When the BESIDE media team announced their innovative project to build 75 eco-responsible cottages in a pristine forest in Chertsey, Lanaudière, they knew they would need partners with the same values. It is one of the reasons why BESIDE Habitat decided to work with general contractor Janson Construction. Their excellent reputation as a builder of personalized houses in Lanaudière made them a partner of choice to realize this project. With the help of their Merlo P40.17 telehandler purchased from Manulift, Janson is building incredible cabins while having a positive ecological impact!

The BESIDE Habitat project

The BESIDE Habitat Lanaudière project, once completed in 2024, will include 75 private but rental cottages, 25 autonomous pods, a music studio, two libraries, a common pavilion and a workshop, in addition to cultural programming. As a result, this project aims to bring people closer to nature, to conserve the land in the best possible way. Just a quick look around, and you quickly realize how idyllic the location really is.

“To be bioclimatic, you had to face the sun, not the street. Each of the 75 sites has been designed according to the topography of each plot, which measures between 2 and 6.5 acres,” said Kim Pariseau, architect and founder of the firm Appareil Architecture, in La Presse. At the moment, 12 houses are already built and open for rent. In February of this winter, there will be 18 completed.

The expertise of Janson Construction

It was essential for BESIDE to work with a company in the Lanaudière region. For Janson, this is the largest contract in the company’s history, and to make the project a success, they have quadrupled their teams. Working in a restrictive environment, they needed the most compact, reliable and versatile machinery. That’s why they count on their Merlo P40.17! They’ve enjoyed it so much that they decided to buy a second one a year later! Their telehandlers have become an integral part of their operations.

“We’re in the woods, so there’s not a lot of space. The lateral Side-Shift was a big reason why we chose the Merlo versus the others. This function changes everything for us. You don’t have to move for a little maneuver, a side move, and it’s done. Other benefits like the swivel basket and Quick-Attach are very important to us,” said Émile Janson of Janson Construction.

Therefore, the compact design of the Merlo machines allows them to work on any job site. With their precision and versatility, Janson can easily perform any task on such customized projects.

“You can’t compare these modern cottages to normal homes. A BESIDE frame will take three times as long to climb. We had to decide whether to buy another machine or hire two or three more workers. The calculation was simple. There are large 500 lb windows on these cottages. I’ve seen workers try to mount this without a machine, but with the Merlo, it takes a third of the time.” Émile tells us. Once Project BESIDE is complete, Janson plans to keep their two telehandlers to keep up with their new pace and build even more custom cabins than before!

“Merlo really makes a difference in our efficiency. The vision when you drive the machine, all the controls, all the electronics, everything makes it okay.”

A lasting partnership!

“The list of positives at Janson is endless. I have been working in architecture and construction for 10 years, and I have very rarely met such honest, respectful and attentive people. It is a good breath of fresh air to work with them. We have had an excellent relationship since the beginning of the project. If you’ve had the same name for 25, 30 years, it’s because you’re doing it right, and honestly, without them, we wouldn’t be able to do this,” said Stéphane Bélanger, project manager at BESIDE Habitat.

The ultimate goal of BESIDE Habitat is to convert 500 million square feet into a nature reserve by 2030. With partners like Janson, this is an achievable goal!

To learn more about BESIDE Habitat, click here!
To learn more about Janson Construction, click here!