the Site Visit

Building Beyond the Blueprint: A Conversation on Construction, Culture, and Change with Katy Fairley, Industry Standard Practices Consultant at BCCA

March 15, 2024 Andrew Hansen, James Faulkner, Christian Hamm
Building Beyond the Blueprint: A Conversation on Construction, Culture, and Change with Katy Fairley, Industry Standard Practices Consultant at BCCA
the Site Visit
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the Site Visit
Building Beyond the Blueprint: A Conversation on Construction, Culture, and Change with Katy Fairley, Industry Standard Practices Consultant at BCCA
Mar 15, 2024
Andrew Hansen, James Faulkner, Christian Hamm

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Have you ever pondered the intricate dance between societal norms and the rugged world of construction? Katie from the BCCA joins James raising the glass of wine to toast both the industry's sturdy foundations and its potential for innovation. Our relaxed banter swiftly transitions into an exploration of the construction sector's branding challenges and the societal perceptions that may be curtailing its growth, as we tackle labor shortages and the undeniable need for modernization.

As our glasses reflect the dimming evening light, we confront the weighty subject of gender dynamics in the trades. Our discussion cuts through the cultural stereotypes and barriers that disproportionately discourage women from donning hard hats and tool belts, emphasizing the urgency to reimagine construction as a high-tech, respectable career path. We don't shy away from the tough conversations around childcare, domestic labor division, and how these play into the professional landscape—underscoring the need for cultural shifts towards inclusivity in the industry.

Finally, we cast our gaze towards the future, where the tangible outcomes of construction work—from structures we can touch to the cultural fabric they weave—stand unassailable against the backdrop of our world's subjective realities. As we contemplate the delicate balance between construction, politics, and the dignity of the workforce, we envision a future bristling with human-empowered robots and innovative collaboration tools. So, pull up a chair and join our heartfelt dialogue that pairs the rich complexity of the construction industry with the simple pleasure of shared wine and insights.

PODCAST INFO:
the Site Visit Website: https://www.sitemaxsystems.com/podcast
the Site Visit on Buzzsprout: https://thesitevisit.buzzsprout.com/269424
the Site Visit on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-site-visit/id1456494446
the Site Visit on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5cp4qJE5ExZmO3EwldN1HH

FOLLOW ALONG:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thesitevisit
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Have you ever pondered the intricate dance between societal norms and the rugged world of construction? Katie from the BCCA joins James raising the glass of wine to toast both the industry's sturdy foundations and its potential for innovation. Our relaxed banter swiftly transitions into an exploration of the construction sector's branding challenges and the societal perceptions that may be curtailing its growth, as we tackle labor shortages and the undeniable need for modernization.

As our glasses reflect the dimming evening light, we confront the weighty subject of gender dynamics in the trades. Our discussion cuts through the cultural stereotypes and barriers that disproportionately discourage women from donning hard hats and tool belts, emphasizing the urgency to reimagine construction as a high-tech, respectable career path. We don't shy away from the tough conversations around childcare, domestic labor division, and how these play into the professional landscape—underscoring the need for cultural shifts towards inclusivity in the industry.

Finally, we cast our gaze towards the future, where the tangible outcomes of construction work—from structures we can touch to the cultural fabric they weave—stand unassailable against the backdrop of our world's subjective realities. As we contemplate the delicate balance between construction, politics, and the dignity of the workforce, we envision a future bristling with human-empowered robots and innovative collaboration tools. So, pull up a chair and join our heartfelt dialogue that pairs the rich complexity of the construction industry with the simple pleasure of shared wine and insights.

PODCAST INFO:
the Site Visit Website: https://www.sitemaxsystems.com/podcast
the Site Visit on Buzzsprout: https://thesitevisit.buzzsprout.com/269424
the Site Visit on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-site-visit/id1456494446
the Site Visit on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5cp4qJE5ExZmO3EwldN1HH

FOLLOW ALONG:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thesitevisit
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thesitevisit

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Site. Visit podcast. Leadership and perspective from construction With your host, James Faulkner, Live from BuildX Vancouver 2024. Music Katie hello.

Speaker 2:

Hi how you doing.

Speaker 1:

I'm doing very well. It's been like Whistler. I think was when we did Whistler and then you came to the studio, yeah, in September, and there's been no wine ever before until now.

Speaker 2:

No, no, I was promised it in Whistler and then the 9am recording, I think kind of held us back in September. But here we are at BuildX with wine.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so let's talk about this. So this is Chateau Peilatur, this is a Bordeaux, and my friends are not only wine people, they're not wine snobs, but they're like super down-to-earth, amazing people. They bought a place in Nice those are friends you want to have and they brought this over for our housewarming or renovation party and there was just four of us but brought this bottle of wine and Tauna and I have just been into this thing and it's quite good.

Speaker 1:

So, you're having some of it. There's another bottle for you to take, so you can.

Speaker 2:

yeah so there's a bit of both going on here.

Speaker 1:

So let's have a little cheers to this Bordeaux here we go Cheers. There we go. End of BuildX.

Speaker 2:

You need to cheers me on the 14 episodes you did 14 episodes over the last two days. Yeah, oh my gosh 14.

Speaker 1:

This is going to taste a little bit like crap in these glasses, because these glasses stink.

Speaker 2:

But I like it though.

Speaker 1:

But yeah, let it open up. Yeah, yeah, you might want to decantor this.

Speaker 2:

Okay, do you?

Speaker 1:

have a decantor Katie.

Speaker 2:

No, I work in construction. Are we that fancy?

