Mike Picco founded PICCO Engineering in 1992, starting off as the only employee and focusing on local structural engineering. Now, the Concord-based company employs almost 40 people and has gained international recognition, winning awards and branching into two more sectors: natural stone cladding and residential engineering for low-rise and mid-rise structures.
Servicing three major sectors
PICCO Engineering began with structural engineering, and they remain industry experts to this day, particularly in stone, masonry, steel, concrete and timber. They are able to complete full structural engineering projects for new buildings as well renovations and miscellaneous projects across North America and the world. By keeping up to date with top-of-the-line technology, PICCO Engineering is able to offer innovative, cost-effective services that are always building code compliant and constructed to meet the highest standards.
The company is also world renowned for their expertise in the natural stone industry. Their services include stone cladding and consulting, which may involve assisting with design, selecting materials, sourcing, reporting and more. Their drafting technologists produce high-quality shop drawings and tickets for projects around the globe.
“We’re very proud as a Canadian company to be at the forefront in the natural stone niche of our business, providing consulting, drawing and engineering services for many high-profile projects,” says Picco, Founder and company President.
Most of the GTA’s major builders, such as Paradise, Rosehaven, Lindvest and Menkes have also worked with PICCO Engineering for the quick turnaround of their residential engineering services. They are known for efficiency, but the company makes it a point to never compromise the quality of their work.
A substantial growth phase
When Picco founded the company, he used his background in natural stone cladding, working with marble, limestone and granite, and grew that niche along with other sectors. Nowadays, PICCO Engineering is working to keep up with demand in each of these sectors.
“We are presently in a very substantial growth phase. Our current client base is getting quite busy, particularly in the U.S., and we’ve reached out and expanded that client base. We’re focused on growing each one of our sectors,” says Picco.
For example, Picco points out that in the natural stone sector, PICCO Engineering has had the privilege of working on several exceptional international projects, including working as engineering consultants for a United Nations memorial called the “Ark of Return,” located at the U.N. Headquarters in New York City.
“Recently we completed a memorial for the U.N. in New York. It’s in memory of the victims of slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. It’s a permanent memorial that will be on display at the podium at the United Nations. We were quite involved with the engineering and we all took great pride in our contribution, which was unveiled in April,” Picco elaborates.
PICCO Engineering is also presently involved in the engineering of a new residential college at the prestigious Yale University, contributing shop drawings, fabrication tickets and connections. Moreover, PICCO Engineering also aided with the drawing and engineering of a modern artistic interpretation of the statue of David. The statue is on display from May to September of this year in Florence, Italy.
Another major client for the year is the National Music Centre in Calgary, Alberta. PICCO Engineering is responsible for the interior and exterior engineering and shop drawings for the light gauge steel.
Clients’ needs come first
PICCO Engineering was founded on the principle of putting clients’ needs ahead of the company’s own interests, and as it has grown over the years, this core value remains with the company and will continue to be a priority well into the future as the company expands. PICCO Engineering is committed to providing value-engineering, which involves researching and calculating cost-effective yet high-quality solutions for their clients. This collaborative approach has allowed PICCO Engineering to develop long-term relationships with satisfied customers.
“One of our main goals is to focus on client needs and put those ahead of everything else. We focus on understanding our clients and what their needs are, making sure we deliver. That’s been the primary goal in building our business. Along with that is building solid client relationships, and becoming partners with our clients or an extension of their company, focusing on their success. We’ll continue, as we grow, to keep that a primary focus,” says Picco.
Picco further expands on the work ethic that is integral to putting the clients’ best interests first and foremost, which involves focusing on processes within the office, consistently delivering top-quality drawings and making sure that the company offers the best service, so that clients’ expectations are always met or exceeded. However, what this entails differs from client to client. For example, home builders require a priority of speedy delivery moreso than other customers.
“We service a big part of the residential home builders’ market in the Greater Toronto Area. In the local market for residential engineering, quick turnaround and scheduling is always a primary focus, so with keeping the client’s needs first, this is one of the areas we ocus on for this particular market,” Picco explains.
Promoting sustainable engineering practices
Whether by improving production efficiency, manufacturing techniques or by specifying local products, the principal of sustainability is entrenched into all of PICCO Engineering’s undertakings. In fact, Picco notes that the entire industry is forward-thinking when it comes to prioritizing resource conservation.
“The natural stone business in general is really focused on sustainability. The stone itself is a sustainable product as it is a very long lasting building material. The manufacturing techniques and processes we use are always improving to reduce or re-utilize waste, to reduce energy consumption and to recycle water,” says Picco.
With that in mind, Picco acknowledges that embracing newer, greener technology is crucial to remaining an industry leader and ensuring the future success of the engineering industry in general. For instance, as supporters of LEED certified construction, PICCO Engineering was proud to have worked with Epcor, a company once listed among Canada’s top 10 earth-friendly employers. PICCO Engineering worked on the tower at the Epcor Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, which is a LEED certified building.
In over 20 years of business, PICCO Engineering has earned a solid reputation around the world for their dedication to green initiatives and the best interests of the customers as well as the industry as a whole. As they grow, PICCO Engineering will continue to provide high-quality solutions with efficiency, integrity, value and impeccable customer service.
Published by the Canadian Business Journal