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Deere machines are used on many of the EBS Geostructural Inc. installations.
 

A Deep Foundation of Success

Cam Wood was a professional engineer who started a company in the mid-1980s he first called Engineered Basement Solutions. Cam’s primary business consisted of residential foundation waterproofing and conventional underpinning to repair residential foundations.

Then, in the early 1990s, Cam read an article in a construction magazine on Chance Helical Piles and how the system could be used to underpin predominately residential structures that had undergone settlement. The article stated that Chance (the manufacturer of the Helical Piles) would be exhibiting at the “World of Concrete” that year. Cam and another representative from Engineered Basement Solutions travelled to Las Vegas to meet with people from Chance to discuss the use of their product in Canada. It was not long before an agreement between the two companies was reached and in 1994 the first project with Chance Helical Piles in the Kitchener area was completed. That first project was a partial residential underpinning that had experienced differential settlement. The helical pile underpinning project was completed in a fraction of the time and with minimal excavation compared to conventional underpinning. About this same time, professional engineers were hired to work within the company and the name was changed to EBS Engineering and Construction Limited. The work during this time frame consisted of 80% residential underpinning and 20% new construction support.

In early 1998, EBS Engineering and Construction Limited was approached to underpin a portion of a residential eleven-storey high-rise tower located in Richmond Hill. The soil beneath a portion of the footing was undermined by the constant pumping of the aquifer in the area. EBS performed test installations from within the limited access parking garage and load testing to prove that the Chance Helical Pile System would work to support the existing high-rise. EBS successfully underpinned the structure and ushered in a new chapter for the use of high capacity helical piles. For the next 10 years, EBS Engineering and Construction Limited concentrated on the high capacity helical piles to support new and existing structures in the residential, industrial, commercial and institutional sectors of the construction industry. The shift in business over the next decade went to 90% new construction support and 10% residential underpinning.

EBS Engineering and Construction Limited entered into the micropile market in 2008, lead by Jason Bindseil, a project manager at the time and now, VP and General Manager. Micropiles could be used where helical piles could not — such as through natural occurring and man-made obstructions. They could also be embedded two to ten meters into bedrock if required. EBS recruited in-house structural engineers to help the consulting industry design with micropiles and helical piles. Today EBS has three full-time structural engineers helping EBS and the consulting industry with the design of micropile and helical piles. In early 2011, EBS stopped with foundation waterproofing work and focused completely on the deep foundation market in new industrial, commercial and institutional construction. This new sector of work called for another name change to better describe what they do. Because of their ever-growing name recognition, the name was slightly changed to EBS Geostructural Inc. in 2014.

John Deere machines make up 65% of the EBS Geostructural Inc. fleet of excavators and skid steers and are either the key pieces of equipment or a supporting piece of equipment for installations. EBS does not use the machines for what they were primarily designed for — earthmoving. In fact, they do not even own buckets for their machines. The equipment features custom hydraulic setups using auxiliary lines. EBS can be more competitive by using John Deere’s smaller equipment because of Deere’s good hydraulic flow rates which allows them to install larger piles using smaller equipment. And Nortrax has proved to have the best service for their equipment of anyone EBS has dealt with, even performing work on their non-Deere machines. Furthermore, with Nortrax having multiple locations across the province, they’re able to provide EBS with parts and service support wherever their work takes them.

EBS Geostructural Inc. has installed over 15,000 micropiles and over 60,000 helical piles on a combined total of 2500 projects across Ontario, BC, Alberta and the Eastern Canadian provinces. Because of their vast work area, EBS didn’t feel it was necessary to locate in the Greater Toronto Area. Instead, their head office is situated in the Waterloo region of Breslau, Ontario. Their proximity to the Universities (specifically University of Waterloo) gives them access to engineering students to fill co-op roles with the intention of eventually hiring them. The company has grown from just four employees in the late 1990s, to over 50 employees today. They have always prided themselves in making their team members a priority and equate it to the foundation for their success. By putting their team members first, the work and quality naturally follows. The EBS name has been around for over 30 years in one form or another and their business model has evolved to focus on innovative solutions. Today, they are an industry leader in deep foundation construction and provide their customers with a literal foundation to build on through long-standing relationships, trust, ethics, and a safety-focused culture.

 
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