Speaker 1:

We're going to get into that today. We're going to talk about that, we are. We're going to talk about it, I know. Look at that segue. Oh, do you have a porta potty in your living room?

Speaker 2:

No, you don't do you. You actually have, but I certainly don't have a decanter.

Speaker 1:

Okay. So the reason that I really like talking to you is because you are a no BS like call it how it is. You know you've got this whole vibe going on of you don't take any. You don't take anybody's stuff Like you kind of just get down to it. Am I wrong?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think it's funny that you say that there was probably a time where I was. Yeah, now I just don't give a shit.

Speaker 1:

Oh.

Speaker 2:

Let's just be.

Speaker 1:

You just don't care no.

Speaker 2:

Actually, if anything, I care too much. I care too much about the industry and the topics that I work with and around and the people. But no, now it's I don't know. I'm kind of old and grumpy and cynical jaded some might say I'm older than you, so come on Easy.

Speaker 1:

So you have a relationship with BC Construction Association, and so what do you do for them? How do you help them? What's the deal?

Speaker 2:

Yeah Well, I think our my relationship with them is solid, 10, 15 years old from when I was in industry and being a volunteer with them. So I think one of the things I was told really early on by the chief estimator I worked with was being a member of the Construction Association is the cost of doing business in this industry.

Speaker 1:

Oh, interesting, okay yeah.

Speaker 2:

So I was volunteering my time, sat on their board and in struggling to find somebody to fill the very big shoes of Warren Perks, their VP of standard practices made around industry for 40 years, or something like that, chris Atchison, the president, reached out and said I know you're not interested in being somebody's employee again, but what could this look like for you? So it was great. I think we talked about it before. I still work with owners, buyers of construction services, but now I'm back on the side of darkness no, I don't know the side of light and get to talk about the issues that matter to industry. So, yeah, I kind of fairly strategies consults for the BC Construction Association on the standard practice issues, so best practices for contracts, procurement, project management, statutory regulations around the Builders, lean Act. So now, for some reason, people pay me to do that. I think that's remarkable because I'd probably talk about it for free. I do actually a lot of the time.

Speaker 1:

Well, we're not paying you here, so there you go, there you go.

Speaker 2:

Actually, the wine wasn't free. Yeah, wine wasn't free.

Speaker 1:

Okay, what I'm interested in chatting about in terms of where the industry is going. We see cultural evolutions of sectors. Industry banking has changed, legal has changed, e-commerce has changed. Retail has changed A lot of things. Healthcare has changed. In terms of construction, we have a huge labor shortage here, specifically in Canada and also United States as well. Way too much building in the plans, in the books, pre-financed, not enough people to make this stuff. And my question to you is let's dig in a little bit on is there a self-infliction of the brand of construction? Does it want to evolve and change and finesse itself into a higher caliber of experience for everyone that works in it?

Speaker 2:

I'm going to. Maybe I'll word it. I wonder if society is what's holding back construction from changing. I mean, you think about the parents that want their kid to go to a university, that aren't open to a trade school or going to BCIT. I think I look at that and is it society at large that's saying that this isn't a good career to go for? And I'm not just talking about going through and being a tradesman or a tradesperson on site?

Speaker 2:

Oh, come on, Freudian, slip there I know I blame it on the wine Nice try.

Speaker 1:

I like it.

Speaker 2:

No, I mean, this is all a discussion to have. But yeah, I mean, that actually is a good tradesman, tradesperson, it's all that kind of language matters. But no, I think, looking culturally at our society of where we've-.

Speaker 1:

Like softness. You mean Like not wanting to work hard, not wanting to work at all, Not wanting life to be too easy.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that would be nice, that sounds lovely, but maybe a little bit I think it's just not selling a career in construction. But that being said, I mean we've seen some really good work done by the Construction Associations, including our National Association, cca, on their talent fits here campaign. I mean again, I think it's society doesn't want to allow construction to move on, to allow trade careers to be positioned as high quality, high paying jobs that can get you maybe to own a house but certainly support your family. See it as a technology driven career, whether you're doing building, information modeling, moving into that. So I think certainly there's lots we could talk about of what construction does wrong, but I think it's also broadly, society doesn't want to change its mindset of what construction means.

Speaker 1:

So when you're talking about when you had that Freudian slip tradesman, tradesperson we talk a lot about, I mean, there's women in construction, for instance. No-transcript. Is there just a lack of top of funnel of interest?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, good question. I think so For the field?

Speaker 1:

definitely. I mean, if you look a back office in construction it's predominantly.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, like accounting a man. Yeah, absolutely, what do we call it?

Speaker 1:

Women. Yeah good women in construction? Yeah, it's typically women right On the field side. No, no, Pretty low what we say. The percentage split is male, female on the job site.

Speaker 2:

Well, I think BCCA stats are showing that there's less women in the trades than there were a couple of years ago. So I think the numbers so it's going down.

Speaker 1:

It's going down. Why is that?

Speaker 2:

There's a question, we should pull Chris Atchison in and he can talk about it. But I mean, I think it's for all the things that we know it's not a particularly. You've got to be on site at 7.30 in the morning, but daycare doesn't open until 8.30. You can't drop your kids off to school. Let's be honest, a lot of that still falls to women, and what are you going to do? So I think we talked about society holding that construction, and certainly the industry's done it to themselves.

Speaker 1:

But it also might be human nature trying to just run its course, though no, Because I mean you think about it With, just for that specific example. I know we're getting into culture dynamics here and gender dynamics and all kind of stuff and archetypes and stereotypes and all the kind of stuff, but the reality is is that I watch my wife with my daughter.

