Construction Global magazine - June 2017

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Ju ne 2017

TOP 10







Microsoft HOLOLENS What’s next?


HELLO AND WELCOME to the June edition of Construction Global. The cover this month features an exclusive interview with World Green Building Council CEO Terri Willis regarding its Advanced Net Zero Project. Willis discusses the significance of the project, the World Green Building Council’s role in empowering councils to become emboldened to embed vital practise to reduce carbon emissions within buildings and its challenges, but also how it is essential for not only construction companies, but public and private bodies to work together within such an important project. Also included is our feature surrounding an update on the Microsoft HoloLens. Following on from our previous feature in January, we look at how the technology is continuing to prove advantageous within the construction industry. Also included is our top 10 green buildings, which are providing a number of benefits to areas which have increased air pollution and high density populations. We sincerely hope you enjoy the issue, and as always, please tweet your feedback to @ConstructionGL

Enjoy the issue! Catherine Rowell Editor


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We spoke with World Building Council CEO Terri Wills regarding the Advancing Net Zero Project, which is empowering green building councils to reduce their carbon emissions through the implementation of net zero buildings ESTABLISHED IN 2002, the World Green Building Council (WGBC) is behind some of the most innovative and forward-thinking projects in the world. Uniting over 70 green building councils, CEO Terri Wills is spearheading the delivery of the Advancing Net Zero Project, with the long-term goal for new and existing buildings to become net zero. Resulting from the COP21 in 2015, the WGBC supports green building councils by employing a number of strategies and providing vital collaboration and guidance to ensure the delivery of a complex, long-term objective. Wills’ passion and ambition to drive the project to fruition is clear. “My role involves really galvanising the green building movement, to inspire councils and support them through setting our key goals for the movement - but find effective ways of leveraging the power of the collective network

to really achieve those goals,” she explains. With three main objectives, the WGBC serves to strengthen and empower each green building council and support them in the delivery of net zero buildings. “Right now, about a third of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from buildings,” adds Wills. “If we’re going to reduce emissions enough to keep us within two degrees, we’ve got to combat these issues within buildings.” With the long-term goal for new buildings to become net zero by 2030, the membership organisation has stressed that no new buildings should be built below these standards by 2030, with existing buildings reaching this goal by 2050. This is in response to research from the International Energy Agency, which has suggested that traditional construction methods would contribute to six degrees of global warming, alongside the growth of property and real estate, resulting in 9

PROFILE increased emissions. Wills comments: “We set ourselves a goal at COP 21 to reduce 84 gigatons of global emissions, which is essentially the difference between achieving a six-degree scenario or a two-degree scenario. In order to reduce those emissions, we have to have net zero buildings.” Training professionals in the construction of net zero buildings will consequently become a major factor in driving this project forward. With plans to train approximately 75,000 workers by 2030 and 300,000 by 2050, the organisation is starting with certifications. Eleven green building councils are presently developing such certifications which will set standards for the market, in addition to engaging in pilot projects that will aim to achieve these standards. Wills explains that such developments will ultimately create a catalyst for future action worldwide: “Once you have a number of buildings that are proving that net zero is possible, it becomes easier. People know how to do it; the business case is proven and you have examples.” Perception challenges Representing various countries 10

June 2017


globally presents a number of logistical challenges; however, a larger issue to contend with is the perception of net zero buildings, which is a challenge for most companies to engage with. With the historic focus on net zero energy in the industry, many companies now view the idea of utilising zero energy in a building to be impossible. However, what the WGBC aim to do is highlight that they are ultimately focussed on net zero carbon buildings which incorporate deep energy efficiency, with any remaining energy used originating from renewable sources. The organisation also commonly views challenges related to government policy, where there is an awareness of government apprehension from a national, state,

provincial and city level. Wills explains: “we’re trying to break down this misconception with certifications, and to say it’s being done around the world, and for governments to be emboldened to regulate and legislate on this.” Nonetheless, the issues around cost are also common challenges, with net zero buildings presently costing more than traditional builds. However, Wills adds, “the more that green buildings are rolled out country by country, the cost premium comes down and the value of those properties goes up. We believe the same market trend will happen with net zero buildings, which will bring down costs. Council independence Despite a collective goal within net zero buildings, individual green building councils still retain their independence


PROFILE in sourcing suitable solutions to reduce emissions in other areas, such as transportation. “Transportation emissions won’t be factored in, but on a district scale they will be,” explains Wills. “Many green building councils certify and instruct their communities and define the area of a community, and transportation definitely factors in.” The area is complex, as councils continually seek to figure out the source of transportation emissions - whether increased emissions are around individuals driving into the community, or whether it is individuals who are driving out. Furthermore, some councils look at existing infrastructures which surround buildings, but there are ongoing

With Arc, LEEDcertified buildings can benchmark against themselves and other similar buildings locally and globally


June 2017

concerns as to where a line is drawn beyond the building, also linking with offsets. Whilst Australia currently states that offsets are permitted but they must be in Australia only and not another country, the Netherlands is defining its offsets between 10km of a building site. “As that discussion develops, it will be interesting to see how transportations are factored in. Ideally, it would be, but sometimes the methodology with this is really challenging,” concludes Wills. Building competition With this independence, alongside guidance and support from the WGBC, the aim to achieve net zero buildings will consequently become a competitive sphere, which will prove advantageous.


The use of connected systems, building information systems and connectable smart meters will allow companies to monitor their carbon. One such example is ARC, which is in development in the US and described by the Green Building Certification Inc (GBCI) as a “state of the art platform that will allow any building to participate and immediately start measuring performance, make improvements and benchmark against itself”. Linking with LEED, ARC will also will able to be utilised for other certifications, such as green star and BREEAM, and effectively support companies who want to look at energy usage, carbon, water usage and waste. The platform will also allow users to benchmark against local averages. The technology will further increase this competitive edge. Wills adds: “I used to work with the Clinton Climate Initiative and was involved in the Empire State Building retrofit. Tony Malcolm, the previous owner of the building used to speak of the Prius Effect. When people first get a Prius, they become obsessed with saving and preserving fuel and battery life. Tenants also became obsessed with how much they were using, so we’re hoping for the same with net 13

PROFILE zero and even beyond net zero.” Strength in collaboration Collaboration throughout the project is imperative to its success. With common misconceptions amongst government apprehension, organisations commonly work in silos, something of which the WGBC seeks to overcome to drive partnerships with the public and private sector in cities. Whilst mayors in cities may say they want to make a commitment around net zero, but are concerned about the reaction of the private sector, the private sector solely want certainty from governments, and want to know what the policies are going to be so they are aware of the definitions, with assurance that they will not be amended. With both parties wishing to support, Wills explains that it is vital these partnerships are implemented, at which the organisation works to enable companies which are part of green building councils, green councils working with cities and governments to sit in a room and figure ways to achieve this same goal. Further collaboration can be seen through the WGBC’s involvement with the Global Alliance for Buildings in 14

June 2017

Construction in order to reduce global warming to two degrees. Uniting over 20 countries, the alliance is working with the French government to build on this ambition, adopt net zero policies and the introduction of National Determined Contributions (NDC). Resulting from the Paris Agreement, every country has voluntarily given an NDC, where they will reduce a specific level of emissions by 2050. However, Wills explains that the WGBC is now aiming to encourage countries to go a step further and create a buildings NDC, where they will commit an emissions reduction by 2050 through buildings. “This will allow countries to become more specific in their targets and enable the WGBC to work with them and set strong targets in relation to buildings and build strong policies and regulations,” adds Wills. Vancouver is one such city adopting great leadership, where the Mayor and Deputy Mayor were awarded the World GBC Chairman’s Award in 2016. “They have a net zero policy in place where no buildings should be built below net zero standard by 2030, so we’re encouraging more cities and governments to come forward,” Wills adds.


