Grand House

Grand House

Difficult But Not Impossible

The Grand House is a student designed and constructed co-operative housing project located in Cambridge, Ontario.  It has won awards and is a landmark building.

  • Due to the topography of the site, limited access, and constructibility concerns, specialized foundation members were required.
  • Conventional footings and caissons were not feasible given the site parameters. HC Matcon Inc. designed a series of micro piles which were installed battered and upon which a structural steel web was installed and used as the base for traditional framing.
  • A total of 30 micro piles were installed at an average depth of 30′” each.

The use of non intrusive construction methods allowed the owner to develop the property and provided considerable cost savings.

Client: Grand House Student Co-op
Location: Cambridge, Ontario

George Street Bridge

George Street Bridge

This bridge replacement project required the drilling of two abutments consisting of a total of 32 drilled caissons in the existing creek bed. In addition to the environmental concerns related to work being completed in an existing creek bed, access restrictions and overhead lines required the use of a versatile machine capable of drilling the 10-14 foot caissons. The use of an excavator mounted drill enabled the precision drilling required with minimal impact on the surrounding landscape. The equipment’s low headroom capabilities make it ideally suited to projects with headroom constraints and uneven terrain.

Client: Montague Construction Limited

Location: Ingersoll, Ontario

The Bow

The Bow

The future Bow building, located in Calgary, Alberta Canada, is an innovation in both architectural and shoring design. At 58 stories and with a footprint of two city blocks, The Bow will be the largest building in Canada west of Toronto. It will be an impressive addition to the Calgary skyline and will serve to redevelop the east side of Calgary’s downtown. With 850 caissons to be drilled, combined with extensive shotcrete, there will be 13,200m2 of total shoring implemented for the construction of The Bow. This is the largest shoring job of its kind in western Canada. HCM Contractors Inc. is proud to be part of the team constructing this ground breaking new building for Calgary.

For this project, Ontario based excavation-shoring, foundation specialty contractor HC Matcon Inc. expanded into the Alberta market as the newly incorporated company HCM Contractors Inc. A new team was formed to build HCM Contractors Inc. from both experienced HC Matcon Inc. employees and new hires. Now based in Calgary, HCM Contractors Inc. brings with it the expertise that has made HC Matcon Inc. respected in the Ontario specialty shoring market.

HCM Contractors Inc. has invested heavily in new equipment for this shoring project. With the purchase of two new state of the art piling drills, the Bauer BG2 24 and Casagrande B250, HCM Contractors Inc. has risen to the forefront of caisson drilling in Calgary. The two machines allow HCM Contractors Inc. to handle jobs of impressive size. Purchases include a two Casagrande M9 drills for drilling tiebacks as well as additional foundation equipment.

With design from Toronto based Isherwood Associates, HCM Contractors Inc. is introducing the Berlin wall method of shoring to the Calgary construction market. The Berlin wall method involves a combination of caisson wall and shotcrete. The soil conditions in Calgary are unique due to the city’s glaciated geological history. The soil is composed mainly of gravel and cobbles– transitioning to rock layers of mudstone, siltstone, and sandstone. No one shoring system is ideally suited to all layers. The Berlin wall method allows the shoring system to be tailored to the variable soil conditions of Calgary while still passing on a significant cost saving to the customer. The caisson wall, completely enclosing two city blocks, penetrates the lower rock to cut off water in the gravel and eliminates all upper ground loss, unlike what would be typical of lagging systems. At the same time, the caisson wall provides greater stiffness and controls the movement of the shoring wall. At lower depths, the rock requires less support and caissons are not needed– anchored shotcrete provides an optimal solution.

HCM Contractors Inc. is employing a full survey crew to guarantee millimeter accuracy throughout the shoring installation. Our team utilizes a total station system with targets on the bottom and top of each pile as well as on neighboring buildings. This ensures precision with the caisson layout and implementation of the shoring system. The project also includes the installation of twelve vertical inclinometers and twelve rock extensometers. This is the first time that rock extensometers have been used in construction in western Canada. These instruments provide us with sub millimeter data on movement within the shoring system. With precision monitoring of moments during excavation allows for additional anchors to be installed on an as required basis.


Client: Matthews Southwest

Location: Calgary, Alberta

St. Joseph’s Health Centre Parking

St. Joseph's Health Centre Parking

Shotcrete Reduces Costs for Owner

The St. Joseph’s Health Centre is adding a new Our Lady of Mercy wing complete with three levels of underground parking.

HC Matcon was responsible for:

  • ┬áinstalling the approximately 20,000 square feet of zero clearance shotcrete and caisson wall to be used as a back form for the foundation walls.
  • 121 caissons to support the foundation perimeter and new ambulance bay canopy drilled with a Watson 3110.

HC Matcon’s alternative shotcrete shoring solution added value to the project with a substantial cost savings to the owner.

Client: Harbridge and Cross
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Guelph Civic Administration Complex

Guelph Civic Administration Complex

Complex Shoring Requires Innovative Design

Work on this site involved the supply and installation of caissons, underpinning, rock anchors, as well as both traditional soldier pile and lagging and shotcrete shoring systems.

  • Shoring designs were required to incorporate work next to the existing CN passenger rail tracks and the historical heritage buildings being developed into the new structure design.
  • Due to the nature and age of the buildings impacted by the work shoring design required flexibility of design while maintaining and adhering to the strict tolerances required by the specifications.

The combination of the shoring systems in conjunction with the design capacity for on site modifications allowed the excavation to be completed uniformly across the site and helped to accelerate the construction schedule.

Client: Urbacon Ltd
Location: Guelph, Ontario