While skyscrapers and buildings are the crown jewels of cityscapes and horizons, the unheralded upholder of all construction is the ground and foundation—without sufficient coverage (and depth) of borings or soundings, or determining the characteristics and strength properties of the on-site soils, a project is doomed before it has even begun.
Menard Canada understands this more than anyone. They are recognized leaders and innovators in the Canadian geotechnical construction industry and have been in operation for 50 years.
With offices in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Calgary, and Vancouver, Menard Canada prides itself on its ability to consistently provide clients with value driven, high-quality ground improvement solutions, developing and installing foundation solutions based on ground improvement and reinforcement technologies.
Menard Canada works with owners and foundation/geotechnical consultants to provide design-build solutions when suitable for the projects. A subsidiary of Vinci Construction, which operates out of 80 countries, Menard Canada plays a key role in the transformation of cities and towns.
Menard Canada was founded in 1971 under the name Geopac Tech Inc, and was the first Canadian licensee of Menard Pressure meter tests, which are tools used to measure in situ strength and stress-strain properties of soils and very soft rock. Geopac became an instrumental provider of geotechnical services, even performing the first Dynamic Compaction project in the country—a construction process densifies the soils by repetitively dropping a 10-to-30 ton weight on the ground using a specially adapted crane.
As its relationship grew, Geopac started to introduce Menard’s other techniques to the Canadian Market. In 2007 Geopac was sold to the Menard Group and officially changed the name to Menard Canada in 2017. Menard Canada has been carrying on the technical traditions of Geopac Tech Inc of quality ground improvement design and construction ever since.
Business Elite Canada spoke with Menard Canada CEO Hubert Scache about the company’s milestone anniversary and playing a key role in the growth of cities and towns across the country. Growing from offices in Quebec and Ontario to six offices and more office expansions expected in 2022, Menard Canada has evolved from its early years as a ground improvement contractor into one of the top design and build ground improvement design engineering and contracting companies in Canada.
“The evolution of adding branches across Canada with full design engineering teams in each local office offers our clients more opportunities to involve Menard at the early stages of the project to help design the best treatment for the property that is being developed,” says Scache. “Menard’s involvement at the early stages of a client’s project means the developer and their teams can have a ground improvement specified and designed as Menard is able to complete the testing, design and method statements required for the project.”
What distinguishes Menard Canada from other geotechnical speciality contractors? Clients can depend on the ground improvement using one, two, or several Menard techniques on a single site “if the soil tells us we can optimize multiple techniques to improve the soil,” says Scache.
A pioneer in the field, Menard has over 15 specialized techniques designed by the in-house Research and Development team. Menard also has the luxury of being part of the Vinci Construction Group’s Ground Improvement division, with sister companies Conetec, Mud Bay Drilling, Remea, Six Sense, Soletanche Bachy Canada, and RECO all available to lend their expertise and consultation. Clients benefit from Vinci’s vast library of projects, equipment, techniques, and engineering capabilities within all areas of its companies to help on the more challenging projects. “Menard’s biggest asset is the engineers inside the Vinci family that are excited most about a project when there is a challenge that they have to overcome and then get to see the project right through to the end with a successful completion,” says Scache.
The Menard Canada trademark is completing the scope of work in our timeline or ahead of schedule. Client satisfaction Menard Canada is achieved “When our team hands over a site to a client and the client is enthusiastic that they have just gained one week—or multiple weeks—on the project,” says Scache. “Client satisfaction is the contractors that continue to use Menard on multiple projects throughout the country; when you speak to someone in the industry and they know Menard Canada just by the name from the quality of work we have completed on a previous project with them.”
Our ability to design and integrate a wide range of innovative ground improvement techniques provides us with a leading edge in the industry. When beneficial to our clients, Menard Canada can deliver packaged Ground Improvement design-build solutions.
“I see a bright future for Menard,” says Scache. “We have a young team developing more markets across Canada and strengthening our current markets. Menard will be growing business units across Canada as well as adding new divisions within Menard to help us grow in the Mining industry, focusing on Soil Remediation, Slurry walls and other techniques focused on Tailings and Mining works in Canada. Menard is also looking forward to being involved in major projects throughout Canada to put our mark on Ground Improvement, but also on very small jobs to be as local as possible.”
As a specialty geotechnical contractor, Menard offers technical assistance to project owners and engineers throughout each phase of project development from feasibility to final design. “Our solutions are tailored to the specific requirements of each project to provide the best value to owners and the most practical construction alternatives to contractors.”
To learn more about Menard Canada, please visit www.menardcanada.ca