By Robertson Building Systems
PondView Estate Winery is a small family-owned winery located in the heart of Niagara’s wine country in the prestigious Four Mile Creek Sub-Appellation. Since 1974, the beautifully maintained winery has been operated by Lou and Adriana Puglisi, buoyed by a three-generation legacy of grape growing. As a testament to Lou’s dedication and commitment to winemaking excellence, he was awarded the title of “Grape King” in 2008 by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture.
In fall 2020, the winery owners called upon Metal Building Services Ltd. (MBSL), a Canadian-owned company providing a complete line of pre-engineered metal building solutions for today’s construction marketplace, to construct a new 4,000-square-foot storage facility at the winery. MBSL turned to longtime partner Robertson Building Systems for the structure’s steel frame, as well as metal roof and wall panels, to construct the building. In conjunction with a patented foundation system trademarked ECONO-SLAB, not only did the building go up in less than three weeks, but the use of the two complementary building systems allowed MBSL to provide its client with quality work at significant cost savings.
As an authorized Robertson builder, MBSL owner Graeme Bradley knows first-hand the value of working with Robertson Building Systems in terms of both quality and service, particularly on projects that also incorporate the patented ECONO-SLAB Foundation System. Graeme says, “The Robertson pre-engineered building worked extremely well in tandem with ECONO-SLAB for this solution to give the customer just what they were looking for.”
The client’s goal was to build a durable, attractive 4,000-square-foot storage space that would aesthetically complement the other buildings on the beautiful 50-acre grape farm property. As with all customers, they wanted to do it as inexpensively as possible while maintaining the integrity of the facility to house its prized product line. Graeme explains his confidence in using Robertson’s pre-engineered metal building system and ancillary products to meet these project goals, noting, “Robertson’s buildings are very competitive and, of course, the quality exceeds any of the less expensive options.”
He adds, “The way that my company made this even more attractive to the client was with the integration of the ECONO-SLAB system. We can typically save a client about 50 percent of the cost of the foundation when compared to conventional frost wall designs, as well as save them untold amounts of time because we can do a foundation system, set it up, and pour it within a couple of days, whereas with a conventional foundation, you’re looking at two to three weeks.”
MBSL is also able to install the foundation without trenching, giving them the ability to float the pre-engineered metal building on a 5” or 6” slab—a 5” slab in this case. Graeme provides additional details, noting that the project took place on ancient lands and so anytime you have to excavate or dig, there needs to be an archeological survey to ensure that ancient relics are not disturbed. He says, “Putting a building up with a conventional frost wall foundation would have presented big problems, huge time delays, and massive expense, whereas we were able to simply scrape off the organic material, compact the gravel and set up the foundation. We eliminated all of those issues for them and mitigated those potential problems, setting the stage for erecting the Robertson building in the most efficient manner.”
Regarding the importance of the overall ease of installation for this project, Graeme quips that there are two seasons in Canada: “We have construction and winter. Anything you can do to save time, especially when it comes to late summer, early fall building adds incredible value. In this case, I believe we saved them more than two weeks’ time by using the ECONO-SLAB foundation in conjunction with the Robertson system. The entire project, from setting up the foundation, getting it poured and finished, and erecting the building, took approximately three weeks.”
Beyond these logistical concerns, and the money-saving aspect of the patented foundation, it also made it easier for the Robertson pre-engineered metal building system to be installed. Graeme explains, “We use anchor bolt templates with the ECONO-SLAB system that are made per the Robertson building drawings. We were able to put anchor bolt templates on the foundation form, and then preset the required anchors so that they’re in perfect position. When we pour the foundation, there is no need to put any control joints, allowing for a much smoother surface to work on in order to erect the Robertson building.”
Graeme was confident he could provide the winery owners with a top-quality Robertson system complete with industry-leading warranties for all of its workmanship and paint, as well as competitive pricing. Additional considerations included aesthetics: For this project, they used PBR roof and wall panels with a Galvalume Plus finish for the roof panels and Polar White for the wall panels so as to match the colors (Polar White with Koko Brown trim) used previously for wall and roof cladding and walk doors on the other buildings residing on the property.
High-quality service, too, and ease of ordering, helped MBSL easily navigate all aspects of this special project, from start to finish. The order initially went through their district manager and the building was designed in Robertson Building Systems’ ExpressPlus® program, in which buildings are designed and manufactured under quality standard CAN/CSA-A660 in IAS AC472 accredited facilities to ensure integrity and durability.
The plans were then reviewed again by the district manager. Once it was confirmed that everything was designed according to plan, it was released into the Robertson shop, where the building was fabricated and shipped out to the site.
Graeme adds, “The support that I get from our Robertson sales team, including the technical support, and tracking when it comes to shipping and getting materials on site—all of those things play a huge part in our continuing to be a Robertson builder. Ultimately, we were able to save the PondView Estate Winery a lot of time and money while exceeding all their project goals.”