A commercial industrial facility underway for Tilemaster in Aurora, Ont. will feature a new ventilated tile system that will represent a North American first.
"It has a new system that is a ventilated tile system that comes from Italy. It's going to be the first of its kind here in Canada and it's being showcased on this building," explained John Antunes, a director of design at Cambria Design Build, the general contractor on the project.
"They're four-by-eight foot tiles that are fastened to the exterior envelope. We're implementing it here and Ton (Holten, the owner of Tilemaster) and his company will be promoting it here in North America. It's unique and it ties into the nature of the business of the client, the end user."
The new system by Florim Solutions is "essentially a porous system so rain goes through it so the actual blue skin of the building is behind the tile," added Brett Reid, vice-president of sales and marketing with Cambria. "It's prominently used in Europe, mostly in Italy and Germany."
Ground was recently broken on the new facility, a 110,000-square-foot distribution facility on a nine-acre site on Eric T Smith Way. It will feature 100,000 square feet of warehouse space and 10,000 feet of office space. Cambria is eager to get shovels in the ground as soon as possible.
"We were involved in the project from the initial design conception stages with the client and worked through all the various challenges with the Town (of Aurora) to bring it to this stage where we're going to break ground for the first time," said Spencer Lavis, president of Cambria Design Build.
The design process has been going on for the past nine months and Cambria is proposing an eight-month schedule to have the building substantially complete. They have been working closely with the Town of Aurora to get the plans approved.
"There is some greenspace that abuts the property so that created some difficulty with regards to conservation requirements but we were able to get past them," said Reid.
"Designed with a future expansion at the back, the facility has an oversized shipping port, a weigh-in scale and security gate. At the front of the building it is a ventilated tile facade because our client owns a company called Tilemaster and that's what they do."
So far, it has been a straightforward design-build process, said Antunes.
"Especially with a growing business like Ton Holten's, there are a lot of logistics to make sure that the building meets the requirements and growing needs for the North America-wide operation that he has," he said. "We are eager to get to construction."
Cambria has been around for 20 years. Its design-build division has really been growing in the past three years, he added.
"It's one of the areas we're really promoting and growing to meet the needs," said Antunes, adding more and more people are getting away from malls and ordering online which increases the need for warehouse space.
Tilemaster imports ceramic tiles from all over the world and has three locations in Ontario — Barrie, Kitchener and another one in Aurora. They also have a facility in Quebec City.
"We decided to expand our operation in Aurora," said Holten.
"Our current facility doesn't have the space anymore. We picked this spot here because there is still room to grow in the future."
It's also close to the highway which will help the company grow its transportation division in the future, he added.