The Construction Source

All the best, The Editorial Team We will keep adding business units that enhance our offering and separate us from our competition. “ ” Editor From The Dear Reader, Welcome to the latest issue of Construction Source Canada, the magazine that highlights the best in building and building products across the country. In this edition, we’ve highlighted a variety of companies who contribute to the construction industry across Canada, from material suppliers, to painting contractors, steel building manufacturers, developers, and even one deconstruction company – they take buildings apart rather than putting them together. The businesses featured in this issue are very different, but one thing they all share in common is a passion for innovation and making their industry better. One example is Breman Construction, a southeastern Ontario concrete and construction company with a focus on agricultural projects. They are a company made unique by their ability to tailor their solutions to the specific and individual needs of their clients. Even when the clients themselves don’t quite understand their needs to begin with, Breman will help them figure it out and deliver the right solution. We spoke to Henry Breman, the company’s founder and owner, and we discussed a few of the projects where they demonstrated that ability. Also in this issue is Reitzel Insulation, based not far away in the Kitchener-Waterloo area of southern Ontario. They are a professional insulation contractor with a history in their region going back to 1976. We talked about that history with Geoff Inglis, assistant general manager. He talked about the key to their longevity, about their over-45-year history of innovation, and about the relationships they have built along the way. Then there’s the aforementioned deconstruction company, the aptly named Unbuilders – they are a Vancouver-based company that’s striving to change wasteful ways in which buildings and typically demolished. We spoke to Adam Corneil, the company’s founder and CEO, about that mission, their ‘unbuilding’ process and how it’s profitable, and their long-term vision to inspire revolutionary change in the demolition industry. For those stories – and many more like them, about other industry leaders across the building space – keep flipping the pages. We hope you enjoy, and that we’ll see you back here next time.

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THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA With over 90,000 senior executive readers, The Construction Source is proud to offer an attractive platform to share you message with the people that matter most - your customers. Whether your objective is to promote a new condo development, attract financial investment in your upcoming projects, or to build brand recognition, we stand ready to help! To find out more about having your company or latest project feature in The Construction Source, please contact our Group Publisher. Jermaine Poulsen e: The Costruction Source Canada 2201 - 250 Yonge St Toronto, Ontario M5B 2L7 E: Group Publisher Jermaine Poulsen General Manager Alexandra Box Operations Manager Shon Washington Head of Editorial Content Tamara Breen Scott Carter Production Manager Vicki Lee Editor Zach Janes Graphic Design Pranim Thapa




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A paradigm shift Unbuilders is a Vancouver-based company dedicated to working against the wasteful ways in which buildings are typically bulldozed. Rather than a ‘demolition company,’ they are a ‘deconstruction and salvage company.’

By carefully dismantling structures instead of demolishing them – ‘unbuilding’ them, in other words – they are able to salvage valuable resources and reclaim materials that would otherwise end up in Canadian landfills. In doing so, they are able to make a positive impact on their environment and their community, while also often saving their clients’ money along the way. Adam Corneil, founder and CEO of Unbuilders, is a builder and entrepreneur with an extensive background in sustainable building, deconstruction, and reclaimed wood use. He’s been involved in construction ever since a young age, when he started doing renovations with his father and brothers. When he was in high school, he and his father flipped a house – “back before that was even really a thing on TV,” Adam says – and that experience solidified his desire to be in the building world. “I was also obsessed with architecture as a kid,” he recalls. “I was drawing blueprints when I was about six years old. So I was always really fascinated about building and construction.” Adam attended university for “something completely different,” he says, while he continued to work construction during the summers. Though he didn’t end up pursuing a career in the fields he was studying, he does credit his time in university for fostering his passion for sustainability. “I studied a lot of biological anthropology,” he says. “We were looking at climate change and human evolution. So I thought ‘I want to be in construction, I want to be building buildings, but I want to be building sustainably.’” MARCH 2023


Adam ended up moving to Vancouver in 2013, where he launched a green construction company called ‘Naturally Crafted.’ As a builder, he quickly became disillusioned with the traditional demolition industry and all the waste it generated. That’s when he started deconstructing his own projects. He also started a small woodshop, where the company would take the wood they recovered and make furniture and other products out of it for clients. “That was really the start of my foray into deconstruction,” Adam says. “After that, there were policy changes in the region that started mandating deconstruction – or at least what they called ‘green demolition.’” In 2018, spurred by those policy changes – and by his ongoing disgust for the traditional industry and the volume of lumber going into landfills – Adam decided to spin off Unbuilders into its own company. A couple years after that, in 2020, he also launched a reclaimed wood brokerage called Heritage Lumber. Both companies have grown steadily in the years since. Today, Unbuilders is active in three main regions – Greater Vancouver, Greater Victoria, and the Okanagan. In Vancouver, they are proud to hold the city’s record with a 99 per cent salvage and recycle rate on a single-family home. On average, their process yields less than 10 per cent waste on a building, and on each project they average 70 tonnes of waste diverted and 10 tonnes of lumber salvaged. The material that Unbuilders salvages can include irreplaceable old growth lumber, windows, doors, MARCH 2023

