One day full of Isokorb® with Alexvon Christian Witt
When Alex Krenczik called me to invite me to a half day seminar at the German-Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Toronto where he and other high level experts were presenting about their own experience and research results with thermal bridge aspects, I said “sure, I’d love to”, especially because I knew we will be launching the Schöck Isokorb® soon. The seminar was called “Avoiding / Coping with Thermal Bridging”. That was an excellent opportunity for me to meet people from the industry. So I accepted. What I didn’t know at that time was the tight agenda that Alex had prepared for us on that day.
“You can pick me up just before 8am”, he said. All right, no problem. I just have to wake up at 5am in order not to get into the morning traffic jam in Toronto – I thought. I can do it. What I did not expect is that Alex had booked a hotel on the very east end of the city. By the way, Toronto has approx. 3 million people and with the Greater Toronto Area around the City it adds to approx. 7 million. A piece of cake? Well, after 2 hours of driving on the jammed highway and Gardiner Expressway, I arrived 15 minutes after 8am. Good timing. Still, Alex was notably nervous. “Are we going to make it? The seminar starts at 9am”, he said. “Sure” was my answer. And we made it. I delivered him at 9am flat in front of the venue building after another 45 minutes of bumper-to-bumper experience. I parked the car and arrived just a few minutes later to see a full room of attendees. “Wow, this is going to be great”, I said to myself. There were some Architects, Engineers, Government Reps and Developers: the perfect mix.
Alex was first with his presentation. A very good strategy, as we noticed afterwards. Then all four following presentations backed-up in a formidable way what Alex had just presented. Not only it was made clear that thermal bridging is a big concern in Canada, but it was also shown that balconies cannot be disregarded from the equation, as they have a major effect. Numbers like “10%” improvement were confirmed by research.
12:30pm I left the venue to pick up the car, as we had to rush to Pearson Airport. Our flight to Ottawa was at 2:10pm. After the morning experience, I wasn’t sure we would make it. But this time, we had a smooth ride. We arrived at 1:15pm, just in time to check in. With only one little wrap in our stomach, we left Toronto on time. After a very bumpy flight, we finally arrived in Ottawa at 3.15pm. Our next meeting was scheduled for 3:45pm.
In Ottawa we met Kim Menard, Manager Development & Construction with Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC) and some of her colleagues. She had prepared a presentation on the Beaver Barracks project, a 24.5 million CAD$ development with Schöck Isokorbs in all balconies. After her presentation, we had the chance to see the job site from the roof of the neighbour building and from the street level. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to enter the job site as we were not dressed with safety shoes and vests. Safety goes first!
I was very much exited to see the job site, as I was somehow involved from the beginning. I remember Kim’s first call very well. It was end of March 2009. My container had arrived and I was helping the movers bring our furniture into the house. Kim wanted to meet me and discuss about the Isokorb®, ASAP. So I met her the very next day in Ottawa. Since that day she was the major supporter to get the Isokorb® approved for one of her new developments. Thanks to her engagement, Alex sales talent, the unconditional support from Seref Diler’s team in Germany and the support from a local engineering firm based in Toronto, the Isokorb® was finally approved by the City of Ottawa and is being currently installed by AGF Raymond, one of Ottawa’s largest steel rebar suppliers. They will also be installing our ComBAR® for an MTO project soon.
5:30pm, Alex and I finally sit outside of a restaurant and had some food and cold beer. We were starving. But we had to hurry. Our flight back to Toronto was at 8pm. As I said before: tight schedule. No time for relaxing… On our way to the restaurant we found a building, a perfect example why the Isokorb® must be planned from the start. Take a look…
After a slight delay, we arrived in Toronto at 9:30pm. Alex went to his hotel and I drove back to Kitchener. I arrived at home at 10:45pm, demolished, tired, but very happy about the extremely interesting experience. One day full of Isokorb®… I can get used to it. Thanks Alex!
Now I am more convinced than ever, this is just the perfect time to launch the Isokorb® in Canada. Thanks to Alex, Seref and Dieter’s excellent preparation of the market, the foundation is poured and strong enough for us to now start building a “skyscraper” on top of it. I look very forward to working with you guys and get the Isokorb® to be another success story for Schöck Canada Inc. You can count on me!