QMD Enterprises Inc. is a general contractor specializing in residential, industrial, and commercial construction. Its projects are primarily located in Montreal, Quebec City, the Ottawa-Gatineau region, and occasionally in Toronto.
The company was first established in 2006 by expert Construction Manager Luc Quenneville and Chief Estimator Jean Morissette. In the beginning, the company operated as a client-oriented operation offering high-value construction services with a focus on raising quality standards in the local construction industry. By going above and beyond for clients, QMD built a reputation in Quebec for delivering on its promise of quality. This allowed the company to find success in its regional market and it has continued to grow ever since.
Approximately four years ago, QMD expanded its operation by adding a development branch that produces entire projects from start to finish on its own. This newest addition to the company enables QMD experts to closely manage every aspect of a project, from finding and purchasing the lot, through the project’s entire development, and finally selling the product in the end.
The success of QMD derives from its personal approach that focuses on building partnerships with clients. Its team of 100 employees are taught to work directly with clients to ensure that needs are met, and the leadership leads by example by being very hands-on themselves. Quenneville strongly encourages this approach and he strives to keep the company size at roughly 100 employees in order to maintain the level of client care they offer.
Going forward, the team aims to focus their attention on growing markets such as Montreal and Quebec City. They also expect to have more work in the Ottawa-Gatineau region within the next five to ten years as that area continues to grow and reinvent itself. QMD is renowned for high-quality development, and its reputation will surely enable the company to expand into nearby markets with demand for condos and rental properties.
Up to the challenge
Since its inception in 2006, QMD has seen consistent success and growth; in 2020, however, the Canadian construction market has experienced a substantial downturn. The coronavirus pandemic hit the industry hard and QMD felt the impact. Approximately 25 percent of the projects the company had planned for this year have been shelved due to disruptions in financing and cash flow. Luckily, due to QMD’s financial stability and capacity to operate in challenging circumstances, it has been able to minimize the impact. While many competing companies have failed to endure, damage to QMD has not been critical.
For QMD, the most challenging obstacle to construction brought about by COVID-19 has been long lead times for materials. In general, materials now require double the time to be shipped than before the pandemic. Concrete has been especially hard to come by; the concrete companies need two weeks’ notice rather than the usual 48 hours.
On a more positive note, QMD has been able to invest in itself and continue to improve during the pandemic. The leadership decided to turn its focus inward by taking extra special care of its people and making the workplace environment more uplifting in an effort to increase staff morale. Particularly in these trying times, it is important to show employees that they are appreciated and supported by their employer.
The attitude at QMD remains positive and the team has learned valuable lessons from the pandemic that will forever change how businesses operate. For example, providing hand sanitizer in a shared environment has become the norm and it will likely remain that way, especially during flu season.
One of the company’s current projects is Solstice Montreal (solsticemontreal.com), a 44-floor luxury residential condominium located in the center of downtown Montreal. With its collaborative partners, QMD began building Solstice Montreal less than a year ago. The $200 million project is 87 percent sold and it is expected to be complete in 2022. “Solstice is just so iconic because it really represents everything that QMD has built,” said Luc Quenneville, President. “It’s personalized, it’s luxury, it’s the finest materials, it’s the best craftsmanship, and it just happens to be right beside the Bell Centre. It’s really in the heart of Montreal and it will be a beautiful feature of this city for decades to come.”
In Laval, Quebec, QMD is working on developing a $300 million condominium project comprising five buildings with 15 floors. The 1000 rental units have been created to form a miniature community within the city. Another condominium project, expected to be complete by early 2021, is a 300-unit rental property spread across three buildings in Brossard, Quebec. Similar to other QMD projects, location was key when choosing where to place these luxury condos. The residents have breathtaking views from units overlooking the St. Lawrence River.
QMD has diversified into a breadth of industrial construction markets over the years, including the pharmaceutical sector. More recently, the company has seen a demand for pharmaceutical production facilities and this month, QMD began the construction of two $100 million projects roughly 30 minutes outside of Montreal. These large pharmaceutical grow-ops will continue to make up part of the company’s portfolio in the future, while another market the company is considering for further diversification is industrial data centers.
Another objective, over the next five to 10 years, is for QMD to help shift public perception of net zero emissions in construction. “We’re trying to do our best because we believe in [green building] and we see the benefits,” explained Quenneville. “We understand that there’s money in sustainability and that it’s good for the environment – it’s just good for business, period. But the problem sometimes is the general takeup is slow.”
Construction companies across Canada carefully choose what types of materials are put into their buildings to increase efficiency and ensure as little waste as possible. QMD is fortunate because its development branch manages the entire operation and has complete control over its projects. This allows the company to simply set its own high quality standards and make sure its buildings will be sustainable long into the future. The team lives and breathes sustainability: in the office, paperless is the goal; on site, the emphasis is on selective waste management and energy savings, in terms of lighting or ventilation, for example; on the human resources side, public or active transport is encouraged and supported for employees; and all QMD teams, both in the field and in management, are trained in the specifics of LEED®, with several LEED®-accredited project managers on staff.
Earlier this year, QMD was awarded a trophy by L’Association de la construction du Quebec for its economic and social contributions to the region. The construction prizes are usually handed out in April with a crowd and audience to celebrate, which unfortunately was not an option in 2020. QMD still feels fortunate to be recognized for its efforts.
Never content to rest on its laurels, QMD’s development arm has been highly successful in its four years of business and has become a substantial contributor to the overall revenue of the company. The company’s original business model, focused on a personal approach with private clients, has not fallen off; rather, it is continuing to grow alongside the development branch of the company. QMD is still regularly contacted by repeat clients, new business owners, and project leaders who have heard of the company’s receptive and open attitude toward luxurious projects.
QMD believes in forming partnerships in every business relationship that exists. When working with subcontractors, establishing a partnership from the beginning has a big impact on the final product. Cohesion among the team leads to efficient results and QMD is all about efficiency. “By creating partnerships, it automatically changes the sub-trade mentality going into a job, which will increase the efficiency of that job in the end,” explained Quenneville.
With these partnerships driving it, QMD is providing quality construction in the residential, industrial, and commercial markets that are built for luxury and longevity. Ultimately, Quenneville believes that the future of the company will be determined by its ideals of sustainability, transparency, and partnerships. And he has a vision to take it even further: within the next five years, QMD’s goal is to help create a fully self-sustaining community, generating net zero emissions, along the South Shore of Montreal. It is these types of projects that will be integral to a city’s prosperity and it is these types of projects in which QMD Enterprises is unafraid to push the envelope.