Designing and constructing a modern high-end auto dealership


STAFF WRITER – The GTA Construction Report

Audi Barrie’s new dealership in Innisfil brings state-of-the art design to enhance the high-end automotive shopping experience.

The Dilawri Group owned project has the usual features you would expect in an automobile dealership, including showroom, service and office areas, all designed to current standards and expectations.

(Information in this article is based on direct interviews, a street view site visit by associate publisher Jason Chase and the architect’s published specifications.)

Toronto based architect R.H. Carter Associates Inc. has a strong reputation and much experience in auto dealerships.

“The firm is an industry leading brand design and implementation specialist and brings three decades of specialized automotive national retail design experience to its clients along with their use of state of the art architectural design software and database management systems,” the practice says on its website. “The practice excels at developing real on-site design solutions while preserving corporate brand and design standards.”

“The firm’s nine licensed architects, along with 31 project and program managers, technologists, CAD operators and IT staff share a commitment to design excellence and a commitment to providing the highest level of customer service.”

The architect posted the specifications in November 2014 as a fixed bid tender. The dealership has reported that construction commenced in March 2015.

Other consultants listed by the architect in the 416-page specifications document include:

– Soils engineer: Soils Engineers Ltd., Toronto;

– Structural engineer: Brenik Engineering Inc., Concord;

– Electrical engineer: e-Lumen International, Vaughan;

– Landscape architect: Stybos King Barron Landscape Architect, Mississauga;

– Service equipment: Garage Supply Contracting Inc., Orillia; – Mechanical engineer: Mat 4Site Engineers Ltd., Toronto;

– Sprinkler design: Applied Fire Technology Inc., Concord; and – Site grading and services: EMC Group Limited; Vaughan.

Grizzly Door Systems installed the overhead doors and operators.

Ryan Brown, general manager of Grizzly Door Systems says most of the doors and operators were manufactured by Milton- based Upwardor Inc. “The Upwardor Inc. AL-976 and Thermalex (TX450) model doors, paired with the PowAirDor pneumatic operator represents one of the standard design specifications for car dealership designs in Canada.”

He said the doors’ modern design, along with the pneumatic system’s speed, has made the products extremely popular in the car dealership industry.

Grizzly also installed a Butzbach door. This German manufactured stacking door has been installed in the new vehicle delivery room, which also features a light cloud (a fabric light in the ceiling). Raising the glass stackable door, clients will be able to drive out with their new purchase.

Brown says, while every project has unexpected changes or challenges, the work here went according to plan. “We have experience with Audi dealerships, along with other automotive brands, throughout the GTA and Southwest Ontario.”

He says because Upwardor Inc. products are installed at dealerships throughout Canada and the U.S., Grizzly can draw on additional experience and support.

He says his business seeks to provide trade specific knowledge and sound installation processes, benefitting both the general contractor and end user. “We strive for continual site visits and constant communication to ensure a smooth completion of the project.”

“Working with key suppliers like Upwardor Inc. and others, we are always looking to improve our skills and our product offering to ensure we continue to offer our clients the best possible solutions,” Brown said.