Heatherbrae Builders Co.

Heatherbrae taps its staff’s experience to build projects in western Canada. Heatherbrae Builders Co. Ltd.’s commitment to customer service and quality shines in its many projects in western Canada.

The group provides general contracting, construction management, consulting services and restoration services to clients in the commercial, industrial, institutional, residential and building envelope fields. Past projects include schools, community centers, theaters, galleries, museums and First Nations structures.

“At Heatherbrae, the client comes first,” the company says. “Customer service is paramount and we pledge to give the best of our time and ability to build quality projects.”

The company is headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia, with an additional office in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Heatherbrae employs more than 300 staff members and skilled carpenters, apprentices and laborers.

Michael Knight and his wife, Joan founded the company in Vancouver in 1989. Knight’s sons David, Tim and Greg have been in the business since 1990, today serving as vice presidents.

Michael Knight alone brings more than 40 years of experience in construction management, estimating and general contracting to Heatherbrae. Knight, his sons and management team possess more than 200 years of combined experience, the company adds.

Major Projects

The company has approximately $120 million worth of projects under construction including educational and residential facilities.
Heatherbrae Builders in June 2011 will conclude work on the $25 million Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) for the University of British Columbia. The four-story facility, designed for studying the use of energy, will feature a number of sustainable construction materials and building techniques.

Much of the center’s electricity, lighting, heating, water supply, liquid waste treatment, ventilation and cooling will be drawn from solar, wind and ground sources. This is the company’s second recent project with the University. In June 2011, Heatherbrae will complete the University of British Columbia’s Tennis Center, Vancouver’s only public tennis facility.

Another major institutional sector project underway is the $35 million renovation of the Science World facility at the Telus World of Science in Vancouver. The project includes adding 20,000 square feet of exhibition and education space and expanding the building’s lobby. The renovation started last April and will conclude in October 2011.

Major residential projects include the Legacy Housing project, an effort to convert the temporary housing used by athletes during the 2010 Winter Olympics into senior and low-income housing in smaller communities throughout British Columbia. Most of the work was completed earlier this year, with some portions expected to conclude in July 2011, Heatherbrae says.

The project included dismantling and transporting 75 athlete housing units to six sites in British Columbia. After delivery, Heatherbrae, as construction manager, prepared foundations at the new sites; installed exterior weather protection, cladding and roof systems, and re-configured interiors.

Heatherbrae is also concluding work on the Villa St Georges, a 52-unit wood frame west coast contemporary residential building in North Vancouver. Heatherbrae has also completed a variety of mixed residential and commercial heritage restoration projects.

Pride in Sustainability

Many of the company’s projects are built to LEED specifications, including the CIRS project, which is targeting LEED Platinum certification. “The introduction of LEED certification has created a way to measurably increase the quality, durability and sustainability of buildings,” the company says. “This has provided Heatherbrae with the opportunity to develop and implement management systems that reduce the environmental impact of all stages of the construction process.

“We are proud of our involvement in producing environmentally friendly and sustainable buildings.”

The company employs a LEED-accredited professional, and several other personnel have completed a number of LEED educational courses. Heatherbrae ensures all trades on its projects understand LEED requirements in part through user-friendly documentation. The company also advises trades to review the program with personnel.

“Our experience has taught us the most successful and cost-effective approach in achieving the goals of a LEED program is through team involvement at an early stage in addition to promotion and education of stakeholders including trade contractors, suppliers, manufacturers and site personnel,” the company says. “The support and collaboration of all parties is paramount from the design stage through to project completion.”

In addition to working on LEED-certified projects, Heatherbrae also develops waste management plans specific to each of its projects.

These plans identify ways waste can be reduced as well as recycling opportunities such as salvaging lumber for re-use, it says.

Safety Goals

Heatherbrae’s construction work reflects a company-wide commitment to safety and responsibility. The company has established a corporate health and safety program, and management staff regularly participates in the WorkSafe B.C. Certificate of Recognition program, a provincial effort focused on improving safety culture and reducing workplace accidents and injuries.

“We have developed a clear safety policy that outlines our company-wide safety expectations and goals,” Heatherbrae says. “We encourage and reward employees who have shown leadership in correcting potentially hazardous situations and strictly enforce the proper use of personal protective equipment at all times.”

The company inspects its sites daily and regularly holds toolbox safety meetings. The safety program also includes additional precautions such as e xtra signage, hoardings, lighting, dust screens, fencing, access and security at its sites. 

Diverse Services

Heatherbrae provides restoration services, exterior repairs and rehabilitation projects. “Heatherbrae is a leader in seismic restoration and building envelope rehabilitation,” the company says. “We have worked in unison with various municipalities, school and health boards, native bands and government agencies to produce high-quality buildings that enhance their respective communities.”

Recent seismic upgrading projects include work on Lord Byng Secondary, Van Horne Elementary School and Trafalgar Elementary School, all in Vancouver.

Heatherbrae also specializes in quality management, surveying services, cost analysis, value-engineering and arbitration and mediation services.

Invaluable Assets

Vendor and subcontractor relationships are of the utmost importance to Heatherbrae across the organization. “Vendors and suppliers are an invaluable asset to our company’s growing success,” Tim Knight says. “With our demand for expedited schedules, quality and efficiency, our suppliers and trades’ understanding of our commitment to excellence is paramount to our growing success.”

The company looks to the communities in which its works for local trades and subcontractors in order to contribute to local economies, he adds. Heatherbrae’s key partners include Precision Gutters Ltd., Power Point Electrical, Skyline Scaffold Ltd., Ridgeway Mechanical Ltd., Morrison Hershfield Limited, Bollman Roofing & Sheet Metal Ltd., Safetech Scaffolding Ltd., BJ Plastering & Consultants Ltd., Golden Pacific Contracting Ltd. and Houle Electric Limited.

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