Australian Construction Focus - October Edition

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October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

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Editor’s Pick Australia’s need for accessible housing is not just an inconvenience, but fast becoming a crisis. Today, approximately 80 per cent of Australians - nearly 16 million people - live in cities, making this nation one of the most urbanised on Earth. As the total population grows, this figure will only increase. For this month’s issue, I spoke with Peter Sherrie, National President of The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA). One of the UDIA’s key issues is how to address the country’s needs for affordable housing and land on which to build. “What we’re finding, all around Australia at the moment, is that we’re having a real affordability crisis with land, and bringing land onto the market,” says Mr Sherrie. With relatively low unemployment and strong population growth, one of the main challenges facing builders remains the availability of land. In recent months, the UDIA and others have released a number of reports addressing the urgency of the housing situation, such as the Henry Review of Australia’s Future Tax System on housing affordability, and the National Housing Supply Council’s 2010 State of Supply Report. The numbers are staggering; by 2029, it is predicted that Australia will need an additional 3.2 million dwellings to meet housing needs, yet if the gap between supply and demand continues to grow over the same period, it will result in a shortfall of 640,600. Today, it is estimated that the country lacks about 200,000 dwellings, and that the national shortage will swell to 250,000 dwellings in the next two years, making the housing gap of the mid-Seventies pale by comparison. The dilemma of a housing shortage is that it becomes harder and harder for families to find affordable places to live, while property prices and interest rates go up at the same time. Some areas are affected more than others, like New South Wales. First time home buyer grants help somewhat with purchasing a property, but remain largely ineffectual if there is no available property to buy. “What really has been identified is that it’s a supply-side issue, not so much of a demand-side issue,” says UDIA’s Sherrie. “If you’re fueling demand, and doing nothing about supply, the immediate thing that happens is that prices go up.” It is hoped that in the coming months and years, more land will be freed for new development as a way to address the urgency of affordable housing in the nation.

Robert J. Hoshowsky

In Australia, with a population verging on 22 million, the need for available, affordable housing is becoming a crisis. In this month’s issue of Australian Construction Focus, we take a closer look at The Urban Development Institute of Australia, an organisation addressing the need for more homes to house the nation’s growing population. In our exclusive interview with UDIA’s National President Peter Sherrie, we examine the urgent need for housing, and other industry-related issues facing the UDIA. Many construction companies evolve over the years, but some, like Lipman, manage to maintain their values from the past. When Phillip Lipman founded the company bearing his name in 1966, he had a vision of “co-operative contracting,” creating quality products while fostering an atmosphere of mutual respect. Almost 45 years later, the Lipman legacy continues, as the company bearing his name handles projects in excess of $100 million. Each month, Australian Construction Focus investigates structures that are historically or culturally significant. In this issue, we focus on the Brambuk Living Cultural Centre in Halls Gap, Grampians National Park, Victoria. Located amongst the natural beauty of the Gariwerd-Grampians Mountain Range, the centre was originally built to encourage greater public appreciation for Aboriginal culture and to protect the region’s many treasured rock art sites. Today, Grampians National Park is a National Heritage Site, and home to almost 300 species of birds, mammals, and reptiles.

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


Robert Hoshowsky Managing Editor Kulvir Singh Creative Art Director Robert Chambers Director of Business Dev. Lorne Moffat Head of Research Rob Lenehan Research Manager Tim Hocken Production Editor Christian Cooper Director of Operations Jen Hamilton Office Manager Contributing Writers Aleisha Parr Jaime McKee Lynn Hamilton Melissa Thompson 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

14 Woods Bagot

A Vision of Success

24 Emerald Lakes A Gem on the Gold Coast 34 Baseline

The Real Alternative


On the Road to Success

50 Brown Steel

Evolution in Action

56 Pybar

Building Relationships

70 Villawood


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

A place to Grow

78 History

Brambuk National Park

84 Lipman

Co-operative Contracting

94 Urban Construct

Leading with Imagination

100 Edwards

Old Values, New Tricks

110 UDIA

Housing the Nation

118 Bosform

Queensland’s Formwork Specialist

128 Addstyle

Quality without Compromise

134 ANT Building

Passionate About Construction Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


AIBS 2010 International Conference October 17-19 at the Radisson Resort, Gold Coast

Entitled ‘Racing Ahead,’ the 2010 conference hosted by the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors is focused on professional development and keeping up with change in today’s environment. The conference kicks off with an optional golf afternoon on October 16. Starting on the 17th a range of speakers from associations such as Housing Industry Association, International Code Council and Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors will discuss international trends, planning systems and building legislation, business growth strategies and more. For more information visit:

Civil Contractors Federation National Conference October 20-24 at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra

The CCF combines informative presentations and business seminars with five star accommodations and entertainment to make this conference a much anticipated event. Capital Works is the theme for 2010 and topics like hybrid plant and equipment, OH&S, economics, and reducing theft on the construction site are covered. There is also ample opportunity for networking at various lunches, tours and evening functions. The final evening will be closed with The CCF National Earth Awards at Parliament House. For more information visit:

The Safety Show October 26-28 at the Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park

For safety professionals in any industry, The Safety Show is the largest event in the nation. Over 10 000 visitors and 350 exhibitors are expected, with interactive demonstrations and displays showcasing the latest developments and products in OH&S. Also scheduled during the conference are Free Workshops by Workplace Access and Safety, National Harmonisation of OHS Law Seminars (from three different perspectives), and The 2010 WorkCover NSW Safe Work Awards. For more information visit:


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

Sydney Architecture Festival October 20-November 7 in venues across the city

Hosted by the Australian Institute of Architects and the NSW Architects Registration Board, the purpose of this festival is to engage the community in its surrounding built environment through tours, exhibitions, films, and other entertaining activities. Highlights include a tour of the historical and innovative Ballast Point Park lead by its designers, a lecture at Government House where six well known Australians will discuss their interpretation of ‘home,’ and the Sydney Open occurring November 6-7. For more information visit:

New South Wales Major Projects Conference October 26-27 at the Sydney Convention Centre

The NSW government has set aside $16.6 billion to invest in construction and infrastructure during the 2010/11 year. At the Major Projects Conference, officials from many areas of government will provide delegates with information about where this money will be invested: Education, Health, Transport, Water, Energy, Port Botany Expansion, and elsewhere. Delegates will have the opportunity to present their opinions during Q&A segments and to network during a complimentary Cocktail Function. For more information visit:

2010 National Architecture Awards October 28 at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Architects from across the nation will be honoured for their exceptional accomplishments in architecture and design at the prestigious Australian Institute of Architects 2010 National Award Ceremony. Some of the categories include Residential Architecture, Commercial Architecture, Urban Design, and Sustainable Architecture. Submissions will be judged by a jury of five distinguished experts in the field. The event will take place at the uniquely designed and newly enhanced National Gallery of Australia. For more information visit:

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


$200 Million Tasmanian Museum Redevelopment

n Tasmania, the government has unveiled a colossal, $200 million redevelopment plan for the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) in Hobart.


the rest of the money will come. At present, the remaining funding is dependent on the Federal Government and the generosity of philanthropists.

The transformation of TMAG will preserve the site’s colonial buildings, and convert a carpark into a public square with garden beds.

With construction planned to commence next year, the designs reveal a truly stunning transformation for the museum, with heritage buildings next to modern steel, glass, and timber structures, effectively combining the past with elements of the future. The site would also benefit from increased overhead shade and weather protection, making it more accessible year-round, while outside, terrace-like public areas will offer visitors many unique and interesting vantage points of the TMAG.

It is expected the first stage will be completed over the next 18 months to two years, and further investment into the project will be incorporated into future budget cycles. To date, the government has allocated only $30 million for the redevelopment project, and critics are questioning how and from where


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

Traditions Carved in Stone


ear Olary in far north-east South Australia, an old coach house is at the centre of time-honoured stonework restoration. Recently, 19 tradespeople, along with lowsecurity prisoners from the Port Augusta jail, travelled to the old Bimbowrie Cobb and Co property for a five-day training course on traditional stonemasonry restoration techniques.

hands-on experience as they learn about the nature of different stone, lime mortars, conservation techniques, and more. It is likely that these stonemasons-in-training will be called upon to work on a number of other State Heritage Listed buildings in the future.

Back in the late 1800s, the Cobb & Co coach house and nearby Post Office served as part of a transport link between Broken Hill and Burra. Today, the coach house is one of a number of State Heritage Listed structures up to 130 years old, and serves as an example of early pastoralism in the Bimbowrie Conservation Park. The successful Construction Industry Training Board program will see veteran tradespeople passing on their stonemasonry skills to apprentices. The training, under the auspices of Keith McAllister of Heritage Stone Restorations, will provide participants with Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


Wind Power


he Construction of a wind farm near Mount Barker is set to begin this month. Unlike other wind farms in the nation, it will be partly owned by locals through the Mt Barker Power Company. Perth-based Advanced Energy Resources (AER), part of the Castelli Group, recently secured $8.5 million in funding for the project, with the Western Australian Government adding another $4 million. The wind farm – 70 per cent owned by the great southern community – will be constructed atop a hill on private property about four kilometres north of the Mount Barker townsite. When


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

finished, it will consist of three 800 kilowatt Enercon E53 wind turbines, and produce 2.4 megawatts of energy, enough to power homes in the area. In addition to producing power for the town, the wind farm is expected to eliminate over 8,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases being pumped into the atmosphere each year. The project is significant, since wind farms of this size are usually constructed by governments or multi-nationals. In this case, AER is in partnership with project developer Skyfarming. Construction is set to be completed by February, 2011.

Construction Boom Equals Workforce Challenge


n Canberra, the ACT Master Builders Association (MBA) says that with so many large building projects underway, finding enough workers to keep up with the construction boom is posing a challenge. At present, the area has a staggering $16 billion worth of building works in progress or in the planning stages. Of the total, about $9 billion worth are planned projects for the territory, with the remaining $7 billion representing projects that are still in progress, a significant increase from about $6 billion worth last year. While workforce shortages are not uncommon during the construction of large projects, there are other challenges facing the industry as well, such as a chronic shortage of available land.

Gilgandra Gets a New Helipad Construction of a long-anticipated new concrete helipad for a rescue ambulance helicopter at Gilgandra is nearing completion. Designed to make transferring critically ill patients more efficient, the helipad has been developed by volunteers and a local tradesman, who generously organised free labour for its construction. The new helipad will allow helicopters to land next to the hospital, eliminating the need for patients to be transported to the McGrane Oval, and flown to other hospitals. In the past, patients had to be flown to the Dubbo Hospital by helicopters taking off from the McGrane Oval. With the support of the entire Gilgandra community, the helipad will have the added distinction of being the town’s first space dedicated for an emergency helicopter. Located on the Newell Highway, Gilgandra sees its share of traffic accidents. Fortunately, the location of the new helicopter pad will enable emergency personnel to evacuate patients to hospital facilities with far greater speed. Lights will be installed at the site of the helipad early this month.

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


-By Jaime McKee


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus


ir Isaac Newton once uttered the famous words: “If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants”. Acknowledging his own accomplishments as a natural philosopher, Newton was also humbly remarking on the great achievements of those who came before him. Many modern construction and design companies find themselves in much the same position as Newton and so many others have - working to make their mark upon a well-established industry with its own experts, its own history, its own giants.

But what of those companies who are themselves the giants? The great successes who have not only stood the test of time but continued to grow ever stronger? The ones who have weathered storms of recession, industry shake-ups, and changes in the marketplace? Can a long-standing company continue to change as the industry demands it? Can a “giant” of the industry also be at its vanguard? More pointedly, can a company that has thrived for nearly 150 years be an agent of change? Global design studio Woods Bagot is proving that the answer is yes.

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


WHEN THEY DREAM IT, WE CAN HELP THEM DO IT Davis Langdon congratulates Woods Bagot on its international standing and long-standing commitment to design excellence. Like them, we believe in the power of the built environment to change people's lives. We celebrate over 20 years of shared success and look forward to future collaborations.

