Gamma Industries, Inc. has been well established in Canada for over 30 years and now exports its products to the United States and the Caribbean. The company is becoming so well known for its exceptional manufacture, design and installation of curtain walls, doors, windows and glass and aluminum building envelopes, that not only contractors know the company by name, but buyers are also recognizing the Gamma name and acknowledging the value-added benefits of its products.Specializing in the production and installation of high-quality architectural aluminum products, Gamma Industries, Inc. was started by the father of current Gamma vice president, Jean Lefrancois in 1967. It started with a mere 10 employees. By 1984 the company employed over 300.
Gamma headquarters is located in Quebec City with a manufacturing space of about 80,000 square feet. A new plant, with 14,000 square feet, will open in the summer of 2005 in the Pompano Beach, Fla. area to accommodate the increasing work currently being done for the U.S. market.
Gamma products are used in the construction of commercial buildings, institutions, prison buildings, high-rise office buildings and luxury condominiums, and are constantly being improved upon in the company’s relentless quest for design excellence and value engineering. Its major markets are Quebec City, Montreal and the eastern part of Canada. The company is also considering expansion into the northeastern part of the United States. In addition, Gamma is doing well in the south Florida market with hopes of expanding into Florida’s West Coast.
Research First. Build Second.
Gamma has become a leader in the field of architectural aluminum and glass through extensive involvement in research and development. Its engineering department maintains state-of-the-art research and testing facilities, and provides superior quality designs, products and service at very competitive prices.
Each year, Gamma invests an enormous amount of effort into the research and development of new markets and new products. With its unrivalled concern for meeting the needs of its clientele, the company works closely with its clients, and more specifically, with architects, contactors and building professionals.
One of Gamma’s objectives is to always offer its clients an impeccable and value-conscious solution to any problem. On one occasion, the company, having to meet a very short deadline for the manufacturing of its Aldora sliding doors, developed a fast-track production line uniquely adapted for this type of door. It resulted in the production capacity for the product doubling and production costs being reduced. Thus, the product was delivered on schedule at a reduced price.
“Our goal is clear: always offer our clientele the best design, engineering, manufacturing and installation of aluminum architectural products and fenestration in the industry,” says Lefrançois. “The needs of clients are better assessed taking into account the technical requirements of the market, the climatic and budgetary restraints, and the aesthetic considerations. A further beneficial consequence of this is that existing products are improved and the design and development of the products is perfectly adapted to specific individual demands.”
Gamma is one of the few manufacturers to possess its own research facility and laboratory for testing of structural resistance, performance and impact resistance of specific products, the company has an advantage in that its own team of engineers and technicians designs the necessary testing equipment. This means that important competitive advantages are generated quickly in assessing the optimal solution, solutions that are both effective and affordable, and meet technical requirements.
Gamma’s breakthrough into the American market came because it determined a specific need for aluminum sliding doors and windows capable of resisting the climatic constraints of Florida’s hurricanes. Gamma was able to deliver a high-performance solution. Products perfectly adapted to local requirements were developed: the vertical sliding window, the Aldora aluminum sliding door and the G-300 Tilt-n-Turn pivoted window.
To enter the market, the company had significant obstacles to surmount: American, and in particular south Florida’s norms and standards regarding air and water infiltration, structural resistance and large impact and cycling tests, are very severe. Gamma developed a testing chamber to simulate the severity of hurricane strength forces to test products directly at its plant.
Gamma’s products are used primarily for high-rise condominium complexes and are built to resist extraordinarily high pressures off the ocean and hurricane-type force winds. “These products are so highly designed and so rigorously tested, you could almost call them overly engineered,” says Gamma Director of Operations Stewart Struzer. ” All of our products go through significant testing and receive certification by the specific county we are working in. We are finding lately we are working on buildings so tall they need to withstand winds in excess of 160 miles per hour and we need to find precision engineering glass systems that will withstand that kind of intense pressure. It’s up to us to find the solutions and design the new systems to incorporate these new pressures.”
Gamma is definitely seeing a trend in the construction industry: bigger buildings, faster construction, larger units. “People are willing to spend money on multicolored glass and paint finishes. There is a value to design beyond basics. Open any real estate magazine in south Florida and you’ll see the competition. You’ll see each architect is trying to come up with a unique and braver, bolder idea than the next. It’s our job to make each architect’s vision a reality,” says Struzer.
Gamma recently completed several impressive projects: Las Olas Riverhouse, the largest condo in Broward County; The Jade on Brickell Avenue, a 51-story condominium for Swire Properties; The Setai, a Miami Asian-influenced condo community; The Ocean Palms at Hollywood Beach, where units start at $1 million each and The Blue Miami, a very unique blue, crescent-shaped building for Hyperion. It was also recently awarded four new building projects: The Diplomat at Hollywood Beach, a 30-story building by Suffolk Construction; The Latitude in Miami, also by Suffolk Construction, 44 stories; Marinablue, built by Soares da Costa for Hyperion, 63 stories and The Marquis, a 67-story condominium being built by KM/Plaza for Leviev Boymelgeen.
Gamma recently introduced two new products to its mix, one being balcony railings. “We never envisioned we might need this product but we saw a trend where the construction companies wanted their glazing company doing the balconies as well as the windows. So we preglaze all components in the factories and connect all components with female and male interlocking connections. It allows us to curne the railing,” says Struzer.
Gamma also upgraded its sliding doors giving them a very sleek, European look. “These products had a very mechanical look before. I think customers are demanding a more stylized, architectural look and flair and that’s what we’ve tried to provide,” says Struzer.
And the future looks nothing but bright for Gamma. The company has a full plate and is currently negotiating jobs well into 2008.