Seventy years ago, the world may have looked quite different from today, but what has remained consistent is a need for quality products to provide shelter and protection from the elements. That’s what drove IKO founder Isidore Koschitzky to go into business in 1951, and it’s what drives the company today as it celebrates its 70th anniversary.
Still family-owned and -operated, IKO is a pioneer and leader in the roofing, waterproofing and insulation products industries. Its asphalt shingles, low-slope roofing membranes and numerous other offerings can be found on buildings here in North America, as well as around the world. But it all started with a single product.
IKO’s roots date back to 1951 when it started producing building paper in a single plant in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Shortly thereafter, the product lineup was expanded to include coated roll roofing. Asphalt shingles followed in 1954, a decision that led to considerable growth and opportunities that continue to this day.
Expanding beyond Western Canada, IKO opened a shingle manufacturing plant in Brampton, Ontario, in 1959. Growth continued into the 1970s and 80s as the company added more facilities in Canada, entered Europe and launched an expansion into the U.S. market. Today, the company operates more than 35 manufacturing plants, employing over 3,500 workers in Canada, the United States and Europe to deliver its industry-leading residential and commercial products to the roofing, waterproofing and insulation trades.
In its ongoing efforts to make the highest quality products using the best processes, IKO continues to build and retrofit its manufacturing plants. Over the past decade, IKO has invested more into its manufacturing infrastructure than all of its competitors combined. The company’s 15 plants in North America represent more than 2 million square feet of operational excellence, serving customers in the United States and Canada, and also exporting product around the globe.
To position IKO as a consistent and reliable source of the highest quality products, the company has put a focus on vertically integrating much of its supply chain. This control of its raw materials helps ensure that only the best ingredients are used to make IKO products, producing building materials with a consistency and quality that are unrivaled in the industry.
By using top-quality materials and focusing on quality control in its processes, including continuously testing against “Gold Standard” samples during production, IKO is able to manufacture materials with an unparalleled degree of precision. Whether creating roofing products or waterproofing and insulation materials, IKO’s high standards continue to raise the bar in the building materials industry.
The desire for ever-better performance is not isolated to manufacturing, however. It permeates throughout the company. Embracing a long-term vision in its decision-making framework, IKO is committed to providing enduring and substantial products that stand up to the rigors of the most demanding expectations: those of its customers.
Since 1951, IKO has been steadfast in its desire to find ways to improve its business, for the benefit of all. This drive for constant evaluation and evolution is a promise and vision introduced 70 years ago, and it is a pledge that continues to drive us today. As we take the next steps on the path to our next 70 years, our systems, processes, products and people will continue to lead the industry, illustrating that IKO is, indeed, roofing elevated.