Global Property and Construction Consultants Project Management | Cost Management | Building Surveying | Specification Consulting | Urban Planning Infrastructure Services | Property Consultancy | Certification Services | Access Consulting


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

A firm established in 1869, Woods Bagot specialises in design and consulting across three broad sectors: Lifestyle, Workplace, and Education and Science. Its multi-disciplinary team consists of over 700 individuals operating in Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America. Originating down under, Woods Bagot gradually grew into the global company it is today, essentially by maintaining strong relationships with its clients as they themselves grew. With thoughtful attention to detail, and a keen understanding of the cultural, regional, environmental, and operational needs of its clients, Woods Bagot is able to offer its services in the areas of architecture, urban

design, consulting, interior design, master planning, and design management. The visually stunning and comprehensive Woods Bagot website, www.woodsbagot. com, speaks to an ambitious vision: “By 2010 we will be a global leader in design and consulting underpinned by research�. Mr Rodger Dalling, Managing Director, Australia, does not equivocate when stating that Woods Bagot has reached this goal. Recognised as a leader in its field and honoured with a number of regional and international awards to this end, Woods Bagot has risen to the top of the world stage by continuing to be “intelligent, adaptive, nimble and Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

innovative”. This venerable company is not one to rest on its laurels; even in the year of his company’s vision’s coming to fruition, Mr Dalling and his colleagues are already looking to the future, to the next path upon which Woods Bagot will embark. In a hint of what is to come, Mr Dalling speaks excitedly about his company’s vision of sustainability. He sees the environment as being at the very heart of upcoming Woods Bagot operations, and with such a clear vision, the firm certainly seems poised to take the lead in this area. Mr Dalling considers it a key role of architects, designers, and engineers to create a mindset where sustainability is “valued and achievable”. Working with communities, taking a holistic approach to energy conservation, and looking to markets making innovative strides in environmental sustainability, Woods Bagot has set very high standards for itself and is eager to work with communities and clients who do the same. Says Mr Dalling, “we’ve certainly got the engineering and clever design capability to do it”; the key is to work collectively to demonstrate that it can happen. “We can lead through projects”. In fact, such ground-breaking projects have already begun to take shape under Woods Bagot’s leadership. Adelaide’s City Central Tower 1 is South Australia’s first 5 Star Green Star Certified project, showcasing passive chilled beam technology to increase energy efficiency, and transforming the workplace

for tenants through the introduction of abundant fresh air and natural light. The Deloitte Centre located at 80 Queen Street, Auckland, New Zealand has been called “the most environmentally sustainable commercial office building in the country”, seeing 96% of its waste recycled and 75% of construction waste reused or otherwise Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

diverted from the landfill. A 23 level office tower, this innovative structure utilises grey water recycling and ventilated facade technology, and features winter gardens as well as reduced operational energy, water consumption, and CO 2 emissions. And the ZERO-E pilot project in Chongqing, China represents the very leading edge in efficient design; a dynamic industrial development, the ZERO-E project will feature a “holistic resource system� integrating photovoltaics, solar thermal panels, absorption chillers, a biogas fuel cell and a waste digester, all working together to improve building performance while minimising resource consumption and waste. What truly sets Woods Bagot apart in

OPUS, as civil and structural engineers for the Mackay Hospital Project, congratulates Woods Bagot & Billard Leece on the design of this landmark development for Queensland Health. Opus is a leading multi-disciplinary consultancy that has operated in Queensland for over 80 years. There are 20 Opus offices in Australia and more than 2200 Opus staff worldwide.

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Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


this realm, however, is that, in its view, “sustainability” doesn’t just apply to the natural environment; it also applies to people. The firm aims to encompass “the human dimension of sustainable development, seeking to create socially and economically thriving communities”. To this end, Woods Bagot conducts its own in-depth research through its global research brand PUBLIC. PUBLIC captures new and emerging knowledge and acts as a platform for clients, staff and partners to share ideas and challenge conventional theory. By looking deeply and holistically at the communities which will house its buildings, at the people who will inhabit them, and at the needs and wishes of both, Woods Bagot ensures that it can deliver thoughtful and appropriate design solutions to all of its clients. The company’s philosophy of examining needs and innovating to meet them even extends to the workspaces of Woods Bagot


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

itself. The company refers to these spaces as “studios” rather than offices, and Mr Dalling says that they are, indeed, studios in function and form. Designed to “deconstruct the workplace“ by fostering creativity and encouraging the open exchange of ideas, the Woods Bagot studio approach sees team members come together to share knowledge and work on tasks, then dissemble again, only to join with another group on a new task. “Our business,” Mr Dalling says, “is not about being in an office; we operate differently.” Staff members aren’t pinned down to a strict, segmented area; they are free to diversify their experience and offer ideas to varied projects and tasks. Of course, being a global company adds yet another dimension to the workforce capacity of Woods Bagot. The diversified experience and cultural insight brought to the table by team members around the world gives Woods Bagot a unique depth of

perspective, and enables the firm to work around the clock, without boundaries or borders, combining international expertise with contextual knowledge. Mr Dalling describes the company’s collective capacity as “mind-blowing”; “that capacity, when we harness and apply it is extraordinary... when that energy begins to apply itself, it’s phenomenal.” Mr Dalling speaks in no less enthusiastic terms about many of his company’s projects. He describes Sydney’s award-winning ivy as a “sensational project... great to look at, and great to be in”. A 20,000 m 2 multi-purpose structure, ivy comprises boutique retail spaces, restaurants and bars, a live music venue, a 1000-person capacity function room, a two-level office facility, two 500 m2 penthouses, and a lifestyle complex including a pool club and spa. Mr Dalling speaks of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre with similar excitement.

A major infrastructure project, Mr Dalling calls it “a fantastic collaboration, technically demanding, and a very interesting delivery”, which saw Woods Bagot look beyond the immediate site to creating an entire retail precinct and adjacent facilities. To hear a long-standing company director speak in such glowing terms about his company’s work is inspiring; it speaks to the dynamism and spirit still very much alive at Woods Bagot. The firm’s collective, global energy gives it the capacity to adapt, innovate, and flourish in an ever-changing market, while its “clarity of purpose” and strong sense of commitment to its clients gives it the drive to raise and exceed expectations, rather than simply meet them. Woods Bagot is indeed a giant of its industry, but it is a nimble one: seeing further - even, perhaps into the next 150 years - comes with ease to such an innovative firm. Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus


onstruction companies complete many projects over the years, but there are always some that stand out more than others, due to their size, cost, complexity, or design. For Nifsan Pty Ltd, one of its largest and most spectacular projects remains the epic commercial and residential Emerald Lakes, a development located at Australia’s picturesque Gold Coast. Founded by Japanese businessman Toshiaki Ogasawara in 1991, Nifsan Pty Ltd is one of his many accomplishments. In addition to serving or having served on the advisory boards of companies like Nike, Avon, and General Electric, he is Publisher and Chairman of The Japan Times – the country’s only independent English-language newspaper – and Honorary Chair of Nifco Inc, Japan’s premier manufacturer of plastic parts for auto and home appliances. In 1999, work commenced on Emerald Lakes, a sprawling project estimated in the billiondollar range. A massive planned community with eight stages of residential, retail, and office developments, Emerald Lakes features about 1,800 homes and apartments. Among the many outstanding features of the 37-hectare lake property are an 18-hole championship golf course, waterways, parklands, and numerous community facilities. Since 1995, Nifsan has sold in excess of 1,500 homes in award-winning developments in South East Queensland. There are many reasons for

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


the company’s success, including prime locations, amenities, landscaping, and of course, construction quality. The company utilises an exhaustive Quality Control Check List, taking into account both the interior and exterior of the structure. No details are spared, as dozens of points must be inspected for quality, including outdoor turf and plants, downpipes, garage door and locks, interior hallway plaster and paint, dining room carpeting, light switches, phone jacks, screen doors, even soap dishes. This brand and quality control system is key to Nifsan’s ongoing success, and ensures the company delivers nothing but the highest quality homes and after-sales service to its


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

many discerning clients.

Quality - Gold Star Rating System “All our apartments and houses fall under our gold star rating,” says Mark Grierson, General Manager of Developments for Nifsan. “They go through a long process of inspections, ensuring that we’ve got a check process, which is about 250 items, which are checked off in the sign-off process.” The process, says Grierson, is a significant investment for the company, but well worth the time and effort. “We have very little comeback from our owners, and I think that’s a testament to that whole process of going through this gold star rating,” he says. “It is very important to us.”

located in the heart of Australia’s Gold Coast, an area known for its magnificent beaches, scenic hinterland, fine restaurants, and countless attractions. Close to these and many other features, the development is also easily accessible to the M1 motorway Brisbane, just five minutes from the Nerang Rail link, and near to some of the best beaches in the world. As the Gold Coast’s most dynamic master planned community, Emerald Lakes offers many unique, theme-based residences of distinction to their clients. Many, like The Cove, The Vistas, and Porto Bellago – a European-inspired Village Precinct with architecture evocative of Portofino in Italy –

Nowhere is the company’s attention to detail more evident than the Emerald Lakes development. In addition to the creation of spectacular homes and apartments, the project is a reflection of Nifsan’s goal to create communities. Along with extensive community-based facilities, residents can enjoy the area’s many waterways, parklands, and other natural features. Along with the spectacular golf course, there is a driving range, tennis club, beach and boat ramp, sports fields, and over 11 km of walking and cycling paths. Unlike some communities which involve a hefty commute, Emerald Lakes is strategically

Humphreys Reynolds Perkins Gold Coast congratulate Nifsan Developments and are pleased to have been associated with the Emerald Lakes development since its inception in 1998. Specialising in: Development Applications, Master Planning, Strategic Planning Studies, Sustainable Development Solutions and Expert Evidence. Other Gold Coast projects we have provided planning services for include: Circle on Cavill, Insignia, Air on Broadbeach, Victoria Towers, Ephraim Island, Harbour Town, Currumbin Ecovillage, Salacia Waters, Coomera Town Centre Structure Plan and Gainsborough Greens.

Humphreys Reynolds Perkins Gold Coast Suite 15, 3029 The Boulevard, Emerald Lakes, Carrara Qld 4211 Phone: 07 5594 1322 Fax: 07 5594 1366 Website: Email:

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

are sold out. The French Quarter is inspired by Paris, and features 109 apartments as well as retail and commercial components. No details have been spared, as the area incorporates distinctive French architecture, complete with wrought-iron balustrades and Mansard roofs. This exceptional attention to detail has helped make Nifsan one of Queensland’s most awarded master planning and building companies. “Internally, awards are very important to a company from a morale point of view,” says Grierson. “People like to achieve, and they see a reward from all the work that they’re putting in. From the other side, it’s very good from a sales point of view. It assists in promoting an award-winning product. People would like to live in that type of environment where it’s been recognised. And the owners, they have pride in their product that has achieved awards.”

all their residential and commercial projects.

Sustainability - Green Star Rating System With an eye to the future, developments within Emerald Lakes – such as the Town Centre, completed in late 2008 – were also designed with the environment in mind. The first multiuse buildings within the development, the Town Centre contains retail, commercial, and residential structures, and has achieved a four Green Star rating, as outlined by the Green Building Council of Australia. Creating an environmentally sustainable design, Nifsan’s Town Centre remains one of a very small group of buildings in South East Queensland to achieve this high rating. A national, voluntary environmental rating system under

Since the company was founded almost two decades ago, Nifsan has garnered over 30 major state and national awards from the Urban Development Institute of Australia, the Housing Industry Association, and the Queensland Master Builders Association. Judged ‘Best in Queensland’ six times, Nifsan has also been named one of the top three development and building companies in Australia. By managing all stages of its developments, including site master planning, construction, and marketing of its properties, Nifsan’s 140 employees maintain quality control from start to finish on Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

the Green Building Council of Australia, Green Star evaluates the environmental design and construction of buildings in the country, and is fast becoming important to promoting good business.

Coast. Along with the successfully developed adjacent projects Porto Bellago, Town Centre, and the French Quarter, the Harbourfront will contain 250 to 300 apartments, retail shops, and restaurants.

“We found that a lot of tenants in the Town Centre like to know that a building has a Green Star rating,” says Grierson. “We’ve definitely seen that change in the various tenants.” Some of the environmentally friendly design elements incorporated into the Town Centre include capturing and recycling stormwaters, and painting interiors with low-VOC paints (volatile organic compounds, vapours that can adversely affect the environment and health). In addition, the steel and concrete used in construction of the Town Centre contained a percentage of recycled material, and waste generated during the construction process was carefully separated so it could be recycled. “This is something that is demanded by the industry, and it definitely is something that is important in commercial buildings, because the client is definitely demanding it.”

“This Harbourfront is going to be the heart and soul of the development,” says Grierson. “It brings the whole of the development together. It’s quite an important element of the Emerald Lakes estate, and we’re very keen to get that one up and running.” The project is at the design stage, and will likely be marketed for pre-sale between July and September, 2011. “It is probably the largest master plan project on the Gold Coast at the moment, and most successful at the moment. We have a great reputation for high quality products.”

