Trumbley & Hampton Inc
There probably aren’t too many things you can build that Trumbley & Hampton Inc. doesn’t have experience doing. As an Ontario-based construction company, they’re pretty multi-functional. In fact, Trumbley & Hampton Inc. is active in general contracting, design-build, project management, construction management, as well as consulting. So, as far as expertise go, the team is well rounded in all things construction.
Bob Trumbley started the company in 1982. Greg Hampton joined Bob in early 1985 and Frank Keelan came on board as the third principal in 1989. It was the joining of partners that really brought together a wealth of construction knowledge and technical expertise that encompasses a range of construction complexities, from residential high-rise and light industrial, to large retail malls and heavy industry.
“It’s been the three of us for 20 years,” says Trumbley. “Our experiences have been complementary. We’ve managed to stay friends, which in itself is pretty interesting,” he laughs. “We spend more time together than with our families, so you learn how to bend with the winds.”
Trumbley & Hampton Inc. has had a gradual process of growing, starting with one person and growing to 40 or 50 employees—depending on the projects that are underway.
While the company’s home-base is in Ontario, Trumbley & Hampton Inc. also has a Calgary office that is starting to grow. “It’s a good marketplace right now,” says Trumbley, “and we anticipate that it will do well in the coming years.”
Hard to choose
If you ask Trumbley about his favourite projects, he hesitates. Truth be told, they are all his favourites, and he’s not being disingenuous. To be fair, it’s hard to pick when they’ve done literally hundreds of buildings.
“I’m proud of all of the projects—every one of them,” he maintains. “They’re all important to us. Some are easy and some are difficult, but we always leave the client satisfied. Our business has largely grown from repeat business.”
In prying for some specifics, Trumbley does mention the paper plant for Atlantic Packaging located in Scarborough. At the time of construction in 2006, it was the largest industrial project in Toronto. Trumbley & Hampton Inc. were in there to manage the project as well as help build. Trumbley believes the company was “an integral part in guiding that large project to completion.”
He’s also fond of the Petro-Canada offices in the Sheridan Research Centre. “It’s right off the QEW, so a lot of people see it,” he chuckles. “I drive by it all the time.”
Staying ahead of the game
The building and construction industry is always evolving, so it requires its professionals to stay on top of industry movements. Trumbley & Hampton Inc. find that a good way to do this is becoming members of industry organizations and associations. In fact, they belong to at least five: the Toronto Construction Association; the Mississauga Board of Trade; the Calgary Construction Association; the Ontario General Contractors Association; and they are associate members of SIOR (the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors). “Those memberships keep us in tune with different people and trends,” explains Trumbley. “They give us insights into where the industry is going. They are very useful because we get the heads up on a lot of things, especially in the realtor community. They see what their clients want and we learn from that. We also get to keep up with legislative changes and contract changes that inform us about what we can expect on our upcoming projects.”
With such heavy involvement in their field, it’s no wonder their efforts have been recognised. For two consecutive years, the Mississauga Business Times gave Trumbley & Hampton Inc. the Platinum Award for Design-Build Construction.
Although they are happy to receive said awards, Trumbley maintains they don’t go looking for them. “To be honest, our most important recognition is when we talk to potential clients and hear their strong feeling of our business ethics and reputation,” he says. “We never leave our clients in a mess. The real estate brokerage community appreciates that we look after their clients, so they are quick to recommend us for future projects.”
Word of mouth is the best recognition a construction company can get. The old saying holds true in construction that a satisfied client may only tell one person about their experience, but an unsatisfied on tells everyone. “We have a long list of people who speak well of us, and I will take that over any award,” Trumbley says.
On the topic of trends, Trumbley talks about how Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the next big thing. “We’re certainly using LEED consultants,” he says. “Looking after our environment is important and there are many ways that the construction industry can participate.”
Right now, Trumbley & Hampton Inc. is actively training staff to be LEED-certified professionals, and they have two LEED projects underway. The company is also a member of the Green Building Council in Canada—yet another way to get information.
“We need that information to help develop our plans for our design-build projects,” says Trumbley.” I expect that, as time goes by, more and more projects will be LEED-designed. At some point they might even be mandated by building codes and become the minimum requirements.”
“We’re fine with that,” he continues. “We want to do better.”
Building their company
Trumbley & Hampton Inc. sees a good year up ahead. They are in the position to expand and are excited to find more highly qualified staff to support them with growth. The company will need more people to help with infrastructure projects.
“Certainly we’re in the new market and we’re doing more infrastructure work,” explains Trumbley. “It’s a good time to be doing infrastructure, or so they say. We look forward to doing more.”
Trumbley & Hampton Inc. is also planning to spend some energy to grow their business in Alberta, which is probably a handful for 2009, says Trumbley. “As for 2010? I guess we’ll see! There’s definitely enough on our plate right now. I know we will continue to work hard and grow, and we’ll definitely still be here 30 years down the road.”