As the construction industry navigates the complex challenges of growing infrastructure demands and labour shortages, digital transformation is no longer optional – it’s essential. Many companies are exploring ways to embrace this digital shift, but Pomerleau, one of the largest construction managers in Canada, stands out for its proactive approach to innovation. Rather than simply adapting to new technologies, Pomerleau is actively integrating innovation into its culture to develop an innovation mindset and cocreate the best tools for its teams and partners.
What does innovation in the construction industry look like? Picture construction projects as a blank canvas with unique challenges and requirements. The role of project teams is much like that of artists – employing creativity to find tailored solutions and deliver projects that meet high expectations of clients and communities. While creativity and innovation have always been woven into the fabric of construction, Pomerleau elevates them into a cultural mindset that transcends mere problem-solving.
Cultivating innovation as a mindset
In a move that distinguishes it from many in the industry, Pomerleau unveiled PX3 in 2019, its dedicated in-house training centre, to support its teams in a personalized way as they evolve, a rather unique element for a construction company. Designed to offer personalized development pathways for its teams, PX3 underlines the company’s commitment to professional growth and innovation. Beyond training, Pomerleau engages its employees in process improvement initiatives, co-creating solutions with team members to enhance productivity and minimize tasks that offer low value.
Taking its commitment to innovation a step further, Pomerleau launched AXLAB in 2021. Created in collaboration with La Factry, school of creativity, this innovation laboratory serves as a crucible for creativity. AXLAB aims to assemble all the elements necessary to ignite the creative sparks of its employees, providing a dedicated space for the development of groundbreaking solutions. By fostering a culture that values both training and practical innovation, Pomerleau is creating a more efficient and inspired work environment.
Unleashing team potential through innovation
Pomerleau was one of the industry’s early adopters of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in Canada, and it’s taken that pioneering work further by collaborating with experts from the video game industry. This partnership has elevated the realism and interactivity of construction models, enriching the experience for both planners and end users. Now, the company is taking another innovative leap by integrating Geographic Information Systems (GIS) into its approach.
GIS is a framework for gathering, managing, and analyzing location-based data. When combined with BIM, it offers a comprehensive understanding of a project’s physical and locational dimensions. This synergy allows teams on the worksite to make data-driven decisions with spatial context, leading to improved resource allocation, more effective planning, and reduced errors. As customer expectations evolve toward greater productivity and sustainability, Pomerleau uses this multi-dimensional approach not just to meet demands but to maximize team potential, harness talent, and problem-solve in a holistic manner.
Pomerleau stands out in a fast-evolving industry by making innovation a core part of its culture and operations. From unique training programs like PX3, to creative incubators like AXLAB, the company has shown a forward-thinking approach. By pioneering the use of BIM and integrating GIS technology, Pomerleau isn’t just adapting to change; it’s shaping it. As the company continues its innovative journey, it sets a new standard for efficiency, productivity, and sustainability in Canadian construction.