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Symposium 2017 Bright Lights, Big Ideas and You. Uptime Institute Certifies the World’s Digital Foundation for Business.

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September 18 The Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada


HELLO AND WELCOME to the May edition of Construction Global. This month features an exclusive interview with IKEA’s Sustainability Expansion Manager Hege Saebjornsen, who discusses how the company’s new store in Sheffield is their most sustainable store yet, and is only the start of IKEA’s ongoing UK expansion plans, committing to a number of social and environmentally sustainable initiatives. Building Information Modelling is next up. We spoke with BRE’s Director of BIM Technology Paul Oakley regarding current challenges surrounding standard, method and procedures a year on from the UK Government’s BIM Level 2 mandate. Also included is our top 10 smart cities, which are leading the way to a sustainable future. We sincerely hope you enjoy the issue, and as always, please tweet your feedback to @ConstructionGL

Enjoy the issue! Catherine Rowell Editor catherine.rowell@bizclikmedia.com







14 How is BIM

continually transforming construction? 4

May 2017






NEXTDC Australia

126 148

Central Piedmont Community College – Design and Construction Program USA & Canada

Albert Smith Group Australia

Miller Electric Company USA & Canada




Dubai Parks & Resorts Middle East

LJ Hooker Commercial Australia

64 78

DP Electric, Inc. USA & Canada

164 Direct Line


USA & Canada


Telia Finland Oyj Europe



Gerdau Corsa Latin America


Sustainable SUCCESS W r i t t e n b y : C AT H E R I N E R O W E L L

Responsible for leading, inspiring, coordinating and influencing the development and integration of IKEA’s social and environmental sustainability commitments, we speak to Sustainability Expansion Manager Hege Saebjornsen regarding IKEA’s ongoing expansion plans


How does your role as Sustainability Functional Expansion Manager fit within IKEA’s wider business operations? I’m responsible for the development and integration of IKEA’s social and environmental sustainability commitments, with a commitment to establishing IKEA as a leader in creating and running innovative, sustainable places, and being netpositive. I also lead on developing our ten-year strategic plan to develop a market leading role in society as a 8

May 2017

business, including delivering to the sustainable development goals and business innovation opportunities, such as circular economy services. As we expand and bring our business to more customers in the UK we have a great opportunity to increase our positive impact also. With our scale and reach we can truly make a difference to people’s lives. How does IKEA’s People & Planet Positive Strategy influence the team at IKEA UK? At IKEA, we want to have a positive


impact on people and the planet. Our People & Planet Positive Strategy has three focus areas: inspire and enable millions of customers to live a more sustainable life at home, strive for resource and energy independence and take a lead in creating a better life for the people and communities impacted by our business. It’s all about taking many steps, both small and large, that together will have a transformational impact. In 2016, we produced renewable energy equivalent to 43.4 percent of the energy we used. We’ve already helped many customers to live more sustainably at home and in 2016, we experienced a 13.3 percent increase in sales of products that enable a more sustainable life compared to the previous year. We also reached our goal of zero waste to landfill which is a huge collective achievement. What are IKEA’s overall sustainability objectives? Our vision, to create a better everyday life for the many people, is intrinsic to our People & Planet Positive sustainability strategy. We want to do our utmost to be a leader in sustainable, affordable life at home

“As we expand and bring our business to more customers in the UK we have a great opportunity to increase our positive impact also” – HEGE SAEBJORNSEN by inspiring and enabling customers and co-workers, and by being a leading responsible business. We’re already taking huge strides with our People & Planet Positive Strategy and as we continue to grow as a business, it’s a great opportunity to inspire more people with ideas and solutions for sustainable living. How does the company plan to achieve BREEAM accreditation at the new store in Sheffield? Sustainable development is at the heart of our business and all new stores incorporate proven sustainable solutions for design, material, equipment and operations. IKEA’s plans for a new store at Sheffield aims to achieve BREEAM ‘excellent’ 9

PROFILE accreditation and incorporate a number of green technologies. These include photovoltaic panels, rainwater harvesting and linking in with the district heating scheme. The store will be committed to achieving and using 100 percent renewable energy and will include LED lighting, PV energy sources, and ground source heating. The store will offer two electric vehicle charging points and a proportion of local home deliveries will be made by electric vehicles. How will IKEA’s IWAY Forestry Standard support the company’s sustainable initiatives? The IWAY Forestry Standard is part of the IKEA supplier code of conduct and sets out the minimum criteria for all wood and board supplied to IKEA. This ensures that any wood supplied to IKEA is not from forests that have been illegally harvested or forestry operations engaged in forest-related social conflicts. Suppliers must have procedures in place to implement these standards throughout their supply chain and be able to track and report the origin of their wood. 10

May 2017

How will IKEA encourage workers to utilise sustainable transport options? At the new Sheffield store, we will create a Travel Plan for co-workers which will look at encouraging more environmentally friendly transport options, including walking, cycling, use of public transport and carsharing. We will have a dedicated travel plan co-ordinator to manage the success of this work. In stores, we will have real time passenger information boards, showing arrival and departure times in real time of local public transport options. This support both customers and co-workers. We will also offer all co-workers a discounted travel loan on the costs of an annual public transport season ticket as well as participating in the national ‘Cycle To Work’ scheme where co-workers get a discount of bike purchase. Is the Sheffield store a benchmark for more stores to adopt sustainable practices? IKEA Sheffield will be our most sustainable store to date and will aim to achieve 100 percent renewable energy. As we plan each new


store, we aim to adopt the latest methods of sustainable practices, according to technology and resources available at that time. We have recently announced our upcoming Greenwich store, which will be built to ensure energy and resource efficiency, including the use of solar panels, rainwater harvesting and energy saving and generating technology. The store will aim to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ Certification Rating and will be the first leading sustainable store in the UK.

How does IKEA ensure positive working relationships with suppliers? We are committed to using local suppliers where possible. For example, the steel for the new Sheffield store has been sourced from a UK based supplier. The IWAY Standard is IKEA’s strict code of conduct for suppliers, ensuring optimum quality throughout the entire production process. This prevents any issues that may arise with our supplier relations. Through the IWAY Standard, we work to 11


“The store will be committed to achieving and using 100 percent renewable energy and will include LED lighting, PV energy sources, and ground source heating” – HEGE SAEBJORNSEN 12

May 2017


guiding principles to ensure that products and suppliers are in the best interest of our customers, our workers and the environment. We work with our suppliers to produce products in the most sustainable way and are committed to helping them to operate more efficiently where possible. For example, we are investing in two full time sustainability compliance auditors who will ensure we continue to improve and can measure our impact. IKEA has achieved zero waste sent to landfill in 2016 – how does the company seek to expand its sustainability efforts? Sustainability – caring for people and planet is at the core of our business values and we continually work towards achieving more sustainable operations and lifestyle for our co-workers and customers. Globally, we aim to produce as much renewable energy as the energy we use in our operations by 2020. We’re also working towards producing products with more sustainable materials. For example, by 2020 we hope to source 100 percent of our wood from more sustainable sources.

The biggest shift will be to move towards becoming a circular business, where we use our waste as resource, and help customers mend, repair and re-imagine their furniture, while potentially leasing rather than owning our products. What is the vision over the next 12 months? Over the next twelve months we will continue the embedding and integration of our sustainability commitments across all expansion projects, with a focus on sustainable travel, local community impact, and our exciting leading sustainable store in Greenwich, London. We will put a big focus on co-worker engagement and competence development and ensure we build cross-functional ownership and participation across all layers of the business. We will continue to highlight our sustainable living range, alongside piloting circular services. With our ten-year vision for having a positive impact in society and being a leading responsible business in sharp focus, we will stretch ourselves further to understand how we can be truly net positive for the long term. 13

How is BIM continually transforming construction? We spoke with Director of BIM at BRE Paul Oakley regarding how BIM processes are still in the midst of being standardised W r i t t e n b y : C AT H E R I N E R O W E L L

TECHNOLOGY BUILDING INFORMATION MODELLING (BIM) has hit the UK construction industry with full force since the government implemented the BIM Level 2 mandate as a minimum requirement within construction and design companies back in April 2016. This approach and transformation has since been felt worldwide, altering the way in which designers, architects and construction workers collaborate and utilise data, increasing performance and enabling sufficient cost savings through the reduction in unnecessary waste. Originating from traditional CAD software, BIM 3D modelling has since enabled the development of tools and processes which have influenced industry standards and required training, with the aim to also improve the quality of information provided throughout various operations. Responsible for delivering a large number of 3D projects within a number of architectural practices, such as Lovett Fields in Milton Keynes, is Director of BIM at the Building Research Establishment (BRE) Paul Oakley. Also encompassing a background in consultancy, Oakley is behind the implementation of the entire

TECHNOLOGY BIM agenda and UK Construction Project Information Committee (CPIC), which has enabled the creation of standards and development of current BIM processes. He has also been spearheading the development of new software which will ensure sufficient cost savings within new and upcoming projects. He says: “I’ve worked not only with designers and architects, but for contractors and manufacturers, all with different points of view.” BIM Level 2 has now been in operation for over a year, where BRE has been continually working to resolve a number of challenges within standardising methods and procedures. Oakley discusses the current issues of delivering efficient BIM data, placing increased emphasis on the regulation and performance of current BIM tools. He says: “Traditionally, you create a model to specific requirements and put information in, but this doesn’t work in practice because the data standards are completely inconsistent with the people producing it.” BIM Level 2, therefore, is supporting the implementation of new methods to ensure the delivery of tasks through sufficient information management, 16

May 2017

embedding new roles, responsibility and an element of ownership into upcoming projects. Oakley adds: “You need the process of how you are going to go about doing the modelling, but on top of that you have the whole information management process.” LEXiCON & COBie In order to deliver efficient information flows and standardised processes, alongside efficient training and application development, BRE is working in collaboration with the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and the Construction Products Association (CPA) to improve data standards and develop essential tools, such as a new template tool. Whilst BRE initially aimed for a basic data tool in rectifying data standards, the extent of the issue became larger than originally expected. Consequently, the templated tool will now work to support and enable the hosting and management of new and improved data standards. Oakley explains that this process also feeds into the Construction Operations Building Information


Exchange (COBie), where traditional designers are now asked to produce data related to life cycle management, an area that needs to be embedded into COBie. “Traditional designers have been doing BIM, and the problem they have is that they’re not used to structuring data to be delivered through the design process, which then filters through to construction, operations and maintenance,” he says. Whilst designers are solely used to producing standard deliverables for paper or electronic paper which highlight a basic time frame or windows of delivery, they are not

used to implementing standards and undertaking significant construction data that now needs to feed into the life cycle management of projects. “They can produce a COBie file because the software will put this out, but the quality of the information means that that data is unusable by those people who need it and there are no controls in place for this,” concludes Oakley. Although British Standards are firmly embedded within construction and building practices, Oakley is only too aware that such requirements lack precision and specific detail with regards to the role and responsibilities


TECHNOLOGY for individuals, an area in which the BRE are keen to establish with this new template. Such developments will help provide ownership and sufficient data structures, enabling individuals to input information into new BIM tools which will then be exported into COBie, allowing for higher quality information. Moving forward Such developments are paving the way to further transformations within


May 2017

“The whole way we are going to work is going to completely change” – Paul Oakley, Director of BIM at the Building Research Establishment


an ever-changing industry. “The whole way we are going to work is going to completely change,” adds Oakley. “When we start talking about things like production and waste, carbon, life cycle, asset management, facilities management - these are all sorts of tools which can be developed in the future.” Whilst very few people make bad decisions based on good information within the construction industry, it is imperative that higher quality information will support the decisionmaking process within construction operations. Consequently, such

changes will allow for new tools, technologies and business models to emerge. Oakley uses Tesco’s club card as an example, stating that this has allowed Tesco to gain vital data on products and services which should be bought into store, exceptional results and further opportunities for the retail company. In April, BRE will be presenting further solutions within BIM prospects, which will reflect on how the industry has progressed since the implementation of BIM Level 2. Whilst there have been a multitude of challenges to overcome, Oakley admits to thriving off solving these various problems, noting that it is essential for workers within construction to continually reinvent themselves and put time and effort into learning new skills and acquiring appropriate skillsets to meet upcoming needs within the industry. In order to make the process efficient for all individuals who work within building, construction and design, Oakley concludes by stating that collaboration is absolutely key to changing the way in which entire the industry works, to deliver high quality results and move forward for the future. 19

TOP 10

Smart CITIES Take a look at our top 10 smart cities which are leading the way, with some adopting a ‘Smart City Vision’ and key targets to reach before 2030 Written by: Catherine Rowell

TOP 10

With the rise of smart cities and an increased focus on sustainability, companies have been tasked with finding solutions to lower carbon emissions in construction works, against a recurring issue of growing populations and limited building space. However, the creation of seamlessly connected cities will embed intelligent transport solutions within new and existing infrastructures, utilising renewable energy sources and driving long-term benefits.

10) LONDON UK London’s growing population has seen an increased strain on transportation infrastructures, creating rising emissions and demand for housing in the capital. The Crossrail project and expansion of the London Underground will strengthen the city’s transportation networks, besides the implementation of smart technologies, which are currently being placed within London’s roads to support commuters in locating an available space within the city. Bike sharing systems have also been incorporated. The city plans future sustainable initiatives, such as utilising the River Thames as a renewable energy source to heat homes, in addition to reducing carbon emissions through the installation of solar panels within new and current builds. 22

May 2017


09) Stockholm Sweden Awarded EU Green Capital status in 2010, Stockholm’s Vision 2030 highlights the city’s aim to develop a strong IT infrastructure, which currently attracts technology companies such as Microsoft. The city is also aiming to reduce emissions and remove all toxic products from construction works, replacing them with alternatives which will prove advantageous in future building works.

08) Amsterdam Netherlands In 2016, the European Commission awarded Amsterdam ‘Europe’s Capital of Innovation Award’, of which a €950,000 prize will drive the city’s smart city initiatives. The city is a hotbed of smart technologies and businesses. The explosion of IoT is felt within Amsterdam, which has approximately 80 pilots reflecting the city’s focus on utilising renewable energy and developing transportation resources. 23

TOP 10

07) Olso Norway Oslo has long been at the forefront of utilising renewable energy sources, adopting sophisticated parking sensors and regular electric vehicle charging points. However, the city is aiming to eliminate all cars by 2019 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Oslo is also aiming to eliminate fossil fuels within public transport services by 2020, adopting purely renewable energy sources. The city’s pledge has extended to the installation of a waste-to-energy plant, which will warm up homes in the region. 24

May 2017


06) Taoyuan City Taiwan Home to Taiwan’s largest international airport, Taoyuan City’s strong focus on digitisation and key location has created a resilient economy, attracting a number of investors and rising businesses. Adopting a Smart City project, the city has installed sensors and systems to monitor carbon emissions and light usage, in addition to utilising renewable resources, such as wind power and the use solar photovoltaic panels. Sustainable initiatives such as a sharedbike system, called YouBike, has also been implemented.