Speaker 1:

They have a different relationship than I have with my daughter and there definitely needs to be the daddy kind of dynamic there that I have with her. But when you're saying you drop off your kid and you can't do that until 8 o'clock because daycare is not open or whatever it is, can't get to the job site, there definitely is a coming back to that. To create great humans and mothers are so important yeah.

Speaker 2:

I was talking to one of my good girlfriends yesterday, was talking about how for Valentine's Day coming on here on February 15th. She commented that some of the moms didn't write the kids' names on these Valentine's Day cards, because now everybody gets a Valentine's Day card. I wasn't aware of this. That's something different from when we were kids, but anyways, and she said, the moms didn't write the names.

Speaker 2:

I was like, what about the dads? They're equally capable of taking a list of students and writing them on these Valentine's cards. Yeah, Her point is absolutely right. I mean, fundamentally, all of those items still are going to reside with them. I know there's somebody out there going, oh OK, hashtag, not all men for sure. But stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason.

Speaker 1:

I'm so glad you said that Not many people have the guts to say that Stereotypes can be, I would say, exploited to the point where they're mean. But there are some where there's smoke, there's fire on a lot of stuff. So the stereotypical we also call them in marketing, archetypes. You basically archetype people out here. This is based on demographics, age and all that kind of stuff and you make an archetype of the person. You would call that Katie.

Speaker 2:

And Katie is this age.

Speaker 1:

She does this, she does all this stuff, but what's interesting about it is that I'm glad you just said that about, because I think when we get down to construction in itself, there's no BSing in this industry. When I say no BSing I mean the end result is that structure is either built or not. It is a completely meritocratic system. You can't. There's no objective opinion or sorry, subjective opinion whether or not that was built or not. Yeah, I mean I guess the subjectivity comes into— there's no my truth whether it was built.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but then you'd have the certainly the sidewalk superintendents or the consultants go up afterwards, the owner goes up afterwards and kind of nitpicks it all to death.

Speaker 1:

But there's still nitpicking. Objective reality.

Speaker 2:

Sure, yeah, there is something there now.

Speaker 1:

Right. So I guess what I'm saying is there are many jobs, many existences now these days we have in culture. We're trying to figure out sort of where this all fits and how this affects the culture of construction is. We are now in a time where we've had a lot of subjective reality. You hear the terms my truth In construction. There's no my truth, it's the thing in front of you. We're all looking at the same thing.

Speaker 2:

I guess it's the process of how you get there. I was moderating this panel.

Speaker 1:

True, that's true People's lived experience on the journey.

Speaker 2:

And that's what's going to stay with them. They might have a really great project to point to that they were a part of, but can they eat a pasta? You might have to rework this. Can they have a meal that's named after, that has the same name as a project that went sideways for them? Can they ever be able to eat that pasta meal again, because that's just how bad it was?

Speaker 1:

That makes sense.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean I think back to this panel that I moderated earlier. It was around contract conditions and one of the new, most frequently inserted supplementary condition is this idea of standard of care. There's a standard of care and due diligence that a contractor is expected to have similar to what another contractor in the province of British Columbia, on the same documents, would do. That is so subjective. Who is deciding who this mythical, magical contractor is and comparing them against the contractor actually doing the project.

Speaker 1:

So who's the arbiter? Or standard?

Speaker 2:

Exactly.

Speaker 1:

Like who is that?

Speaker 2:

A judge. Oh, that's basically, if you flow all the way up, it's going to be a judge that's making that decision based on who's making the most persuasive argument and who's paying the most for their lawyer and hopefully they're a good one, yeah, so here's, do you want it? To talk about culture.

Speaker 1:

I do, I do, and so let's just talk about the dynamic between no-transcript men and women on the job site a little bit and the sort of old guard, older generation, baby boomer coming off, retiring, and now is that mindset of the? I don't want to say the word traditional People get in trouble with the word traditional these days, but I'll go out on a limb. Traditional as in the way it used to be, which was the typical relationship between the guy would come home, meal will be cooked, gonna turn on the TV, get my beer, all that kind of thing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that sounds great.

Speaker 1:

I know. But, on the guy side.

Speaker 2:

Sure.

Speaker 1:

And then that person goes to the job site and the dynamic between the husband and the wife or the male-female relationship is transcended then into the relationship between, like a CSO, who's a woman or a. Superintendant or a sententendent that's a woman and they have to interact with that. How long is that going to take, do you think, in order to sort of level set itself for, or is that just the way we're all going to interact for a while?

Speaker 2:

Is that just?

Speaker 1:

typical dynamics between relationships.

Speaker 2:

I mean, maybe I think it's also again, maybe construction catching up to society and society catching up to where it should be. But I'll just say I mean I'll always put a huge caveat Like, yes, I work in construction, and I have for a number of years, but I've never worked on site and I never want to portray as if I know what that is like, particularly as a woman, what that is like working on site. So the things I say is what I've heard from other women. But I think that goes to the unconscious bias of does the guy who's mad at his wife for not bringing him the beer the night before, is he bringing that anger to with him on site? You know, again, it's like OK, recognizing that you're bringing what all of your experience is with you on site or anywhere else in life.

Speaker 1:

Do you think that there's a bit of a? You know when I think it started a long time ago with the book club, Girls would get together, have a book club I'm a part of a book club To get away from the dudes, Be with girls, do their thing.

Speaker 2:

Have some wine. Have some wine, have a little bit of cheers.