By being able to identify desirable areas of the country, Nifsan has earned a reputation for producing quality residential and commercial areas across Australia. The same care the company put into the Emerald Lakes development will be evident in their next large project, The Harbourfront. A joint venture with Adelaide-based developer Urban Construct, The Harbourfront project is aimed toward making further inroads on the country’s Gold Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus


ince it was established back in 1993, Baseline Constructions Pty Ltd has never strayed from its vision: to offer clients a true alternative to traditional building methods. As one of Australia’s foremost construction companies, Baseline believes its unique designs and advanced building techniques save its clients not only time, but money. “We do jobs that are very different from most builders,” says Nicholas Bettar, Managing Director and founder of Baseline. “Over the years, we’ve proven we’re a real alternative to your normal, everyday, conventional builders, because we do a lot of work offsite, where most builders won’t.”

Recognised across the industry for its innovative work – especially the use of the latest modular construction techniques – Baseline has built a solid reputation for its construction projects, offering a wide range of products and services to clients in the areas of residential, commercial, industrial, and hospitality. “We will also target within those four areas what works best for us,” says Bettar, adding that while the company will work in hospitality, they won’t do clubs, for example, since there are numerous other companies specializing in that field. Often building with pre-cast concrete, Baseline is able to offer clients creative,

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

“We’ve proven we’re a real alternative to your normal, everyday, conventional builders.” -Nicholas Bettar, Managing Director and founder of Baseline.

cost-effective and solidly-built alternatives for projects of any size, backed up by professional project management teams determined to get the job planned properly, managed, and delivered on time and often under budget. The savings can be significant, says Bettar; one recent $100 million project completed by Baseline was $12 million less than a competing estimate for the job. “We are cheaper than the competition because we offer a real alternative to design and construction.” Although the privately-owned company has done a great deal of modular construction over the past 17 years, Nicolas Bettar’s knowledge of the construction industry goes back to childhood. Prior to creating Baseline, Bettar earned a civil engineering degree, and worked for another large firm for six years. When Nicolas was young, his father – a cabinet maker and builder – would take him

and his older brother to building sites. He fondly remembers spending practically every weekend stacking roof tiles, straightening nails, piling timbers, and learning everything from demolition to building techniques. “We loved it,” says Bettar. “I think it’s in the blood. We learned about value and respect.” Today, Baseline’s respect for its clients and the industry shows in every project. With decades of combined experience, Baseline is able to take on all aspects of construction, including site acquisition, project management, concept planning, construction management, financing, design, efficiency/value engineering, project feasibility studies construction methodology, design management and facilitation, general contracting and delivery, construction advice, delivery of construction, sales, marketing, and final placement of end users. Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


Three Divisions

Over the years, the 75-employee strong company grew into Baseline Group, which is today comprised of three divisions: Baseline Constructions, Baseline Concept Design, and Baseline Developments. When the company began, it did a good deal of modular construction, which required many components being made off-site. Other companies soon took notice of Baseline’s innovative modular construction techniques – which enabled the company to build creative, cost-effective alternatives for its clients of virtually any size – and were amazed by the quality of the work. Soon, the design side of Baseline was born. “We would often lend our internal designers off to architects and developers to re-design buildings and sites,” says Bettar, “and it just naturally grew. As we started to pick up more


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

and more repeat clients, they would say to us, ‘Do you want to do this?’ or ‘Do you want to do that?’ so we picked up the development side. Today, we have the development side, the construction side, and the design side – they’ve all just basically evolved organically over the past 17 years.” Known mainly as a large residential modular builder, Bettar is quick to point out that there is much more to Baseline Constructions and the services they offer. Able to do jobs ranging from several hundred thousand dollars to over $100 million, the company is proud not only of its sterling reputation, but the fact that 75 per cent of its business comes from repeat business. “When you have repeat clients, it speaks volumes,” says Bettar. “It is very hard in a congested market to have repeat clientele.

I think we are the real alternative in a lot of ways, and I think that’s a good thing. We do jobs that are very different to most builders.” Projects the company has taken on over the years remain as diverse as the many services offered by Baseline itself. In almost two decades of operations, Baseline Constructions has worked on a wide range of residential, hospitality, commercial and industrial projects, including heritage houses, adult community centres, child care facilities, hotels, meat processing facilities, shopping centres and plazas, self-storage buildings, and even a family crypt. Led by a skilled senior management team, Baseline’s corporate structure is created to ensure that every one of its projects is overseen by individuals who are highly capable, skilled, and have years of experience. Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

Working with professionals ensures clients that their building needs will be carried out in a manner that is efficient and safe from start to finish. Some of the company’s past projects include Metro Residential Units (Roseberry). A $57 million job, Baseline was responsible for design and construction of the entire 274unit apartment complex, which was entirely modular. Others, like the $88.6 million Rhodes Bay Development – which took 85 weeks to design and construct – feature almost 250 apartments, a café, townhouses, penthouses, pool and gym amenities, associated infrastructure and landscaping over 11 buildings ranging from four to eight levels.

says Bettar, is simple: the client was pleased with its first project, and called the company back to construct additional schools. In addition to schools, Baseline is also working on a number of other large projects, including shopping centres, the restoration of heritage buildings, and industrial construction, mainly in New South Wales. With environmental sustainability being increasingly important, the company has also implemented Green Star ratings on a number of its projects. A voluntary rating system launched by the Green Building Council of Australia, structures are rated for “green” initiatives for construction, design, operation, and other earth and resourcefriendly factors.

State and Federal Accreditation

A number of years ago, Baseline made the decision to become a state and federally accredited company, a costly and timeconsuming process, but one that has paid off for the company and its many new and repeat clients.

“Your return isn’t that much higher, but your likelihood of getting a tenant is so much greater,” says Bettar. “People are becoming more and more environmentally aware. We’re in a developed country. We should be pushing the boundaries, and challenging things.”

“To keep up to the accreditation is incredibly expensive, because the bar is lifted up so much higher than everybody else,” says Bettar of his company, which has recently branched out into the field of school construction for the government. Just last year, Baseline built its first school; today, it are working on six. The reason for its success,

Although the company has won a number of awards over the years, Bettar says the company’s greatest award is the repeat business it receive from its many clients. The company doesn’t advertise on projects, and generally doesn’t enter into award competitions. “Slow and steady has done us well.” Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


-By Aleisha Parr


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

One of Australia’s heaviest lift cranes helps to complete the last two bridges on the Northern Expressway.


t the start of a new term for the Rann administration, South Australia is poised at last to realize its full economic potential. Celebrating an unprecedented government investment in public infrastructure and embracing an entirely new approach to implementation and development, the Ministry for the Department for Transportation, Energy and Infrastructure is continuing to push forward with its 2002 Strategic Infrastructure Plan for South Australia (SIPSA).

After over a decade of little-to-no funding for infrastructure in South Australia, this massive investment is a rare opportunity, which may be the driving force necessary to revitalize the economy and create a sustainable future rich with opportunity. Hon. Patrick Conlon, Minister for the Department for Transportation, Energy and Infrastructure, describes the plan as a “comprehensive statement of what the future can be.” In fact, the SIPSA is the

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

impetus behind a dramatic new system of government infrastructure planning and implementation, requiring participation from all levels of government as well as the private sector. Developing infrastructure can be expensive due to high delivery and maintenance costs, but it is absolutely essential to supporting the future population growth associated with increasing the state’s economic standing. As emphasized in the plan’s overview: “It is the state’s roads and rail, the hospitals, schools and sports fields, the ports and parks, the water and waste management systems. It enables the state’s economic and social systems to work well.” After restoring South Australia’s AAA credit rating, and through careful budgeting, the Rann government has made possible the goals of the SIPSA. With such a massive investment comes the possibility of a complete overhaul of existing infrastructure as well as the creation of an entirely new system to support the expanding needs of a society on the brink of expansion. Rather than installing stop-gap solutions onto older, inefficient infrastructure, this approach allows the Ministry to design a cohesive system of social support whereby each sector will be able to develop itself individually as well as in relation to the whole. Although the financial backing is in place, the SIPSA makes no specific commitments

The construction industry has been revitalized and the state and federal governments have been working together with the private sector to help realize some of the most important goals for every member of society. to funding or delivery, allowing for a more balanced approach to resource allocations. As such, projects to be included in the development of the plan will also go through a newly devised five-step approval process to ensure their feasibility as well as their sustainability in regards to social, economical and environmental requirements. This system requires that State Government alter its approach from an annual competitive bidding process for project acquisition to a more flexible management of capital resources across each sector. Demanding a commitment to long-term vision, the new implementation process will be essential to the effective management of infrastructure priorities. An important focus of the plan is to increase Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

Concept image of a basic northern station upgrade for illustrative purposes only.

local sustainability through creating a cohesive system of public social services. Developing infrastructure allows our society to enjoy a higher quality of life while also demanding excellence of the providers of those services. This encourages local businesses to advance the state-of-the-art through innovation and a commitment to the highest quality standards in order to win large projects. The success of local industry, in turn, helps to advance the strength of South Australian industry and trade, thereby allowing for a continued investment into the infrastructure. To this end, we are seeing a larger government investment in both training and funding to assist small and medium businesses in South

Australia in garnering projects deemed necessary to meet the targets set out in the SIPSA. While projects are awarded based on merit and financial accountability alone, with no preference toward local businesses, Conlon reports a noticeable boom in the local construction industry. He attributes this to the high standards set for winning contracts and says he is proud to see local small companies rising to the task.

Where They Are Now

Five years into the development and implementation of the plan, the Ministry has recently completed a revision and reassessment of its initial 6 objectives and 79 targets with noticeable changes being Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


Rail and Public Transportation

At the centre of this $2.6 Billion transformation, the Rail Revitalisation sets out to: re-fit the metropolitan passenger rail network sleepers; electrify the Noarlunga, Outer Harbor, Grange and Gawler lines; standardize gauges for the rail network; and complete numerous upgrades to the interchange, station, and Park ‘n’ Ride infrastructure. With numerous new procurements and conversions made to transform the network into a vibrant, state of the art and sustainable system, the goal is to provide faster, cleaner, more frequent and efficient services for commuters. The Seaford Rail Extension project provides for a 5.5 kilometre extension of the dual track rail line from Noarlunga Centre Railway Station to the Seaford District Centre. Two new stations, a bus interchange, various bridges and a Park ‘n’ Ride facility will all be developed to assist in reducing commuter travel time, improving access to everyday facilities, reducing pollution and providing lucrative employment.

the inclusion of a new section devoted to supporting the reported boom in natural resources, and an increase in the number of targets to 98. The new incarnation of the SIPSA, set for a term of thirty years, still holds the basic priorities: a continued, coordinated plan for across the state; the pursuit of efficient and competitive systems; the promotion of sustainable development; and an emphasis on innovation. In a recent interview, Hon. Patrick Conlon MP spoke to the state of progress made by the Ministry:


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

“Like most places, I think there’s been a fair amount of catch-up in infrastructure investments,” he explains, “but we’re certainly on the time-lines we’ve set out, we’ve been hitting them […] we’re pretty pleased with our progress.” While Conlon reports an increase in key economic indicators as well as exceeding population goals, he feels the most exciting result of the plan is an increase in confidence in the future success and sustainability of

South Australia. The construction industry has been revitalized and the state and federal governments have been working together with the private sector to help realize some of the most important goals for every member of society. Schools have been redeveloped into super schools, a new hospital has been built, and public transit has seen a major revitalisation. The face of trade and export has been transformed through a major expansion of road and rail systems, with an increased focus on safety, efficiency and reliability of the national transport network. In short, the plan is taking effect. With the assurance of continued financial support, success is limited only by the level of perseverance and commitment to highquality innovation by industry leaders in construction and development. Quite literally, South Australia is on the road to a sustainable future.