TOP 10

05) Berlin Germany Berlin’s Smart City Strategy has placed a continual focus on digitisation, leading to an increase in green construction and sustainable initiatives in order to create a more efficient and clean city. Siemens is the main provider alerting drivers of potential congestion areas, in addition to installing a sensor parking system. With networking and connectivity being at the forefront of all developments, Cisco has also been bought on board to develop the city’s cyber security and within the health industry, reducing waiting times and increasing efficiency with data received from clinical platforms. 26

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04) New York USA New York is home to a multitude of tech companies and is behind a number of smart projects. The city has adopted smart sensors and charger points with embedded wi-fi, which are located throughout the city. This technology has even been implanted in park benches, which will also utilise solar power and enable workers to analyse foot traffic around the city and manage waste collection. The rise of IoT is also seen here, with the aim to reduce carbon emissions. The city has been piloting a Traffic Signal Priority project, which enables the identification of buses at a red light, and are able to reduce the waiting time for public transport and reduce delays for passengers on the move.


TOP 10

03) Singapore Republic of Singapore Singapore is one of the frontrunners gaining smart city status through the implementation of its Smart Nation Program. The use of smart sensors embedded throughout the city record essential data, linking sustainability efforts within energy, electricity, water and waste management. The city’s Gardens by the Bay spectacle also highlights its efforts to utilise renewable energy sources. Development within transportation networks has resulted in reduced delays on public transport. The number of drivers on the road will also reduce further through an Electronic Road Pricing system, which will charge users an increased fee to drive within peak hours. The development of cycling routes is also underway, such as the 150km Round Island Cycle Route (RIR), connecting the entire city with Gardens by the Bay. 28

May 2017


02) Vancouver Canada Vancouver’s stunning landscapes and strong economy has cemented its consistent business growth and strive for innovation, at which the launch of the city’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan signifies the its plan to become one of the greenest in the world. Behind a number of green building and sustainable building projects, there are over 300+ LEED certified projects underway, embedding sustainable materials and features, such as solar and hydropower. The city is developing its local green spaces and sustainable transportation systems, installing electric and hybrid vehicles. The city is also home to the largest ‘Smart Bike’ sharing programme in Northern America, with the purchase of the Arbutus corridor. The city’s vision also incorporates the development and extension of the millennium line SkyTrain and existing bus routes.


TOP 10


May 2017


01) Barcelona Spain Barcelona is undergoing an overhaul of its existing transportation systems, implementing an orthogonal bus network, introducing hybrid buses and implementing the city’s bike share program. Smart sensors have been utilised within parking and waste management systems, where workers are alerted when bins need emptying, enabling them to plan their routes effectively. IoT has also been embedded within irrigation systems within natural parks, saving over $50 million. Smart technology is placed within the city’s lighting systems, reducing energy consumption. Inbuilt Wi-Fi has also been embedded, collecting essential data. 31



INDUSTRY Written by Leila Hawkins Produced by Jeff Debicki

NEXTDC data centres are not anonymous industrial sheds – as shown here at P1 Perth, they need to appeal to clients as well as staff and partners

We speak to NEXTDC Chief Operating Officer Simon Cooper about the country’s rapidly expanding data centre sector, charting the vital role the company has played and will play into the future.


round the world Australia may be best known for its unique landscape, stable economy and cultural mix, but there’s also an exciting IT industry growing here full of ready and willing early adopters. Australia’s ICT industry has developed enormously in the last decade, something that data centre provider NEXTDC has been a big part of. Establishing a presence

NEXTDC’s sites straddle the range of Australian climates, from humid sub-tropics to semi-arid to the chilly south, with facilities in five major cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra. It has already built out around 35MW


May 2017

of 42MW of potential capacity across these locations, with each site and market chosen for specific reasons, and has a further 60MWplus in the pipeline as it focuses on second-generation sites. Brisbane, where NEXTDC’s first data centre was built, is the go-to city for national businesses to position their Asia-facing headquarters. The capital city of Canberra poses real prospects for company growth, as the federal government has increased their IT spend by $3 billion in the past two years to $10 billion, and is increasingly focussed on connecting to public and private clouds. In Melbourne, the market is growing substantially faster than anywhere else in Australia, and all


the way over on the west coast, new submarine cables landing in Perth in the next few years could turn the city into a regional data hub, not to mention being the central focus for all development in the Western Australian economy. As the company developed this national coverage it was naturally important for NEXTDC to have a strong capability in Sydney, where international players already operated data centres alongside the largest home-grown players, such as Telstra and Optus. However, as Simon Cooper, NEXTDC’s Chief Operating Officer explains, “the

strategy was to get to Sydney later once our reputation and capabilities were understood, since it already had a mature market. We initially focussed on the opportunity that the rest of Australia presented.” Because of this, once NEXTDC arrived in Sydney toward the end of 2013, more than a quarter of the new data centre was contracted prior opening – NEXTDC had already established a strong customer base and brand recognition, which pulled business through and enabled NEXTDC to make rapid inroads into the competitive Sydney space.

When complete toward the middle of 2017, B2 will be Brisbane’s largest independent data centre, offering 3,000m2 of technical space and 6MW of power

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ABB delivers intelligent power to secure the data needs of tomorrow. Data centers need power 24/7 to avoid outage costs of a reported $1 million or more per hour. ABB’s data center solutions and integrated systems are designed for heavy-duty applications and the world’s ever-increasing data demands. As an expert in power and automation, we have solutions for every type of data center; cloud, colocation, telecommunications and financial services customers. With today’s data centers consuming 30 times more power per square foot than the average office building, and with the demand for electricity continuing to grow, it is critical that we plan to use our resources more effectively. We believe that intelligent data needs intelligent power and provide technologies which allow for stronger integration of renewable energy resources. We adopt a three-pillar strategy to improve efficiency and ensure continuous operation:

1. We don’t just view energy as electricity – it could also be hot and cold water. We use smart intelligent connections to get heat out and product cooling back to the data center. ABB can offer innovative power grid technology and expertise required to integrate multiple power sources as well as grid power into your data center.

2. We all know that increasing energy demands lead managers to over-plan capacity

from the outset. At ABB, we take a different view, by provisioning electrical infrastructure with more industrial thinking. The use of elastic critical infrastructure allows operators to purchase the required amount of capacity from day one, reducing costs and driving energy efficiency. ABB’s entire portfolio is designed for modularity, from components like circuit breakers, UPS systems, all the way through to our engineered solutions like substations.

3. We also provide solutions for more environmentally friendly data centers through

deep component visibility. Data centers can be complicated things; they include a myriad of devices, from servers to fire extinguishers to cooling equipment, all of which need to be connected. By using industrial protocols that transfer more content and data we minimize the amount of cables and reduce complexity in the architecture

Just imagine how everyone is depending more and more on data, computing power and connectivity, with an increasing reliance on optimum data center performance. At ABB, we can help you meet the data demands of today and tomorrow.


The Australian market

Simon Cooper

Chief Operating Officer Simon Cooper directs the data centre design, construction, operations businesses at NEXTDC. He is a qualified engineer with extensive leadership experience in the international IT and telecoms industry. Simon was previously based in Singapore as Senior Vice President at Tata Communications, responsible for strategic network development in support of the company’s global portfolio.

Cooper joined the company in 2011 when NEXTDC was at the early start-up stage. Prior to joining he was Senior Vice President, Network & Solutions, at Tata Communications, where he got to know NEXTDC’s then future founder Bevan Slattery while working together on an international submarine cable development project. When Slattery needed a COO he called Cooper because of his extensive experience in the telecommunication sector and successful delivery of multiple large infrastructure businesses. At the time the data centre market hadn’t taken off in Australia, so Cooper seized the chance. “My previous role was a global one, so I could see what was happening in North America and Europe. The cloud was coming, the enterprise

In the FIRST 12 MONTHS that we had OPTUS ON BOARD THEY INCREASED THEIR FOCUS ON CLOUD SOLUTIONS rather than building data centres and instead make use of ours 38

May 2017


was shifting and I could see where Microsoft, Google and others were going. You don’t get the opportunity very often in your career to jump into something like that and shape it.” Since then the market has changed rapidly, especially with large-scale, international operators expanding massively in Sydney and turning their attention to Melbourne. “If you match Australia to its direct population it’s punching well above its weight,” Cooper says. “That’s something Australia has always done with technology. I think it’s a combination of distance and some of the cultural linkages back to Europe and the US. Also aspiration, both at the enterprise level and the individual. If you were to talk to Microsoft or Amazon, the use they see here compared to the population is quite dramatic. NEXTDC has successfully taken part in that and helped it along.” As a result the company is growing fast – its facility utilisation increased almost a third in the past year, and it’s in the midst of expanding data hall space in its first-generation

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Jeff Van Zetten

Head of Engineering and Design Jeff Van Zetten is responsible for the overall design, commissioning, Uptime Institute Tier Certification process, ongoing performance, and energy tuning of NEXTDC’s data centres. Prior to joining NEXTDC, Jeff was based in Singapore as the Asia-Pacific technical director for a leading high-performance, buildings technology company. Jeff has experience in onsite commissioning and troubleshooting data centre and major projects throughout Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.

Shatter DCI Constraints Cloud providers, enterprises, and service providers need data center interconnect (DCI) networking that can scale and adapt as quickly as business and operational demands change. Comlinx and Juniper Networks can help you grow and accelerate cloud services in an open, programmable environment. Contact the team at Comlinx to see how they can help your business to SHATTER the DCI constraints. Call +61 7 3852 9800 or visit Comlinx.com.au

Data centres are an increasingly critical component of organizations’ IT strategies, guaranteeing uptime for key infrastructure, and acting as a hub for cloud access and interconnection. The need to avoid downtime is also driving increased redundancy at all levels. NEXTDC is addressing this challenge by driving network innovation that delivers the speed and agility required to meet these new demands. “On this journey, we have the support of our local partner Comlinx with technology from the global networking vendor Juniper Networks,” said David Dzienciol, Chief Customer Officer & Executive Vice President of Technology at NEXTDC. “The Juniper Networks technology allows us to more easily scale network capacity and support a multitude of network architectures”. “We know that NEXTDC can always count on Junipers networking innovations and that coupled with our Comlinx 24 x 7 NOC, ensures that NEXTDC’s high density, high performance Data Centre requirements are supported in the best way possible” said Comlinx Co-Founder and Director, Scott Smith. “The flexibility provided within the Juniper API environment will also ensure that automation continues to drive operational efficiency for NEXTDC’s business and its customers.” “We are proud to say that our strong partnership with Comlinx has enabled us to

continuously provide highly-valued services, all while delivering on the very best of networking innovations for major data centre operators like NEXTDC and beyond,” said Ralph Candiloro, regional VP ANZ, Juniper Networks. As customers’ needs for connectivity become increasingly sophisticated the performance and security demands on networking infrastructure has similarly grown. To keep up with these constantly evolving requirements Juniper believes in a strong partner ecosystem to provide comprehensive and consistent levels of service all while simultaneously delivering on tailored offerings specific to their needs. Comlinx has been a long-standing partner of Juniper Networks, and possesses extensive skills across Juniper’s switching, routing, security and optical technologies. They have achieved and maintained the highest level of Technical and Support Accreditation for the past 10 years.

Junipers innovative technology can help your business to deliver greater customer value. To discover how Comlinx and Juniper Networks can help you and your customers, visit www.comlinx.com.au or www.juniper.net or call Comlinx on +61 7 3852 9800.




Elements of the core infrastructure that supports the data halls at S1 include the rooftop mechanical plant, which can utilise direct freeair cooling to greatly reduce the amount of energy used


Number of Employees at NEXTDC Perth, Melbourne, Canberra, and Sydney facilities (e.g. adding an extra 1MW in Sydney) while building three brand new data centres in national partnership with the awardwinning FDC construction and fitout company. S2 will be NEXTDC’s

second data centre in Sydney, and will be operational during 2018. With an ultimate capacity of 30MW and around 8,000m2 of client space, it will be the biggest facility in the company’s nationwide network. Brisbane will see a new data centre in mid-2017, scaling up to 6MW, and in Melbourne a site of at least 25MW of capacity is also well along in its construction phase. The sites are carefully positioned so that they’re well served in terms of transport and the essential utilities of water, power and telecommunications.

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Buildings are designed in such a way that they’re expected to be active for up to 50 years. Energy and sustainability has been important to NEXTDC from the outset, and as an example of putting money where its mouth is, the company made its first material investment in renewable energy back in 2012, specifically a 6,000m2, 400kWpk rooftop solar array at their M1 Melbourne site. Typically this installation will generate around 500MWhr per annum, which is 100 percent consumed by the resident customers and critical infrastructure. Connected business environment

NEXTDC data centres offer a range of connectivity services to allow their customers to connect directly to each other and to the myriad of service providers present in any of NEXTDC’s facilities and others. In NEXTDC’s data centres customers have the option of physical (dedicated port) or virtual (shared port) connections. Cross Connects are physical cable connections within a data

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John Turner

Head of Construction & Project Management John works closely with NEXTDC’s suppliers to maintain schedules, and the quality of the infrastructure and services contracted by NEXTDC, while directing the on-going development of NEXTDC’s facilities, both operational and in development. John Turner previously held senior positions in, or contracted to, major corporations including Westpac and CSC, where he was responsible for the delivery of critical operation facilities, data centres and large scale commercial projects throughout Australasia.

ACG Fire & Security is one of Australia’s leading specialists in high-end integrated security, IP CCTV and safety solutions.

ACG stand by the premium service it offers and is renowned nationally as setting the highest standards for security installations. With four offices throughout Australia and technicians in every state, ACG focus on working closely with their customers to ensure they provide a range of services and integrated solutions that are constantly evolving based on our client’s needs.

