Page 1

s on u w Follo

BUILDERS December 2016

Volume 29 No. 11

Bulletin Building With Bowens

Harbour Town Boardwalk

Read more on page 8 & 9

PRODUCT OF THE MONTH Award Winning BOS Containers


Understanding Humidity & Timber Performance

A WORD FROM JOHN BOWEN The Past Suggests a Healthy Future

The DECEMBER Builders 2016 Choice 1

A Word From John Bowen

The Past Suggests a Healthy Future As we peer into the future there is much for us to concern ourselves with. Despite my positive views on life, I often find myself contemplating a world on the precipice. Selfishly, it is my own business’s circumstances on which I prefer to ponder. I don’t think I am the only one guilty of these deliberations; apparently most of us have experienced some sort of apprehension about the world we are heading towards. Whether it’s something we are confident will happen, or something we fear might threaten our existence, we tend to anticipate the movement of shadows. To worry about the uncertain or unknown is a mortal’s preference - it is one of the human race’s oldest anxieties. The odds are basically the same today, tomorrow and next week of anything good or bad happening. We can’t predict the future, yet we like to anticipate the worst. I subscribe to the concept of a subconscious mind mysteriously turning fears into the reality we are hoping against. We need to be careful. I am sure there are times when reviewing threats is necessary, as it assists us in protecting against potential damage. At the same time, how much effort do we waste scrutinising what will never come to pass? Being oblivious to future change is often a blessing. In 1996 if my father had been told a mimic of the American hardware retailing behemoth, Home Depot, would open 50 plus stores in Melbourne, within twenty years, and along the journey become the most profitable large box hardware retailer in the world, he probably would have closed Bowens’ doors. What a mistake that would have been! In 2016 the now familiar threat of Bunnings’ strong presence is never far from my own mind. It is hard to meet a person familiar with what we do and not be asked how we are faring in the face of their overwhelming presence. Added to our big box competitor we have Mitre 10’s purchase of Home Timber & Hardware to contend with. They are no longer a defender of independent T&H businesses, they have become a Corporate Retailer in their own right and are talking a big game. We need to be on our toes. Beyond our existing challengers I ponder the potential of other demons. Amazon has destroyed book retailers and is considered by Coles to be a major threat. What if they turn their attention to timber deliveries? Will 3D printing replace the need for Bowens and Timbertruss to exist? Is timber to become an unnecessary structural element? Will Asia prebuild all our homes and deliver them direct to site? Our customers’ concerns about the future include the intrusion of interstate competitors, a lack of trades, the exhaustive list of administrative and OH&S compliance, the growth of volume builders, increasing interest rates or a preference of families to live in those awful high rise apartments rather than traditional, suburban homes. Our suppliers, particularly wholesalers, have plenty to occupy their minds. They worry about their heavy reliance on the Green Boxes, the disappearance of Masters and Home T&H, as well as many smaller brands. Retailers in other industries are sourcing products direct – will this trend sneak into the building supply industry?



My passion for successful independent retailing is certainly under threat, with observations of other, disappearing industries around every corner. Petrol Stations, toy retailers, supermarkets; they are all giving ground to corporate raiders. Computers are replacing the human brain, robots encroaching on manufacturing roles and imports taking over from blue collar workers. My Uncle can no longer bull-tish me with his wildly exaggerated stories; Google has found him out. With so many threats to our future existence, how do we get out of bed each morning? As a counterblast to the prevailing pessimism of our age, I think I have found my messiah! In his book, The Rational Optimist, Matt Ridley argues however much we like to think to the contrary, things are and will get better. In the 1970s, the future of the world was bleak. The population explosion was unstoppable. Global famine was inevitable. A cancer epidemic caused by chemicals in the environment was going to shorten our lives. Acid rain was falling on the forests. The desert was advancing by a mile or two a year. Oil was running out and if AIDS didn’t finish us off, the Cold War would. None of those things happened and, if you look across the life of baby boomers, average per-capita incomes across the planet, in real terms, have tripled. Lifespan is up 30 per cent, child mortality is down by two-thirds and per-capita food production is up by a third. And, all of this occurred through a time in which the population has doubled. Awful things will happen in this century; however, Ridley argues, they will be overcome because of the connections people are making and the ability of ideas to meet and to mate as never before. He is sure technology will advance and this will only improve our living standards. Through the cloud, through crowd sourcing, through the bottom-up world we’ve created, where not just the elites but everybody is able to share their ideas. We are accelerating the rate of innovation. Ridley points again to the past. Over 10,000 years ago there were fewer than 10 million people on planet earth. Today there are more than 6 billion, 99 per cent of whom are better fed, better sheltered, better entertained and better protected against disease than their Stone Age ancestors. The availability of almost everything a person could want or need has been going erratically upwards for 10,000 years and has rapidly accelerated over the last 200 years: calories; vitamins; clean water; machines; privacy; the means to travel faster than we can run, and the ability to communicate over longer distances than we can shout. As we look to the future maybe we need to reflect more on the past; it’s helping me to feel a little better about things. Humankind may not only survive, it may even prosper. I’m not sure if Mr Ridley considers there to be a need for Independent Timber, Hardware and Prefab suppliers in our future? For now I will pretend he considers us to be a mainstay. John Bowen, Managing Director

What’s New?