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus


n the construction industry, one must innovate to stay ahead. It is not enough to rest on reputation; as quality standards evolve and competing firms enter the marketplace, self-improvement and the capacity for reinvention are critical to the success of any company. Brown Steel, a Toowoomba-based steel fabrication firm, understands this. In its fifteen years of successful operation, Brown Steel has established itself not only as a leader in its field, but as a proactive and progressive company which meets challenges head-on. Specializing in the fabrication and erection of structural steel, Brown Steel was incorporated in 1995, and now services clients throughout Queensland and Northern New South Wales. Working out of its newly constructed facility in the Charlton Integrated Employment Precinct, Brown Steel tackles large-scale projects in a variety of realms – commercial, industrial, defence, mining, and infrastructure. The company is able to see its clients through all stages of a project, from in-house drafting, to component procurement, to fabrication, to surface preparation, to transportation, and finally to erection of the finished product. This commitment to meeting the client’s -By Jaime McKee

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

needs from start to finish has enabled Brown to build up a reputation of trust, integrity, and quality. “Brown Steel,” say Messrs. Pat Brown, Managing Director, and Andrew Clem, Operations Manager, “is a company that has evolved with the industry”. Rather than resting on its status and its name, Brown continually seeks out new and better ways to do things. Its internal processes – Quality Assurance, safety, materials handling, software, and manufacturing – are constantly advancing, as bigger and more challenging projects drive the development of new methods. Its approach to human resources, too, is proactive. Brown is quick to sit down with top players in the industry who are looking for a change, and welcomes the ideas, skills, and expertise that new people bring to the table. Brown also identifies and trains students and apprentices, ultimately seeking to provide them with full-time employment within the company.

top-level Quality Assurance program based on ISO 9001 principles. The company employs modern 3D modelling and drafting techniques and maintains a 2555m2 workshop, providing the capacity and resources to fabricate about 100 tons of steel per week. Combined with the comprehensive software traceability program StruMIS, its own skilled tradespeople, and an in-house fleet of transport equipment, Brown has translated its know-how into a streamlined and manageable system, giving everyone involved the confidence that things are on track.

Of course, it is not enough to simply be innovative. To deliver quality work, a construction firm must combine innovation with technical expertise. To this end, Brown Steel boasts a management team with over 200 years collective experience as well as a Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


Western Corridor Recycled Water Project

Also fundamental to Brown’s success is its company culture. Built on the six basic principles of trust, teamwork, credibility, quality, balance, and commitment, the work environment of Brown Steel is one which clearly values people over products, and which has been described as a “relaxed, yet productive environment”. Like many successful construction firms, Brown extends its focus on relationships to the client as well as the employee. Project managers liaise with clients and their representatives, and Brown prides itself on following through and following up – addressing client concerns, making necessary changes, and maintaining strong communication throughout the entire process. As Mr. Brown says, client relationships are critical to his company’s success, and are “built on trust and nurtured by integrity”. Such an approach has enabled Brown Steel to become one of Australia’s go-to firms for providing major infrastructure support


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

to both the defence and resource sectors. As Messrs. Brown and Clem state, the company’s defence projects have proven to be some of its most noteworthy and demanding, spurring new developments in Brown’s quality and management systems with the unique challenges they pose. Brown’s projects based at Canungra, Enoggera, and Amberley, in particular, have, in Mr. Brown’s words, “contributed significantly to the development of [the] company”; spanning a three-year period, these efforts required continual liaising with clients, engineers, architects, and contractors to keep on top of the work, and compelled the company to continually revise its management, communication, and production methods. The Springfield rail interchange project, too, posed some unique construction challenges; a joint venture with Horizon Alliance, John Holland, Main Roads, and Queensland Rail, the project featured unique waved roof lines, a substantial pedestrian foot bridge, and

significant safety and quality requirements, challenges which Brown Steel was able to meet and even exceed. Presently, Brown is working on the Barrett Burston Malting facility at Pinkenba with Built Environs Queensland. The job features a variety of different structures including conveyors, stair towers, and steel framed buil dings, and poses the unique challenge of limited space on site, requiring Brown to fabricate and deliver its steel in very specific stages. Please see sidebars for more examples of Brown Steel’s most challenging projects, both past and present. “Our commitment to quality is uncompromised. As far as we are concerned, there is no such thing as perfection. There is always room for improvement”. Ultimately, the success of Brown Steel lies in its multi-faceted approach. This is a firm which truly has the entire package; a valued and highly qualified workforce, strong client relationships, technical skill, and the drive to grow as a company. As the company itself states, “our commitment to quality is uncompromised. As far as we are concerned, there is no such thing as perfection. There is always room for improvement”. This open and progressive approach to both internal systems and physical construction work has ensured that Brown is consistently at the top of its game – and even as that game may change, Brown Steel has the capacity to change right along with it. Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

-By Aleisha Parr


ffering a broad range of services to the mining and civil sectors, PYBAR believes that the best way to succeed in the industry is to nurture meaningful relationships with both the client and the community involved in a given project. The results of this approach are clear—PYBAR is enjoying continuous growth and has developed an outstanding reputation for quality and commitment to excellence in the mining industry. “We push for more personal relationships . . . We like to understand [the clients’] needs and tailor our services to suit their requirements,”

explains Brendan Rouse, Director of Group Business Development and one of the four founding partners of this 17 year old company based in Orange, NSW. Though the company’s core focus is in underground hard-rock mining, they also provide numerous civil services including excavation, earthmoving and ground stabilisation, to name a few. Additionally, PYBAR offers an extensive range of underground and surface equipment for rent or purchase. Utilising a range of contract styles, PYBAR specialises in long-term projects generally requiring an evolution of services. Many of its contracts begin with small teams of Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

two or three people and, through recognising and fulfilling the clients’ needs, develop over the years into much larger projects, often coming full-circle through to completion. PYBAR works with the client throughout the entire life cycle of the project, adapting its own capabilities as required—a method which has resulted in rapid expansion. Working on contracts with Cadia Value Operations for over ten years now, PYBAR has employed more than three hundred workers to provide services on nearly every front including maintenance, mining, surface civil projects, and labour and equipment hire. Originally providing construction labour for Cadia’s first underground mine, it took more of a maintenance support role during the

operational phase. Over the last few years, its involvement has grown substantially, now providing equipment as well as labourers for surface work. The nature of the work has changed, but PYBAR’s commitment to its clients’ needs has not. Indeed, PYBAR’s devotion to excellence is broad, involving all aspects of operations and ensuring the highest standard of service to its clients. Vowing to deliver all projects with a minimal impact on the environment, PYBAR also places strong emphasis on fostering connections with the members of the community within which it operates. To this end, the company not only sources consumables and materials locally where possible, but also trains and hires many local Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

labourers for each project. Additionally, PYBAR participates regularly in local charity events, mining expos and local Chambers of Commerce, helping to enhance its relationship with each community. An example of this community involvement can be seen in PYBAR’s recent work at the Mt Isa Copper Mine in central western NSW. In this remote location, many of the people employed by PYBAR were hired directly from within the community. “We like to try and establish local relationships,” Rouse explains. “Creating strong local relationships is key to establishing long-term clients.” Mt Isa is a well established long-term mine which PYBAR has been working on for a Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


number of years. Initially winning threemonth contracts, PYBAR gained trust and respect from the team at Mt Isa, and has since served in a number of dynamic roles for project management. This is an important project offering jobs for over a hundred labourers through PYBAR, who work alongside the mine’s own labourers. PYBAR’s focus on nurturing relationships and a sense of community involvement is reinforced by its standards for safety. Recognised for its strong safety record, PYBAR attributes that success to its Enterprise Management System (EMS), which it applies consistently throughout all operations. In addition to a set of principles which incorporate the requirements of AS/

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October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus



NZS 4801 – OH&S Management Systems, PYBAR has also developed positive measures of safety performance, including Safety Effort Rating; Severity Rate; Client Audits; Hazard Identification Compliance; Job Safety Card Compliance; and Management Self Audits. Another way in which PYBAR services the total needs of a client is by engaging in cooperative partnerships with other companies such as JT Electrical. PYBAR might provide the operational or management expertise, while the partner company provides its own unique services - in this case, electrical work. Partnerships such as this not only ensure cost effectiveness for the client, but they also have enabled PYBAR to successfully undertake larger projects.


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October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

More recently, due to its rapid expansion, PYBAR has begun to win larger projects outright. Moving into Western Australia, with numerous projects spanning five sites, PYBAR is becoming a national force. Though the move west often proves a challenge for the Eastern state-based companies, PYBAR’s size and flexibility has ensured a smooth transition to servicing this area and it has been well worth it for the dynamic mining company. With each successive development, the capabilities of this company are enhanced and future opportunities multiply. “There’s plenty of work . . . we’ve hit a record quarter,” Rouse reports with pride. “We’ve Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

recovered fully from the GFC [Global Financial Crisis]. The company is bigger than what it was prior to the GFC and there’s still a lot of work that is potentially coming up in the next month. There’s a lot of opportunity.” With such a stellar combination of social and environmental responsibility, and a

commitment to providing the highest quality service and cost effectiveness to all clients, it is easy to see how PYBAR has grown to become a leader in its field with such speed. As PYBAR continues to expand across the country, its dedication to fostering long term relationships is fundamental to developing Australia’s greatest natural resource - its people.

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Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus


hen it comes to purchasing a new home, there are many different builders and property development firms to choose from. Most offer a choice of a few different house designs, upgrades to the interior finishings, and not a great deal more. However, one builder believes in not only creating aesthetic and functional homes, but in shaping entire communities where neighbours can connect with one another in a social atmosphere that is friendly, fun, and a great place to live and raise a family. For over two decades, Villawood Properties

has been developing some of the finest communities for Australian home buyers, and has grown into one of the nation’s premier development firms. Receiving numerous awards and critical acclaim for its projects, Villawood has created some of the finest new home developments throughout Melbourne, Bendigo and Moama, and is expanding into new markets in Queensland and New South Wales. Since the company began operations in Bendigo, Victoria in 1989, it has set an excellent track record for producing Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


For over two decades, Villawood Properties has been developing some of the finest communities for Australian home buyers. -Rory Costelloe, Executive Director of Villawood Properties

projects from boutique to master-planned communities designed for living. Villawood continues to bring its vast knowledge of precommencement investigations, research, tender procurement, planning, construction, sales and marketing to every one of its communities. Focusing on much more than creating houses, Villawood strives to make all its new developments not only livable, but interactive communities with recreation and leisure centres, tennis and basketball courts, playgrounds, barbecue areas, even street parties. All these and other features allow new neighbours and their children to connect, establish friendships, and live in happy and healthy environments.


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

“People want to move into these new communities,” says Rory Costelloe, Executive Director of Villawood Properties. Along with joint director Tony Johnson and CEO Rob Taber, Mr Costelloe is dedicated to building superior residential communities for Australia’s growing housing market.

A Place to Meet, a Place to Play “Our clients want to find a place they’re proud to call home, and particularly, they want to meet the neighbours, and make new friends,” says Mr Costelloe. “We go to quite a lot of effort to facilitate that, with great community facilities and great parks. We also go to a lot of effort to get people together

more up-market,” says Mr Costelloe of Villawood’s projects, which often include access to facilities including gyms, cafes, function rooms, swimming pools, and community Internet. “Because of the quality of our community facilities and our parks, we attract a lot of second and third-home buyers. It is probably our primary market.” Passionate about creating user-friendly communities with parks, playgrounds, urban art pieces, landscapes, gardens, wetlands and more, Villawood is dedicated to making its communities safe and secure places for children to play and grow, all set against state of the art technologies, improving sustainability, and green living.

for community functions where they can meet each other.” For buyers, purchasing a new home created by Villawood Properties is about much more than picking a design, or choosing what style of kitchen or bathroom fixtures to install. The company maintains its vision for excellence every step of the way, fostering solid relationships with its customers, colleagues, and stakeholders in the property development industry. Buying a home from Villawood is more than a purchase: it is an investment in a better and healthier community-based lifestyle.

Among Villawood’s many award-winning projects are Marriott Waters, Penzance Estate, Seasons Estate, Alamanda Point Cook, and Orchard Place. Some, like Marriott Waters, are the perfect combination of premium house and land packages in a master-planned community designed for growing families. In late October, there are plans to release a number of waterfront homesites. Ranging in size upwards of 620 square metres looking out across the Marriott Waters second wetland body, the new homesites provide buyers with a tremendous opportunity to own the house of their dreams.

“We offer a full range of affordable homes for first-time buyers, but we consider ourselves

By offering buyers a choice of lot sizes and prices to suit their individual needs, Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


Villawood Properties is able to offer clients a wide variety of options. In many cases, such as Alamanda, new home buyers are able to live just 20 minutes from the central business district. At present, the company is working on a number of developments, including Alamanda in Point Cook, winner of the 2010 Urban Development Institute of Australia “‘Residential Development” award. With fewer than 200 lots remaining in the 1,500lot community, the development’s recent stage – the Santorini Precinct, released in late August – is now available. Like other projects undertaken by Villawood Properties, the lots at Alamanda are extremely well-connected to the community’s range of diverse parks, playgrounds, and wetlands. Residents are able to access the area’s exclusive Club Alamanda, where they can enjoy an active lifestyle in the development’s exclusive recreation and leisure centre. Among the many features are a gym, tennis courts, and the new Alamanda Café & Providore. A child care facility, Future Kids, is located at Alamanda, and it is just a short walk to a school and playground. There is a proposed Prep to Year 9 School, and all households will be equipped with optical fibre throughout, enabling ready access to high-speed Internet.

