Bigger & Better: B & B Demolition Smashes the Competition
Bill Knight at the Canadian Tire in Leduc AB job site.
What began as a desire to provide a superior service become a company that improves the community in many different ways. By Nerissa McNaughton
t’s a tale of mystery, intrigue and revenge. A rise from the ashes (OK, basement) to untold heights. It’s a story of the underdog that seized an opportunity to become a force to be reckoned with. Actually, it’s the tale of B&B Demolition, but trust me – it’s just as interesting as any Hollywood blockbuster. Scene one takes place on December 14, 1999. The holiday season brings no joy for Bill Knight. His job with an Edmon-
ton demolition company has just been terminated. But Knight knew the Edmonton marketplace needed a reliable demolition contractor capable of providing superior service, and he wasn’t about to let the good people of Edmonton down. One day later, on December 15, 1999, Knight opened B&B Demolition with a vision of outstanding customer service and community involvement. In December 2000, Knight’s former place of employment went out of business – but B&B was going strong.
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“Each demolition project is unique, be it interior or structural, and each needs to be approached as such.” ~ Bill Knight Scene two. The company is on the move. The 83 square foot office in the basement of Knight’s home cannot contain the rapidly growing business. A variety of offices in the west end of Edmonton followed, but growth came so fast they had to keep moving to acquire bigger and better spaces. Equipment, trucks and office staff finally found home at 12800-153 Street NW. From this 21,000 square foot location they focus primarily on Edmonton, but service all of central Alberta and occasionally, parts of Saskatchewan. Just how did B&B Demolition demolish their competition and find overwhelming success in such a short period of time? To learn how, let’s peek behind the scenes. “Each demolition project is unique, be it interior or structural, and each needs to be approached as such,” explained Knight of his careful and thoughtful approach to each job. “Buildings and spaces can be renovated many times before we walk on sites, and accurate drawings are rarely kept, meaning that we have to be very strategic in planning each project.” The company is designed to tear things down, but there are moments on the job that are downright uplifting, as Knight points out. “B&B works closely with a variety of insurance adjusters and disaster recovery specialists to help families and building owners start the rebuild process after a fire or flood. Any kind of insurance project starts with the client calling their insurance company. The insurance company then looks at the job and checks to see if the client is covered, which most of the time they are. At that time, they contact a general contractor or disaster recovery team, and they contact us to take a look at the scope of the demolition. These jobs are typically quite large, and often require us to work extremely carefully as the structure has already been damaged. Because some of the structural integrity is gone, our excavator operators have to work with extreme care to make sure the rest of the building comes down cleanly. For projects in apartment blocks, we often have to carefully demolish each unit and sort out things that look like they may be valuable from the rubble. Tenants are extremely happy when we find anything of value, and we’re happy to take the extra few minutes
Canadian Tire to find something that could mean the world to someone who has just lost their home.” B&B’s work puts them in close contact with some of Edmonton’s most interesting historical structures. “Historical demolition projects require massive amounts of preparation, as these projects typically are in buildings that are very old and have very little information regarding renovations,” says Knight. “As a result, B&B team members have to do a lot of investigation and preparation for all kinds of unexpected challenges. At the end of the day, you can plan all you want, but on historical demo projects you’re going to run into something unexpected, which is why you need to have a strong team with good communication skills and contingency plans.” Historical demolitions that Knight’s strong team has been involved in include, Jasper Block, Telus Phone Exchange Building, and LeMarchand Mansion. Other notable B&B demolitions include West Edmonton Mall (where they average nine projects a month), Sturgeon Hospital, Jasper Place Library, Edmonton International Airport, three Target stores, Telus World of Science, Delta Hotel, Mayfield Hotel and the Clairview Community Rec Centre. Now it’s time to meet the supporting cast. B&B owns and operates a variety of equipment, including seven excavators of various sizes with different buckets and hammers that can be used
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Congratulations B & B Demolition Ltd. on 15 years of business. Wishing you continued success. We are very happy to have been your partner during your many years of growth. Edmonton • Calgary 1-866-535-5376 firstname.lastname@example.org • www.kellerdenali.com
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Interior Demo at West Edmonton Mall for anything from demolishing a building to cleaning up rubble in an interior space. The company also owns five skid steers with grapples and clean up buckets, as well as hammers that can remove concrete garage pads and driveways. A small skid steer at 32 inches is used for interior and small exterior spaces. A fleet of aerial and scissor lifts allows B&B to strip ceilings, bulkheads and bricks off of walls. B&B has two battery operated
Congrats B & B Demolition on 15 years!