Vancouver has a policy where no buildings should be built below net zero standard by 2030




Successful partnerships In order to scale up their operations, the WGBC works with several partners who provide technical expertise and financial support in order to drive efficiencies. Architecture 2030 has become the organisations lead partner, and has been advocating net zero energy buildings prior to the launch of the project. Led by architect Edward Mazria, who is equally passionate about raising awareness of net zero buildings, he informed Wills that time is running out for the industry to reduce emissions from buildings. Wills thoughtfully admits “it was a 16

June 2017

really important conversation for me, because I realised the responsibility that we have in driving this movement. He was our inspiration, but he also has a lot of technical expertise and supported us in writing a draft a report, which will be coming out shortly.” Other partners for the project include Blackstone Ranch, Integral Group, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Climate Works, who were all selected based on their strong leadership and interest in reducing climate emissions and ambition to combat climate change. Other corporate partners, such as insulation company Rockwool Group have market interests in achieving


deep energy efficiency, whilst Integral Group is undertaking engineering work in net zero energy builds. Australian property developer Lendlease is also supporting the project, which links with their climate positive initiative, which goes beyond net zero. Whilst Lendlease are renowned for adopting social and environmentally committed practises, the developer also aims to be one of the greenest, implementing high standards in achieving a reduction in carbon emissions. “They want to work with us to make sure that this is where the market goes,” adds Wills. “They’re demonstrating leadership and would like others to follow. They really share our mission of scaling net zero.” Vision for the future Representing so many different partners, organisations, councils and individuals is something which Wills clearly values within her role. She explains: “I love our model of the global and the local, where we can look up and see what the big trends are and see where we need to go. But we also work with amazing individuals that are on the grounds in their countries and understand

the social, political, cultural, and climatic conditions of their country.” Nonetheless, she is only too aware that the organisation has to be cautious with their ambitions. She explains: “We want to introduce a carbon budget ourselves, but we shouldn’t be flying all around the world. We should have a mechanism and a structure which allows us to avoid those emissions from travel, so that’s a big challenge.” To this effect, the organisation is set to launch a regional structure, where five regional managers are set to be appointed, allowing it to be present at all functions and provide vital support for councils. The regional manager for Asia pacific has recently been appointed, and regional managers and representatives in the Middle East, the Americas and Africa, will also be appointed, ensuring the WGBC will be able to scale up, deliver and support green building councils to increase their ambitions, scale and reach worldwide, influencing other companies, councils, and organisations worldwide, making a key difference and providing solutions for a greener, energy efficient future.


Microsoft HoloLens: What’s next? We take a look at how the HoloLens has progressed since the start of this year W r i t t e n b y : C AT H E R I N E R O W E L L

All images used with permission from Microsoft



TECHNOLOGY SINCE ITS LAUNCH in 2016, Microsoft HoloLens has provided an increased awareness of augmented and mixed reality, where the technology is now available in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, France, Germany, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States. With aims to ship the technology to China, the Microsoft HoloLens has been rapidly growing in popularity and significance, setting a precedent and a subsequent rise in competition within a multitude of industries, with over 150 mixed reality apps available in Windows Store and increasing number of competitors within the technological sphere. Uitlising Windows 10, the holographic computer is just over a year old, but has been viewed as revolutionary,


June 2017

especially within construction and design. Developed and refined to enable the development of innovative and exciting projects, builds are now delivered ahead of schedule, on budget and at reduced cost. We spoke with Microsoft to see how the HoloLens continues to drive support worldwide. What’s been happening? Enabling users to interact with holograms, which is blended with real world content, Greg Sullivan, Director at Microsoft explains: “We’ve been on a decade-long journey to make computing more personal, and this is a logical extension of that path. We went from punch cards, to character based interfaces, to graphical interface, touch, voice, pen and gestures. Bringing


computing into the 3-dimensional world that humans have always existed in is the next step in making computing truly more personal.” We previously featured the Microsoft HoloLens and spoke with Aviad Almagor, Director of the Mixed Reality Programme at Trimble, who has been utilising the HoloLens to interact with design data more intuitively. Since the start of this year, the HoloLens has come on in leaps and bounds, supporting Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operations (AECO)

professionals in undertaking high quality operations and bringing 3D models to life. Such developments have increased collaboration worldwide and enabled users to explore designs in 3D without expert guidance. This echoes Almagor’s previous statement, “Mixed Reality brings 3D data to life and puts information in the user’s hands without the need to change or adjust the data format.” Microsoft’s SketchUp Viewer was launched at the end of last year, the first commercial HoloLens application to 21


support professionals undertaking 3D modelling. Lorraine Bardeen, General Manager of Microsoft HoloLens and Windows Experiences explains that the application “allows people to create improved collaboration and a better understanding of designs in real scale, empowering companies to be more innovative and efficient”. Such developments have also led to the establishment of a number of pilot projects aimed at delivering time and cost benefits to construction projects. The establishment of 22

June 2017

Automated Progress Monitoring has enabled the reduction of repetitive manual work, where information can now be viewed and stored digitally via a centralised system, providing the ability for cross-referencing and the documentation of vital information. This concept has been highly effective in areas such as bridge maintenance, where Microsoft has also developed Automated Bridge Damage Protection. Bardeen explains: “High-resolution images can be taken by local teams and sent to


“We’ve been on a decade-long journey to make computing more personal” – Greg Sullivan, Director at Microsoft

inspection engineers, where these are automatically mapped onto 3D models of the respective bridge. Structural engineers can then review the integrity of a bridge in mixed reality using HoloLens, making recommendations for repairs or other preventative measures.” This process increases the safety levels of bridges, reduces potential disruption and increases efficiency. Sharing knowledge Whilst the HoloLens has encouraged

collaboration worldwide, its drawbacks have also been highlighted. Unless both parties wear the headset, it proved complicated for workers to showcase new designs or innovations, limiting information sharing significantly. This has therefore led to the development of Microsoft’s Spectator View Camera, released in February 2017. The technology effectively supports collaboration and developing partnerships by enabling spectators to see what the user sees and learn how various ideas 23

TECHNOLOGY will help shape future projects. Nonetheless, Microsoft could not provide all of these developments alone. With a number of commercial partners such as Vuforia, the company continually works in partnerships to develop new tools, products and platforms which will further support professionals within the AECO industry. One such partnership is with Autodesk Fusion 360, where Microsoft utilises Autodesk’s software to provide solutions and support collaboration between engineers and designers. A second partnership with Japan Airlines (JAL) has also supported the development of two programs which support engine mechanics and flight crew trainees who now utilise holograms within training operations, rather than undergoing operations manually. Furthermore, Microsoft has partnered with medical company Stryker regarding the development of medical facilities, such as operating rooms, with the use of embedded mixed reality technology. Bardeen explains that technology company Stryker will bring operating room designs into the future by utilising the


HoloLens and Stryker’s ByDesign solution: “A design can be created and adjusted without the need of a complicated mock operating room setup. Teams of surgeons can collaborate in a conference room, office, or work with holograms, at full size and scale, in the actual operating room – no bulky equipment required, just a headset. This allows teams to move quickly from envisioning to execution, improving the operating room for surgeons, staff, and ultimately the patients they care for.” Such developments will therefore enable individuals to visualise a finished product with ease. Microsoft continue to transform how the construction industry will collaborate and communicate, supporting designers and architects and produce world-class results. It will be interesting to see how the technology will continue to inspire developers and technology giants to utilise mixed-reality technology and how it will support a multitude of industries going forward, providing quality results for customers.