cabinets, fixtures, and appliances. Their process can be broken into three parts – inspection and planning, deconstruction, and de-nailing and processing. In part one, inspection and planning, the company first visits each site to inspect the building and determine how it was built. They provide a free estimate and what they call a “salvage audit” in order to determine the value of each building’s materials. In part two, Unbuilders’ skilled crew of carpenters deconstruct buildings layer by layer. They do a combination of hand deconstruction and machineassisted deconstruction, with most of the work being done by hand. Through on-site material separation they are able to maximize the salvage potential and minimize the waste. Finally, in part three, the Unbuilders team delivers the salvaged goods to Habitat for Humanity and the reclaimed wood to Heritage Lumber. Heritage Lumber then dismantles building components, de-nails the lumber, and processes it for remanufacturing. This process represents a “paradigm shift” from demolition to deconstruction, Adam says. “Demolition companies are hired to remove buildings as fast and cheap as possible – the result of which is a mound of waste,” he explains. “Us, on the other hand, we’re approaching a building with the goal of salvaging as much as possible and minimizing the waste, while still doing it as fast and cheap as possible. So it’s a shift in mentality and method.” “We’re looking at old buildings THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

as material banks we can extract resources from, not just as a blockade to a new building,” he says. The environmental impact also cannot be understated. Construction demolition waste is the number one contributor to solid waste in landfills, in both Canada and the United States – it comprises nearly 40 per cent of the total in both regions. Of that construction waste, nearly 40 per cent is lumber – mostly old growth lumber which is rare, better wood, and more valuable. “So it’s not only contributing to overflowing landfills and climate change, it’s just a complete waste of resources,” Adam says. “It’s valuable material that’s just going into the dump.” The majority of Unbuilders’ projects are residential deconstructions, though commercial deconstructions are also a growing percentage of their business as more big developers and contractors are inviting them to bid on projects. In many cases, Unbuilders is able to win those bids because of the uniqueness of their business model. Deconstruction may be more expensive than traditional demolition at first glance, but there are factors that can change the equation. For example, Unbuilders donates a lot of what they salvage to charity, which generates a tax receipt for the building owner and can reduce their cost. Also, as previously mentioned, Adam runs a reclaimed wood brokerage, which will oftentimes buy the wood the company salvages and thus reduce their fees. “I think a lot of companies do care about sustainability and MARCH 2023


the environment, and I think most people are aware that we do need to do things more sustainably – but at the end of the day we know that money is what drives those decisions,” Adam acknowledges. “Fortunately, because of our business model, we’re often competitive or even slightly cheaper than demolition. So then the client has a similar price and they feel better going with us because they know deconstruction is better for the environment and better for the community.” Once a client does choose Unbuilders, they also tend to keep choosing them. According to Adam, a significant percentage of their work comes from repeat clients: “Especially with residential builders, it’s quite often we become their go-to company,” he says. To help build those kinds of lasting relationships, Unbuilders will sometimes offer builders a combination of deconstruction-and-demolition on projects where pure deconstruction doesn’t make financial sense. They do that because “number one we want a bigger market share, because then we feel like we can have a bigger influence on shifting the industry as a whole,” Adam says, and also because “we want to be those companies’ number one removal company, whether it’s a partial deconstruction or a full deconstruction.” “So we’ve shifted in that way, and now builders will call us regardless of the job, and we’ll tell them, ‘This is a newer build, so we’re not going to price it as a full deconstruction. We know that will be out of range. Instead, we’re going to salvage MARCH 2023


