Choosing a good construction contractor is always important, especially when it comes to carrying out work while maintaining functional operations. As you know, construction and food requirements don’t always necessarily “get along well”! Here’s a quick guide to help you find the right general contractor for your construction or renovation project of an agri-food building.

How to choose your general contractor for complex work

Make sure to evaluate each entrepreneur according to these criteria:

  • Compliance to registration;
  • Expertise in agribusiness;
  • Previous experience in similar projects;
  • Financial capacity;
  • References.

Compliance to registration:
Is the Industrial Construction General Contractor a member of the RBQ (Régie du Bâtiment du Québec)? This is essential to ensure an industrial factory renovation is done by government standards.

Expertise in agribusiness:
Do they have any experience in industrial construction projects in the agri-food sector? If so, it is essential that the selected general contractor has a very good knowledge of the standard requirements of the industry (BRC, HACCP, GFSI, SQF, etc.). 

It may seem simple to build an agri-food factory, but there are a lot of details that need to be considered, such as:

  • Choosing methods for laying materials;
  • Preparing the management plan to eliminate cross-contamination;
  • Designing “invisible” elements, such as plant ventilation , underground drainage, floor slopes, etc.

Previous experience in similar projects

An experienced general contractor will be able to properly manage the project and take all the necessary precautions to carry out the work while maintaining operational production activities. In order to successfully reconcile the expansion and/or renovation work without stopping the production line, the general contractor, e.g. Frare & Gallant, must first listen to their client to understand their  specific needs and analyze all possible options before starting a project.

Sound project management will include:

  • Defining the extent of the works as well as the means available for the execution;
  • Exemplary job planning with consideration for the client’s constraints (production operational requirements);
  • Perfect communication of the proposed program, which is adapted to the constraints, to the client’s various stakeholders;
    organized site to control the risks of contamination that may be caused by the work (e.g. defining and isolating the worksite, ensuring negative ventilation of the work area, maintaining the site, the traffic areas and other areas of the plant clean and organized, and ensure business continuity during renovations).

During your research, you will also see that some industrial builders offer services and are specialized in emergency work (24/7). This is a good sign that the general contractor is able to organize work efficiently, even when facing unforeseen circumstances.

Financial capacity
Choosing the right business partner is important, even more so when they need to collaborate with you for a long time and take all necessary means to ensure quality performance. You will understand that carrying out the work according to strict rules and processes is essential to minimize the risks of unintentional interruptions in production or even worse, contamination of the premises!

Do not hesitate to ask your selected contractor to provide you with a list of similar projects carried out as well as references. Do not simply contact their clients to find out their level of satisfaction with the work the contractor has done. Although, their comments will be useful to you, and will possibly reassure you and support your choice!

Finally, choosing the contractor could also include other elements, such as:

  • Their respect for the environment;
  • The ability of the contractor’s team members to find options to reduce the cost of implementation;
  • The project management tools available to the contractor;
  • The contractor’s knowledge of your business and its requirements;
  • The contractor’s ability to reconcile construction and production equipment.

Choosing a general contractor means making sure they meet standards, are as safe as possible, and offer a variety of services to reflect our needs. At Frare & Gallant, general contractor for 40 years, our experience, services and consideration ensure optimal management of your industrial construction project being carried out while meeting the highest standards of the industry.