By Dave Carpenter
L. Nardella Associates Ltd (LNA) has a proven track record for getting the job done and done right.
Based in Laval, Quebec, ‘LNA’ has developed a sterling reputation as one of Canada’s most reliable heavy-construction management companies, based on the diversity and scale of the projects they’ve taken on in the last 25 years. Since Business Elite Canada’s last publication about LNA back in August 2017, the company has been acquired by three long-standing employees (Daniel Héroux, Claude Turcotte and Frédéric Côté) in December 2018. The new owners currently continue to build and expand the company from the foundations established since 1995 by the founders Luigi Nardella and Dino Maselli, who joined in 1998 as an equal partner in order to expand the company’s industrial business and they remain with the company as senior business advisors. The new owners intend to continue providing quality services for project and construction management and expand on technological approaches to project and construction management to accommodate clients’ demands and push it to the next level.
“We are a delivery-focused team,” LNA President and Owner Daniel Héroux says. “We respect budgets, schedules and the quality and safety objectives that make the difference in the projects we execute.”
Héroux believes LNA’s collaborative approach with clients from the outset mitigates potential construction claims work and provides a sense of pride and satisfaction for team players and stakeholders geared for success. He also says years of experience in field management execution with contractors have exposed the company to new work methods and technologies that LNA implements as acquired experience and shares with clients regularly to better costs and schedules.
LNA has been involved with major new projects, significant shut-downs, brown field and Quick Projects Recovery Task Force (QPRTF), using the same approach to execution while adjusting to the particular needs of differing project requirements.
“The earlier LNA is asked to participate in the project the greater the impact on the cost savings throughout the project, providing constructability approaches to clients’ projects and others involved,” LNA Vice President and Owner Claude Turcotte says.
Health & Safety Protocols Front and Centre during COVID-19 Pandemic
Héroux cites the Kruger tissue plant (valued at $575M) in Bromptonville, QC, as an example. The construction site had shut down earlier this year due to the Covid-19 outbreak. LNA provided strategic, value-added actions to resume the facility’s construction site activities during the lockdown period, including new procedures and materials that comply with health & safety regulations. LNA’s construction management team ensured they obtained buy-in from all of Kruger’s stakeholders, including the client, suppliers, trades unions, contractors and CNESST, the Quebec Health and Safety Agency department.
LNA Vice President and Owner Frédéric Côté says that LNA worked closely with Kruger’s management, as well as contractors and trade unions, to explain, implement and respect the Quebec Government’s safety requirements on-site.
With revised procedures and setups that comply with new Health and Safety regulations in place, LNA proved to play a vital role in resuming Kruger Construction site activities, ahead of the reopening of all industrial and construction activities in Quebec.
“We just passed our peak in terms of manpower on-site during the critical period of the COVID-19 pandemic without impacting the construction scheduled completion date,” Turcotte says Not surprisingly, with the worldwide pandemic, approaches to Health & Safety protocols have only expanded in knowledge and methods to adjust to immediately for LNA in 2020. Which allows LNA the ability and knowledge to react and adjust when crises arise.
“LNA projects start with preparing for safe execution, which involves daily contact with contractors to ensure contractors provide workers proper instructions and recommended safety practices,” Héroux says. LNA site protocols include HSE training for workers, ensuring they have the necessary training required on-site, organizing sites to accommodate safe work environments and coordinating with construction contractors, suppliers’ representatives and clients.
Héroux believes that thoughtful and pragmatic solutions to health and safety requirements lead to buy-in from workers in the field who, in turn, influence others. “With this level of ownership of HSE, good practices are achieved, the team leader and its players’ vital HSE records improve significantly and at the same time, ensuring the client’s results are met.”
Frédéric Côté believes these site safety measures are investment costs that are as necessary as foundations are to solid structures. When all stakeholders acknowledge the value of these efforts made to maintain site activities, it helps manage the situation. “Construction remains a human-based relation activity, and ‘unplanned events’ occur during the course of a major project. It has been noted that when stakeholders contribute to the solution and see the value added, they accept and understand that we consider them as being part of the unexpected portion of the project that must be dealt with for the best interest of all.”
Other recent LNA project management highlights include Nemaska Lithium’s new Spodumene mine, concentrator and transformation plant ($1.2B) in Whabouchi and Shawinigan, Quebec, the new McInnis Cement plant ($1.1B) located in Port-Daniel-Gascon, Quebec and also the Diageo distillery plant expansion in Valleyfield, Kruger Transformation Project in Trois Rivieres Quebec which was a $200 million paper machine conversion to cardboard with a 28 day major shut-down, along with many other major industrial projects. LNA services include project planning, constructability reviews, contract formation and site construction management. LNA has been involved in managing projects from $20-million dollars to over $1-billion dollars. They have also executed more than 200 projects since 1995 across Canada, with a large number of projects in Quebec and some locations in the USA.
What’s Next for LNA
LNA’s new owners continue the founders’ initiatives and objectives by looking to the latest technology solutions and innovations as the company prepares ‘LNA 2.0’ to cope with new workforce trends and capabilities. LNA has converted to paperless workspaces and placed a greater reliance on information management. “We continue these initiatives to accelerate and remain ahead in the construction industry while doing more with less – time efficiency equals better managed cost to the owner,” Héroux says.
Héroux acknowledges that the rapid transformation of worksites amid the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed LNA to innovate and adapt traditional site procedures to the ‘’new normal’’. Head office staff has adapted to work remotely, and we have done well in that respect with greater efficiency.
That trust and dedication in our employees has paid off and our clients have noticed the autonomy of the LNA staff, and past and present owners.
“We have continued at the same rhythm on the Kruger project. Kruger’s site was only shut down during the pandemic for three weeks,” Héroux says. “We have done well in that respect with great efficiency. Being ‘result-oriented,’ our trust in our employees has paid off. Our knowledge and know-how will be propelled at a higher pace to cope with fast-track projects that have become the rule and not the exception.”
Clients that have gotten to know LNA for their services through dedications and determination, have not only continued to call back LNA to participate in other mandates, but have also provided positive acknowledgement of their project success with the contributions of LNA services.
The contributions of LNA services and our expanded solutions provide all clients to benefit from the hands-on approach of the LNA team on any industrial project.