here and there and the rest of it we’ll do with a machine.’ We’ll still have really high diversion rates because we’ll separate the materials on site and direct them to the right recycling facilities.” Again, by demonstrating that kind of flexibility and adaptability, Unbuilders has been able to forge some strong and long-lasting relationships with clients. The company similarly has similarly formed lasting relationships with other stakeholders, including other demolition and abatement companies, team members and suppliers. Adam highly praises the contribution of those partners – “we wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the entire team,” he says. Moving forward, Adam’s goal is to continue strengthening those existing relationships. His goal is also, necessarily, to continue building new ones as the company grows. In the near-term, they want to open another office in a new city. Beyond that, they are interested in exploring a franchise model and launching Unbuilders offices across Canada and the United States. “Our vision is a construction industry where deconstruction and remanufacturing replaces demolition and disposal,” Adam says. “In order to realize that vision, we have to grow. Right now, we’re building the infrastructure to do that. We’re refining our systems and processes. We’re formalizing how we train our staff. Eventually, we want to package all that together so we can franchise and get this going in other parts of North America.” “We’d love to be a household brand name that people associate with building MARCH 2023


removal,” he adds – and he says they would also love to have other companies follow in their footsteps. “We’d love to be a company that inspires others in the demolition industry to adapt and do things more sustainably.” In the longer-term, Adam also personally wants to get back into construction – “it’s in my DNA to build,” he says. “My long term goal has always been to build the best, healthiest, and most-sustainable buildings,” he explains. “I look at Unbuilders and Heritage Lumber as stepping stones to get there. To build more sustainably, we need to build with reclaimed materials. In order to build on the scale that we need to if we want to really have an impact, we need to have a big supply of reclaimed materials, primarily reclaimed wood.” And in order to have that supply, Adam reiterates, “We need to shift the demolition industry to become a deconstruction industry.” “Where I want to be in 10 years is building beautiful highperformance buildings with reclaimed materials,” he concludes. “Unbuilders is the first step of that. We not only want to grow a big company ourselves, but we want to influence the demolition industry. We want to show that there’s a better way to do it.” MARCH 2023

THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA For more on Unbuilders, their story, their process, and their myriad advantages – and to get in touch with Adam and his team today – visit

Trusted insulation experts

Reitzel Insulation is a professional insulation contractor that offers quality spray foam and blownin insulation in KitchenerWaterloo and throughout Southern Ontario. They also provide expert insulation removal and fireproofing services. Since forming over 45 years ago, they have completed over 100,000 projects for clients including commercial contractors, agricultural contractors, homeowners, and new home builders. Over the years, their combination of personal customer service and premier quality has been rewarded with repeat clients, glowing customer testimonials, and industry awards. “With Reitzel Insulation, clients don’t have to worry,” says Geoff Inglis, Assistant General Manager. “We have the expertise, tools and knowhow to handle any and all types of jobs. Whether the project is a small attic or crawlspace or a complete custom home, we do them all with the same amount of pride and top-notch professionalism – and we always stand behind our work.” The history of Reitzel Insulation dates back to 1976, when the company was first founded by Dave George, a certified mason and someone who foresaw the importance of energy-efficient products before a lot of his peers. In the years since, the company has remained familyowned and operated, and is now run by Dave’s sons, Lou and Jamie. Geoff, for his part, joined the company almost 12 years ago, at first it was only meant to be a short term position. He quickly fell in love with the industry and the culture at Reitzel, which has in turn lead to him up sticking around. In his time there, he’s MARCH 2023


seen the company evolve significantly. In particular, he’s observed a massive leap in efficiency and technological innovation: “We’re on the cutting edge,” he says. “The products we use are state-of-the-art. Our manufacturers keep coming out with products that more environmentally-friendly, and we’ve embraced that. We’re really focusing on innovation and sustainability.” Today, Reitzel Insulation primarily works on residential renovations; though they also work on new homes as well as commercial projects. The size and value of their contracts can range greatly – they can do everything from smaller jobs valued as little $1,000 to bigger jobs valued over $200,000. If the job is local and makes sense for them, Geoff says “we can pretty much do anything.” According to Geoff, clients across that price spectrum tend to choose Reitzel Insulation for similar reasons – with one of the primary reasons being their excellent reputation in their community: “We’re a family-owned and operated company. We have family values and we take a lot of pride in what we do. We’ve been in our community for almost 50 years now. That means a lot to us.” In order to live up to that reputation, Geoff says they know they have to deliver quality: “We make sure that all of our guys are certified, and we make sure that products that we use are certified. We make sure that every project we do is done to the highest standard. We make MARCH 2023

