Australian Construction Focus - March Edition

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MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

Editor’s Pick The past few months - indeed, the past several years - have proven to be interesting times for Australia. Wilhelm Harnisch, CEO of the Master Builders Association, recently described these times as those of “considerable uncertainty, political as well as economic,” and in the wake of recent events this could be a bit of an understatement. The accessibility of housing remains at the forefront of issues facing the construction industry. Developers are hampered not only by the recent physical destruction and the challenges therein, but by the credit and lending squeeze necessitated by the GFC. Interest rate hikes and strong regulation have had the unfortunate effect of holding back a full-fledged sector recovery, and the MBA and others have suggested that action must be taken at the policy level to address these supply-side factors.

Speaking of leaps of faith, AGC has taken a big one - effectively doubling its staff from 1500 to 3000 over the past year. In The Courage To Be Bold, ACF’s Aleisha Parr speaks with CEO Laith Amin about what prompted the company to take such a bold move. As a family business, Masterton Homes has seen success in the industry since 1962. In Building Tomorrow’s Homes Today, Managing Director David Masterton describes the many factors which set this innovative company apart. And in Big Fish... In a Big Pond, Simon Giessauf of Maritime Constructions speaks to ACF’s John Boley about the challenges - and the majesty - of working on the water.

At the same time, many of the country’s top firms are casting a hopeful glance towards the future. Rather than tightening their belts, many companies are in fact modernising their practices and growing their operations in anticipation of an upswing. Western Australia’s AGC has in fact doubled its staff over the past year, while developers such as Cedar Woods continue to innovate and bring meaning ful and sustainable offerings to the marketplace. Adding staff, streamlining procedures, and developing new technologies certainly seem to be positive moves for the industry. Rather than recoiling or regressing, Australia’s premier construction firms are taking a collective leap of faith that the sector will grow with them. In the months and years to come, we will be there to see how well this promise holds out. Tim Hocken Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011



Tim Hocken Production Editor Kulvir Singh Creative Art Director Robert Chambers Director of Business Dev. Lorne Moffat Head of Research Rob Lenehan Research Manager

JBA Urban Planning

Christian Cooper Director of IT Contributing Editors Jaime McKee Robert Hoshowsky Contributing Writers Aleisha Parr Jen Hamilton John Boley Jeff Hocken Publisher 8th Floor, 55 Hunter St Sydney NSW 2000 GPO Box 4836, Sydney NSW 2001 Phone: 02 8412 8119 ABN 93 143 238 126

06 News and Events

Industry News and Events

18 APS

From Fitout to Shipping

26 Morris Bray Architects

By Their Work Ye Shall Know Them

34 Built on Gold

The Old Treasury Building

44 AGC

The Courage To Be Bold

58 Concrib


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

Commitment to Quality




Living Walls 68 Master Builders Australia

Turbulent Times


78 Cedar Woods

Conservation Community and Quality

90 JBA Urban Planning

Smoothing the way

100 Living Walls

Australia’s Vertical Gardens

108 Masterton Homes

Building Tomorrow’s Homes Today

124 Maritime Constructions

Built on Gold

Big Fish... In A Big Pond

Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011



MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


Amidst the Christchurch Rubble, Questions Emerge


s search and rescue crews continue to recover bodies from wrecked buildings following the earthquake that destroyed much of Christchurch, New Zealand is coming to terms with the magnitude seven quake that rocked the historic city on February 22nd. Police believe the death toll will climb as high as 240 once all remains are discovered. As the likelihood of more survivors being found alive diminishes, questions are being raised if something more could have been done to lessen the devastation. With much of Christchurch in ruins, many are wondering if tougher building codes couldn’t have saved at least some of the city. Although Christchurch has some of the strongest building codes on the planet, some seismologists argue even these


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

codes could not have saved the city, especially in light of the significant underground fault line not known until September of last year. Others, however, say much of the city pre-dates the enforcement of strict building codes and was never reinforced, allowing bricks and masonry to crumble and fall, trapping and killing hundreds. It is too early to determine the exact degree of the destruction, yet some believe that the aftermath of the quake will lead to stricter building codes, which would see structures requiring even stronger upgrades when they are eventually rebuilt. Others, like the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, say politicians failed to act for years on warnings that cautioned older, earthquake-prone buildings should

have been significantly upgraded. Back in 2004, the government passed legislation that allowed for these buildings to reach only 33 per cent of the modern standard, citing high costs. Buildings constructed to current international standards before the quake suffered damaged walls and cracked beams, but are mainly intact. At present, Christchurch has up to 7,600 earthquake-prone commercial buildings, and another 3,600 masonry buildings at risk, the majority of them constructed before 1976. In

addition, many of the buildings that suffered substantial damages following February’s earthquake were constructed on soft soil which is prone to shaking and liquefaction. Although a great deal of geotechnical work remains, the Government has ordered an inquiry delving into the safety of affected buildings. Yesterday, Prime Minister John Key said up to one-third of buildings in central Christchurch may need to be demolished, and there are estimates that rebuilding could take up to 15 years. Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


Remains of Historic Hobart Hotel Unearthed


s Earthworks crews at the site of a planned low-rent complex in Tasmania were recently surprised by what they found: the ruins of a long-lost Hobart hotel. Although officials were aware of the existence of the colonial Scotch and Thistle Tavern at the site, none knew that the hotel had a full stonewalled basement until now. The remains of the Scotch and Thistle have remained hidden for decades. It is believed the structure was erected around 1823, making it one of the earliest buildings in Hobart. The building was operated as a pub and eventually converted into housing, with another structure added in the 1930s. The two buildings remained at the site until about 1964, when they were demolished to make way for a car park. Many other


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

details surrounding the site remain a mystery. Although Human Services Minister Cassy O’Connor has stated the discovery will not slow the process of construction, the site is being carefully examined for artefacts. A number of objects have already been discovered, ranging from ceramic and glass items to pennies from the 1930s. In addition, the foundation of the building is painting a picture for archaeologists about the people who lived there over the decades. Once examination of the site is complete, the foundations will be catalogued, relics moved to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, and construction on the 47-unit complex for low-income and homeless Tasmanians – due to be completed next year – will resume.

Modular Homes for Ramingining Residents At the best of times, constructing new homes poses many challenges to builders. The more remote the area, the tougher the project, as access roads can be few or nonexistent, building materials need to be hauled, and contractors require access to water and electricity. In the remote communities of Ramingining, locals will soon be living in new modular homes, according to the East Arnhem Shire Council. Offering a cheaper alternative to traditional homes, modular homes are made of cast concrete slabs built in large factories, which are then transported to remote sites and reassembled. The first of seven new homes – built in Darwin – is being delivered to Ramingining, an Indig-

enous community facing a housing shortage located almost 600 kilometres east of Darwin. The home, the first of the “modular building program,” is estimated to reduce construction costs by about 30 per

cent because the majority of work is done off-site. It is estimated that all seven homes, at a cost of about $350,000, will take 10 weeks to complete. Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


Port Upgrades at Carrington At Carrington, upcoming port infrastructure will soon see many major upgrades and the creation of hundreds of jobs, thanks to recentlyannounced funding in the amount of $10 million. It is hoped the improvements to the port, including the refurbishment of the wharf and slipway and the construction of a site-based blast and paint facility, will help Newcastle secure more shipbuilding contracts. Recently, Forgacs – one of Australia’s leading ship repair, construction, and engineering companies – secured a

10-year lease from Newcastle Port Corporation for the site, which has seen shipbuilding remain idle since 2006. The lease will likely improve Forgacs’s chances of securing a $400 million dollar bid for a contract to build eight patrol boats for Australian Customs and Border Protection. Work on the port upgrades will create about 200 construction jobs, and if the Forgacs contract is approved, it is expected to create work for employees for the next five years, in addition to ongoing maintenance projects.

Keeping Queensland Reconstruction Local To deal with the flooding that has affected the nation, the Queensland Reconstruction Authority was created in February. Much work needs to be done to oversee the state’s recovery, and a taskforce is examining disaster rebuilding, and using local contractors to rebuild the affected area. With three-quarters of the state affected by floods and cyclones, the process of rebuilding damaged structures will be a lengthy one, and the Queensland Reconstruction Authority will strive to work alongside area contractors to ensure much of the work remains local.


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

Wind Farm Proposed for Boorowa

A proposal has been put forward for a large, $300 million wind farm located at Rye Park on land near Boorowa, in the region’s south. The area, heralded as an “excellent wind resource” by officials at the energy company Epuron, has proposed between 80 and 110 turbines which would, if approved, gener-

ate sufficient power for 90,000 homes. The proposed wind farm location was carefully chosen for its generating properties and location to high voltage power lines, which would be used to transport energy generated by the farm to load centres. Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


Modular Building Design, Construct & Deliver 28-29 March, Novotel Langley, Perth, WA With a focus on specialised case studies, the conference will give firsthand insight into modular building strategies and benefits. Learn about incorporating modular design from conception, improving livability in camps, and designing multi-story modular accommodation, all while complying with current building codes. Also, an end of conference workshop will be held for designers wanting to learn about the risks and benefits of adopting and integrating prefabrication into their construction projects. For more information visit:

Retrofitting for Energy Efficiency 2011 29 March – 01 April, The Westin, Sydney, NSW This retrofitting event kicks off with a day focused on strategies to achieve the highest star rating for your retrofit project, including practical workshops led by field experts. This is followed up with two days of enlightening presentations tackling the most imposing questions about retrofitting: What are the newest techniques? How do you get the most value out of your project? What is the best way to ensure building productivity continues during the project? The final day is reserved for a master class on retrofitting old buildings to reduce carbon emissions. For more information visit:

Safety in Action 2011 5-7 April, Melbourne Exhibition Centre, VIC Safety in Action provides safety professionals with the opportunity to view the latest in safety products and services, including Rescue & Emergency Services, Corporate Health, Training and Technology, and Ergonomic Solutions. For OHS professionals, The Safety in Action Conference will be held concurrently with the trade show. The conference offers nine streams of presentations by OHS industry experts. These events are co-located with Clean Scene: The National Cleaning and Hygiene Expo, and Melbourne Materials and Handling. For more information visit:


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

Celebrating 11 Years in Industry, IQPC Presents….

Stop! Read this.


We are do ing somethin g differen t in 2011.

