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Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Stages 1 & 3: Integrated Building Services Australia
Stage 2: Galla Interiors Pty Ltd
Stage 3: Inspired Building Pty Ltd
Need help with a similar project?Speak with a USG Boral Specialist
In 2013, the Queensland Government selected Grocon to develop seven hectares of the 29-hectare Parklands site within the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct, just three kilometres from Southport.
One of the most significant urban renewal projects ever undertaken on the Gold Coast, the $550-million project commenced in 2014 with 1,252 dwellings due for completion in 2017. A mix of apartments and townhouses, along with a retail and dining precinct, are sited around a ‘Village Heart’ – surrounded by a further seven hectares of green and landscaped spaces. From late 2017, the dwellings will be leased to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC).
Grocon employed three different plastering contractors during the three stages of construction – all using USG Boral wall and ceiling lining products and systems. Nik Andreou, Grocon’s Document Controller and Site Quality Representative for the project, says that USG Boral assisted at several levels. “Working with three contractors meant different approaches, and differing interpretations of the finer details of getting the job done. The USG Boral team helped overcome this challenge to ensure consistency and code compliance across the three stages of the project.”
Nik Andreou’s principal role was the certification of the structures to meet Building Code requirements. “The building inspection process has become a lot stricter – everything must be done by the book. So we had to ensure that, from the original architectural drawings to end certification, we were able to resolve any issues consistently and compliantly throughout construction.”
USG Boral’s Architecture and Engineering Team were always available to assist. “We had access to engineering and systems expertise whenever we needed questions answered. They gave us advice on fire and acoustic ratings, as well as test reporting. They ‘walked the site’ on several occasions during the project to help us address the thornier problems,” Nik Andreou says. “There were countless emails exchanged over specific issues. And someone from USG Boral was on site most days, working with our contractors.”
For example, interfacing with services was a technical challenge on this project. To ensure fire standards for wall penetration were met, the USG Boral Technical Support Team undertook to get test reports done on the preferred method of notching the board to allow for service access. The tests demonstrated that notching was compliant with the fire standards, which made a huge difference to the work flow.
“We were the biggest contractor, with the ceilings and walls partitions contracts for nine of the 17 buildings,” says Markus Kraft, General Manager of IBSA. “We were also the first stage, which had more of the trial and error, and that is always a challenge.”
The Queensland Government set a Liveable Housing Australia Gold standard for construction of the project. “Trying to come up with wall systems that would achieve the thermal efficiency, fire safety and acoustics was tricky. We thought we might have to upgrade the insulation or the panels themselves to meet the regulations,” says Markus.
The USG Boral Technical Support team liaised with IBSA to develop a wall system that achieved the standard, as well as meeting budget and timing factors.
“They flew up engineers, and came on site every week to do inspections and make sure everyone was happy. They had a very hands-on approach – I haven’t seen this in the past, where the manufacturer had representatives on site and played such a proactive role. Their assistance was always there, and it was very professional.”
“Working with three contractors meant different approaches... The USG Boral team helped overcome this challenge to ensure consistency and code compliance across the three stages of the project” - Nik Andreou, Document Controller & Site Quality Representative, Grocon
“[USG Boral] had a very hands-on approach – I haven’t seen this in the past, where the manufacturer had representatives on site and played such a proactive role” - Markus Kraft, General Manager, Integrated Building Services Australia
USB Boral’s project team was also active in meeting delivery challenges to keep a timely flow of materials to each of the contractors while meeting Grocon’s rigorous delivery standards. Both the project’s Account Manager and USG Boral’s Queensland Commercial Manager maintained a close presence on site while co-ordinating the company’s Australian and overseas manufacturing plants and the local supply depot.
Galla Interiors had the second biggest plastering contract, completing 427 apartments and 17 retail spaces with a crew that peaked at 374 people. The logistics of keeping that quantity of workers supplied with material was challenging.
“As a supplier, USG Boral was very good,” says Fergus McHugh, Project Engineer, Galla Interiors. “We took over 100 semi-loads of delivery into this job. We didn’t have a lot of time to check them, but they were spot on. And they were always early or on time – we never had to wait for them. It was like clockwork.”
Another thing Fergus appreciated was the care taken to meet their packing requirements. “All our packs were labelled, stacked and packed to our requirements. We made a little plan for each load, and it always came the way we wanted, with different products on the bottom or top of the load. USG Boral followed it to a tee, making our life easy.”
As a result of his experience working on this project, Fergus has no hesitation in recommending USG Boral. “We would be extremely likely to use USG Boral again on future work.”
“As a supplier, USG Boral was very good. We took over 100 semi-loads of delivery into this job… they were always early or on time – we never had to wait. It was like clockwork.” - Fergus Mchugh, Project Engineer, Galla Interiors
Inspired Building was the third contractor hired for the job, completing 156 units. Joshua Macaulay, Director, had never worked with USG Boral before, but came away impressed. “The other two contractors were already on site when we started. They had their way of working, but we had our own ideas about how we wanted to do things. I have to say, USG Boral was very happy to respond to our requirements. They were very efficient in getting back to us.”
There were a number of things that impressed Joshua. “There was a very high safety standard on the job, and they assisted us in meeting that. They have an excellent plasterboard product. Deliveries were always on time and correctly packaged. They were proactive about service. Reps were always touching base with us and making sure it was how we planned and ordered it. And, most of all, they were very competitive on cost.”
As a result of working with them for the first time, Joshua had this to say: “My experience with USG Boral has been nothing but positive and I’m sure we’ll be doing business together in the future.”
"My [first] experience with USG Boral has been nothing but positive and I’m sure we’ll be doing business together in the future." - Joshua Macaulay, Director, Inspired Building