community: “We’re a family-owned and operated company. We have family values and we take a lot of pride in what we do. We’ve been in our community for almost 50 years now. That means a lot to us.” In order to live up to that reputation, Geoff says they know they have to deliver quality: “We make sure that all of our guys are certified, and we make sure that products that we use are certified. We make sure that every project we do is done to the highest standard. We make sure that anything that we do for a client, we wouldn’t hesitate to do in our own families’ homes.” Reitzel Insulation also combines that high quality of work with high quality customer service. As evidence of that high quality service, Geoff cites the fact that almost all of the company’s work is generated through referral, word of mouth, and even repeat business – of which there is no better indicator of customer satisfaction. “We have customers that we’ve been doing business with that go all the way back to the 80s,” Geoff says. “We have other customers that go back 20 years. We have some really longstanding relationships.” The quality of Reitzel’s service is further evidenced by their industry awards and accolades. In 2022, for example, they were recognized by 2022 Record Readers’ Choice Awards, as voted on by residents of Waterloo Region. Reitzel Insulation won the ‘Diamond’ award in the ‘Home/Home Improvement’ category for ‘Insulation Services.’ For the past three years, they were also recognized by HomeStars with a ‘Best of the Best Award,’ which recognizes HomeStars-verified professionals who go above and beyond in integrity, customer service, and consistency. Geoff credits those reviews and accolades to the company’s commitment to selfimprovement: “Even in situations where something goes wrong, we want to make sure that our customers know that we care,” he says. “After every job we send out a follow-up survey. We want to know what we did well and we want to know what we can do better.” Geoff further credits the positive feedback to the company’s focus on quality control. As part of that focus, they require their installers to take before and after pictures of every site. Those pictures show what the job site was like when they got there and what it looks like when they’re finished – and those pictures are almost always identical, as the company has rigorous project clean-up procedures. “Our work is not finished until the project site has been returned to its original state,” Geoff says. At the end of a job, Reitzel Insulation also stands behind their work with a five year workmanship warranty. Geoff believes that gives clients a lot of comfort and peace of mind. THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

A family atmosphere In addition to longstanding relationships with customers, Reitzel Insulation has also formed longstanding relationships with employees. Geoff personally is an example, as he’s been there almost 12 years and has advanced from a entry level position to a management position. He describes the culture that’s kept him around: “There’s good communication,” he says. “We have companypaid benefits for all employees who have been here over a year. We do company events – in recent years we’ve done an annual golf tournament. When an employee has a child, everyone typically pitches in and we buy them diapers and wipes and that kind of thing.” “It’s a family company, and we have a family atmosphere,” he adds. “I think the guys here rightly feel like they are a part of something.” Geoff estimates that roughly half of Reitzel’s team has MARCH 2023


been there for over 10 years. He also says the company has formed similarly longlasting relationships with their suppliers and manufacturing partners: “Our relationships with suppliers are great,” he says. “We’re in pretty frequent contact because we like to stay up-to-date. If there any new products coming or any changes happening we want to know about them right away.” Moving forward, the goal of Reitzel Insulation is to keep all those relationships strong – with suppliers, manufacturers, team members, and especially clients. On the strength of those relationships, they intend to grow – though not necessarily in terms of geography, as they’ve had a wider reach in the past but have since purposely chosen to contract locally in order to keep their service as personal and responsive as possible. “We want to grow, but we want it be a growth that doesn’t sacrifice the quality,” Geoff explains. “We need to be able to provide the quality that our clients’ expect. As long as we can do that, we’d be more than happy to expand, but the most important thing is we remain a leading company in our industry.” MARCH 2023

THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA For much more on Reitzel Insulation, their services, their products, and to hear from their past clients – and to get in touch with Geoff and his team directly – visit

Building Muskoka

Greystone Project Management is a leading developer and builder in Central Ontario, proudly serving the industrial, commercial, multi-residential and institutional sectors in Muskoka and surrounding areas. Their vision is to deliver buildings that reflect the architectural style of Muskoka, that contribute to the region’s special character, and that achieve the objectives of all the stakeholders involved. Their mission is also to be predictable – which means always delivering superior quality, a high level of service, for a reasonable cost, and on an accurate timeline.

“We deliver quality buildings, premier service, and unrivalled value to our clients beyond expectations on every project,” says Jon Morton, Chief Operating Officer. “Our vision is to be an industry leader, and to have the capacity, knowledge and experience to provide a level of service that is unparalleled.” Greystone was first founded in 1995 by Patrick (Pat) Dubé, the company’s president. Jon, for his part, started working with Pat roughly 10 years ago. At the time, Pat was looking to “add a bit more structure” to his growing business, while also someone to help him out with the day-to-day operating of the company so that he could focus more on planning for the future. Jon, like Pat, comes from a background in engineering, which is part of what made him a good fit for the role. Over the years, Jon has seen Greystone evolve steadily in terms of both size and capability. In particular, he’s seen their projects get a lot larger. The company does a lot of design-build commercial and industrial work, including offices, medical centres, and automotive dealerships. They also focus efforts on large-scale condominium developments and apartment buildings, which they develop, design, and build all in-house. The company also works on significant DesignBuild public sector projects, such as fire halls and EMS stations. According to Jon, when it comes to their external clients, Greystone tends to generate most of their leads through their reputation: “We get a lot of repeat business, MARCH 2023