CONTRACTING EXCELLENCE SUMMIT & ACE AWARDS 2011 Conference: 16th – 19th may 2011

ACE 2011 Awards Dinner and Cruise: 17th may 2011

Location: Dockside, Darling harbour, sydney

Information about the event: or call 02 9229 1000

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: D. Keith Morley II, Global Procurement - Capital and Sourcing, Eastman ChEmICal ComPanY, Usa Rod Hook, Deputy Chief Executive, DEPartmEnt for transPort EnErgY anD InfrastrUCtUrE, sa Menno Henneveld, Managing Director of Main Roads, maIn roaDs WEstErn aUstralIa

Collaborative Contracting Excellence Partners:

Supported by:

Next Generation Collaborative Contracting and Value-Driven Procurement for:  Alliancing  ECI  D&C  Hybrid Collaborative and Relationship-Based Contracts Published and edited by:



MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

Bridges Australia 2011 13-15 April, Royal on the Park, Brisbane, QLD There are many unique challenges involved with the design, construction, and maintenance of bridges. Thus, it is essential for those in the industry to stay informed of best practice for all elements in order to stay competitive. Bridges Australia will provide delegates with the expertise to build quality, durable bridges. The agenda includes informative presentations from private sector and government authorities, overviews of key bridge projects, and interactive workshops such as bridge rehabilitation and asset management for bridges. For more information visit:

designEX 2011 13-15 April, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, VIC Discover the latest products and trends in design and architecture at Australia’s leading design expo. Be inspired by the Architectural Radar street gallery which profiles the architectural processes of some of the world’s most renowned buildings. See industrial designers develop a prototype product over the course of the expo, given only 10 materials. Hear about new ideas from acclaimed architects including developments in floating cities, sustainable urbanisation, and the capabilities of social media in design, and much more. For more information visit:

3rd Annual South Australia Infrastructure 18-20 April, The Stamford Plaza, Adelaide, SA Attend the SA Infrastructure conference to find out what infrastructure investment opportunities are occurring in South Australia’s public transport, health, and energy sectors over the next year. You will also learn about different approaches to overcoming skills shortages, project management practices, engaging the community in infrastructure projects, and allocating resources effectively. Attendees also have the opportunity to participate in two post-conference workshops centered on assessing and managing risk. For more information visit:

Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011



hen it comes to the overall look and feel of retail stores, appearance cannot be overestimated. The moment we enter a shop, our senses take in everything at once, from the quality of the materials used to make the floor to the lighting displaying items for sale. These and countless other details must convey a favourable and instant message about the store and


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

its products to entice potential customers to come inside and make a purchase. Few companies realise the need for store owners to get their message across more successfully than Australian Professional Shopfitters. Based in Melbourne, APS has been providing high quality retail fitouts for many prominent shops across

the nation and overseas for over 20 years. “We pride ourselves on client dedication, concept design, project management and quality tradesmanship,” says the company’s Director, Ken Miller. Since founding Australian Professional Shopfitters back in 1990, the company has earned a solid reputation for its superior

work, innate appreciation of the needs of its customers, and proven track record for managing and delivering projects on time and to the specifications of its many clients.

In-house Manufacturing To meet the varying needs of its customers, APS’s skilled tradesmen use state of the art machinery to manuAustralian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


facture quality products in-house, which results in the highest quality fitouts possible. The company’s massive, 10,000 square metre factory contains the finest woodworking machinery imported from Italy and Germany, ensuring every piece of architectural joinery is created with the utmost quality by skilled craftsmen. Able to facilitate projects from start to finish, the company’s design de-


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

partment works closely alongside a team of qualified CAD programmers to create designs that are both artistically innovative and technically precise. In addition, APS offers professional and complete project management to make the fitout process run smoothly, while experienced uniformed installers ensure the work is properly fitted on schedule. Since Australian Professional Shopfitters was founded, the expression “Excellence in Shopfitting” for all clients

your display, they are able to provide illuminated and non-illuminated signs, suspended false ceilings, shelving, and stainless steel work. To create precise fitouts, programming and machinery work are carried out using the latest computerised equipment. From the start, highlytrained CAD programmers ensure drawings are fully optimised before downloading them to fully-computerised machinery. From there, an array of reliable machines – including a Selco beam saw, Biesse CNC, and continues to be honoured, a promise for all clients past, present and future of setting the highest fitout standards possible in the industry. Working with a variety of quality materials, Australian Professional Shopfitters offer a number of services, including project management and installation, design, all types of joinery, lighting, electrical work, plastering and painting, partitions, and upholstery. To complete Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


Biesse stream edge bander – make precise edges and cuts using highquality diamond tooling, which is fast, efficient, and creates a minimal amount of waste. By harmonising state of the art programming with sophisticated machinery, Australian Professional Shopfitters is able to offer its clients clean, efficient, and precise in-house construction.

Wide Range of Fitouts By combining decades of first-hand experience with the latest tools, Australian Professional Shopfitters is able to provide complete fitouts in many sectors, including fashion boutiques, book stores, pharmacies, beauty salons, hotels, jewelry stores, optometrists offices, hospitals, major department stores, museums, galleries, offices, and a great deal more. APS takes pride in the many quality fitouts it has created over the years, work which has earned the firm the respect of not only its many clients, but its peers as well. The company’s work was acknowledged by ASOFIA – the Austra-


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

lian Shop and Office Fitting Industry Association – when it won in three categories at the 2009/2010 ASOFIA Interior Fitout Awards for Best Interior Fitout between $300,001 $500,000 for Stuart Weitzman Chadstone, Best Use of Sponsors Product (Polyflor) for Matchbox Chermside, and Exceptional Contribution for Prada Shopfront in Chadstone. To date, clients who utilise the services and skills of Australian Professional Shopfitters remain as varied as the fitouts themselves. Some, like the Shaver Shop located in the Northland Shopping Centre in Victoria, incorporate metallic elements like silver paint applied in a hatched method along stainless steel and blue neon recessed lighting to create a look that is cool and modern. Other fitouts, like the Maggie T gallery, are decidedly more feminine and softer in appearance, and incorporate design elements like multiple framed photos, wallpaper, soft lighting and carefully chosen neutral colour schemes that do not deAustralian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


tract from the clothing on display in the store. Along with these simple yet sophisticated design elements, the team at Australian Professional Shopfitters incorporated Travertine tiles and inlaid carpet along with high quality two-pack veneer joinery to create a timeless and elegant finish, further accentuated by the use of powerful lighting which dramatically illuminates the Maggie T corporate logo. Other fitouts, like the one created


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

for Satch Clothing, stand in contrast to other fitouts. Located at Bondi Junction, Australian Professional Shopfitters completed a striking design incorporating floor to ceiling glass shopfront panels, a Tasmanian oak herringbone ceiling, and highly aesthetic terrazzo floor, set against a handcrafted bronze clad shopfront and sliding door. Some fitouts, like Australian Geographic in Frankston, Victoria, were created to give the store a new and “invigorated� feel to complement the company motto,

“Inspires Discovery For All Ages.” The design does just that. With welcoming glass windows, members of the public are invited to view the merchandise from the street frontage, while inside, a pair of 40-inch LCD televisions help transition the visual effect, and add to the store’s seamless feel.

Offering Reliable Transport Services As if creating professional, highquality fitouts wasn’t enough, Australian Professional Shopfitters also has its own transport division. The company realised the need for a specialised freight company able to reliably transport delicate items, and launched it in 2004. “Over the many years of trade, we have found there is a desperate need for specialised freight,” says the company’s Director and Founder, Ken Miller. “Whilst standard freight companies can deliver, there is little understanding of the specialised freighting our industry needs and

its delicate procedures and hurdles. As we no longer require others to move our freight, we rest assured that our shopfittings and joinery arrive on site in the condition in which they left our factory.” Trucks used by Australian Professional Shopfitters are custom-made, and designed to accommodate large pieces of joinery and shopfitting, with fully motorised lift-up sides allowing for unrestricted loading and unloading of goods. Along with professional, uniformed drivers experienced in handling freight, you are certain to have your items tracked and delivered on time, every time. Service is door to door, and all vehicles are equipped with GPS systems to ensure they are delivered quickly and safely. From quality products made inhouse to safe and reliable transportation nation-wide, Australian Professional Shopfitters remains the number one choice for countless retailers. Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011



MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus


he Morris Bray Group offers a strategic portfolio of architectural services to the property industry. First formed in 1974, the two main entities are Morris Bray Architects Pty Ltd and Innervision Pty Ltd. Situated in Crows Nest, the company operates in a studio environment with a focus on communication and personal service. The medium sized practice has developed a reputation among its wide range of clients for producing building solutions by careful, well considered design processes which are tailored to suit the specific needs of each client. Areas of particular expertise are the initial planning stages, where the client’s needs are carefully modelled into a comprehensive brief, and the subsequent development of all the identified requirements into a building design. To ensure high standards are maintained, the two directors are personally involved in the preparation of the Design and Contract Documents, and the construction on site is personally overseen by a senior staff member, as prescribed by the Practice Quality Assurance Procedure Manual.

With a strong focus on staff agency and empowerment, Morris Bray has built a highly skilled team of professionals. The firm experiences very low staff turnover, enabling it to Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


provide excellent service with consistency. Morris Bray takes a team approach to every project it undertakes, working closely with clients and sub-contractors to promote “an environment of trust, cooperation and teamwork and the formation of close working relationships, where problems can be discussed and resolved as they arise.”


function and return on investment. The company’s many successful projects include:

Master Planning:

Morris Bray combines innovative

Bunderra Location: Boolaroo, NSW. Site area: 250 hectares Following a remediation order in 2000, Pasminco Cockle Creek Smelter Pty Ltd ceased operations and was required by state order to re-

and creative building design with cost effective planning and construction methods to deliver results that blend aesthetic appeal with

mediate the environmental degradation resulting from its industrial manufacturing activities. PacLib engaged MBA to provide its master

MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

Triniti Business Park Location: 39 Delhi Road, North Ryde

The focus of the campus is a large landscaped outdoor public space and a café facility located at the heart of the buildings. The ‘campus style’ of the development will allow opportunities for corporate interaction, a lively business and staff community and capacity for expansion within the campus. The challenge to allow this integration whilst still achieving individual corporate identity has been satis-

A 30,000 square metre campus of three high quality office buildings, designed to achieve 4.5 star ABGR and with access to 1000 car spaces.

fied by the variations in the architectural treatment and the differentiation in each building’s colour scheme.

plan expertise in rethinking the site and delivering a sound and sustainable urban structure for the future development. A comprehensive site analysis has been undertaken to identify the physical and environmental constraints and opportunities for development.

Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


Commercial: Norwest Centra Location: Baulkham Hills A spacious, contemporary commercial and retail development of new A grade, CBD style strata offices. The complex comprises two office towers of five and seven storeys, and a third lower level, two storey building of office and retail space, including six waterfront restaurants. The total GFA of this successful development is 20,610 square metres, comprising commercial offices, retail and restaurant, and total car parking for 728 vehicles.


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

Belmore St Penrith This development comprises two wings attached to a central climate modifying atrium. The atrium is the main environmental & transport hub of the building, aiding in natural heating, cooling and ventilation as well as naturally lighting the internal office spaces. It houses a series of lifts, bridged links & stairs which occupy the void above the lobby area, engaging people at street level with the occupants of the building. While producing a dynamic and ecological solution, the building form also maintains commercial ef-

ficacy – the use of the divided floor plate allows flexibility of fitout and the ability to take full advantage of multiple tenancies. The design provides for six storeys of commercial office space in addition to a retail, entrance and lobby ground floor area and substantial basement parking.

Industrial: Council works depot Location: 27 Gibbes St, Chatswood Client: Willoughby City Council The challenges to the successful planning of this development included an awkward ‘L’ shape block

with substantial cross-fall and a major gas regulator station in the central area. The development comprises of 5 levels with 18 two storey industrial tenancies and a café all accessed directly off the Gibbes St level. The Council Works Depot is located off Gibbes St via a ramp down and consists of workshops, storage areas, offices, car and truck parking over 3 levels. State Transit Authority Head Office & Depot Masterplan Location: Pittwater Road, Brookvale This plan sees a 4 Star ABGR rating Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


and incorporates ecologically sustainable design development principles. It houses regional administrative offices and staff and driver training facilities. Features include a staff amenity area of recreation rooms, change rooms, and workshop facilities. Multi-unit Residential: Location: Diamond Beach Red Head. Client: SAF Property Group The Redhead site is located on existing farmland, approximately 10kms north of Forster. The site is an ocean front site with unique ecological features. “The Knoll”


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

over an area of approximately 29ha comprises housing, apartments, bed and breakfast units, conference and commercial rooms, café and recreation areas. The site fans from a high centred point at the southern side down towards the northeast or ocean side. The proposed buildings radiate from this central point and step down the slope to maximise views and gain maximum northern sun.

Tourism and Leisure 8 Golden Fish Theme Park & Six Star Hotel Location: Qingdao, China

The site has a beautiful south facing orientation toward the ocean and is ideally located to encourage water based activities, water views and aspect. The site is situated approximately 25 km to the north of Qingdao CBD and has an area of approx 380,000 square metres. Smiths Lake Location: Forster, NSW This site is a Resi/Resort Eco-development spanning approximately 10ha. It comprises 11 superblocks to be developed in 10 Stages. Featuring 70 total dwellings, with 10 detached, 16 townhouses, and 2 key resort units, facilities include a community centre, meeting rooms, catering kitchen, gym & sauna, lap & splash pool, children’s play equipment, walking tracks, and

a boat store. Such a varied repertoire has been possible due to Morris Bray’s strong focus on teamwork and skill-building. Reads the company’s website: “The fusion of skills and commitment of the people involved in a project is an important factor... we have significant experience of working on projects with external partners, and it stands true that where there is open communication, mutual understanding and a strong unity of purpose within a project team it is reflected in the success of the project.” Certainly that seems to be the case with this dynamic firm.

Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011



very issue, Australian Construction Focus profiles a structure of unique historical, cultural, or environmental significance. This month, we take a closer look at The Old Treasury Building in Melbourne. Sitting grandly at the intersection of Spring and Collins Streets in Melbourne’s Central Business District, the building which now houses a museum dedicated to Melbourne history has its origins in one of the country’s most exciting periods. Occupying a unique position in the city’s history, the Old Treasury Building was constructed between 1858 and 1862 from wealth accumulated during the Victorian Gold Rush, and is a reflection of the thrilling vision residents and leaders of the era had for their rapidly developing city.


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

-By Jaime McKee

Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011



MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

The Old Widely regarded as one of the finest 19th century public buildings in Australia, the Treasury Building was originally intended to house the state gold vaults. Designed by architect J.J. Clark at the young age of nineteen, the structure was an example of Renaissance Revival architecture, derived from the Italian “palazzo” form popular in the time period. It was completed for a sum of approximately £75,000. The oldest surviving plans for the

building date back to 1857, and many of Clark’s drafts can still be seen on display throughout the building. Clark, whose family relocated to Melbourne from Liverpool to take advantage of the gold rush, would later go on to design some of Australia’s most notable works, including the Government Printing Office, the Royal Mint, the Supreme Court, the Queen Victoria Hospital, the Melbourne City Baths, and the Brisbane Treasury, many of which are similarly considered to be top Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011



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examples of classical style.

vaulted basement is one metre thick.

Once described by noted Architectural historian Miles Lewis as the “finest public building exterior in Australia”, the Treasury Building is an underlying structure of brick faced in Bacchus Marsh sandstone, with bluestone foundations which were mined from Bald Hills Quarry. The elegantly proportioned structure is a three-storey rectangular building 61 meters across, 17 meters in depth and 21 meters tall. It features three main ground floor entrances, a central portico with upper storey colonnaded arcade, and elaborately detailed window pilasters and pediments. The floor above the barrel-

In addition to securing the colony’s gold, the Treasury Building also provided offices for the leaders of the colony, including the Governor, the Premier (at the time called Chief Secretary), the Treasurer and the Auditor General. When the State Treasurer and his officers moved to the State government offices at 2 Treasury Place in 1878, the building was nicknamed the ‘Old Treasury’. To this day, the structure continues to serve a political function, as the Governor of Victoria and the Executive Council meet there weekly to sign off legislation in the magnificent first floor Executive Council Chamber. Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011



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The New At the cornerstone of the Treasury Reserve government precinct adjacent to the Treasury Gardens, the Old Treasury Building creates a significant vista terminating Collins Street, the financial spine of the city. As a leading public building in Melbourne, located in such a prominent position and surrounded by open space, the Old Treasury has been the focus for a number of celebrations and major public events. The arrivals and departures of the

Governors of Victoria have served as occasions for expressions of loyalty to the Crown and for political statements, and the building also hosts weddings through the Victorian Marriage Registry, the grounds and nearby gardens an ideal locale for photographs. Continuing to host tours of the original gold vaults, as well as displaying rare and historic public documents, the building now serves as a not-for-profit public museum, Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


welcoming teachers, students, and members of the community. Visitors can view ‘Victorian Archival Treasures’, a rich narrative of Victoria’s history from the 1830’s, highlighted by key documents and artefacts from Public Records Office


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

Victoria. These documents and artefacts - themselves once held in the Treasury’s gold vaults - explore themes of Indigenous Victorians and first white settlement in 1835, Ned Kelly and Criminals, Victorian Democracy, Victorians at Work and

tation; this rapid development is not only explored through the exhibit, but the building itself serves as a shining example of the same. ‘Growing Up in Old Treasury’ is the museum’s third permanent exhibit, and relates the story of caretaker John Maynard and his family who lived in the building’s basement from 1916 to 1928. A rotating programme of temporary exhibits and educational tours is also offered, and the organisation’s website can be viewed at

the Gold Rush. ‘Built on Gold’ is an exhibit inspired by the story of the Victorian gold discoveries between 1852 and 1862. In those ten years Melbourne was transformed from a struggling settlement town into a bustling city of international repu-

An enduring example of both classical design and Australian prosperity, the Old Treasury Building represents the best of old and new. While its tenants and uses have changed over the years, reflecting shifts in Australian culture, needs and priorities, the stunning structure was clearly built to last the test of time. Things change, and things stay the same - beautiful buildings can do both. Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


-By Aleisha Parr


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n the aftermath of the recent Global Financial Crisis, contracting businesses have been struggling to keep afloat in the face of time delays on most projects and the outright cancellation of many others. It has been an exercise in endurance, difficult to survive even by those companies who have a strong financial backing. Now, with the recent disasters that Australia has suffered, an extraordinary need persists for skilled labourers and full-capability construction companies to step up and not only answer

to the delayed works from the last three years, but also to begin work on new and evolving projects. AGC, a construction company operating in Western Australia with a strong focus on plant-based industrial activity and oil and gas work, having spent the last decade evolving its service capabilities (from its initial operations as a privately owned insulation and fabrication company to become a fully vertically integrated publicly listed construction and contracting company), has

Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


BHP Billiton - Yandi Client: BHP Billiton Iron Ore Location: Yandi Mine Site, Pilbara, Western Australia Contract Value: AU$120 million Contract Period: December 2009 – Current Peak Manning: 650 positioned itself to offer a variety of solutions to its clients’ current needs. A strong player in the construction market – serving such clients as BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Woodside – AGC’s success in the industry


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

Scope of Work: S Growth Project 5 Handling Plant 3 tonnes of conveyo to 345 tonnes - fr in the Pilbara regi

is mainly due to its focus on vertical integration. The company prides itself on its ability to work with its clients throughout the entire process of a job in order to provide a well-orchestrated and cost effective product solution which meets all requirements.

Structural, mechanical, piping, heavy haulage and heavy lifting of the Rapid at the company’s Yandi operation. The scope includes construction of an Ore consisting of a coarse ore stockpile and conveyor systems; fabrication of 500 or components; and transportation of 43 structural modules ranging from 100 rom Port Hedland to the Yandi mine site, located 140km northwest of Newman ion. One of the greatest sources of anxiety for many clients in plant-based industrial construction is ensuring that the components will effectively fit together and be easily and properly installed. Increasingly, plant modularisation is employed, to ensure that the client is able to get

exactly what is required, exactly the way it is required to fit and work. AGC specialises in this field, engaging in all stages of the process from the design and fabrication of the modular units, through to the transportation and site assembly - a fine example of AGC’s vertical inteAustralian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


Rio Tinto – Cape Lambert Client: SKM Operator: Rio Tinto Location: Cape Lambert, WA Contract Value: AU$25 million Contract Period: July 2010–Current Peak Manning: 90 (forecast)

Scope of Work: The contract comprises of the implementation of a replacement iron ore product screen building located at Cape Lambert in North Western Australia. The scope of work includes the fabrication and construction of a new product screen building including two double deck screens, feed and discharge

gration utilised to maximise client satisfaction and productivity. The area, however, where AGC has seen most gain has been in its recent recruitment efforts, effectively doubling its staff from approximately 1500 to nearly 3000 over the course of last year. Says AGC’s CEO Laith Amin: “We grew - very aggressively - our staff in 2010 but that was a reflection of an enormous amount of confidence


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

that the board had in the growth capability of the company because we did not have a huge amount of project work last year, but we knew it was coming. And we knew we would be really well positioned to deliver it.” This remarkable leap of faith has helped the company to acquire some really top talent, including new project managers, senior leaders, a Commercial Director and an Executive General Manager of Operations.

conveyors and associated transfer station consisting of 840 tonne of structural steel, platework, conveyor systems and installation of 150 tonnes of client supplied mechanical equipment. The project also includes modifications to the existing plant to incorporate the new structures. Completion is expected in May 2011.



