Canadian Construction Materials Engineering & Testing is a company that specializes in services ranging from materials inspection and testing, to concrete restoration, environmental consulting, quality management, materials engineering consulting, geotechnical engineering and geoscience consulting.
The company was created in 1987 and renamed The CCMET Group of Companies in 2016 to represent its increased services better. It has received numerous awards as one of the top companies in British Columbia, and much of its business comes from long-time repeat customers sharing their positive experiences with others.
“Most people who are looking for a testing company when they are starting new construction know the name Metro Testing Laboratories and CCMET and what we have to offer them,” says company President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Gilbert, “so a lot of it is brand recognition and word-of-mouth in the industry.”
CCMET (formerly known as the Metro Group) works with developers, contractors, and owners of construction sites, roadwork and civil projects, including Municipalities, the Ministry of Transportation and British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. It performs work on structures like buildings and docks requiring repair. Services include but are not limited to field testings of concrete, asphalt and soils and other specialized services. CCMET has fourteen divisions at thirteen locations that cover Western Canada from Vancouver Island and Victoria to Campbell River, Fort St. John, Edmonton and Calgary.
Gilbert became President and CEO of the privately-owned Canadian company – which still has many employees as shareholders – last August, taking over from founder Harry Watson, an entrepreneur experienced and internationally recognised in this field. Gilbert has dedicated much of his career to large analytical laboratories working primarily on the environmental testing side and now continues to lead a team of about 250 that swells to approximately 300 during the busy season.
CCMET’s main expertise centers on materials testing, but Gilbert says the business is about much more than producing numbers and conducting field tests and includes many materials engineering services, such as the ability to troubleshoot and fix problems.
“We have a lot of very specialized expertise where we can cover the construction business almost from the first shovel going into the ground to the last pour at the construction site,” he says. CCMET is skilled in environmental consulting, geotechnical engineering and a great deal of restoration work and repairs on older concrete structures via its own construction restoration group. “Those are just some of the areas of expertise that differentiate us.” CCMET’s focus on standardizing its offerings makes it able to ensure that all clients receive a consistent approach to innovative solutions.
Canadian Construction Materials Engineering and Testing Inc. acquired Kamloops-based KamTech Consulting in March of this year to expand its services and coverage further. The acquisition of eight-year-old KamTech, when added to CCMET’s divisions in Kamloops and the Shuswap Testing and Engineering division in Salmon Arm means the company will be able to serve clients throughout B.C.’s south-central interior.
“Both companies take great pride in their technical abilities and their commitment to excellent customer service,” Gilbert said in a media release at the time. “It’s a great combination, and we are delighted to be able to give our joint customers, both public and private, an even wider range of services.”
Like CCMET, KamTech was founded to offer services such as quality control management and materials testing for the concrete industry, road construction and civil engineering clients in the B.C. interior, and as KamTech’s services already included materials testing and developing asphalt and concrete mix designs, the acquisition made sense.
The acquisition, maintaining all the KamTech staff, will allow CCMET to expand its Western Canada operations, particularly in British Columbia and, specifically, Kamloops. “Now that we have this secured, we feel that we can cover the majority of the province the best we can,” says Gilbert.
From its diverse range of services to safety, there are many reasons why clients choose CCMET over the competition. Its materials testing laboratories are certified by the Canadian Council of Independent Laboratories (CCIL), and CCMET has more CCIL-certified technicians than anybody else in the industry within Western Canada. It is dedicated to regularly updating its laboratory procedures and requirements, calibrating equipment and ensuring all testing procedures are in accordance with recognized specifications.
“One thing that does separate us from our competitors is the size of our offerings and what we are able to do in the field, especially in the lower mainland area from Squamish to Abbotsford, where we may have anywhere from fifty to seventy field technicians covering this area,” says Gilbert, “so we are certainly the biggest by far on the field testing side of things.”
CCMET’s trained technicians test materials such as concrete, asphalt and soils, and the company’s sheer size enables it to send out crews and respond quickly, through its dispatch system deploying its fleet strategically by finding the nearest available truck in the area.
“One of the big things that separate us is our abilities as a one-stop-shop,” comments Gilbert, “along with our staff experience, many years in business and our reliability. Industry knows they can rely on us; we never turn away work, and we do our very best to accommodate our customers.”
Canadian Construction Materials Engineering & Testing employees often work under harsh conditions, and never take safety for granted. A Certificate of Recognition (COR) playing a critical role in workplace safety and, in B.C., CCMET Group Inc. and all of its Division Subsidiaries have achieved the COR Certification with WorkSafeBC and BCCSA; in Alberta, both Calgary and Edmonton have begun their evaluation process of achieving SeCOR. CCMET plans safety on sites prior to project commencement. This includes field level risk assessment (FLRA) on every work site by its own safety and innovation team.
The company has taken safety a step further with the development of a smartphone app, which allows users to input and submit FLRA’s easily. This provides a consolidated location “where employees can quickly and easily complete and submit their reports” with just a touch of a button, in real time. Workers can review the status of their FLRA and determine if any areas are still under review by safety officers, resulting in the highest degree of on-site safety possible.
The team at Canadian Construction Materials Engineering & Testing is proud of its thirty-one-year-long history and looks forward to taking on projects from repeat and new clients alike.
“We are really trying to look towards the future and try to understand the needs of our customers the best we can,” says Gilbert. “That means a lot of innovation in the way we deliver our results and how we interact in the field. We work a lot on creating innovative apps that are able to immediately deliver results in the field. So we are looking for very innovative solutions for the businesses that we serve and giving expert advice and great customer service.”