we get a lot of referrals, and a lot of our clients come to us directly,” he explains. “A lot of that is reputation-based. It comes from people having experience with us and the way we do projects.” “Our approach is very teamoriented,” he says. “We’re not adversarial, and we’re very predictable. We take a designbuild approach because that’s what we’re good at, but also because it allows us to give our clients a clear picture of what their final cost will be really early on in the process. That’s what we want to do; we want to give them that clear picture. We want to be predictable. We’re not a fan of playing the change-order game. There are a lot of contractors that make their living that way, but that’s not us.” As builders with their own inhousedevelopmentexperience, Greystone is also especially equipped to help guide clients through every step of the development process. Along the way, they can provide wellinformed suggestions that not only contribute to the aesthetic of the building, but also to the building’s functionality and long-term performance. “We have team members who have a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge in all aspects of drafting, design, building, and development,” Jon says. “We can make excellent recommendations.” Again, Greystone is also predictable when it comes to pricing – for clients, the value of that predictability cannot be overstated. “The best way I can explain it is that we count every stud and every nail when we’re doing MARCH 2023

our preliminary estimates,” Jon explains. “We put a lot of effort into quantifying everything. Then you can more accurately predict the final cost and there’s less variability.. There are companies that just take per-square-foot-pricing approaches, but that’s not what we do. Everything we can possibly quantify, we quantify. It’s a bit more work up-front, but it results in much better outcomes.” “Even on a design-build project where we don’t have complete plans, we’re still counting studs as we design it,” he adds. “We’re figuring out what we need to buy, how much of it, and then we’re going tomarket to find out exactly what it costs – because prices are always changing. This allows us to be extremely cost-competitive and it allows us to keep the pricing realistic because we’re not building in contingencies for risk, which I think is what usually happens.” “I will admit that these past few years have been more challenging because of price volatility,” he says. “There’s more price volatility than we’ve ever seen. But there are ways to deal with that. If we work with the client in a progressive way through the design and the build, we can make sure their project is achieved at the best possible cost.” Greystonealsostrives toachieve thebest possiblyqualityofwork, which is another important pillar supporting their industryleading reputation. Jon credits their success in that arena to their material selection and the emphasis they place on durability and longevity: “The building has to look good, of course, but it also has to stand the test of time,” he says. THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

“As a company, we’re over 25 years old right now, and there are buildings that we built 15, 20, 25 years ago that still look fantastic. We expect them to still look fantastic after 40 years and beyond.” Greystone also emphasizes energy-efficiency in their building materials and methods, as they want their buildings to be cost-effective to operate: “Our buildings can’t cost a lot of money to maintain,” he says. “Our clients tend to be business owners. They need their business to be successful and how their building performs plays a huge part in that. If their building is costly to operate or if it’s failing on them, that can affect their business. So we really try to make good decisions from a design and building technology perspective to ensure the best outcomes for our clients.” In order to make those good decisions, Greystone strives to stay up-to-date on the latest in building technology. “We really love building science. We love finding ways to get better, to get more efficient, to provide more value for clients. Every project that goes by, we ask ourselves the same questions. ‘Is this the right approach? Is there a better way to do this? How can we provide better value for our clients?’” As a testament to the performance of their buildings, Jon cites an automotive dealership they did, where they delivered a building that was twice as large as the client’s previous space – and the owner’s heating bill was “cut in half.” MARCH 2023

“It was great to hear. That’s the kind of feedback we love to get. That’s what we aim for,” Jon says. Greystone also stands behind their work. If there’s ever an issue with a past project, the company doesn’t hestitate to rectify it. “I’m not going to sit here and say there is never going to be a warranty issue,” Jon says. “This is construction. Things happen. But when they happen, we want those warranty issues to be minor in nature, and we want to deal with them properly. I think that means a lot to our clients.” “The industry standard is a one-year warranty – some components, of course, carry longer warranties, but the industry standard is one-year. But if we have a client that calls five years later because something is not performing as expected, then we’ll go to them and help them figure it out. We truly stand behind our projects.” THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