floor scrapers that can be used to strip linoleum, tile, hardwood, and carpet. These machines are quiet enough to work in active hospitals. B&B also has a fleet of five smart cars and five trucks of various sizes that are often seen throughout the city. Using big equipment to take down large buildings sounds like a dream job, but for the ownership and staff of B&B, it’s also an opportunity to give back. B&B aims to return 10 per cent of their annual revenue to the community and they do this by supporting a variety of programs and services. “We have no particular focus or social problem that we want to solve, we simply give where we see the greatest need,” Knight explains. “Some involvements are longer than others. B&B has been a proud supporter of the Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree for the past four years, and has donated 2 per cent of revenue each year to Youth Empowerment & Support Services (YESS) for the past five years. The community gives us the tools we need to succeed; it’s important to pay it back in any way possible.” In addition to B&B giving back to the community, the company is proud of how each individual team member volunteers their time. Walks for causes such as autism and breast cancer, bike-a-thons for children’s cancer, and long-term coaching commitments are common around the B&B office. “B&B supports the community financially, but their investment in the
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We are a proud partner of B&B DemoliƟon. CongratulaƟons on your 15th Anniversary! www.lloydsadd.com
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Using big equipment to take down large buildings sounds like a dream job, but for the ownership and staff of B&B, it’s also an opportunity to give back. B&B aims to return 10 per cent of their annual revenue to the community and they do this by supporting a variety of programs and services. people in the organization trickles down into the community and ultimately improves the health of the city as a whole,” said Knight with pride. “It’s very important that B&B not only give back to the community through charitable donations, but also to invest in individuals,” Knight continues. “B&B takes great pride in helping their team members succeed and grow, which is a key reason why so many staff have stayed for more than 10 years.” B&B is locally owned and some of the field employees have been with Knight since the company originated in his basement. For B&B, community accountability includes environmental responsibly. Their efforts to be eco-friendly in the office and field earned them the City of Edmonton Small Business Eco Challenge Award in 2012 and 2013. They protect the environment in every way possible, from shutting off lights, recycling in the lunch room, choosing smart cars for company vehicles, supplying the staff with locally grown fruit, recycling as much demolition material as possible, properly disposing of goods such
as refrigerators and washing machines and partnering with local recycling companies to remove fixtures (doors, windows, lockers, bathtubs, cash registers, clothing racks, millwork, etc.) prior to demolition. They have attained recycle rates as high as 85 per cent on some projects. B&B could have just been a story about a man determined to show his former boss he was wrong to let him go, but the story of B&B is so much more than that. Knight always knew there was a bigger and better way to supply Edmonton’s demolition needs and that’s why being fired didn’t stop him. Instead, it inspired him. Once he got started, he never looked back. “The reason that B&B operates each and every day is to make Edmonton a better place, concludes Knight. “Demolition is used as a tool to help people, but ultimately demolition allows B&B to give people meaningful employment, and allows those people to then invest in their communities.” The city, the employees, and the environment have benefited under the vision of a man that was determined to do demolition
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Your Demolition: What You Should Know • Contact a B&B team member to come to the site and see what can be recycled. • You need a valid demolition permit from the City of Edmonton. • Have an asbestos check completed by a professional inspector. • Prior to your demolition, ensure your gas and electricity are disconnected. • During a B&B project, you may watch the operator in action. You can take photos and videos. Just remain a safe distance away and speak to the operator beforehand. • B&B organizes all the bins and waste disposal required for each job. • B&B leaves each site clean and ready for the next phase of development. • B&B is insured and carries WCB coverage.
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Congratulations B & B Demolition on your 15th!
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the right way. Knight set out to build something bigger and better; and he did. That’s why he named the company B&B – bigger and better – Demolition. But wait! It isn’t over yet. There is a sequel. B&B plans to duplicate the business into new locations in Canada. Relying on the core commitment of customer service and community involvement, B&B plans to use their successful business model to enrich new markets. Sounds intriguing. Stay tuned.
B&B Demolition Ltd 12800-153 Street NW, Edmonton AB (780)452-0354 • http://bbdemo.com
Congratulations to the team at B & B Demolition! Wishing you many years of continued sucess!
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