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“ Working collaboratively with AGC and supported by the quality and reliability of XLERPLATE® steel, plus other Australian-manufactured steel products, provides AGC the advantage to offer competitive solutions to their clients” said Justin Stevens, Sales & Processing Manager for BlueScope Distribution.”

Our partnership with AGC demonstrates how working closely with an industry leading customer to develop steel supply solutions has enabled both companies to develop and grow.

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Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


“We grew - very aggressively - our staff in 2010, a reflection of an enormous amount of confidence that the board had in the growth capability of the company... we knew it was coming. And we knew we would be really well positioned to deliver it.� - Laith Amin, CEO, AGC


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

Pluto LNG Project Client: Foster Wheeler WorleyParsons Operator: Woodside Energy Limited Location: Burrup Peninsula, Karratha, Western Australia Contract Value: AU$120 million Contract Period: April 2009 – Current Total Project Peak Manning: 735 Scope of Work: Consists of two elements: Site A Mechanical Erection (including Jetty Mechani cal Work) and Site B Mechanical Erection – Trunkline Offshore Terminal. AGC’s scope includes the mechanical works associated with the installation of structural steel and process piping, installation of mechanical equipment, pre-assembled pipe racks, modules and structures, testing of pipework and associated activities related to the Pluto LNG process facility. An additional contract was awarded to include the construction of an Effluent Treatment Plant which includes the installation of equipment and pre-assembled package units, piping and structural steel work. Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011



MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

“All these top people were available last year,” explains Amin, “but this year and for the next three or four years, it will be much more difficult to get them . . . We built our people capability last year, so it was a bold thing to do but that’s the way the board felt about the opportunity for the company.” AGC also has plans for its future growth within the industry, and has developed what it hopes to be a very reliable four or five year forward looking visibility of its project

environment in order to translate that into predictions regarding required staff and labourers as well as market growth trends or shortages. Says Amin, “We look at that value chain very carefully and we spot areas where we think there are gaps or where our clients tell us that they have needs or where they perceive shortages to be and we provide a solution to that.” Using its in-house customer management relationship program, In-

Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011



MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

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Sight, AGC is able to acquire, develop, track, knowledge share and manage significant and deep client relationships, essential to its development strategy. Through the use of this program, AGC can “know what [a clients’] culture is so we are able to recruit people that are compatible with the culture of our clients. We know what their forward project ambitions are so we’re able to go out and make acquisitions and build our capability so that we can support them.” In 2009, AGC identified that there would soon be a shortage in the industry of scaffolding capabilities in industrial plant construction throughout West Australia, and therefore that providing scaffolding would represent a key growth opportunity for the company. After acquiring a scaffolding contractor company called Modern Access Services (MAS), AGC soon became WA’s largest scaffolding contractor, providing scaffolding solutions for WA and Southeast Asia.

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MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

some comfort when they see that there is a shortage.” Today, the request is now for more labourers on-site, inspiring AGC to continue to increase its focus on its recruitment and hiring capabilities. With so many projects on the slate for development, it is clear that WA will face a strong demand for qualified labourers to push projects forward and increase productivity. At AGC, a staff of over twenty dedicated recruitment specialists has been responsible for the recent increase in

hires over the last year, and continues to source thousands of qualified tradespeople for its on-call database. “They’re building bigger plants than they ever have in their history and we are building plants that are bigger than we ever have in our history,” explains Amin. “We know that that is complex and we know that we have to be solution driven and it’s the fact that we are focused on the solution and not necessary the contract that makes us different for our clients.”

Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011



MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

-By Robert Hoshowsky


hen it was founded back in 1984, Concrib Pty Ltd became one of the first companies in Australia to supply and install crib wall and sleeper wall systems. Today, over a quarter of a century later, the company continues to provide professional earth stabilisation, erosion control, retaining systems, and a great deal more to the nation’s many civil and building contractors, government authorities, consulting engineers, and architects.

Founded by Managing Director Martin Silec, Concrib has grown and evolved over the years, maintaining an extremely high degree of professionalism and quality. Originally known as Concrib Retain-

Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


ing Walls, the founder already had a great deal of practical and professional experience when he started the firm. Following completion of his Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) at Qld. Institute of Technology in 1978, Mr Silec spent eight years in the precast concrete industry, gaining considerable experience in design, construction, and sales. In 2001, Concrib Retaining Walls merged with Landplan Solutions to form Concrib. The merger proved to be beneficial not only to both companies but to their many clients, as other services like rock mattresses, gabion structures, and segmental block walls were soon added. “We realized we were dealing with the same civil construction industry, and it just made a lot of sense to put the two companies together, so that when we approached the market, we had a full array of stabilisation systems to offer,� says Mr Silec.

An Array of Solutions Unlike some companies, Concrib is


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

not limited to specific construction methods, since it manufactures, designs, supplies, and creates walls built to strict standards. Under the guidance of three engineers who act as Project Managers, Concrib ensures jobs are built right all the way from start to finish. “We can provide a very wide range of potential solutions – we’re not restricted or limited to just a couple of potential solutions,” says Mr Silec. “We provide a total turnkey package. We’ll provide the design,

we’ll provide the product, and we’ll do the installation.” To maintain high quality throughout the process, the majority of Concrib’s manufacturing and construction is carried on in-house. The company may, on occasion, subcontract work, but 90 per cent of its jobs are carried out with its own internal, full-time personnel. “We don’t just put on part-time people,” states Mr Silec. “We have a rigid structure, a class of supervisors, and we have our people that have come


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Channel Lining maximises land va in Colmslie

Perrin Creek flows into the Brisbane River at Colmslie, Brisb creek bisects a large industrial and commercial precinct ne

Realigning Perrin Creek

To enable adjacent industrial land to be developed, Perrin C be realigned, and formed into a 20m wide trapezoidal chann wider channel, and subsequent drop in flow velocities provi stabilization and flood mitigation.

To achieve these goals, Concrib installed approximately 7,00 rock-mattresses (supplied by Maccaferri) on behalf of the h contractor, McIlwain Civil. The project took approximately 8 complete at a cost of $600,000.

up through the ayears and with both Tides create challenge The creek is tidal, which meant that prefilled mattress units internal and external training, and be lifted into place in areas where bunding and dewatering possible. A 100 tonne crane was used to lifthighthe 6-tonne fille have graduated to higher and into place at a 32m radius. er supervisory levels. And we have Safety is paramount quite Aafullnumber of supervisors time Safety Officer was employed duringnow crane-opera the proximity of high-tension power lines crossing the site. who are capable of running jobs on site.” Limited access, no problem for Concrib team

In the bunded area, access was only possible from one side The Concrib team used an innovative rock-fill placement me “telebelt” materials handler, with a reach of 32m, to drop the into the mattress cells.

With a team of over 50 staff – including officethe employees, workers Restoring balance and beauty of the enviro time, the creek will takeand on a natural in theOverprecast yard, siteappearance con- with establishment of native vegetation. This will be assisted by t of thousands of mangroves– in pre-installed within the struction personnel Concribtubes has earnedNeed a reputation its handsa rock-mattressfor or gabion design? Talk to the experts at Concrib. We have the knowledge and on approach with its many clients tackle a variety of earth stabilisation, and construction proje and ongoing staff Please contactcommitment us on (07) 3375 1800, or to visit our website at to see more examples of our work. development. With a team of working company directors with over 70 years combined experience in


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

the design, supply, and construction sectors, Concrib takes on projects approaching the $2 million mark, working mainly in South East Queensland, and even overseas in Brunei and Malaysia. The company will often manufacture and supply concrete crib wall and sleeper wall systems from its Brisbane base; in certain situations, it will manufacture the systems directly on the job site. The firm typically has seven or eight projects underway at any one time. The occasional small domestic job usually takes a day or two, while other large projects may last up to

two years. “There are many projects that involve hundreds, if not thousands of square metres associated with subdivisional developments,” says Mr Silec. To ensure that the job is always done to the highest of standards, Concrib is able to supply other proprietary stabilisation systems in addition to its own. “Our intent was, and is, to put ourselves in the marketplace as saying that we’re solution providers for earth stabilisation situations, and whilst we manufacture two particular systems, they’re not always the appropriate system for a particular situation. Where the systems Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


that we manufacture are not the appropriate solutions, we’ll go to other proprietary systems and buy the product… but still provide the full design, supply, and installation package.”

crete crib walls and concrete sleeper retaining walls, along with gabion and rock-mattress structures, rockfall netting protection, segmental geo-grid reinforced retaining walls, and interlocking concrete block protection systems.

Quality and Safety From design to construction and certification, Concrib offers its clients a range of high-quality services, designs, and budget planning advice. The company’s many years of expertise from qualified engineers, consultants, and contractors enable it to advise, plan, and construct con-


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

“Often a client may have something in mind, and we can offer suggestions in terms of things they may not have considered,” comments Mr Silec, who says there are many factors to consider when it comes to selecting and planning retaining walls and other support structures.