TOP 10 UNUSUAL GREEN BUILDINGS From Singapore and Australia to Germany and Qatar, we chart some of the world’s most unique constructions




TOP 10



Constructed in 2009, La Trobe University, Institute for Molecular Science (LIMS) has a distinctive cellular design, encompassing over 30 laboratories, seated auditorium and over 200 square metres of educational facilities. The institute undertakes research in molecular design, imaging and neurobiology, alongside work under associated biotech companies Hexima and AdAlta. The institute cost $97 million and was designed by Lyons to a 5 Star Green Star Standard. Encompassing six floors, the build unites all academics and provides essential spaces for interaction and study. First to third year students are situated on the lower levels, whilst the top three levels are predominately focused around collaborative working and flexible working spaces. 28

June 2017





Designed by architect Ken Yeang, Fusionopolis has become an iconic research institute situated close to a number of universities in Singapore. Incorporating a number of sustainable features, the build deflects increased sunlight through inbuilt prisms, with a number of green plants which support the heating and cooling of the building, along with providing a sufficient irrigation system. Developed in two phases, with the first phase completed in 2008 and phase two in 2010, the towers were also built in partnership with Ove Arup & Partners and architect Dr Kisho Kurokawa.


This glass, cactus shaped office building, constructed for the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Agriculture, was designed by Bangkok company Aesthetics Architects GO Group, and has been built with biomimicry and energy efficiency in mind. The build resists ample sunlight through inbuilt shades which deflect heat, at which the internal temperature of the building is kept stable. Adjacent to the building is a botanical garden, which also supports the heating and cooling of the building.


TOP 10



The largest station in Madrid, Atoca Train Station is one of the most appealing stations in the world as a result of its inbuilt green space. The botanical garden contains over 7,000 trees and plants which span 13,000 feet. A number of native and tropical trees gain sufficient sunlight through an arched skylight. A turtle pond has also been embedded into the green space, alongside an array of fish species, all of which are taken care of by the station’s staff.


June 2017



Vauban might be one of the smallest districts in Germany, but it is also one of the most sustainable places to live in the world. All eco-friendly homes have been constructed to a low-energy standard, utilising renewable energy sources. Transport systems are used by all, alongside sustainable transport such as walking and cycling, with the elimination of cars. With the majority of amenities situated in close distance from one another, areas such as waste and rainwater are also repurposed, providing a sustainable and ecological system.


Completed by Vo Trong Nghia Architecs and named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Atlas Hoi An Hotel encompasses a number overflowing plants, which are situated in cantilevering concrete planters. Built predominately out of local sandstone, the build blends in with the tranquil space, and is in walking distance from a number of local attractions. Containing 48 rooms, concrete slabs help support the heavy concrete planters which provide sufficient shade and oxygenation.


Spanning over 400 acres is Stefano Boeri’s Mountain Forest Hotel. Situated in Guizhou, the build aims to blend in with the local landscape through reconstructing the former hill which was previously flattened in order to create a vertical forest mountain. With 250 rooms, the building is covered with trees on every floor, creating a sustainable and breathable space. Designed in collaboration with local artist Simon Ma, the duo have pointed out on their website that “symbiosis is the goal. Sustainability not only depends on energy conservation, but on a wider biodiversity. The symbiosis between man, architecture and nature is the real sustainability.”


TOP 10


Completed in 2014, Milan’s Vertical Forest residential towers encompass 900 trees, 11,000 perennial plants and 5,000 shrubs, which would normally be situated on 7,000 square metres of land. Designed by Boeri Studio, one tower spans 110 metres and the other 76 metres, with trees reaching heights of three and six metres respectively. This has enabled the buildings to counteract levels of pollution, absorption of CO2 and filtering of dust and dirt, creating a sufficient microclimate and biodiversity. Winning a number of awards, the towers link the city with the natural world. Built by over 6,000 construction workers, the trees also reduce noise pollution and extreme weather conditions.


June 2017



Since the 2012 Olympic Games, designers and architects have been striving to build one of the most sustainable parks in the UK, embedding green infrastructure and low carbon designs within this space. Free to visit and spanning 560 acres, Olympic Park is now home to the London Stadium, an aquatics centre, hockey and tennis centre, playgrounds and much more. With 15 acres of wood and 6.5km of waterways, the development has integrated with local wildlife, utilising green technologies and sustainable transport links. Over 5,000 local individuals worked on the park’s construction, with an estimated 15,000 new roles situated at the park upon completion.


TOP 10


June 2017


GARDENS BY THE BAY, SINGAPORE Designed by Grant Associates and Wilkinson Eyre, Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay has become an exciting construction and vibrant space for visitors and locals to enjoy. With a number of horticultural displays, the build has transformed Singapore into a “city in a garden”, creating permanent areas of conservation through a continuous energy cycle Spanning over 100 hectares, the gardens are split into three main areas: Bay South, Bay East and Bay Central, containing gardens, lakes and two self-sufficient glass biomes, Flower Dome (1.2 hectares) and Cloud Forest (0.8 hectares). The domes incorporate over 90,000 plants which are supported by several sustainable features. Manmade Supertrees also enclose approximately 160,000 plants, with 11 out of 18 Supertrees containing inbuilt tanks which lead directly into the cooling of the domes, but also harness photovoltaic cells on their canopies to harvest solar energy. To support this further, lakes also incorporate a natural filtration and irrigation system, which is utilised to filter captured water throughout this energy cycle.


Transforming the industry Written by Nye Longman Produced by Tom Venturo

Corbins Electric is redefining standards inside and out. We speak to COO Justin Martin about how this is happening



orbins Electric is on a journey to change the electrical manufacturing industry forever. A company with more than 40 years’ experience, Corbins certainly knows its terrain well. Not content for the business to rest on its laurels, however, COO Justin Martin is determined to radically rethink assumptions around people and processes. We speak to him in-depth to understand more about how this is being achieved, as well as how the company’s commitment to technology is reinforcing these changes. Operations “Corbins Electric started in 1975 as an electrical service contractor and grew into electrical construction,” Martin explains. “We are a company that offers four complimentary but distinct services: Electrical Construction, Electrical Service, Virtual Construction and Fabrication.” Corbins Electric’s industry leading virtual construction, building information modelling (BIM), and 3D modelling capabilities, is one of that many advantages that sets


June 2017

them apart from the competition. Although these are facets of electrical contracting that are already techheavy, Corbins is keen to continuously develop its technology capabilities. Using eVolve™ workflow to leverage single-click automation for


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fabrication, material ordering, and detailed as-built drawings, Corbins is able to deliver efficient virtual construction services to contractors, engineers, and architects. We don’t just do modelling to support our own projects – we also do this to

support others. This is a need that our industry has – not everybody can accelerate that functionality quickly enough. We have some unique tools that help contractors prefabricate - that’s something we are able to leverage worldwide.”


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Aaron Thompson VP of Design & Fabrication

“It’s our virtual construction and prefabrication that makes us stand out in the marketplace,” Martin says. “We’ve also implemented a lot of lean manufacturing practices including value stream mapping to continuously drive waste out of processes.” Corbins also provides marketleading fabrication services. Its state-of-the-art 23,000 sq ft lean

Darin Johnson

fabrication facility provides a number of technical functions including conduit bending, racking, as well as TIG, MIG, and ARC-certified welding, and custom labelling, among many other complimentary activities. The company is also able to offer clients

Chad Shultz

Operations Manager

consulting services ranging from lean manufacturing, modelling, fabrication and even mobile app development to help drive efficiency in the field. Corbins initially entered into the market with a variety of electrical construction services, an aspect of the business that continues to go from strength to strength. Having worked

VP of Field Operations





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in the industry for so long has enabled it to gain crucial experience across a broad number of different sectors, including healthcare, manufacturing, commercial, and aviation. These segments and more benefit from elite electrical construction services such as design/build, design/bid/ build, construction manager at risk (CMAR), subcontracting, and job order contracting (JOC). Corbins also offers electrical services tailored to the needs of facility owners and property managers, including troubleshooting and repair, lighting and energy management, and preventative maintenance. Transformation As with many people that have spent their entire career in the industry, Martin has an intimate understanding of the problems it faces. But unlike so many others working in this space, he has a plan to not only survive but thrive by rethinking the fundamentals of the corporate culture. “There’s been a huge focus on undoing the stigmatisms in the industry in regards to how people are

Operations Manager



treated and developed,” he explains. “What’s glaringly obvious is a lack of leadership. I see on LinkedIn all the time how people post articles about millennials and how horrible they are. I even bought into it for the first few years and thought ‘this is going to be a real challenge.’ “But as we hire and intentionally developed them, their contributions to our business have continued to propel us forward,” he adds. “Now when I read these articles I see that a bunch of baby boomers who haven’t figured know how to manage millennials

and are still whining about it.” “We have some of our most innovative ideas and some of our best leaders coming from a generation that people are saying can’t work,” Martin adds. With the age of an electrical construction journeyman averaging out at around 55 and, with 40 percent of the electrical workforce slated to retire over the next 10 years, the industry is facing a demographic challenge. While attracting a younger, more tech-savvy workforce is part of his strategy to combat this, it is only part of the story.

