Members of the Varcon team offer a diverse background when it comes to their involvement in engineering projects. They have been directly associated with many challenging projects across Canada. These projects cover the spectrum in terms of difficulty and complexity. We have attempted to highlight a few representative cases below. Our senior management and engineering team is comprised of industry veterans each with 15+ years of experience in the Canadian tower engineering industry. Members of our management team sit on industry steering committees such as CSA-S37 in recognition of their technical expertise and industry influence.
Varcon personnel have extensive experience with broadcast and telecom towers/sites, having completed challenging inspection and engineering projects for nearly every major client in Canada (and many smaller clients from coast to coast). Our work has taken us to every geographical area in Canada during all types of weather conditions.
Structural analysis of more than 6000 tower structures:
Varcon Inc. has completed more than 6000 structural assessments of communication and broadcast towers to verify compliance with applicable codes and standards. These structures include guyed, self support, monopole, tripole, wooden pole structures, roof top, passive reflectors, etc.
Atlantic Canada Trunk Mobile Radio System:
Varcon Inc. has worked with Bell mobility and the respective governing bodies for the provinces of PEI, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to initialize the new trunk mobile radio (TMR) system. This has included analysing, designing, and inspecting antenna additions on existing Bell Mobility and the provincial government towers. Varcon Inc. was also hired to consult and inspect new tower design and builds in the areas where the existing tower portfolio was not sufficient for the TMR system.
Design of structural reinforcement for overloaded elements and foundations:
Varcon has designed practical and cost effective structural reinforcement for several thousand structures. These structures were assessed to have overloaded structural elements or foundation systems. The reinforcement allowed the structure to safely support design loads and remain in service, therefore alleviating the need to build costly new replacement structures.
CSA S37 Recommended Tower Inspections:
Varcon Inc. has completed over 10,000 tower inspections in all Canadian Provinces and Territories ranging in height to 1500 feet. These inspections are completed by structural engineering personnel and used to structurally assess the tower to verify structural integrity (safety) and compliance with applicable codes and standards. Structures have included those used for telecom, cellular, broadcast, radar, navigation, etc. They include guyed, self support, monopole, tripole, wooden pole structures, roof top, passive reflectors, etc. They also include steel, composite pole, fiberglass, aluminum and wood.
TIA 222 G Recommended Tower Inspections:
Varcon Inc. has completed hundreds of tower inspections for clients in the United States. These inspections have been completed in Maine, New York, New Hampshire, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, Michigan, and other states. These inspections are completed by structural engineering personnel and used to structurally assess the tower to verify structural integrity (safety) and compliance with applicable codes and standards.
Engineering and Construction / Project Management for multi-site telecom construction projects:
Varcon Inc. personnel were involved in the successful completion of many new site builds across Canada. These sites included remote helicopter access microwave sites in Eastern and Northern Canada. In addition to Project Management our responsibilities included tower design, foundation design, quality control, on site supervision, logistics coordination, building design, road design, winter construction, construction in permafrost, cost estimates, cost control, etc. All projects were completed on schedule, within budget and with no hours lost due to accidents.
Design of new mounts for broadcast and telecom antennas:
Varcon Inc. has completed the design of new or special mounts to support an assortment of antennas including broadcast, cellular, microwave, HF, UHF, radar, etc.
Design of support system for solar and wind attachments to existing communication structures in Pakistan, India, Canada and Chile:
Varcon staff were selected to analyze communication structures and design special customized mounts to support wind and solar attachments for existing remote communication sites in several countries around the world. The mounts allowed the installation of a unique system that was able to supply dependable “green” power to run the remote sites without the use of fossil fuels, saving the tower owners substantial operating costs while maintaining uninterrupted service.
Design of new structures to be used in a radar array:
Varcon Inc. has completed the design of a new radar array consisting of light weight structures that can be installed quickly with minimal effort. Work on this first of as kind system included design of the structures and foundations, and production of fabrication drawings.
Design lightweight aluminum tower in Qatar:
Varcon was asked to design a lightweight aluminum tower for a client in Qatar. This was done to facilitate communication to a remote residence and to allow support on an existing residential compound.
Completion of “turnkey” projects for clients – design, build, project management:
Varcon staff have provided “turnkey” services to clients wishing to effectively develop a site while not having the in house staff or time to do so. This included design based on the clients specification, contracting qualified suppliers/contractors, quality control, commissioning and on site supervision. The resulting cost and time savings were significant.
Completion of a safety audit and recommendations for a large 540’ self support tower in a city center:
Varcon Inc. was asked to complete a safety audit and provide remedial recommendations for a large self support tower that was located in a heavily populated large city. The tower was identified as a safety risk to the public.
Replacement of porcelain base insulator without service interruption:
Varcon Inc. was asked to replace a base insulator for a tower without having to shut the “live” tower down. We designed a method of temporary support allowing the base insulator to be safely and cost effectively replaced without taking the structure out of service.
Development of detailed technical specifications for design, supply and installation of towers:
Varcon Inc. has completed detailed technical specifications based on a detailed assessment of client needs, latest codes and standards and acceptable industry standards. All such technical specifications allow the Client to get the work done in a safe, efficient and cost effective manner.
Supervision of tower maintenance contractors:
Varcon Inc. has supervised, on behalf of the tower owner, contractors tasked with the completion of maintenance work completed. Maintenance work included minor maintenance, guy retensioning, tower alignment, guy change out, tower reinforcing, bolt replacement, guy dampeners, in line insulator change out, grounding repairs, installation of sacrificial anodes, etc.
Assessment of failed towers and anchor systems:
Varcon Inc. has been asked to complete post failure assessments of towers and anchors that have failed. Our assessments include structural analysis, modelling under maximum recommended ice and wind loading and assessment under seismic conditions. Each assessment comes with a detailed report and recommendation to prevent in the future.
Corrosion assessment of buried anchors and foundation systems:
Varcon Inc. has completed corrosion assessments for many hundreds of towers across Canada. The assessment provides the tower owner with an indication of the risks associated with corrosion of the anchorage system.
Inspection of structural components for wind turbine towers in California:
Varcon Inc. was contracted to inspect many wind turbine support structures in California. The inspections included climbing the structure and visually assessing both the completed steel structure and the foundation system.
Inspection of communication and broadcast site grounding:
Varcon Inc. has completed comprehensive inspection of site grounding including connection integrity and measured resistance.
Inspection of electrical transmission line towers:
Varcon staff has inspected transmission line steel structures primarily to assess structural condition. In particular Varcon staff was able to assess problems with regard to excessive corrosion and design cost effective solutions to remediate the corrosion issues and keep the structures in service.
Tower safety and maintenance seminars:
Varcon staff have presented safety, design and effective maintenance seminars to clients across the country. These seminars were geared towards increasing the tower owners knowledge of tower design, maintenance, safety and due diligence, allowing for a more effective approach to tower management.
Design of tower guy dampening devices:
Varcon staff designed effective dampening devices to counteract the potentially devastating impact of both high frequency low amplitude, and low frequency high amplitude vibration events in guy wires and steel structures.
Project management and design of concrete structures:
Varcon staff has been involved with the design and installation of remedial work for a large concrete communication structure which was experiencing spalling of the concrete and creating serious safety issues for individuals near the tower.