All variables have to be considered, and put into priority, including wall height, the available footprint, where the wall is being placed, the overall look and style of the wall, and cost. While all these considerations are important, Concrib makes safety and structural stability top priorities, and adheres to Australian Standard AS 4678 earth-retaining structures compliance code for retaining structures and AS 3600. “The biggest thing revolves around professionalism and compliance, in that we ensure number one, what-

ever we manufacture – that is, the precast systems in the cribs and the sleepers – complies with AS 3600, which is the concrete structures code,” says Mr Silec. “We meet all forms of government regulation that revolve around and relate to health and safety, environmental management, and so forth. It sounds like an obvious statement, but there are quite a few entities out there that don’t meet or comply necessarily with all of those government or legislative requirements.” Along with the company’s comAustralian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


mitment to safety and codes, Concrib is fully compliant with the National Code of Construction Practice, fully licensed with the BSA, and the Queensland Building Services Authority. The firm is a member of the Queensland Master Builders’ Association, the Civil Contractors’ Federation, and the Urban Development Institute of Australia. In addition, the company is active in product development and innovation, has rigorous independent testing of products, and a working relationship with the


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

University of Queensland (UQ) and Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Over the past decades, Concrib has successfully carried out a number of large-scale projects. One of them, the Trackstar Alliance Project, earned Concrib a place among the finalists in the 2009 National Earth Awards. Awarded the project on the basis of compliance with rigorous technical, financial and safety criteria, the job required Concrib to create a design

and construct major retaining walls on the Corinda to Darra Rail Upgrade Project. The project was governed by strict environmental controls, and the company had to face a number of technical challenges. “It was about two and a half thousand square metres of crib retaining wall that had to go up to a maximum height of about six metres, but it had to be constructed adjacent to railway lines, so safety aspects were critical,� says Mr Silec. Site safety was a pri-

ority, as work had to be carried out within the rail corridor and nearby energised power lines. These issues were successfully addressed, and the safety of workers was assured. By taking a skillful, hands-on approach to all its projects, and providing a wide range of products and solutions, the skilled team at Concrib Pty Ltd is able to advise its clients, design, and construct a wide variety of projects engineered to last for years to come. Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011



MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus


ilhelm Harnisch is chief executive officer of the Master Builders Association. He has been in the industry for nearly 30 years, starting off as a building industry practitioner and progressing to become an industry economist and analyst. In his current role as CEO, Wilhelm is responsible for representing the wide-ranging interests of the building and construction industry both in Australia and overseas.

-By John Boley Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


Ask him about the state of the industry and where it’s headed and the word that is repeated many times is uncertainty. “This is a time of considerable uncertainty, political as well as economic,� he emphasises. Australians nationwide, not just builders, may not be surprised by this. But, with his association hat


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

on, Mr Harnisch is clearly unhappy at the situation the Commonwealth finds itself in. The November election of the minority Gillard government has increased the uncertainty, he says, through the unpredictability of the Independent and Green factions; economic recovery from the global financial crisis has been patchy; the (impending at the time

“Going forward, there are a lot of positives to be seen – in the next decade more than two trillion dollars will be poured in for investment in social and economic infrastructure, there is the existing and continuing resources boom, and the industry will need a further 250300,000 people to add to the one million it already employs.” -Wilhelm Harnisch, CEO, Master Builders Association

we spoke) March state election in New South Wales casts a long shadow - “it is Australia’s basketcase state, it is dragging the whole economy down”; and don’t get him started on interest rates. MBA policy on rates is quite clear. The association’s chief economist Peter Jones spelled it out in January:

“The housing market has stopped going backwards but despite recent signs of improvement, continues to struggle against the impact of recent interest rate hikes. “Loans for construction of dwellings and purchase of new dwellings, combined, actually went backwards in December as the residual impact Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011



of the November rate rises works to hold back a fully-fledged recovery in residential building.�

MBA repeatedly calls for an extended pause in Reserve Bank monetary policy.

The entire building industry, especially the residential sector, is still suffering from the credit squeeze and bank lending practices. The

The association says the weak underlying level of housing finance must be of concern to the federal government, as it signals that the

MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

otherwise there will be dire consequences for housing affordability. Of course affordability and the cost of home-building are affected by many factors, not just interest rates. The MBA supports many of the findings of the Henry Tax Review on housing affordability but will also continue to push for the need to address inefficient developer charges, land release regulations and the approvals process as part of reforms to remove impediments affecting the supply of housing.

residential building industry will be unable to meet the serious undersupply of housing that has arisen, thereby risking higher rents and house prices as more people chase less stock. There is an urgent need for governments of all persuasion to address supply side policy failures,

Mr Harnisch has to tread a rather fine line when he addresses the thorny topic of environmental issues. It’s the MBA’s view that the uncertainty (again) surrounding the proposed carbon tax (its on-off status, never mind the likely form it will take and its effect on consumers and industries) is unhealthy. Regulation has gone “too far, too fast”. And the building industry is probably being singled out for an unfair wedge of restrictions. Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


“In any case,” he explains, “we believe firmly that the emphasis on energy reductions is in the wrong place. Instead of concentrating on the 150,000 new homes being built each year, we think there should be a greater focus on the eight million or so existing housing stock around the country. Homeowners should be encouraged” - by a variety of means to include both incentives to reduce


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

their carbon footprint and disincentives to encourage reduced energy use - “to do more themselves. There should be more done to encourage retrofit programmes” for existing homes. The six-star regulation is excessive; the five-star level would have been more appropriate; current plans for an eight-star level should be on

hold. But the MBA does, of course, support the concept of reductions in emissions and improvements in energy efficiency – it’s just that Mr Harnisch has scant respect for the way the authorities are currently handling environmental affairs. The MBA will continue to lobby for what it sees as short and long-term policy priorities, namely:

responsible economic management, a flexible workplace relations policy, and adequate housing supply and affordable housing. If you are a member you may know already, but it’s worth reminding that the MBA has a membership of more than 31,000 member companies with representation in every state and territory in Australia. It Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


“This is a time of considerable uncertainty, political as well as economic.” -Wilhelm Harnisch, CEO, Master Builders Association

has 380 of its own staff across the country, says Mr Harnisch, “with offices all over, not just in the major cities.” Staff have qualifications in a diverse range of disciplines including building, engineering, law, management, economics, marketing, accounting, industrial relations, safety, building surveying, international business and training. The MBA’s main function is to promote the viewpoints and interests of the industry and to provide ser-


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

vices to members in a broad range of areas including training, legal services, industrial relations, building codes and standards, industry economics and international relations. The membership is composed of large national, international, residential and commercial builders and civil contractors through to smaller local subcontracting firms, as well as suppliers and professional industry advisers. Membership of the MBA movement, says Mr Harnisch,

represents some 95 percent of all sectors of the building industry. “It’s the only body in this industry that represents all sectors and strata of the industry rather than one particular area.”

ford to pay dues just to be part of the crowd. Members demand, and trade bodies must provide, relevant and useful services if they want to claim that anyone who is anyone in their industry is a member.

The MBA is also Australia’s oldest industry association. Founded in the early 1870s in Melbourne, Sydney and Newcastle the movement quickly grew with Master Builders Associations being established in each state and territory. The association was federated on a national basis at the First Annual Conference in November 1890.

Partly as a consequence of that focus, the MBA and its membership are in fundamentally good shape. The industry itself has improved out of all recognition in the last 20 years, Mr Harnisch says, in terms of its professionalism, technical competence, efficiency and health and safety.

Perhaps there was some element of “gentlemen’s club” about the association back then, but not now. “Hell, no,” says Mr Harnisch with feeling. “Everything we do is focussed on the members and bringing value for money for them as a trade organisation. Today, more than ever before, trade bodies are under scrutiny from their members, who can generally no longer af-

Mr Harnisch is convinced that all the uncertainty is “short term. Going forward, there are a lot of positives to be seen – in the next decade more than two trillion dollars will be poured in for investment in social and economic infrastructure, there is the existing and continuing resources boom, and the industry will need a further 250-300,000 people to add to the one million it already employs.” Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011



ith all of the new developments under construction across Australia, it is easy for a developer to get caught up in the quick-build for quick-cash trap. Medium to high density developments are popping up everywhere at an increasing rate, and it can often be difficult to dis-


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

cern the benefits of one community over another. Even more alarming is the potential for Australia’s natural beauty to diminish beneath the slick design of a new development, and for this country’s rich natural landscape and history to become merely a thing of the past.

-By Aleisha Parr

For Cedar Woods, long time residential property developer operating out of Perth and Melbourne, such potential calamities are simply not a threat due to its world-class approach to creating sustainable, liveable and innovative communities. Environmental challenges are

nothing new for Cedar Woods, who started out as one of Australia’s first specialists in canal style developments. Says Paul Sadleir, Cedar Woods’ Managing Director: “We’ve had to deal with a number of challenges from an environmental perspective on the canal projects in Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


Williams Landing Birdseye View


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

“Cedar Woods appreciates that small community groups comprise an important part of the social fabric of our neighbourhoods. We embrace the idea of assisting our local pre-school to upgrade their sandpit, or the junior netball team to purchase new shirts. We enjoy seeing our contributions put smiles on the faces of neighbourhood children and their parents, who welcome the relief from continual fundraising.� Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


regards to water quality, sedimentation, and seeing that we don’t have any impact on the balance of the eco-system that we’re developing within.” Currently at work on a new development in the Pilbara Region in North Western Australia, the company is hard at work devising strategies to overcome the challenges inherent to this harsh climate and its lack of infrastructure. The region, which


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

is the source for much of Australia’s iron ore and natural gas production, is sparsely populated, with many of the workers choosing to work on a fly-in/fly-out basis – a solution which the local government has recently decided is no longer the most desirable approach. Cedar Woods’ goal is to create not just comfortable and affordable housing for these workers and their families, but also to assist in the development of meaningful and sustainable

communities well into the future. “In the development industry as a whole, some of the easier projects have been done and now the ones that we’re tackling have got some more challenges in front of them,” Mr Sadleir relates. Williams Landing, located in the Western region of Melbourne, is another of Cedar Woods’ current projects. It offers new challenges for the company, with its three conservation areas within the develop-

ment zone, set aside to protect the native grasslands and a wetland environment. These areas are home to various species of flora and fauna of national and state significance and are some of Australia’s most threatened ecological communities. Explains Mr Sadleir, “It’s quite a challenge to keep the habitat undisturbed when you’re in the middle of a growing residential area.” The company, after having engaged in significant weed eradication, constructed fencing around the areas to ensure that they would be pro-

Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


tected against pests such as rabbits and introduced species such as cats and dogs. Within the development itself, Cedar Woods utilises a number of design features which enhance not only


