Empire Drywall Sees Significant Successes in 2021
Edmonton and Calgary, AB – Empire Drywall has been hard at work on many projects this year, including Block BG for EllisDon in the Edmonton Ice District, Auburn Bay Middle School for Delnor Construction in Calgary, and the Aster Community Trade Partnership with Qualico in Edmonton.
Block BG is part of the Ice District development in downtown Edmonton, and Empire Drywall worked on the podium for a high-rise that will be constructed onsite. It includes the first four levels of the structure on which the tower will be erected. This involved a $2.2-million contract and all of the work was completed this year.
In Calgary, Empire Drywall is working on Auburn Bay Middle School, which involves a $1.8-million contract. The school will have a capacity of 900 grade 5-9 students once completed. Empire Drywall’s work on the project will be approximately halfway done by the end of 2021.
Both the Block BG and Auburn Bay Middle School projects fall under Empire Drywall’s commercial division.
The Aster Community Trade Partnership with Qualico in Edmonton is the pilot project for an exclusive trade partnership program between Qualico trades and internal and external builders in Edmonton. Once completed, the community will have approximately 1,200 to 1,400 homes, and 96 homes have already been started in 2021. Empire Drywall is providing residential drywall and spray foam services for the project.
Throughout the year, Empire Drywall experienced some challenges related to supply chain issues, according to David Campbell, President, Empire Drywall. These included significant, repeated price increases, with steel stud material more than doubling in one year, for example.
“We were unable to receive any cost improvement for these material increases on certain fixed-price contract projects,” he explained, “like the Auburn Bay school and the Red Deer Justice Centre, which we will begin in January 2022.”
David said Empire Drywall only saw intermittent material supply interruptions, since they have right of first refusal at their suppliers due to the business’ buying power. The team also worked closely with their suppliers to find suitable product alternatives to alleviate or minimize any interruption of service.
Despite some of the challenges faced in 2021, Empire Drywall saw some significant successes.
“We reached a historical milestone of over $150 million in commercial bidding,” David said. “We are trending to start just shy of 1,000 homes in Edmonton for our drywall division this year, which is up from 873 in 2020. As well, we’re projecting to start about 750 homes in Calgary, which is up from 476 last year. Including Fort McMurray, we should sit just shy of 1,800 homes in total this year.”
David also noted that Empire Drywall submitted the largest bid in the company’s history this year for the BMO Centre in Calgary, Western Canada’s largest conference centre at over 1 million sq. ft.
Next year is looking just as busy for the Empire Drywall team, with the company poised to start work on a contract for Clark Builders on the Red Deer Justice Centre courthouse, and work commencing on phase two of the Aster partnership.
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