Mark Fleming President & CEO


June 2017

“I would call myself the ‘chief

culture warrior’” – Justin Martin, COO

“I don’t buy into the idea that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” he laughs. “Some people in the last years of their career are adopting and implementing the technology just as quickly. When you get down to what helps them to do their job and accelerate the experience they already have they get on board – I have been impressed by how they have accelerate that so well.” “I would call myself the ‘chief culture warrior’,” Martin adds. Passionate about both people and process (in that order) he has worked in the

electrical construction industry since he was 19. Persistently bothered by what he saw as invisible walls between the various functions of the industry, he is keen on identifying where changes can be made. “I didn’t think there needed to be lack of communication and unnecessary tension between field and office, preconstruction and operations, operations and accounting. A lot of times people defaulted to a people issue when there was a process issue - that was driving the disconnect.”


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“I see that there’s a bunch of baby boomers who haven’t figured know how to manage millennials and are still whining about it” – Justin Martin, COO Having doubled down on making sure that Corbins has workface fit for a rapid, multi-faceted transformation, Martin then set about implementing new technological solutions. In a short period of time, Corbins was able to significantly reduce payroll administration costs, while improving accuracy and speed – all because of mobile apps and automation. “We have launched 80 independent functional mobile applications since October 2015,” he says. “Instead of buying canned software, we decided to develop those in house, and partnering with Catavolt, utilizing their platform to develop apps that meet our workflows.” Corbins has without doubt set about a sea change in the electrical construction industry. By innovating its corporate culture and technological capabilities, Martin and his team

have strengthened the business, ready to meet the evolving needs of clients across the US and the world. Encouraging the next generation of workers to realise their full potential, while ensuring that more experienced workers benefit from the same fresh approach, Corbins’ status as a top employer in the industry has grown ever stronger. Martin concludes: “We are really committed to the success of each other and the functions and departments – there’s a lot of alignment in that. It’s hard to grow a company to more than 600 people and have all the leadership going in the same direction. That wouldn’t have even happened if we didn’t have a leadership team that was completely aligned and bought into each other with that level of trust.”

TESLA, RENO AND THE ROAD T O N E V A D A’ S NUMBER ONE Written by Leila Hawkins and Tom Wadlow Produced by Tom Venturo

Helix Electric has proven itself as the ultimate onestop-shop for electrical contracting across an extremely diverse range of industries. Now with an office in Reno and playing a key role in Tesla’s enormous Gigafactory construction, its aim is to become the leading contractor in northern Nevada



eno may be dubbed the ‘world’s biggest little city’, but on its doorstep lies one of the largest construction projects in the entire United States. Pioneering car manufacturer Tesla is building a 21 million square feet battery-producing ‘Gigafactory’, just east of the northern Nevada city, and Helix Electric has been instrumental in electrical construction. This is one of many projects currently underway for the company in the north of the state, this having opened a regional office earlier this year. Spearheading the drive to become number one in the area is Helix Electric’s Nevada President Victor Fuchs, who is quick to express the tremendous potential for business to thrive. “We think the northern


June 2017

Nevada market is going to boom,” he says. “With our skillset we’re working to become the leader in this region!” Giga-normous

The full spectrum of Helix’s skillset is being deployed at Tesla’s huge manufacturing site. Based near Reno, the ‘Gigafactory’ started production in January having broken ground in 2014. By the time it is fully operational in 2018, it will be able to produce more vehicle batteries than the entire global output of 2013. “We’ve been on the ‘Gigafactory’ project for the last 18 months, and have finished several pieces already,” comments Fuchs. “This is a 21 million square foot building, and thus far, we’ve completed work on the central plant, B section, the nitrogen


plant and are now doing the ‘D and completed site will bring over 4,000 E Prime Wing’, which is roughly a new jobs to the area and is expected million and a half square feet.” to help Tesla reduce its production Helix is responsible for the costs by some 30 percent. one of the phases of electrical The factory will be powered by a work from the substation, which massive roof of solar panels which includes lighting, controls, will be installed towards tooling and more. the end of the project, “This is a very unique something which project and there Fuchs is more than aren’t many projects hopeful of playing a of this magnitude part in. The ultimate Helix Electric Annual Revenue being built across the aim for Tesla is for the country,” Fuchs adds. facility to be carbon “These are big numbers, neutral, just like its cars. but we are used to working on million-plus square feet projects.” Reno and beyond The site needs to be vast to ensure Although the Tesla project may production can keep up with the be one of the largest Helix has number of electric cars Tesla plans under construction, it is not the to release in the coming years. The only reason for establishing a

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permanent office in Reno. “We’ve made a commitment to become a local regional contractor in Reno,” says Fuchs. “Many of our key people have moved here and we’re looking for additional talented players to join our winning team.” Fuchs goes on to cite many completed and ongoing projects already on the books in northern Nevada, including several hotel projects such as a new ‘Hampton Inn’ by Hilton in Sparks, along with numerous multi-family residential complexes. The next few months will also see the design stage of various industrial projects move into construction, at which Helix will provide electrical expertise. Education and medical sectors are also active for Helix in the region, where in Fallon, one hour east of Reno, the company is expanding the Banner Hospital. Fallon is also home to the Navy’s “Top Gun” training program, with Helix being part of the P420 Air Wing Squadron and P418 Vehicle Maintenance projects, as well as the electrical for officers’ housing.

Victor Fuchs President

“We pride ourselves on being a diverse contractor and we try to get involved in many different sectors,” says Fuchs. “Whatever the requirement, we can work a solution.” Indeed, the full range of industry expertise spans commercial and retail, correctional, design- build, education, government and military, healthcare and biotech, hospitality and entertainment, industrial, mission critical, multi-family residential, renewable energy and transportation.

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WE HAVE AN OUTSTANDING [SAFETY] record and our Regional Director of Safety Lawrence Fry has done a great job


Founded in California in 1985, Helix has been building up its vast portfolio for more than 30 years. It now comprises two standalone companies - one with offices all over the state of California, Washington DC, Hawaii and the Nevada arm that formed in 2001 with sites in Las Vegas and Reno. Fuchs first joined in 1987 as Assistant Estimator climbing through the ranks of Division Manager, Vice President and

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Executive Vice President, before moving to Nevada and acquiring the Las Vegas company. Under his helm, Nevada’s Helix Electric is now the largest non-union electrical contractor in the state. In the last year it constructed a huge PV Solar energy-saving system for IKEA’s Las Vegas store and created a training center for people with disabilities to learn skills to live independently. The IKEA store opened last March with more than 3,000 solar panels

Robert Johnson Sr. VP Major Projects

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David Wood VP Estimating


June 2017

on its rooftop, custom- designed and installed by Helix. These are preventing over a thousand tons of CO2 emissions from being released into the atmosphere each year. It’s the biggest solar panel project of its kind in the state, and the furniture retailer’s largest outlet in southern Nevada. In the spring of last year, Helix was involved in building two unique ‘state of the art’ facilities for the Regional Transportation Commission’s Mobility Training