Defibrillators at Bowens Bowens has always valued the

The units are available to the local

safety and welfare of its employees,

community. To ensure they are

contractors, customers, suppliers and

used effectively they have also been

the local community.

registered with Ambulance Victoria to provide prompt first aid response

With a proud history of local community

where needed.

partnerships, Bowens has continued that support by installing Defibrillator

Defibrillators are an essential lifesaving

machines in all of its 13 stores and our

tool and can increase the survival rate

Dandenong South warehouse. As part

of a person suffering cardiac arrest by

of this new initiative, we have trained

up to 90%

staff on site that are competent in the use of these Defibrillators.

Chances of Survival from Cardiac Arrest 90%












30% 7

20% 8

10% 9

Minutes to Defibrillation

Need a last minute gift idea? Perfect gift for your work mates this Christmas

Bowens have you covered Bowens Gift Cards are available at all Bowens stores.



Product Of The Month

Award Winning BOS Containers

now available in store at Bowens

The new BOS Quick Build containers are now available from Bowens for both purchase and hire. We have added the popular 2m x 2m flat packs for sale at both our Bentleigh and Rowville stores. Simply drive in and take away on a trailer. Then assemble within minutes on the building site or in your back yard. You can also place an order through your local Bowens rep and we will deliver to site.

The BOS Containers are so versatile they are taking the building industry by storm. Made in Germany from heavy duty 20 gauge galvanised steel, the strength and quality of the BOS Container is second to none. In addition the internal locking system makes it virtually impossible for would be vandals to get into the containers from outside. The BOS Containers and delivered flat pack and can be installed inside a building, within a high rise or multi-level apartment, they can be delivered to the back of a site and they can be moved by two people when needed. They can also be stacked on top of each other or joined together with the BOS proprietary connection kits. Store valuable tools, tiles, tap wear, kitchen items etc inside your residential building or in the garage as you build it up. Then dismantle when complete. Your options are so flexible with the BOS Quick Build Containers. Accessories include shelving: galvanised anti-vandal locks; hose, cable and tool hooks: access ramps; forklift pockets; and crane lugs. The BOS Quick Build containers were voted number 1 for storage containers in Europe and recently won the Australian Hire and Rental Industry Association’s Best New Product Award.



Product Specifications Height

2100mm externally


2100mm externally


Currently available 2m; 3m & 4m

Total Weight Capacity

3 metric tonnes lifted by crane. Up to 2 metric tonnes approve for forklifting.


Oriented Strand Board treated for moisture and insects. Takes up to 500kg/sqm

German Steel

20 gauge galvanised steel (0.8mm)

Empty Weight

150-650kg depending on size (1-6m)

Gross weight


Single Door

1150x 1890mm

Hire Price 2m x 2m BOS

14 week min: $406+gst

$29+gst per week thereafter

2m x 3m BOS

14 week min: $504+gst

$36+gst per week thereafter

2m x 4m BOS

14 week min: $644+gst

$46+gst per week thereafter

Purchase price - POA

“... Voted number 1 for storage containers in Europe and recently won the Australian Hire and Rental Industry Association’s Best New Product Award.”

Accessories Anti-theft security lock Small access ramp Large access ramp Cable Hanger Tool Rail Anti-condensation coating

Pre-order required

Scan the QR code to watch the video

See for yourself how easy the BOS containers are to assemble! To find out more visit our website or contact your local Bowens.



Expert Advice

Understanding Humidity and Timber Performance Whenever I inspect a problem floor or deck I usually try and establish the Equilibrium Moisture Content (EMC) of the sub-floor or sub-deck cavity, particularly if the floor or deck is affected by poor ventilation, causing unwanted board expansion. In cases like this, it is not uncommon to measure humidity readings at 80% plus.

Air Conditioning

The meter I use measures not only humidity, but temperature as well. I usually place the meter in the cavity to determine the EMC. I then record the findings and relate them to a chart (copy attached). Where the two points meet is the EMC for that micro-climate.

