Breck Scaffold Solutions: Always Going Above and Beyond

Royan Stewart founded Breck Scaffold Solutions (BSS) in 2002 to provide clients with highly specialized scaffold solutions. The company’s industry experience and focus on safety ensures clients benefit from a scaffold installation that allows crews to carefully, cost-effectively complete each job.

Stewart founded the company to build something of his own and he managed to land his first contract almost by accident. “I’d like to say I planned to start this company in 2002 because I saw the boom coming to Saskatchewan, but the truth is we’ve just gotten really lucky,” admits Stewart, who remains president of BSS. The story goes that Stewart and a handful of employees were in the midst of unloading a semi-truck load of equipment and materials, even though the company didn’t technically have a space of its own yet, and an engineer inquired what was going on.

“It turned out he needed 200 feet of scaffolding for two belt conveyors down at Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan’s Cory facility, and that scaffolding is still there,” says Stewart proudly. It was then that BSS was born. Today, the company’s headquarters are located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, with a secondary branch in Ontario, though BSS will travel as far as needed to lend a hand.

The BSS difference doesn’t stop there. Stewart has never allowed himself to forget that opportunities don’t always fall into place and that every project counts, which is why the company has continued to field requests for scaffolding on any size job. BSS primarily works with companies in heavy industries like potash mining, but the company’s technical expertise also makes it a good candidate for historical preservation work, structural rehabilitation work and even the rare small residential job.

Starting Small

“Many of our largest contracts are the result of us being contracted for smaller jobs that the bigger scaffolding companies weren’t always looking at, but we make it a point not to say no to any job,” asserts Stewart. BSS employed over 240 professionals at peak demand, though that number has fallen to 187 as of 2012.

No matter the number, BSS employees bring an unparalleled level of expertise and comprehensive understanding of various scaffolding systems. The talent enables the company to devise custom scaffolding solutions that are tailored to the specific job and site requirements. BSS can provide straightforward installation and maintenance services to system scaffolds or tube and clamp scaffold systems, or the company can develop a system that combines both.

BSS devised a combination system to facilitate repairs to the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon, which became the first church in North America to make use of photovoltaic cells in its stained glass windows. Construction on the cathedral wrapped up in late 2011, but within a few months some of the windows had cracked while others were failing. Eventually, the dioceses called in the big guns to save the stained glass.

“This was one of the most interesting scaffolding systems I’ve ever seen,” admits Stewart. “We installed a big mesh platform to protect visitors from any falling glass and we also built and engineered a scaffold for the spire and its almost-vertical roof pitch.” The building’s winding structure required extra consideration, as did the spire’s height given the area’s windy conditions. BSS reinforced its scaffold solution to maximize stability.

Succeeding Together

Time and time again BSS proves that there are few, if any, challenges its combined resources can’t overcome. The company maintains local contacts in each of its markets to ensure stable and timely supply of materials, and local labor is brought on when possible. More often than not, though, the remote location of BSS’ work requires crews to be flown in regularly. “I’d say 90 percent of our work is for the potash industry, so naturally we’re working in places with huge labor shortages, but our crews make it work,” adds Stewart.

BSS celebrates 10 years in 2012, and even though it has slowed down from its peak of activity, the company has plenty of momentum to keep it going in the next few years. BSS will ramp up its activities with the coming expansions at Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan’s Allan, Cory and Rocanville plants, which represents a $1.6 billion investment to expand combine production by 2.7 million tonnes. BSS will also begin work in spring 2013 at the uranium mine at Lake McClean, Saskatchewan – operated by AREVA Resources Canada, which is the Canadian arm of its French multinational parent company Areva SA.

“I admit I have always been kind of paranoid about growing too fast, because when you pick up good employees you want to keep them around, and I believe I have the best employees,” states Stewart.

Stewart might attribute BSS’ early success to luck, but luck alone couldn’t have fueled the company’s growth over the past decade. The Breck Scaffold Solutions team will celebrate the upcoming anniversary by giving thanks to one another for a decade of hard work, innovation and the determination to see one another succeed.