The president of Pomerleau, a Quebec general construction giant, sees in the rapid transformation of the industry – which tends more and more towards the assembly of buildings in factories – an avenue for growth too important not to seriously consider s ‘engage in it.
Prefabrication and modular construction have experienced significant growth in all construction sectors in recent years. Thanks to these new ways of doing things, allowing for better cost control, Pomerleau and its partners have managed to urgently deliver to the Quebec government no less than five COVID-19 clinics in recent months.
“The current crisis has enabled us to test these principles (modularity, prefabrication) in real time. At the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital in Montreal, the clinic has 36 rooms, all built in the Quebec City region. Their lifespan is 40 years, their complexity was incredible. And it was all designed, built and delivered in nine months, whereas it would have taken us otherwise, and under other circumstances, 8 to 10 years to achieve the same result. “
For Pierre Pomerleau, son of the founder of the company founded in 1966, this is clearly the demonstration of the industry’s ability to reinvent itself and of the tremendous development potential presented by prefabrication for construction.
A market to take
Also, he believes that it is entirely possible for Quebec to set up such factories to manufacture modules that could then be sold all over the planet.
” Why not ? he asks, believing that this know-how, in demand everywhere, could very well be exported. Why don’t we export it? Is it just other people who can do it? I don’t think we can. ”
Will Pomerleau embark on such an adventure himself? On this, the CEO is cautious. Pomerleau will remain a “service and construction” company, says its CEO. This does not prevent him from believing that he can help others achieve this goal.
“We work closely with these people [RCM, Mecart, etc.]. We help them develop and test their ideas here. I am convinced that they can export them. Are we going to participate? It’s not in our immediate business plan. But, listen, there isn’t a large-scale general contractor on the planet who isn’t thinking about this right now. ”