Sustainable Growth Although home prices across Australia are increasing, Villawood is committed to keeping costs affordable, offering buyers a


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

range of homesites in a variety of locations, particularly urban growth corridors, where they are able to present buyers with more affordable opportunities by supplying a wide variety of land sizes. Buyers can choose their block, and a lot size that fits their lifestyles. The Enviro Lot, with its 10m frontage, is compact, and perfectly suited to busy singles or couples desiring a low-maintenance home. The 12.5m Lifestyle Lot is perfect for homeowners who love to entertain, but don’t want a great deal of maintenance. At 14m, Villawood’s Eco remains one of the company’s most versatile homesites; it is ideal for a spacious home and large outdoor area, and is a very popular choice for young families. The company’s 16 and 18m lots offer abundant space for the needs of growing

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


families, and suit a range of contemporary home options. In keeping with Villawood’s approach to positive change, the company has implemented a number of initiatives that benefit new homeowners and the environment. Natural, green public spaces are planned long before the land transforms into a new community, and existing natural habitats are identified for preservation. In 2008, Villawood launched Positive Change, a three-tiered approach to improving the way

it creates new communities. For every square metre of land purchased within a Villawood Properties estate, the company gives back the equal amount of land to the people of Victoria, to be added to the state forests. With every block of land sold, Villawood donates $100 towards the purchase of land for the Good Friday Appeal Charity House Auction. And the use of the enviroSTAR program encourages buyers to build environmentallyfriendly homes using Villawood’s “My Wishlist,” an online checklist of sustainable items used to maximise energy efficiency


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

and water conservation in the home. “We try to encourage our buyers to see how much energy and water costs they can save over one year, and how much water and carbon they save per annum,” says Mr Costelloe. “When you have water restrictions, people become acutely aware of climate change, and that it is a serious topic.” By building homes and neighbourhoods with an eye toward the future needs of both its clients and the natural environment, Villawood is poised to take the lead in creating sustainable communities. In developing safe, healthy spaces where neighbours can truly connect with one another, Villawood is building a framework for future generations of Australians to make their own memories.

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


-By Lynn Hamilton


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus


very issue, Australian Construction Focus profiles a structure of unique historical, cultural, or environmental significance. This month, we take a closer look at the Brambuk Living Cultural Centre in Halls Gap, Grampians National Park, Victoria. Located amongst the natural beauty of the Gariwerd – Grampians Mountain Range, the Brambuk Living Cultural Centre blends well with the surrounding landscape. The centre was originally built to encourage greater public appreciation for Aboriginal culture and to protect the region’s many treasured rock art sites. Today, it not only brings the history of the Koori communities to life, but also embodies the living culture of the present. The splendour of Grampians National Park

can be seen by visitors in its breathtaking scenery, its celebrated architecture and its unique indigenous art. For its abundant flora and fauna, emotion evoking aesthetic characteristics, and Aboriginal art features, Grampians National Park was listed as a National Heritage site on December 15, 2006. The area supports close to 1000 native plant species (many of which are endemic), more than 230 bird species, over 40 species of mammal, and 28 species of reptile. Many plants and animals found in the park are listed as nationally threatened. For the plant enthusiast, the spring is great time to visit as the plentiful soil types in the park support a variety of colourful wildflowers. Some of the plants found only Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

a spiritual place for Aboriginals. To the Jardwadjali and Djab wurrung peoples, the area has been central to their culture and their way of life. As a way to preserve the rich heritage of these peoples, the Victorian government invested $1 million in the 1980s to build the Brambuk Living Cultural Centre situated in the valley between Baronia Peak and the Wonderland Range.

in this region are from the ash group of eucalyptus, and the orchid, Christmas bush, and pea families. You may also find mammals such as emus, kangaroos, wallabies, possums, and koalas throughout the area. In addition, the park protects vulnerable species like the long-nosed potoroo, the smoky mouse, and the endangered red-tailed black cockatoo and southern brown bandicoot. Even those not quick enough to catch a glimpse of all the amazing wildlife can’t escape the majesty of the rugged landscape and changing environments. From high sandstone peaks to the surrounding flat farmlands, from quiet streams to rapidly flowing waterfalls, from open shrubby woodlands to ecologically vibrant wetlands it seems there are worlds to explore. For thousands of years, Gariwerd (the indigenous word for the area) has been

Gregory Burgess, architect, designed the centre in conjunction with the local Aboriginal communities. Age-old building methods were combined with modern ideas and technologies to create a one-of-a-kind structure. Aboriginal symbols, and traditions, as well as the natural surroundings served as inspiration for the overall design and chosen materials. Up to date media and a bush food café were added to make the Brambuk Living Cultural Centre a warm, interactive display place for cherished indigenous culture. Evidence of Aboriginal influence can be seen in the massive central fireplace and chimney, reminiscent of a traditional family hearth. The Djab wurrung’s and Jardwadjali’s totemic symbol, the cockatoo, acted as muse for the curved, wave-like rooftop and influenced the name, Brambuk, which means “white cockatoo”. Outdoors, there are ceremonial grounds and a garden of edible and medicinal plants protected by a shield of earth berms. The use of natural construction materials reflects the character of the outer landscape. Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


Timber was used extensively throughout the building, lending a warm inviting feel to the interior. In fact, the 24 Grey Box poles surrounding the fireplace and ramp are not the poles typically found in modern buildings; they were left to look natural with knots, curves and even bark in some places - so called “imperfections� found in nature. The handrails for the spiralling ramp were made of Victorian ash, and two large timber posts carry the segmented ridge beam which supports the undulating roof structure. Three layers of laminated veneer lumber were vertically laminated with rings of mechanically driven nails to create the curvature of the segmented ridge beam. Connections were left uncovered to fit with the more down to earth architectural styles. Radiata Pine was used for wall framing and plywood lines the interior walls. On the exterior, Australia White Cypress was used as cladding and steam bent on site to fit the rounded shape of the cultural centre. In addition to natural timber, consolidated earth and sandstone were also used in the construction. The walls of the main foyer and display area floor are earthen and the lower floors of the central area are made of local sandstone. As the Brambuk Living Cultural Centre is meant to be a welcoming and attractive


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

space it is also meant to be a practical and educational space. This is where modern media comes in to display the works, new and old, that are to be showcased in the centre. One of the largest round rooms was set aside as the Gariwerd Dreaming Theatre with full projection facilities. Here, award winning presentations are shown hourly. Also featured at the centre are seasonal festivals, cultural and environmental tours, performances and educational classes: didgeridoo workshops, boomerang throwing, and art site tours. Gregory Burgess Pty Ltd won the RAIA Sir Zelman Cowen Award in 1990 for this unique and inspiring public building - a place of recognition, respect, and awareness nestled in an ancient natural landscape. At Aboriginal rock art sites, which are thousands of years old, visitors can step back into the history of Gariwerd and see illustrations of human figures, hands, birds, and animal tracks made by the ancestors of the peoples who now own the Brambuk Living Cultural Centre: the Koori communities of South West Victoria. Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



ack in 1966, when Phillip Lipman founded the construction company bearing his name, he created it with a vision, a fresh new approach to contracting at the time called “co-operative contracting.” His goal was to see Phillip Lipman Construction Pty Ltd not only provide quality products and services to its clients, but work together in an atmosphere of mutual respect to produce a positive outcome for both partners. Over the next four decades, things changed. The scope and size of Lipman’s construction projects evolved. In 1982, the company changed hands when Phillip Lipman sold his shares in the successful business, which was later restructured into the holding company Lipman Group Pty Ltd, with three subsidiary companies. Even with these and other changes, the core values and emphasis on “co-operative contracting” established by Phillip Lipman 44 years ago remained the same. “I think the focus today is more closely aligned to when Mr Lipman founded the company than it has been in its entirety,” says Managing Director Paul Watkins. A 100-employee strong management organization serving New South Wales, the Lipman Group Pty Ltd is a holding company, with a construction arm (Lipman Pty Ltd), and a property development arm, Lipman Properties Pty Ltd. At the time the company was originally formed, its focus was on the construction of low-rise homes and town


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

houses; today, it undertakes a variety of projects ranging from under $1 million to in excess of $100 million, including new construction, refurbishment, and fitout works. No matter the nature or size of the project, the company’s cooperative nature remains the cornerstone of its business.

A Culture of Cooperation “It is part of the culture of this organization that we behave in a very cooperative way,” says Watkins. “We see ourselves as bringing our expertise to the team, and we expect the expertise of others also participating in that team. So whether we’re involved right from the beginning of a project or we’re only participating in an element of the project, we see one of our focuses as being a

cooperative player - not aggressive, or acting in an adversarial way, but being part of the team in a consultive, cooperative way.”

Panthers Penrith

Known for delivering projects on time, every time, achieving ‘defect free’ completion, exceeding client expectations and providing genuine value for money, the company also takes pride in its unique Lipman Management System. It is fully certified to ISO9001, 18001, and 14001, encompassing quality assurance, environmental management, and occupational health and safety. By uniting the three systems – along with policies, procedures, action plans, check lists and responsibilities – the company has created a highly successful and fully-integrated management system.

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


78 Waterloo Road


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

Club Central

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


Completed earlier this year, Lipman was responsible for the design and construction of residential accommodation facilities for the University at both the Penrith campus (105 beds) and Campbelltown Campus (195 beds). The styles vary, and include single studios and three to five bedroom apartments. As part of the $23 million project, new common room facilities were created at both sites to provide university residents with a local social centre and facilities like computers, TVs (at Penrith), pool tables, and a communal lounge.


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

“We use the system across all of our projects as a tool ensuring those three elements of our management system are adhered to, and that we get consistency of outcome,” says Watkins. The system, combined with a strong adherence to integrity, creativity, performance and cooperation, has enabled Lipman to become one of the nation’s premiere property development and construction companies, specialising in commercial, retail, industrial, education, health, and high-density residential projects.

Many Well-Known Clients The range of Lipman projects is legendary, and counts many well-known Australian businesses, schools, sports clubs and government institutions. Over the years, the

company has worked for Caltex Australia Pty Ltd, Energy Australia, University of Western Sydney, Central Queensland University, NSW Department of Commerce, Australian Securities and Investments Commission, NSW Department of Corrective Services, NSW Department of Education, Qantas Airways Limited, McDonalds Australia, and the University of Sydney. For the University of New South Wales, Lipman created a magnificent 14,000 square metre building at Amzac Park, Kensington. For the Bulldog Leagues Club in Belmore, Lipman built a $27 million structure complete with a basement indoor sports area, ground floor lounge bar, dining area, extensive water features and landscaping, and more.

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


“I think the focus today is more closely aligned to when Mr. Lipman founded the company than it has been in its entirety.” -Managing Director Paul Watkins. At Lipman, the company’s many resources allow it to become involved in construction and a great deal more. “It varies upon client needs,” says Watkins. “Some clients are very happy to design and document, and we will tender. Some clients will come to us with an idea, and we will convert that idea into a build form. So our offerings are quite diverse, in regard to the services we provide.” In one instance, Lipman was approached by a client who had an idea for a project, but no site on which to build, and no viable source of necessary funding. “We took that idea, sourced the site for them, sourced the funds for them, and delivered a project for them.”


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

Considering its many capabilities, it is no wonder the company’s slogan is ‘The obvious choice.’ Its ability to deliver professional projects on time and on budget has earned the company a great deal of ongoing and repeat business over the years. The company has many projects underway, including a new one for Western Sydney University at Bankstown Campus – the fourth project Lipman has carried out for the institution. “We have recently finished Queenwood senior school, and have subsequently been awarded Queenwood junior school,” says Watkins. The recently completed $15

million project consisted of many elements, including a multi-functional educational building, sports court, 25 metre swimming and training pool and associated facilities, and other rooms. The project required considerable excavation work, relocation of existing sewer and stormwater systems, partial demolition, removal of existing asbestos sheetings, extensive underpinning of the existing structure, retaining walls and refurbishment of the retained building. Another project under construction is the Moore Park Supa Centa. Expected to be completed in June of 2011, the $30 million job will see the refurbishment of the homemaker and lifestyle/bulky goods shopping centre. In addition to a vertical expansion, Lipman is in the process of reconstructing part of the atrium, and refurbishment of the malls.

organizations like the Master Builders Association of NSW for its excellence in construction. While these awards are impressive, Managing Director Paul Watkins says they would not have been possible without the company’s most important asset of all: its dedicated staff. There is very little turnover at the company, and in fact, Lipman recently handed out four awards to employees for their 20 years of service. “Loyalty is an important ingredient in a successful cooperation,” says Watkins. “We have the responsibility for 100 families, 100 employees, and we take that responsibility seriously. I’m a staff member as well, and we all have an important role in making sure the company does well now, and into the future.”

