Special to Ontario Construction News
When Nicole McArthur heard that 3M had come out with a new construction product, 3M™ Air and Vapour Barrier 3015, she knew it was a market she wanted to inject herself into. It would take another four years in the Industrial Adhesives and Tapes Division before the opportunity for her to join Construction Markets would become a reality, and she jumped at the opportunity.
Four years later Nicole shares her passion for 3015 with just about anyone who will listen. “3015 is my favourite product from 3M, and not just because I sell it!” says McArthur. 3015 offers solutions to builders for their Air/Vapour Barrier (AVB).
First and foremost she explains, “You can forget about primer on your job site. No more worrying about frozen buckets of primer, or kicking a bucket of primer over on the job site….you just peel and stick!” It sounds too easy, explains McArthur as she smiles, “So that’s the best part of my job. I love going to different job sites and demonstrating the quick application topped with the aggressive adhesion.”
There’s no doubt in my mind that seeing is believing with this product. That’s just the beginning of the benefits. With winter months approaching she knows that her busiest season is upon her.
The 3015 product family also allows for application temperatures down to -18oC, “And you still don’t need a primer!” she explains. Most competitors have a bitumen based adhesive which doesn’t handle well in the cold, it can be brittle and challenging. 3015 is an acrylic adhesive which allows for a strong, stable bond from 66oC down to -18oC.
Neither cold nor the heat affects this membrane and Nicole has admitted to installing the product in -20 degree weather on a cold snowy day in Kingston. “It was freezing, my hands were freezing but we worked all morning until the installers and I had completed the first section of columns.” It was cold but so rewarding to see the product bond so well to the concrete columns in that cold weather.
When asked what she feels is the greatest feature of this product? There is no hesitation in her response that, “Our product rarely requires a primer and is compatible with many substrates and mastics which allows for faster installation.” She continues, “I get great satisfaction from showing contractors their labour savings; going from a two step system to a simple peel and stick.” Its rewarding when you’re on site and the contractor is saying, “WOW, you weren’t kidding!” She then smiles from ear to ear; I’ve done my job today. (insert another laugh)
3015 AVB has only been on the market for 12 years. It can be challenging against the competition because they’re so heavily embedded in the construction market as well as the architectural side of things. This is why demonstrating the advantages of this product is so important for Nicole. It was tough during Covid because Nicole couldn’t get to job sites and had to rely on Teams and Zoom to provide demo’s to contractors, but she did it.
She grew the product line with her passion for the product but the people she states is what makes this job incredibly rewarding for her, “I find the construction industry a marvel. I think people underestimate how complex the construction world is. You don’t just have to speak to an architect but there is a PM, CM, Site super, purchaser, engineer, installer. It is the most complex sale I’ve had to make in my life. Having said that, I wouldn’t change it for the world!”
She feels proud to present a product that is safe for the environment. Most competitive products require a primer that contains Volatile Organic Compounds. (VOCs). If you can eliminate the primer, you eliminate a source of VOCs on the job-site). “If I can make it easier for my contractors to do their job, I feel like I win and so do they!”
Finally, Nicole tells us she loves the construction market so much that she joined the Barrie Construction Association in hopes of meeting people who could use her product. What she realized she explains is that, “It’s about the people you meet, not the product. It’s about the passion I have for my product that leads me to the growth of this product line.”
She loves the market so much that she joined Women in Construction in 2019 and this year she is Co-Chair of Women in Construction, a group she hopes all women in administrative roles, labourers and skilled trades will consider joining. “WiC is the most passionate group I’ve belonged to. We are so supportive of one another, and sharing our experiences and our stories. It’s an inclusive group, and we want all women to feel comfortable and supported.”