Maple Reinders is a family-owned construction company that started in 1967. From humble beginnings, founder Fred Reinders began his business in the basement of his home. At that time, the company was called Maple Engineering and Construction. Shortly after that, he started an engineering consulting company called FJ Reinders and Associates and both companies worked side by side for a number of years. Eight years ago, Fred sold off the engineering company and changed the name of the construction company to Maple Reinders Constructors.
Mike Reinders, current President and COO, remembers working with his dad on weekends, evenings and in the summers between school years. When the company was small, family members were employed for various tasks. Mike went off to the University of Waterloo, got an engineering degree, worked in B.C. for a consultant and came back to the company in 1981. “I started then as a project manager,” he recalls. “From there, I became operations manager in the mid-eighties and finally President in 1990; I have been in charge of the operations since then. I got an MBA in the same year so that has helped.”
As a family business, Mike works with several relatives. Mike’s youngest brother, for example, is also in the business, starting as a labourer and working his way up to be the Division Manager of the Calgary office and now the Head of the Ontario buildings division. Mike’s brother-in-law is involved in their marketing; his children have worked at Maple for the summers, as have several nephews.
“It’s good working with family,” Mike laughs. “We have 250 employees so we work with lots of other people too—we aren’t in each others’ faces. My father isn’t involved in the operations of the company anymore, but he’s always interested in people and strategy and is involved with the structuring of an advisory board and of shareholdings because we’re both family and employee-owned. The majority of the company is family-owned but we have about 30 employees that are also shareholders. He’s also on the board of directors as the Chairman.”
As you might have guessed, Maple Reinders is no longer a basement-based operation. In fact, the company has offices across Canada and oversees two distinct areas of construction: Buildings and Environmental Infrastructure. “Our head office is in Mississauga, Ontario and we have two divisions headquartered there.” says Mike. “We also have offices in Cambridge, Calgary, Edmonton and Kelowna. Out of those offices, we also do both buildings and environmental infrastructure.”
In the buildings division, Maple Reinders does full-service Industrial, Commercial and Institutional construction (ICI). Full-service means everything from general contracting and engineering, to construction management and design-build. Their construction portfolio features clients such as Royal Bank, Imperial Oil and UPS, to name a few.
At the moment, Maple Reinders is the lead contractor for the $45-million-dollar expansion of the Porter Airlines’ terminal on Toronto Island. The new 150,000-square-foot passenger terminal will be capable of handling over 1 million passengers annually by its completion in Spring 2010.
Maple’s environmental side makes up the other part of their business and deals with sewage and water treatment plants and waste processing plants, such as composting. The company has done a lot in the across Canada.
“We recently completed a large composting plant in Hamilton,” says Mike. “Several municipalities collect organic material from their green box programs, which are then taken to Hamilton and processed there. We designed and built it, and now we’re operating it. We have also built others Canada and the company was just been contracted to build one in Guelph, Ontario. It’s an interesting process. The green waste is composted and, within a month, it’s soil. It’s a European technology that’s been tried and tested. We’re now applying it to Canadian projects. The key to these projects have been our ability to successfully control odours which are critical issues in urban areas.”
Together, both divisions add up evenly—about 50 percent each—in terms of revenue and projects. Although Mike notes this year has been around 60/40 in favour of the environmental infrastructural work. “The state of the economy has meant much less private spending in buildings and much more spent in the public infrastructure,” he says. “The expansion of plants has been popular throughout Canada. I think the ratio will go back once the recession is over.”
At the top
Maple Reinders showcases its success with more than high-profile projects. The company also displays its achievements in managerial excellence and performance by receiving national and industry recognition.
Last year, Maple Reinders participated in a survey to find the best employers in Canada. In their first try, they placed in the top 50 for Small and Medium Employers—for companies that have between 50 and 400 employees. The interesting aspect of the awards is they weren’t based on industry. In fact, Maple was the only general contractor that made that list.
How did they do it? “It has everything to do with people,” Mike explains, “because it measures the level of employee engagement. We have people who love the job and the company, and want to tell others about us. They are motivated to do excellent work.”
“It starts in the hiring process,” he continues. “We try to hire people who are team-oriented and who want to find solutions with owners, stakeholders and suppliers. It makes a huge difference. We cultivate a company culture in which there is a lot of openness and candour. Honesty and integrity are important to us, and that’s what is modeled by the key leaders in the company.”
In terms of workmanship, Maple Reinders was also ranked 23rd in the Top Contactors of Canada awards, setting themselves apart from the competition.
