ISL Engineering

Exceptional People, Shared Success

ISL Engineering and Land Services, a proud Western Canadian company, was founded in 1987, by a group of like-minded businessmen in Edmonton. At the time the company was part of national engineering corporation, DeLCan. The group purchased the Northern Alberta rights to DeLCan in order to create a company locally-owned and serving a local client base. Today, the company’s corporate headquarters remain in Edmonton and other Alberta offices are located in Calgary, Grande Prairie, Red Deer and Lethbridge. ISL’s British Columbia office locations include Langley, Burnaby, and Squamish.

ISL operates under several key service areas: Transportation, Munic-ipal / Environmental, Structural Engineering, Land Development, Landscape Architecture, Planning/Communications, and GIS/Mapping.

Transportation is the company’s largest service area. ISL is currently working on numerous large projects with the Government of Alberta, the City of Edmonton, and the City of Calgary. In conjunction with Alberta Transportation, ISL is fulfilling the Owner’s Engineer role on the North Edmonton Ring Road. Construction officially began in September on the 21-kilometre northwest section of the roadway, which will be free-flow freeway facility when it opens to traffic in the fall of 2011. This project is worth over $1.4 billion.

The company is also under contract to provide technical assistance and advice to the City of Calgary on the connectors to the Calgary Ring Road system, being developed by Alberta Transportation. In addition to the Ring Road projects, ISL is providing complete design and construction engineering services to the City of Edmonton on the $260 million 23 Avenue/Gateway Boulevard Interchange project along the southerly entrance to the City.

ISL’s success is has attributable to the formation of significant partnerships with public and private entities in Western Canada. Examples include a partnership with Hatch Mott
MacDonald to undertake design work on the Sea to Sky Highway and Gateway Projects in British Columbia; with CH2M Hill Canada to undertake state-of-the-art water and wastewater treatment facilities in Alberta; and with Al-Terra Engineering, EBA Engineering, BPTEC-DNW Engineering, and Stewart Weir and Company to undertake major transportation projects in Northern Alberta. ISL also has a proud and accomplished tradition of working closely with First Nations groups in conjunction with the Federal Government on water and wastewater treatment facilities – showing their ongoing commitment to the wellbeing of local communities.

The Triple Bottom Line approach

ISL Engineering is one of many Canadian companies that believe in sustainability as part of good business. Gary Mack, President and CEO of the company says that “sustainability is no longer just a trend, it’s becoming a bigger and bigger objective and an integral part of how we do business”. ISL’s clients were the initial jump-start to ISL’s sustainability practices and programs.

“Our clients came to us saying they were interested in pursuing community designs that could be done in a sustainable way. So management brainstormed and took a serious look at sustainability. We had to consider some serious aspects of operating a sustainable business. Did it make sense from a market potential? Would our staff get on board? There ended up being a strong willingness to take it on –and a newly-formed sustainability committee, as well as our Board of Directors ran with the idea.”
Mack says that ISL staff, particularly the younger professionals, is what drives the program internally and externally, and he only expects more of the same in the future.

Keeping and retaining the best people

“We really believe our motto: ‘Exceptional people. Shared success.’ We want our people to feel good, succeed as individuals, and share in the company’s success. We invest in leading-edge tools to enhance their productivity and learning. We promote a culture of family, and care about each and every employee. We always strive to treat our people as people, not business commodities.”

ISL engages its employees in career development and planning, and also hosts several social events and activities throughout the year. The company also actively promotes education, inviting all staff across the West to an annual staff development seminar.

Mack says that being management-owned helps the culture at ISL: “We’re one of the few larger engineering firms that has not been purchased by a larger entity. Being management-owned offers the opportunity for existing and future management staff to own a piece of the business. Instead of selling, like most privately-owned engineering companies, we’re focused on succession planning and orderly ownership transition.” We have a unique model that is serving us well in terms of retaining and recruiting key staff.

Indeed, as a proud Western Canadian company, ISL has become an industry leader. The company continually strives to attract the brightest engineering and technical minds, and maintains an outstanding commitment to client satisfaction and community involvement.

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