Experience and expertise Over the years, Greystone Project Management has built up a “pretty significant” team of in-house carpenters, carpenters assistants, other labourers, project managers, and project coordinators. Jon further credits the company’s quality to the strength of that in-house team: “Putting together a quality build starts with the design, but it’s also important to make the right decisions in the field,” he says. “Our team in the field is amazing.” “Oftentimes, our team goes beyond what code recommends for waterproofing, for sealing windows, for all these critical components that can be problematic later. They know that if they spend just a little extra time early in the job to properly deal with things like water, moisture, and drainage, they can prevent a lot of problems down the line. Regardless of what the plans say, or what the code might say, they make sure those things are dealt with. They have the MARCH 2023

expertise and experience to make those decisions in the field at the right times. I think that’s a huge part of why our buildings perform so well.” The experience part, Jon says, is particularly valuable. He believes the experience of their team is why they are so effective: “You have to make mistakes in order to learn,” he says. “But we only make those mistakes once, and then we make the change going forward so it never happens again. That’s what makes our team so special. That experience is so important.” “That can be difficult to explain to clients,” he adds. “It’s not something they see when they are comparing two bids. But when they talk to our references and look at our past projects; I think that’s when they start to understand.” In addition to their in-house team, Greystone works with a longstanding roster of “amazing sub-trades and suppliers,” according to Shelby Robertson, Project Coordinator. “We almost always end up working with the same trades,” Shelby explains, “because they know our program and because they just do amazing work. They have the same mentality we do – which is, ‘do it right the first time,’ that way they don’t have to come back and fix it later on. They take a very smart and forward-thinking approach to the work they’re doing.” “They also provide fair pricing and they’re very cognizant of schedule,” adds Jon. “That’s why they continue to get work from us, and we continue to have success together.” Some of those relationships with those regular subtrades predate even Jon – some go back over 10 years, a few even go back to the company’s very inception. “Those partners are a critical component our business,” Jon says. “They’re another key reason we’re able to achieve such good outcomes.” THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

Community building When it comes to their own in-house development work, Greystone is currently focusing on low-to-mid-rise multiresidential projects in Central Ontario. Currently, they are invested in Huntsville and Parry Sound, but they are exploring opportunities all over the region. In particular, they are now looking for opportunities to address the local need for affordable housing. “If we can contribute to providing even a part of the solution for attainable housing, that would great,” Jon says. “We love this community and we’re very involved in the community. We want to help out however we can.” At the same time, Greystone is also planning future commercial development. Their most recent development is ‘Campus Trails’ in Huntsville – that’s a blended development that includes residential, wellness centres, hiking trails, and more. Greystone has MARCH 2023

already developed two medical buildings there, and Jon predicts a fewmore commercial buildings to come, along with more multi-residential buildings in the same area. As a developer, Jon believes what sets Greystone apart is their approach to client engagement, as well as – once again – their focus on quality. “Wecaresomuchabout quality,” he reiterates. “Huntsville is a local small community, and we’re going to be doing many more projects in the future in this region. Every single one has to perform well, or word will get around. If any one project doesn’t perform, it’s going to affect our future sales.” “We want to build strong communities that people want to be a part of, that integrate well with local transportation networks, that fit with the local community, that are welcomed by the community,” Jon continues. “We want people saying good things and we want people to know we’re doing things the right way.” “It’s not about maximizing density for us,” he says. “We’re not trying to put in as many units as possible. We’re trying to create places that are very enjoyable to live.” Campus Trails, Jon says, is a prime example of such a place. Residents have access to walking and biking trails, community gardens, as well as variety of wellness services such as physicians, physiotherapy, and a pharmacy, as well as plans for a pickle ball court in the future as part of the development. Prices for the first condo building there (called The Tom) were reasonable, with suites starting below the THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

average selling price of a home inHuntsville. Those are qualities Greystone aims to replicate in their future projects. “With Greystone, buyers should have confidence that the building’s going to be completed, that it’s going to be well built, and that condo fees are going to be reasonable because there’s not going to be a lot of maintenance,” Jon says. “We’re not looking for the cheapest way to build a building,” he says in summation. “We’re looking for the most practical way to get a building built in a reasonable time frame at the highest possible quality.” Moving forward, Greystone’s goal is to continue delivering that quality – both in their own developments, as well as in for their work for clients. “We want to stay diverse,” Jon concludes. “We love taking on different challenges and doing different kinds of projects. Working for clients also allows us to contribute to the community in different ways than we can as a developer. If we can deliver a facility that works well and that serves the community well for decades to come – then that’s something we can be proud of.” MARCH 2023

THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA For more on Greystone Project Management, their range of services and capabilities, and more examples of past projects, visit For more on Campus Trails in Huntsville, in particular, visit

Service, service, service

Advanced Building Materials is a building material supplier located in Sarnia, Ontario, known for distributing specialty, highquality, long-lasting building materials to a variety of clients, in the construction and renovation sector. Since forming almost 40 years ago, their product and service offering has expanded considerably, but their mission has remained the same. Their goal has always been to stay on the cutting edge of innovative products, be knowledgeable about those products, and to “only carry products that offer value to the customer,” according to Norm Williams, owner of the company.

