Innovative Interior Systems: Wall and Ceiling Systems Specialists

Rick Fournier founded Innovative Interior Systems (IIS) in 1997 with the help of two associates. The company has grown significantly since the early days, as IIS started small, offering a range of wall and ceiling system solutions to residential and commercial customers. Rick has since bought out his partners’ shares and is the sole owner of the business today.

While IIS has been in business for 16 years, Rick has accumulated decades of experience in the field. “I have been working in the interior systems trade since I was 17,” he says. With many years of experience in the industry, Rick was determined to strike out on his own.

Today, IIS is a leading wall and ceiling systems contractor located in Edmonton, Alberta. “Our company’s main focus is on projects in Edmonton and surrounding area,” says Rick. “Over the years IIS has also completed numerous projects throughout Alberta. We specialize in load-bearing structural steel stud wall panels, composite floor systems, light-gauge steel stud framing, complete drywall finishes and various specialty ceiling applications.”

With the expert help of Rick’s son, Frank Fournier, CET and chief estimator for IIS, as well as Jeremy Strauss, project coordinator and field supervisor for IIS, the company continues to flourish. The IIS team employs an average between 60 and 70 people year-round, including a solid core of trade specialists and administrative staff.

“My belief about running a successful business is that your company is only as good as the people who work for you,” Rick says. “As a tradesman on the tools for 20 years myself, I have a lot of respect for the people who work for me.”

Full-service Solutions

IIS offers a wide range of services to fully finish any size residential, commercial, institutional or industrial project. IIS is a major player in the ISM (interior systems mechanic) trade industry. Utilizing technology and high-end equipment, IIS offers accuracy and quality in installation for layout and framing. IIS’ wall and ceiling specialists share desirable qualities, including experience, education and access to a vast arsenal of information, products and materials.

Small or large, IIS has the capabilities to serve a range of clients. The team tackles various projects, including small retail outlets, large multiunit residential and large commercial and industrial projects. IIS’ infinite experience, expertise and solid core team of professionals allow the company to take on numerous projects with minimal or no difficulty.

One of the team’s most notable recent projects was a complex interior endeavor with two buildings completed at the same time at St. Joseph’s Seminary and Newman College. Both facilities are located on the same property in Edmonton houses and educate Catholic clergymen. For St. Joseph’s Seminary and Newman College, IIS installed almost all aspects of the ISM trade. “Structural work included load-bearing exterior and interior wall panels, composite floor system and a joist stud roof system,” says Rick. “All exterior walls were sheeted with an AVM air/vapour/membrane sheathing to keep out the elements. Interior work included intricate light-gauge framing, drywall, Venetian and acoustic plaster finishes and various specialty ceilings. The seminary’s piece de resistance, the main chapel, showcases an intricate elliptical Star Silent acoustic soundboard plaster ceiling; the curved walls were also constructed with Star Silent sound board acoustic plaster, all of which were designed for exceptional acoustics. Another stunning feature in the chapel is the segments of stained glass.”

IIS worked inside and out of both facilities, utilizing several unique technologies to offer a clean, durable finish all-around. The result is a unique space, offering peace and silent grandeur to students, spiritual leaders and visitors alike. For this project Northwest Wall & Ceiling Bureau awarded IIS the 2011 Outstanding Project of the Year recognition.

Continued Growth

Rick has established a solid core team of about 45 professionals, all of whom have worked for IIS for a long time. IIS’ team is experienced and educated in the ISM systems and installation; the crews work together, building relationships and a continued reputation for quality, allowing IIS to hold its own in the market.

“We set ourselves apart by staying dependable and aggressive,” says Rick. “Prices are very competitive, so it’s important for us to bid well and sustain long-term employment for all of our staff.”

To maintain its edge, IIS relies on strong relationships with suppliers and valued clients. Satisfied customers, referrals and longstanding relationships ensure that products are accessible and affordable. For the foreseeable future, Rick’s main goal for IIS is aggressive growth and solid improvement.

“Every year we try and out-do the previous year,” Rick explains. “The Alberta economy is fairly stable year after year compared to other provinces and were not hit as hard as other places during the recession. For the last few years, we’ve managed to stay very busy.”

As the business continues to grow, the team puts forth a relentless focus on safety, innovation and expertise. Additionally, IIS is COR-certified and ensures all employees are working safely, as each member of the staff accepts personal and team responsibility for safety.

Cameron Trace, IIS’ safety officer, warrants all employees are regularly trained on new standards and techniques to improve work conditions and avoid costly downtime. The end-result is a quality finished project delivered on time with minimal unforeseen issues.

With decades of experience, IIS is prepared to offer a wide range of wall and ceiling construction services to clients in various business sectors. Rick and his team are always seeking out the best in new technology and practices to deliver top performance and quality projects for clients and contractors. The business offers a unique set of capabilities to provide unmatched quality and service. Innovative Interior Systems will continue to grow as a leader in the construction market.