Speaker 1:

Talk about a book. What was it like? What did you guys think of the characters, all that kind of stuff. So there's the book club. Then there's the Sunday football. Guys get together, they do their thing. That's the guy's book club Is. There is the construction site for some men, their career book club. Yeah, that's where they get to be alone and they're not with their wife. They're not like do you know what I mean? Yeah, I wonder if that is kind of a guy's club.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I would say it has to change obviously. Yeah, I mean I can't say now, but I know when I first got in the industry 15 years ago that was definitely part of it. Like this was them being with the guys you know bidding running projects, and there wasn't you know, a woman around Language, all that stuff.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but I think all of that is changing. It has changed. You know, there's the off-spoken phrase of you know, well, it's. You know, 10 years ago it was like this and it's always 10 years Like 10 years Back, when I was. Yeah, 10 years was always bad. Oh, thank you.

Speaker 1:

Let's listen to this. I can't quite hear the gobble gobble of the glass.

Speaker 2:

People are going to have to picture it. It looks great. It is opening up really well.

Speaker 1:

It is. Yeah, I mean these glasses. I don't know how I know anything tastes good in these, because it's just, it doesn't get the ol' factory.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I don't like the. Let me have a thick. What's that look?

Speaker 1:

Well, it just it doesn't you know.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, anyway, yeah, continue. Um, yeah, I mean, that was certainly my experience starting off, is that it felt a little bit like this is this is my escape. And now there's you know, a woman in there that isn't necessarily in the back office and is moving out of admin, and you know what's going on here. But I will say just generally and you know, if anybody can kind of prove their value, and particularly in private industry, if you can prove that you can make money for that entity, it doesn't really matter. You know, if you're sitting around making them feel uncomfortable because they can't scratch their bellies or whatever.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's a really good point. I mean, can you they're scratching the belly. Well, no, can you? Is there a world where both can be genuine in the same place and you know, the men aren't holding back? And I think, if we're, probably we need to be, I think there needs to be a beautiful harmony between respect, being respectful but not being restricted.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you're walking a fine line with that one.

Speaker 1:

No, I know. But when I say being like to understand people's intentions and rather than the results all the time, so you can have a man, for instance, who is, you know, just a dude's dude, just you know this archetype we'll say that that might make some sort of a comment, and it's not meant to hurt anybody. It's just kind of dumb to say it these days, right, but I think in order for it to all move forward, people have to be less sensitive and just be the intention of that person, rather than trying to burn the person, saying you need to be out of here, you need to. You know, you're terrible, you're bad for the industry, all this kind of stuff. When really is that really the case? It's just culture evolving in real time in front of us.

Speaker 1:

And I think we need to. Just if people are, there's like people are either malignant or benevolent, so I just think that there's.

Speaker 2:

That's a black and white. Some people are just not nice.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, some people are and they're like I don't want this here and all this kind of stuff that they got to go.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

But the people who make like a joke here and there and like you seem to me like a person that can take anything and I don't think that you're one of those. You might make a defensive comment because you feel perhaps it's your obligation to stand up for the industry and stand up for people, or whatever it is, but I think that you seem to be a person to me that can read between the lines. You know if someone's a jerk or not. You know if it's just off the cuff or whatever.

Speaker 2:

What is their intent behind?

Speaker 1:

it Exactly.

Speaker 2:

But I think it's also yeah, I mean, I would say that's part of the reason. You know, when I fell into construction because I needed a job kind of thing and needed to get out of my other one, yeah, I was like, oh, these are my people, like you know.

Speaker 1:

I'm good with the. You're a very real person, thank you. Yeah, you're not like. I could probably say something to you. You'd be like ah, you kind of laugh at it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Not that I would, but you're probably like. You know that comment was whatever. You're not going to be like you know. Have a be in your bonnet about it forever.

Speaker 2:

No, no, and that's you know. I definitely have the ability to move past things. You know of screaming matches with people in a work context. You know actual screaming matches and the next day that's not a problem. But I think again with people saying comments what is their intent behind it?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 2:

Are they just an idiot that spoke at a turn? And then I think the other one is if you find out that somebody isn't happy about it, if they're offended, if they voice that and you continue to do it like who's the asshole? You know, I mean it's.

Speaker 1:

Is this the end of the BuildX fireside chat? I think it is.

Speaker 2:

Right now, oh no.

Speaker 1:

It is Because you know what, I'm not even looking at the time. No, because you're the last one.

Speaker 2:

Oh, I'm not even looking at the series, no, I just love it. Yeah, I'm glad I booked the last slot.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, because I don't have somebody waiting here going. Okay, I'm on a oh like on the clock. No, no Well.

Speaker 2:

I think I've sworn twice, so I'm.

Speaker 1:

You give us a shit Exactly there you go yeah, we'll get the little E.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, Okay, I'll do the E on it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'll do it just on yours.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

But it's cool.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, I think I mean it's a great. It kind of goes to everything right, like the best concept of cancel culture or whatever, and maybe it's the same thing of the they and them conversation and it's like what's your take on that? Who gives a crap Shit. It doesn't impact me at all If it makes somebody else feel comfortable and they feel included and it doesn't affect me in kind of my life at all to give them space.

Speaker 1:

I mean, is the pronoun thing big on a construction site these days?

Speaker 2:

I don't know, I don't know, I don't know.

Speaker 1:

That's the best I could say, but I think that.

Speaker 2:

Do you know what I?

Speaker 1:

found actually very interesting.

Speaker 2:

What.