“Our mission is to provide the best building materials available on the market today,” Norm says. “We strive to be knowledgeable problem solvers, responsive and focused on our client’s needs, while conducting ourselves in a friendly, respectful, and professional manner.” Advanced Building Materials was originally founded back in 1984. In 1988, Dave and Olga Williams bought into the company as Dave had previously worked for Sternson Ltd. as a sales representative for a company that Advanced Building Materials represented in Sarnia–Lambton. Over a span of three years Dave and Olga would become the sole owners of the company. Norm, for his part, joined the company in 1991 after graduating from Mohawk College with a diploma in business administration. He was part of the company in 1995 when they joined the CID buying group, which would later be purchased by the TIMBER MART buying group. In 1996, Norm became part owner with Dan Chinnick and Gary Stewart, who were brought on board due to their strong ties to the geotextile and vinyl fencing and decking markets. In 2000, Norm was named president of the company, and eventually acquired all shares from the remaining partners to become sole owner of Advanced Building Materials in 2017. In Norm’s time with the business, Advanced Building Materials has evolved and expanded their product offering significantly in order to expand their client base. Today, they service a healthy mix of contractors and direct consumers, and their offering includes geotextile MARCH 2023


and erosion control products, vinyl fencing railings and decking, decorative columns, aluminum, and hybrid fencing, specialty exterior finishes and decorative accents for your home. For decorative concrete, they offer products such as stamped concrete sealers, concrete stains, concrete polishing accessories, concrete countertop accessories, forms, and even tin ceilings. Over the years, Advanced Building Materials has also participated in several major regional projects. The list includes: CN Tunnel, Point Edward Casino, Hiawatha Horse Park, Bluewater Bridge, Nova Cor, Nova Cor AST 2, Dow Chemical, the 402 Expansion, Cineplex, Centennial Park, and many more. They have also been very involved in the design and stabilization of access roads leading to many wind turbine projects across Ontario. These days, the company’s projects can range greatly in size and value. According to Norm, there is “no project too big and no project too small.” No matter the size of their project, Norm believes that both contractors and homeowners choose Advanced Building Materials for the same reasons. Number one, he says, is “service, service, service –from the beginning of the project right through to the completion and follow-up.” Rachel Sheppard is the general manager of the company. She adds that they are “not like a big box store.” Their customer service is much more personal. “When you come in here, it is not uncommon for Norm to be dealing with our customers,” she says. “We know most of our customers’ names. We try to CONCRETE RESTORATION SYSTEMS What do you get when you combine an international network of leading-edge R&D laboratories and over 85 years of construction innovation? MAPEI: Your single-source solution for concrete, from pour to restore For details, visit or call 1-800-42-MAPEI (1-800-426-2734) 1978 − 2023 CEMENTITIOUS AND RESIN FLOORING SYSTEMS MARCH 2023

build relationships with them. We answer their questions, and if we don’t know the answer to something, we make sure we search it out, we speak to the proper people and get the customer the information they need.” In addition to their personal customer service, Rachel believes that Advanced Building Materials is also set apart by their product selection: “We strive to sell materials that you would not normally find at a big box store,” she says. “We focus on product quality and ease of installation. We really care about what we’re selling to our clients. We want to make sure the products we’re selling are going to last and are going to meet the client’s needs.” “We don’t want to have to run around and look after quality issues down the line,” Norm adds. “We don’t have the time to do that so it’s important for us to only sell really high-quality products. Maybe people pay a little bit more for that quality, but I think they are more aware of the importance of quality and value. I think people are wary of buying materials at the lowest price and getting substandard quality, because they know they’re just going to have issues with it at a later point in time.” Furthermore, Norm and Rachel reiterate that they keep in touch with clients, and that their service extends beyond just making the initial sale: “Even at the end of a job, we make sure we follow up and see if everything went well,” Rachel says. “We think that really helps build a relationship, and building a relationship is what it’s all about for us.” Historically, Advanced Building Materials has been very successful in that aim, and they have built relationships that go back decades and even generations. “We often have people come in here and tell us that their parents used to purchase from us,” Rachel says. “We also have a lot of former professional clients who retired, and now they have some projects around the home that they want to do, and we’re their first stop. I think that says a lot.” THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

