Environmental Impact Assessment
McElhanney provides a broad range of environmental effects assessment services in support of proposed developments.
Questions? Contact us about Environmental Specialties
McElhanney delivers excellence in multidisciplinary environmental consulting, through timely and cost-effective solutions that meet your needs. With a wealth of expertise in terrestrial wildlife and plant ecology, marine, freshwater and riparian ecology, water resource engineering, erosion and sediment control, drainage management, reclamation and remediation, spill response, and contaminated site issues, we are able to provide tailor-made services for any project scope.
McElhanney provides a broad range of environmental effects assessment services in support of proposed developments.
As well as expertise in agency negotiations and liaison, our experience includes CEAA, BCEAA, RAR, ESC, and ESA.
Clear Information and management recommendations for fish, wildlife and their habitats are required for projects to proceed. Our professionals ensure costly delays are minimized & projects meet legal obligations cost-effectively.
Successful mitigation and compensation plans are essential to environmental preparation. We work with agencies to achieve aquatic, riparian and terrestrial habitat solutions and deliver cost effective results.
McElhanney’s environmental specialists are experienced in Phase 1, 2, and 3 Environmental Site Assessments, hazardous material surveys, monitoring programs for soil and groundwater, In-situ/ex-situ contaminated site remediation solutions, and water management systems.
Expertise in reclaiming a site to its natural state, in all areas of the field, from sampling to obtaining a Reclamation Certificate. Our people have the necessary experience and training to undertake reclamation of cultivated lands, forested lands, and grasslands on wellsites.
Experienced crews are essential when a spill occurs. Our team specializes in spills from industrial wastewater to crude oil, and we manage our programs in compliance with industry regulations. We provide the initial emergency response expertise including data gathering and assessment, on-site supervision, waste management, confirmatory sampling, and reporting.
We provide comprehensive environmental liability assessments that include review and interpretation of historical and current information, including regulatory records, company well files, drilling information, historical environmental assessments and investigations, and more.
Questions? Contact us about Landscape Architecture
The landscape architecture group at McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. provides comprehensive landscape and urban design, construction drawings, and construction administration services to clients in Alberta, British Columbia, and across Canada. Our project portfolio ranges from public parks and master planning to residential developments and streetscapes to private residential gardens and large green spaces.
Playgrounds, entry features, sports fields, pathways and trails, interpretive elements, ponds and water features.
Paving design, lighting, public art, tree trenches, parkade slabs, furnishings, utility co-ordination, walkable streets.
Master planning, land feasibility, concept plans, site design, building layout, detailed design.
Planting design, site layout, entry features, amenity spaces, storm ponding, rooftop gardens and green roofs.
Master planning, historical and cultural landscape research, conservation planning approach, land feasibility, concept plans, site design, building layout, rezoning, ALR re-designation, detailed design.
Historic site designations, monuments, statements of significance, interpretive signage, renovations, restorations and rehabilitation.
Institutional Design & Development
Questions? Contact us about Mapping
McElhanney offers a wide range of mapping services to fit a variety of project demands from oil and gas development to regional studies, detailed highway, utility, plant and municipal designs. McElhanney owns and operates several terrestrial and aerial LiDAR/digital camera systems, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) / drones.
A great oil and gas project starts with a great map. Our custom and off the shelf mapping products can help you understand more than just the destination. We can help you identify key features, sensitive areas, important boundaries, routes and tenure types.
GeoWorks is a powerful GIS online mapping and planning tool developed at McElhanney to serve a broad range of uses. See PDF plans of well-sites, pipelines, facilities, and dispositions in a customizable live map environment here.
LiDAR’s strength is its detailed 3D modeling. It applies to terrain, to tree canopy structures, underground cavities or building interiors. LiDAR minimizes cost and risk when selecting locations for development, construction and access. It is particularly helpful when access is remote, terrain is difficult, or when only small fractions of sites can be constructed or drilled.
Maps are produced from Satellite imagery for mineral exploration basemaps and GIS layers, from aerial LiDAR and digital photo for a wide range of projects, and from combined field survey, LiDAR, mobile mapping and photogrammetric processes for the safest and most efficient detailed design map base for development projects. View topographic
Virtually every project manager can improve the effectiveness of the project by using Web based mapping to provide a visual reference to spatial data, forms and documents which can be linked to features on a map. Queries can be done from the associated attribute data.
