With twenty-five years behind them, the team members at GNB Global Inc. rethink how structures are built and how they perform, creating custom-designed tension-fabric structures built to last in any environment for every industry and application under the sun – quickly, too.
As a pioneer in the tension fabric building space, GNB is not only revolutionizing the construction of these structures, but it is also innovating the materials used in their construction. In doing so, the company has taken these materials’ performance to new heights, proving that the sky’s the limit.
GNB enjoys success in oil and gas, mining, warehouse, energy production, sports and recreation, entertainment, agriculture, and construction projects, and the team is always looking for new ways to add value, creating tension fabric solutions to protect customers’ interests, assets and materials.
“Of course, now the challenge for GNB is how to duplicate that success [in one application] and bring it to other industries, whether it’s high-rise buildings, mid-rise buildings, or any long-term project,” says Trevor Pond, Vice President, Sales and Business Development.
GNB has undertaken mission critical projects like emergency response centers, as well as projects at the other end of the spectrum in hobby spaces. Regardless of specifications or needs, GNB’s movable, prefabricated structures are built to order and built to last. Every job and every client shares the same quality and is given the same attention to detail every step of the way.
Be it a large structure or small, temporary or permanent, complex or straightforward, GNB can work with its clients to devise customized tension fabric solutions that address their needs and also offer the peace of mind that comes when you know that the structure will outlast the project.
“What sets us apart is that we’re a true one-stop shop in the way that we’re going to handle everything from inbound inquiry to warranty, installation, engineering, logistics: one hundred percent. If you’re going through GNB, you’re dealing with us every step of the way,” says Vice President Brad Shambel.
As a one-stop shop, GNB supports its clients through the entire process: from consultation, where it identifies their pain points; through research and development, where pain points are addressed; and during installation and service – remembering that need for maintenance is usually minimal given the longevity and performance of these structures.
“We just make it easy for customers to deal with us. We remove a lot of the liability, the risk, the uncertainty in dealing with a vendor and I truly believe that’s been the reason for our success and our growth. Once someone gets a taste of dealing with us, we make it very hard for them to go, or want to go, anywhere else,” Shambel says.
Just as the structures are built to last, so too are the relationships that GNB builds with customers, which is why it has secured so many plum projects. The only way to attract industry leaders is to be an industry leader yourself, which GNB has demonstrated time and again by finding new ways to satisfy customer needs.
“Now we’re bringing multiple offerings to the same client,” notes Pond, who describes a data center project for a client. “We deployed both our buildings there that they use for temporary structures, as well as our RWES for the weather enclosures, and we’ve got multiple users now on data-center builds that are using both products.
“We’re here to help solve problems,” he adds, “and if it’s a tension fabric solution, we’ll work on it. Some of our greatest innovations, RWES for example, have come from people sharing their experiences and their challenges.”
RWES and Mother Nature
What Pond refers to is GNB’s patented reusable weather enclosure system (RWES), a proprietary solution that has taken tension buildings to the next level in terms of performance and longevity. Referred to as “Mother Nature’s worst enemy,” RWES is weather enclosures done right for a number of industries and applications, in particular construction sites.
RWES is a long-term solution that provides thousands of square feet of column-free, unobstructed space. The material used is designed to reflect light at night, necessitating less lighting to achieve better interior visibility. Structures can be customized based on size, color, layout, access points, and can be branded for a professional look and marketing edge.
RWES is patented in North America and Europe and there is additional growth on the horizon. GNB has immense belief in this product and demonstrates it with a 16-year warranty, indicative of the value it brings to its clients’ projects.
“Although GNB created this and patented it, it was through collaboration with our customers, understanding what their pain points were, that got us to this point. The benefits of the RWES system are that it’s reusable, it sets up and deploys in about half the time [of competing systems], and once it is set up, you never have to rework it – it’s literally just set it and forget it,” explains Pond.
As a matter of fact, RWES installs 40 to 60 percent faster, at 40 to 60 percent of the cost of traditionally constructed structures, which is especially important as the cost of construction materials continues to climb. Additional value is derived from these structures being portable, reusable, and storable for up to seven years, which means less material to find its way to the landfill.
Weathering the storm
When choosing a GNB built structure, customers know that they are being protected from the elements and inclement weather thanks to its promised 99 percent weathertight seal. RWES offers protection against UV, rain, moisture, dust and wind.
RWES structures have withstood winds in excess of 150 kilometers an hour thanks to engineered building profiles that promote even distribution of wind and snow loads. The material is also flame and mold resistant.
An indication of GNB’s commitment to completely satisfying the needs of its customers with fully customized tension-fabric solutions, was its recent investment in a new fabric facility. In the face of rapidly increasing demand, this facility will enable it to better control supply.
“The genesis of that fabric plant was to separate RWES from our building side just to make sure that we don’t change our service level to our existing customers,” says Shambel. Only months after production began, there are already signs that additional shifts will be necessary to deal with demand. With foresight, the company has invested in the capacity to really turn up production, and so maintain the care for customers that has made its name.
GNB is a no-frills company that prioritizes relationships with its customers, safety, and a job well done. This approach has been a recipe for success, one that has earned the trust of many customers. One of its largest clients equates working with GNB to pressing a Staple’s Easy Button – well, that was easy!
From Pond’s perspective, that sort of growth in its reputation is due to the company culture, “We don’t just take what’s coming to us and make it easy, we care about our customers’ success and how we can serve them. I know we look a lot at how we’re spending our customers’ money, and if we don’t spend it wisely, it’s not going to be great for our longevity. GNB is a very resilient company, but it stems from wanting to do right by our customers.”
The people at GNB have clients’ best interests covered every which way, and they do that by keeping in mind just three letters, “DPR” – standing for dependability, predictability, and reliability – the guiding principles upon which its success was built and the reason the company’s celebrating its milestone twenty-fifth year.
“We won’t sacrifice that in order to grow in other geographic markets, so we’ll know when the time is right to do so,” said Pond, “But we’re not going to do that at the expense of lowering our service standards for our existing clientele.”
The goal is for the names GNB and RWES to be synonymous with outstanding protective structures. In a dusty, windy, demanding world, the team is setting the standard for tension fabric solutions and intends to keep it that way, so that when someone asks for tension fabric, RWES and GNB are the immediate and best solutions.