Speaker 1:

Is that typically. Any time that you have the opportunity to use a pronoun in the proximity of the person who would receive the pronoun, it's rude to use it.

Speaker 2:

Wait what.

Speaker 1:

Well, it's rude to use any pronoun, it doesn't matter what it is, so I'm not going to stand and talk to like Tatiana here and goes. Oh well, I know she said this because I'd be like no, katie said this, I would use your name yeah. Just in general conversation pronouns are rude.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's a good point To use in the proximity of the person who would be offended by it in the first place. Yeah, I mean, I was going to say I'm not even entirely convinced. I know what a pronoun is. You know how. They never teach you that in school.

Speaker 1:

Like what a noun is, and then oh don't. I don't know what school you went to, but I was taught that, oh crap.

Speaker 2:

I like it. I don't know, but yeah, I mean. I think it's creating space for people to be able to be themselves and be comfortable in a situation. Doesn't affect me one iota if somebody wants to be they them whatever. I think to the point about construction. Do I think we're at a place where any level of construction where everyone's going to feel welcome, feel comfortable?

Speaker 1:

No, yeah, that makes sense. How political do you think construction can get? We've got election coming up. We've got all sorts of stuff that countries divided. Where does construction land? And how political can associations get? How deep can it get? What ending up on the wrong side of the checkbook?

Speaker 2:

Well, I think when I talk to contractors and I know this from my own experience on the ICI side which is what BCCA represents is the industrial, commercial and institutional multi-residential sector we're the folks that are going to be building government projects. And so, when you see the way sometimes government treats taxpayer money, it can be pretty offensive and very eye-opening. And okay, I'm working hard, I'm giving you my money and this is the way you're going to treat it. By having unfair processes, quality of document issues, you're pushing the money out of the door because it's fiscal year end, you've got an election coming up and the writ's going to drop and, yeah, I think construction can get pretty political, obviously, but I think it comes from a good place.

Speaker 1:

So I'm going to be more specific with my question, if you have. So we have a current political climate that we have now, and governments change, policies change, attitudes change. Do associations? Is it smart for them to be Switzerland?

Speaker 2:

Oh, I don't think they are.

Speaker 1:

I don't think they are either.

Speaker 2:

No.

Speaker 1:

I think they're going to be smart to be Switzerland because-.

Speaker 2:

No, they're there for industry.

Speaker 1:

No, no, I'm saying, is that? So let's just say there are current trends or current things that are going like right now we have, we've got essentially we have conservative and we've got liberal. Right now that you can tell in the news, this is something's going to happen. You've been following Trudeau versus Polyev. Oh yeah, okay, so one more ideological, the other one more pragmatic.

Speaker 2:

I guess one would yeah, I don't know.

Speaker 1:

One would say. One would say but the question is that, can construction, construction associations, if they go on one side for just the money today, they could end up on the wrong side of it For sure, and that's the worry. So the question is that there are lots of things that are political initiatives that are dangerous, in my opinion, based on audience.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, I think I look at all the construction associations, starting from our national association, cca, down to the regional construction associations here. Their mandate is to be on the side of industry. So I don't think that carries a political lens, you look, at the work here that BCCA is doing on bringing prompt payment.

Speaker 1:

Finally, to BC. That's pretty awesome.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's the dumbest thing in the world that this hasn't been embraced.

Speaker 1:

Is anyone going to hate them? Who's going to hate them? Bad actors are going to hate it, right.

Speaker 2:

Sure, I mean, there's always going to be people that I would say aren't even following the Builders Lean Act. Now, I think our industry doesn't love change. Most industries don't love change, or human beings don't. It's scary, I think once it comes in, people are going to get used to it and they're going to start appreciating that money's flowing and that they have options to start making that money flow if it's not. But yeah, I mean that's pretty apolitical to want to get paid for work that you've done.

Speaker 1:

That's not political, let's just common sense Exactly, and the same thing.

Speaker 2:

I look at, our national association is always pushing for an infrastructure plan from the government. That doesn't change. Every time there's a change in government, tell us what you're going to do, come up with a plan for 20, 30 years. So again they're on the side of industry, not what's politically expedient at that moment.

Speaker 1:

OK, that sounds like a two-hour conversation.

Speaker 2:

I think it is. It is OK, we've still got wine.

Speaker 1:

We've still got wine. We've still got wine. I'm going to start slipping up pretty soon. I haven't eaten any lunch.

Speaker 2:

I had two pieces of toast for breakfast. Ok, Jeez. It's going to be interesting.

Speaker 1:

Trouble. Yeah, Tatiana is looking at me going. Uh-oh, James, seen this before.

Speaker 2:

Are you drinking wine with other people, with other guests?

Speaker 1:

No, this is your first time. We've had whiskey. We had Jesse Yankee, we had whiskey. Ok, ok I thought it wasn't there for the time, but it was like 12 in the day and we just had like a little.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, ok.

Speaker 1:

We're working through it. Even though I love Jesse, he's good, but he's such a nice guy. Super guy, right yeah, even with the tie clip on the white teeth.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

I said I know you're listening the white teeth.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, looks good yeah.

Speaker 1:

I heard on an interview today. Have you heard of a half pot before?

Speaker 2:

No, I don't think so.

Speaker 1:

You ready for this? I'm excited. Do you want a half pot? It is a portapolly cut in half In order to be able to be lifted into the level of the job site, so you would go in there and do your thing and torso up is exposed.

Speaker 2:

OK.

