The market for curtainwall is on the rise in North America, and a band of longtime industry members have come together to help curb the demand.

Jim Mitchell, former president of Gamma Window & Walls, has joined industry veterans Bob Chafee, formerly of Antamex International (a company now part of Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope®); Elliot Kracko, formally of Gamma; and Ed Ruzic, formerly of Antamex, along with Christopher Liberta of Ontario-based State Window Corp., to form Integro Building Systems.

Integro, which includes other investors, as well, will design, manufacture and install curtainwall systems in the United States and Canada.

Integro purchased a manufacturing facility in Florida, which is currently operational and will be at full capacity this summer.
Integro purchased a manufacturing facility in Florida, which is currently operational and will be at full capacity this summer.

The new company was formed in early March when the shareholders purchased the former Alumiglass facility in Boynton Beach, Fla. Mitchell left Gamma at the end of March and did some consulting work with Integro before joining as president and CEO May 11.

During his consulting work, Mitchell says there clearly was a strong demand for curtainwall companies, particularly in the Northeast, but also throughout the country. “I don’t think it’s any secret that the top four or five curtainwall companies are booked solid with work,” he says.

Additionally, Mitchell says now that the market is improved, developers are much more comfortable investing more money in buying product domestically as opposed to purchasing off shore.

Integro plans to have a strong presence in in the Northeast, targeting the New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., markets, among others. Mitchell says the company will do work in Canada, including the Toronto area, as well as British Columbia and Alberta.

“Obviously, we’ll be looking at the Florida market,” says Mitchell, noting the proximity of its manufacturing facility. “And we’ll be looking at opportunities through relationships in the Southwest, mainly California.”

On some projects the company may only serve as the supplier, while on others it will provide installation services, depending on the circumstance.

Integro’s Florida plant is currently operational and will gear up to full operation in July/August of this year, when its first major project goes into production. It does, however, have a couple smaller jobs in Florida on the map, as it is working to resurrect some projects that were left by the previous owners of the Alumiglass facility.

Alumiglass was owned by a South American company but had been winding down its business and selling off its assets in the United States prior to selling the facility and equipment to Integro.

Mitchell says the facility is “top-notch” and has been running for 15 years. “We did some updating of equipment, but aside from that, it’s ready to go,” he says.

Currently, Integro has retained 10 employees from the former operation—a combination of administrative, sales and plant workers. Former Alumiglass employee Mike Thomas, for example, will be overseeing facility operations. Jaques Godin will oversee plant and manufacturing operations at the Florida location.

The corporate headquarters will be in Toronto, which will house the administrative group, as well as the design and engineering aspect of the business. The group, which combines for well over 100 years of experience, includes Mitchell as the company’s president and CEO, with Ruzic its chief financial officer. Kracko, Chafee and Liberta are directors of the company.

Integro projects its current office staff of 12 will grow to about 25 people this year, and it plans to employ 40-60 people at the Florida facility by this fall. Integro also plans to up assembly operations in Vancouver and will do the same in the Toronto area as the company expands in the future.