SERVICES • System Design & Installation • Automation Design & Installation • Data Centre Security • Bank & High Risk Area Security • Airline & Airport Security • Healthcare & Research Facilities • Hazardous Area Security • Corporate Office Fit Out • Remote Alarm & Video Verification • 365 Days / 24 Hours Service • Customised Services

PRODUCTS • Electronic Security • Access Control • Closed Circuit Video Surveillance • IP Video Systems • Communication Systems • Lighting & BMS Automation • IT Network Implementation • Electronic Lockers • Electronic Rack Locking



Teams of highly skilled technicians are always onsite at NEXTDC data centres, and are available to perform a wide range of Remote Hands services

The entire national team supporting


centre providing a dedicated connection between those two parties. Users can also connect to the AXON interconnectivity platform, from which they can provision and de-provision reliable and highly secure elastic crossconnects (EXCs) in seconds. The physical Cross Connect product consists of either singlemode optical fibre (SMOF – single or dual core) or a Cat 6 Ethernet cable, and each is delivered by a trained NEXTDC facility technician via secure dedicated interconnect rooms, also where multiple

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NEXTDC M1 data centre Learn more at srasolutions.com.au/#nextdc

Designed, coloured, contained, secured, installed and repeated since 2012.

Let’s talk about expanding your current capacity or building your new data site: call Richard Wixon on 0451 634 624 or richard.wixon @ srasolutions.com.au









NEXTDC told us to ‘get started’. Five years later we’re still going.

Simon* says: SRA Solutions’ continued support of NEXTDC with our wide range of critical data centre products and great engineering is based on us jointly recognising where expertise and innovation can deliver repeated success.

Technology behind the technology

What drives the partnership?

We are proudly Australian owned and

Passion and innovation are cornerstones

are a key supplier to the nation’s leading

of the NEXTDC message and we strongly

independent data centre operator. Helping

align with these values. Our team has

get the physical infrastructure right is a

helped NEXTDC pursue its goal to provide

critical part of NEXTDC being at the top

enterprise-class colocation services nation-

of their industry. We certainly feel that

wide with flexible infrastructure solutions.

we are part of the technology behind the technology.

Data centres of the future We have designed and built products for


data centres for some 30 years, extending

SRA Solutions have worked closely with

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NEXTDC to provide fully installed racks

through to high efficiency cooling, scalable

within their data halls, featuring energy-

power installations and heat load testing.

efficient hot or cold aisle containment

We are at the forefront of turnkey

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solutions for data centres of the future.

to indicate the correct equipment installation and airflow. We are proud of our ability to provide customised racks tailored to the NEXTDC rack-ready solutions environment.


Simon Dunphy, General Manager—Sales and Business Development, SRA Solutions: 10+ years experience in high level data centre design

and construct projects for government, defence and commercial investments. Call him directly on 0435 125 189 to discuss what SRA Solutions can do for you.

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carriers have established a point of presence. Each data centre has multiple fibre entry points (aka pits) to ensure that carriers can provide fully redundant offerings to their and NEXTDC’s customers. Diversity and redundancy is also supported within NEXTDC’s facilities through multiple paths and data hall entry points from each interconnect room. As NEXTDC develops its second data centre in a given city, it will be bridging the physical distance between the two data centres with an expanded data centre cross connect product set, based on diverse fibre links if required, or very low cost fibre-like dedicated connections. This will allow organisations to seamlessly extend their service between data centres, and give customers of either facility secure access to the other. NEXTDC also operates its own private Enterprise LAN supporting the many IT-related services needed to run a large data centre business, which is deployed with the support of their local partner Comlinx based upon technology

Jeff Burvill

Head of Facility Management Jeff oversees NEXTDC’s five operational data centres – soon to be eight – and the facilities teams, not only does he ensure the facilities are maintained and run 24/7, but the safety and security of the people working onsite. Previously an Operations Manager at Alcatel-Lucent, and before that AAPT, Jeff has over 20 years’ experience in managing infrastructure for large-scale telecommunications enterprises.

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We’re No.1 for mission critical power protection. At Piller we are proud to support NEXTDC’s national network of next-generation data centres with an award-winning combination of our Diesel Rotary Uninterruptible Power Supply (DRUPS) and our unique Isolated-Parallel Bus solution. The first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region, it was instrumental in NEXTDC being awarded the Uptime Institute’s 2015 Brill Award for Efficient IT.


Nothing protects quite like Piller




from the global networking vendor Juniper Networks. What sets them apart

NEXTDC has already forged very strong relationships with the likes of Telstra, Fujitsu, CenturyLink, and Optus amongst many other successful complex solution providers. “For example, during the first 12 months of our Optus partnership they increased their focus on cloud solutions rather than building data centres, instead making use of ours,” Cooper adds. The on-the-ground expertise provided by NEXTDC’s engineering,

NEXTDC offers a Remote Hands service for onsite technical assistance, ranging from managing deliveries and installations, performing compliance or equipment audits, or simply escorting contractors

facility and project management teams is a fundamental point of difference to their competitors. NEXTDC’s people are designing, testing, monitoring and tuning these data centres, and a key area of strength that NEXTDC prides itself on is working directly with customers. “We’ve got highly trained members of our team on-site 24/7, ready and able to unbox any customer equipment sent to us, install it in racks, connect it, power it up, and hand it over remotely so that the customer never needs to come to the site or to spend money

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on sending others to the site if they so choose. At the other end of the spectrum, if it suites, once individuals have been inducted into the site they can show up 24/7 and we don’t need to get in their way.” The data centres are fitted with business lounges for customer staff to have somewhere comfortable to relax and recharge at any hour of the day or night, alongside quietrooms, meeting rooms, private office space and everything you might expect in a client-focussed office environment, but not so much in a large-scale data centre. None of NEXTDC’s core data centre staff are outsourced, everyone from the engineering team all the way through to customer service representatives are on the payroll. “The person you see when you walk through the front door might at first appear to be a security guard there to check you out, but they’re really not,” says Cooper. “They’re primarily there to help and assist, a concierge if you will, and most importantly are first and foremost there to say


May 2017

My previous role was a

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THE CLOUD WAS COMING, the enterprise was shifting and I COULD



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‘Hi, I can see you’re supposed to be here and I can see you have booked some NEXTDC remote hands support, how can I help?’” To be able to do this the company has put a very strong focus on in-house training programmes, including shadowing across all departments for technical engineers, sales staff and customer help desks. Employees might initially join part time or be doing night shifts to support themselves while

studying, for instance, and this enables them to become part of the team and the culture as they move deeper into the organisation. “Having an engaged workforce is vital to achieving our strategic objectives,” continues Cooper. “NEXTDC’s success is all about teamwork, and a workplace that promotes diversity and fosters a culture that recognises and celebrates our success as a team.” NEXTDC is also willing to rotate

Excellence in Pre Fabricated Engineering for Mission Critical Facilities.


B1 is located in the heart of Brisbane’s CBD, and is Queensland’s most fibreconnected commercial data centre

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• Data Centre Audits • Electrical Engineering • Power Monitoring and Reporting • BIM Modelling • DC Installations • Hot and Cold Aisles • All Copper & Fibre Installation & Design • Fibre Guide & Containment Systems • Wireless & GPS Installations • Certified with all Major Data Manufacturers


www.crs.com.au CRS delivers customised racking, security caging, hot and cold aisle containment, network connectivity, UPS systems, power monitoring and intelligent networked power distribution, and lighting control and automation solutions to the ICT and commercial construction industry. co



Unit C, 110 McEvoy St, Alexandria NSW 2015 | T: +61 2 9469 1100 | E: sales@crs.com.au

NEXTDC’s five story S1 offers enterprise-class colocation space, and provides on-demand access to major cloud platforms such as AWS Direct Connect, IBM SoftLayer, Microsoft Azure and Office 365 via ExpressRoute

staff around the country, so employees get a sense of how the data centres operate nationally. “It might not feel like the three or four-person team running the Brisbane date centre is very deep,” Cooper explains, “but in fact the entire national team supporting our five data centres

NEXTDC’s data centres are constantly monitored and maintained to ensure service continuity and high quality power even in the event of a grid outage

know how each other operate, and they are all there for each other as and when required.” Achievements

The strength of NEXTDC’s company culture and business success has allowed it pursue certification for important industry standards, among them those set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This independent, non-governmental organisation seeks to ensure best practice in terms of safety, quality and compliance across pretty much every industry. NEXTDC has achieved ISO certifications for quality management, environmental management, and information security.

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From humble beginnings in 1966, Donald Cant Watts Corke has grown into Australia’s largest privately owned cost and project management consulting firm. We have helped some of the nation’s most respected organisations turn their ideas into reality; and proudly support the NEXTDC team in delivering their projects across the country.


Level 10, Angel Place, 123 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000 P: 02 9922 4500 F: 02 9922 6017 E: dcwc.nsw@dcwc.com.au


The output of M1’s 6,000m2, 400kWpk rooftop solar array is 100 percent consumed by the resident customers, who also benefit from M1’s industry-leading NABERS 4.5-star rating for energy efficiency

Specifically in the data centre industry, NEXTDC was just one of 15 organisations around the world to win a Brill Award for Efficient IT in 2015, thanks to its innovative engineering and unique deployment of German powersystem specialist Piller’s isolatedparallel bus, which also played a part in NEXTDC winning the 2014 DatacenterDynamics APAC Award for Innovation in the Mega-Data Centre. To prove the resilience of its facilities NEXTDC has also attained Tier III certifications from the Uptime

Institute, a global advisory body that works to improve the performance and efficiency of IT companies. Cooper says these certifications, partnerships, and relationships with customers are what has differentiated NEXTDC from competitors and enabled it to grow so quickly. For now, Cooper is concentrating on the existing construction programme, but given the potential of fast-growing cities across Australia and beyond, he is not ruling out further expansion.

International signage company Albert Smith Group is still kicking its competitors to the kerb 130 years on. National Business Development Manager, ANTONIO ALEGRE tells Niki Waldegrave how Written by Niki Waldegrave



nless you’re living under a rock, chances are you’re surrounded by the Albert Smith Group EVERY DAY without even realising.

Do you get petrol at BP? Brave the crowds at Westfield? Shop at Coles or Woollies or – gym bunnies look away now – (occasionally) nip for some scran at McDonalds, Hungry Jacks, KFC or Red Rooster? How about driving past the shiny new motors on the forecourts of Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen, and Porsche – do you sneak a glance? Of course you do! If you live in Asia Pacific or one of its major cities, the chances are you encounter at least one of the above several times a week – sometimes a day – and Albert Smith Group has, literally, stamped its brand over all of them. Established in 1873 in Brisbane by Samuel Smith, the company initially manufactured rubber stamps. Over the years…Albert Smith Signs evolved into the branding and signage company it is today and is led by Samuel’s great grandsons,


May 2017

Rodney and Mitchell Smith. Albert Smith Signs is a trusted leader and provider of signage products within Australia. Our number one priority is to protect our customers’ brands through delivering consistent high quality compliant signage. Our claim to be a trusted leader in our industry is not only based on being one of the largest providers but also our long history of design innovations that subsequently have become industry standard. For example, Albert Smith Signs was the first company in Australia to bring plastics into signage manufacture; the first to bring vacuum forming into signage manufacture in Australia; and the first to deliver LED technology into signage in Australia to improve lighting reliability and reduce operational costs. It was also the first to develop a unique illumination management system for pylon signs up to 25 metres in height, allowing both fluorescent tube and LED lighting systems to be maintained


without requiring specialist high access equipment. The Albert Smith Group comprises three main divisions – Albert Smith Signs, ASTech and Brandcare. Combining the specialist skills and resources of these divisions enables the group to seamlessly manage every step of the signage production process – conception, design, manufacturing and installation. The company has literally thousands of hours of technical and business experience to draw upon, not to mention valuable cultural insight. This strength and flexibility has proven invaluable to the company and in turn its customers. Albert Smith Group‘s National Business Development Manager for Construction, Antonio Alegre, credits the company’s success to the fact it’s still wholly owned and operated by the family’s fourth generation with a continuing commitment to quality and innovation. “There’s a sense of pride and energy here that I haven’t been able to find in other companies I’ve worked for,” says Alegre.

Westfield North Lakes “It still has its family roots and Rodney (Managing Director) and Mitchell (Director) have an incredible energy, drive and passion which oozes out to everyone. “We’re going from strength to strength; we’re increased our staff employment across the Group, we’re investing in new processes and additional equipment to streamline production and delivery the best value to fully satisfy our customer’s expectations of the Albert Smith Group.” Alegre also points to the company’s passion regarding strict quality control throughout all manufacturing facility stages, as well as the install on site. Indeed,

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Seque rest volorum Azentro ITC aute velestio intem illibus it is the ultimate one-stop-shop. manufacturing environment The business does everything from deliverses concept completion quito ut concept to turnkey, Alegre adding: signage solutions, ensuring strict alit et, sita “We are one of a few companies quality control and adherence nationwide, which can offer a full into all statutory regulations, iuntur? house solution to the customer. We believe we are the leading branding and signage company in Australia. “We have many different trades in-house, from welding to painting, to digital printing and electrical assembling componentry…it’s a very busy facility. Our fully integrated in-house design and


Month 2016

EH&S, and local compliances, protecting all legal obligations.” ASG runs ‘Lean Manufacturing’ with a ‘Six Sigma Green Belt’ accredited manufacturing manager. As part of the Lean Manufacturing model and in conjunction

BP Kinsgton with SignSpec, the company’s design division, processes are constantly checked and improvements implemented, and documented. This not only generates cost savings and time improvements but also ensures overall quality improvements. “International accreditation with many of the world’s leading corporations is a testament to the quality of products and reliability of services by Albert Smith Signs,” Alegre adds. “Our customer base includes many of the world’s leading brands in retail, automotive, finance, hospitality and other commercial and private sectors. We appreciate that these customers have trusted their branding to us, many for more than 30 years.”

2000 Sydney Olympics

One of the largest projects at the time, Albert Smith Group supplied over $3million worth of signage and way-finding to the Homebush Olympic Park during the Sydney-held Olympics Games. This was an enormous project that was delivered on time and budget. From small amenity wall signs, directionals, digital media, ASG’s Permasign illuminated



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THE POWER BEHIND AUSTRALIA’S LIGHTING REVOLUTION ADM EXHIBITING AT SPARC-FMA 30 May – 1 June 2017 Sydney International Convention Centre The event will feature an exhibition showcasing the latest in lighting and facility management innovation from Australia and globally. ADM will have the latest MEAN WELL LED drivers on display at our stand, including the new ELG Series.