Click here to see the Vertisee web-based mapping platform.
McElhanney can offer Pitney Bowes MapInfo, Discover, and Discover3D software sales, support and training by geologists. Our services include map and cross-section production, 2D and 3D digitizing services, drillhole and GIS database design and maintenance, 3D modeling for mineral exploration planning and investor presentations, 3D fly-through videos, custom coordinate-system and map-projection solutions.
Off-The-Shelf Map Products
Photo Mosaic Maps
3D Scanner Maps
e.g. Oil Sand Leases Maps
e.g. Emergency Access,
Disposition Maps, etc.
Field Atlas Booklets for Crews
GIS Data Management
BIM Building Inventory Models
Questions? Contact us about Planning
McElhanney planners are passionate about creating vibrant and healthy communities. We offer professional land use planning services across western Canada for private land developers and all levels of government. Our trained and experienced professionals coordinate and manage multidisciplinary teams in fulfilling all aspects of the approvals process. McElhanney's planning portfolio includes master plans, community/municipal development plan, area & area redevelopment plans, design guidelines, land development approvals, subdivision design, and other long-range plans for municipalities.
McElhanney strives to create great communities. Whether you are planning at the Neighbourhood, Community, Municipal or Intermunicipal level, we take pride in adding value to your process.
McElhanney's integrated planning and engineering teams provide approval and design services for land development from initial concept to final construction drawings.
McElhanney's team of planners, urban designers and landscape architects will develop customized architecture design guidelines for your community or development project.
McElhanney has provided site-specific master planning solutions for governments, private developers and First Nations. Our planners and designers excel at client consultation and timely delivery of expert designs.
McElhanney believes strongly in community engagement in planning. Our planners are trained and skilled at facilitation and innovative public engagement techniques. We mediate solutions between developers and municipalities as well as among municipalities.
Our planners can assist your municipality with land use and zoning bylaw updates. Our professional knowledge of planning legislation in BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan will provide invaluable support to this process.
Questions? Contact us about Geotechnical & Materials Testing
The first step of a project is often the most important one. Assessing the suitability of a site and subsurface conditions provides valuable information that can save time and money for the client while protecting the environment. Our qualified geotechnical engineers and material technicians are experienced to deliver accurate analysis and recommendations for current and future sites. The results tell our clients and other engineering teams of the specific needs and can address the challenges of a project.
Our geotechnical engineering services complement a variety of services that McElhanney already provides for land development, road/highway design and natural resources. It offers even more support to our clients on their projects from planning and design to construction. Specialties include geotechnical site investigation, foundation engineering, terrain mapping, geological hazard and terrain assessment, slope stability analysis, geotechnical monitoring, drilling supervision, coordination and sampling and pavement evaluation.
Our experienced and qualified technicians provide a wide range of laboratory and field testing services including Quality Control and Quality Assurance, Quality Management, and Project Supervision. Experienced field technicians provide a full range of construction materials testing services such as soil, aggregate, concrete, compaction and asphalt testing and analysis. We have in-house laboratories along with mobile labs which includes a CCIL certified for asphalt Type B.
Questions? Contact us about Land Referral
Our knowledge of the Oil & Gas Activities Act (OGAA) regulations and BC Oil & Gas application process paired with our problem recognition/solving abilities assists you with the Pre-Application Requirements or the Consultation & Notification Regulations processes. One on one discussions with the Oil & Gas Commission (OGC) have given us an excellent working relationship.
McElhanney provides timely approvals from the OGC for Oil & Gas clients operating in BC. Having surveying, mapping and referrals under one roof allows for quick and timely survey plan updates. Quick turnaround time on receiving plans means quick turnaround at the OGC. Using proven processes and a high level of expertise in the BC Oil & Gas regulations, our experienced Technicians provide liaison between McElhanney supervisors, the OGC and your company.
