Building a green Q Lofts: Meet Ian Spence, Construction Manager

March 27, 2016
Lola Augustine Brown


Ian Spence, Q Loft’s Construction Manager and owner of Spence Consulting (@SpenceConsult), has been a part of Q Lofts right from the planning stages, and says that this project has been very different than others he has worked on. “This was my first experience managing a project for Polycorp, and though I’ve completed larger projects, including nursing homes, schools, and hospitals, this is by far the most interesting project that I’ve been involved with,” he says.

The way that Polycorp addresses environmental concerns is one major reason that Q Lofts has been such a standout project for Spence.

“This building is as efficient as it can be, I doubt there are condos anywhere else in the Maritimes that compare; this project is just so far beyond any other projects,” he says. “We’re always looking at new and better ways to approach things, and we’ve upgraded things as the job’s gone on because the technology is changing so fast. There’s never a dull moment on this project.”

Regarding the construction of Q, Spence says that this building is very different than others in terms of how much insulation has been used and how this has affected the way the walls needed to be constructed, having the windows and doors be triple-glazed, and other methods that have been employed to create an extremely energy efficient structure.

“I’m excited to do the blower door test for airtightness when the building is finished to see how well the building stacks up. The way it’s been built should make this impressive,” says Spence.

Having a dedicated team is vital whenever you’re trying to do something completely different, and for many of the contractors at Q Lofts, these differences in the build have required embracing new techniques in order to successfully implement these much higher-than-normal environmental standards.

“All the contractors have bought into this concept, and they’ve all taken ownership and are really excited that we’re building something that’s very unique,” says Spence, “We’re lucky to have an extremely good crew on site, they’re a great team that we’ve put together. And when we’ve got a challenge, instead of arguing over things we all put our heads together and come up with solutions.”Q_Lofts_Crew

Being passionate about this project has really helped spur everyone on during the construction phase. “Everyone involved is really excited about this project, and that makes such a difference. It feels like we’re all working together to make a really good building here. I’ve worked on sites before where the people don’t care if they are there or not and it’s very discouraging, and it shows in their workmanship.

Everyone here is really proud of what they are doing,” says Spence. “I’ve told our contractors that this is a project that they’re going to want to drive by and show people once the job is finished. I certainly will be doing that.”

Lola Augustine Brown

Lola Augustine Brown

Freelance writer Lola Augustine Brown is a regular contributor to Canadian Living, The Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Today’s Parent, and various other magazines and newspapers. She lives in Nova Scotia, and loves Halifax’s North End.