The refrigerated system, whether it is cooling or heating takes humidity out of the atmosphere. This means if used for prolonged periods it can cause flooring boards to shrink resulting in unwanted gapping.

Decks Even though the Australian Standard for “LIGHT DECKING” SECTION 4 AS 2796.1---1999 allows a moisture content of a minimum of 10% and a maximum of 18%, I would suggest most decking kiln dried products would be around 12% when they are delivered to site. However, if the deck is poorly ventilated and the humidity is around 85%, the chart suggests a moisture content of about an untenable 18%. This can often leads to the boards coming together and severe cupping. Of course the opposite will occur in the summer months when the boards can experience prolonged hot weather when the humidity can drop to very low levels perhaps averaging 40%. Again the chart would indicate moisture content levels of about 7%-8%. If a builder at the point of installation allows a wide gap to avoid the boards coming together in the winter, then could find he has excessive (untenable) wide gaps in summer. In both unwanted scenarios OH&S issues could arise.

Floorings The major flooring producers gear the moisture content they produce their products to a moisture content of about 10% to 11%. This is important to understand as a good proportion of their floorings are going into new homes where the heating and cooling appliances are not installed at the time of installation. In affect this means the producers know the Equilibrium Moisture Content for Melbourne and Sydney averages about 11%. Again referring to the chart would suggest the average relative humidity for those capitals to be about 60%. Accordingly, this can call into question the need to acclimatise. I only advise this practice if the flooring is going into an existing house where the boards will experience a micro climate similar to what they will in their service life. On the other hand if the flooring when installed is exposed to a region where the atmosphere differs to the major capitals, that could cause the boards to adjust greatly to an (EMC) that could cause stress on the boards. Then acclimatising to that region could be considered. Note, proper acclimatisation can only happen if the boards are stacked so air can make contact with each board on all surfaces.

If you would like more information about this subject or technical support, Jeff Harvey is available on 0412 550 740 or email



The evaporative system has the opposite affect by putting humidity into the atmosphere. This means if used for prolonged periods it can cause the boards to swell or expand, resulting in tenting of the boards. Regular readers will probably remember I always make mention of looking after your floor over the holiday period, particularly if going away for an extended time. In other words don’t let your house become a HOT BOX.

Suggestions • Don’t have the aircon on 24/7. Give it a spell and open your house regularly to let some fresh air in. It could be outside the house the humidity is quite different to the micro-climate within the house. • Dry your washing in the house. This will release moisture into the micro climate during hot spells. • If you are going away, have a neighbour if possible do the above. • Leave some windows open if possible. • Leave buckets of water in the house, this will again release moisture into the micro climate atmosphere as the water evaporates. I did my own little experiment at home where I filled a small tumbler with water in a part of the house not effected by air conditioning. In the summer months it took about 2 months to totally evaporate. Conversely in the winter months it took 3 to 4 months to evaporate. Finally I advise that this is the final article I will be writing for this publication. I hope over the last 10 years or so, you our valued customers have found them useful. That said, the company have found a more than useful replacement in Frank Di Stefano. I am sure he will keep you updated on trends and problems that he believes will be of value. THE MEAN MOISTURE CONTENT OF WOOD AT VARIOUS & RELATIVE HUMIDITY READINGS Temperature ° (Centigrade)

Relative Humidity % (Percent)

However, on close examination of the chart you will notice change in temperature has little effect on EMC, the governing factor is Humidity. Below I will try and explain how this can impact on the timber products concerned.

There are 2 types of air conditioners; • Refrigerated, like the popular split system many houses use. • Evaporative.

5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 98

1 1.4 2.6 3.7 4.6 5.5 6.8 7.1 7.9 8.7 9.5 10.4 11.3 12.4 13.5 14.9 16.8 18.5 21.0 24.3 26.9

5 1.4 2.6 3.7 4.6 5.5 6.8 7.1 7.9 8.7 9.5 10.4 11.3 12.4 13.5 14.9 16.8 18.5 21.0 24.3 26.9

10 1.4 2.5 3.7 4.6 5.5 6.8 7.1 7.9 8.7 9.5 10.4 11.3 12.4 13.5 14.9 16.8 18.5 21.0 24.3 26.9

16 1.3 2.5 3.6 4.6 5.4 6.2 7.0 7.8 8.6 9.4 10.2 11.1 12.1 13.3 14.8 16.2 18.2 20.7 24.1 26.8

21 1.3 2.5 3.5 4.5 5.4 6.2 6.9 7.7 8.5 9.2 10.1 11.0 12.0 13.1 14.4 16.0 17.9 20.5 23.9 26.6

