Trisan General Contractors
Few contractors have the capacity to safely remove a 20-foot concrete balcony from a 37-story high-rise. But by using proprietary engineering, decades of experience and a safety program that exceeds the industry standard, Trisan General Contractors, based in Mississauga, Ontario, has it under control.
Max Santos, company president and owner of several companies under the Maxx North American Group umbrella, has been in the construction industry since his early teens. He established Trisan General Contractors in 2003 — 15 years after launching another construction company that is still in operation.
“I’ve been at work on construction sites since I was 12,” he recounts. “Over the years, I’ve learned many facets of the industry. My father ran a brick laying company and he allowed me to learn. I’ve worked in new housing construction and a number of trades. I’ve discovered I can put those experiences together to meet the needs of my customers.”
Standing apart in the market
Santos’ experience and the knowledge and dedication of his crew serve to reinforce the company’s reputation for quality, efficient and safe work in a high-risk sector of the construction market. From three locations in southern Ontario, the business serves clients with commercial, institutional and residential high-rise properties who rely on Trisan General Contractors for performance.
The company has the ability to contribute to complex projects in ways that go beyond labor and logistics. “Often when engineers on our projects are working through a project and can’t figure out one aspect or another, they turn to us and we can offer them a reasonable solution,” says Santos. “I have the personal ability to help troubleshoot.” That ability comes through years of experience in working with complex high-rise projects and taking an innovative approach to complicated site challenges.
For example, Santos and his team utilize proprietary rig equipment on-site. “We have specialized equipment that a lot of other companies have been trying to nail down over the years,” he notes. “Many of the older buildings, erected around the ‘70s, were constructed with concrete railings instead of the aluminum ones you see more commonly today. We can remove those balconies, often as large as 20 feet, in one piece using our specialized rig equipment. We’re moving 5,000 pounds at a time from as high as the 37th floor. We engineered and built that equipment ourselves and a lot of people want the design.”
While much of the company’s portfolio is comprised of work high off the ground, the business works on the ground and goes deep too, with underground parking garage work. “Right now we’re on a big project for one of the largest commercial landlords in the Greater Toronto Area,” Santos adds. “That’s a shopping centre plaza. We also just started the first phase of an underground garage project where we are doing 146,000 square feet of paving, repairs and waterproofing, which is another nice job.”
Safe operations and steady growth
Operations outside of the office are supported by the company’s internal policies and programs. Because Trisan General Contractors is involved in a range of complex projects — from several stories underground up to double-digit high-rises — safety and organization are paramount.
“Everybody has to take heights training plus others such as swing stage safety,” Santos explains. “There are all kinds of programs for our kind of business that are required by law to have anyway, but we try to improve upon those as well.”
Safety is an ongoing investment for the business, in terms of both keeping personnel trained with up-to-date best practices and equipment. “We own mast climber platforms while many contractors are still using swing stages that hang off a building with two cables,” adds Santos. “The machines we have are like an elevator that extends from 20 to 100 feet and takes you wherever you want to go. We’ve invested a lot of money in that equipment, but it is much safer and speeds up work as well. The cost is offset by production.”
These investments continue to pay off; Santos says that most of his work comes through a number of long-term customers who seek his team out when it is time to overhaul a building or parking structure. “We’re at the point where we don’t have to look for work, it just comes,” he says. “Many of our clients have been working with us for 15 to 20 years and we have never had to put a lien on a construction job.”
With a loyal customer base and a reliable team, the business is growing. Santos is planning to move the company’s headquarters to a larger location within the next few years, which will make room for Trisan General Contractors’ specialized equipment, experienced staff and sustainable business structure to provide even more qualified, safe restoration work throughout the Greater Toronto Area.