In addition to many other commercial, university, and sports team building expansions, the company was recently retained for one of its most unusual jobs: the creation of a chimpanzee enclosure for the Taronga Zoo, located on Sydney Harbour’s northern foreshore. “It is a very unique project,” says Watkins. “You don’t tend to go and build chimpanzee enclosures every day of the week.” Over the years, the company has won numerous awards from prestigious

8t - 600t Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


-By Melissa Thompson


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

In uncertain economic times, residential and commercial design firms must strive to be inventive and creative. From conception to completion, each building must raise the bar to innovate, as well as take on increasingly greater risk. The superior design team at Urban Construct has navigated through a global recession to emerge as a successful company that takes risks and capitalises on opportunities. Additionally, its commitment to gentrification, remediation and genuine concern for the environment is unparalleled. Based in Adelaide and specialising in residential and commercial development, Urban Construct began in 1998. According to CEO Todd Brown, what continues to set it apart is “while it’s a private company, it operates with all the disciplines of a public company.” Brown speaks highly of a core, multidisciplinary team of 17, which combines the experience of wellseasoned designers with the fresh ideas of new graduates. This number grows into the hundreds when projects advance from concept, to development, to construction, where partnering with other firms is necessary. Urban Construct’s transparent nature, with its dedication to openness and honesty, has engendered a reputation of hardworking people who believe nothing is worth doing unless it is done correctly. This team is committed to making its mark and continuing success in this multi-award winning company.

“The main contribution to success is our great team of people who deliver on every aspect that is required to make a successful development business. Good leadership, great project management team, customer service, legal team, finance…” -Todd Brown, CEO of Urban Construct Recognised very early as a leader in its field, Urban Construct has been the recipient of numerous awards since 2002. Brown, speaking on behalf of Urban Construct’s impressive repertoire, says there is “heart and soul put into these projects…they’re like your children. We’re particularly proud of the ones that have received local and international recognition.” The Urban Construct website is a feast for the eyes and Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

it is clear that all praise and credit is due. At you can virtually tour residential projects, the worldclass commercial office towers available for lease, and internationally recognised commercial projects such as the Adelaide Central Bus Station. A big success factor for Urban Construct is its risk management. The company has excelled and remained successful after the global recession of the last few years. Urban Construct’s team has a strong ability to read markets and according to its CEO, “the external economic condition we just lived through is testament to our risk mitigation strategies. They are second to none. There is an ability to read markets and read opportunities.” Designing intentionally and with conviction for exceptional buildings, Brown admits one of the most difficult parts of his job is “managing expectations of citizens... and commercial expectations we have to deliver on.” With its disciplined and focused vision of sustainability, Urban Construct has its feet firmly planted in a decade where ‘green’ living is no longer a suggestion, but essential among home buyers and residents of South Australia. With a sincere interest in creating communities that blend with natural landscapes, the firm has captured the imagination of many. The award winning design team has built an impressive reputation over the last dozen years and

looks forward to expanding geographically in the present and into realms of greater innovation in the future.

Altitude at the Precinct A vision for sustainability and reduced energy consumption is no longer being seen as niche marketing. Urban Construct is setting the bar higher through designing with the environment in mind, using natural resources to reduce reliance on energy. Symbiotic relationships are created through naturally occurring phenomena, and Urban Construct’s buildings work with the environment instead of impeding on it. The best example is in the residential project Altitude at the Precinct, which uses rainfall and solar power to reduce energy consumption. Captured rainfall is re-circulated through the sanitation system while panels on the roof help subsidise power for all the common areas. It incorporates a pinwheel design that results, as Brown says, “in the maximisation of natural ventilation.” This is an expensive undertaking but well worth the investment. Brown says the project produces a “sensational sustainability outcome” and is indicative of things to come. As a previous industrial site, the project indeed represents the “revitalisation of an entire city block.”

Marina Cove The Marina Cove project is another key example of Urban Construct’s eye toward the future. The project is the second stage of Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

Newport Quays and will see homes created for over 2500 new residents. It is the largest development of its kind in South Australia project and its end value will be approximately 3 billion dollars. It is demonstrative of Urban Construct’s sensitivity and concern for the world beyond the drafting table. As the birthplace of revered Kaurna elder Lartelare, there was a collaborative effort between the state and local governments and Urban Construct to design with this in mind. Fusing the traditional with the modern is not an easy task but the project has pulled it off masterfully. Urban Construct is currently the sole project manager for this particular site. Consumers are more fickle than ever when looking for homes. The ‘build-it-and-theywill-come’ atmosphere of the 2000s is gone. Urban Construct takes great care in its vision for creating communities rather than just buildings. The company engages in interaction with residents and takes a real interest in making connections with existing communities when taking on new projects. While redeveloping old industrial sites into new residential areas can be extremely costly, Urban Construct views it as an opportunity. Doing something great for the environment is invaluable to communities. These buildings will stand for decades to come, and their designers at Urban Construct have a passion for leaving a legacy and growing beyond the already successful Southern Australia market.

“We’re proud of every one - as everyone says, they’re like your children. You put your heart and soul into these projects.” -Todd Brown, CEO of Urban Construct

The future looks even brighter as Urban Construct looks to expand into Queensland markets beyond its Emerald Lakes project, while maintaining a strong foothold on the South Australia market. As commercial design evolves, look for Urban Construct to consistently deliver buildings with exceptionally high standards, revolutionizing the industry in the century to come.

Building Engineering Services Technologies Consulting Engineers

Bringing buildings to life

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


The $22 Million construction of the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre in Nowra, NSW


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

A foundation of family values has provided the platform for a regional builder to turn the latest in management systems into award winning projects... After 25 years of landmark developments that have defined the revival of the NSW southern coast, regional builder Edwards Constructions abruptly swept the 2010 Masters Builders Association awards with a series of groundbreaking projects that surprised industry watchers and caught the attention of national media. Now with a diversified operations base, and a similarly expanded portfolio that spans from the snowy mountains reaching down into the far coastal townships and across the southern shires all the way north into Port Macquarie, Edwards is among the leaders of a new generation of construction companies that represent the best of what’s to come. Identifiable by a technological expertise that features demanding, highly efficient delivery systems, this generation may have inherited the values of family owned builders, but is almost unrecognizable from its unassuming origins.

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


Today these 2.0 style builders combine the practical know-how of generational experience with the latest in cutting edge resource and human management. And while the modern language of management might produce a wry smile, the fact is in the space of a few years and in the face of an industry collapse, Edwards has applied these techniques - simply rebooted and flourished. The result has been a rush of award winning projects and industry accolades, while the cause provides a fascinating insight into where the vision of this generation of builders – lean, disciplined and technically ingenious – will take the NSW construction industry – with or without the solidarity of government and regulatory bodies.

Technical Director, John Dubbelaar (right) and Construction Manager Craig Davidsohn spend a lot of time pouring over the detail


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

Sam Edwards, Managing Director of Edwards Constructions may have grown up on the job sites of the south coast, but it is his complex, civil projects background – working on massive, city wide operations such as the construction of waterlines and the expansion of a water service concessionaire in the Philippines servicing seven million people throughout Manila - that has informed the Edwards Constructions we see today. From his time with the French Vinci Construction Group working across Europe on marine works, dredging, pipeline laying, constructing offshore windmill farms to his incredible experiences in Africa, Mr Edwards has developed a capacity to fine tune complex construction systems under extraordinary conditions.

get shot at less.” Mr Edwards, who returned to Australia with his young family (wife Rachel, kids Harriet, Sebastian and now baby Charlie) after a stint with Bluescope Steel in Vietnam, became Operations Manager in 2006 under veteran Director John Dubbelaar. With a combined expertise in project management, construction scheduling, resource planning, costing and project accounting, the former consulting engineer consolidated a strategy that has seen the company grow while retaining its lean and mobile philosophy. As Managing Director, Mr Edwards is responsible for a light 50 odd employees and a crew of regular sub-contractors that

“At one stage they sent me to Nigeria where I was responsible for laying a foundation system for an on-shore Chevron gas to liquid plant. … If you can deliver a project of that scale on time, within budget, while government and civil society are generally imploding around you... then you deserve to draw some confidence from your decision making. There were 2500 employees on site in Nigeria, while the operation was producing 34,000 barrels of natural gas daily. There’d been a few kidnappings in our region, Chevron was the target of a hostile local militia and I couldn’t help thinking there’s no reason the same systems can’t deliver the same results at home. Where we Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


Managing Director, Samuel Edwards (left) and company Chairman, Bruce Edwards, bushwalking earlier this year.

now share a collectively unique experience in regional, all-tier government projects, multi-unit residential and public works such as schools, hospitals, courthouses as well as a deserved reputation as an expert in private hospitality and aged care. “Today, the company works in a very diversified client mix ranging from private sector clients - club industry for which it has a strong reputation - while on the other side of the ledger we’ve accreditation across all-tier government, a long track record of


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

delivering projects for government at local, regional and federal level... So our successes have been on the back of some very visionary decisions made by the directors in the late 80’s early 90’s. “Naturally, Edwards shares the same values that made its name. Our core values are simple - the company is no show pony - it plies its trade with an unassuming diligence. Because we have streamlined our delivery systems and incorporated cutting edge, Best Practice across the operation this shouldn’t

Manager, John Vinson and Project Manager, Kim McDonald on site in Nowra during a safety audit.

distract that Edwards is more similar to its past than one would think. Edwards has always gone to work with a no fuss, can do attitude. “Looking ahead, we’ve moved into a diversified management structure and because of this system’s connectivity, each site has a large degree of autonomy. All Edwards’ Project Managers are highly trained and re-trained so we communicate extremely well. Today our Project Managers and Foremen are given an increasingly diverse set of rules which they can apply to their projects, encouraging total quality control and maximised efficacy across the entire scope of safety operations. “Edwards Constructions are pioneers of a methodology termed ‘Lean Construction Principles,’ a delivery and quality control system which combines the 60 years of south coast construction experience between Directors Bruce Edwards and John Dubbelaar, with the intelligence and insight

Sam Edwards gained on the multitude of large scale international projects he has overseen. The concept contains elements of manufacturing Best Practice and Edwards has partnered with Dr Marton Marosszeky from Evans Peck driving to the forefront of lean

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Project Engineer, Daniel Quinn completed his thesis in lean construction.

construction principles. “Look. Construction itself is very simple. We undertake a brief and hand over the keys at the end of it. At face value Edwards adopts a very simple, straightforward approach. There need not be a lot of complexities brought to bear. But what Lean Construction essentially accomplishes is an efficiency and certainty in construction – which should be there anyway. The following key elements form a cornerstone to how Edwards drives the efficiencies clients have come to expect. Safety Metre Audits. “…where we undertake and measure behavioural auditing of our safety performance. This comprehensive model of tracking also allows the management team to monitor, in sync with


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

the project managers that performance has been proven that the efficiency of operations on site is transparent, across all sites. Time governance. “We run short term lookaheads in what is called the Last Planner Approach which provides project managers with the tools and skills with which to increasingly achieve stretch targets - which they own – and which the project itself sets. So milestones are achieved without compromising or imposing unrealistic goals or pressures.” Cost to Complete. “We run stringent project accounting where our Project Managers consistently report via project interview the risks, obstacles and/or threats – possible

or even unlikely - that present themselves through the dynamics of construction. This allows close tracking and forecasts that ensure we’re exactly where we should be and allow the construction manager to take steps if required.” Defect Free Completion. “…to achieve DFC we utilise a continuous “hitlist” through the project. As well as minor items to be completed, it also identifies more serious Non Conformances. We document the NCR and distribute to all parties so that the project team can learn from our mistakes. The process of the hitlist is also about capacity building for our subbies - we try to work with the attitude that the following trade is the current trade’s client - not us, not the superintendant and not the principal client. This is another take on how construction projects are sequenced… Essentially, our tradesman can build upon substrates that have been completed with their following work as the guiding priority. It also allows us to clear out problems or incomplete work as we go, ensuring the timeline is preserved and the project team gets a defect free completion.”

