Houle Electric began with its late founder Lionel Houle in 1944. Houle established himself as a professional electrician servicing Port Alberni, B.C., and from these humble beginnings he grew Houle Electric to a proven leader in electrical contracting, covering most of the province and continuing to expand its services offerings. Houle Electric boasts seven decades of craftsmanship pride, uncompromising professionalism, quality, service and business ethics.
Houle Electric offers its industrial, commercial and institutional clients a culture of excellence and dedication, providing electrical project management, project execution and design; major contracts, and special contracts. Houle Electric also established a wider market presence in the construction industry, growing its geographic and industry foothold by offering turnkey solutions to its clients and growing beyond electrical construction services, offering security systems, data networks and building controls across the province.
“By diversifying our services into several complimentary divisions – electrical, data networks, security, automated building controls and 24-hour service – we gained a strong competitive advantage because we are the only electrical contractor in the province to provide such a range of services. This dynamic allows us to provide integrated building solutions to clients. These are particularly ideal for new construction, because new builds will typically require all services that Houle can provide – a one stop shop solution,” says Robert Lashin, President of Houle Electric Ltd.
Simply put, Houle Electric is B.C.’s company of choice for all the electrical systems required by a simple homeowner or a major construction company. Houle Electric’s professional services are all supported by second to none customer service, and 24-hour, on-call emergency services. To better serve the client, Houle Electric expanded its footprint in B.C. by branching out and opening several strategically positioned offices throughout the province. The company’s head office is located in the Vancouver Lower Mainland with branches in Victoria, Nanaimo, Prince George, Kelowna, Kamloops and Kitimat. The company presently employs well over 900 people.
“We have furthered our competitive advantage by setting up our branch locations in the most populated and growing regions of B.C. In doing so, we established a highly cost-effective and efficient network and means to reallocate resources and manpower within the province depending on where the most attractive opportunities arise and where the contracts take our business. This also strengthened our presence and brand recognition throughout the province,” says Lashin.
According to Lashin, during the recent economic downturn, companies were faced with cost-cutting and downsizing, and it was common experience for customers to see diminishing service and product quality in favour of competitive price adjustments. Contrary to other contractors, Houle Electric continued on following the principles that brought on the company success — unwillingness to compromise on the quality of workmanship, and providing service with integrity despite the cost of doing so in an unforgiving economy. “As a company, Houle has a strong sense of honesty and business ethics so much so that when those ethics are challenged, the company will defend it fiercely even at the cost of losing a profitable customer. This unwillingness to compromise on ethical values in exchange for increased revenue shows our dedication to maintaining a long standing reputation as an honest and reliable contractor,” says Lashin. As in the past, so it is today, and this determination and commitment to stay the course of quality and integrity remain and maintain Houle’s reputation unwavering for the past 69 years.
The unwillingness to compromise and incessantly abid by the principles of quality earned the company multitude of professional and business awards for project quality, commitment to safety, and dedication to customer service. The company received Awards of Excellence every year since 2007 from VRCA (Vancouver Regional Construction Association), Consumers Choice Award for straight past 13 years (2000 to present), VRCA Innovation Award in 2011, and most recently Houle Electric was announced Deloitte’s Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies for 2012 (Canada’s Best Managed Companies is the country’s leading business awards program, recognizing excellence in Canadian-owned and managed companies with revenues over $10 million) … and the awards list goes on.
Houle Electric is currently providing its construction, security and data network services for the construction of the new Surrey Memorial Hospital, Critical Care Tower. Being the busiest hospital and emergency room in the province, this construction project will be an eight storey tower and will include a new Emergency Department (ED) several times the size of the existing one. The ED will include separate tracks for pediatric patients, mental health patients, seriously ill or injured, and those with more minor illnesses or injuries. The Emergency Department is scheduled to open in 2013 and the Critical Care Tower in 2014.
Other noteworthy project that garnered industry awards and recognition include Lions Gate Bridge upgrade (receiving Award of Merit), Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre new build construction (build under public-private partnership to LEED Gold standard, and Houle Electric received VRCA Gold Award, VRCA Silver Award), and several new building construction projects under the umbrella of the University of British Columbia, including the BC Museum of Anthropology (VRCA Silver Award) and Life Sciences building (VRCA Silver Award).
With these substantial and impressive projects under its belt, Houle Electric attributes its success to two main factors: uncompromising dedication to workmanship, safety, ethics and commitment from the side of its employees; and move towards the multiple division infrastructure via strategically positioned branch offices in B.C. that give the company the ability to respond to project and manpower demands in any part of the province, according to clients’ needs and on a timely basis.
The future plans include growing the company business volume through strengthening Houle Electric’s customer base, and standardizing and integrating best practices in all internal and project processes. The company expects that this two-pronged approach, focusing on both external clients and internal efficiencies, will empower the company brand with clients and the public, and provide employees with tools and knowledge for integration of emerging industry technologies, empowering the employees to provide exceptional service and unsurpassed quality project execution.
While technologies may be evolving at a breakneck pace, Houle Electric and its commitment to quality continue to lead the charge, from basic electrical services to sophisticated data network infrastructures and custom security solutions, Houle Electric is the power in B.C.’s electrical contracting.