27 1.3 2.4 3.5 4.4 5.3 6.1 6.8 7.6 8.3 9.1 9.9 10.8 11.7 12.9 14.2 15.7 17.7 20.2 23.6 26.3

32 1.2 2.3 3.4 4.4 5.1 5.9 6.7 7.4 8.1 8.9 9.7 10.5 11.5 12.6 13.9 15.4 17.3 19.8 23.3 26.0

Start 2017 with top-drawer training

Industry News

RADLEY DE SILVA CEO, Masters Builders Association of Victoria

No one ever said New Year’s resolutions were supposed to be fun. Most often, what we come up with are things we want to stop doing that we actually enjoy (like drinking or eating junk food) or start doing that we really don’t (like exercising, or being nicer to our in-laws). I urge you to consider this alternative: get yourself registered for Master Builders professional training in 2017. Start with just one class, and then see what a difference it can make for your career. I’m willing to bet you’ll find another course you’ll want to take. And that’s one of the reasons we were named ‘Small Training Provider of the Year’ in the Victorian Training Awards this year, and named a finalist in the Australian Training Awards, held in Darwin in November. That’s no small achievement. Another reason is that we are innovative in what we offer you, focusing not just on what is popular or in demand now, but what our industry will demand in the future. That’s why we now offer both the CPC40110 Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) and CPC50210 Diploma of Building and Construction (Building). They offer different paths to help you achieve your goals because you and your needs are what drive us.

“... We are innovative in what we offer you, focusing not just on what is popular or in demand now, but what our industry will demand in the future.” If you’re ever unsure about where to start, visit au or give our Training Department a call on (03) 9411 4555 and you’ll be connected with a member of our staff who is committed to listening to you first, then offering appropriate advice on how to get things rolling for you. (RTO 3935) Master Builders is doing its job only if we are serving you. It’s our duty and our pleasure. A new year should be about improving your situation, not denying yourself something you like. So when it comes to 2017, make it easy on yourself; take on a new challenge and collect the rewards at the same time. Let Master Builders help you get the work you’re after with professional industry training.



Building With Bowens

This was a large commercial project, which involved Bowens providing 4500m of ironbark decking

Harbour Town Boardwalk In this months Building with Bowens segment we take a look at a unique project that Bowens was involved in at the recently opened Harbour Town Shopping Centre. Situated near the Melbourne Star, the Harbour Town Boardwalk was a challenging but rewarding project for everyone involved. This was a large commercial project, which involved Bowens providing 4500m of ironbark decking as well as 1800m of treated pine. The project started when Nick Heley, Internal Account Manager at Bowens Hallam, was contacted by a long-term customer of his, Matic Plastering who was looking for a competitive and reliable supplier for the project. Nick quickly realized a long lead-time was needed for the timber to be sourced. He knew he had to find a supplier who could reliably deliver the required volume and quality for the project.

Nick immediately got in touch with Chris Drew, Internal Sales Assistant at Bayswood Timber. In collaboration, Bowens secured the job with competitive rates and a commitment to their “delivery on time, in full” promise. Ironbark had been specified for the decking. As Chris explains, “It’s lovely and warm, yet is very durable and strong, making it a perfect choice for this project.” The ironbark decking was supplied with 135mm x 19mm dimensions. In order to maintain consistency in the timber, Chris made sure he could source enough timber from a single supplier to avoid any potential issues. As such, the ironbark was successfully sourced from a North Queensland mill. They also had to plan well in advance of the timber being required. This gave Bayswood sufficient time to build up the required stock, which was held at their large storage facility in Hallam. It is critical, especially on large commercial projects that everybody involved is on the same page. Chis commented that, “Bayswood

The Project • • • • • • • • In order to maintain consistency in the timber, we made sure they could source enough timber from a single supplier to avoid any potential issues



Iconic large-scale commercial project Challenging delivery obstacles overcome Small and frequent deliveries Port Melbourne branch conveniently located close to Harbor Town 4500m of ironbark decking 1800m of treated pine Ironbark sourced from a single North Queensland mill Decking supplied by timber specialists, Bayswood Timber

There was very little onsite storage so Bowens had to organize small but frequent deliveries to site

Bowens was involved in at the recently opened Harbour Town Shopping Centre situated near the Melbourne Star

and Bowens have a great relationship. Our communication is getting stronger and stronger the more we work together.” Nick agrees, saying that, “The trust and communication is there as well as the ability to make sure we get a good result for the customer.” A good example is when Bowens and Bayswood worked together on the award winning Philip Island Penguin Parade boardwalk extension. This was a Lloyd Group project that was completed at the end of 2015. The success of this project was a testament to everyone involved being able to collaborate effectively. Nick says that Bayswood’s expert knowledge in machining as well as timber species is exceptional. “You can’t put a value on Bayswood’s ability to source and produce material, especially on these sometimes fiddly more commercial based projects,” explains Nick. As every builder knows, being an inner city job, delivery of materials was going to be a challenge. There was very little onsite storage so Bowens had to organize small but frequent deliveries to site. Using either a 2 or 4-ton truck, only a small amount of decking could be delivered at any one time.

