Blue Rock Builders
Blue Rock Builders serves as a general contractor and construction manager in the construction industry of southern Alberta. Based in Calgary, the company provides clients with a range of services regarding the whole asset lifecycle — from concept design, building and construction, thorough ongoing property management.
Blue Rock Builders works with engineers and owners on value engineering creating optimum solutions for clients. Blue Rock Builders’ solutions save clients time and money without sacrificing the functional objectives of the project, whether it’s a new construction, refurbishment or maintenance.
The Canadian Business Journal spoke with Stefan Ackermann, General Manager at Blue Rock Builders, about the current state of the construction industry in southern Alberta and about construction niches the Blue Rock Builders plan to expand into.
As a general contractor and project manager, the company works with the owner/developer and architects to deliver on their expectations, budgets and deadlines. “Thomas England and Todd Harkness started the company only about three years ago. As a General Contractor, Blue Rock puts the construction projects together, managing projects and contracting construction work to the sub-trades. We work with engineers and architect to organize and complete the projects,” says Ackermann.
Focusing on small- to medium-size projects in the commercial, industrial and retail markets, the company strives to serve its clients as a one-stop-shop, covering each stage of project development. Blue Rock Builders offers value engineering and budgeting in the conceptual stage, pre-construction project planning and coordination, construction and project management, and post-construction management, maintenance and repair.
To better serve the booming Alberta market, Blue Rock Builders provides clients with the opportunity to work under flexible contract formats — lump sum, design-build, construction management, and any other arrangement client may find of interest.
As a young, smaller company in the general contractor sphere, Blue Rock Ruilders focuses on small- to mid-size projects. Blue Rock Builders is capable to take on projects as small as $1 million, but can take on substantially larger projects as well. The largest project the company executed was worth $5 million. In 2012, the company executed four projects: community maintenance and infrastructure, a large retaining wall, multi-family development, and a custom single-family home.
The multi-family development has been a major project for the company in 2012, executing the whole infrastructure and buildings’ development. According to Ackermann, this development as a whole also received the Development of the Year Award. With this experience, the company plans to continue to hone its skills and focus on similar projects in the multi-family residential and community development in the future.
Blue Rock Builders launched Phase One of this multi-family development, meaning that the company started managing the building of the infrastructure and the retaining wall for the whole project of 101 units, and erecting the first 16 buildings (23 units) of the site.
“Needless to say, proper planning is key for us to deliver the projects on time. Proper scheduling as well as contracts and purchase orders for each phase need to be arranged in time for each phase. We also keep tight control of budgets and cost,” says Ackermann.
While the heat in the Alberta economy brings opportunities, in also faces Blue Rock Builders with challenges in regards to sourcing quality sub-trades, and finding suitable labour, as well as being competitive with the energy industry in regards to the labour cost.
With the rising construction opportunities in Alberta, Blue Rock Builders expects some growth within the company, however, the management plans to stick with organic growth, keeping the company on the smaller side and therefore more competitive. This will allow the company to be more flexible to the market needs, and continue to focus on its multi-family and community development niches. “We don’t seek to become a large company by any means, rather we are looking at more unique projects in the community infrastructure as these projects are currently being available and in demand, and then further into the infrastructure and the multi-family projects. As an example, we had discussions in regards to a golf course development, building the course, the club house and the community around the golf course. We see our niche in specializing on these forms of unique community projects rather than becoming a large developer,” concluded Ackermann.