Revolutionary products Recently, Advanced Building Materials became the Canadian distributor for ERTEC Environmental Systems. They are a manufacturer of “revolutionary” erosion, sediment, and wildlife control systems whose products, when compared to traditional solutions, offer “twice the performance, half the total cost, and zero waste,” according to Norm. Advanced Building Materials is particularly excited about the ‘Species at Risk Exclusion Fence’ – a patented, durable, and low-cost directional fencing system designed for projects in habitats where special status small vertebrates are present. The fence is designed to protect those species from active construction areas by allowing them to exit the site but not get back in. The fence barrier is made from a heavy rigid polymer matrix which is extruded for strength and durability. The extruded strands are designed not to separate, MARCH 2023

Style and Simplicity stretch, or entrap even persistent intruders. The fence will also not corrode and decay like metal hardware, cloths, or geotextile fabrics. Additionally, ERTEC has a line of silt and sediment control products that Norm calls “revolutionary,” as they “actually work, they are reusable, and at the end of their service life, they are fully recyclable,” Norm says. He says Advanced Building Materials is excited to promote environmentally friendly products. “Any time we can offer quality products that offer the added benefit of being green, we’re eager to hop on board.” ERTEC is an example of a recently-formed relationship, but Advanced Building Materials also has some longer-standing relationships with other supply partners going back decades. For instance, they have been a distributor for Hilti Canada and Sika Canada for over 35 years. “You cannot be successful without the support of your suppliers,” Norm says. “For the most part, we are here today because of the suppliers that have stood behind us as their representative.” Rachel also credits the company’s longevity to their team members – many of whom are similarly longstanding. In turn, she credits that retention to the three philosophies they operate by: “One, an employee is never asked to do something that Norm or I would not do,” she says. “Two, we treat employees as we would like to be treated. Three – our commitment to a safe working environment.” “We offer an environment for employees to work in that promotes responsibility and personal decision making. If our employees are successful, then we will be to. We do not micro manage people then we will be to. We do not micro manage people but rather advise and cultivate. We work through mistakes, correct them, and we move on, knowing we are constantly making things better.” THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

Making a difference Moving forward, Norm says that the vision for Advanced Building Materials is to “continue with our basic business philosophies. That means “constantly keeping our eye out for innovations in the construction industry” and “continuing to represent high quality manufacturers” – with a prime example being ERTEC Environmental Systems, whose products they are excited to continue promoting and distributing throughout Canada and the northern United States. Looking to the future, Advanced Building Materials also intends to expand outside of Sarnia–Lambton. Norm says that’s a necessity if they want to maintain and grow the business, as a lot of their clients historically have relied on the oil refining industry, and oil refining activity is coming under pressure. “So we want to grow,” he says, “but it’s important that we make sure that we don’t compromise our service and our beliefs and our culture by getting bigger. We’re paying very close attention to that.” Rachel – who will be taking a more active leadership role in the company in the near future – echoes that sentiment: “I’d like to see us expand and grow but without losing our small business family-run atmosphere. That’s a big part of what makes us special.” No matter how much they grow, however, Norm and Rachel agree that they will continue giving back to the community they started in. For example, this past they donated about 5000 pounds of food to the local food bank. That kind of outreach has always been a priority for Norm and his family, and Rachel fully intends to continue their legacy: “Being in Sarnia for so long, we’ve always tried to give back,” Rachel says. “We’ve always tried to make a difference where we can. We definitely want to continue making a difference.” MARCH 2023


A history of quality

Twin City Painting is an industryleading provider of commercial and industrial paint and coating services in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Founded in 1979, they are a company with a long history in the Maritimes and with an unrivalled local reputation. Their team today – still led by founder Don Mason – is dedicated to maintaining and growing that reputation, and to continuing the company’s legacy of attentive customer service and premier quality work. “We’re committed to keeping our clients happy,” Don says. “We do that by providing quality workmanship, finishing on schedule, and by communicating with clients along the way.” Over the years, Twin City Painting has developed a diverse roster of longstanding repeat clients, including large national, regional, and local general contractors and owners. Some of their higherprofile repeat clients include PCL, EllisDon, Bird Construction, and Lindsay Construction. According to Don, clients of that calibre choose Twin City Painting – and then stick with Twin City Painting – because of their history, their experience, and their proven reliability. “We’ve been around for a little while,” Don understates, “and our clients have faith in us. They know that we’re going to be around to complete the work with them. They know we’re not going anywhere. There’s no chance of us getting halfway through and not being able to finish.” As Don mentioned, Twin City Painting is also known for keeping to timelines and MARCH 2023