Event Organizer

Gold Sponsor


letters, Totems, Monolith Pylons and illuminated Shy Signs, meaning there was nothing that Albert Smith Signs was not able to deliver to what was an extraordinary spectacle. BP (British Petroleum)

Another example of an Albert Smith Group partner is BP, with which the Group has had close relations since the petroleum company arrived Down Under in 1920. To this day BP remains one of ASG’s most valued long term customers. “With major Customers such as BP, we provide all the branding







– Antonio Alegre, National Business Development Manager

and signage both internal and external,” says Alegre. “So when you drive into a BP Petrol Station, you’ll notice the big monolith pylons with the advertised fuel price, directional signs, fuel pump canopy, decals, entry portals and internal signage down to the cashier. We have been manufacturing and fitting out BP petrol stations in Australia for decades.” Building up

Alegre says ASG’s biggest core sector for the last few years

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Revenue at Albert Smith Group has been construction. Australia as a whole is experiencing a very exciting and healthy phase in infrastructure and urban development, with hundreds of billions dollars being invested in residential, roads, rail, hospitals, airports, shopping centres and more. This equates to enormous investment from both government and private sectors. Let’s take Westfield Shopping Centres as an example: Westfield is well recognized in Australia as the

premium shopping centre brand in country as well as internationally. Its brand has been growing greatly in the last few years with many more projects on the way all over Australia. The Albert Smith Group has also been a long term supplier for the Scentre Group. Generally speaking these are large projects and require a diverse range of branding and signage, from entry to car parks, amenities, internal/ external directionals, external monolith pylons and sky signage. ASG manufactures and installs all of these projects from start to finish. Alegre says the category that’s rapidly expanding for the company is external grade LED screens which can be assembled and supplied in many sizes



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and applications depending on Customer’s specifications. “This technology now offers a cost effective add on option for all different types and sizes of pylons and wall/sky signage,” he explains. “This technology is now everywhere, constantly making us aware of events or products we need to buy - there seems to be no end with this technology. “You’ll find that in the next few years most of the pylons you see as you enter the petrol stations will have LED screens. They will not just display advertising for their fuel but will also advertise whatever is on special in the store. It could be a barbeque gas bottle, milk or whatever is on offer. The options are limitless, which is exciting and convenient.”

Woolies Wynnum


May 2017


With new, large sports stadiums now commonplace, big external facades will become fully embraced in LED screens. Alegre adds: “Some of the new stadiums that we are working with will have hundreds of square meters of LED screens. It will be an incredible spectacle arriving at one of these arenas and you will see that most of the entrance of the venue is one incredibly enormous LED screen advertising the sporting event you are going to.� LED technology has been the biggest industry revolution in the last decade. All of these developments require branding identification and lots of signage, and Albert Smith Group firmly believes it has the capabilities, capacity, innovation and delivery to be able to contribute to this economic building boom

Meriton Sundale


that Australia is witnessing, and will experience for years to come. Sustainable

As a global manufacturer, marketer and installer of corporate signage and image design, Albert Smith Signs is committed to protecting the quality of the environment in which it operates, now and in the future. To achieve the highest level of environment, health and safety compliance, Albert Smith Signs has developed a comprehensive Environment, Health and Safety Management System to identify, assess and responsibly manage potential environmental, health and safety risks. “We conduct every aspect of our business in conformance with applicable laws, regulations and industry standards,” says Alegre. “Where there are no legal or industry standards, we use responsible practices or best practices to minimise environment, health and safety impacts. “We routinely promote partnerships with employees,


May 2017

customers, subcontractors, governments and the communities in which we operate to encourage the responsible management and use of our products and services. We also proactively communicate our business activities and the risks associated with our operations to employees, customers, sub-contractors, governments and the communities in which we install our product and promote our services.” Having completed dozens of successful projects over recent years, such a track record of success has resulted in ASG being appointed and maintained as preferred suppliers with many major corporations. Alegre concludes: “Our customer base includes many of the world’s leading brands in retail, automotive, finance, hospitality and other commercial and private sectors. We appreciate that these customers have trusted their branding to us, many for more than 30 years. Long may this continue.”


Porsche Brisbane

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MAGIC FOR ME” is the

Daniel O’Brien, managing director of LJ Hooker Commercial’s South Sydney office, tells Niki Waldegrave his plans for domination – and what makes a great agent

Written by Niki Waldegrave



Hooker is the most recognised real estate brand in Australia. Its residential sector has 700 offices across Australia, New Zealand and other international regions. The Commercial division – offering every aspect of investment, divestment, leasing and management – was formally launched in the 1980s but has been a service of the brand since LJ Hooker’s inception in 1928. Award-winning agent Daniel O’Brien spent 12 years running the leasing and sales teams at Knight Frank and CBRE before purchasing the South Sydney franchise of LJ Hooker Commercial in June 2016. His team is playing a key role in the South Sydney redevelopment precinct, which has undergone massive zoning changes and increasing land values of the area, from the Fringe of the CBD, east to Bondi Junction, west as far as the Anzac bridge, the Sutherland Shire and the areas surrounding Sydney Airport and the CBD fringe.


May 2017


“What we offer our clients is big agency experience and experienced agents with a personalised service,” reveals O’Brien. “The customer experience is what separates good agents from average ones. “We don’t have shareholders or senior management levels to answer and report to, so have no agenda and can take our time, ensuring our clients get the best of us. “My philosophy is simple: act like every listing is your own property, and everything else will take care of itself. It sounds simple, but the simple things are often the ones which always get overlooked.” O’Brien’s philosophy is working; the businesses is in a huge period of growth, for both revenue and size. And as well as increasing revenue by 50 percent in the last 12 months, he’s also growing the team and has hired some key staff, including two directors, Michael Binksin and William Tong. Between them, they’ve run sales teams and offices for all the big four firms and tri-lingual

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Daniel OBrien, Managing Director and Licensee

Tong is already connecting Asianbased investors and developers with local opportunities. “It’s great for me to have such quality guys as part of our offering to clients,” O’Brien says. “I’m concentrating growing as much market share in our core markets as fast as we can but for the next 12 months I’m solely focused on consolidating and growing my current business. While I’m very impatient, I realise you have to walk before you can run.” Initially O’Brien, who won Commercial Salesman of the Year award in 2013 from the NSW Real Estate Institute and was a finalist in 2015, wants to attract as many outstanding sales and leasing agents as possible to add to his 10 handpicked, full-time staff members. He draws in talent by offering generous commission splits and other incentives – such as property management bonuses which his competitors often can’t match – to help the team build their individual wealth. “Culture is, and has always been,


the most important factor to get right in any of my teams,” he insists. “Without a good team and office culture, you simply have no business. “I can’t think of many other jobs which offer this potential and it’s for all walks of life – a university graduate in his first year in agency earnt the same annual income as the top three percent of people in the country. And I’ve known guys who sold farm equipment come in and write $1 million in their second year.”

O’Brien claims one of the main challenges is dealing daily with people at the top of their game – like CEOs, managing directors, savvy entrepreneurs and property developers – on both sides of every transaction. “All these clients are absolutely brilliant negotiators. It’s in their blood so this keeps you sharp and really hones your negotiating skills. “It’s fun, and the best agents are the ones who listen more

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than talk, are smart and know when to push and when to roll over. Agents work with owners or principals who they can learn from, and earn more money with.” He jokes that some of the agents he’s mentored over the years are now his direct competition, but insists Sydney’s a big enough market for them all to thrive. “It gives me a sense of pride to see them kick on and become successful in their own right,” claims O’Brien. “One of the nicest things was when I attended a wedding


May 2017

of an old colleague, who is now a brilliant agent and close friend. “During the wedding speech, his parents thanked me for providing such guidance, motivation and direction to their child’s career. As a father myself, that really meant a lot.” O’Brien says that as well as attracting and mentoring more

William Tong, Director

Michael Binskin, Director

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“Isequidu citistes nis et rem doluptatem velit mi, utem doluptin nimil es et et audit alit estibus et dellaborum” – Name, Position

South Sydney

Big Agency experience with bespoke service LJ Hooker Commercial’s full-service offering covers every aspect of our clients’ portfolios: divestment, investment, leasing and management. Our experienced specialists guide our clients through Australia’s changing business landscape and deliver quality property solutions. OFFICE RETAIL






agents, he’s focusing on getting the business to the level where he can open multiple offices. “I have a great succession plan with very experienced fellow directors in this office,” he adds, “and I will likely look to one to run South Sydney so I can focus on starting and growing a second, then third office and so on. “Creating something is the magic

for me. With the number of new apartments coming online in our core market I’m also contemplating opening a Project Marketing division. “Life is short and my view is that you have to spend it doing something you love for a few years and can earn enough money as fast as you can, so you are able to then spend as much time as possible with the people you love – your family.”

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Australia’s foremost building products company, CSR, is strengthening its name in the industry with sector-leading technological advancements and a dedication to the community and the planet Written by Stuart Hodge Produced by Josef Smith



ubiquitous name in the Australian building products industry, CSR sprung from the humble beginnings of raw sugar refinery in 1855, and steadily became the name behind some of the biggest brands in the business. It ranks 96th in the ASX 100, boasting a selection of partners that includes Gyprock plasterboard, Bradford insulation, Monier roof tiles, and PGH bricks, as well as a thriving property portfolio.

and eco-friendly products, such as energy-efficient Viridian glass, and lightweight Hebel concrete. Additionally, the company’s property division develops surplus former manufacturing sites and industrial land and sells it, as well as being part of a joint venture in the Tomago aluminium smelter in New South Wales.

CSR prides itself on its high levels of research and development which have led to many innovative

Each year since 2008, CSR has cemented its dedication to a better environment with a sustainability


May 2017



report, and the latest incarnation of this (2016) gives an overview of the most recent achievements in this area, as well as details of its progress towards the 2020 goal of a 20 percent reduction in energy, waste, and water usage per ton of saleable product since 2009/2010. Reducing its impact on the environment is a top priority, and part of CSR’s research and development work is about analysing its products to figure out exactly how they impact the world, from design all the way to manufacture. Waste production

is stringently monitored, everything that can be recycled is recycled, and waste-to-landfill volumes are constantly being reduced. The Sustainability Report contains all of the measures CSR has undertaken to achieve its environmental goals. The human touch

Last year, the number of lost time injuries per million hours decreased by 20 percent compared with 2015, showing a huge improvement in safety. This could be due in part to an increase in training; 22,070 hours

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Technology is wondrous It can take you far and wide It creates a future boundless Helps your business make bold strides We can help you realise Your big plan or business vision Deal with problems that arise Help you make the right decision Thrive On

Find out more. telstra.com/thriveonbusiness


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of leadership and training programs were completed last year, which is an increase of 36 percent on the previous year. The business and its employees have also contributed $105,816 to charities as well as donating 655 hours of community support, and continued the CSR Values Champions recognition scheme to reward staff. Clearly, this business gives as much as it can to its home nation, and shines a specific spotlight on its own family of employees. As a company, CSR benefits from working so hard to improve the local community by developing a positive reputation and being able to hire talented people who trust in the business. It manages

safety and health, plus environment and community responsibilities with aplomb, ensuring it retains its status as a high-performing organisation. Employees are further encouraged to actively participate in community endeavors thanks to the CSR Community Support Program, which is an initiative that allows staff to receive a tax deduction if they donate to charity through the company payroll. This is how the business engages staff to

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develop and properly represent the CSR brand; the company has much to be proud of in the way it affects its surroundings. Technology

From a business perspective, CSR’s key focus is on the customer, and making everything as easy as possible for that customer. CSR was the first in its industry to create an online portal for customers, called The Tradie Portal, offering excellent functionality with a myriad of features. Customers can retrieve order quotes, view realtime tracking for deliveries, make online payments, and view their

financial statements. It draws the client into the supply chain process, enabling them to feel like part of the extended CSR family, thus solidifying business relationships. CSR was able to create the required platform relatively quickly thanks to the high levels of technology at its disposal, and disruptive technologies like the cloud. The arduous process of developing infrastructure is removed, allowing customers to utilise the portal very quickly. The business still had to move at speed in its development, which CSR discovered during the testing and feedback process, until the portal


was tailored enough to become absolutely essential to the client. The portal was placed at the centre of CSR’s strategic thinking, and came out on the other side of development as a fully-formed bespoke offering that broke the mould. While the internal feedback began as something skeptical due to the business’s traditional history, the customers’ viewpoint won out, and the The Tradie Portal has become a huge point of CSR’s recent success. Data is now a strategic asset, and while the human element remains and is cherished, less positive elements of tradition have been left behind.

CSR has achieved its admirable success by virtue of being as nimble as a market entrant with a lean, entrepreneurial approach, while maintaining an industry-leading position. It understands customer needs rather than simply supplying products, taking the time to get close to clients and prove that the company understands them. It’s no surprise, then, that customers are attracted and retained, and that CSR dominates the industry across Australia and New Zealand.

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Writ ten by Dale Benton Produced by Kiron Chavda



May 2017


In just a few short months, the first integrated theme park and resort in Dubai looks set to define the region’s theme park industry of the future It is a legacy for residents and tourists who will come here again and again,” – Raed Kajoor Al Nuami, CEO of DXB at the official inauguration of Dubai Parks and Resorts, December, 2016. Dubai Parks and Resorts (DPR) officially opened its doors in December 2016. As the largest integrated theme park destination in the Middle East, spanning 30.6 million square feet of land and filled with over 100 rides and attractions, building a legacy is key to the success of the park and to the future landscape of Dubai. “This entire resort was built to drive the vision of his highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for Expo 2020, which is to get 20

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million visitors to Dubai. I don’t know how you’d achieve a number like that without something of this size and calibre being built,” says Brian Machamer, Vice President, Theme Park Operations, DPR. The calibre and magnitude of DPR is a true sight to behold, with three theme parks, a water park and a themed hotel integrated into the overall experience as well as over 50 themed retail, dining, and entertainment experiences on offer within the 234,000 square feet “gateway” between each park.

Spared no expense As we walk around each park, Motiongate, Bollywood Parks, Legoland and Legoland Water Park, as well as the Riverland “gateway” it is somewhat overwhelming with a seemingly never ending offering of entertainment, food and activities. With Dubai Parks and Resorts, it really is a case of sparing no expense. Make no mistake, DPR has something quite literally for everyone, all with the goal of serving that ultimate vision for Dubai. “With DPR, you want to influence


May 2017

people’s travel patterns and help create a more well-rounded experience. That is what’s going to take the average three-night stay of a tourist up to seven nights, which is ultimately what the city needs to take the next step and hit 20 million overnight tourists and beyond,” Machamer says. DPR is of course not the only theme park in the region, and Matthew Priddy, CTO of DPR, believes that only together can that goal be achieved. “We look at other venues as complimentary. Together it’s our goal to have a regional destination for tourists, not just something to do when you’re here,” he says. One such venue will be but a stone throw away from DPR. Though there are still new developments to come late this year, including a Lionsgate Hunger Games themed section of Motiongate, DPR has already begun construction on Six Flags Dubai, the first Six Flags branded theme park in the region. With an open date planned for late 2019, the 3.5 million square ft., AED 2.6 billion park will consist of 27 rides and attractions tailored towards the thrill seekers of all ages.