For Maple Reinders, it’s not enough to simply get certified with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). To them, LEED was established to be used. That’s why the company is proactive in suggesting LEED in all appropriate projects.
Mike is encouraged to see more owners requesting LEED-certification on their buildings. “We have numerous employees who are LEED-certified and we’re sending more,” he says. “We’re advocating that sort of thing when we are contracted or we’re proposing something. The company believes in using green materials, energy-saving devices and energy-efficient types of construction. For those that opt out of doing an entirely LEED-certified structure, people still ask for some sustainable technologies, such as proper insulation, energy-efficient heating, lighting and ventilation.”
A future of excellence
For Mike Reinders, the short-term goals are to continue in the direction that his father set out for the company over 40 years ago. “We are going to keep doing what we’re doing,” he laughs. “It has worked so far. Maple Reinders will keep hiring good people, keep training good people, keep looking for new innovations and keep doing excellent work.” A simple formula , but one that has brought the company unforeseen success.
In the future, Mikes wants to see managed growth that involves getting bigger, more complicated and more challenging projects. “You have to keep people challenged, so we want our projects to reflect the knowledge and skill development of our people,” he says. “Maple Reinders also wants to expand to different parts of Canada that we we’re already working in—maybe set up offices in those places. We’ve done work in most Canadian provinces, but if we had to pick, we would like to work more on the East coast; the Maritimes are doing well. Of course, the West coast is good too, we’re doing extremely well there. So we’ll continue growing out there too.” Wherever they work, Maple Reinders is sure to produce reliable, high-performance work.
Maple Reinders at a glance
Founded in 1967, Maple Reinders is a full-service Design/Build, Construction Management and General Contracting group specializing in industrial and commercial facilities, municipal infrastructure and environmental projects across Canada. The company is positioned in the Top 30 contractors in Canada in terms of construction revenue. The company has successfully completed over 1,500 projects. Current annual volume of construction work on heavy civil and buildings is projected to exceed $200 million with individual project values ranging from $15,000 to $60 million. With offices across Canada, the firm provides local service, with national reach. Having successfully completed over 1,500 projects since its inception in 1967, Maple Reinders has established a fine reputation in numerous construction sectors, including the transportation sector. Maple Reinders’ hallmark is providing value-added services for each client.
Buildings designed and constructed by Maple Reinders stand today as landmarks. Turning creative concepts into reality requires people with skill, foresight and competence. Our expertise covers all types of building construction including: industrial, offices, commercial/retail, schools, churches, health care facilities, transportation, recreation, residential, and special projects.
Design-Build is a single-source approach to construction. Simplified project delivery means that you deal with only one entity for both the design and the construction of your facility. Design-Build also eliminates up-front costs and sticker shock. We provide concept plans and specifications, complete with a guaranteed maximum price. Solid, proven and simple, Design-Build has been a preferred method of project delivery for over 50 years. Maple Reinders has been doing it for over 35 years.
As Construction Managers, Maple Reinders oversees the design and construction of your project, preparing and controlling the project budget, and acting as the Owner’s representative. This co-operative approach allows us to work on an “open-book” basis – establishing a mutual trust relationship with our clients. Some advantages to Construction Management include: obtaining several competitive prices from trade contractors for comparison; concurrent engineering for quicker project completion and more design flexibility, allowing you to make changes as work progresses and as costs are expended.
Maple Reinders provides competitive bidding on plan and spec work and also take the extra step of identifying up front any significant problems with the design which may result in unexpected cost increases. We also offer value engineering services to keep your project within budget.
Environmental Infrastructure Services
Water and Wastewater Treatment Facilities
Today’s water and wastewater treatment facilities are being designed and constructed to increasingly stringent performance specifications and environmental standards. Maple Reinders has completed over 400 water and wastewater treatment and transmission facilities (over 25 by Design/Build format – perhaps the most of any company in Canada).
Solid Waste Processing
The management of solid waste is an increasingly challenging task. Taking the lead from European countries, municipalities across North America are beginning to take a more proactive approach to solid waste management. Maple Reinders is a leader in the design, construction and operation of solid waste processing facilities.
Heavy Industrial Construction
Thorough knowledge of scheduling requirements, manpower/materials resources and innovative construction methods has made Maple Reinders a specialist in heavy construction. Our expertise in this area ranges from resource recovery plants, to shipyard drydocks to the largest in-ground water reservoir ever built in permafrost.
Environmental Remediation and Clean-up
Maple Reinders has applied cutting edge technologies for the remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater. Our project record for many years includes clean-up of Brownfield sites, abandoned, idled, or underused industrial or commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.