Mr. Paquin is a Senior General Manager, Strategic and Special Projects, at Société Québécoise des infrastructures (SQI), and specializes in project management and is a member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec. He has more than 40 years of experience in management or as project manager in all types of infrastructure projects, in both public and private sectors with various companies and engineering firms. Relying on more than 25 years experience as an owner in major projects, Mr. Paquin is involved in best practices development and innovations, particularly in implementation methods, collaborative approaches, integration of BIM and digital transformations.
Tell us about your background and why you chose to dedicate your time to the Building Transformations community?
I am trained as a generalist engineer and have mainly participated in the management of various infrastructure projects. In the middle of my career, I was able to familiarize myself with the more structured project management approaches of PMI, which taught me the importance of risk management. And then one day, I discovered BIM which, associated with IDP (Integrated Design Process — PCI in French), made it possible to significantly optimize project management and infrastructure delivery.
Holistically, after years of experience in construction projects, I have come to the conclusion that the projects’ success is closely linked to good risk and stakeholder management, combined with new technologies that provide tools to work together on the same project from reliable data and good visualization. The implementation of new, more modern methods in the construction industry presents many major challenges. It quickly became apparent to me that an alliance with the Building Transformations community would be essential to bring deep and lasting changes.
This year’s issue is about Sustainable Growth. What are some collaborative approaches that are essential to the future growth of our industry?
I firmly believe that new collaborative approaches will have a profound effect on the AECOO industry with new ways to better meet customer needs, providing new innovative solutions to their problems, ultimately resulting in benefits for all. The new collaborative approaches combined with BIM and IDP, and, at the contractual level, the progressive design-build mode (which we are working at the SQI), create work environments that facilitate the exploration of ideas, expose major problems, and make it possible to solve them in an optimal way. The big winners: sustainable development with sustainable infrastructure that can be built and operated efficiently. These new contractual relationships offer optimized risk management and balanced risk distribution, making public markets and the SQI more attractive for the industry.
What interests you most about the future of the AECOO industry?
The AECOO industry has a great responsibility to create the best possible conditions to carry out projects in the most efficient way and deliver sustainable infrastructures. To do this, the AECOO industry must transform and innovate, not only in terms of technology, but above all in terms of collaboration. To achieve these ambitious goals, we must adopt a coherent approach and implement an inclusive one. At the initiative of the Government of Québec, six major public work providers, including the SQI, have been working with the industry since April 2021 to deploy a government roadmap for BIM. Several aspects are addressed, in addition to the gradual integration of BIM, terminology, classifications, as well as collaborative approaches and contracts. Like Québec, public work providers would benefit from setting the pace of BIM deployment in public infrastructures, thus pooling efforts and bringing increased synergy within the AECOO industry. By bringing this experience in the Building Transformations community, I hope to help achieve some of that.
What does it mean to you to have received the 2022 Professional Achievement Award?
It recognizes the effort of all the collaborators I had the privilege of working with in the development and promotion of new ways to improve the AECOO industry. It gives us proof that we are on the right track and it’s worth pursuing.