May 2017

“TO DELIVER A PROJECT OF THIS SIZE TO THE QUALITY THAT WE HAVE, WITH THE GREAT FEEDBACK WE’VE BEGUN TO GET FROM VISITORS, IT REALLY FILLS US WITH A GREAT SENSE OF ACHIEVEMENT” Building a vision As we sit down in the Lapita Hotel, the 504 room Polynesian themed hotel located right in the heart of DPR and part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, we rewind the clocks to 12 months ago, when everything was still under construction and almost a lifetime away from the wonder that stands before us today. Needless to say, to get to where they are today, both Machamer and Priddy have had quite a frenzied year that has not been without its challenges. “It’s been a very busy year to say the least,” says Priddy. “To try and pull off what we’re trying to pull off is such a monumental thing.” This is a feeling shared

by Machamer. “To deliver a project of this size to the quality that we have, with the great feedback we’ve begun to get from visitors, it really fills us with a great sense of achievement,” he adds. Both Machamer and Priddy can call upon rich histories and experience in the theme park industry, with a combined 70+ years that has seen both men working on parks with Universal Studios and Walt Disney. It is this experience that allows Priddy to reflect on the last year and boldly state that there were no surprises along the way. “This is actually my eleventh theme park, and as they say in Texas this is not my first rodeo,” he says.

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Subsequent success DPR may have been officially opened in December, but LEGOLAND was the first part of the parks to be opened in late October, followed by Bollywood in November and Motiongate in December. This staggered opening approach granted DPR a sense of breathing space, as each section of the park is made up of various different vendors and multiple themes. With the gradual opening, this made the management element of each park that little bit easier. “Looking at it we thought, it’s better to open 100 percent of 80 percent, rather than 80 percent of 100 percent,” says Priddy. Through subsequent opening, Priddy and Machamer were able to ensure that the necessary pieces were in place, both technically and on an operational aspect. This created a mentality where they could strive to get everything right on the first attempt, and then follow on that success with the subsequent and ultimately seamless opening of the other areas of the park. There is also a third benefit of this approach, marketing. Subsequent opening results in subsequent marketing “hits”. “Now you can go back into the market and say, we have even more stuff online. It provides us with that multiple marketing hit which of course will bring more footfall,” says Priddy. One such example of this will be the completion of the Lionsgate Zone, a new area of the park within Motiongate as part of the aforementioned Hunger Games franchise. A huge international draw, this will of course attract a new range of tourists, both first time visitors and previous visitors to the park.

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May 2017


A bumpy ride To look at the exceptional, often breath-taking work that has gone into the park, both on the design side and structurally, it would be foolish to believe that it has been a 100 percent seamless challenge free process. With the park now open and tourists experiencing the numerous parks within the park, this presented Machamer with an opportunity to begin tweaking various different elements to paint a better picture of visitor behaviour and how it can be used to better serve new and existing visitors going forward. And with such a diverse offering, in what is a very young and growing industry in Dubai, these lessons learned at an early stage can and will define said industry for years to come. “Experimenting with the different park operating hours has been a very interesting challenge,� says Machamer. For example, the LEGOLAND area is predominantly targeted towards families with young children which often results in families visiting the park earlier in the morning. Much like the subsequent opening of the park itself, Machamer used this knowledge to test the impact of opening LEGOLAND first, followed by Motiongate and then Bollywood an hour later, providing those families with just the right amount of time before wanting to move on. There is an added bonus to this experimentation. The staggered opening hours presents a great opportunity for the retailers and vendors situated in Riverland to tailor their services to capitalise on this flow of people.

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The doors are open, the heat is on Walking around such a huge park in the middle of the Dubai desert, the searing heat is something that you are all too aware of. During the winter month’s this does not present such a problem, but as we approach the summer season, with average temperatures of around 41 degrees C, the staggered opening hours will be something that will only continue to be experimented with further.

Much like the benefits of subsequent opening of the overall park, this will allow Machamer to get things right. With the summer heat intensifying, DPR has the DreamWorks Zone. This enormous indoor facility, which can fit five A380 aeroplanes inside the entire building from wing to wing, is home to major DreamWorks IP’s including Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar, and How To Train Your Dragon.

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“It has 12 separate attractions within the building alone, it’s a theme park within a theme park and we definitely want to use that to our advantage in the summer months,” says Machamer. With the park fully operational and visitors experiencing what there is to offer, this is a key shift in the paradigm of designing, constructing and preparing to operate a theme park of this magnitude. “When you open a theme park it takes a few months to really burn in the right systems, attractions and let the operators and the maintenance teams to get comfortable in their roles,” says Priddy. “You can practice all you want but it’s not the same in practice where its polite, it’s predictable. The real experience comes with real guests, experiencing different nationalities, different cultures.” But before any of this can be put into practice, both Brian and Matthew had to ensure they had the right team, from the people in the offices working alongside them to the people out in the field, facing


May 2017





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customers and contributing to the overall experience of the park. “Theme parks are new to Dubai and one of the biggest challenges, and ultimately successes, was recruiting the management teams and frontline staff,” says Machamer. With integrated parks, how will the team deal with the management of the many different parts? The answer, is through a double matrix system of management. “We have technical specialists and we have project teams. The vertically of these specialists and the horizontality of the project teams pass through one another and it is that intersection that is used as an information and support point,” says Priddy. This is where Priddy is, in his own words, still out in the field “kicking ass”. Priddy’s role sees him digging out any problems and issues that he can locate in the park, pinning these problems down and working in that system to identify what solution is needed and assisting in the enrolling of that solution.

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Satisfaction guaranteed With the park now open and months of training, scrutinising every detail of operations, the success of the park will ultimately always be defined by the voice of the most important element – the visitors. Machamer beams at the very mention of feedback, as the park is [at the time of writing] already seeing guest satisfaction scores sitting high in the 80 percent range. Achieving such a high rate is no small feat when factoring in the new industry, the new culture of theme parks in Dubai as well as pulling together around 4,000 employees with varying degrees of experience at this level. “It’s extremely important to have the right technical services team in place to ensure ride operational uptime is as high as possible,” says Machamer. The staff represent the physical embodiment of what the park and both Brian and Matthew want to be seen as, and both men cannot speak highly enough of the work that the operations team do to serve the public.


May 2017




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The end is only the beginning Standing in the centre of Riverland with each park almost acting as three of the four pillars of the earth, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking now the park is running the work must be over? This is what Priddy means when says he’s still out there kicking ass. There are still a number of attractions that will be opened in due course inside DreamWorks, the Lionsgate Hunger Games section and of course major construction on Six Flags. Coupled with the day to day operations of running a theme park, the finish line, if there is one, is by far nowhere in sight just yet. “One of the most horrible feelings I’ve ever had was waking up the next day from opening and it suddenly all feeling over,” says Priddy. With the rush and the non-stop work to get to the point of opening, the day it arrived almost crept up on the team and that presents the next challenge; getting back into the swing of things. “It’s about keeping people motivated, ensuring they have the right resources that they need to get back to it, Priddy continues. “My role in this is about saying; I’m here if you need me, I’ll remove any roadblocks in the way of success. When you’re successful, we are all successful.”

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Technology, data and DPR Despite its size and scope, DPR is very much in its infancy. Machamer has already seized the opportunity to experiment with opening times and entertainment offerings, but the key is how the company can store and ultimately utilise the data captured through this process. DPR employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) wristbands, mobile devices, smart kiosks and digital signage through a complete omnichannel customer interaction solution. This allows the team to collect the all-important data. A simple scan of the wristband captures the time, location and duration a visitor will spend at any given park. Machamer also utilises an e-wallet system in which visitors can store up value on their tickets to use in shops and restaurants throughout the park as well as presenting DPR the opportunity to introduce offers and promotions. When you think of a theme park anywhere in the world, fun and (in most cases) embarrassing photos taken while on a rollercoaster or ride is

THE DREAMWORKS ZONE IS SO BIG THAT IT CAN FIT FIVE A380 AEROPLANES INSIDE WING TO WING AND IS 22M HIGH AT ITS TALLEST POINT ONCE INSIDE an image synonymous with the theme park experience. DPR’s image capture partner, Picsolve, is integrating its DigiPass technology with the Dubai Parks and Resorts ticketing system provided by VGS (snAPP). Visitors can have all photos taken of them loaded onto their ticket and be readily available at any shop within the resort. “You can put all the pieces of the puzzle together and generate a complete picture of any one visit,” says Machamer. When it comes to data, is there any possibility of ‘too much’? “Sometimes yes, but at this stage it’s better to have more,” Machamer answers. “We have no history and a lot of assumptions have been made. Every day is a new day, so once we get that data only then we can start making educated decisions and be certain about our assumptions.”

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Five parks, Six Flags Looking to the future, Machamer will continue to monitor and develop DPR while also working to complete construction of Six Flags for that 2019 opening date. “We want to make sure the rollercoasters have steeper drops, taller loops and are faster,” says Machamer.


May 2017

Both Machamer and Priddy are approaching Six Flags with the key lessons learned from the construction of DPR, with the assumption that this particular park should be a much more seamless operation. “We have a more experienced team, guys who have been working together for a number of years,” says Priddy. With the change in emphasis



geared towards thrill seekers, this means that DPR will be implementing rides and machinery that are pre-engineered operating systems and not prototypes, much like those within DPR. By the time Six Flags officially opens, DPR will be a much more mature operation and Machamer sees this as a key opportunity to

achieve his specific goal for the company to be industry leaders. “We strive to be industry leaders when it comes to fundamentals such as guest services and safety, as well as introducing new attractions to drive repeat visitation,” he says. “By the time Expo2020 Dubai comes around, we will be firing on all cylinders.”

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In the world of the contractor, establishing a trusting, rewarding and ultimately effective relationship with the end-user is the key to success. For Miller Electric Company, building those relationships and focusing on the end-user experience is forged into the very core philosophy of the business



or over 80 years, Miller Electric has grown from its roots as a local electrical contractor to a market leading company with a diversified range of services. The company has evolved over time to offer services in addition to its core electrical contracting, including integrated systems such as maintenance solutions, monitoring and security systems. “We work with clients on the entire lifecycle of their energy systems,” says Henry Brown, CEO of Miller Electric. “It’s about identifying issues and working with clients to provide turn-key energy solutions that allow them to unlock savings and potential in their facilities.” But despite the growth and diversification of the company over the years, Miller Electric, through Brown’s stewardship, keeps one important philosophy at the heart of the business. “The company takes a long-term approach to everything, both customers and employees. This allows us to develop trusting relationships where employees, customer and vendors can all work together toward collaborative solutions,” he says.


May 2017


Henry Brown

CEO of Miller Electric

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Generation game Brown has been a part of Miller Electric Company for 16 years, working his way up through the company in a variety of roles before being offered the position of CEO, but the company has been a part of his life for much longer. Along with his brother and COO Daniel, Brown represents the third generation of ownership of the company, following in the footsteps of his mother, Susan Walden, and his uncle, Ron Autrey, who in turn followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, H.E. “Buck” Autrey. It is this journey through the company, almost from the ground up, that has allowed Brown to lead the company into the future with a ‘new lens’. Officially entering the company in 2001 in an accountancy role, over the years Brown worked through legal, risk management as well as strategy roles, establishing key relationships and understanding of the way the business works. “I was able to build deep relationships with so many of our

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“We don’t want to be treated as a commodity, so we don’t treat vendors as a commodity” – Henry Brown, CEO of Miller Electric

project managers and team members; learning from them and identifying our strengths and weaknesses, what we did well as a company and what we didn’t,” he says. Now as CEO, Brown works closely with his executive leadership team, developing and leading strategy, working to better understand challenges, opportunities and guiding the organisation into a better future. Brown has identified key goals for the company, namely strengthening its presence across the country. Expanding from its home base in Jacksonville, FL, the company has established a network of branch offices throughout the Southeast US, and beyond. In certain key markets, such as Tampa, Charlotte,

Daniel Brown

COO of Miller Electric

Nashville and Birmingham, Brown plans to invest in those locations to become not only the number one player in the industry but also a major part of those communities. Core Values In order to create those long-term, trusting relationships with clients and employees, Brown and his team oversaw the development and establishment of six core values. Trust, collaboration, safety, quality,

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stewardship and community. These are the values that truly define Miller Electric Company, values that Brown works tirelessly to instil into everything the company does both internally and externally. “Trust is really the core foundation of everything. The company is very transparent – we work open book with clients to ensure we are working towards the most cost effective approach,” he says. This applies to employees as well. Miller Electric Company actively shares financial statements internally, so all employees are “in the loop” as to the company’s status. “It’s the same with vendors, we want to establish open trusting relationships with them. We don’t want to be treated as a commodity, so we don’t treat vendors as a commodity,” Brown adds. Safety and quality are “the price of admission” to Brown, but he is keen to stress that the company must focus on these elements in order to remain in business and these are still values Brown believes are core to the business.

David Long President

“You can have all the trust in the world, but without a safe and quality operation – you have nothing,” he says. One of the more important areas, and one that is close to the Brown’s heart, is stewardship. As a thirdgeneration family business, Brown sees his role as “borrowing the company from the next generation. We are stewards of our clients and their money, but we are also stewards for the future generation.”

