Construction projects are always complex, with many moving parts, timelines and crucial decisions for builders to make at every stage, from shovels in the ground to completion. Following the most up-to-date and detailed standards and guidelines  for materials and processes, carefully worked out by a wide range of building experts, simplifies any job.

 Masterformat is a kind of “best practices toolkit of different resources,” says Fanny Bertrand, a technical advisor for the Canadian National Master Construction Specification (NMS) of the National Research Council Canada.

 Masterformat and other valuable resources are available to FNNBOA members, at no extra cost, through the Canadian Constructions Materials Centre (also with the National Research Council). They are designed to save builders significant time and money, by offering the most recent specifications and recommendations, based on the experience and expertise of a wide array of construction professionals. The latest innovations in building materials or protocols are reflected in the guidelines provided by the Canadian Construction Materials Centre, says manager Dino Zuppa. Manufacturers and builders are always “tweaking” products, and it’s important for construction managers to use the very latest standards and information available.

 For First Nations, especially in the north, it is critical to know that a material being used in housing, for example, is suitable for the specific climate conditions of the community. “If a building officer is unsure if they can accept materials for climate, they can check if we have information on that. We look at different climate areas,” says Zuppa. Following a standard that is up to date and government-approved is also critical when it comes to liability.

 CCMC has a number of projects in the works that will benefit FNNBOA members.

“We are working on training material that will allow FNNBOA members to have a wider view of the construction process, on- and off-reserve,” says Bertrand.

“In the next two years, more training material will be made available that will include information on technical and other aspects of construction projects. We hope that these training modules & sessions will act as a sort of ‘toolbox’ where FNNBOA members might find resources to help them in the challenges they face in their daily work.”

Part of the Eagle's Eye on Housing series - read more