Where Everyone Is Family

Superior Buildings & Design
Written by Claire Suttles

Family-owned general contractor Superior Buildings & Design has been delivering comprehensive design-build solutions since 1995. Founder and President Blair Corbeil grew up in the industry, working with his father in Saskatchewan.

“When I was eighteen I ventured out on my own and got more into the commercial aspect of it, which brought me to Alberta,” he remembers. The business grew steadily, and along the way, his daughter Felisha married company employee Cody Hansen. The two “are now part of the company and continue to help grow it,” he says.

Being a family company brings distinct advantages. “I think it helps with quality control,” Corbeil says. “We feel that all our clients are part of the family, and we owe it to them to be treated that way. Our motto here is: ‘We build our projects the way we would build them for ourselves.’”

The attitude creates close relationships with customers. “We treat customers the way they want to be treated—like family,” he says. “And that means we go above and beyond and make sure everything is the right quality and done properly and we don’t cut corners…. We spend a lot of time educating them and let them know what the pros and cons are of their choices and costs.”

This approach is mutually beneficial for everyone involved. “The success we’ve had has been largely based on recommendations from past clients referring their friends and family,” Corbeil explains. The team values employees just as highly as customers. “We treat the employees the same way as we treat customers—as if they’re part of the family.”

Superior Buildings & Design takes a hands-on approach to ensure that customers get exactly what they want. “The bulk of our business is the design-build business, so we work closely with our clients,” he says. “We get involved very early in the project. We work with them, develop their designs, and we bring value to the project by incorporating our engineers and our design capacities, and we are able to really home in on what actually works for the clients and what doesn’t and tailor the building to suit their needs and their budgets.”

This approach leads to specially-designed, one-of-a-kind projects. “We’ve built a lot of buildings in our existence and none of them have been the same,” Corbeil says. “All of our clients have different requirements and different needs.” This, he adds, is why the company has used the Ironwood building system for thirty-five years. The product’s versatility allows the team to complete “a wide scope of projects using the same system,” he explains. “We can use the same system to provide different results.” What stays the same is the quality and the significant cost savings for the client.

The company uses insulated concrete forms (ICF) in commercial builds and has recently become a SuperForm distributor. “We found their product was better,” Corbeil says. “Our installers liked it better; found it was a stronger product, easier to work with. So when they approached us about distributing for them in Edmonton, we agreed quickly, and we found that it was just a continuation of what we do, [which is] building our clients a quality product at a fair price.”

Another plus is that SuperForm is a local, family-owned manufacturer. “We like the fact that SuperForm is an Alberta company, so the blocks [are] manufactured in Alberta and not brought in from the U.S. or other parts of the country,” he says. “We always try and support local as much as possible, local being Alberta first, Canada second.”

SuperForm offers a wide variety of resilient block configurations and products for residential, commercial, agricultural, and industrial builds. The technology reduces the need for multiple components—concrete, steel reinforcement, insulation, vapour barrier, air barrier, and attachment points—to a single, easy step, saving both time and money. As strong as it is versatile, SuperForm ICFs stand up to extreme weather and boast a three-hour fire rating, making these an ideal choice for a fire-resistant build. In addition, two layers of continuous, 2.5-inch expanded polystyrene panels result in no thermal bridging, creating one of the most energy-efficient options in today’s market. SuperForm ICF offers up to sixty percent energy savings when compared to traditional construction methods.

Superior Buildings & Design has completed a wide variety of significant projects, and Corbeil and his team value every client and opportunity. “We’re really proud of all our projects and all of our clients,” he explains. “Of all our clients, it’s hard to single one out because they’re all the same to us.”

The company has built multiple car dealerships, the most recent being Edson Chrysler in Edson, Alberta, which started in August 2020. The company completed the 22,205-square-foot commercial building in May 2021. The space includes a 9,634-square-foot shop and 2,175 square feet of second-story office space.

Another recent and particularly large project is the Gold Horse Casino in Lloydminster. Prior to that, the company built a new facility for Hydro Scotford in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. The industrial building includes a 34,255-square-foot shop area with forty-foot ceilings. Another Edmonton build includes 34,000 square feet of commercial and industrial space across two floors for Proline Pipe Equipment Inc. In Beaumont, the company built a 10,000 square foot Fountain Tire commercial facility with four service bays.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg after nearly thirty years in business. There are many more notable projects in the company’s history across the agricultural, industrial, commercial, and residential sectors.

The company has several exciting upcoming projects. “Being in design-build, we get involved with clients often time several months before we actually put shovels in the ground,” Corbeil says. The company is “working on a few very nice, large projects that will fit very well with what we’re doing and where we’re going; that accentuate our design-build capacity and our building line that we have and ties our ICF products in as well.”

It will remain particularly focused on ICF. “We’re looking to expand the ICF portion as it is relatively new to the company, but the results, the interest so far has been very promising,” he says. “It’s a great product at a great price, so we feel that that’s going to grow for us.” In addition, the team plans to “get involved with the residential side more so than we have in the past.”

Whatever the project, Superior Buildings & Design is equipped to deliver quality results far into the future. “With Felisha and Cody helping to run the company, I’ve got lots of confidence that they’re going to do a great job when I step back eventually, whenever that is,” he says of his daughter and son-in-law. He is “very happy about that and the direction that they have and the experience that they have.”

This confidence extends to all the employees. “Our employees—not just those two—but all our employees, whether they’re labourers or project managers, they’ve all got that sense of family and quality that’s instilled into them and believe in the same things we believe in, which is always important,” Corbeil says. “It’s the culture that we try to foster here and instil in new employees as they join us.” This culture—along with a solid track record—is sure to carry Superior Buildings & Design far into the future.

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