Bluescape

Bluescape may be a relatively young company, but the experience of its principals has helped the company to build a strong portfolio in a short period of time. Lou Hack and Pat Sena founded the company in 2008. Hack has more than 30 years of experience in all aspects of construction, while Sena has more than 20 years of experience in residential high-rise and low-rise construction. Together, they have allowed Bluescape to build a reputation for excellent and cost-effective construction projects.

“Pat and I worked together since 2003 before starting Bluescape,” Hack says. “We focused on mid- to high-rise residential condos in the downtown Toronto area.” 

“We’re still predominantly focused on downtown Toronto condo projects,” Sena says. “We also do some work on Toronto affordable housing projects.” 

Focused on Details

The company bills itself as project management watchdogs with a keen understanding of regulating cost, scheduling logistics and safeguarding quality during preconstruction and construction. Bluescape manages all aspects of project construction, with Hack and Sena engaged in each project. They maintain constant direct communication with field staff during the management of each project.

Bluescape provides its clients with an array of preconstruction and construction management services. Its preconstruction services are focused on design development and value-engineering. As for construction management services, they are focused on tendering, awarding and administering trade contracts.

“We can address design issues early on, providing value-engineering,” Hack says. “We like to be involved as early as possible because it can be harder to affect change if conceptual work and approvals are completed without our input.”

In the preconstruction phase, Bluescape works with the project design team to provide value-engineering during the design and permit process. The company helps with the creation of working drawings that can be used for the tendering of major trades and will allow construction to proceed. The company provides a preliminary construction schedule at the start of preconstruction, updating it regularly. The company also devises a budget based on preliminary working drawings, tendering the major trades once the budget is approved.

“We don’t award the contracts,” Sena says. “We make recommendations to the owners and developers. We put forth what we think is the best candidate and the owner makes the final decision.”

When the project has final drawings and trade bids assembled, it moves into the construction management phase. Bluescape provides a detailed analysis of the major trades and prepares contracts for signature by the developer once negotiations are complete. When construction begins, the company puts its experienced field staff to work, monitoring progress and ensuring quality control. Its field staff is onsite from the start of construction until completion, making sure that contractors are staying on budget, keeping the project on schedule and maintaining quality.

“Our field staff oversees construction and assists with general conditions work, such as maintaining safety and clean up,” Hack says. “We control the site and the specialists do the heavy lifting.”

Strong Portfolio

Bluescape has worked on a variety of different project types and has no reservations about taking on complex projects. Whether a project is run-of-the-mill or a special case, Bluescape works to ensure that it can be built in a reasonable amount of time and at a competitive price. 

One of the largest projects the company has been involved with was with the Toronto Community Housing Corp. The project was a 425-unit affordable housing project in the city’s Railway Lands neighborhood. 

Other significant projects the company has been involved with include the River City and Market Wharf developments.  The Market Wharf Condominium development was a 467-suite, 35-storey project located on 1.4 acres in Toronto’s downtown at the site of what was once a wharf on the city’s waterfront.

As for River City, Bluescape has been involved in two phases of the project. River City’s phase one included 360 units and 16 storeys. Its second phase includes 250 units and 13 storeys. The River City development is located in Toronto’s West Don Lands neighborhood situated directly on the Don River Park.

“Each project is unique and has its own design elements,” Sena says. “We haven’t really worked on cookie-cutter projects. These have been designed by prominent architects and have interesting features.”

“All are located in downtown Toronto on fairly confined sites that build from property line to property line,” Hack adds. “The logistics of serving the sites can be a challenge as Toronto is fairly congested, so we have to be very aware of the best ways to service and manage every project from the start.”

Bluescape knows the future is uncertain, but the Toronto market has been strong enough to allow the company to have a consistently busy project pipeline. The company will continue to focus on keeping clients happy and dealing with market fluctuations.“Lou and I will continue to be intimately involved with each project,” Sena says. “We have our fingers on the pulse of each project to ensure success.” 

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