One hundred years ago, post-First World War Winnipeg was rocked by the great General Strike of 1919, an event that is being commemorated with many articles, documentaries and even a new musical – based on an earlier stage play – that premiered in Winnipeg this summer.
Against that backdrop of labour chaos and instability one company decided to open a new business supplying building products and coal to Winnipeggers and Manitobans. Today, that company – now known as Building Products and Concrete Supply LP – is also celebrating its 100th anniversary.
BP and Concrete Supply is the largest independent producer of ready-mix concrete in Manitoba. Braden Shaw, the company’s sales manager, notes that the company’s customers are primarily located in Winnipeg and the surrounding region.
“We provide concrete products for a full range of uses – including commercial, residential and infrastructure needs. We have been involved in most of the major construction projects in Winnipeg over the years – most recently he True North Square project (a multimillion mixed commercial and residential project in downtown Winnipeg meant to further enhance the downtown area).”
Shaw points out that the company has always been a leader in the field of concrete production and delivery. For example, the company was the first in the province to introduce transit concrete mixers. That was in 1928.
The company was also the first concrete producer in Manitoba to greatly improve the efficiency of its dispatching and delivery by implementing an owner/operator delivery service.
BP and Concrete Supply was also among the first concrete providers to offer self-consolidating and coloured concrete.
Most recently, the company has introduced Polarmatic’s Turbomatic technology which pre-heats and heats aggregates, generates warm dosing water and can quickly melt frozen aggregates. The technology, Shaw points out, allows BP and Concrete Supply to supply concrete throughout the winter months thereby facilitating customer construction projects.
Shaw further points out the company’s commitment to being environmentally responsible. Environmental measures include a clean air and waste-control process, a state-of-the-art Bibko reclaimer machine that recycles unused concrete, and a central dust collection system in each of the company plants.
In addition, recent upgrades to the BP and Concrete Supply yard ensure that all waste-process water drains back into containment ponds so it can be redirected to the reclaimer or used as wash water. A new steam and water heating system imported from Finland runs at 99 per cent efficiency.
The 100th anniversary celebrations have been relatively low-key, Shaw says. “We have had a couple of events for employees, customers, suppliers and their families,” he says. “We are just trying to focus on pushing out to our customers.”