Speaker 1:

How is that? Even First the idea, how in? I don't want to say OK. First of all, disclaimer here the word inclusive. Ok, it's been taken to a whole, nother level.

Speaker 2:

That's like collaboration.

Speaker 1:

I know it's right up there. Collaborating with ladies Like Are you serious? Ok, ladies, have an entire other bathroom experience that men don't even understand. I do, because I live with two girls. I don't have two wives. I have a daughter and a wife.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I'm not a polyamorous as of the time, no, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Thank God.

Speaker 2:

I don't under. I mean to each their own. I think that would be challenging.

Speaker 1:

Huge challenge.

Speaker 2:

Well, at least just for me, but other people, if it works.

Speaker 1:

Can you say jealousy in capital letters? Just imagine the dynamic of polyamory. No thanks, anyway. So back to it, the half pot. So we think that we're evolving and all that I heard half pot today. I'm like did that actually happen in 2020? Probably last year, 2023. Someone cut a porta potty in half and we talk about, you know, women in construction, like having an environment that's cohesive and that's also like you know.

Speaker 2:

Isn't that just innovation? That's what our industry does they see a problem and they solve it.

Speaker 1:

Okay, I'm with you on that, that's sarcasm.

Speaker 2:

I just want everyone to know.

Speaker 1:

It is. I think that that actually is. I don't know when I hear that, I think what are we doing? Like, yeah, here's something that I've seen on. This is where I think the government can get really involved in a good way. Okay, and maybe BCCA and maybe some of the provincial construction associations can talk about this, or national ones, is that I don't think that sanitation should be, should have to be the right and should have to be the responsibility of the GC.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you're saying that it should be. It should be a Owner cost. No, no.

Speaker 2:

Oh, he's paying for it.

Speaker 1:

An owner cost, but it should be tax break. It should be something to have it properly done. Like all movie sets do not have porta-potties. Okay, they have proper walk-up trailers, they're proper washrooms, running water, you know. Like, we do have this. It's just that it should be. The problem is it's such a big cost to have that at a smaller project. You see it, at the new hospital they're going to have those, right, because it's a massive job, huge TC doing it. But at a smaller, like six-story condo unit, they're going to have porta-potties. Okay, they're not going to afford that. I don't know how much dollars per month it is A for the rental of it, b for the servicing it.

Speaker 2:

Well, I guess it's the servicing of it, you know, I think porta-potties, you know, instead of bringing in mandatory and flush toilets and that sort of thing, you know what if you're saying you've got to pump and clean it every X amount of days?

Speaker 1:

I know, but the service, it should be stitched, and then what are you going to do, like, as you're building?

Speaker 2:

maybe not six-stories, but you are, you know, needing to put a porta-potty in on the 17th floor or something like that.

Speaker 1:

You're expecting your, you know labor's all the way to the bottom.

Speaker 2:

I know it's a tough one, but I mean I know, like with COVID, when they brought in right away the requirement hand washing you know people are like that should have happened before. You know. I mean, it kind of goes back to that idea.

Speaker 1:

You know dignity on site, you know like Okay, you just said dignity on site. Okay, here's something that I really want to get Okay. Just you need a bit more.

Speaker 2:

I think I'm going to need, I think, yeah, okay, here we go.

Speaker 1:

I made the sound for it. Yeah, no, that was great.

Speaker 2:

I actually thought for a second, that was it.

Speaker 1:

You're starting to get me smashed. This is no good Okay.

Speaker 2:

Well, yeah.

Speaker 1:

I have to do. You want some? Do you want a cookie?

Speaker 2:

No, I'm okay, but thank you, I look good.

Speaker 1:

They have a little raspberry in them and a little chocolate. It goes well with my real wine, just that one. Yeah, get that in.

Speaker 2:

Okay, fine.

Speaker 1:

Okay, go.

Speaker 2:

I like the. Where is it?

Speaker 1:

That one, that's the one.

Speaker 2:

Oh, oh yeah, very fancy.

Speaker 1:

It is fancy.

Speaker 2:

I know I'm like. Well, I don't want to start touching everything.

Speaker 1:

You've tactile. Do you have like a?

Speaker 2:

you hate the way things feel no, I don't think so, okay, yeah.

Speaker 1:

All right, okay, so you just said dignity. Okay, let's talk about that a bit, because when we talk about the brand of construction, you were saying that parents are like, no, I don't want my kid to go on construction. Even if I actually made my wealth by having a successful general contractor or I have a successful sub trade, I've made millions of, we have cottage, we have wakeboard boats, we have all this stuff, yeah, but nope, my kid's not going to go into this because not going to go through everything I went through.

Speaker 2:

Well, that's probably it, yeah.

Speaker 1:

But is that a virtue of? Here's my question. Is it a virtue of success that your child did not have to do what you did?

Speaker 2:

I guess so.

Speaker 1:

Is it a marker?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think it's yes I don't know. I mean, I think it comes down to the individual. I mean you were talking about earlier. Do people just not want to work hard? It's also like if you don't have to work hard, why would you? But yeah, I mean, I think it's also it's giving space for people to choose if they want to go into the trades or any aspect of construction.

Speaker 1:

I'll just say that's one thing to choose. Okay, I'll give you an example. I've said this on the podcast. Before I was chatting with I had a call with one of the education guys from. So back story is, I got a letter, a newsletter, for my daughter's high school, okay, and in the newsletter it said in one of the sections it said that they had a workshop to talk about trades.

