The Waterloo-region, renowned for being the epicentre of Canadian technological innovation, is home to GranVal Construction, the design build general contractors that have supported the region’s construction boom, particularly over the last 15 years.
Founded in 1979, GranVal has emerged as specialists in new construction, redevelopment and renovation in the industrial and commercial sectors, providing a long list of satisfied clients with complete design-build packages, AutoCAD design work, project management and construction services.
President Bill Smith started as a site foreman with GranVal in its founding year, working his way to operations manager, ultimately progressing to President, and leading the company to more than a decade of steady growth.
Where GranVal is distinct in the construction industry is its turn-key service. Clients who are considering purchasing land or who have recently purchased land come to GranVal for the complete design, site work and construction completion. “It’s one-stop-shopping for building,” says Smith. “And the advantage to our clients is the owner works directly with the design team and contractor all at once. It’s a very efficient model for overall project time, and, importantly, it saves a lot of time.”
Serving the Waterloo region
And time is money. GranVal sits down with clients and works to help understand and then execute their vision. For this reason, no GranVal project is alike, rather, they are all the result of the needs and wants of the client. The underlying characteristic, however, is an adherence to budget and schedule.
90 per cent of GranVal’s work is done within the region of Waterloo, and more specifically, within Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge, although the company does have projects in Whitby and Guelph. “This region keeps us busy,” smiles Smith, who notes GranVal is currently working on six projects—three in renovation redevelopment, and three in design-build.
“Our largest project currently is a 160,000-square-foot flex industrial building under construction near the 401 Highway in Cambridge,” says Smith. Another is a 22,000-square-foot owner-occupied building on Saltsmand Drive, and a 20,000-square-foot trucking facility.
“We run the gamut in terms of project size,” says Smith. “Because we work locally and don’t go very far, we have to be able to be fairly flexible and diverse in our projects.”
2012 will see GranVal expand into the green-build forum, something the company is excited to breach, and is careful to do so meticulously and cautiously.
“This is something we are working very closely on with our clients,” continues Smith. “And as government approves more projects, we are getting more and more experience in this area.”
Prepared for this new direction in design-build, GranVal has secured certification for solar roof instalment for this next step, and is experienced in high-performance construction which will decrease the overall utility cost throughout the life of a building—a huge advantage for clients. GranVal’s foray into high performance construction will also enhance overall utility cost throughout the life of the building.
With this prescient view and positioning to be ahead of the curve, GranVal is doing business right—demonstrated by more than three decades of success. When asked of the overarching key to GranVal’s longevity, Smith says, “I think tight cost controls on our jobs have been vital. Because we are the designer and contractor, we keep a very tight cost control on our jobs. I think it is because when we give you a quote for something, unless something in the plan changes, we stick to it. And I feel like our customers are treated well—with the amount of return customers we have I think that’s a fair statement.”
Smith also credits the efforts of his team. Of course, any successful project depends on the people behind it. We are proud of our team of skilled, reliable and committed staff members and trades. Our reporting structure has been developed to ensure an open flow of two-way communication and sharing of ideas and objectives. The result is a fresh approach to every project.”
“We have had growth every year for the last 10 years,” continues Smith, “consistent growth. Controlled growth is something we feel strongly about. It allows us to maintain the consistency of quality we strive for.”