Center. One is an indoor simulated streetscape complete with crosswalks, actual buses and a sound system playing traffic noise, for participants with disabilities to become comfortable crossing busy lanes of traffic and navigating the public transport system in a safe environment. The second facility is a fully equipped two bedroom house with a kitchen and bathroom, for the blind to acquire the skills necessary to go about a daily routine independently. Called Angela’s

Michael Vita

VP Special Projects House, this is the only training facility for the blind in Nevada. Several of these projects have won awards. The IKEA construction won the ‘Spotlight’ Special award for “Best Retail Building from the NAIOP”, the leading trade association for commercial properties. The mobility center was named Best Public Building by ENR Southwest, an American construction magazine. Acquiring these innovative projects is directly proportional to carefully watching the market to see what’s

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June 2017


coming up. “We have a great procurement team,” Fuchs says, “and we see what projects there are. We approach the customers, and because of our longevity, financial strength and competitive pricing we’re very fortunate that a significant number of times we’ve been selected by customers to be their contractor of choice.” Such an impressive resume was a key factor in securing the work with Tesla, as Fuchs goes on to explain: “It is about our experience, our people, the safety and training of our field resources, and our supervisors who have made a commitment to relocate to Reno to see this exciting project through.” Health and safety: no compromise

Another crucial factor that places Helix in a strong position to win contracts is an exemplary health and safety record. “We don’t compromise on safety, and our stats prove this,” Fuchs states. “We have an outstanding record and Lawrence Fry, our

Darren Vanderford Vice President

Regional Director of Safety, has done a great job! We are very focused on job site inspections and have picked up a number of top safety awards.” One such award recently won was the State of Nevada, Safety Consultation and Training’s “SHARP” award, which stands for “Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program”. Fuchs is correct to point to statistics, which show that in 11 OSHA Inspections since the start of 2016 the company has recorded zero citations or incidents. Over

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the past five years, 39 inspections have also yielded zero citations. Last year saw the company achieve an average health and safety audit score of 86.15 percent, a new record. As well as attracting customers, these elements make Helix equally appealing as a place to work. There is a steady stream of high profile projects to work on and plenty of opportunity for employees to move up and along within the company’s ranks. “We have opportunities for people to grow,” Fuchs says. “We have a tremendous amount of


June 2017

backlog, which gives our people a significant amount of stability and job security. Our people know there’s steady work here.” There’s a very strong focus on in-house training. Helix promotes internships by partnering with a variety of mainstream colleges and has their very own academy, “Helix University”, which has existed since the organization was founded, and offers ongoing classes for their employees.


Giving back

Over the years Helix has regularly been involved with many philanthropic causes. “We do a lot of charitable work. We raise money for charitable organizations chosen by our employees and we do biannual golf fundraisers,” Fuchs says. The Helix Golf Tournament raises money for various charities, including the Down Syndrome Organization of Southern Nevada and the 22 Warriors Foundation, a non-profit body dedicated to putting a stop to veterans’ suicides. Last year’s tournaments alone raised close to $15,000. Other endeavors have included giving toys to children whose parents cannot afford them. In the run-up to Christmas, and in February this year, Helix won an award for donating to the “Nevada Educational Choice Scholarship Program”, an initiative to help students with limited economic means attend private schools. These factors all contribute to Helix remaining one of the most successful and responsible electrical contractor in Nevada. Fuchs says

it’s all down to its people. “The commitment and dedication of our people, and our management’s dedication to our people, equates to training opportunities, benefits, and longevity.” Looking ahead, Helix’s Nevada objectives are bold ones. Fuchs is targeting business wins of more than $140 million, with $25 million in sales coming from Reno and northern Nevada. Maturation of the Reno office’s operations, with a formulated strategy and leadership structure in place, are key operational targets also in place for 2017. This all feeds into where Fuchs sees Helix in the next few years. “Hopefully a leader of the market, with a very strong backlog of doing the key projects in Nevada,” he concludes.

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SHIFTING FOCUS: A XI International moves into intelligent fuel management consultancy

After more than 20 years as a market leading manufacturer of fuel maintenance and polishing services, AXI International turns to a future of consulting Written by Dale Benton Produced by Tom Venturo



s a manufacturer of Intelligent Fuel Management™ solutions, AXI International is known worldwide as the industry leader.

For over 20 years the company has established a reputation for innovation and high quality fuel management products, but over recent years AXI International has transformed its practice, not only by manufacturing fuel management solutions, but also by taking on a consulting role and entering the booming data center industry. “The mission of the company has always been to optimize the quality of fuel,” says Jeffrey Poirier, Chief Operating Officer at AXI International. “AXI International provides a complete integrated solution within a niche market of fuel filtration and optimization. Mission critical projects such as data centers include not only filtration systems but, fuel tanks, transfer systems, pump sets and gen-sets.”


June 2017

Finding focus

Poirier has spent his career in engineering, through the railroad industry and working in aerospace before working his way up through AXI from engineer to COO. His progression has coincided with the transformation of the company focus, with Poirier and AXI spotting certain gaps in the market. Gaps, that AXI could fill. “AXI excels in designing and engineering complex, custom engineered fuel system solutions that set an industry standard. We invest a considerable amount of time and money in research and development to create innovative products and services every year,” he says. “The company started to see other items in the market that we could pull into our repertoire. We knew the competitors in the market and how they are perceived and thought there was some serious ground to be taken. AXI has certainly made up a lot of that ground since.” “Data center projects are very


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extensive. They include a large number of engines, tanks, and fuel system components. Our goal as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) is to provide our customers with high quality fuel management solutions to ensure their facilities maintain reliable standby power,” he says. Throughout its 20 years, AXI International has developed a broad portfolio of major international and national clients as well as smaller local customers. Industry leading turnaround times, innovative and environmentally sustainable technologies and customer support and training, represents the key to future success of the business for Poirier.

Setting an industry standard

AXI is unique in that it provides custom engineered solutions for its customers. We offer more than a “one size fits all” approach. Data centers are not the only projects that fall within the multitude of markets that AXI serves. As an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), AXI International has worked with customers in many industries, including: healthcare, agriculture, perishable storage and distribution, marine, power generation, transportation, mining, and other mission critical facilities. From providing custom engineered solutions for large mission critical projects to offering fuel additives in the transportation industry,




W e s s e l V a n To n d e r i s a performance-driven, forwardthinking, multi-lingual business operations executive with a market focus on global fuel economics. Wes sel’s cur rent vision is geared towards environmentally sustainable fuel optimization technologies and innovative clean fuel engineering. As a graduate of the University of S o u t h A f r i c a , V a n To n d e r u t i l i z e s h i s unique international exper tise to br oaden A X I Inter national’s global market outreach. Prior to acquiring A XI International, Wes sel’s previous ex per ience includes a proven track record of developing companies in the oil and e n e r g y i n d u s t r y. H i s s u c c e s s s t e m s from holding a senior level position wit h one of A f r ic a’s larges t f uel distributors.


