Canadian builders are increasingly interested in Atlanta’s booming residential construction opportunities, said Virginia Rand-Hill, marketing manager with the Quebec Trade Office here.

Ms. Rand-Hill organized a pavilion of six Quebec-based companies at the Southern Building Show held at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, June 10-11.

The show exhibited products from more that 400 companies and welcomed more than 4,000 visitors who included architects, residential builders, contractors, distributors and retailers from all over Georgia, as well as Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The Quebec Trade Office, which has participated in the show for the past seven years, offered the only international representation at the building show.

“Atlanta is one of the top markets in the whole country for residential construction,” Ms. Rand-Hill said. “Quebec, which is strong in building-material production, is aware of the boom happening here.”

In 2004, Atlanta had the second most residential construction projects in the United States, some 1,000 projects behind Phoenix, Ariz., which secured the No. 1 spot, according to a recent report by the National Association of Home Builders.

The Atlanta area is also appealing because it gives Quebec companies access to the southeastern market – a smaller, more specific market compared to the entire United States – which is helpful to first-time exporters, Ms. Rand-Hill said.

One Quebec company, ICForm Inc., a division of Polyform Foam Plastics Inc. that sells insulated concrete under the brand name Nudura, found the Southeast so favorable a market that it chose Columbus, Ga., for the future site of its only American manufacturing subsidiary.

Nudura President Patrick Timony, who participated in the building show, noted that Georgia’s geographic location between Quebec and some of the company’s target markets in the Southeast, as well as Columbus’ access to trucking companies, made the state ideal for transportation considerations. The subsidiary is expected to open by the end of the summer.

Other Quebec participants in the building show included Energen Industries Ltd. that produces instant water heaters; Illustra Inc., a manufacturer of software for three-dimensional renderings of house plans; Primatech, which produces pneumatic nailers and other tools for the installation of hardwood floors; Renouveau Millwork Inc. that customizes storage units for closets and vanities and Verre Select that produces decorative glass for windows and doors created by the Montreal artist, Patrice Lamy.

Nine other building-materials companies from Quebec were in Atlanta at the same time, although they did not participate in the show. They met with local builders, consultants and distributors on a visit organized by Quebec export-assistance offices Laval Technopole and Laurentides International and the Canadian Consulate and Quebec Trade Office in Atlanta.

For more information about the Quebec companies that visited Atlanta, contact Ms. Rand-Hill at (404) 815-4979 ext. 1. Or visit them on the Web at;;;; and