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

the quality of the units but also the sustainability of the community as a whole. Such features include landscaping packages containing water wise plant and grass selections, bio filtration systems, rainwater tanks, and ‘Greensmart’ principles includ-

ous National and State level awards as well as 6 Star energy efficiency ratings. What truly sets Cedar Woods apart though is not merely its dedication to reducing its ecological footprint, but also its commitment to creating thriving and self-sustaining communities. Declares the company website, “As a company which has achieved significant gains from its development activities, Cedar Woods appreciates that it has an ongoing responsibility to reciprocate to the excellence in the design and creation of urban communities

ing solar orientation for the facilitation of passive solar design. Cedar Woods’ environmental conservancy and ESD best practice measures have been of great effect, having won for the company numer-

187 Roberts Road Subiaco WA 6008 l (08) 9382 2911 l

Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


Williams Landing Neighbourhood Grant Program Successful Applicants for 2010

Cedar Woods would like to thank everyone who applied for a Williams Landing Neighbourhood Grant in 2010. Our panel of community representatives were overwhelmed by the number and worthiness of the applicants, and it is heartened to see such a diversity of non-profit programs supporting all walks of life. In 2010 the following community programs were successful in obtaining a grant. • Point Cook Cricket Club - equipment & uniforms • The Laverton Community Choir - equipment & uniforms • Iramoo Community Centre - kitchen goods • WYNDAG - laptop notebook • Laverton Community Association Inc - laverton carols by candlelight 2010 • Westgate Multiple Birth Association - to establish a playgroup in Williams Landing • Hoppers Crossing Sec. College - fresh fruit for students who attend homework class • Gateway Social Support Options - fruit & veggies to community groups & schools • Laverton Swimming Club - equipment & uniforms • Yerambooee Kindergarten - educational toys & equipment • Wyndham Rotary Club - conduct a camp for disadvantaged year 7 students • Hoppers Crossing Apex Club - esky for BBQ fundraisers • 2nd Laverton Scout Group - kitchen goods & renovation requirements • Point Cook Fire Brigade - chainsaw training • Werribee Archery Inc - transport containers • Werribee Environmental Community Park - garden tools • Jamieson Way Community Centre - outdoor & indoor equipment • Murnong Kindergarten - worm farm & veggie garden


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

community and environment from which it was able to generate these gains.” The first step in this process for Cedar Woods begins in the initial design planning and implementation, whereby a broad array of housing options are made available to allow for a more diverse range of community members from different income groups and family types. Not only does this help to create more affordable options for families potentially caught in a renting cycle in this difficult economy, but it also helps to create a “rich social fabric” within the communities.

interchange and commuter rail system to increase access to housing, jobs and services and to decrease residents’ reliance on cars. The town centre will also include fashion and boutique shopping venues, restaurants and cafes, offices, entertainment complexes, professional services, major retailers and much more. Beyond the initial development, Cedar Woods continues to assist in the creation of community through

To support these communities, Cedar Woods integrates land use with transport options, including public transport, walking and cycling and of course, proximity to major roads and freeways. In the case of its Williams Landing project, Cedar Woods has gone so far as to develop a mixed-use town centre which will integrate a freeway interchange, bus Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


sponsoring community events on an ongoing basis, and through its innovative Neighbourhood Grants program. The program, which operates on an allocation of monies totalling up to $20,000 taken from Cedar Woods’ own revenue earned from sales within that particular community, offers grants to notfor-profit community organisations to assist them in building and


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

maintaining a meaningful presence within the community. Grants are offered at values of $500, $1,000 or $2,000, and selections are made by a committee comprised of local community leaders to ensure that the money will be used to the best benefit of the community. “Cedar Woods appreciates that small community groups comprise an im-

portant part of the social fabric of our neighbourhoods. We embrace the idea of assisting our local preschool to upgrade their sandpit, or the junior netball team to purchase new shirts. We enjoy seeing our contributions put smiles on the faces of neighbourhood children and their parents, who welcome the relief from continual fundraising.” This attention to the creation

of character, activity and opportunities is what sets Cedar Woods’ developments apart from the ubiquitous run-of-the-mill developments so abundant across Australia – not only are they of a high quality and design aesthetic, but they also offer a significant return on investment for the customer with a high level of security well into the future. Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011



MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

-By John Boley JBA Urban Planning Consultants is the leading independent expert planning consultancy in New South Wales, with five specialist teams (research and advice, strategy and plan-making, metropolitan projects, industry and infrastructure, coastal and regional) composed of more than 30 planners working collaboratively with clients, co-consultants, government agencies, the community and other stakeholders to ensure planning outcomes are balanced and sustainable. In the last 18 years JBA Planning has achieved an impressive list of 4,000-plus projects, of which more than 50 have won prestigious industry awards.

When we spoke to the JBA team, they were very busy, preoccupied with the forthcoming NSW state election (March 26) which has been widely tipped to bring change to the state. “Opposition Liberals have foreshadowed a number of legislative changes (if they are elected) and some people may have been prompted to put applications in before those changes so it’s probably given us a stronger start to the year than usual.” Founder Julie Bindon said this would not adversely affect business for the rest of the year. “If we do in fact have a change of government and Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011



Courtesy of Lend Lease

if there is some planning reform it is likely to be some time before legislation could be put before parliament. The government is still going to have to find a way to get projects of state significance through.” “I think everyone admits that the system is very complex here in NSW in particular. Planners in NSW along with the development industry and the community all acknowledge it is complex and are all looking for some sort of simplification.”


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

JBA Planning offers a comprehensive range of services across all aspects of the planning and development process, structured via the specialist teams that Julie explains are a slightly unusual method of management but necessary because of the sheer size of the company. “Our clients benefit from tailored services relevant to their project’s location or market segment. They also have access to the wider skills and experience available across the organisation as a whole.”

Barangaroo JBA has been involved since 2006 in the planning for Barangaroo, one of the largest CBD urban renewal projects in the history of Sydney. JBA prepared the original rezoning and concept plan for the redevelopment of the overall 22 hectare site, on behalf of the NSW government. Barangaroo will deliver approximately 564,000 square metres of mixed-use floor space and 11 hectares of new public open space with a range of formal and infor-

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Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


mal open spaces. With an end value of approximately $6 billion, the project is expected to be completed over the next 10-15 years, and construction commenced in early 2011. Barangaroo South accommodates approximately 85 percent of the total floor space within the site, and will involve obtaining the necessary planning approvals for construction of 20 separate buildings (eleven residential, eight commercial, a landmark international hotel and a cultural building). In addition, Barangaroo South will deliver significant elements of the Barangaroo public domain including new streets and pedestrian connections, a new southern cove harbour intrusion, a public pier and foreshore promenade. In total Barangaroo will return 2.2km of waterfront to Sydneysiders. Significant sustainability targets have been incorporated into the development by Lend Lease in-


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

cluding a carbon neutral outcome supported by the use of new offsite renewable energy generation, a water positive outcome, worldleading 6-star Green Star commercial office design and zero waste with greater than 90 percent diversion of construction waste from landfill, greater than 80 percent diversion of operational waste from landfill and ‘closed loop’ return of usable soil and energy from waste processing.

Macquarie University

Courtesy of FJMT-Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

Macquarie University JBA Planning has been involved with the planning for the Macquarie University campus for the last seven years. This has covered all aspects of planning, from the campus-wide masterplan for the next 25 years to the rezoning of the Campus to achieve commercial land uses, Part 3A applications for the concept plan and all major development to date, as well as DAs for smaller projects, and self-assessed environmental

‘WIN Stadium is just one of the many exciting projects on which we’ve collaborated with JBA Planning – a company that consistently delivers great results. We congratulate JBA Planning on their recent success.’ Michael Heenan - Principal - Allen Jack+Cottier Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


reviews for roadworks and demolition. Approved in August 2009, the Part 3A project gave the university the scope to achieve some 570,000 square metres of additional floor space on its large campus. This major increase in floor space includes some 400,000 square metres of commercial floorspace, 61,200 square metres of academic floorspace and an additional 3,450 student housing beds. The rezoning achieved scope and flexibility to deliver the concept plan’s floorspace. JBA assisted in gaining additional development heights well above what would have been possible in council’s local plan. At the newly opened Macquarie University train station buildings ranging from 36m (9 storeys) to 108m (27 storeys) are possible. Also, a much wider range of land uses are permitted to foster the role of the University as an incubator for business and technology sectors.


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

Central Park Central Park is the major urban renewal development of a former brewery site on Broadway, near Sydney’s central station. The 5.8 hectare site is being redeveloped by Frasers Property Australia Pty Ltd as a mixed-use ‘urban village’, with offices, apartments and retail in 11 different development blocks. The buildings are designed around a large centrally located public park, which inspired the precinct’s name. When completed, the Central Park

Central Park

Courtesy of Jeppe Aagaard Anderson & Turf Design Studio

development will yield a minimum of 77,000 square metres of retail/office space and approximately 1,900 apartments. JBA Planning was engaged several years ago by the previous owners, Carlton United Breweries, who were relocating to a more modern plant in Queensland. Carlton needed to sell the old brewery that had been on the site for almost 100 years. Obviously they wished to maximise the value of their land and realise Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


WIN Stadium Wollongong Courtesy of AJ&C Architects


any uplift from redevelopment. JBA Planning advised the owner on the statutory approvals process, the planning merit and other issues and assisted the consultant team with the physical site planning. JBA also prepared the initial concept plan application and assisted CUB’s legal advisers in drafting a Voluntary Planning Agreement for the funding of infrastructure and public benefits.

ect by way of amendments to the original Concept Plan and detailed Project Applications for demolition, site remediation, roads and other infrastructure, the main park and first buildings. Work has now commenced. The first of the major buildings have been designed by high profile international and Australian architects, including Foster & Partners, Ateliers Jean Nouvel and Johnson Pilton Walker.

