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McIntosh Perry

Interim CBO proving to be a new niche for McIntosh Perry

The role carries heavy responsibilities, as a CBO is tasked with reviewing and enforcing all building code requirements for the municipality.

McIntosh Perry Consulting Engineers Ltd. is once again demonstrating its client commitment by offering contract Chief Building Official (CBO) services to municipalities across Ontario.

The multi-disciplinary engineering and consulting firm recently completed a successful contract with the Town of Renfrew, by filling the town’s immediate need for an interim CBO.

The role carries heavy responsibilities, as a CBO is tasked with reviewing and enforcing all building code requirements for the municipality. Every time a building is constructed or a structure planned, the CBO evaluates submitted packages, drawings and information and sends comments to the applicants allowing them to forge ahead or suggesting they revisit the items submitted. Afterwards, the CBO can perform site reviews on an ongoing basis.

Scott Shillinglaw, Manager of  McIntosh Perry’s Structural Engineering group, said that one such position is held in the Town of Renfrew. The spring of 2013 saw the previous CBO retire on short notice, so the eastern Ontario township was challenged to find a timely replacement.

Shillinglaw said in rural municipalities, filling new positions can often take time as the hiring process is drawn out to allow for the relocation of a successful candidate. That’s where McIntosh Perry has a distinctive solution – a contract certified building code official by the name of Glen Gordon.

For six months, Gordon acted as CBO for the Town of Renfrew for two days a week while the municipality found a suitable replacement that was the right fit for its needs. With more than 40 years of experience in the construction industry and over 30 years experience in the building official role, Shillinglaw said Gordon was able to hit the ground running in Renfrew.

“This is a unique strength,” Shillinglaw said, noting that it’s extremely rare for a firm such as McIntosh Perry to offer a qualified interim CBO to its clients. “I’m not aware of another company in this part of Ontario able to assist municipalities in this way.”

McIntosh Perry convinced Gordon to come out of retirement in 2009 on a contract basis. Since then, he has been training younger staff and providing expert advice on the Ontario Building Code. In four years, Gordon has assisted with more than 100 projects – while becoming a valuable member of the Structural Engineering team.

So, when McIntosh Perry connected with the Town of Renfrew about its need for a CBO, Gordon was eager to sub-in until the municipality found a full-time replacement.

“He has the knowledge of the practical side of the industry but he also has expert knowledge of the building code,” said Shillinglaw, noting that this combination gives him a professional edge.

But more than that, Gordon also brought with him processes and forms which he developed over decades of working in a CBO capacity. Not only was he able to provide a service to the township, but he also put in place reliable and consistent paperwork and systems, so the new CBO could easily transition into the position.

In the same vein, Shillinglaw said Gordon (and his backup) can help in the hiring process with CBO candidates and is able to spend time with the new CBO once hired to assist in ensuring a smooth changeover. The ability to put those procedures in place, coupled with Gordon’s expertise, created a win-win for McIntosh Perry and the Town of Renfrew.

“We were able to bridge the gap, and Glen’s experience allowed us to provide the tried and true systems, work constructively with administrative staff, complete required work and spend that integral time with the new CBO, getting familiar with the processes in place,” Shillinglaw said.

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