June 2017

AXI’s product offering helps maintain fuel at an optimal standard in any application. “The primary driving force behind AXI’s entrepreneurism is our unique ability to improve the way fuel is used or stored in a way that is sustainable and environmentally responsible. Most importantly, our company’s main goal and entrepreneurial motivation is ensuring safe, reliable fuel for diesel powered engines world-wide,” says Poirier. Looking back, moving forward

In 1994, AXI International, then known as Algae-X, had a heavy focus on addressing the needs of marinerelated fuel issues. With just the fuel conditioner and the flagship fuel additive, AFC-705, AXI began making waves in the marine industry. As time progressed, AXI saw an opportunity to expand its product offering beyond fuel maintenance, and far beyond the marine industry. As the needs of the world changed, so did AXI. Today, the company prides itself on staying ahead of the curve


by introducing new and unique technologies that offer complete fuel management for companies around the globe, regardless of the industry. “The company has had great products for well over 20 years, so while we are expanding into new markets and product offerings, we wanted to build on the core of our success”, says Poirier. One major factor in the recent success of the business has been the role change towards consultation and engineering support, building key relationships at the ground level







Number of employees at AXI International


June 2017

of data center project development. One of AXI’s goals is to advise both end users and data center professionals of the potential pit falls caused by fuel degradation on a mission critical facility. A rapidly growing industry, like data storage, with exponential growth can often succumb to unforeseen issues due to project time constraints and insufficient planning. “We feel it is our responsibility


to educate on the issues we see, give background as to why those problems exist, and provide solutions for fixing problems, not treating symptoms,” says Poirier. Learning and growing

This culture of learning and educating comes from extensive market research. Poirier and AXI invest heavily in understanding the market, the technology trends, and more importantly – the problems across the industry. “It’s about following up on existing problems in the industry, properly analysing the issues and generating the best solutions, or stepping outside the box and creating a new way of looking at an old problem,” he says. The educational approach taken by AXI is propagated from upper management down through the business. This allows the engineers and the sales team to understand the service, products, and the components of a project in order to meet the needs and



Since joining A XI International in April of 2 0 14 , J e f f P o i r i e r h a s d e v e l o p e d a m y r i a d of new products and systems to facilitate Intelligent Fuel Management™ solutions. A graduate from the University of Maine with a M a s ter ’s in M echanic al E ngineer ing, J ef f als o h o l d s a n M B A f r o m D ave n p o r t U n i ve r s i t y. A s the Chief Operating Officer of the Fort Myersb a s e d g l o b a l c o m p a n y, J e f f s p e c i a l i z e s i n t h e following engineering topics: optimization techniques, numerical methods, fluid flow control, finite element method, 3D CAD Development, and robotic controls. From new green technology to complete fuel management solutions, Jeff has led his team to many s i g n i f i c a n t a d v a n c e m e n t s i n t h e f u e l i n d u s t r y. Jeff Poirier designed the concepts for: •Spill prevention filter draining •Continuous filtration during filter changing •Multipoint flow path •Development of automated day trading algorithm •Published: “Multi-objective Optimization o f L a s e r- w e l d e d S t e e l S a n d w i c h P a n e l s Using a Genetic A lgorithm” in Engineering S t r u c t u r e s , 2 0 13





June 2017


requirements of the customer. “If you imagine your business model as an onion, each layer representing a step between the internal organization, from the engineering team to the sales network, and finally the customer, you want the company message and knowledge to properly transition between layers with minimal loss of message content,” he says. Technology innovation

Changes in engine technology, fuel production, the introduction of bioblends, along with questionable delivery methods, have created a number of challenges regarding the stability and reliability of fuel.



It is AXI’s responsibility to educate and inform the public and its customers of the ongoing changes in fuel production and the impact these changes have on the engines they depend on every day. Some of AXI’s more notable innovative products include a first ever solar powered automated multi-stage fuel filtration system, an optical fuel particle counter, and a fully automated additive injection system. AXI has created novel approaches to spill prevention filter draining, continuous filtration during filter changing, and the creation of multiple flow path systems for difficult tanks.




Michael Campbell, hands-on Finance and Accounting E xecutive with ex tensive leadership and exper tise driving and creating scalable revenue and financial improvement strategies for global leaders throughout multiple industries Tr u s t e d a d v i s o r a n d t r u e b u s i n e s s par tner to executive leadership, leading the performance of financial strategic planning, operational restructuring, and motivational leadership, coupled with an innate ability to build strong relationships For ward-thinking leadership with strength in audits, compliance issues, corporate f i n a n c e , I n f o r m a t i o n Te c h n o l o g y , a n d b e s t practices policy development. Graduate of National University of Ireland G a l w ay. Michael has worked with many large Fortune 500 companies over the span of his career such as Schneider Electric, N u t r icia- D a no ne a nd H einz, t o name a few.


June 2017

Over the last decade, Poirier has seen a major shift in the engine technologies towards sustainability and environmental responsibility, stemming from increasingly stringent governmental and industry standards. From reducing harmful emissions to providing solutions for modern diesel engines, AXI remains at the forefront of these changes. “Technology has improved engines, but fuel itself has almost regressed. For these reasons, fuel filtration technology is crucial to sustaining the life of engines and reducing operational downtime,” he says. Consulting: AXI’s competitive advantage

AXI’s impact in the fuel storage industry has extended far beyond its doors. AXI provides an education and training platform for its


worldwide reseller network, in the form of green screen webinars, onsite lectures, and interactive web hosted presentation tools. In order to be a successful manufacturing business, the company stresses the importance of properly training the industry and its trusted partners. CHRISTIAN SMITH, AXI International provides a A X I I N T E R N AT I O N A L V P O F S A L E S series of educational lectures and presentations on fuel degradation and proper fuel system design for both internal employees and its channel sales network. The goal of As vice president of sales for A XI, Christian this program is to create awareness Smith is responsible for sales, growth initiatives, development of strategic within the market and propagate A X I ’ S F T S - 2 0 0 0 S EpRaI rE tSn Ae U r sT Oa M n dA TcIhCaFnUnEeLl TsRaAl eNsS Fr Ee Rl aSt iYoSnTsEhMi pIsS A H E A V Y - D U T Y F U E L TwRoArNl dS w F Ei dR eS. Y SSTi nE M E T, W E E N c eT jHoAi nT i M n gO VAEXSI Fi Un E2L 0B11 optimal fuel system design THE SOURCE TANK AND THE DEMANDING TANK. Christian has played an instrumental role in practices throughout the industry. the development and success of A XI on an inter national level. C hr is tian’s educ ational “AXI International will continue background includes degrees in Electrical Engineering and Business Administration. to build off of its successful educational platform and expand Prior to joining A XI, Christian has held multiple sales and leadership positions in by pioneering new methods and telecommunications, systems integration and construction. With over 20 years of technology that will benefit our experience in sales, business development customers, partners, and the and management, Christian has worked with many large Fortune 500 companies over the enviornment in the years to come.” s p a n o f h i s c a r e e r. S o m e o f t h e m o s t r e c e n t companies include Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Facebook. He has also worked with key influential clients in the government and military sectors.

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Profit is KING,

TURNOVER is secondary Written by Niki Waldegrave Produced by Jeff Debicki


EPTEC Group celebrates its 20th birthday this year. CEO Joe Viglione tells Niki Waldegrave how its work was instrumental to the preservation of the Royal Australian Navy fleet and the company’s vision for the next two decades


reservation and rehabilitation engineering contractor EPTEC Group turns 20 in September – and if you’re not familiar with it, you’ll certainly know some of its biggest projects. From the new build of the ANZAC Frigates to maintenance for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Flinders Street Station, the Burnley & Domain Tunnels, and US air craft carrier, USS Abraham Lincoln, EPTEC has worked on them all. Its specialist expertise spans services such as corrosion protection, lining and waterproofing, concrete rehabilitation, abrasive blasting, hydro-blasting, painting, building façade refurbishment, fibre reinforced plastics and thermal insulation. EPTEC also has a long history for serving the defence, water and wastewater, energy


June 2017

and resources, infrastructure and mining industries. Joe Viglione, CEO, says: “We’ve done work on nearly every surface ship in the RAN. The Anzac Frigate was our biggest project and the founding one. It laid the foundations for the company from March 1998 until May 2006. “It was undertaken at Williamstown in Victoria and we had up to 300 employees involved, some of whom are still with us, like our production manager Bruno Dumont, our project manager Chris Foster, and our supervisor Mark Sanders. They were instrumental in delivering that project.” The next two milestones were Project Protector for the Royal New Zealand Navy from 2006 – 2010, and the upgrade of Flinders Street Station in Melbourne before the 2006 Commonwealth Games.