As a first step, final survey plans are received by the referral technician. Plans are reviewed and the necessary documents for notifications, consultations, third party requests and application are prepared. Next, applications requiring a company representative’s signature are sent to the client. Signed documents are reviewed and checked again for accuracy then hand delivered to the Governing Agency in Fort St. John. Our technician monitors and handles any questions that may come up during the Government review as well as third party agreements. Once the permit is issued and third party agreements have been received, our technician will send a package to you for your files.
|Public Uses||Mixed Uses||Land Development|
Nestled within the scenic mountains of Peter Lougheed Provincial Park in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, the William Watson Lodge provides year-round accommodation for Albertans with disabilities and senior citizens. McElhanney were hired by the Alberta Tourism Parks & Recreation to redesign the landscape at William Watson Lodge. In this project McElhanney redeveloped the entire site to bring it up to date with provincial accessibility standards. This included replacing almost 2 kilometers of asphalt pathways with concrete walks. In order to facilitate operations and meet the needs of users the facility could only be closed for two months. The $1million dollar project was completed on time and on schedule thanks to McElhanney’s on site construction supervisions.
Client:Alberta Tourism Parks & Recreation
Location:Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Kananaskis, Alberta
Bowmont Park is located within the City of Calgary, Alberta and is one of the City’s largest natural areas park. The park stretches for four kilometers along the North bank of the Bow River. McElhanney, along with the City of Calgary Parks Department undertook and extensive site inventory and evaluation in order to rehabilitate and revitalize this well enjoyed open space. McElhanney developed a master plan that established new park pathways, park entry features, viewpoint areas, parking lots and way finding signage in order to ensure its health and enjoyment for future generations.
Client:City of Calgary
The Town of Chestermere undertook extensive public consultation process in collaboration with the Anniversary Park Committee to gather public input on the desired amenities of the expanded park. A conceptual sketch plan was developed through this process for re-development of the Anniversary Park. The sketch plan proposed redeveloping and enlarging the park through altering the lake shoreline and adding fill material. This would result in the creation of a beach, lake access, additional parkland, a lakeside promenade, and a boat launch for maintenance purposes.
Client:Town of Chestermere
Date:2012 - ongoing
Given the sensitive locale of the site, McElhanney undertook a site suitability assessment in order to minimize the impact of development and maximize the site’s natural characteristics. The assessment identified primary and secondary conservation areas, through analysis of topography, vegetation, watershed and floodplain limits, viewsheds, future development implications, with existing road infrastructure. The master plan was a synthesis of this information, to develop ideal setting for the proposed RV Park. McElhanney also worked on the detail design of the entrance area and was involved in preparing graphic material for public consultation and successfully managing public consultations.
Client:Driftpile First Nations Band
Location:Driftpile First Nations Band
Kokanee Springs is nestled between the Selkirk and Purcell Mountains on the shores of Kootenay Lake, British Columbia. McElhanney lead the project, and with a multidisciplinary team of consultants, undertook an extensive site suitability assessment in order to minimize the impact of development and maximize the site’s natural characteristics. The Kokanee Springs Master Plan is based on sound and sensitive planning principles that endeavor to protect local and regional ecological systems, enhance local and regional economic growth, and promote the well-being of the environment and its inhabitants. The Plan identifies existing land to be conserved and illustrates optimal land to be developed. It integrates a variety of housing types, a golf resort center and a waterfront resort center with a network of multi-use trails, community green spaces and environmental reserves.
Client:Kokanee Springs Resort
Location: Kootenay Lake, British Columbia
McElhanney is currently involved in landscape & urban design of this 0.70 acre multi-family site located in the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified community of Currie Barracks in Calgary. For this project, McElhanney created an creative and contemporary design which met and exceeded the low impact design guidelines established by the Currie Barracks landscape code. The design incorporated features such as rain gardens, porous pavers, central storm water collection system to reuse the storm water for irrigation, plant pallet with low water requirement. McElhanney was also instrumental in designing of about 10 single family landscape projects in the Currie Barracks community using the low impact design features. McElhanney has worked with Homes by Avi on various multifamily projects including Burma Star Road, The Block and Silverado.
Client:Homes By Avi
For the Redevelopment of Crowfoot Crossing Mall, McElhanney designed a new, innovative master plan that proposed two small parks in the mall setting, which not only serve as anchors for visual orientation but also help establish the mall as a pedestrian friendly development. The team at McElhanney prepared a master plan for the whole site to stream line vehicular circulation and achieved the necessary parking count through innovative ways. The proposed innovative plan and detail design elements (such as wide sidewalks and contemporary paving design) introduces a shift in mall developments from auto-oriented development to more pedestrian oriented development.
