Construction completion has been achieved at our second Quest Apartment-Hotel located on Great Eastern Highway in Ascot.
The Apartment Hotel consists of 112 rooms across 8 levels including a pool, conference room and business lounge.
S.E.C. building meets its MatchRead more
The City of Fremantle’s plan to boost the number of people living and working in the city centre has reached another important milestone, with construction starting on the M/27 by Match apartment development on Parry Street.
The development, to be undertaken by M/Group’s building division M/Construction, will include 40 apartments adjacent to the heritage-listed former S.E.C. substation.
The S.E.C. building was restored by M/Construction in 2018 to accommodate a food and beverage venue or be used as boutique office space.
M/Group was previously involved in the award-winning heritage conversion of Fremantle’s historic Dalgety Woolstores into the Heirloom apartments, as well as numerous other projects in the Fremantle area.
Mr Lloyd Clark, Managing Director of Match parent company M/Group, said he was thrilled the company was playing an important role in Fremantle’s revival.
“We’re very excited to have construction commencing on our latest project in Fremantle,” Mr Clark said.
“After the great success of the Heirloom project, which really ignited the apartment boom in Fremantle’s East End, we’re delighted to be involved in bringing life back to another of Fremantle’s heritage treasures.
“Match has had significant involvement in Fremantle and its stretch of coastline for almost a decade with many varying projects catering to people from all walks of life.
“There really is no other place in the world like Fremantle, and with the revitalisation that is currently underway we’re very confident it has a bright future.”
Mayor Brad Pettitt said it was great to see another major development getting underway in Fremantle.
“Many years ago the council recognised that Fremantle’s economy had stagnated and we needed to get more people living and working in the city centre,” Mayor Pettitt said.
“In response we put in action a long-term plan to make Fremantle a more attractive place to invest and restore our seven-day-a-week economy.
“Changes to planning regulations to allow greater building height and density in return for improved design and sustainability measures, a common sense approach to the adaptive re-use of heritage buildings and investments in major transformational projects like the Kings Square Renewal project were all central to that plan.
“It’s taken a while, but it’s really exciting to now see that work paying off with construction starting on the M/27 apartments and all of the other new developments that are happening in Freo.”
The S.E.C. building was originally constructed in 1933 for the Fremantle Municipal Tramways and Electric Lighting Board before being taken over as a substation by the State Energy Commission in 1952.
The substation ceased operation in 1980 and was converted into the Western Power Energy Museum, which operated until 2010.
The heritage works on the building included the restoration of existing brickwork, refurbishment of metal window frames and the restoration of existing large timber sliding doors.
M/Construction’s Latest Completion – Quest Joondalup HotelRead more
Cutting-Edge Apartment-Hotel Project Consolidates Joondalup’s Burgeoning Growth
The last 20 years have been pivotal for Joondalup. As Mayor Albert Jacob notes, “The Joondalup city centre has flourished into a successful, highly liveable commercial, civic and cultural destination. Today marks another significant milestone in our journey, as work begins on this outstanding development.”
He was referring to Quest Joondalup, a new apartment-hotel property developed by M/Group and built by M/Construction that is strategically positioned in the primary urban centre of Perth’s outer northern suburbs. The city centre already accommodates the Lakeside Joondalup shopping centre, Edith Cowan University and Joondalup Health campus, as well as substantial local and international office and industrial tenancies.
Quest is Australia’s largest apartment-hotel operator for total properties, which are located in central business districts, and suburban and regional areas – with close proximity to head offices, business centres and key tourist destinations. The Joondalup location on Boas Avenue is seen as an excellent fit with Quest’s ongoing growth model in Western Australia.
Cutting-Edge Features for Contemporary Short-Stay Accommodation
Quest Joondalup is a 90 key hotel comprising studios and one and two-bedroom apartments. Its design concept takes advantage of the fact that studios are considered a great alternative to regular hotel rooms. They feature a comfortable king bed and kitchenette; while the one and two-bedroom apartments are equipped with a full kitchen and laundry facilities, providing a home-away-from-home experience that is ideal for families, professionals and larger groups.
The development is accessed off the street-front into a large entry lobby, including a central lift accessing all six levels, with commercial tenancies on the ground level (and the opportunity for a café/restaurant). The ground floor also includes a conference room, guest laundry and gym, plus on-site parking.
According to M/Construction Director Michael Read, the main challenges during construction included coping with busy traffic in Joondalup city’s main street. “This involved well-planned traffic management in advance due to council requirements and neighbours owning the right of way adjacent to the site, as they needed 24-hour access to the laneway for parking at their property.”
Due to the very tight construction program, the building design was modelled using a precast wall & floor system for speed and efficiency.
Hollow-core pre-cast concrete floor panels were used throughout the building to complete a floor each fortnight. This further facilitated the construction program, as the trades were able to gain access to the floor area below to commence their works under the main structure, which would usually be obstructed and inaccessible for a month by scaffold-props if the floor had been an in-situ suspended slab.
“As the design was progressing so rapidly we had to re-think how the balcony structures would be incorporated into the build. It was decided to be a post-fix bolt-on light-weight structure which enabled the main structure to continue unimpeded.
“In addition, the roof design was changed from a structural steel and sheeted roof to a flat concrete roof, which saved M/Construction a month in program time and ensured the building was watertight ahead of schedule and avoided the wet winter months. With the concrete flat roof, it also gave us the opportunity to re-locate all the mechanical plant and equipment as well as hot water services on the roof instead of being installed elsewhere, as there was limited space available within the property.”
Another challenge was the inability to lift or load goods and materials from the main street, so a designated area was created on-site to fit a tower crane and allow panel truck deliveries. “This was difficult with a limited lay-down area,” said Michael Read, “but was overcome by additional coordination and scheduling to ensure no clashes with deliveries.”