When CUB sold the land to Frasers Property Australia, JBA Planning continued to work on the proj-

Green Square Urban Renewal Area

MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

The green square urban renewal

area is some 270 hectares of former industrial land strategically located between the Central Business District of Sydney and the airport and Port Botany. It is also located just 5km from some of Sydney’s finest eastern-suburb beaches. The land is held in multiple ownerships meaning redevelopment can be piecemeal, and has inherent problems of land uses conflicts between the old and new uses, as well as the delivery of upgraded or new transport, social infrastructure and services. The vision is to transform this area into a vibrant mixed use community that will be serviced by a new town centre. JBA’s work on the project has covered a wide range of services including: providing planning due diligence to the existing industrial land owners and to those seeking to acquire sites; preparing Master Plan submissions and securing of Master Plan approvals from Sydney city council and the Central Sydney planning committee; assisting with

the negotiation of voluntary planning agreements to deliver public domain improvements as part of the floor space bonus scheme and as offsets against the provision of Section 94 developer contributions; and preparing, negotiating and helping to secure development consents. The sorts of issues confronting landowners and developers are the high water table in the area, site contamination from previous industrial uses, lack of permeability of the area given the large size of many former industrial lots, the lack of established facilities to serve the incoming population and public transport services in their infancy. As highlighted in the above projects, JBA’s work is both broad and highly specialised: capable of providing some very boutique skill sets to a wide range of projects, JBA continues to be the go-to firm for planning consultancy in the region. Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


- By Jaime McKee


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus


ustralia has some of the greenest buildings in the world. Innovative construction firms, a nationwide green rating scheme, and government investment in green building have made this country a proving ground for fresh designs and new technologies. But what is left to do once the passive cooling is in place, the greywater is being recycled, and even the roof more closely resembles a forest canopy? Where does one go to fully complete the green envelope of a building? Up the walls, of course! Green walls, or living walls, are vertical arrangements of plants that

naturally filter the air, transform carbon dioxide into oxygen, and cool and beautify our living spaces. Differing from green faรงades (e.g. ivy walls) which merely cling to building exteriors, living walls are self-contained entities containing a growing medium which allows plants to fully take root and accept inputs of light and water. They may be free-standing structures, almost like statuary; built in to the walls of a home through clever design; or fastened to the wall as living art. French botanist and artist Patrick Blanc pioneered the concept over 30 years ago in Paris. Installing green walls at various Paris sites such as the Museum of Science and Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


Industry, the Fondation Cartier, and the Perhsing Hall Hotel, as well as international sites including the French Embassy in New Delhi, Blanc devised a self-contained living wall system using polyamide felt layers attached to a PVC plate, mimicking the structure of cliff-growing mosses. A network of pipes and valves provides a nutrient solution to plants, and excess water is collected in a gutter to be re-injected into the pipe network. While Blanc constructed many of his notable works on building exteriors - transforming plain concrete slabs into lush vertical gardens - living walls can also be installed indoors. The benefits of a living wall run the gamut. Aesthetically, a wall of plants is undeniably beautiful, and even changeable. As the plants take root and grow, as you trim them or harvest them for edibles, the structure shifts and changes, resulting in a striking and dynamic work of art. Living walls can also provide a cushion against noise pollution. In-


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

doors, the leaves of plants reflect, refract, and absorb acoustic energy, and in large quantities can significantly improve the acoustics of a room. On a building’s exterior, the effect is largely the same: green walls insulate against sound, vibration, and noise penetration. The environmental benefits afforded by living walls can also not be discounted. Studies have shown that the surface of an exterior green wall is up to 10°C cooler than a conventional exposed wall. Green walls act as a kind of insulation against heat gain and loss, substantially reducing a building’s cooling requirements and the cost in energy and dollars associated with same. On a larger scale, this cooling effect can help mitigate the urban heat island effect, a phenomenon whereby an urban area is significantly warmer than its rural surroundings, due in part to the powerful heat-retention properties of materials such as concrete and asphalt. Exterior green walls also absorb and filter stormAustralian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


water, remove dust and particulate from the air, and act as carbon sinks. Used indoors, living walls filter the air of toxins and may help alleviate sick building syndrome, a combination of ailments resulting from flawed HVAC systems, accumulation of volatile organic compounds or molds, lack of fresh air or filtration, or off-gassing of noxious materials. All potted plants absorb and clean pollutants from the air; in a green wall, hundreds or even thousands of plants can be packed into a relatively tight space, maximising the filtration effect. A surprising benefit of living walls is that they can physically protect buildings; by reducing temperature fluctuations in a building’s envelope, the expansion and contraction of building materials is lessened, resulting in fewer cracks and less overall building degradation. Exterior green walls may also act as a protective barrier against precipitation, wind, UV radiation and acid rain.


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

In Australia, some of the most striking examples of living walls have been produced by Fytogreen, a company which seeks to “create beautiful, environmentally sustainable gardens integrated into the architectural form”. With a proprietary growing medium, a fully-integrated hydroponic watering system, a modular, panel-based structure, and the provision of pre-grown plants trained for vertical growing, Fytogreen has been producing dynamic living walls and roofs since 2002. Some of the firm’s top projects include the Spotlight Lifestyle Centre in South Melbourne, the Marriott Hotel in Sydney, Assumption College in Kilmore, and the Triptych Apartments in Melbourne - where the exterior wall spans 206 square metres and effectively conceals a car park. Melbourne-based company Lushe also specialises in the installation of hydroponic vertical gardens. Lushe utilises a proprietary felt system to create its living walls, and recently completed the ‘RegenAustralian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


eration Wall’ for the rebuilt Middle Kinglake Primary School, which had been destroyed in the 2009 brush fires. Proud to assist in the reconstruction efforts, Lushe provided the school with a striking centrepiece featuring plants such as Syngonium spp, Aglaonema spp, Pothos devils ivy and Anthurium Schirzrianum.


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

Never one for resting on his laurels (nor on his ferns, ivies, lilies...), Patrick Blanc has also produced work in Australia, creating his tallest vertical garden yet at a residential development in Sydney’s inner west. The 33-storey north-facing wall installed at Frasers Property’s Trio development is said to be merely a

“practice run” for Blanc’s even bigger installation planned as part of the $2 billion Central Park development at the former Carlton Brewery site on Broadway. The wall features 4,528 native Australian plants from 69 different species, and is fed with a grey-water, dripper-irrigation system. Whether installed purely for

their aesthetic value or utilised to improve air quality and energy efficiency, green walls provide a welcome injection of the natural environment into our everyday lives. A blend of nature, structure, and style, living walls offer innovative Aussies one more medium on which to make their green mark. Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011



MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus


he experience of purchasing a new home can be exhilarating. Unfortunately for many buyers, it can also be overwhelming and complicated. It requires not only an intense selection process of personal preferences including location, style and finishes, but also tedious applications, contracts and legal requirement processes. Frequently, more time is spent in the planning process than the actual building process itself, which can lead to headaches and heartaches for homebuyers.

-By Aleisha Parr

Masterton Homes Pty Limited, NSW’s largest residential building company, offers a range of innovative solutions for its customers to help ease the tensions of purchasing and building a new home. Through its multiple display home villages and personal service programs, Masterton is able to help any customer to attain the home

Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011



SUPPLIER OF FAMILY FRIENDLY FRAMING Designed to meet the needs of Australian families, Masterton Homes constructed using Hyne products are also built to last. Hyne’s quality Engineered Timber Products and termite resistant framing are Australian made for Australian conditions. Providing the best solution for termite protection for new homes and renovations, Hyne T2 Blue timber framing is non toxic and completely safe for use around children. Plus it comes with a 25 year guaranteed protection against structural damage by termites. Hyne T2 Blue is the preferred choice for structural softwood framing for quality builders, just ask Masterton Homes. For more information visit or contact Masterton Homes.











MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus



















of their dreams without all of the stress. As a family business in its third generation, Masterton Homes is proud of its rich history of innovation, safety and quality, nurtured from its inception in 1962 by Jim Masterton. Says David Masterton, current Managing Director and Jim’s son: “We have a very good name in the industry. We’re one of the few builders that uses our family name as the company name. We’ve been in business for nearly fifty years, so if anything does go wrong with your home you know we’re there.” From the very start, Jim Masterton’s unique ability to revolutionise standard construction methods set Masterton Homes apart from the other property developers operating in NSW. In the early 1960s, Jim devised a new foundation method which cut down on costs, material waste and work time. Jim’s method, as opposed to the traditional brickwork and sand foundations then in

use, simplified the process by using bent steel instead. This innovation fathered the foundation process now known as ‘raft slab formwork’, a popular method still in use today. Jim’s early work focused on developing prefabricated building components such as frames and trusses, many of which he single-handedly assembled on his own front lawn. Recalls David, “In 1972, Jim bought an orchard on Epsom Road in Chipping Norton, NSW. I remember him talking about it at the breakfast table, how much of a gamble it was and [how] he had to mortgage the house and everything he had to make that move, and he built . . . the first home that really kicked him off in the building business.” Recognising the potential for building display homes on inexpensive industrial land, Jim completed construction of his Warwick Farm Display Village by 1983, covering almost seven acres of land. His actions Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011



MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

were bold, requiring him to invest a massive amount of money that would need to be written off, but by this time, Jim was an expert at recognising opportunity and understanding exactly what his customers wanted most. Today, Masterton has a total of ten display centres in addition to the still operational Warwick Farm, where Jim can still be seen at work. Jim’s dedication carries through to the entire Masterton family and staff, who tirelessly continue to

enhance the Masterton reputation. Says David, “We’re fortunate to have a lot of dedicated people - some of them for over 30 years and at long hours. They treat the business as though it’s their own.” The result of this is an exceptional customer service experience throughout every construction project. Masterton Homes recognises the importance of making that initial process simple, and so has created a variety of options for its customers to choose from, includ-

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Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


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ing multiple land and home package options. Additionally, Masterton offers a specialised service for First Time Buyers or Empty Nesters, which provides these clients with more time and access to resources which help to clarify the process, as well as a selection of homes which are more economical. Masterton’s experienced sales staff will guide each client through the entire process, helping to select the exact floorplan, finishes and features that will make the house a home.


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

Furthermore, Masterton now also offers a program they call Home Direct, whereby a sales representative will visit a customer in the comfort of their own home to assist them in navigating the purchase and design process. This program, using videos, promotional materials and material samples, helps to bring the Display Home to the customer, and is ideal for people with hectic schedules or mobility issues. Masterton has most recently seen

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Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


success in its development of a commercial and multi-unit developments arm, operating under the name Masterton Construction. Continuing with its tradition of excellence, Masterton has become a significant player in this arena, its recent $7.5 million Breakfast Point project and its $21 million Pacific Blue Resort project shining exam-


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

ples of the innovation and quality behind every Masterton endeavour. Of the many delightful touches brought into these projects, perhaps the most unique is the wrap-around pool surrounding the entire Pacific Blue Resort, offering guests a per-

sonal oasis in every suite. Masterton offers a plethora of value added services to every design and build it completes, through its numerous innovations in costeffective building processes, safety

Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


structure & environment Hyne T2 Blue Environmental timber solutions that are guaranteed to protect 25 year Guarantee on framing against Termite Damage

CSR Bradford Wall and Ceiling Insulation Will ensure your comfort all year round, providing your family with a welcome saving on energy bills. Wall R1.5 and Ceiling 3.5

Rheem Integrity 27 Hot Water System, Control Pad & Recessed Mounting Box This is a compact gas instantaneous water heater that heats water instantly, but only when you need it, saving you money. The control pad also enables you to choose the water temperature you desire. Real safety for you and your family.

internal High Speed Smart Data Wiring Hub Two TV points and two phone points Double power points throughout

Internal Feature Doors to Passageways and Linen Cupboards A modern selection of designs with square routing to enhance your dĂŠcor. Robe doors remain as flush doors

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MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011



Gallery Goya sink mixer to the kitchen sink A selection of Cultured stone 20mm stone kitchen benchtops. Choice of Undermount or drop in kitchen sinks.

