There is a great deal of excitement in the air at FabriTec Structures, and for good reason. Due to its recent partnership with the German based PFEIFER Seil- und Hebetechnik GmbH, the new, fully vertically integrated specialty construction group sits atop the industry.
The PFEIFER Business Unit Cable Structures is the world leader in the design, manufacturing and construction of architectural cable structures. As the world’s largest and most experienced specialty contractor of lightweight structures and tensile membranes with locations now in Germany, the US, China, Austria and Qatar, it showcases what can be achieved by utilizing tensile membrane and cables in architectural applications.
FabriTec produces an aesthetically pleasing and cost-effective option for architects, engineers, and designers who choose to use innovative tensile membranes in their designs due to the many advantages of these materials. The company completes projects in sectors including stadiums and sports parks as well as buildings for airport and transportation, entertainment and leisure, education and institutional, retail and commercial, park and recreation and civic and community purposes.
Basil Haymann has over half a century of business success, and is Chairman of FabriTec and Guard-All, which specializes in the manufacture of an innovative selection of Next Generation Tension Fabric Buildings. He acquired FabriTec in 2014, with an aggressive goal to establish it as a global force with which to be reckoned.
“This new strategic alliance with PFEIFER will allow FabriTec to achieve its long term goal… to become the preferred vendor on major iconic stadium and landmark projects throughout North and South America, as well as providing PFEIFER with additional resources for its other global pursuits,” explained Haymann.
“Today we have the most experienced, vertically integrated, sales, pre-construction, engineering, manufacturing and construction team in North and South America. Together with PFEIFER, our specialty construction group has unparalleled ability to offer a complete, turnkey portfolio from Design, Engineering, Steel, Cable and Membrane Fabrication, to Project Management and Construction with Warranty and Post-completion Services to all our customers,” he said.
“You couldn’t have a better marriage of two companies that complement each other’s skill sets, capabilities and approach to doing business the right way,” Haymann stated.
In each of his business ventures, Haymann has endeavored to improve competitiveness and gain greater market share. Success has principally resulted from assembling a team with industry-leading talent and expertise. This blueprint for success has been no different at FabriTec.
“It’s all about the people and the team, because at the end of the day, it’s people that execute these major projects. If you don’t have the people, you don’t have the team that is necessary to successfully complete these major projects. I’ve always strategically hired all of the best possible people so that when we do get a major project, we have the ability to successfully execute that project on time and on budget,” Haymann explained.
Due to the size, value and nature of the projects, it becomes a labor of love and a work of passion for the employees. In fact, the reputation and ability of PFEIFER and FabriTec to jointly undertake projects of such magnitude is in itself a point of attraction.
“In so many cases, engineers like ours work on projects for years that never become a reality. The beauty of working for us is that not only do they become a reality; you can walk into the factories and see them in production, then you see them being installed and then completed. This gives our employees, like our engineers and designers, a great deal of job satisfaction,” said Haymann.
“That’s one of the reasons why we are able to attract the quality of people we have, who are not only interested in what they get paid, but enjoy the job satisfaction of seeing their creations become a reality.” FabriTec has fostered a culture that has led to quality, safety and success – values which 100 percent match the company culture of the PFEIFER Group with its 1,400 employees in nineteen countries across the world. “We work together. We consult each other. We realize that each and every one of us has certain expertise, and we all have our individual strengths and weaknesses, so we make it a point through collaboration to make our decisions. There are very few unilateral decisions that are made by the ownership of the company.”
Garry Becker, President of FabriTec, echoed this sentiment. “If you believe that making a business like this successful is about the people, then it’s very important that, as you add those people to the team, that you’re prepared to listen to their ideas, thoughts and suggestions as a part of the overall strategy, because our people are our greatest resource.”
“Recently, FabriTec entered into a fifty:fifty partnership with the PFEIFER Group. The reason and the rationale behind that was, by joining forces we wanted to become the only company in the world that is totally vertically integrated. In that, I mean that we do all the design; all the engineering; most of the manufacturing of the components; and carry out our own installation,” Haymann said.
PFEIFER Group’s 438-year history, world-renowned reputation, substantial resources, and expertise allow FabriTec to become a fully integrated market leader in North and South America. PFEIFER Group will also benefit by utilizing FabriTec’s name and reputation in its existing core markets.