Project Protector was run by Gwydion Sherwood, who ran the operation in New Zealand and is still with the company today. “That involved a lot of our areas of skill,” Viglione adds, “like blasting, painting, concrete repair, carbon fibre strengthening, grouting and chemical injection.

It involved almost everything we do in our suite of services.” Most of EPTEC’s supervisors have at least 10 years’ service, and Viglione pays credit to the handful of founding employees, explaining: “They’re the old stalwarts that rocked up and worked out of the back of their

HMAS Perth before launch

“Hang around, contribute to the industry, in small to medium-sized organisations you can really fly if you’re prepared to make the effort”


utes. We hired, begged, borrowed war in Iraq, being the ship used everything at the start and to launch the first attack.” they’ve helped grow EPTEC from With a civil engineering nothing to what we are today.” background in major infrastructure He claims one of the company’s projects such as Port Kembla proudest achievements was Grain Terminal, Mt. Piper Power working on US aircraft carrier the Station and Sydney Harbour USS Abraham Lincoln, and recalls Tunnel, the then CEO of Transfield how he received the Construction, Claudio Di phone call for the Berardino, introduced project at home Viglione to Piccioli in on Boxing Day. 1992. Piccioli at the “I negotiated time was the General the contract Manager of Transfield over the next Corrosion Protection. 24-48 hours Viglione remembers Number of employees reluctantly accepting whilst travelling at EPTEC Group with my wife the role with Piccioli but and two children to “within two years of being my in-laws,” he laughs. in corrosion protection, I was “I mobilised on site in Perth on running the painting division,” January 5 and between myself he says. “From understanding and operations superintendent nothing, the small organisation Michael Ippoliti, we worked around gave me the opportunity to be the clock to deliver that vessel in valued for my contributions.” 12 days with a crew of 70 guys. When EPTEC was founded “We were 10 nautical miles off in September 1997 by Enrico the coast of Fremantle and did Piccioli, with the support of it at sea. It was involved in the Claudio Di Berardino, together



June 2017


“In the last three years we’ve increased the business turnover by 50 percent, whilst at the same time maintaining profitability”

Eptec at the completion of the HMAS Melbourne (FFG 05) maintenance



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“We rely very heavily on repeat business, and repeat business is built on relationships” 82

June 2017

they convinced Viglione and a few other very valuable supervisors to join the new Company. The effervescent Piccioli – Italy’s youngest engineer when he graduated at 21 – focused on the business development and administration while Viglione headed-up the projects. Piccioli was EPTEC’s director and CEO up until his passing in May 2014, at which point his friend of 25 years and business partner, Claudio Di Berardino, became Managing Director, and Viglione was promoted from Chief Operating Officer to CEO. “Two of the people I’ve learned the most from in my life are Enrico and Claudio,” Viglione says. “Enrico was my work mentor for 22 years. He was a fabulous entrepreneur, salesman, and loved to travel. “He looked a bit like King Henry VIII in his younger days with a red beard. He was a brilliant storyteller, highly intelligent, very well-spoken and wrote and dictated prolifically.” Viglione has known Di Berardino


Joe Viglione CEO

Mark Benham CFO

Claudio Di Berardino Managing Director

for more than 40 years after advisor at school and saying to meeting him at the age of about them, ‘I want to be an engineer eight-years-old when his father and project director like Claudio’. worked for him on the “In his young days, he was power stations on smooth as silk but tough the New South as nails. He could be Wales Central fierce in a meeting Coast. but once you walked “For years, I out of the room it aspired to be was all OK. Now, he’s like Claudio,” like the statesman of Annual revenue at adds Viglione. the organisation and EPTEC Group “He was like a god, is well-respected in the and his reputation construction industry.” preceded him. I vividly Viglione insists Di Berardino, remember going to my careers who is retiring later this year



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Works on the Taiwan High Speed Rail Link

Sino Iron project site 84

June 2016

David Inger HSEQ Manager

Lawrence Rob HR-ER-IR Manager

at the grand old age of 18 – a leap year baby – has taken the private business to the next level with his growth strategies. “As a private Company for us, profit is king, turnover is secondary,” claims Viglione. “The current EPTEC team has built upon the successes of the founding members, and in the last three years the business turnover has increased by 50 percent, whilst at the same time maintaining profitability. “My vision for the next 10 years is to continue to aggressively

Chris Zervos

Pre-Contracts Manager

grow the company, albeit at a more sustainable rate than the last couple of years, maintain profitability, and most importantly, ensure the health and safety of our employees not only from a physical side, but also from a psychological space.” He claims the most exciting projects for the next 18 months are in the Australian Naval new-build sector. Currently, the Australian Government boasts one of the largest expenditure forecasts for new-build vessels of any nation. “Projects like the 12 offshore

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Weekly HSEQ meeting patrol boats, 9 future Frigates and the replacement submarines make it an exciting time,” Viglione adds. “Now we’ve started on the submarines. We’re currently doing refurbishments which in the early 1990s, Superintendent Michael Ippoliti and I were involved in the new build stage painting. “Whenever we win a project, I go from the thrill of the chase to immediately moving into execution and delivery mode, saying, ‘My God! What have I got myself into?’ “Being a company of our size, one needs to be humble in working


June 2017

with our clients, because we rely very heavily on repeat business, which is built on relationships. “They’re the things that really help you get up in the morning and give you the passion for something you want to do.”

Dr Enrico Piccioli’s 3rd Anniversary Memorial

Tackling the mounting e-waste problem The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) is Australia’s peak representative body and advocacy group for those in the digital ecosystem. Through its Environment Special Interest Group (ESIG), AIIA member companies are actively engaged in reducing the industry’s environmental impacts on society.

Written by Rob Fitzpatrick, CEO, AIIA

A U S T R A L I A N I N F O R M AT I O N I N D U S T R Y A S S O C I AT I O N ( A I I A )


ustralians are among the biggest users of technology in the world, buying millions of items a year. We love our gadgets and regularly update our devices, but the flip side of all this consumption is that electronic waste is one of the fastest growing types of waste. As more and more outdated electronic equipment - like computers, photocopiers, printers, faxes, monitors, batteries and mobile phones - ends up in landfill, the negative impacts of e-waste on the environment and society will increase. These electronics can contain small amounts of hazardous pollutants such as lead, arsenic and mercury. Through recycling, we can help prevent these pollutants from ending up in landfill and recover some of the valuable materials in various components. However, this process can be expensive and has led to unscrupulous operators in many countries, including Australia, to illegally ship e-waste to less developed economies where dangerous and environmentally harmful recycling methods persist. When the ABC


June 2017

reported that computer monitors from an Australian bank, destined for recycling in Australia, were found on a toxic e-waste dump in west Africa, it highlighted failures in current e-waste disposal supply chains. So how do we go about solving the mounting global problem of e-waste? Local solutions The solution to the global e-waste problem starts at home – think globally and act locally. The AIIA’s Environment Special Interest Group (ESIG) has already made a significant impact on Australia’s environmental landscape by being strong advocates for better regulation on the dangerous impacts of e-waste for which our industry is responsible. The National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS) provides a good example of the kind of collaboration with governments, green groups, industry and recyclers necessary to drive responsible programs. It was established in 2011 to provide Australian households and small business with access to industry-funded


The solution to the global e-waste problem starts at home

- think globally and act locally – Rob Fitzpatrick, CEO, AIIA

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A U S T R A L I A N I N F O R M AT I O N I N D U S T R Y A S S O C I AT I O N ( A I I A )

collection and recycling services for televisions and computers. A legislative review of the NTCRS is due to commence this year. The AIIA’s ESIG is arguing for expansion of the scheme to include everything with a plug and battery. This will enable economies of scale for industry and increase the amount of recycling at no extra cost to consumers. To date, more than 1,800 collection services have been made available to the public and more than 130,000 tonnes of TV and computer e-waste has been collected and recycled. This


