Jul 20, 2023

GDI Completes Unprecedented Scope of Work for New Downtown Winnipeg High-Rise

Winnipeg, MB – Last month, a new class A 22-storey high-rise in downtown Winnipeg was unveiled, which GDI played a large part in completing. The building, constructed by PCL, is the new North American headquarters for Wawanesa Insurance and part of True North Sports + Entertainment’s revitalization project in downtown Winnipeg.

Although the total construction schedule for the project was 30 months, GDI had a tight 12-month schedule to complete an unprecedented scope of both interior and exterior work, according to Greg Davenport, Vice-President, Residential Division, GDI Winnipeg.

“It’s unusual for the exterior scope and interior scope to be awarded to one trade to complete simultaneously,” Greg explained. “Despite the very aggressive project timeline, and the many challenges that presented during this time (the pandemic, supply chain issues, etc.), GDI incorporated new construction techniques to meet the schedule and deliver on time.”

The new construction techniques helped to speed up production and included innovations in framing and drywall, such as for perimeter bulkheads along all curtain walls. These were constructed using a new system of routered drywall and glue to form architectural corners, which required significantly less taping of the drywall and fewer framing members to install.

The new innovations helped to achieve the schedule and facilitated covering some areas that had difficulties with access and constructability using previous methods. Aside from the preformed bulkheads, the GDI workforce – which reached as many as 100 people on site – also constructed exterior walls with steel studs and exterior sheathing and framed interior walls with steel studs and drywall.

This new project is the third building of True North Sports + Entertainment’s development that GDI has been a part of, but Greg noted that it stands out from the other two previously completed buildings

“This building was unique because there was a balance between the two ownership groups (True North Sports + Entertainment and Wawanesa Insurance), and creating two separate contracts for the landlord and the tenant for the interiors,” he said. “In this case, the volume and detail of the work was exponentially greater than either of the two original buildings completed for True North.”

In addition to the sheer size and scope of work for the project, Greg said the build is also an important one for GDI because of its impact on the city.

“This was a notable job for our community, helping to further revitalize our downtown area, and providing GDI an opportunity to engage in Qualico and GDI’s combined mission to help build better cities,” he said.

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