An Avant-Garde Approach

Adi Development Group
Written by Pauline Müller

The world of Adi Development Group is one of innovation, improvement, and growth. While there appear to be few in construction who are ready and willing to seize what new technology can offer the industry, Adi’s founding brothers, Tariq and Saud Adi, always push the envelope on ever more complex construction feats.

The goal of the Executive team at Adi is to build the best development and construction company in the world, and being the best permeates everything from delivering an exceptional homeowner experience to developing authentic employee relationships. The natural result is that there is no such thing as business as usual here. Instead, Adi is known and appreciated in the industry for not only challenging the status quo in terms of how things are done but also for how its building developments affect the people who live in them and interact with them. To maintain this edge, having meaningful conversations is key, and the company prides itself on facilitating open dialogues with those most affected by its buildings.

The company’s reach spreads across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and the Golden Horseshoe of Southern Ontario, with everything managed from its headquarters in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. Together, the Adi brothers and their team are a force with which to be reckoned as they realize solutions, often in unexpected ways. The more they achieve, the more new tasks are presented for them to overcome.

Take, for instance, one of the largest excavation projects the region has ever seen: a seven-level subterranean excavation of fifteen thousand square feet for downtown Burlington’s latest waterfront landmark tower that will have endless views right on the shores of Lake Ontario. Nautique Lakefront Residences is a mixed-use nod to ultra-modernity, and Adi is in charge of erecting and bringing this twenty-six-storey luxury project to life by self-performing in-house construction. “It’s one of the deepest excavations actually happening right now in Ontario, and it’s a pretty complex excavation exercise,” says Tariq Adi, President and Chief Executive Officer.

The Adi power duo of Tariq and Saud have applied the same attention to detail to every other aspect of the business. They opened the doors of Adi Development Group Inc. in 2007 and have built a reputation for service excellence and smart construction ever since. Tariq even addressed the international Buzz Conference in January this year, sharing how smart homes are improving how we live.

Accolades have been plenty, including being noted by the Globe and Mail as Canada’s tenth-fastest-growing company in 2019 thanks to a 3,250 percent growth average in three years. The brothers were also listed on Canada’s ‘Top 40 Under 40’ list in 2019 for their work in helping to grow the Burlington community.

The company’s portfolio includes Adi Capital Partners, an asset management firm that approaches business like its parent company. It oversees high-net-worth capital management for investors and institutions, simultaneously contributing to the firm’s growth. It also runs two trades companies that perform concrete formwork and drywall installation.

Purpose-built rental developments, acquisition handling, sales, marketing, project launches, and construction form another large part of its work, and the group is also greatly respected in the Greater Toronto Area’s realty market for its condominiums. This is partially because it genuinely partners with clients, but also because it builds superior-quality condominium suites.

The company has a tremendous commitment to protecting the environment. “Sustainability is one of our big objectives, moving toward the future where we’re seeing home-building and also investment capital going toward more environmental and sustainable types of initiatives,” says Tariq.

Firstly, the company ensures that it builds in the right places with good energy efficiency scores and easy access to schools, transit stations, major highways, and access roads. It insists on only buying materials locally, lessening the long-distance hauling of materials. To this end, it also works tirelessly to emphasize that recycling materials and reducing waste is paramount to protecting the earth.

“One of the biggest polluters in the world – causing the flash floods and greenhouse gas effects that we see happening – is buildings. Buildings are the number-one polluter. After that come automobiles and transportation,” Saud says. As such, one of the company’s primary goals is for its buildings to be sustainable.

To accomplish this, choices have to be made about which certifications to choose as well as which alternative energies like geothermal energy or measures like grey-water conservation, green roofs, or more effective enveloping for temperature control will be used.

Adi Development Group is always embracing new technology. And, as technology plays a pivotal part in the evolution of the company and its offerings, the internet of things (IoT) is now commonplace in its high-end buildings, and the uses are endless. The company’s proprietary system, Adi Home+ facilitates everything from license plate recognition and key-free access to smart devices that can be programmed to work from an expandable panel in each suite.

It assists in energy usage monitoring, leak and humidity detection, lighting adjustment, and much more. In this way, Adi is bringing in some of the greatest changes with regards to how local construction is developing in the region. Tariq makes it clear that he is not interested in creating spaces that merely hold a lot of toys. Instead, the company wants to apply technology that genuinely improves people’s daily lives.

Its most celebrated building to date, the Valera, is a multi-unit condominium development comprising one nine-storey and one ten-storey building in Burlington, Ontario and is home to a fully IoT-connected building. Fibre optics allow for 1.5-gigabyte internet speeds for automated door entry, license plate recognition, and elevator ordering to be handled via occupants’ smartphones as well as control panels inside each luxury suite.

“I think, in the next ten years, we’ll probably see most buildings becoming net-zero, which will be a sort of nirvana. All responsible builders should be moving toward that,” Tariq says.

In the past two years, Adi incorporated Procore, a full-service, cloud-based construction management platform, into its operations. The tool has a choice of plans and functions, providing everything from weather predictions and drawings to models and conflict investigation prompts. Geofencing also enables it to use mobile phones to keep tabs on the movement of workers and the hours they work, as well as any safety issues that may exist on job sites.

The result is more than powerful new service benefits. From its substantial investment in technology and staff morale, the company has seen a definite rise in younger people looking to join its team, and it has become well-known in the industry. Another contributing factor to being a top employer in the region is that the company sees its employees and trade partners as an extension of its client base. Therefore, its ‘internal clients’ are valued like its ‘external’ partners of end-users, real estate agents, stakeholders and investors.

Its head office is staffed by nearly seventy people who are joined by colleagues in the field who bring the total count to just short of two hundred. “We have a phenomenal team at Adi. [Our growth] is attracting people from other industries not just [ours],” says Tariq. The expansion has also led to new appointments as a new vice president of operations has joined to help tailor the company’s manufacturing. Tariq is especially delighted that the team understands the mission of its customer service and quality so absolutely.

Training and developing its people and investing in continuous learning are significant parts of its ethos with some new colleagues commenting on the focus. “I recently had somebody [tell me] that [they] feel like [they’ve] gone to a master’s program at university, they’re learning so much,” Tariq says proudly. Coupled with a sense of play and purpose, assisting people in achieving their potential is one of the company’s most powerful tools and draws clients’ attention to its sophistication in a bustling marketplace.

Business is booming for Adi Development Group. “Since [we last spoke], we’ve started about one million square feet of construction. We’re growing at an exceptionally rapid rate,” says Tariq. To this, he foresees another addition of around another 600,000 to 700,000 square feet this year. Although sales were adversely affected and auxiliary services to the construction industry slowed during the lockdown periods, the company continues to rise.

Considered an essential service by the Province of Ontario, the company came through the COVID-19 crisis with great success. It strictly followed all safety protocols and has been praised by its workers’ union for everything it did to ensure their safety.

“Taking care of the workers and making sure they’re going home safely and entering the site safely still remains top priority for us,” says Saud. “At the end of the day, it’s all about the workers because, without them, nothing happens.”

The company is happy to announce its next frontier. As of 2021, Adi Development Group will be executing more third-party projects. “We’ll be leveraging our capacity and competitive advantage. From the sheer volume of calls and requests we get to do construction for other people, we’ll be rolling that out,” Tariq says. News of the company’s value, savings, and speed is clearly getting around fast, and every challenge is an opportunity waiting to be translated into growth.



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