Speaker 1:

Okay, I got on the phone with this guy. I said, okay, tell me about this. What's this program like? How can I help you guys, all that kind of stuff. I'm advocating to get people like regular Canadians already live here to get into this Huge opportunity. Yep, so I'm advocating for this. So I said to him I said so what's the struggle here? What kind of things are the challenges? And he said, james, let me just tell you. This newsletter went out. I had a mother send me an email and said how dare you suggest my son should not go into university? Yeah, and he's like this is what I'm up against. I'm up against the virtue of moms. Yep, I don't know if his dad's and mom's, but he said moms are like brutal.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

To him. I'm like, okay, where do we go with this Now? And I realized something and I chatted about this to someone else on the podcast over the past two days is that the thing about construction is, is that all we see is the lowest common denominator job out on the field, because it's out in the open.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, the evidence is out in the open. It's like you have to go to the washroom in that box. This truck will show up and pretty much decide what you're going to eat. It's a to go kind of a job where you have to go to Tim Hortons, you have to go to wherever your diet's not great. What if you're a vegan or you're like a, you only eat organic or whatever it is, and you live the life of like Jeff Bezos' kids. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Everybody wants to get to that right. This is a virtue of lifestyle.

Speaker 2:

So I guess. The question, though, is you know, are you any closer to that if you go get a four year sociology degree?

Speaker 1:

No, yeah, you're not, that's my point.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

I think you're way further behind. You have huge student debt. You're nowhere Like right now. I will say to this is like you, look around here I've got Sage. Here we've got Autodesk. Down there we have all these technology companies. We've got Sitemax and I look at how this is going. Construction is where technology is going. It's getting less dirty. Every day there are more jobs that are moving into the office. Eventually it will be this Excavators will have. There'll be no human in that excavator. There will be one of two things there will either be human assisted that are in the office on joysticks controlling by wire those machines, yep, and then they're sitting in comfort.

Speaker 2:

Then afterwards you're going to have a drone that's AI powered, that's going to go through and double check the work and flag it for any quality control issues.

Speaker 1:

So if you say to that mother, how dare you, my son, talk to her about that? Listen, this here is the huge opportunity for people to get into technology, because construction isn't hammers and nails as it used to be. This is amazing. The transformation that we see right now is kind of like this early days of the internet.

Speaker 2:

I agree, but I think what I'm waiting for with construction is the great unknown disruptor, and I have no idea. Don't ask me to name what they are, because it wouldn't be Because you don't know it yet.

Speaker 1:

None of us know it yet.

Speaker 2:

Exactly, you know whoever figures that out. You know kind of the Airbnb Uber of construction you know that disruptor that nobody saw coming. Like you know, you're not going to go into a stranger's house and sleep in their bed. That'll never happen. You won't get into a stranger's car and they'll drive you around. I mean, come on, I'm not suggesting that's going to happen.

Speaker 1:

It is kind of random. What do you think about it?

Speaker 2:

It's super random.

Speaker 1:

I mean, people trusted just that little sign in the front of the windshield.

Speaker 2:

Uber. Yeah, just get in. Okay, I got this. Yeah, I mean it's um.

Speaker 1:

Where are we going? I don't think this is on the map.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, this is culture change. Yeah, I mean, that's the path we're following right now.

Speaker 1:

But yeah, we don't know where it's going. That huge disruptor, I mean that's going to be kind of an interesting thing to watch, like what that thing is.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, We'll go to the next page. Okay, okay, okay, lemme turn it off. I don't think it's BIM, it's a combination of BIM, though.

Speaker 1:

I think BIM is a good setup because BIM gives you all the information to be able to have things that bolt onto that that might be the disruptor.

Speaker 2:

Well, I think it may be AI, but again it's stupid for me to even try to guess. But I think last week at the Southern Interior Construction Association their conference, they had some folks come in and they were talking about AI and all the opportunities in construction. Like I mentioned, the whole scanning the site on safety, who's wearing their glasses, who's wearing their busy vest, their hard hat, all that sort of stuff. That's hugely powerful.

Speaker 1:

It is. I mean, this is baseline stuff. I think you look at like behind us there security cameras, blah, blah, blah, all that kind of stuff.

Speaker 2:

We've seen cameras on site for the past 10 years See 10 years. Everyone loves to put everything in construction on a milestone of 10 years 10 years ago we were doing this.

Speaker 1:

My guess is it's going to be human-empowered robots, so hybrid between humans and robots and humans Like borgs. I don't know if you know that reference. Cyborgs.

Speaker 2:

No, no, no. The borg that's from Star Trek.

Speaker 1:

Well, yeah, isn't that like from clipping the word cyborg to borg?

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly so. It's basically half human, half robot, exactly, yeah, so we've seen, do you remember? In Avatar? Where the guys in the thing are like doing the stuff. It's going to be kind of like that. You're going to see control panels of people doing stuff and the amount of humans actually on our jobs here will be way less. So you're going to be seeing human-controlled robotics.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Right. So it's no different than mechanics you see in the old school days is basically you see an excavator, you see somebody sitting in a pod using all the joysticks. Now that joystick is not going to be on site, that human's not going to be in that piece of equipment we're going to see it's going to be. Basically it's going to look like a NASA. We've seen them all in movies NASA, big screens, cameras, everywhere, less humans on jobsite. That's where I see it going.

Speaker 2:

I agree, but what about just the cost of this? I mean, we've seen the hard construction costs skyrocket in the last four years. I can't believe COVID was four years ago, so I mean what's like hard construction costs keep going up.

