Multi-Family Project

Case Study
Devonian Properties

Multi-Family Project

Case Study
Devonian Properties

CASE STUDY: How Devonian Properties Brought a 40-Unit Multi-Family Build to Market with ACS

Devonian Properties Group - Canmore, Alberta - logo
Ashton Construction Services (ACS) Projects - The Slopes at Stewart Creek - Canmore, Alberta - aerial

Photo: Ashton Construction Services

Committed to excellence

Devonian Properties is a real estate development company based in Canmore, Alberta. Prior to building several new multi-family developments in Canmore’s Stewart Creek community, Devonian was looking to hire an experienced and reliable construction manager to oversee these major projects.

Finding a trusted partner

Construction is tough with the current supply chain and staffing issues the world is experiencing. Devonian needed a construction manager so the company could focus on development and sales, while knowing that the construction firm would take care of staffing and executing the projects.

Building spectacular mountain homes

Through their work on the 40-unit Slopes at Stewart Creek project, ACS delivered a high quality product with a low number of deficiencies for Devonian, and every committed possession date was reached. The firm will continue to build and serve as construction manager on three other projects for Devonian.

AT A GLANCE

  • 40-unit multi-family construction project completed and 2 more projects underway
  • Every committed possession date reached
  • Built-green construction waste management and safety programs upheld to a high level
“It’s not as simple as just hiring a construction manager. It’s the collaboration between ACS and Devonian that works so well.”

Brian Talbot, Vice President, Devonian Properties

A reputation for reliability and quality

Devonian Properties is a locally operated real estate development company based in Canmore, Alberta. Since its inception in 1990, Devonian has earned a reputation as a reliable developer that delivers quality projects. The company has a focused team dedicated to bringing out the best in one another, as well as its projects, partners, and customers.

In this story, you’ll learn how Devonian Properties worked with Ashton Construction Services (ACS) as construction manager on several of the developer’s new multi-family builds to drive exceptional results.

Ashton Construction Services (ACS) Projects - The Slopes at Stewart Creek - Canmore, Alberta - Canmore HD Photography 4

Tackling supply chain and staffing issues

Construction isn’t getting any easier with the current supply chain and staffing issues the world is experiencing. These challenges are even more critical when it comes to complex projects that span several years, such as multi-family builds.

It’s essential for developers to have a construction manager to oversee all of the moving pieces associated with these kinds of projects. This is a key position with important responsibilities on and off the job site, so having the right partner matters a great deal.

Prior to building several new multi-family developments in Canmore’s Stewart Creek community located in Three Sisters Mountain Village, Devonian Properties was looking to hire a new construction manager who could oversee these major projects.

“We were replacing an existing relationship,” says Brian Talbot, Vice President of Devonian Properties. “The previous entity didn’t fit where we were going as a company.”

Devonian needed a new construction manager so the company could focus on development and sales, while knowing that the construction firm would take care of staffing and executing the projects. The developer was looking for a partner with a trusted network of high-quality, local sub-trade contacts. It was also important that the construction manager could minimize timeline and cost escalations.

Seeking a knowledgeable, relationship-driven partner

Devonian was familiar with ACS due to the two companies’ previous work together on a commercial renovation project. With over 15 years of commercial construction experience in the local area, ACS has a proven track record of success. Devonian was impressed by the firm’s trade knowledge, relationships with sub-trades in the community, understanding of construction management, and specialization relative to multi-family properties.

“We’re a relationship-driven company, and ACS stood out to us,” Brian says.

After asking ACS to submit a bid for the Stewart Creek developments, Devonian had a series of meetings with the firm and decided to move forward with ACS as its new construction manager.

Ashton Construction Services (ACS) Projects - The Slopes at Stewart Creek - Canmore, Alberta - Canmore HD Photography - bathroom

Finding cost savings while ensuring quality and safety

Devonian worked with ACS to complete The Slopes at Stewart Creek over a period of three years. In addition, The Meadows at Stewart Creek is currently under construction.

Through the process, ACS plays an integral role as construction manager in several ways. In the pre-development phase, the firm meets with Devonian to share insight and expertise on designs. ACS also performs a pre-construction review on every project to look for errors or better building solutions and cost-saving alternatives.

“While we have experience in this, someone whose specialty is construction can bring a valuable perspective to the table,” Brian says.

Next, ACS gets involved in budgeting and tendering—identifying the sub-trades needed for each project, getting their bids, submitting the bids to Devonian for review, then issuing contracts.

“We’re in a rising cost market, so pre-development and budgeting are the most important roles of a construction manager,” Brian says.

Ashton Construction Services (ACS) Projects - The Slopes at Stewart Creek - Canmore, Alberta - Canmore HD Photography 1
This is why ACS works to ensure Devonian gets the best price possible from local sub-trades by constantly tendering different scopes of work. In addition, ACS works through incomplete construction documents to find issues, meet with the architect and consultants, and address any problems that may arise during the build. The firm does this through a detailed request for information process to deliver the best product possible. During the scheduling and execution phase, ACS monitors material lead times and available staff resources, and provides reasonable build time expectations to Devonian. The firm’s highly detailed schedule allows it to forecast build times and provide weekly updates to Devonian with full transparency. Also during this phase, ACS’ full team is present at the site to oversee daily operations and the finishing of all units for handover to the developer, then the homeowners. As construction manager, ACS ensures safety on job sites and protects Devonian from risks. “We’re in contact frequently, at least once a day,” Brian says. “ACS is responsive, and with their firm handling the staffing and safety for our projects, that component of the headache is removed from us.”
Ashton Construction Services - ACS - Case Study - Devonian Properties - The Slopes interior 3

Interior Photos: Canmore HD Photography

A 40-unit project with every possession date reached

Through their work together on the 40-unit Slopes development project, ACS delivered a high quality product with a low number of deficiencies for Devonian. Brian says he appreciates the firm’s effectiveness in getting the job done.

The Slopes was completed with every committed possession date reached. The result is a distinctive development in Stewart Creek featuring 16 adaptive chalets, 16 chalet suites, and eight alpine lofts designed for couples and extended families alike.

In the Meadows development, 40 of 64 units are currently under construction. This project will take another two years of construction, Brian says, reiterating the importance of working with an expert construction manager for long-term engagements.

Photo: Ashton Construction Services

Ashton Construction Services - ACS - Case Study - Devonian Properties - The Slopes exterior

In addition, ACS committed to a built-green construction waste management program and has delivered it at a high level. This included separating different construction waste on-site (for example, wood, general waste, cardboard, metal, roof shingles, drywall, and pressure treated wood).

The firm has also upheld and documented a robust safety program, monitoring worksites, tracking attendance and ensuring all job-site workers have completed their site orientation, that they sign in every day, and that they complete daily hazard assessments, weekly site inspections, and toolbox talks with ACS’ third-party safety contractor.

A long-term partnership built on collaboration

As construction continues on The Meadows, Devonian plans to work with ACS well into the future, thanks to the two companies’ solid relationship. New developments including Ridgeview and The Bridges at Stewart Creek began construction in the summer 2023, and ACS is the construction manager on both projects.

“It’s not as simple as just hiring a construction manager,” Brian says. “It’s the collaboration between ACS and Devonian that works so well.”

Ashton Construction Services - ACS - Fleet with logo

Photo: Ashton Construction Services

Case study by Scribe National

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