Expocrete, an Oldcastle company
Since 1979, Expocrete, an Oldcastle company, has been a trusted name and market leader in concrete hardscape, masonry, hollow-core and precast products and solutions. With corporate headquarters in Edmonton, Alberta, Expocrete covers nearly all markets in western Canada. Today, Expocrete continues a tradition of fine craftsmanship and quality products that look timeless and enhance the value of any project — commercial or residential.
The company’s diverse product offering covers a range of paving stones, stack stones, retaining walls, concrete slabs, cornerstones, concrete drainage pipes, precast manholes, hollow-core flooring, wet cast products and specialty precast. Expocrete serves a number of customers, including general contractors, architects, engineering firms and the general homeowner, through retail distribution channels and independent dealers.
Covering extensive territory
Expocrete has recently been acquired by Oldcastle Inc., the North American arm of Ireland-based CRH. “Expocrete was purchased by Oldcastle about two years ago,” says Jay Frederickson, president of Expocrete. “Now under Oldcastle we have a plant in Acheson, Richmond, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and two in Saskatoon and the ability to ship all across western Canada. No other company has this ability in and footprint in concrete products in Canada. The acquisition also connected us to more customers and vendors and improved our purchasing power of raw materials such as cement.”
Originally from Phoenix, Frederickson has long-running ties to Oldcastle, having started his career with Superlite, another Oldcastle company, in 1978. “I started out working on the plant floor and over the course of many years, I advanced through a number of positions from maintenance supervisor to site manager, operations manager, vice president of operations, general manager, chief operating officer and finally, president,” he says. “I’ve been with Oldcastle for 37 years.”
Ideal outdoor living
Today, Expocrete has more than 230 employees spanning western Canada. The company designs, manufacturers and maintains an inventory of hardscape concrete products, including paving stones, walkway slabs, yardscapes and landscape retaining walls and garden walls. “Our home center line is the focal point of business,” says Frederickson. “We offer a complete line of patio products and we serve many large-scale retailers such as Home Depot, Lowe’s and Rona.”
One of Expocrete’s newly added lines through Oldcastle is Belgard Elements. “This is a high-end line with a lifetime warranty on all stones,” says Frederickson. The Belgard Elements hardscape line includes outdoor fireplaces and ovens — everything to make for the ultimate outdoor cooking experience.
To refine the look of an outdoor living space, Expocrete offers a durable line of concrete pavers, paving stones, slabs and roadway pavers and accessories all available in a variety of hues and textures. The Belgravia Architectural slab line is a standout product line ideal for pedestrian pavement surfaces. The slabs are as durable as they are beautiful, making them a good option for residential, commercial and municipal applications such as walkways, patios and pool decks.
On the commercial-industrial side, where durability is the biggest concern, Expocrete delivers a complete line of precast products — septic tanks, cisterns, holding tanks, manholes, parking curbs, reinforced concrete pipes, jersey barriers and prestressed hollow-core flooring. “We have a lot of product going into the new NHL Oilers stadium called Rogers Place,” says Frederickson. “This is a high-profile project and we’re very excited to be involved.”
Expocrete has also provided products to many school projects throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba in the last year. “There’s a lot of schools going up in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba; I think we have at least 11 school projects going right now,” adds Frederickson.
Frederickson says Expocrete is deeply involved in its industry. “We work with designers and architects to see how we can make improvements and we’re involved in the various masonry organizations in Alberta and Manitoba,” he says. “It’s all part of an effort to ensure products are up to code and high-quality standards.”
The biggest hurdle Frederickson says the company faces is labor shortages. “We’re having a harder time attracting young people into this trade,” he says. “It’s particularly tough in Alberta, where the oil companies are competing for labor. It’s hard to find a quality workforce because it takes time to understand the products and equipment and how to put it all together effectively on the job.”
Frederickson says Expocrete offers its employees great benefits and a quality working environment. “We make a conscious effort to ensure people enjoy coming to work and that they go home safe,” he says. “We’re very focused on safety and because of that, we have a great safety record. That’s what stands out about us most – our commitment to safety, quality products and second-to-none customer service.”
With all of these pieces to the puzzle and the support of Oldcastle, Expocrete remains a leader in concrete hardscape, masonry, hollow core and precast products and solutions in western Canada.