June 2017

has diverted hazardous materials away from landfill and enabled the reuse of valuable resources. Under the scheme, brands have agreed to recycle 80 per cent of waste by 2020. It’s a shared responsibility approach between industry and government – with industry ultimately taking on the lion’s share of the responsibility and cost. Cartridges 4 Planet Ark Program AIIA member Canon has a long history of involvement in recycling


Member Insight Series: Denver Maddux, CEO, Megaport

schemes and started the world’s first global printer toner recycling program over 25 years ago. In recognition of its outstanding environmental achievement and leadership, Canon received the NSW Sustainability Advantage Gold Partner Award in April. The ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’ program provides Australians with a free, convenient and environmentallyaccredited way to recycle their used printer cartridges. The voluntary program, which began in 2002, is a collaboration between industry

manufacturers that promote and pay for the program, Planet Ark (an Australian not-for-profit environmental foundation), Close the Loop (recycler and program manager), and retail partners (who provide collection points for consumers). Participating manufacturers include Canon, Brother, Epson, HP, Konica Minolta and Kyocera. The unique aspect of the program is that businesses can place collection boxes in their offices and cartridges are then returned for remanufacturing and recycling.

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A U S T R A L I A N I N F O R M AT I O N I N D U S T R Y A S S O C I AT I O N ( A I I A )

There are cartridge collection bins in over 2500 businesses throughout Australia, as well as in retailers such as Officeworks and Australia Post. The program comes with a zero waste to landfill guarantee and this is verified every year by an independent auditor.

Where possible, materials are recycled into pure commodity streams such as metals and plastics. However, because the recycled materials contain a mix of plastics, Close the Loop has also invested heavily in developing products that can be made

Recyclers should be

incentivised to provide

tracking of e-waste as a normal business offering – Rob Fitzpatrick, CEO, AIIA


June 2017


from these mixed waste streams. Two of the most successful products are eWood®, a functional and sustainable material which can be used to replace timber, and TonerPave®, a high-performance asphalt. 2016-17 has been the best year for the Cartridges 4 Planet Ark program yet. Approximately 13,500 cartridges have been returned every working day for the past 12 months. Also, nearly 8 million Canon cartridges alone have been recycled through the program since it started in 2003. Global solutions Recycling is one approach to reducing e-waste. However, roughly 80 per cent of the carbon dioxide emitted by the ICT industry is emitted in the manufacturing process, so reuse of products is by far the best

outcome in terms of environmental sustainability. The industry supports the export model where products and parts are broken down in Australia, and then components are sold overseas into international commodity markets to be reused. The reuse market is growing in developing countries but the export of e-waste must be effectively tracked and policed to prevent illegal dumping. The Australian Government is actively involved in deterring this activity and there’s some good work being done already through the Basel Convention on movement of hazardous waste, but more needs to be done.

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Recyclers should be incentivised to provide tracking of e-waste as a normal business offering. This step, along with ongoing regular scrutiny from external auditors will help reduce illegal dumping. Next steps forward The local ICT Industry has led the development of product stewardship in Australia and plays an active role through the industry-for-industry co-regulatory arrangement known as the Australia New Zealand Recycling Platform (ANZRP). Formed by members of the AIIA’s ESIG and CESA (Consumer Electronics Society of Australia), ANZRP collects and recycles end of life TVs and computers from consumers and small businesses around Australia for free. Not resting on their laurels, ESIG and ANZRP

are both advocating for a broader range of electronic products to be included under the NTCRS as part of its recommendations for the current regulatory review. Sustainable ICT initiatives in Australia should be recognised by the wider community and grown throughout the global economy as they offer workable models that can be emulated by businesses worldwide. To encourage more innovation the AIIA’s iAwards recognises outstanding contributions to environmental sustainability as part of the Community service award category. We will continue to work with our members to identify and resource key programs which can reduce e-waste and carbon emissions. This will have an impact locally in Australia, as well as make a significant contribution to solving the e-waste problem globally.

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RESILIENCE The seventh annual Uptime Institute Data Center Industry Survey shows that businesses are as wedded as ever to their data centers, cloud or no cloud Written by John O’Hanlon




he cost of not having a robust plan for managing your company’s data properly can be very high – a major outage at a data center is an existential threat to any business that has relies on it to store and manage its operational and transactional processes. Even if recovery is possible, the consequences can set the business back severely through loss of productivity and the consequent dip in revenue. Down the line, customer relations may sour as a result of system unreliability. The list goes on and any senior executive should be concerned about it – after all, top jobs may be on the line as the dominoes fall. If they want to sleep better at night they should be moving towards IT-based resiliency, says Matt Stansberry, Uptime Institute’s Senior Director of Content & Publications. Uptime Institute is best known for its Tier Certification, accepted as the design, build and operational standard for data centers round the globe. Furthermore one of its key roles is to


July 2017

help business assess and improve their strategies in respect of data management. Any colossus of the digital world, Google or Amazon, for example, could lose an entire data center and nobody would notice because the affected traffic would be re-routed elsewhere in the world. This is the paradigm of multi-site application resiliency, and the world of enterprise is moving towards it though it may take some time before that tanker turns to its new heading. This year’s Data Center Industry Survey, drawn from the perspectives of more than 1,000 international data center professionals and IT practitioners, reveals that IT resilience is growing and that 68 percent of businesses rely on it. The extent varies from sector to sector – for example 85 percent of logistics companies have a multi-site resiliency strategy that incorporates multiple data centers and relies on live IT application failover. Surprisingly, retail can only muster 58 percent and is one of the sectors with the lowest adoption rate. What really surprises Matt


Stansberry though is that only a third of companies say that they will meet the demand for increased data center capacity by shifting workloads to the cloud. “Many people don’t seem to be willing to throw out their legacy systems but are still investing in diesel generators and backup power.” One statistic thrown up by the survey has changed very little over the last four years. 65 percent of organizations deploy their IT assets in an enterpriseowned data center; 22 percent use a colocation or multi-tenant data center provider and only 13 percent have moved their assets to the cloud. “It

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Matt Stansberry is the Uptime Institute Senior Director of Content & Publications and Program Director for Uptime Institute Symposium. He has researched the convergence of technology, facility management, and energy issues in the data center since 2003. Mr. Stansberry operates the Uptime Institute social media outlets (Blog, Twitter, and YouTube channel), conducts the annual data center survey, and develops the agenda for Uptime Institute industry events including Symposium and Charrette. 102

July 2017

“Many people don’t seem to be willing to throw out their legacy systems but are still investing in diesel generators and backup power” – MATT STANSBERRY, Senior Director of Content & Publications


is moving slower than I’d have thought,” he says. “It is probably because it’s not easy to re-architect their legacy applications for a cloud environment.” Digital transformation is a seismic and traumatic operation for a large organization, and it can be costly too, but it does clear the way to future growth. So don’t expect an exodus of enterprise data centers’ workloads to co-location or the cloud. Inertia is an enemy to change. Stansberry predicts that investment in traditional data centers will continue for some years to come. Though Uptime Institute still earns its bread by monitoring the design, build, commissioning and operation of data centers, it has a big role in promoting effective management policies to its clients and across its network. More than 70 percent of respondents to the 2017 survey admit that their organizational processes for evaluating colocation and cloud providers left room for improvement and at worst were incoherent. “Managers may

VIDEO: Uptime

Institute’s 2017 Data Center Industry Survey Results

not have the breadth of vision to make effective decisions. We are really going to work on helping people look across silos.” The survey does show that there’s a much more realistic awareness of the business critical nature of data to a business and the consequences of outages. However, though 90 percent of organizations say they conduct root cause analysis of any IT outage, only 60 percent report that they measure the cost of downtime as a business metric. There still seems to be something of a gap between perception and action.

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