portfolio of public and private works within the hospitality industry. Strategically, Edwards implemented an ambitious, highly intuitive mid-term plan focusing on raising employee skill levels, trimming down to core efficiencies and committing to a more flexible and responsive business plan which would include a faster project turnaround. This began from an operations perspective with a full overhaul of the recruitment process. “…focusing heavily on performance based recruiting, we wanted to see, like our clients do, a track record before we put someone in position. Essentially we went for high potential employees with outstanding

The $22 million Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre, successfully handed over in 2008 is a taste of the kind of projects Edwards is now involved in. Technically and operationally challenging, the impressive community masthead aligns Edwards’ Best Practice networks with the company’s previous Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


skill sets and who also possessed core qualities – of which there are many, but I want to say that leadership is by far the most important. We expect leadership from all Edwards’ employees from the apprentice through the entire organizational structure… We also looked internally at augmenting the already proven skill set within our team. Because in the end many of the skill sets we admired the most were on display at some of our more challenging projects. And in the end, Edwards will always be trade based company.” Mr Edwards says the ability to implement complex outcome focused systems is only limited by the capacity of Project Managers to understand them. And so, with the right


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

balance of experience and technical savvy, Edwards began expanding capacity and prudently developed a diversified client portfolio with a number of core private sector clients centred around their track record of community and entertainment venues and their reputation for successful projects. “From a strategic point of view a robust and diversified client base means we were able to position ourselves to take advantage of the standard economic building cycles… of course, no-one was prepared for the size and power of the most recent… but regardless we are now able to work with efficiency, flexibility and confidence in a variety of areas that still have activity in those down times. That essential

flexibility and the concentrated harvesting of skills and specialisations has recently led Edwards into some exciting territory. The company personnel is now highly qualified with an impressive diversity of professional experiences with the skills of many managers, foremen, tradesmen and executives allowing Edwards to adapt, react and change direction mid-stride. “The Master Builder’s Awards are the result of standing on the shoulders of giants. Here I’m speaking about my father, who had the passion and drive - and the vision - to create something enduring. The credit goes to our directors like John Dubbelaar, who have built this company on the values and traditions

that we want to see as part of the community we all live and work in. “The hospital in Bowral, the entertainment centre in Nowra, the National Park offices in Narooma and the Salvation Army Headquarters in Batemans Bay are all projects that we have been positioning ourselves to deliver over a quarter of a century. Its not like we brought in some young guys with degrees and MBAs and invented a new way of building. These projects, through the hard work of our subcontractors and suppliers are something we’re very proud of; although we don’t seek accolades, it does allow us to go back to our partners and show them that like us, others recognize their achievements.” Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus


ith a population fast approaching 22 million, the need for accessible housing in Australia is becoming urgent. As one of the most urbanised countries on the planet, an estimated 16 million Australians – about 80 per cent – reside in the country’s cities and towns. In the next two decades, it is estimated the number of urban Australians will increase to at least 20 million as the national population continues to climb. For many decades, Australia was a nation of homeowners, but in recent years, issues of affordability have undermined the dream of many families: to have a house to call their own. One pioneering organisation addressing the need for more affordable housing across the nation is the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA). “What we’re finding all around Australia at the moment is that we’re having a real affordability crisis with land, and bringing land onto the market,” says Peter Sherrie, National President for UDIA. “When you look at the supply and demand economics, we’ve had strong population growth. We’ve got low unemployment, we’ve got a booming resources sector, so what really has been identified is that it’s a supply-side issue, not so much of a demandside issue.” Although there have been a number of incentives offered to Australians to encourage new home purchases, such as the first-time buyer’s grant and the stimulus package, there is still a shortfall in affordable new homes. “If you’re fueling demand, and doing nothing about supply, the immediate thing that happens is that prices go up.”

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


levels affecting the building industry, the UDIA continues to advance the interests of its many members through lobbying, communication and research.

Peter Sherrie, National President for UDIA

A Voice for the Nation The issue of home ownership for all Australians remains a key focus for the UDIA, a not-for-profit industry body representing the nation’s development industry. A federation of five state associations, the UDIA serves as an essential voice nation-wide for Australia’s growth and development, particularly in regard to initiatives for home buyers and professionals in urban development. By taking an active role in government decisions and policy-making processes on all


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

Established in 1961, the UDIA has grown in strength and membership over the decades. First established in New South Wales, it now has offices in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, and Queensland. In 1971, the national office was established to operate as an umbrella body. Today, the UDIA’s annual National Congress is a significant industry event, often attended by over 1,000 delegates from across the country.

“It started up as a lobby group for land developers,” says Sherrie of the institute, born at a time when land development began to boom across Australia, when cars became more accessible, and when people could travel further distances with greater ease. “We saw an explosion in the development of the suburbs, and in major cities around Australia.” Over time, however, Australia saw an increase in obstacles to land development, along with greater restrictions

and higher costs to home buyers; it became clear that all of the UDIA’s members needed a voice. The UDIA speaks for those members from an apolitical, non-biased platform, and has built solid, positive relationships with various levels of government. “When they’re looking at introducing new legislation, we’re always contacted, and they run it past us,” says Sherrie. “Now, we’re trying to establish that same position on a national level.”

change, provision and cost of infrastructure, and planning system reform and consistency. At the same time, the institute works to serve the interests of its membership, cooperates and works with representatives in the urban development industry, lobbies all three levels of government, and educates the public and members on subjects relevant to the urban development industry through educational seminars and conferences.

Along with advancing the credibility of the urban development industry, the UDIA’s policy priorities include housing affordability, land supply, taxes and charges, climate

Strength in Numbers

“UDIA is all about representing its members in a professional and credible way,” says Sherrie. “It’s about really looking at the Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


interests of the Australian community... we want to be able to provide good quality, highly sustainable, environmentallyfriendly developments moving forward.� At present, there are thousands of members across Australia, with the largest group based in Queensland. They come from many different sectors of the industry, and include developers, consultants, planners, engineers, surveyors, architects, banks, major contractors and builders. To join UDIA, prospective members can go to their local state branch to determine which category they fit into. From there, they must be nominated by two existing members, and the membership application then goes to the council meeting to be endorsed. The


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

benefits of membership are many. In addition to helping influence the future direction of Australia’s urban development industry and improve practices, UDIA members engage in professional development through seminars, conferences and UDIA National Congress. The UDIA also keeps members up-to-date on their industry through newsletters, and provides them with a platform from which to build business relationships, promote their products and services, network with other members, and receive industry-wide recognition through the UDIA Awards. Introduced in the early 1990s, the annual National Awards for Excellence acknowledge excellence in a number of categories, such as Master Planned Development, Residential

Development, Medium Density Housing, High Density Housing, Urban Renewal, Environmental Excellence, Affordable Development, Seniors Living, and the President’s Award. Winners of the major annual State Awards for Excellence are nominated by UDIA State offices to become finalists in the National Awards. In many ways, being a member of the UDIA is its own reward, with members wellsituated to get involved in matters relevant to their industry. As a lobby group, UDIA has a number of organised committees focusing on key issues, including planning legislation and the environment. “Queensland itself has about ten or fifteen committees, made up of volunteers, and they are very well-

supported,” says Sherrie. “There’s a real sense of camaraderie in our industry, and people who have benefited from the industry like to give back, and that’s what gives UDIA its successes.” Coming up this spring, the UDIA National Congress will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre from March 28th to 31st. The congress will combine programming with significant opportunities for delegates to network, learn from industry leaders, socialise, and enjoy the sights and sounds of one of Australia’s finest tourist areas. The theme, “Where Ideas Take Flight,” is fitting, as it furthers the UDIA’s goals of moving the nation’s development industry forward, with affordable housing remaining a central focus. Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

Taking a Stand

“As the preeminent voice for the development industry in Australia, we want to consult with all levels of government and green groups to make sure we get an outcome that is going to result in fantastic communities for the Australian people,” says Sherrie. It is clear that the UDIA does not take this position lightly; its lobbying efforts are informed by in-depth research and participation in government stakeholder groups, and supported by formal submissions and papers. Unafraid to take a stand on what it considers to be key issues facing Australian communities, the UDIA makes its policy statements and position papers available to the public, taking a clear stance on all key development issues and speaking strongly to the need for thoughtful, well-planned development at all levels.

“As the preeminent voice for the development industry in Australia, we want to consult with all levels of government and green groups to make sure we get an outcome that is going to result in fantastic communities for the Australian people.” -Peter Sherrie, National President for UDIA

A strong organisation requires strong leadership, and Peter Sherrie himself comes to his position as National President with a wealth of experience in the field. A civil engineer by profession, Sherrie worked as a land development manager prior to joining the UDIA in 1992. Appointed a representative for his company, Sherrie was soon elected onto the UDIA’s state council. From there, he headed a task force dealing with the state government on the introduction of new planning legislation, served as UDIA’s Queensland president from 2004 to 2006, became a senior member on the national council, and was elected National President in 2009, for a two-year term. “The national council is made up of two rep-

resentatives from each of the states around Australia,” says Sherrie. “We’re able to pull in what all the key issues are with Australia, and address those. Any issues that need to be addressed to the national level, we have all that intellect and collateral that we can pull together, and use to lobby at the national level.” As passionate proponents of the country’s development industry, Peter Sherrie and the Urban Development Institute of Australia continue to look to the future with an eye toward sustainable growth, equity, accessibility, and well-structured, well-thought out policy. Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus


ver the past 15 years, Bosform Contractors has grown to become one of Australia’s best-known formwork specialists, working on numerous projects in the country’s Gold Coast, Brisbane, and Sunshine Coast areas. With a reputation for working closely with builders, Bosform is known for delivering jobs on time and on budget, and is truly “forming South East Queensland,” one building at a time.

lowrise apartments to shopping centres, water parks, and aquatic centres.

Prior to creating Bosform in July of 1995, Director and Owner Romolo Bos worked for his father’s business, Remo Concrete Constructions, one of the Gold Coast’s foremost concrete specialists for over four decades. Romolo branched off as his interest in formwork grew and founded Bosform, a privately-owned, 200-employee strong company that has worked on jobs of all sizes over the years, ranging from highrise and

Formwork the Size of 28 Soccer Fields One of Bosform’s largest projects remains the Ephraim Island development, a unique residential island community located on Australia’s Northern Gold Coast. Located just 15 minutes north of Surfers Paradise, and 50 minutes south of Brisbane, the Ephraim Island development remains like no other, located in the midst of the island’s landscaped gardens, sandy beaches and marina.

Among the company’s many recent projects is the Energex Building development in Newstead. Bosform provided approximately 74,000 square meters of formwork for the large job, which has the distinction of being the first commercial building in Queensland to receive a Six Star Green Star rating.

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


Providing formwork to the project, Bosform delivered to its client, Mirvac – one of Australia’s leading real estate groups with activities in both the investment and development spectra – a project on budget and on time. At the peak of the project, Bosform had approximately 90 workers (including 10 apprentices) on the site at any one time. The formwork supplied by the company was a combination of environmentally friendly aluminium systems and conventional materials. In total, Bosform constructed approximately 300,000 square metres of formwork over four years working on Ephraim Island, equivalent to 28 full-size soccer fields. Widely recognised for its work with the Ephraim Island project on the Gold Coast, Bosform earned the 2007 Master Builders Trade Contract Winner Award for Formwork. Massive projects such as these would not be possible without the company’s fleet of machinery and equipment. “We specialize in formwork contracting, steel fabrication, and lifting equipment,” says Bos of the company, which also has its own cranes, manitous, hoists, trucks, and a fleet of semi-trailers. The company’s large formwork facility at Yatala – one of the finest in Australia – incorporates 2,800 square metres of undercover storage, a total storage area of 45,000 square metres, and a boilermaking and precasting yard, enabling Bosform to manufacture its own pre-cast, metal fabrication, formwork shutters, hydraulic formwork, screens,


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

and other materials. Managing so many of its operations in-house, Bosform has the capacity to take on projects of virtually any size and scope. Over the years, Bosform has been associated with numerous high-profile projects, such as Cutters Landing (Brisbane), Sirrocco (Mooloolabah), the Centro Shopping Centre (Gympie), Reflections Tower 2, the Oceans Apartment Gold Coast, the Energex Building, Waterfront Apartments in Newstead and Tennyson Tennis centre. Bosform recently completed work on a number of large projects, including the Waterfront Apartments, in Brisbane for Mirvac. The two-residential building project Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


required approximately 80,000 square metres of formwork, comprising of conventional formwork design and the meva deck system. Converting many of the buildings’ vertical components to precast elements not only reduced costs for the clients, but allowed construction to progress at a faster rate.

