Premium Concrete and Civil Contractor
By Anna Guy
The saying goes, if you want something done right, do it yourself.
For over 25 years, BC-based CIF Construction has supported hundreds of millions of dollars of construction projects in Western Canada. The premium concrete and civil contractor found it could achieve the best possible results for its clients by amassing its own extensive equipment inventory, which makes it uniquely positioned to be flexible and ensure quality control required for both major and small-scale projects.
“We do everything from the ground-work up,” says Jack Fomenoff, Owner. CIF encompasses everything from surveying and site preparation to general contracting, with the core of their business predominantly focused on the development and delivery of reinforced concrete construction projects in an industrial setting.
CIF owns and operates all its own equipment, including Telebelt, excavators, rock trucks, dozers, fuel and water trucks. Equipment maintenance is performed inhouse by its own Heavy Duty licensed mechanics.
How does this positively impact clients?
“Self sufficiency is very important to us,” says Fomenoff. “We can make whatever changes required by the client in real time. We also own and operate our own concrete plants, so we can produce concrete on site in any season.”
With a solid team of senior management and approximately 100 workers, CIF employs Western Canada’s best journeyman carpenters, ironworkers, equipment operators, scaffolders and licensed mechanics. A point Fomenoff emphasizes throughout our conversation is that CIF is a family, and each employee is valued and respected—a point that is proven by the number of them that have been with the company for years, some of them more than two decades. “We recognize that, along with professionalism, we are a family, and we are there to work as a team to put projects together as quickly and safely with the highest quality possible.”
CIF prioritizes cross-training for employees, provided through apprenticeships and in-house training, so that team members can work on multiple aspects of any project. “Not only does this process allow CIF to be a self-contained company that is proficient in all aspects of your project, but is also a significant factor in providing job satisfaction and stability to our employees,” says Fomenoff.
Like most successful companies with the longevity of CIF, the company wasn’t born fully-formed. It evolved slowly from word-of-mouth and a readiness to respond to client feedback.
Fomenoff’s background is in carpentry. In 1991, he started CIF, “a small company trying to get off the ground.” Owners he was working for at the time expressed reluctance to rely on too many subcontractors because of the added time and cost. “It was suggested by some owners to become self-sufficient. This allowed us to pour concrete when we wanted, to install rebar when we wanted. If there is a revision on a drawing, productivity isn’t lost. We are not waiting on anyone.”
This led to CIF’s expertise in remote areas. Fomenoff says his team can send workers, materials and machines to the top of a mountain and start work on a project at anytime. “We can produce concrete anytime of year thanks to the enclosed steam chests to heat the aggregates and a steam generator system for hot water.”
The Brucejack Mine project is a great example of this. Logistically demanding, because its location at the end of the 12 km Knipple Glacier road, CIF was responsible for the large concrete foundations and piers for SAG and Ball Mill operations housed inside a 9300 m2 mill processing building.
It comes down to efficiencies. With large projects such as the Coalspur Vista Mine in Alberta, the Brucejack Mine in northern BC, or the Lafarge Exshaw Expansion, problems arise. While some teams might back away from these types of challenges, CIF sees them as opportunities for solutions.