Today’s architects are being challenged by the builders to provide more and more interesting aesthetics to the modern buildings as the public aesthetic eye abandons the traditional gray concrete and masonry designs, craving modernity and originality, and as the energy and ventilation performance requirements continue to increase along with the designs. John Kubassek launched Engineered Assemblies (EA) in January 2007 with a goal of bringing innovative building envelope solutions to architects and builders, bridging design with efficiency, and offering architects with the opportunity to create distinctive designs for all types of projects including infrastructure, commercial, institutional, and custom houses projects.
EA provides expertise in Rear Ventilated Rain Screen (RVRS) façades, Metal Roofing and Daylighting systems. These façades provide superior moisture management, thermal performance and offer the opportunity for unique aesthetics that have been highly sought after by architects. The modern façade materials include fibre cement, zinc, copper, stainless steel, ceramic, porcelain, phenolic and wood veneer phenolic. The building envelope represents the personality and the brand of every building, and the premise of EA’s unique service in the façade business starts with the empathy for the architect’s process and vision, fusing this vision with the practicality and efficiencies required by the builders.
“You could have a square box with perfect energy performance with no one wanting to live in it, or you could build an awe inspiring building with bad performance (energy and otherwise). It’s about finding the balance, and architects are looking for partners to meet their parameters, and that’s what Engineered Assemblies does,” says Blair Davies, Vice President and General Manager, and continues, “Our solutions offer architects the opportunity to be very creative in their designs, creating a light and flexible ‘skin’ for the building. Rather than sticking with the traditional heavy walls and masonry, the architects can come up with designs that are very interesting, that perform well, and are relatively easily constructed.”
EA started with a vision to provide a different kind of service in the cladding industry segment. While the competition generally offers only certain elements of the envelope solutions, EA provides full design assist and detailing, bringing together architects’ vision and construction realities, researching and offering the best product solutions based on the needs of every individual project. As a single source solution, EA provides builders and architects full service including design assist, drafting, engineering services, and construction services.
The company secured distribution of some 10 products from the manufacturers who offer a track record of product success and with strong industry reputation. “We have built great, tight relationships with all of our suppliers, and our products add to our reputation, because our products have a good reputation of their own. For example, we chose Euro Panels products, because they are part of the Etex Group, one of the largest manufacturers of high quality building materials and solutions in 45 countries. Just imagine the size of this company, and we can call the company right now, and we can get in touch with their senior management immediately, and get answers we need. It is true that there are many sources for products of these types, but they will not receive the backing that we can provide. We don’t just sell product. We are very involved with our clients, consulting on how the product is detailed, how it performs, etc.,” says Davies.
“When you care enough,it’s going to go well.”— Blair Davies, Vice President and General Manager
While EA strives to provide full service when it comes to façade technologies and designs, what makes another striking difference for the client is the entrepreneurial spirit and the “can do” attitude that permeate the company culture. The company success is simply all about the positive commitment to its business responsibilities, and that’s what built many ongoing client partnerships in the short six years of the company existence.
That culture is founded in a management approach called “Creativity In Business”. John Kubassek, founder and CEO, reports that “CIB is a competitive advantage as employees have freedom and accountability to meet and exceed customer’s requirements through a disciplined process, committed employees, and supportive management,” and Kubassek relentlessly advises other firms’ executives about the CIB approach.
One example of the company’s positive attitude towards business and project execution has been one of its latest projects: MaRS (Medical and Related Sciences) Discovery District, Phase II. in Toronto. EA was invited to provide its expertise on the Phase II. project in 2008 (the project got put on hold during the economic downturn).
“The project management had full trust in our ability since the start of the project due to our reputation,” says Davies, and continues, “With the project on hold during the economic downturn, the pricing for the ceramic product has changed. Usual procedure would be to take the builder back to the drawing board, creating new project tender, but this would only resulted in wasting their time and money. We chose to proceed with the project at the original quoted price instead. We simply want to serve our client and do a good job. We created some stunning results for this project, its architects and Toronto’s Discovery District.”
Brescia College in London, Ont., represents another recent, highly aesthetic and high-profile project. Working with Cornerstone Architects and Perkins+Will, the project makes a bold statement on the traditional campus engrossed by its traditional 18th century architecture. The building blends in yet brings a modern flare and interesting aesthetic.
“The Architect chose three different colours of one material and laid it out in a very interesting design. We worked in high detail on this project in conjunction with Ontario Panelization, and it’s a fantastically detailed project. It’s simply just another example that when you care enough it’s going to go well,” says Davies.
The proof of the EA’s work ethic is the fact that with some 200 projects that the company executed over the years, the company received zero warranty claims, liens, or non-payments for non-performance. With this strong reputation across Canada, the word about the EA’s expertise soars throughout the industry.