Aquicon Construction was founded by Mario Aquino in 1986, in Brampton, Ontario. From its origins in 1986, the company’s primary focus was on developing educational facilities for the various local District School Boards. Since then, the company’s portfolio has progressively grown to include an array of facilities spanning Sports and Recreation centres, Educational facilities, Long-Term Care facilities, Administration offices and Operations centres.
At the heart of Aquicon’s methodology is their “Partnering Approach” where trade partners are encouraged to share their project ideas and expertise within their respective fields. This open-forum style of communication allows for identification and resolution of conflicts at the earliest stages of the project. Daniel Aquino, President of Aquicon Construction, explains, “Our approach from day one that set us apart is our Partnering Model. On each project, we bring together a team of experts from the different construction disciplines and strive to bring out the best in each team member by providing a platform for them to offer input and add value to the finished product.” This partnering approach to the business has garnered Aquicon the trust and respect of their clients and peers, and has propelled the company to new heights in successfully delivering projects of increasing size and complexity.
Aquicon Construction has built over 300 structures in Ontario to date and continues to add to their impressive portfolio of projects completed. One notable example being the Vale Health & Wellness Centre, a $32 million state-of-the-art facility for sport, recreation, health, wellness, entertainment and commerce – all under one roof – the first of its kind in the Niagara region. Developed in partnership with the City of Port Colborne and the YMCA, the facility boasts two NHL-sized ice pads, an aquatic centre, triple gymnasia with an all-season jogging track and six outdoor bocce courts amongst other amenities. The facility was developed with a strong emphasis on energy efficiency, subsequently achieving LEED® Gold certification from the Canada Green Building Council in 2013.
After successfully completing their new Student Athletics Centre and Learning Commons project, Niagara College turned to Aquicon as Construction Managers for their new Applied Health Institute. The 90,000 square foot institute features state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories, and provides a new home for all of the College’s applied health programs under one roof. The project was a huge success for Niagara College having been completed on time and under budget, meeting stringent federal funding requirements. From the start of the project, Aquicon took a very hands-on approach providing construction guidance to the design team before the construction drawings were completed.
Another Greater Toronto Area marquee project, Aquicon constructed the Brampton East Library and Community Center which was composed of many unique elements suited to the local community. “There were a lot of new types of construction that were used on that project, a lot of incorporations with steel, wood framing - a lot of exposed wood framing.” explains Aquino. The east façade housed a wave wall system – the first of its kind in Canada designed to reflect the appearance of a wave from the outside of the building.
Expected to be completed this fall, Aquicon is currently working on a new People Mover Bus Maintenance and Storage facility, a $20 million project, for the City of Niagara Falls. Once completed, the new facility will have a tremendous effect on the community as it will provide a service area for the bus transit system for the Niagara Falls community. The 100,000 square foot facility will comfortably accommodate parking for 40 buses inside and 48 buses outside.
Job-site safety is of the utmost importance to Aquicon Construction. “As far as we’re concerned there’s nothing more important than safety. Everything else takes a second seat.” says Aquino. The company makes big investments into the health and safety of its staff, hiring industry experts to train them on leading procedures and methods. All employees are provided training free of charge and are informed of the latest policy and legislation changes that involve health and safety on the job site.
In addition to their own employees, Aquicon Construction stresses the importance of safety for all other trades and consultants working on their projects. Aquino believes it is critical that everyone involved in the field is specifically oriented to the site and aware of the safety procedures before beginning their work.
Standing Apart from the Competition
Aquicon Construction has made a name for itself in the industry by consistently providing quality workmanship to every project. A rarity in the industry, the company has an extremely low turnover rate. The senior staff have been a part of the company for over 20 years and have developed a great range of experience in the process.
“A big thing for me is the strength of our employees, our staff both internal and on site. We are known for our quality workmanship; we focus on a schedule and pay attention to detail, and I think that really comes from the experienced staff we have.” states Aquino.
With exceptional employees and quality performance, Aquicon Construction has developed long standing relationships with its clients, many of which have returned to the company time and time again for additional projects. By maintaining a wide range of clients in various industries, Aquicon is able to stay busy even when certain markets are in a lull.
Aquino explains, “A big factor to our progressive growth over the years has been our ability to diversify our portfolio and undertake different types of construction. Having expanded from mainly school construction many years ago, Aquicon is able to win business in other core sectors that may not be affected by funding slowdowns.”
As the new president of Aquicon Construction, Aquino looks forward to growing the company in this next generation of leadership. He is focused on building the company’s portfolio in Design-Build projects and exploring the viability of public-private-partnerships which are becoming a very popular method of delivery in industry.