Speaker 1:

I know, but we're talking about economic policy here and economic like trends. And I'll give you an example 20 years ago, oh, a millionaire, now it's a billionaire.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

So it's just, it just keeps going, it keeps going. You know you're talking about. Look at minimum wage, how much that has changed. And it's basically based on. Inflation is based on. So here's an interesting statistic. I was talking to my dad the other day about you know home prices and all kind of stuff. He says you know what, James Cause we grew up in England. He said to me he goes. When I was a teenager you used to be able to get a modest house outside of London, in Wimbledon, for the price of two bent leaf. Wow, Okay, so this is the Bentley coefficient.

Speaker 2:

Which is also probably, maybe equivalent to five years of your salary or 10 years of your salary or something like that, cause I think that's the big measure now, right?

Speaker 1:

Is how many years of the salary?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, you know, are you having to work?

Speaker 1:

But I look at what a Bentley cost today. Let's say cost after luxury tax is like six 700 grand.

Speaker 2:

No.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

It depends, it's SUV, whatever. If you didn't have an SUV which is cheaper than like a Bentley, Bentley, Bentley, like full on cool Bentley is like 600 grand.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so that means that back then we were talking Wimbledon outside of London. Okay, so that basically means not Shaughnessy, cause that's where the Ritzy houses are, let's say Maine and King Edward. Okay, that's, that would be like Wimbledon, okay. Okay, can I buy a house in Wimbledon for $1.4 million? Two Bentley's? No, no, I can't even buy it. For four Bentley's Modest house that means today, 4,000 square feet. Yeah, modest house. Right, I can't get that. I can't. Even I might be able to get it a shitty one for five Bentley's.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, oh well, and then I mean to bring this back into you know, the trades is, you know, are we pushing everybody out of our cities, which are the people that we need to build our cities? I?

Speaker 1:

know, that's the other part.

Speaker 2:

It's like everyone's coming in for Maple Ridge Chillowack. You know Face they're talking about like culture, that's what you want, it is culture. There's so much right now it just I don't know if it feels more complicated you know it does.

Speaker 1:

The internet's done that. Yeah, messaging has done that. Podcasts like this.

Speaker 2:

Have done that because we all have a voice. This is probably the longest I've gone in a very long time of not looking at my phone.

Speaker 1:

Chatting right now. Yeah, that's a win.

Speaker 2:

I know I've been like how long have we been?

Speaker 1:

doing this 51 minutes.

Speaker 2:

There you go, man.

Speaker 1:

I've enjoyed it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, this has been so much fun.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you know, what I really like about chatting with you is that I was talking to a construction lawyer before this and I was saying that many people, when you talk to them, there's concentric circles of spatial reasoning within concepts of conversation that some people can deal with and some people cannot. So that basically means that if I talk to you about one concept and then there's a supporting concept around that, that's the next concentric circle. Then I ask you about a third, and the third actually refers to two and one. Most people can't do that.

Speaker 1:

Oh, I didn't know anything about this, you're able to talk about three and four. Thank you.

Speaker 2:

I think that's a compliment. I'll take it.

Speaker 1:

It is because you're able to bank one and two and go back and okay, got that he's going to talk about three and four and now I can refer back to one and two that people one and two is already gone Out of the attention Can't reference it. It's done. So you've done a very good job of doing that and that's why I like talking to you, because it seems like we always talk about safe space. There is no safe space ever. This is BS. What it really is is that whether or not people are equipped to have a critical thinking, reasonable conversation where they can actually factor down all of the reasons why things are the way they are.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think I understand. Maybe you feel the way. I mean, I hate the word collaboration in our industry, but I think it's. We can all create a safe space for somebody else, especially when it doesn't infringe on our values. We were talking about that earlier. It's like what does it matter to me? Xyz, no way impacts my day to day. This isn't a hill I'm going to die on, sort of fall on.

Speaker 1:

You can't actually have a genuine collaborative space. You can't if it's safe for one person, because what it does is it throttles the other.

Speaker 2:

Well, so.

Speaker 1:

Throttles most, actually, yeah.

Speaker 2:

One of the guys on my panel I don't know if I can name names on this. He was on the panel I hosted on supplementary conditions to standard contracts and he said he's like a fair and equitable contract should be uncomfortable for both parties. It should, and maybe that's what you're talking about is like you know people holding holding space, let's say, and being able to have the uncomfortable discussion without one person being wrong and the other one also being wrong.

Speaker 1:

I guess, Well, I think that's a good period and 53 minutes, you're the longest one. You are the fireside chat of build X, number 14.

Speaker 2:

13, 14, 13, 14.

Speaker 1:

Tatiana will tell me it's going to be one of those numbers, but this has been a pleasure.

Speaker 2:

Thank you. Thank you very much. It's always a lot of fun. Thanks for the wine.

Speaker 1:

You're welcome and the cookies. All right, we did it.

Speaker 2:

Thanks.

Speaker 1:

Well, that does it for another episode of the site visit. Thank you for listening. Be sure to stay connected with us by following our social accounts on Instagram and YouTube. You can also sign up for a monthly newsletter at sitemaxsystemscom slash the site visit, where you'll get industry insights, pro tips and everything you need to know about the site visit podcast and site Max, the job site and construction management tool of choice with thousands of contractors in North America and beyond. Sitemax is also the engine that powers this podcast. All right, let's get back to building.

Evolution of Construction Industry
Challenges in Gender Dynamics in Construction
Culture and Evolution in Construction
The Political Landscape of Construction
The Evolution of Construction Dignity
Future of Construction and Collaboration
Building Site Visit Podcast Sign-Off