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Pivotal moment elements of what made that such Following his move to CEO, Brown had a terrible contract and realised a baptism of fire with the company. that they were buying our work Miller Electric Company was locked as a commodity,” he says. into what Brown describes as one of This has forced the company to shift the worst contracts in its history. The its focus onto finding and working with project was a large hotel addition and customers that value and appreciate renovation project, with a general that long-term approach to quality contractor, an owner and an unfamiliar and trusting relationships. It was this construction type. very moment that saw It was born out of the core values of the the recession, where company established, key errors were made with Brown, his and not recognised executive team and until the project was all employees to well underway. gain a better a richer – Henry Brown, “After we realised understanding of CEO of Miller Electric this was a catastrophic the company. financial project, we “It allows us had to rally a lot of the team together to build a cohesive strategy, to finish the job,” says Brown. where we know we are working Following the completion of the towards the same goals and project, Brown and his team pulled everybody has that consistent together and made several key goal and consistent roadmap to decisions that set up the company achieve that goal,” he says. for the one it is today, one that works with the right clients and Through adversity... truly values its employees. Following such a major challenge “We really picked apart the and pivotal moment in the history

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and future of the company, a pathway was paved towards a leaner, smarter and more successful business. For Brown, over the last five years, Miller Electric Company has developed a number of key clients across 40 states at any given time. The major clients from five years ago are still a part of the portfolio, but they have been joined by new clients that fully appreciate and buy into the longterm trusting approach to quality. Clients now use their working relationship with Miller Electric Company as a standard for relationships in their respective industries. This standard is a testament to Miller Electric’s quality of delivery, commitment to the core values and appreciation of the client. “They use our relationship as a test to see if our model works in new markets, and in turn they take us with them. That in itself is a major win for us,” he says. Employee empowerment Miller Electric Company is a company that empowers its employees,

approaching their careers with the same long-term approach as it does with their clients. The transparent open book relationship creates a culture of connectivity; the employees know exactly where they stand and how much they are valued by the leadership. In the construction industry, finding the right people with the right talent is often recognised as the biggest constraint to growth. As a third-generation company, Miller Electric Company has second and even some third-generation employees on its books. “This dedication and loyalty goes both ways creating employees that will go above and beyond for the client,” Brown says. The challenge then, is replicating that committment going into the future. This is where partnerships with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) comes in with an apprenticeship programme, the Electrical Training Alliance that looks

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to create skilled employees to fill the skills gap. “We invest heavily in our relationships with the IBEW and NECA, and in the Electrical Training Alliance. Our company president, David Long, focuses most of his time and energy on these industry relationships because we know they are a large part of our past and future success. As early as the apprenticeship program, we look for employees who can be leaders in the company. From foreman in the field, superintendents, or even employees moving into project management roles and executive ranks, many of them begin their career in the apprenticeship” Brown says. “We take those and invest in leadership training, executive education and create a culture of continuous learning within the company.” Of course, not every employee can come from the field and into management. Miller Electric Company also invests heavily in searching for the right college graduates or entrants from other industries to bring into the company and into a management training program. “The short answer really is that we want to build an

“it’s about looking outside the four walls of construction and how the more advanced industries are working” – Henry Brown, CEO of Miller Electric

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environment and provide opportunities that allows individuals to learn and grow, while being continuously challenged. We want people that want to be here,” explains Brown. “This creates employees that have our culture engrained within them so deeply, it shines through in everything they do.” Technology Technology is rapidly transforming the construction industry, with the Internet of Things (IoT) changing building electrical systems in a big way. Miller Electric Company is investing

in this space to remain a leader in an ever-changing environment. “We try to stay at the forefront of this change and identify ways we can use IoT to help clients monitor and control facilities through IP based networks,” says Brown. Miller Electric Company is installing lighting systems that are connected through IP networks as well as security systems and other building management systems. “This enables clients to run their buildings as efficiently as possible. But then there’s also the opportunity to use information that

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comes from their buildings, harness it and run their overall operations better,” Brown continues. The importance of staying ahead of the technological curve is key to maintaining the success garnered over 80 years and enabling success in the future. On this front, Brown hits the books. “I try to read as much as possible, really paying attention to the other industries,” he says. “Generally, the construction industry lags behind when it comes to technology, so it’s about looking outside the four walls of construction and how the more advanced industries are working.” Trusting partnerships It’s all well and good promising a long-term trusting relationship, one that is found on quality assurance, but as a construction company you are nothing without the work of vendors to help deliver on those promises. For Miller Electric Company, this is no different. The company works with Graybar, a leading distributor of electrical, communications and data networking products. The company allows a flexible distribution

model across the US, providing one point of contact to lead the account across the country in which the company is operating. Graybar also provides a number of manufacturing partners for the company, manufacturers that Brown believes will “really go to bat” for Miller Electric Company. Much like the relationship with clients, Brown looks to treat the supply chain with the same level of focus and value. “We want to be open, transparent and respectful, and want it to be a truly successful partnership for all involved,” he says. “Our vendors, to me, are a large part of our competitive advantage. We have vendors who will walk through walls to get us what we need.” Future foundations As market leaders in the electrical construction space, a position solidified through generations of employees, core values including stewardship, Miller Electric Company can only look to the future. Miller Electric Company works with a number of Fortune 500 companies

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“Isequidu citistes nis et rem doluptatem velit mi, utem doluptin nimil es et et audit alit estibus et dellaborum” – Name, Position

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May 2017


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that rely on the company and through the continuous work with IBEW and NECA, Brown envisions a future of sustained growth in the company’s ability to service those clients, all with the goal of remaining the “go-to” partner. But, with eyes set firmly on growth, success and better services, Brown values one area of the business above all else. “For me, the most important part is to continue to establish ourselves as the employer of choice in the markets in which we compete,” says Brown.

“To me that does not mean having a ping pong table in the office and a BBQ, it means creating opportunities where employees have meaningful engaged work, they feel good at what they do, they feel good about their company and they know they make a difference in what they do.”

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enriching a community Written by Dale Benton Produced by Tom Venturo


Having served the local area for over 50 years, Central Piedmont Community College is undergoing a $280 million facelift to embrace the future


entral Piedmont Community College (CPCC) has been a key figure of the Charlotte, North Carolina landscape for well over 50 years. Situated in Mecklenburg County, the college was established with a clear vision – to be the national leader in workforce development, providing futures for students and the wider Charlotte-Mecklenburg region. With facilities as old as half a century, it comes as no surprise to hear the college is currently undergoing a multi-million-dollar major


May 2017


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May 2017

As a community college,


on enabling people to get jobs, take care of themselves and change lives – Vicki Saville, Associate Vice President for Facilities & Construction at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina

construction project with the aim of improving learning environments and providing a greater number of modern classrooms and labs. The college obtained a $210 million bond from Mecklenburg County, a general obligation bond back in 2013, plus $70 million in other construction monies. This public funding has provided the college with 10 separate construction and refurbishment projects, and with an eye towards the future, the college is already working to gain additional funding to continue this process with another 8-10 projects in the pipeline. Updating facilities and the overall

college experience to suit the needs and demands of the modern world is one driving force, but for CPCC there is are also a state and county targets to consider. The state goal is for each community college to provide students with 100 sq. ft. per FTE (Full-Time Equivalent). Back in 2012, CPCC sat at 56 sq. ft. – some way off. Mecklenburg County’s goal stands at 90 sq. ft. per FTE. “In order for us to fulfil the need of our 70,000 students, CPCC really needed to ramp things up, make more labs, more classrooms and provide those square footages,” says Vicki Saville, Associate Vice President

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for Facilities and Construction. Following a career in private practice in architecture and landscape architecture as well as educational facilities design, Saville is now responsible for the maintenance of all 50 buildings over six campuses that CPCC has situated over in Mecklenburg County. She is also tasked with overseeing the 10 construction projects, two of which have already been completed.

Building a future Currently under construction on CPCC’s Central Campus is the new Advanced Technology Center (ATC) an 80,000-square foot, $33 million building which will house mechatronics with advanced manufacturing labs, and STEM programs. The ATC, a five-storey building which began construction in November last year, will present

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May 2017


an opportunity for CPCC to invite international technology companies to train and develop students in new technologies and equipment. “The ATC is part of our workforce development. Through partnering with these companies and agencies we are training our students and in some cases, providing them with jobs that may even take them out internationally.” Starting construction later this spring is Central Campus’s new Education Center, a 150,000-square-foot, $56-million

project primarily devoted to Basic Skills and Literacy education. “As a community college, we pride ourselves on enabling people to get jobs, take care of themselves and change lives,” Saville says. Under construction on their Levine Campus, Levine 3, an 85,000-squarefoot, $32-million project, will include a performance hall, classrooms and labs, and at the Harper Campus, Harper 4 is a 90,000-square-foot, $41-million project devoted to building trades, welding and construction management education.

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Workforce development, the development of students and people to gain skills which enrich and better their lives is the philosophy behind every decision Saville and CPCC make. The obligation bond represents an opportunity to better serve students and the community through state of the art facilities but also to attract and serve more students in the long run.

efficiencies of contact hours, but Saville also acknowledges that with a county bond comes expectations, and county control. “Mecklenburg County is our funder and they dictate when they provide the funding to us,” she says. “Naturally we aim to avoid clashing with the running of the college programmes, but in new facilities construction it really is dictated by the timing of monies Structural released by the county.” challenge Another challenge, as When designing, with many construction planning and beginning projects across the US, construction on a has been inflation and – Vicki Saville, Associate Vice President for Facilities the impact it has had on campus with building & Construction at Central ages as mixed as construction costs. This, Piedmont Community College CPCC, challenge is unfortunately, has seen in Charlotte, North Carolina inescapable. With CPCC lose 20 percent demolition and construction taking of its originally stated programmed place on an active college campus, square footage. This is no more time and safety are is a major issues. evident than in the new Education CPCC strives to schedule Centre, which was originally intended and complete all construction to be eight storeys high but CPCC in conjunction with the timing can now only afford to build five. of semester starts for optimum “It really has been cut cut cut and

“It’s who we are, it’s what we do. If our local businesses don’t support us then we’d be out of business”


May 2017


trim trim trim where we can. Bring programs in line and eliminate some programs, but we take stock, adjust and continue to meet the needs of the educators,” Saville says, undeterred. A wave of innovation Saville has been keen to introduce new and innovative elements to CPCC and really bring the college into the 21st century. At Cato Campus, in the new 80,000-sq. ft. classroom building, the design team introduced furniture with portable plug in ports for

electronic devices and tablets, which represents a move into the 21st century for Saville. “It’s just a real wave of the future, one where the furniture becomes a major part of teaching facilities,” she says. Powered by partners For any company taking on a major construction project of the size and calibre of the work CPCC is undertaking, working with the best partners is key to obtaining the

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best results. These key partners include Walter B Davis Company, which has been an integral part of CPCC’s swing-space management construction. This construction is the conversion of a first-floor parking deck into office space, which will house 30 college employees. CPCC have worked with Moseley Architects as the designers for Levine 3, which upon completion will be the college’s first LEED

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(Leadership in Energy and Design) Certified building to open in 2018. No college can operate without serious consideration for the safety and security of its students and staff. This is where Security 101 comes in. The company has been with the College for over a decade monitoring fire alarms and providing other life safety services to protect CPCC’s buildings and its staff and students and visitors.


Sustaining a future A key component of CPCC’s construction projects has a focus on the removal of energy inefficient buildings. “Energy efficiency and sustainability is very much rooted in what we do,” Saville continues. “We have partnered with an ESCO (Energy Service Company) for two Performance Contracts, PC1 and PC2. The college’s existing platforms for monitoring energy and water consumption and waste have been upgraded to monitor and measure usages and begin to track them better. It is a major goal of ours to become more responsible with our utility usage.” In the first four years, PC1 has saved $41k, and PC2 $16k thus far. This commitment is exemplified in each department of the college operating under its own sustainable efforts. For example, all of the food waste from the Culinary and Baking and Pastry Arts departments is recycled into a local farm which turns it into compost which is then sold. CPCC is also committed to recycling as much of its solid waste materials as possible to avoid the landfill.

The needs of the many Any company can talk the sustainable talk, but CPCC has been continuously recognised for its efforts on this front. In April 2016, CPCC was awarded first place in the Community Sustainability Award by Sustain Charlotte, as recognition of the college’s reduction in energy consumption since 2006 by 15 percent. As a community college that sits right in the heart of the Charlotte community, being a community enabler is right there in the name. The community well and truly is, as Saville calls it, the “lifeblood” of CPCC. “It’s who we are, it’s what we do. If our local businesses don’t support us then we’d be out of business,” she says. CPCC takes on a number of students and staff from local business and provides training opportunities for them. The college’s strategic process is dictated by the needs of workforce development. “We aim to mirror where the jobs are most vital, anywhere where people and students need to get be

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working, that’s where we will push,” says Saville. The construction projects ultimately serve the community. The funds come from the county and Saville and her teams at CPCC are constantly asking themselves “have we earned the right to that money?” “It’s a major effort of ours to open the campus to the community at every opportunity to show the work we are doing, and to really showcase a sense of what we are trying to achieve,” she says. Enriching lives The core mission of CPCC in


May 2017

workforce development is providing the citizens with the education they need to get a job and give to the community. Saville is a true believer that CPCC is making society a better place, “one building, one classroom at a time”. This is a feeling shared across every single representative of the college, from the architects to the construction and maintenance workers. “There is no face, regardless of age, that isn’t wanting to do more for their family, and that makes me want to do everything I can to help them,” says Saville.


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Written by Dale Benton Produced by Tom Venturo

Direct Line is a market leader in data center design, construction and management. With ambitions of expanding its global footprint, the real value is in its people


or over a decade, Direct Line has been a market leader in providing systems integration services, including the design / build and material planning of data centers, and most recently managed services (i.e. break/fix, directline.us



John Friesen

President and CEO

installation, decommission, inventory management and troubleshooting). The company has worked with some of the biggest data centric clients in the world, including Facebook, Yahoo and LinkedIn, but for John Friesen, President and CEO at Direct Line, the most valuable asset at the company’s disposal are its people and a culture instilled from top to bottom that the customer comes above anything else. “Customer service is my first


May 2017

priority, profitability second,” he says. Friesen comes from a background of working in customer service and customer facing roles. It is this experience that he feels allows him and the Executive Vice President of the company, Ignacio Del Rio, to be the market leaders in the data center design and construction space. “Our team recognizes that if you aren’t out there trying to provide solutions and you’re just doing the minimal of what’s expected, then you’re creating problems. Go above and beyond and you become part of the solution,” he says. Friesen remains fully active within the company’s day to day operations, often heading out into the field with project managers and customers. While recognising that he himself is not a mission critical element, Friesen does so to show both his people and the customer how much he values the role they play. “The more active I am, the more people can see how much I care about this,” he says. “Our guys have to care about what they do, like what they do


“Customer service

is my first priority” – John Friesen, Presient and CEO




“The company has worked with some of the

biggest data centric clients in the world” – John Friesen, Presient and CEO


May 2017


and care about the customer. Without that, the company fails.” This notion of strong customer service and going above and beyond what is expected is a vision shared by Del Rio, who sees employees adapting to something he candidly calls the “Direct Line way”. This way of working is a simple philosophy, ensuring that Direct Line is giving the customers what they want and not what the business thinks the customers need. Direct Line possesses a mentality that accepts responsibility and takes complete ownership of its services to the end user, for better or for worse. “As a company, there is no “it’s not us” mentality. It’s about taking ownership of the good and the bad. How can we first and foremost determine a problem and ultimately solve that problem if we possess that distancing mentality from the outset?” explains Del Rio. Growing and growing Since its inception in 1997 as a data solutions provider in the Bay Area, Direct Line has experienced significant

Ignacio del Rio

Co Owner at Direct Line

growth which has coincided with a technological boom in the data center space. With a focus on quality, construction management, supply chain management and this growing industry has seen Direct Line capitalise on a need for more efficient data cabling infrastructures. By understanding the complexities that come with this environment, Direct Line has hired and trained its 200+ employees to specialise in mission critical data center projects.




