ICON Industrial Contractors provides mechanical contracting, plumbing, heating services and design build services in Alberta.
This is a company that celebrates its foundation and its strengths, while being a visionary and always looking to the future. The team is cohesive on every level, and the blend of warmth, humour and empowerment that inspires a dedicated team environment is evident in each successful project. The mixture of experience, creativity, calculated risk taking and active problem solving has helped ICON bring some of Edmonton’s most exciting projects to life, including the NAIT Productivity and Innovation Centre and the Gilead Pharmaceuticals Campus.
“ICON was founded by Dave Darichuk after many years at Industrial Power/Newland Contracting,” says Rob Nespliak, P.Eng, President. “He believed there was a better way to deliver high quality mechanical system installations through a focused and streamlined delivery model where the roles of project manager, estimator, procurement and contract administration were performed by the same highly skilled team member from project inception to completion. So, along with Phil Dowler and Tony Langlois, ICON commenced operations in 1997.”
It was the years previously invested in developing relationships that helped ICON begin when they started serving Edmonton and area. Those same relationships are in place and strong today, along with the many new ones they have worked hard to foster. ICON focused on health care and institutional work initially, and as its reputation for successfully performing grew, the team had to grow as well. Field staff were added, and the office team was looking at the future, seeing a need for business continuity as key team members inched closer to retirement.
Nespliak was one of the office team members ICON had been actively seeking. He joined in 2003 as the Operations Manager and further grew the company by adding key team members strategically over the years. In 2011 Nespliak took full ownership of the business and continues to grow the brand in all aspects: the team, the projects ICON takes on and its presence in the community.
Kris Kropp, Vice President has been with ICON since its launch in 1997. Kropp transitioned from the field to the office in 2013. His time in the field provided the hands-on experience he leverages every day to help oversee projects from both the administrative and the construction side.
ICON’s management team also includes John Mryglod, who moved from the field where he ran numerous major projects, to the office in 2019 in the role of Field Operations Manager; and Cody Parent, who joined ICON in 2017, assuming responsibilities in the role of Director of Finance.
“It has been our conscious plan to support and grow our team organically, where possible, and supplement the team externally as needs are determined,” explains Kropp. “ICON started out with three employees and today has over 100 tradespeople in the field. The majority of our employees are long-term with many between 10 and 20 years of service.”
This strategic approach applies not just to building the team but building up the way they work as well. According to Kropp, “ICON commenced working with the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) model in 2017 through our involvement with Edmonton Public Schools on new school projects. It now includes an IPD arrangement with the City of Edmonton to redevelop the original Agricom portion of the EXPO Centre.”
The continued success of the company is due to a number of factors across all departments. Nespliak and Kropp say, “Our wealth of experience in all types of facilities while understanding our clients’ operational needs after we finish our work is just one of the reasons ICON has been successful for 25 years. Additionally, we credit our team. Thanks to our team we are able to take on challenging projects knowing that as a team, we can solve problems as they arise and, in many cases, can proactively address anticipated challenges. Our team’s dedication to workmanship ensures that we turn over projects of high quality.”
They cite a continued dedication to building and maintaining relationships with subcontractors, suppliers and clients and the recent IPD experience as additional driving factors.
As they reflect on the long journey behind them, a few moments stand out.
“It is hard to pick one or two without doing a disservice to so many others over the past 25 years,” admits Nespliak, “but a successful ownership transition in 2011 would be a highlight. Also, pick any of the healthcare projects where we have helped build spaces that saved or improved someone’s life… they would all be in the top five!”
When challenges arise, ICON turns them into opportunities.
“Today’s greatest challenge is the impact of the pandemic on the wellbeing of our employees,” says Kropp. “Market conditions related to material and equipment supply, generally related to the global pandemic, runs a close second. All of our suppliers and subtrades are facing unprecedented global supply pressure and as industry partners we work together to try to minimize the impact to our projects in order to continue seeing the success we have in the past.”
ICON has completed complex projects all over Alberta, including the Edmonton Federal Building, the Gilead Pharmaceutical Campus, numerous operating rooms and ICU projects, MRI and CT diagnostic imaging suites, and campus research facilities.
The Gilead ULC laboratory project included a large sophisticated pharmaceutical research laboratory in east Edmonton. ICON performed phase two of the project, which doubled the size of the research labs. Next they worked on the Gilead’s Process Tower and Maintenance Facility. ICON was involved with the client and project team from inception as a collaborative construction manager.
Kropp explains, “We worked with the design team as mechanical construction manager for these projects spanning four years. These project included a variety of lab grade sanitary systems, stainless welded ductwork and piping systems, and many intricate control systems which were implemented based on our recommendations. The collaboration between ICON, Gilead and the consultant team is still going strong today.”
NAIT’s Productivity and Innovation Centre is another project of note. ICON had the opportunity to construct a number of NAIT’s new buildings over the past 25 years and was privileged to be involved as mechanical construction manager in this fast tracked, $15 million project. ICON was selected to join the project team in January 2017 at the 20 per cent design stage for a new four-storey, 200,000-square-foot teaching and research facility that had to be complete and occupied by April 2018. ICON worked collaboratively with the owner, the construction manager, the project consultant team and trade partners to facilitate a design and construction environment that was conducive to achieving the goals of the project while on a fast tracked schedule. The company’s creative suggestions for developing a multi-trade hanging system resulted in a time saving solution to a challenging installation.
When they are not physically building communities around the province, you’ll find ICON building up communities philanthropically. The company is happy to give back to numerous local causes where they operate, and they give back in a variety of ways (donations, volunteering, partnerships).
Nespliak and Kropp say a big thank you to the team and all the partners they have been fortunate to work with over the years and across a variety of projects. They are particularly grateful to work with Edmonton’s community of general contractors. “Without their support we would not be celebrating this anniversary,” smiles Kropp.
To their many clients, they say, “Thank-you for trusting us to be your mechanical contractor of choice, we will continue to evolve our team to meet the needs of your teams for many years to come.”
What’s next for ICON? Nespliak is happy to share, “We are currently taking time to look back, assess where we’ve come from and are actively reaching out to our markets to see how we are currently perceived, where the opportunities lie, and what we need to work on improving. We are strategically planning our future while sharing our excitement for the great opportunities we see coming our way. We look forward to many more decades of successfully working with the tremendous group of companies and individuals that have supported us in our first 25 years.”
“Edmonton has a ‘Can-Do’ attitude. As obstacles arise, the community comes together to do what it takes to make the city special place to live and work. We look forward to future interactions with industry stakeholders moving forward.”
Kropp and Nespliak conclude, “ICON, as a full service mechanical prime contractor, has had tremendous success as a relationship-focused contractor in the Alberta region. We have excelled at technically challenging projects and developed a reputation for succeeding where others have been challenged. Our motto is ‘we are only as good as our last project,’ and that is the lens through which we view ourselves that keeps us continually improving.”
Learn more about ICON online at iconindustrial.net.
The company is also active on LinkedIn.
12849 141 St NW,
Edmonton, AB T5L 4N1