“PFEIFER Group is a family-owned company that’s in its twelfth generation,” Haymann noted. By acquiring an interest in FabriTec, strategically, PFEIFER added a lot of specialized talent and experience to its already very capable team.”
PFEIFER Group previously acquired Covertex, an industry leader in PTFE, PVC and ETFE membrane manufacturing, as well as an Austrian-based leader in control systems for retractable or moveable lightweight structures.
As a direct result of these acquisitions, the PFEIFER Group has further differentiated itself from its competitors and achieved a new level of integration that this lightweight structure industry has never seen. FabriTec and PFEIFER Group can do it all.
FabriTec and PFEIFER Group have proven to be a match made in heaven, much to the credit of both companies’ leadership coming together to ensure seamless amalgamation. “Prior to doing the transaction, we spent about two years talking to each other to make sure that we were aligned – not only business-wise but also philosophically – as to what our ways of running a company are. Gerhard Pfeifer, the President of the PFEIFER group, and I established that we share the same priorities and values in running a business, so the integration has gone extremely well,” said Haymann.
Quality and safety are the pillars of each company’s reputation and success. “PFEIFEER has the ISO certification, and we’re getting the same certification in our operations.” This will be added to an existing list of certifications which include Clark County steel fabrication certification, AISC steel fabrication certification and CWB certification.
This acquisition has expanded FabriTec’s ability to undertake larger and more substantial projects in North and South America. “Our market share of major iconic projects has already increased,” said Haymann.
One such example is the highly-anticipated tensile sculpture at the Salt Lake City Airport, a one-of-a-kind project, a three-story terminal and concourse. The project is designed to imitate the canyon rocks for which the city is known, and completion of this project is slated for 2020.
“The Salt Lake City Airport has a section of the terminal that’s going to have, down both sides of the corridor, this canyon project, which has been quite a unique undertaking. This is an application where we are taking rolled aluminum shapes and taking a fabric and basically pulling it over like a pillowcase with a closing detail on the backside to create these fins,” said Garry Becker.
Another exciting project that is in the works is the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport passenger terminal curbside canopies. This 345,000-square-foot, two-canopy project will be North America’s largest ETFE cushioned roofing system and truly displays the magnitude of projects PFEIFER FabriTec is capable of achieving.
Another project that will highlight the company’s abilities is the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts project in Southern California. PFEIFER FabriTec is responsible for creating the festival’s permanent tensile structures covering the stage and galleries, replacing the previous shelters in an impressive way.
Becker explained that the company “worked in conjunction with the client to develop this concept that is really a piece of artwork in itself and we will be beginning the installation of that project in January 2017, in preparation for the annual June celebration. It’s a very unique project – very artsy. Each structure is one of a kind, and it’s fitting for the overall theme of the project.”
Collaborating with PCL Construction, Walter P Moore, and HKS, FabriTec also played a key role in delivering the tensile membrane roofing system for new Mosaic Stadium, the first phase of the Regina Revitalization Initiative. FabriTec’s scope of work included the design and construction of the PTFE fabric roof as well as a design-assist on the roof’s steel superstructure.
Weather elements were the biggest influence on design and helped shape the new fabric roof which covers approximately 130,800 square feet of surface area. Because the area of Regina has a humid continental climate with warm summers and virtually no dry season, architectural PTFE fabric membrane was chosen as the roofing material for its translucent properties which will allow maximum day lighting into the stadium, but keep fans relatively cool by providing optimal shading.
The new stadium expands to a capacity of 40,000 to accommodate large events such as the Canadian Football League Grey Cup championship game.
PFEIFER FabriTec’s Latin American team was recently recognized for its work on the Urban Center premier shopping mall in Guadalajara, Mexico. The project received the Industrial Fabrics Association International Achievement Award of Excellence, acknowledging the use of PTFE fabric. PTFE has multiple benefits including being lightweight, translucent and having the capacity to block heat, thereby reducing the island heat effect.
PFEIFER FabriTec is a global leader that is capable of securing even the most high-profile projects in the industry. By 2020, the company will be fully acquired by the PFEIFER Group and able to capitalize on the combined strength of the two entities. PFEIFER is presently grooming the thirteenth generation who will lead the next era of the company. The sky is the limit, and PFEIFER FabriTec can reach it.