“We are witnessing something of extraordinary growth in terms of companies struggling to find enough data center space to meet their bandwidth requirements,” says Del Rio. This level of complexity surrounding data center construction and management is simplified somewhat as “building the internet”, according to Mike Janes, VP of Business Development and Data Center Design. The data center industry is one of


May 2017

the fastest growing industries in the world and around five years ago, Friesen recognised that the company needed to expand beyond its current nationwide and international footprint. Direct Line has offices in Fremont, California, Ashburn, Virginia, as well as an international office in Singapore. “We’re already a nationwide company, with a company in Singapore and a subsidiary in Ireland as there is plenty of market share out there,” says Friesen.


“Sure, we have Silicon Valley, one of the most dynamic places in the country, but I realised that in order to fully grow and achieve what we want to achieve we needed to develop a nationwide footprint which in turn has now become an international footprint.� He says. The challenge in people Direct Line has grown from its somewhat humble beginnings. Del Rio and Freisen became partners in the business in 2007 at a point where the company had only three employees

out in the field. Fast forward to today and Direct Line has close to 250 field technicians, engineers and project managers working across a wide number of clients, each with that customer centric mentality that both Friesen and Del Rio instil. But as much as Del Rio, Friesen and Janes see the people as the key to the success to the business. All recognise the challenge that the company faces in accessing labor and trained labor. The data center industry is a huge industry, but one that is still growing and at a pace



Your Power Needs. Your Way. For more than 25 years, Starline Track Busway has been revolutionizing electrical power distribution for the data center industry. Its simplicity and flexibility provide data center managers with fast and economical solutions for supplying power and expanding operations quickly. Starline Track Busway can be tapped instantly at any location, without any downtime. To learn why we are the power distribution and monitoring system of choice for data centers, visit www.starlinepower.com.


[ Inspired by our Past, focused on the Future ]

8 Quality, Service, Innovation and Value Since 1903 Siemon established in 1903, Siemon is an industry leader specializing in the design and manufacture of high quality, high performance low voltage infrastructure solutions and services for Data Centers, LANs and Intelligent Buildings. Headquartered in Connecticut, USA, with global sales, technical and logistics expertise spanning 100 countries, Siemon offers the most comprehensive suite of copper and optical fiber cabling systems, cabinets, racks, cable management, data center power and cooling systems and Intelligent Infrastructure Management solutions. With more than 400 patents specific to structured cabling, Siemon Labs invests heavily in R&D and the development of Industry Standards, underlining the company’s long-standing commitment to its customers and the industry. To learn more about Siemon visit www.siemon.com/company W W W






that makes finding the right people believes is fundamental to being who are trained to the best possible successful in the data center industry. standard more and more difficult. “You need to be an expert This challenge extends to in fiber in order to build data the technology and processes centers in 2017,” he says. required to design build and To mitigate the challenge of finding manage a data center. quality personnel and staying on “Everything we did three years ago top of this fluid industry, Direct Line is now obsolete,” says Janes. “The currently has two training facilities, challenge is trying to remain current in the East Coast and West Coast with the skillset required, areas. Not only do these the changing technology facilities better equip processes and staying employees with the abreast of what the knowledge necessary to industry is doing.” deliver the best possible This technology boom service, but to also better - John Friesen, is largely driven by the foster the relationships President and CEO speed of data servers, with manufacturers. with companies trying “The manufacturers to push more and more bandwidth offer training, in which they will bring in through those servers which requires professionals to train our employees new equipment and new processes. on the latest technology and products that will enable the business to Down to every fiber be more efficient,” says Janes. One particular trend across the Direct Line prides itself on data center industry has been the establishing deep relationships move to fiber. Direct Line is at a key with these manufacturers in order advantage point in that the company to better serve the end user. The has experts in fiber and the utilisation way the company achieves this is by of the technology, something Janes answering one simple question.

“We’re already a nationwide company”




Mike Janes

VP, Data Center Design

“It’s about understanding what manufacturers are looking at, what they are looking for in a working relationship, and how is that influencing the direction of the industry,” says Del Rio. This need to better understand the industry does not start and end with the field operators and technicians; Del Rio and Friesen and the toplevel management all make great strides in staying ‘in the know’. “We need to understand the


May 2017

footprints of all the equipment in the industry because if you don’t, through seminars and conferences, you immediately lose step of what the key influences and influencers on the industry are,” says Del Rio. Both Friesen and Del Rio are extremely proud of the customer service and the attention to detail and professionalism that the company provides, but in order to retain the high-level clients and attract new customers to the business they cannot rest on their laurels. “We are incredibly fortunate to work with the customers that we have, and every single day we earn that right. We work for it, and we earn it,” says Friesen. Fostering partnerships For Direct Line, the key partners are the data center companies and the manufacturers that the company has worked with and established over the years. Key partnerships that the company fosters and partners who are willing to “drop ship” for Direct Line. “Working together with the shared expertise allows us to meet deadlines


and provide more custom solutions for end users,” says Janes. “If those three elements [Direct Line, manufacturers and data center companies] can go to an end user, tell them we can work on this collaboratively and meet their specific requirements, we will succeed,” Strong, successful partnerships are not established overnight. Nor are they formed through happenstance. To the future The goal of Direct Line is to be recognised as a market leader and

the level of service it delivers to be second to none. Friesen believes that Direct Line is already there, almost. “Often people will ask me who is our competition,” says Friesen. “I don’t want to be so arrogant as to say that no one does what we do, but what I can say through conversations with clients and customers is that there is no one out there that does it to the incredible quality that we do.” If that is the case, then where can Direct Line go from here? Friesen recognises that there is always a better way of doing something.




“Being proven in the industry Seque volorum aute can velestio IS OURrest GOAL. Clients be intem illibus es qui ut alit et, sita iuntur? assured THAT WE KNOW data irst three words as maximet qui ad et quid centers and have SIGNIFICANT molorrum abor as solutem poritia ernate con et a que eaquaspitas re solupienisim EXPERIENCE from the bottom up.” ium id ut fuga. Ent, sandit, ex etustiatur?


– Ignacio del Rio, Co Owner at Direct Line Subhead First paragraph cuptate viducia quas nulpa suscia am, omnistio. Nemporit, omnit, volume vendand iaspedit autenimenime vidissitatat eaquis nost, etur am, te nonsed ulpario stibero ma quis sunduci dendit quam reptate ceroribusa ipsaperio eium que nonempor maximolupta andipsa mustrum aliania sunt duntio. Equam, sum dolorum arum est aut quas voluptis et atquide llabore nihilla utectis doluptati resciiscia digendem quo eostisc idundus si si to offictur mostiatus simet acepere perspe simaio enturiorest quid moluptatur? Paragraph indent ma sundis eos poreper itiore nis dolutem que exped maxim nima dest ab iusdaes trunto te nit omnis aborepu ditionsedi abo. Nequi autecti cum alibust endit essum es molorpo reproriam, veribus, to bernam facid quamus eatet omnihil is dolorion et estions ecerupta volore, voluptus dolesequae porepere pa pedis


May 2017


Direct Line has already experienced eum dolore diti tremendous growth sum accus and success, eatem elis Friesen but asped enihili believes tatio. in Voluptat. asking “how Mincta can nos we do netitrempore better?”mposapere sequia One aspiration aborum cus is for ut venimin the company cietum to establish volorasuntem stronger harumquodiae international officture porepta footprint outside of tempore its operations hendenimineosant currently the US.utemquid This is a moles vision et volupta shared by dit both volorem Friesenperspernam and Del Rio experum and the two doluptae agree that nossint. in order to get there Apelthe iditia company vendi doloriae must continue volupietto dest, similiant deliver the customer apelliacentric nonsedisitam service eiumhas that resciis already dolendissi been recognised te serrovideres elis aditenducite from global clients, conincluding cum untithe tet social networking giant Facebook. “A company like Facebook doesn’t want just anybody touching its data centers, with the complexities involved that could result in significant downtime,” says Del Rio.

pratur magnam imaxim sunt. Il estis ulpa “Being proven doluptae nis rem quatia velenim in the industry olorumishil et reheniet ani beatur our goal. autClients a dolorcan aces exero cus experferi be assured intesti that con we know coremos volo blanticenters data officiunto andmi, have sum significant eosantem illacca epreicias experience from arum the bottom si blatemque up.” nam Forvel Friesen, endamthough, adis Officae this can only repta be achieved simin pra by nullaut retaining et that exerum culture rehenissequi of going above quam, and beyond tota perum for the inctiaectem customer to veliquis generate quo true eture value. et eum “If everybody quatur sint across la volupti thebustiorite company laboriaest cares and shows inum doluptiaepro that to the customer, odit, then that creates an incredible culture,” he says. “If you don’t have somebody who appreciates the value that you can bring, then you’re nothing but a commodity.” – Name, Position

“Isequidu citistes nis et rem doluptatem velit mi, utem doluptin nimil es et et audit alit estibus et dellaborum”



From four to


the story of Arizona’s top electrical contractor We chart the remarkable rise of DP Electric with Vice President, Scott Muller Written by Leila Hawkins Produced by Tom Venturo



hat began as a small, family-run operation in a garage has become one of Arizona’s best places to work. Indeed, DP Electric now works with major clients, including some of the state’s main healthcare providers and government agencies. From four to hundreds Formed in 1990, electrical contractor DP Electric covers a diverse array of industries, from Renewable Energy to Mission Critical. When DP began, it was operated by four men in a garage in Arizona. Although it’s still family-run, it has now grown to a company with more than 300 employees. Vice President, Scott Muller, has been at the company for 23 years. He explains that the plan was always to expand. “The growth of the company is based on the growth of the people,” he says. “We anticipated doubling every five years, and it’s basically done that.”


May 2017

Projects Some of DP’s first projects were in the telecommunications field, installing electrical distribution into data centers throughout Arizona. These were mission critical projects that required DP’s assistance for both the design and the build, as they were carried out while the buildings were operating 24/7. No disruptions in power or service were noted. The company has worked on healthcare clinics, hotels and government buildings. This has earned many successful relationships with some of the most well-known national developers and contractors such as DPR Construction, as well clients like the American Red Cross, RYAN Construction, Arizona State University, and government agencies including the US Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Air Force, and the Arizona Department of Health Services. In the last year alone five of its projects were up for


“The growth of the company is based on the growth of the people” – Scott Muller, Vice President

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May 2017


Arizona Commercial Real Estate awards (AZRE). An especially impressive accomplishment is the CyrusOne data center. This site broke national records in 2014 when the 120,000 square foot data center took just 107 days to complete. From ground-up, a job this scale would usually take twice the time. This is a project DP is particularly proud of. “Our mission critical work on the big data center projects will have approximately 250-300 electricians onsite,” Muller adds. “These are very large, very fast-paced, very demanding projects that we have been involved with for about four years and going strong.” DP is currently working on Sky Harbor International Airport’s Terminal 3. “That’s about a $13 million job,” Muller confirms. It is a technically challenging project within an operating, international airport. DP has been involved with the airport on and off for about 20 years now.” New Technology Technology and speed are a key to success at DP. All field managers, as well most of their lead men, carry tablets and smart phones to facilitate real-time communication. Each device is loaded with the most current construction software and remote data storage. “Cloud” services allow our field managers to clearly and quickly communicate with project engineers, architects, and supervisors. The goal is to create and share blueprints, contracts, schematics, and other vital documents in the Building Information Modelling (BIM) process whenever necessary.

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Health and safety Health and safety is an area of pride within the company. It boasts impressive statistics: 750,000 consecutive hours have been undertaken injury-free since 2014. “Safety is the primary goal,” Muller says. “We have three safety managers who continually watch our projects. If the project is off-site, we’ll station a safety representative on that particular site. We drug test everybody in the company on a random scale all throughout the year.”


May 2017


Standout One of the advantages DP has is the calibre of its staff. When asked what stands DP apart from the rest, Muller says “definitely our people, we try to look forward, and retain the best in the valley”. “When you have a project that needs clarity of pricing, as no

architects or engineers are infallible when bidding a project, our team looks for the missing or incomplete scope of the plans and exposes them, rather than waiting for the contract and submitting change orders.” The company is able to boast a tremendous 80 percent repeat business rate. Muller explains

“SAFETY is our goal” – Scott Muller, Vice President

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why: “DP is not a subcontractor, we are a trade partner. Our people stay involved in a project from preconstruction all the way to the close.” ““We are ranked sixth in electrical contractors in the state of Arizona right now, rated as one of the best places to work by the Chamber of Commerce.” Staff satisfaction The company empowers its staff. “We’re one of the top paying electrical

companies in Arizona,” Muller continues. “We’re an open book with the financials, so that everybody knows where their projects are and where the money is. We give them a sense of ownership within the company.” This extends to training too. “We retain people by continuous training,” adds Muller. “We work with them on skills in the areas that they want to grow in. Say you

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have someone who comes in as a Journeyman and he wants to be an Estimator in our pre-construction department, or a Project Manager - we give him or her tools and the time to achieve those goals.” “We have training for every level from the first year apprentice in the trade through the apprenticeship program—which is four years,” he explains. “We do this through a professional program that we’re associated with through the Arizona Builders Alliance Group, which is a huge player for our company. They have training from everything up to the executive level.” Work in the community DP not only looks after its people, but extends its altruism into the wider community. The company is involved in many charitable endeavours. The executives, including Muller and DP’s owner and founder, Daniel Puente, are on the boards of several charities, including children’s organizations CASA Academy and Future for Kids. Among the others it supports,

is the ACE Mentor Program - the Architecture, Construction, and Engineering initiative that’s offered as a free after-school program giving mentorships to highschool age students interested in the design and construction industries. DP regularly hosts poker tournaments for the charity - last year’s event raised over $7,000. Such involvement in the community is all the more worthy given how competitive Muller says DP’s market is. “Our company alone has spawned off four other companies from our employees that grew and grew, and decided to go off on to their own. So we train and build, we don’t care if somebody’s coming in to learn the business to start their own company, as long as they produce for us, and they’re honest with us, we’re going to help them build to their dream.” This year has brought phenomenal growth. From last year’s revenue of $45 million, Muller predicts 2017 will yield around $63 million. With this amount of profit he doesn’t

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May 2017


see a need to move into other states at the moment, he says. “Arizona is one of the fastest growing regions in the US. Right now we have around 150 people moving here a day. There’s enough growth in this valley for us not to have to go into the other states.”