Date:Date: 2011 - Ongoing
Spirit Ridge Resort is located in the Okanagan Valley, adjacent to Osoyoos Lake, and surrounded by vineyards. This area is one of the most ecologically unique places in British Columbia. McElhanney designed the hotel accommodations site to reflect the surrounding desert landscape. Xeriscaping with native planting and washed rock provided the site with minimal water requirements. The site design includes a large pool, spa, fire feature, water slide, and lounge area. A pergola was also designed with cascading water spouts which fall into a linear water feature.
Client:Bellstar Hotels and Resorts
Location:Osoyoos, British Columbia
McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd., Calgary in collaboration with the Surrey office has thus far provided services at the conceptual stage of this project. One aspect of this project is a storm-water detention pond with riparian planting. The pond is enveloped with a wood rail fence alongside a 3 meter wide asphalt pathway for maintenance access. The design proposes a lookout area with educational signage, bench seating area with receptacle, native shrub and perennial planting areas, boulder or gabion retaining walls, tree groves, native grasses and sidewalk access with boulevard tree planting.
Client:City of Surrey
Location: Surrey, British Columbia
Date:2012 - Ongoing
In keeping with the medieval theme for the community, a castle ruin was created as the keystone feature atop a hillside park. McElhanney also provided detailed construction drawings of the park, streetscape drawings and construction management services.
Client:Genesis Land Development
McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. provided services from the conceptual stage of this project through to construction. The large joint use Environmental Reserve/Municipal Reserve site was the focal point for this residential community development in Calgary. This recreational retreat features strolling asphalt paths surrounding a community pond. The park also features various amenities including a tot lot and playground area complete with climbing structures and beach volleyball. The community storm wet-pond has lookout areas that are constructed of local sandstone rock. Planting around the pond includes native grasses, trees and shrubs close to the water. Ornamental trees and manicured grass are separated from the natural areas by the meandering pathway.
Client:Genesis Land Development
Date:2004 - 2006
|Municipal Planning||Land Development||Master Plans|
McElhanney Consulting along with MVH Urban Planning & Design worked together to develop a Revitalization Plan for the Hamlet of Bragg Creek that focuses on four key areas: physical improvements, economic improvements, policy amendments and community and culture.
The highly engaging and broad community plan-making process started by confirming the vision and considering the full range of possibilities for the community. Ultimately a set of key recommendations was developed to invigorate the community and economy of Bragg Creek for long-term health and resilience. The strategy identified key steps, priorities, key personnel, measures of success and a general time frame for implementation.
Throughout the Plan process, McElhanney was responsible for the following tasks:
Client:Rocky View County
Location:Hamlet of Bragg Creek, AB
McElhanney land use planners provided Wheatland County with day-to-day planning services during a period of staff transition in their planning department. McElhanney planners hit-the-ground running with excellent professional planning services to assist in relieving a significant backlog of subdivision and re-designation applications. Our team demonstrated an excellent ability to quickly grasp the County’s existing policies and plans and subsequently advise developers, landowners and Council.
McElhanney’s contract was subsequently extended, during which McElhanney’s planners assisted Wheatland County’s Planning & Development staff with an array of professional capacities.
McElhanney's planner assisted the County's staff with an array of professional capacities, including:
Date:2014 - ongoing
McElhanney Consulting is currently working with the ʔaq’am Community (formerly St. Mary's Indian Band) on the community’s first comprehensive Land Use Plan. The Land Use Plan will set forth a future vision for how ʔaq’am lands will be used or developed.
McElhanney faciltated an extensive community consultation process, that included: hands-on mapping workshops, online feedback map, community home visits and open houses.
The draft Land Use Plan divides the 15,000+ acre land base into six character areas, with detailed future land use visions for each area. Hand-sketched by McElhanney’s First Nation planners, these land use visions set forth a clear visual for future land use in each area.
McElhanney also completed extensive GIS mapping for the ʔaq'am Community, including establishing a comprehensive web-based GIS system. McElhanney’s GIS staff worked with Band staff to create various levels of user control as well as integrating policy areas from the Land Use Plan and Environmental Management
Plan. Together, McElhanney staff have equipped the ʔaq'am Community to manage its own land base in a comprehensive and easy-to-use GIS environment.
Location:Ktunaxa Nation, Cranbrook, BC
Date:2015 - ongoing
McElhanney Consulting along with MVH Urban Planning & Design were awarded a contract to develop scenarios for market and affordable housing on a five (5) acre park site in response to the Town of Canmore’s acute need for affordable housing and added revenue for long-term flood mitigation.
