It happened really organically,” said Russ Parnell, Senior Engineer at the firm. “She was always asking for more involvement and showed initiative to invest in herself. I have a lot of respect for Parisa’s willingness to take on challenges and what she’s overcome to get here. We’re growing because of her skills and unique background. She just needed encouragement to believe in herself.”

 

“I love my coworkers and I love the environment,” said Parisa. “I feel very comfortable talking to my leader when I have a question, and I know they aren’t judging me. Everyone is supportive and helpful.”

 

Now a full-time designer on the structural team, Parisa has worked on projects for the Waterloo Region District School Board, University of Guelph, and Conestoga Cold Storage. “Conestoga Cold Storage was my first real job. Over the past 20 years WalterFedy has done many projects for Conestoga Cold Storage, so the work is fairly typical,” she said. “But when I went on site and looked at it from the outside, and saw the 140-foot building, I thought – wow that is massive! At first, you are terrified, but then you feel really proud.”

 

For Parisa, the best designs bring the whole project team together. “Maybe you are sizing a beam or a column. It is easy because you have a formula, so you just calculate a number. But how is it going to work with the rest of the design?” she says. “When you collaborate with other disciplines, it makes a huge difference. You have to think about how you are going to affect other parts of the design as well, and how [contractors] are going to build it,” she said.

 

When she’s not collaborating with her team, you can find Parisa channeling her creativity into baking and world cuisines.

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Corbec Inc, a respected steel galvanizing company native to Quebec, has chosen Hamilton’s Red Hill Business Park as the site of their fourth Canadian plant. Valued at over $40 million, the 100,000 square foot industrial space will house a fully automated galvanizing system, 12 ft. deep equipment pits, as well as an office, cafeteria, and washroom facilities for the 100 people the plant expects to employ. In collaboration with construction manager Cooper Construction, WalterFedy is providing architecture; structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering services for the project.

 

“This is a project that highlights our industrial abilities, so it’s a fun project from that point of view,” said Structural Designer Kyle Pellerin. But even textbook buildings come with unique challenges. The City of Hamilton’s Planning and Development departments have stringent rules around aesthetics to keep the City looking beautiful. “Industrial buildings like these don’t usually need a modern look, but our design team is finding ways to highlight the facility that will keep the building simple, while still looking really sharp,” explained Kyle.

 

While subtle in appearance, the processes and equipment inside the building are remarkably complex. “Corbec is a leader in this industry,” said Project Manager Aaron Engel. “They use a system that is hands free through the dip and galvanizing process, which takes workers out of the hazardous areas of the plant. It’s very innovative.” Unlike most designs, the team is building an envelope to support a pre-determined layout and process. Since the equipment is entirely automated, designers must meet a multitude of specific criteria to ensure functionality. “Structurally this is a very sensitive project,” said Aaron. “There are extreme tolerance requirements for the automated conveyance system – less than an inch. Any variances can throw off the system.” 

 

Equipped with 3D models from suppliers demonstrating where equipment will sit, the team is meticulously planning structural elements, from the facility’s shell to catwalks, platforms, and access points. “It’s not always easy to wrap your head around 2D drawings for buildings like these,” said Kyle. “A 3D model makes it easier to spot potential challenges.” Using 3D drafting and collaboration software, the team can not only work through design interferences, but also walk through the model virtually with the Owner to ensure the intent is being met.

 

“This is a great development for Southern Ontario. Hot dip galvanizing is always a pinch point for steel manufacturers. To have more of these galvanizing vendors in Southwestern Ontario is a great benefit to the steel industry and will be helpful in reducing time on delivery,” said Aaron.

 

Construction is expected to kick off in early 2020.

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