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BUILDING Sustainability Written by Catherine Rowell Produced by Lewis Vaughan

With the rise of cloud data, IoT and smart technologies, data centres have become big business. Telia Finland Oyj is behind the current construction of the largest data centre in Finland, embedding sustainable initiatives which will drive longterm benefits to the region


ata centres have become an essential part of business growth, with the rise of cloud technologies and IoT changing the way in which markets operate and communicate with their audiences. At present, there are two to three largescale data centres in Finland, including one owned by Google, but these centres have been built to focus solely on in-house business. Consequently, the new data centre by Telia Finland, named Telia Helsinki Datacenter, will be unique through catering to a multitude of different businesses. Juha Ekman, Director of the new data centre building project and Head of Large Production Premises at Telia Finland


May 2017


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MISSION CRITICAL AND DATA CENTRE CONSULTANCY Ramboll recognise the importance of designing core infrastructure services to maximise on the potential of the development, ensuring these meet the needs of the digital age whilst providing the best return on investment. We provide Project Management, Multi-discipline Lead and Design Consultant services from Feasibility through to Final Handover.

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explains: “In addition to in-house data centre and colocation functionality, this data centre will enable all kinds of different cloud services.” The new site will become Finland’s largest open data centre. Delivering a broad spectrum of telecommunications and other services, Telia is a leading mobile phone operator in Finland and also offers various platform and IT services for corporate businesses. All these services will benefit from the new data centre and its capabilities and efficiency. With a building engineer background, Ekman plays a pivotal role in the company’s largest construction


May 2017

Number of employees at Telia Finland Oyj



projects. He explains that preliminary construction work for the data centre has proved challenging with regards to timescale as a result of excavation work, which is time-consuming in Finland as a result of being the home of the toughest bedrock in the world. The first phase incorporated 100,000 cubic metres of blasting work which took approximately six months. The next phase is currently underway through the winter season, which will impact on essential concrete work. “Casting concrete would be fine if you can do it in summer,” Ekman explains. “In our case, we have a long winter season and we are casting concrete in midwinter.” However, he adds: “This is nothing

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Caterpillar Electric Power and our dealers understand that loss of power means loss of reputation and customer confidence. Your customers demand an always-on, robust data storage solution without compromise, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Cat® generating sets and power solutions provide flexible, reliable, quality power in the event of a power outage, responding instantly to provide power to servers and facility services, maintaining your operations and the integrity of your equipment. Your Cat dealer and our design engineers work with you

© 2017 Caterpillar. All Rights Reserved. CAT, CATERPILLAR, their respective logos, ADEM, “Caterpillar Yellow” and the “Power Edge” trade dress, as well as corporate and product identity used herein, are trademarks of Caterpillar and may not be used without permission.


to design the best power solution for your data centre, helping you to consider: • Generator set sizing for current and anticipated future operations growth • Fuel efficiency and whole life costs • Redundancy for critical backup and flexible maintenance • Remote monitoring for constant communication and performance analysis • Power dense designs optimising space dedicated to data centre equipment • Interior or exterior installation requirements from enclosure design for noise and emissions to exhaust and wiring designs For ultimate peace of mind Caterpillar Electric Power offers Witness Testing at our state-of-the-art facility

allowing you to experience first-hand the design and performance integrity of your power solution before installation. After installation, trust Cat to provide commissioning services, seamlessly integrating the power solution into the wider data centre system. Our dealers also provide training and support to your facilities management team. Throughout the life of your power solution, your local Cat dealer offers rapid service and parts support alongside a range of service and preventative maintenance contracts. To find out more about Caterpillar Electric Power and our experience in the Data Centre industry visit: www.cat.com/dataspace01

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Parviainen Arkkitehdit

ENGINEERING WORLD CLASS DATACENTERS Royal HaskoningDHV is an independent, international engineering consultancy providing services for the entire living environment. Our work contributes to the sustainable development of the communities we work in all over the world. We believe meaningful solutions cannot be created without collaboration with our partners, clients and other stakeholders. We enhance society together.

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“The new data centre will be 33,500 square metres in total, with white space taking up 15,000 square metres. The maximum number of racks will be 5,000 and it can house up to 200,000 servers” – Juha Ekman

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new when you are building in Finland, but it stretches the schedule a bit.” The company had no prior benchmark to follow in Finland - nor in Europe, as such a hybrid data centre had not been built before - but knew it must allow for the longest life cycle possible, be fully flexible and energy efficient. Ekman explains that previous data centres in Finland had been built mainly by international companies, with Finnish companies solely providing supporting roles. However, in the construction company’s new data centre, Ekman states: “We wanted to make sure that we have sufficient international and local skills, in addition to the competence to design this mechanical and


May 2017

electrical (MEP) project.” To this effect, the company has selected Royal HaskoningDVH from Netherlands and Granlund Oy from Finland, the biggest Finnish MEP designer in the country. “They are providing the MEP design together and it is good choice, because it combines both perspectives,” Ekman adds. Although massive amounts of details have been accounted for, the majority of work is being designed and constructed at the same time due to time constraints, with the support of BIM technology to ensure minimal revisions and overlaps. Ekman explains: “The new data centre will be 33,500 square metres in total, with white space taking up 15,000 square metres. The maximum number of racks will be 5,000 and it can house up to 200,000 servers.” The total IT power for the data centre will be 24 megawatts of power input, of which 6MW will be online in 2018. The capacity will be increased further by expanding the data centre modularly, based on

• Specially tailored CyberAir 3 for Telia data center in Helsinki • Enhanced unit and larger heat exchanger • More cooling capacity

Climate. Customized. Our smart standard STULZ proudly provides customized solutions for the Telia Helsinki project. As a specialist in data center air conditioning, STULZ has been offering made-to-measure air conditioning solutions since 1971. From the very beginning, STULZ’s philosophy has meant that we have never been satisfied simply with standard solutions to achieve customer needs. www.stulz.com

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business needs and growth. Ekman stresses that such developments will help the company expand its business further in the most cost efficient way: “This data centre will be an enabler for our growing businesses and the future services that we will provide. We are helping to bring business to digital era but also provide new services to consumer customers.” Sustainable and secure Encompassing four storeys, sustainability is at the heart of current construction work. It’s reflected in the project’s design, with an underlying focus on client values. Aiming to achieve the LEED certification, Sonera is abiding by LEED guidelines, taking care to document and “do everything right from the beginning of the project to end”. The new data centre will be able to warm around 20,000 flats through generating 200,000MWh of heat energy per year. This heat will be recovered and reused. Ekman explains: “It’s not only a question of improving technology. This is the first time in Finland, in Europe and in

JUHA EKMAN Ekman is Department Manager for Telia Finland Real Estate unit. He has worked over 10 years in Telia Finland and his main responsible area is real estate management of large production premises in Finland. Ekman has specialized to comprehensive real estate management creating add value for the company´s core business. Previously Ekman worked seven years for Telia´s subsidiary Unibase as construction consultant and Area Manager.

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Telia Finland Oyj the Nordics that we are features, highlighting revenue in actually providing our heat a pledge to implement US dollars to energy companies at this renewable energy scale.” This Energy Reuse sources and provide Efficiency (ERE), and long-term long-term sustainability.” partnership between the heat provider Security, energy efficiency and and energy companies is significant. sustainability have all become areas The site will use renewable energy, and valued by the company’s clients both its water chillers will have exceptionally locally and internationally. Designs high efficiencies. Ekman explains: “We for the data centre will conform are increasing the water temperature to both national and international with heat pumps to recycle the waste demands and requirements. Ekman heat through the local district heating acknowledges that the company grid. Additionally we will implement “has to be ready for international rainwater harvester and solar power customer security demands and


May 2017


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“In addition to in-house data centre and colocation functionality, this data centre will enable all kinds of different cloud services” – Juha Ekman

Holistic Design and Consultancy for Data Centers Granlund – the Leader of Data Center Design and Consultancy Services in Finland -

Strong network with Finnish cleantech companies 30 years experience of the data center solution design Clear focus on customer service Extremely experienced team Tools for maintenance and management

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requirements”. The company has therefore also undergone significant risk analysis and overhaul of current systems to ensure the centre will be fully secure against any potential risks. With completion date in early 2018, construction of the data centre is on schedule, yet Ekman stresses that this would not be the case without the right people on board, believing this to be the most important tool in current building work and continued focus on sustainable initiatives. He explains: “There must be enough of the right people, such as the project management team, data centre professionals and specialists”, noting that this year will be challenging due to the company’s aim to increase the number of construction workers from 100 to 300. The project management is provided by the experts of international consulting company Ramboll. However, Ekman is confident the data centre will provide longterm advantages to the region and drive increased business to the area, delivering regional long-term benefits.

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STEEL SOLUTIONS Written by Mateo Rafael Tablado Produced by Lucy Verde Interviewee Fabricio Menegoni Meirelles, CEO for Gerdau Corsa


More than one century of reliability and credibility is strengthened by Gerdau Corsa, turning the Mexican market into an exporting powerhouse for steel products


erdau has earned and sustained an excellent reputation for 116 years since its beginnings in the steel market in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The company has experienced different stages, expanding its product portfolio after starting in nail manufacturing in 1901, becoming a leader in long steel in the Americas.

Since 1980, Gerdau has grown its presence along the region, and still by late 1990 and early 2000, Gerdau was able to set foot in new territories, leading to the current total of 12 countries where the company is solidly established. “There is an autonomy commitment to each operation. We don’t miss any synergy opportunities in the global market. Mexico has exported talent and best practices which are being introduced into our


May 2017

responsible autonomy concept,” explained Fabricio Menegoni, CEO for Gerdau Corsa. Menegoni has been a part of Gerdau for more than 20 years, the last eight of them working in Mexico. He graduated in Mechanical Engineering at Universidad de Vale do Rio dos Sinos (UNISINOS, Brazil); afterwards he earned a Master’s in Industrial Engineering from Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil), and also a MBA from Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa (INSPER, Brazil). After his development in specialized areas for the industrial operations of Gerdau in Brazil, he has been leading different projects in Mexico, including the


construction of the new Gerdau Corsa manufacturing facility in Cd. Sahagun, besides being in charge of the entire operation in Mexico since April 2016. Strategic presence countrywide

Gerdau ventured into Mexico in 2007 by acquiring Siderurgica Tultitlan, a Mexican company producing reinforcement steel and beams. The opportunities in

hand presented by the Mexican market worked out as a magnet attracting Gerdau, which partnered with Aceros Corsa steelworks and distributors, and soon afterwards consolidated the Gerdau Corsa brand as one of the main long steel manufacturers in Mexico. Gerdau Corsa has three steel mills in Mexico, which are located in Tlalnepantla, Tultitlan (both in the State of Mexico province) and the

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newest facility is located in Ciudad Sahagún, Hidalgo. Combined output from the three production plants is a million tons of liquid steel and 700,000 tons of finished products, mainly for the construction industry. “Our goal was to enter a market in which imports were the norm in welded steel and steel structures, as had been the case with Mexico and change such trend by becoming able to supply the country with these products,” the executive explained. Tech, competitiveness and the facility at Ciudad Sahagún

Gerdau Corsa’s facilities are equipped with

the most advanced technology with purposes beyond efficiency and product quality; also considering workplace safety and sustainability. The Sahagún plant has become quite an accomplishment for the company in Mexico. The $600 million investment resulted in a three-year construction process beginning in 2012, to finally get production started in 2015. One of the main purposes of this facility is serving the structural steel market in Mexico, which demands one million tons per year. Gerdau Corsa currently offers 110 different measures for beams, which have been developed within a ninemonth period. “In two years of operating in this new facility, we have been developing this market, this brand and product lines with the latest technology,” Menegoni said.



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Transforming trends in the steel market

Aside from bringing the most advanced technology, safety standards and best practices -globally, the most innovative contribution to Mexico from Gerdau Corsa is reverting the


May 2017

trend in the hot-rolled structural products market, helping Mexico from being an importer, to venture into exports of these goods. Previously, Mexico’s steel production would cover only 30 percent of the demand in the beams, rods and profiling


market. The other 70 percent was brought from abroad, often from locations overseas, which implied an approximate three-month wait between transportation (overseas and land) and clearing customs. Gerdau Corsa makes this process a thing of the past along with the ecological footprint of such an ordeal. The company’s facilities are

strategically located in the center of Mexico and its distribution network provides for an immediate delivery of their products. This benefits players who rely on construction profiles in their supply chain and also the environment, with less resources spent on trucks on the road and fuel for the goods’ transportation. Gerdau Corsa can easily cover

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were invested in the new production plant

more than half of the market in Mexico and is also able to export to markets in Central America, mostly. Involvement with neighboring communities

In an effort to contribute to its neighboring communities’ development, Gerdau Corsa focuses on three main subjects: · Support for entrepreneurship · Supplier development · Support for education Construction and operation efforts for the Sahagún production plant has been supported by 20 social programs aimed at the neighboring communities, where important suppliers are making the most of this opportunity, covering some of the facility’s needs. Some of these volunteer programs were benefitted by a $100,000 investment and also by knowledge and technology transfers. These programs benefit more than 60 families in the Sahagún operation only. “We share proven, solid social programs developed


in Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia and Peru which have been adapted to Mexico, making an impact on our supply chain,� the executive said. Additionally, Gerdau works globally with entrepreneurship programs such as Junior Achievement, and in Mexico along employment organizations such as ProEmpleo, and academic institutions at high school and secondary school level (CBTIS, CONALEP tech and industrial programs) and colleges (IPN Polytechnic Institute and

the Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo -UAEH-). Skilled workforce

More than 1,200 employees for Gerdau in Mexico are highly skilled and supplied with the best technology to be in charge of every procedure. Personnel at SahagĂşn average 1,000 personhours in training, and some specialties have required 10,000 person-hours programs over two years, including stints in different

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locations globally. “Anyone can access the same technology and imitate our production procedures, but our workforce makes the difference,� Menegoni stressed. Eco-friendly procedures

Investing in resources able to raise sustainability and lessen the impact on the environment is a regular endeavor for Gerdau Corsa. More than $5 million was


May 2017

destined to a scrap-metal premelting furnace. Other $30 million allowed a water treatment plant to be installed, which helps the reuse of 98 percent of the water used in regular procedures. Air quality has also improved since a $17 million investment in a fume collection system. Facilities of Gerdau Corsa in Mexico operate under ISO:14000 standards, or are currently in the process of becoming certified.


Mexico and its possibilities

After only a decade, Mexico has become a very important operation for Gerdau, facing a market of constant growth, acquiring the company’s high quality products as well as an ally for production and exporting. The company is able to compete in this continent and also with steel production from Europe and Asia thanks to multiple free trade agreements. “Mexico

is a very important economy, able to offer a good amount of benefits to our company, globally. It’s ranked along the 25 countries with the most diverse economy”, remarked Fabricio Menegoni, CEO for Gerdau Corsa.

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Profile for Construction Global

Construction Global - May 2017  

Construction Global - May 2017