The project team employed a collaborative approach towards developing scenarios with an overall community net gain, receiving input and working with a diverse group of stakeholders throughout the process. The project team established a robust and fully inclusive Final Design Scenario Option A community engagement program that focused on bridging the needs of the local community with the overall needs of the Town.
Ultimately, two (2) alternative design scenarios were developed based on the feedback received through all stages of the project. Both alternatives included pro forma analysis of the servicing costs, park improvements, and projected municipal revenue generation. The completed design brief is being used to support Council’s decision on whether or not to proceed with redevelopment of the Old Daycare site.
*Update: Following a Public Hearing, Council unanimously endorsed a motion to use 50 percent of the site for affordable housing.
Client:Town of Canmore
Date:September 2014 - February 2015
McElhanney, in partnership with award-winning firm MVH Urban Planning & Design, was retained by the Town of Chestermere to develop and oversee the creation of an area structure plan for a 342 acre area involving 65 parcels of land along the Town’s eastern boundary.
McElhanney and MVH Urban Planning and Design led 3-day interactive design workshop to engage existing landowners in the future planning of the area. McElhanney managed all sub-consultants to ensure all existing conditions are thoroughly assessed prior to the development of a land use concept plan.
McElhanney and MVH Urban Planning and Design are developing a ground-breaking approach to planning for future development of acreage areas using policies and design focused on incremental development.
Some of the challenges include:
Client:Town of Chestermere
Date:2013 - ongoing
McElhanney Consulting is currently preparing an Outline Plan and Land Use Redesignation on behalf of Dhillion Real Estate Ltd, for a 3.48 hectare (8.60 acres) parcel of land. The subject site is located in the community of Saddle Ridge in northeast Calgary and will contain a mix of low density residential parcels, municipal reserve, and commercial neighborhood land uses.
McElhanney is providing comprehensive land use planning and engineering services, that includes policy review, utility servicing, and traffic impact assessments that will ultimately result in the approvals submission of an Outline Plan.
Date:2015 - ongoing
McElhanney is currently working with a private developer on a 26 acre community development in the north west of the Town of High River for a range of housing options including senior’s retirement residences. McElhanney is providing comprehensive planning and engineering services including concept design, policy< review, utility servicing, and public engagement expertise that will ultimately result in the approvals submission of an Outline Plan.
Location:Town of High River, AB
Date:2014 - ongoing
McElhanney prepared an Area Structure Plan to guide the development and ensure all work complies with the development provisions in the County of Vermilion and meets all land use bylaws.
McElhanney Consulting was contracted by a private developer to facilitate the transformation of approximately 20 acres of land within the County of Vermilion River into a residential development with lots ranging in size between 1.4 - 1.9 acres.
The subject site is located within the boundaries of the Central Urban Expansion Area Structure Plan, an implementation of the Vermilion County/City of Lloydminister Intermunicipal Plan (IDP), devoted to the transition from rural to urban land use over time.
McElhanney facilitated the successful approval for an Area Structure Plan to guide the development and ensure all work complies with the development policies in the County of Vermilion River.
Location:County of Vermillion River, AB
Date:2014 - Ongoing
McElhanney led the creation of a Master Site Development Plan (MSDP) for the City of Airdrie’s proposed EcoPark, which is located on a 160 acre parcel in Rocky View County. McElhanney provided a future concept plan and comprehensive MSDP report that reflects the future needs of the EcoPark, including expansion of existing waste transfer site, rodeo grounds, future special events hosting and future compost facility. McElhanney also provided advice and expertise in regards to the best approach on developing a Direct Control land use district that would meet the expectations of the approving authority, Rocky View County. McElhanney’s multi-disciplinary project team has quickly adapted to changing project direction throughout the process.
Client:City of Airdrie
Date:2013 - ongoing
McElhanney was retained by the RCMP to complete a Master Plan for the national Police Dog Service Training Centre, an 8.9 ha (22 acre) site near Innisfail, Alberta. The McElhanney team designed a master plan to accommodate future growth and development on the site for the next 20 years. The Master Plan features the construction of eight new buildings, relocation of two significant features and re-design of the site’s circulation and parking. Further, the Master Plan seamlessly integrates future development with on-going operation of the site, one of the requirements from the client. Extensive 3D modeling and time-lapse imagery was used to portray the site’s future development to the client. Some of the challenges included:
Client:RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police)
Location:Near Innisfail, Alberta