900mm wide Free Standing Commercial Oven Luxury Createc high gloss kitchen cupboard doors in a range of colours.

600mm 7 multifunction oven 600mm 4 burner gas cooktop or 4 burner electric cooktop 900mm recirculating rangehood

Drawer set to the Ensuite vanity. (Minimum 1200mm required). Floating Vanities with high gloss doors to ensuite and main bathroom

Contour Perimeter Framed Shower Screen with Frameless Pivot Door in 6mm Clear Toughened Glass to the ensuite.


Stainless steel dishwasher with 12 place settings and 4 wash cycles.

Chrome floor wastes not white plastic.

Gallery Gull tapware with Methven Tahiti Shower Rose to the Ensuite

Smart Home starter pack for provisioning your home to comply with ‘the National Broadband scheme.

Full China Toilet suites to all bathrooms.

Double Power Points Throughout. 2 TV points. Two phone points. High Speed Smart Data Wiring Hub

Sentinel DAS3 sensor security alarm system

Gainsborough Lever Trilock entry set to the front Entry door


Rheem “Integrity” 27 Instantaneous Hot water system including recessed box and temperature control pad to kitchen

Automatic garage door opener (total of one (1) unit), with two (2) remote control handset.

A choice of Monier Traditional flat profile roof tiles

r Choice of “Hume” moulded internal panel doors throughout home, excluding built in wardrobes (2040mm high Selected Accent doors, Hayman doors and Oakfield doors).


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

Termite resistant treated timber frame and roof trusses. (Including flooring in two storey designs) R1.5 Bradford ‘Comfort Seal’ insulation batts to external framed walls of living areas and including wall between garage and living areas. * R3.5 Bradford ‘Comfort Seal’ insulation batts to ceilings of living areas under the roof. There is no allowance for insulation to the garage roof area

standard improvements, and energy efficiency achievements. Explains David, “Lost time turns into money, so if you can come up with more economical materials and then in turn reduce your process time and construction time you have fourfold win.” Safety standards and energy efficiency measures both play a part in the rising costs of home ownership, which is why Masterton strives to advance the state of each area of concern.

David explains the company’s interest in cutting costs: “It’s for our children to be able to afford a home. I think we’re breeding a so-

ciety of renters - young people that will struggle to own their own home because of the costs these days.

Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


WorkCover Safety Award

Letter from Managing Director, David Masterton “Work Safety is something our company takes very seriously and Masterton was one of the founding members of the Housing Industry Consultative Committee ( HICC ) in 2004. We were one of the driving forces that produced the current policies and guidelines now adopted for the mutual benefit of the Housing Industry. This has been a strong partnership between Masterton, WorkCover NSW, the HIA and other building Members. Masterton are proud to be recipients of this prestigious WorkCover Safety Award and looks forward to continuing the strong relationship with our ( HICC ) partners. I would like to thank all those who participated in developing, following and enforced our company guidelines to ensure our compliance with the OHS Regulations to the extent that we have received this award.� Regards David Masterton


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

It’s not just the cost of materials, it’s the cost of time, the cost of requirements that you need to meet. It might not seem very much, each little part on its own, but if you put it all together it makes a big difference in dollars at the end of the day.” In the end, it all comes down to simply providing each client with the best possible place to call home – something that Masterton excels at. Jim wouldn’t have it any other way.


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MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

-By John Boley ... in a big pond. Given the vast areas of water surrounding our continent-country, you would perhaps expect it to be an ultra-competitive place to do business. But according to Simon Giessauf, general manager – corporate at Maritime Constructions, it’s not quite as shark-infested as one might think. “Sure it’s a huge area of water, but marine infrastructure has been on

the increase over the last ten years or so – there is a lot of growth in the industry at the moment. It’s a highly specialist field, and in fact there are not actually a lot of contractors in it.” Maritime Constructions is a specialist marine infrastructure contractor based in South Australia with more than 20 years of experience in marine construction. The company pro-

Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011



MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

vides a broad spectrum of services, such as wharf and jetty design and construction, capital and maintenance dredging, aids to navigation, underwater pipelines, breakwaters and marine asset management and maintenance. Much of the work carried out is remedial and most of it is environmentally sensitive – especially in these conservation-conscious times. Maritime is well aware of the challenges it faces and fully accredited to deal with them. “We take the Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


In excess of 5 million man hours at sea.


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


environmental side of the business very seriously,” says Simon. “Senior members of staff enjoy the marine environment themselves, from a fishing, swimming and diving point of view. It’s a true underlying value that we respect the environment we work in and look to see it preserved accordingly.” Working in the marine and coastal environment presents special challenges. “We consistently and continuously work towards minimising the impact of our operations on the


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

environment to meet strict guidelines and community expectations. Our intent is matched only by our performance, which has been recognised with four CCF and Case Earth awards for dredging the troubled River Murray mouth and the River Torrens, as well as the design and construction of the Rapid Bay Jetty and the Semaphore Park offshore breakwater.” Maritime’s success over the years is attributed to a “dedicated, motivated and experienced team; the com-

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pany’s greatest asset. Our in-house, accredited Maritime Industry Training Centre has been instrumental in growing the specialised skills of our team.” People are the major asset, says Simon. “Due to the equipment involved, the working conditions and the challenges of working on the water and carrying out construction work, it’s a very specialised industry. You need key people with a long history of understanding the marine environment and the changing conAustralian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


40 million litres of fuel bunkered and transferred over water during marine project operations without environmental incident.

ditions, and with a passion for the work, because it is a truly challenging and exciting environment.” It’s not all ‘messing about in boats’, exactly, but Maritime staff do tend to exhibit an affinity with the ocean. “Yes, there is a degree of ‘love of the sea’. It’s not all happy sailing but there is an underlying passion from people who work in and around the ocean – coupled with respect for the water. An understanding of how the the Proven PerforMer

A cross-section of projects delivered successfully by Maritime Constructions:

■ Collaborated Design and construction of the Rapid Bay Jetty, for Bardavcol ■ Installation of intake and outfall underwater pipelines and structures for the Adelaide Desalination Pilot Plant, for Water Technologies ■ Construction of Semaphore Park Offshore Breakwater, for the South Australian Department of Environment and Heritage (DEH) ■ Dredging of the River Murray Mouth, for SA Water ■ Installation of Yarraville Shoal Beacon, Spencer Gulf, for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

■ Dredging and piling for the new marina at Outer Harbour, for the Royal South Australian Yacht Squadron (RSAYS) ■ Sinking of HMAS Hobart near Wirrinna as an artificial reef, for the Royal Australian Navy ■ Refurbishment and Construction for the extension of the Portland Trawler Wharf, for Akron Roads ■ Ship-lift modifications, Techport naval industry hub, Osborne, for the Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC) ■ Ongoing dredging/sand replenishment at Holdfast Shores and West Beach (DEH) ■ Piling for Largs North Marina, for Bellingham

marine environment can react is vital to safety and ensuring our staff are not put at risk.” Maritime boasts of its design-andconstruct expertise but business is “a real mix. We have been successful in a number of design-and-construct contracts in the last 12 months and that’s something we have worked hard towards, but a lot of our work is for state and local governments, which is often ‘construct-only’. But

we do pride ourselves on being a very innovative contractor that can have a large degree of input into a smart design in order to create constructability and value for money for clients.” Maritime does supply “some support services and operations to much larger contractors in the oil and gas industries but our primary focus is traditional marine infrastructure work. However,” adds Simon, “there are Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011


Process Our people are supported by bestpractice processes and systems to ensure that what they deliver is exactly to the requirements specified by each client on each project. Maritime Constructions operates within an Integrated Management System (IMS) incorporating requirements for Quality, Safety and Environment in accordance with Australian/New Zealand Standard ISO 9001:2000 and statutory and legislative requirements. Maritime Constructions’ IMS adopts a ‘Process Approach’ which is designed to enhance customer satisfaction by meeting customer requirements – a simple enough equation considering it is the core principle on which the company was founded. The diagram (below) illustrates the Continuous

Improvement/ Quality Management component of our Integrated Management System. Our IMS requires us to develop a Quality Management Plan (QMP) and associated Inspection and Test Plan (ITP) for every project we undertake to ensure our clients get exactly what they have asked for. The process verifies, validates, monitors, inspects and tests every phase of every project. Each aspect of the review cycle is supplemented by client audits to ensure that plans are being implemented in accordance with the specifications and expectations documented at the beginning of the process.

Satis fact ion

The company has an extensive fleet of vehicles that is “predominantly for our own use. It’s mainly very specialised, but there are some pieces we can hire out – simple barges etc. But 90 percent of our fleet is for our internal


MARCH 2011 | Australian Construction Focus

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exciting oil and gas projects around Australia, like Gorgon or Gladstone and so forth; they are certainly exciting and there is room on those projects for a contractor like us. We are glad to see such projects happening around Australia.”

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use. We are a builder and constructor, not a hire company as such.” In general, Maritime is going places and pleased about it. “We’re very good – happy and excited and all is well.” Jobs come from all round Australia – including one about as far as you can get from Adelaide in ‘Western Australia’s northernmost town’, Wyndham, where the company is working for East Kimberley shire on the Anton’s Landing project – and Simon does not rule out working even fur-

ther afield. Maritime’s business is “based on core values of integrity and honesty, with a partnering approach to our clients, respect for our employees, providing a healthy and safe environment for them to work in, training and upskilling to give opportunities for our people to advance. We are excited about the future. The industry Australia-wide has a very bright future and we are looking to add as much value as possible.” Australian Construction Focus | MARCH 2011