Fostering Community Development Bosform and its staff also believe in giving back to the community. “Since 2009, we have been involved heavily with the Mothers Milk Bank,” says Mr Bos, which is a charity committed to providing pasteurised donor mothers’ milk to sick and premature infants whose own mothers’ milk is not available. The company has helped to raise $120,000

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for the Mothers Milk Bank. “All the people in Bosform in the workforce got behind it as well.” In a similar vein, the company’s most recent project aims to support Australia’s medical research industry. The prestigious Translational Research Institute (“TRI”) is located on the site of the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. An extensive, $195 million job constructed jointly with Watpac Construction, the TRI building will be another first for Australia. The eight level Institute will be one of the few sites in the world where new biopharmaceuticals and treatments can not only be discovered, but produced, clinically tested, and manufactured in a one-stop-

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Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

shop location that exists not for the use of a single commercial entity, but for the benefit of Australia’s entire biopharmaceutical research field. “The TRI building will be approximately 100,000 square metres of formwork,” says Mr Bos. When completed, the large, eightstorey structure will house four floors of laboratory research space, with additional room for administration, teaching, and research support facilities. Along with the construction of a new biopharmaceutical manufacturing building next to the main TRI Believing in giving back to the community, Bosform is a supporter of the Mothers Milk Bank.

Whatever the type of formwork, be it specialised or conventional, Bosform can handle it. Armed with an impressive fleet of vehicles and equipment, and backed by its many skilled employees, the company maintains its well-earned reputation for quality, safety, and innovation.

structure, the site – located at Queensland’s second-largest hospital – will combine the strengths of over 600 researchers in an environment that blends academic medicine and translational research to minimize the time between a laboratory discovery and its application to the clinic and community. The TRI is set to open in 2012, and the BioPharmaceuticals Australia facility is due to commence manufacturing in 2013. The project is a significant one for Bosform, one which will further its already exceptional record for completing formwork on time and on budget. Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


-By Aleisha Parr


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus


s Australia’s most awarded home improvement builder, Addstyle Master Builders is changing the face of the country, one home at a time. Throughout its twentytwo years in the building industry, Addstyle has achieved over 170 awards, including the prestigious Professional Renovation Builder of the Year, awarded by the Housing Industry Association (won in 2004, 2005 and 2006), and an outstanding six of seven categories as well as Best Overall Alterations and Additions in 2009 at the Master Builders Association Awards.

Robert Travers, Managing Director, explains the secret to Addstyle’s success in an online interview with Karin Pearson: “[We provide] fantastic customer service, amazing on-site attention to detail; the credit’s got to be given to everyone on the team.” Indeed, when founding Addstyle in 1988, one of Travers’ key ideas was to ensure that all designers, building staff, and trades people who would be working together as part of his team were carefully chosen specialists in renovation and additions. He felt it was of the utmost importance

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

to develop a team that could be capable of meeting and exceeding the individual design demands of each future project. At the time, the existing home market in the Perth metropolitan area, where Addstyle began, was reaching a crisis point. Many of the houses were in such desperate need of renovations that the land they were situated on was becoming more valuable than the houses themselves, thus requiring a massive expansion in the industry for home extension services. Travers’ own proficiency as a Registered Builder, with significant experience in home improvement, helped him to appreciate the demands of the industry. He saw that every project was unique and would not only require a commitment to the highest design and building standards, but also a passion for excellence in the industry. After all, as specialists working with families to renovate their houses, the Addstyle team would be creating homes. The work they did would leave a lasting impression on the lives of their clients.

workers. Most of these workers have been involved with Addstyle for over ten years now; many of the plumbing, demolition and earth moving contractors, have worked with Addstyle from its inception, demonstrating Addstyle’s continued commitment to a higher standard of quality assurance. Included in Addstyle’s service offering are design, drawings, and shire applications, as well as twenty-four-hour contact with a client liaison officer. Furthermore, a supervisor works with the client every step of the way, from the initial telephone inquiry through to the successful project completion. Providing superior advice and expertise on all aspects of the project, the supervisor is able to guarantee a streamlined building process,

Robert appreciated the significance of this in creating his outstanding team, which now includes a full time staff of 17. Specialist designers and draftsmen at Addstyle work with the ‘Archicad’ computer software system, while schedulers and estimators work with the ‘B.E.A.M.S’ building software package. In addition to its full time staff, Addstyle has a sub-contractor base of approximately 150 Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


resulting in a high quality finish and excellent value for the client. Not only will the home improvement increase the value of the property itself, but also the quality of the clients’ lives in their newly renovated home. “It’s very important to work closely with our clients,” explains John Turner, Addstyle’s Construction Manager, “because they’re living on the premises whilst we’re building


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

and renovating, so it’s very important to ensure not only that we produce a quality job but that we consider the client by explaining every step of the way.” Dedication to the client’s needs and privacy on-site is yet another example of Addstyle’s exceptional business model. The results are clear. “We were impressed with Addstyle, right from the start they

While Addstyle offers exceptional services for any budget, as demonstrated by the fact that it has won awards for every price category in the industry, it is company policy to build to a standard and not a price, thereby ensuring outstanding results for every project. Pledging an “absolute commitment to creating you a beautiful new home,” with design and building options to suit every client’s needs, it’s no wonder that Addstyle has become one of the foremost home improvement builders in Australia. “I am very lucky,” says Robert Travers, “to have found a team of people that not only share my passion for home improvements, but who are collectively and sincerely dedicated to quality, without compromise.”

respected our intelligence and time,” say Christian and Melissa Urry, in a testimonial featured on Addstyle’s website. The glowing reviews don’t stop there: “Addstyle interpreted our lifestyle needs perfectly and helped us achieve our vision,” boast past clients Jon Manning and Tracey Scattini. It’s clear that Addstyle is not only exceeding industry standards, but also the standards of its clients. Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus


ack in 1995, when qualified carpenter Anthony Gleeson established A•N•T Building Pty Ltd, it was with the desire to bring the same enthusiasm he felt for his own work to renovating and building new homes for others. “Founding my own company was something that I always wanted to do,” says Mr Gleeson, owner and Managing Director of A•N•T Building Pty Ltd. “I am quite passionate about the industry, and passionate about what I do, and the high quality work we produce.” With almost a quarter of a century’s worth of experience, Mr Gleeson – also a Clerk of Works – is active in the Housing Industry Association, Australia’s largest residential building organization, where he is a member of the HIA Industrial Relations & Legal Committee and the HIA Work Safety Committee. Specialising in new construction and renovations up to $25 million, A•N•T Building Pty Ltd has successfully completed numerous projects from Forster/Tuncurry in the north to Charlotte Pass in the south, and the Blue Mountains in the west. Working with many of the country’s leading architectural firms, A•N•T is active not only in the residential market, but is also becoming involved in specialised commercial and community projects. Mr Gleeson says most of the time, architectural firms approach him to build a home that they have designed.

Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


“There’s probably about 15 different architectural firms that we work for,” says Mr Gleeson of A•N•T. “What makes us stand out from other companies is our attention to detail. We try and simplify and make the build process as smooth as possible, and then produce a high quality product in the end.”

Award-winning Attention to Detail The care and attention A•N•T puts into every one of its projects shows, and certainly has not gone unnoticed by its many new and repeat clients, and peers in the building industry. Many of its homes have received awards in various categories from prestigious organisations like the Housing Industry Association. In 2005 alone, A•N•T was the proud winner of several HIA awards in a number of categories, including Custom Built Homes over $1,000,000, Renovations & Additions Project Under $2,000,000, and the Best Use of Clay Bricks and Pavers Award. In addition, the company was a finalist in the 2005 HIA Award for Best


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

Practice of Occupational Health and Safety. Taking safety seriously, the company has an accredited Safety Management System in place, annually reviews the System, and ensures all A•N•T Building Pty Ltd staff have been trained in its OH&S procedures. Catering to the upmarket luxury housing sector, A•N•T has created stunning residences for discerning homebuyers. Some are ultra-modern both in look and feel, with design features like floor to ceiling windows, open staircases, and glass-sided lap pools, while others utilise traditional elements like box-frame timber windows, Spanish slate and copper roofs, boarded ceilings, and copper-clad bay windows. New homes can take about 14 months to construct, according to Mr Gleeson. While the company contracts out some stages of construction like civil works, A•N•T uses the skills of its own staff when it comes to finishing and other fine details.

For one of its award-winning custom-built houses in Arabella St, Longueville, the company created a finely-detailed four bedroom home, equipped with ensuites and private terraces. The living, dining, and rumpus areas opened were designed

to open onto terraces through large bi-fold doors, and the house was constructed with a cinema room featuring a curved coffered ceiling and modern fibre optic lighting. All living areas were enhanced with Italian limestone with under floor heating, and the


50 years of service to the building industry Hardware & General began operation in 1960 from a single corner store; now, over 50 years later we have expanded along Winbourne Road, Brookvale with 20 specialist sales centres and a Project Division. We have a further three strategically located stores; one at Peakhurst in Sydney’s South, another at Marayong in Sydney’s West, and a Bathroom, Kitchen & Plumbing Centre at Mona Vale, allowing us to provide better service to our customers over the entire Sydney region. Some of the services we offer to our customers include: Stock: We offer one of Sydney’s widest ranges of hardware, building, plumbing and industrial supplies. The range and depth of stock is extensive, and we have all the leading brands for you. Service: We offer a friendly, professional and personalised service by industry experienced staff. Pricing: We offer very competitive prices, backed by the buying power of Plumbing Plus, NatBuild, 3D Paint Stores, Industrial Supply Group, Tile Power and Betta Electrical. Delivery: Our policy is simple! Hardware & General provide a next day free delivery service, by our vehicles from our stores across the Sydney Metropolitan area to any normal accessible ground floor site. This service is an additional benefit to all our customers. SaleS rePreSentativeS: Experienced Sales Representatives are available to call on site as required. account FacilitieS: We offer 30 day trade accounts, subject to normal credit approval. Showroom: We have showroom facilities with extensive displays of Bathroom, Kitchen, Laundry Appliances, Tapware & Electrical.

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Australian Construction Focus | October 2010


master bedroom was constructed with a motorised clothes conveyor and an outdoor bath on the luxurious private terrace. The overall effect is simply stunning: bright, clean, ultra-modern in design, yet with the warmth and charisma of a truly upscale living space. “Many of our designs have very fine lines, and are very minimal, with open plans,” says Mr Gleeson. With the help of architects and designers, A•N•T Building is able to take on large and challenging projects, yet always maintains the highest standards of construction and finishing throughout.

New Homes and Renovation Specialists

“I am quite passionate about the industry, and passionate about what I do, and the high-quality work we produce.” -Anthony Gleeson, Managing Director for A•N•T Building Pty Ltd


October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus

Although the company works on many new home constructions, it is also very much involved in renovating, altering, and adding to existing homes. One of its large-scale renovation projects was a home on Pearl Bay Ave, Mosman; the project was a complete overhaul of an existing 1970s-era residence. Working alongside the architectural firm of Michael Robilliard & Associates, A•N•T was responsible for the spacious ground floor living and dining room, and a north facing deck accessible through large sliding glass doors. Both the kitchen and family room overlook the pool and gardens at the rear of the home. Other features include a home theatre/entertainment room, and the house’s bedrooms were renovated to include ensuites for two of the rooms, while one

was outfitted with a private terrace. A•N•T Building’s superb work on this project did not go unnoticed by the client, or by the Housing Industry Association, who awarded A•N•T’s work with the 2005 HIA Award for Renovations & Additions Project Under $2,000,000. One of the company’s recent large projects was the construction of nine custom residences on Ocean Road in Palm Beach. Using the services of architectural firm Susan Rothwell & Associates, all nine houses were fitted with boarded timber ceilings, large profile architraves and skirtings, panelled doors and timber windows, copper roofs, and timber throughout to give the houses a ‘nautical’ feel. Along with the houses, A•N•T also constructed three retail outlets and a car park, and reconstructed 600 square metres of council/public areas.

With many years of combined experience, Mr Gleeson and A•N•T Building Pty Ltd’s 30 employees are able to handle not only renovations of existing properties, but the construction of finely-crafted and detailed homes catering to Australia’s upscale luxury housing market. Much of the company’s success and awards are the result of talent, passion for high quality work, and dealing with the right people. “The success of the building is dependent on a successful partnership between client, architect, and/or designer and builder,” says Anthony Gleeson. “We look at our role as not so much the principal contractor taking care of the project, but more as the facilitator in terms of trying to cater and attend to the clients’ needs, as well as catering for and incorporating the attention to design and detail that the architect is trying to achieve.” Australian Construction Focus | October 2010



October 2010 | Australian Construction Focus