5 MIN READ
FRADET STREET RESIDENCE
When Beaulieu Revetement embarks on a project, we put our whole soul into it!
This home is one of the best examples of what we hope to accomplish in terms of commitment, partnership, innovation and success for every customer and every construction.
Today, we’re sharing the many preparation steps needed to achieve innovation and the concerted collaboration efforts we need to use when the unexpected happens.
An exciting project
For some time now, Beaulieu Revetement has closed its individual customer division to focus full-time on large-scale commercial and residential projects by working directly with general contractors, real estate developers and architects.
However, from time to time, a project presents so many opportunities to innovate, learn and create that we cannot let it go past us.
That is exactly what happened when the invitation for bid for this project landed on our desks. Nicolas Bilodeau, architect at Bilodeau Baril Leeming Architectesdesigned plans meant to create a state-of-the-art home from foundations to exterior cladding up to the standards of the industry’s best practices.
It’s one of the most inspiring aspects of the project for us; most techniques and materials to be used are new, exotic or rare! What could be more exciting for an entire team than to be part of such a unique creation?
Preparations, Discoveries and First Meetings
When preparing, we first establish the challenges inherent in such a construction. Of course, we think about it on our own, but we also coordinate with Drumcothe general contractor on the project, and one of our long-time partners.
Then we get ready! What tools or machinery will we need to meet our challenges? Are we trained to handle and install these new products?
To the latter, the answer is obvious: of course we are! Our entire team is trained with care, allowing us always to be ready to become more specialized, or to learn to work with a new system. This leads us directly to our first meeting with Bildteca superb innovative company located in Toronto, Ontario.
When designing his home, our client quickly fell in love with a type of exterior cladding that consists of porcelain tiles designed in Spain BildtecBildtec, founded by construction professionals with decades of field experience, specializes in this type of siding and has perfected its installation on several skyscrapers in and around Toronto.
It was during our first meeting with them, in 2018, that we discovered that the installation, although relatively simple to perform, requires a very high level of precision. The rail system that serves as the foundation for the cladding, and will therefore be screwed to the walls of the building, must be installed very accurately, within a margin of two millimetres,
to ensure not only level and true results, but long-term efficiency as well. That is the key for this system to succeed, because once its installed, the tiles will be “suspended” on this base and “float” in front of the walls, providing excellent weather protection, an outstanding runoff system and unmatched visual aesthetics.
Qualifications and Specialized Equipment
Drawing on our experience and understanding of the inherent importance of working meticulously with this new technology, we chose to assign a very small team to this project.
Thus, our installers would be able to really bond as a team and become highly efficient, while developing the qualities required for this precision work. As Jean-Sébastien Beaulieu, our team leader on the ground, put it so well, “The challenge [on this construction] has nothing to do with time, but it’s all about the result!”
The other important aspect to consider with unusual products is the need to use tools or machinery just as exceptional. However, it turns out that porcelain requires only one tool that differs from the rest, and acquiring it was quite the challenge.
Indeed, to achieve the beautiful details provided in the plans, to create seamless transitions between columns, soffits and window returns (among others), one needs to be able to make curved cuts in the porcelain tiles. And that’s not exactly the easiest task!
To overcome this difficulty, we were able to obtain a table designed specifically for circular cuts. Once again, it is only thanks to our strong collaboration principles that we procured this technology. Indeed, this table was conceptualized in Bulgaria, it was perfected in Italy (so it is officially an Italian product), and the physical construction of our very own model took place in Stanstead… Thank God for international cooperation!
As clichéd as it sounds, the weather is (and probably always will be) one of the biggest challenges facing the Province of Quebec. Despite all our previous knowledge and preparation, we still got caught unaware … by icy rain. What our team found out the hard way, is that since the water freezes behind the porcelain tiles, pressure builds up too much and they crack. What’s more, neither the Toronto team nor the manufacturers in Spain had been confronted with this situation before.
After a few meetings, inspections and calculations, we came up with the following solution: take the “old” porcelain down and start over, but this time gluing the tiles directly, without using the rail system. But then, after the replacement tiles had arrived and the work had resumed, a new unforeseen installation challenge arose: the new tiles were uneven…
As mentioned earlier, to get the signature “perfect” visual with this tile siding, we need to install it with extreme precision, within a two-millimetre margin. And since this perfection is what seduced the customer initially, it is essential!
This time, we really had to consult each other and brainstorm as a team to find the solution. Indeed, Jean-Sébastien joined forces with representatives who travelled to the worksite from Spain and Toronto to reunite the entire ecosystem surrounding the product. Together, they redoubled their efforts to elevate this build, and those that will follow, to new heights!
Since then, the installation is going well, and we grow evermore eager to unveil the final result!