Ironbark had been specified for the decking

just for the deliveries of the decking and treated pine but also for hardware pick ups as well. Just 10 minutes down the road from Harbour Town, you can’t beat it.” Jeff Hurley, Manager of the Port Melbourne branch explained that, “Bayswood were fantastic at making sure we had a constant supply of timber. We could quickly deliver the required decking to site, as and when it was needed.” In summary, Chris said that “To work on iconic projects such as this was very rewarding for everyone involved. Seeing the transformation that timber has made to this area was just remarkable!” For more information on how Bowens can help you with your next specialty project, talk to your account manager or visit a Bowens branch.

Scan the QR code to watch the video

Using the Port Melbourne branch as a base, Bowens were able to deliver with as little as 24 hours notice. As Nick explains, “The location of Port Melbourne has been absolutely fantastic. Not

To work on iconic projects such as this was very rewarding for everyone involved. Seeing the transformation that timber has made to this area was just remarkable.




Crescent 25pce Screwdriver Set


Each (Incl GST )

Milwaukee® INKZALL™ 8pk Coloured Markers 48223107 • Fine Point • Writes on Dusty Surfaces • Clog Resistant

$1650 Each (Incl GST )

CSD25 • Phillips #1 x 100mm, #2 x 150mm, #2 x 200mm, #3 x 150mm • Slotted 8mm x200mm, 6mm x 150mm, 5mm x 150mm (insulated), 5mm x 100mm, 4mm x 75mm • Two Way Bits 6mm/#3, 5mm/#2, 4mm/#1, Hex 4mm/Hex 5mm • Precision Bits Phillips #000, #00, Slotted 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm. Hex 1, 2, 3; Torx 6 & 8

Milwaukee® INKZALL™ Silver/Gold Fine Point Markers 48223123 • Fine Point • Writes on Dusty Surfaces • Clog Resistant


Each (Incl GST )

Offer only available until 31st January 2017. While stocks last, No Rain-checks. Limited stock available. 10


Bamboo Socks K09270 • Naturally antibacterial • Absorbs sweat • Breathable

$1299 Each (Incl GST )

Ox Spring Back Utility Knife

Tradesman HD Ext Lead 30mtr 10amp

OXP221101 • Dual slider left and right hand use • Retractable blade

UR24030T • 30 Metre • 10Amp lead


$ 6 99

Each (Incl GST )

Each (Incl GST )

$2999 Each (Incl GST )

Chemset 101 380ml Cartridge

Passage Set Braxton Lever

C101C • Non sag formula • Solid concrete and hollow brick and block applications • Easy cold weather dispensing

1400PROBRASC 1400PROBRABC (Also Available) $29.99 • Contemporary lever design • Privacy sets also available


20oz One Piece $34.99 OXP080120

Each (Incl GST )

24oz One Piece $39.99 OXP090124 Non-slip grip handle with shock reduction • Precision balanced • Forged, one piece steel construction • High quality steel for durability

$2999 Each (Incl GST )

66261133053 • 50pk • Assorted

Each (Incl GST)


Claw Hammer

Norton Disc Master 25MM x 8H



Leather Hamm er Holder




Don’t Miss Out, Join Today!

Become a Trade Access Club Member to be the first to know about all the latest Bowens deals and news. Including a free Builders Bulletin subscription. Simply scan the code or head online to sign up. Easy as! Bentleigh East Croydon Epping Hallam

9579 1188 9723 0394 9408 6566 9796 3088

Hastings Laverton Mt Evelyn North Melb

5979 1267 9353 7700 9736 2588 9328 1041

Phillip Island 5952 5633 Port Melbourne 8538 3350 Rowville 9763 7522 Shepparton 5822 2364

Taylors Lakes 9390 8899 Support Office 9796 3003 Prefabrication Plants: TimberTruss 5244 8400

Bowens Builders Bulletin December 2016  

Get festive with the December Builders Bulletin! We’ve packed it with loads of content... This month we feature the Award Winning BOS Conta...

Bowens Builders Bulletin December 2016  

Get festive with the December Builders Bulletin! We’ve packed it with loads of content... This month we feature the Award Winning BOS Conta...