Also, when digging out the lift pit and crane base, rock pinnacles were discovered in the ground – slowing down the excavation process. Shared land with a church next door presented another new challenge, which was managed by regular meetings to ensure they were aware of all ongoing works.
Other significant features included:
- Protruding balconies incorporating bold colours to create a feature on the streetscape.
- A custom-designed floating deco-wood feature panel at entry, creating a delineation between the apartment-hotel and ground floor commercial tenancies.
- A fully-cladded lobby with feature wall panelling using a timber-look for a seamless transition from outside to the indoors.
- A landscaping design throughout the building inspired by the original site’s ground cover, which consisted of grass trees and other native Australian plants.
Committed to the Environment… and Enhancing Efficiency
As always with their projects, M/Group were focused on a firm commitment to sustainability. The landscaping featured Australian flora, easy to maintain and care for with minimal water consumption.
Minimum waste was also an important factor, according to Michael Read, and this was achieved by choosing specific products which were all accounted for during the build. “In addition, we used high-quality products and finishes to ensure the building’s longevity.”
The end result was recognised as a resounding success for all parties.
The project was completed on budget and on time, thanks to the implementation of construction suggestions for changes in materials aimed at building with greater speed and efficiency. Most of the changes in materials were structural components, such as the aforementioned pre-cast walls, hollow-core flooring, post-fixed balconies and concrete roof. The flat concrete roof also allowed the building team to waterproof the building faster and therefore create a safer environment for the near-finished apartments below.
As a large international operator, said Michael Read, Quest had strict briefs and guidelines in place. “We navigated these and worked closely with them to ensure these expectations were met to keep the client satisfied and achieve a positive outcome for all parties. We were also able to assist the client with last-minute design changes and upgrade requests; and regular safety and toolbox meetings were held to ensure all parties were informed throughout the build process.”
Quest Apartment-Hotel | Construction Completed November 2019Read more
Construction completion has been achieved at the Quest Apartment-Hotel located in the heart of Joondalup on Boas Avenue.
The Apartment Hotel consists of 90 rooms across 5 levels plus commercial / cafe space on the ground floor.
The Latest Addition to Freo’s South TerraceRead more
M/28 by Match is a modish addition to the eclectic South Terrace neighbourhood built with a nod to the past and a high five to the future in one of the most desirable and vibrant corners of the greater Fremantle area.
Located in the heart of South Fremantle on the iconic South Terrace café and restaurant strip, M/28 by Match is a three-storey mixed-use development comprising of 20 apartments and 6 commercial tenancies to the ground floor designed to achieve a 4-star green rating. Of the 20 apartments, there are four 1×1, three 2×1 and thirteen 2×2 apartments with a mixture of single and split-level apartments.
M/28 is designed with coastal dwellers in mind including most South Terrace facing apartments enjoying views across the harbour whilst the apartments on the south-side of the building benefit from two private courtyards for entertaining and outdoor living.
The apartments are accessed from the pine-tree-lined Charles Street into a private lobby which includes a lift to all levels and a main stair-well showcasing feature tiling and a timber slatted ceiling with detail lighting.
Michael Read, Director of M/Construction (part of M/Group), said “The building appeals more to the owner occupier market and astute investors typically wanting two-bedroom apartments. The considered building layout creates a diverse housing solution that responds to changing social demographics.”
Designed by David Barr Architect in collaboration with Cameron Chisolm Nicol the building includes protruding box shapes on the north and south elevations finished with a Venetian plaster creating a standout feature along with unique vertical slats that encompass the building in certain areas. These elements help set M/28 apart from its surrounding structures.
The slatted balconies along South Terrace also incorporate a full length shelf angle which is beneficial to the residents as a countertop for décor and entertainment. In addition, the residents have access to a common courtyard on the first floor with Australian native planting in concrete planters. Greenery and vegetation has also been added to the southern rear entrance off South Terrace.
Designed with contemporary coastal living in mind while respecting the fabric of South Fremantle’s past.
In collaboration with the architects, M/Construction Project Manager, Joshua Stott explained how plans were amended to change levels of the original building design.
“The building’s form and scale were developed with respect for neighbours, stepping from three storeys at one end to two at the other, thereby negotiating the height change between an existing heritage pub on one side and single storey housing on the other.
“On its southern boundary, where the project abuts an existing heritage house, the building height was stepped down and then later, following negotiation and collaboration with the local authority and neighbours, altered to further reduce the effects of overshadowing and overlooking.
“The two-storey high brick boundary parapet wall on the eastern side, which was originally part of the existing factory that was demolished, had to be incorporated into the new building design.
Internally, the finishes of the apartments flow from the industrial to the contemporary which is achieved using timber and light, concrete-look colour schemes along with matte-black accents. The project team were also able to accommodate purchaser design changes with minimal disruption to the program.
Each apartment has a contemporary and eclectic mix of materials, textures and finishes that evoke a uniquely South Fremantle feel.
For the external finishes Joshua noted that “Due to the close proximity of the ocean, the project required extra attention to the selection of some materials and products such as stainless-steel hardware and treatment of the external metal work finishes.
“All screens were originally designed to be timber. However due to the fire requirements & regulations they were redesigned to be aluminium wood-look screens which is better for future maintenance and longevity.”
Minimum waste was another important factor and it was achieved by choosing specific products which were all accounted for during the build.
Coordinating a project amidst the busy pedestrian and road traffic of South Terrace was a logistical challenge for Joshua and his construction team. “Main challenges included ensuring neighbours, including residents and businesses, were not impeded by our construction schedule. There was pressure from both boundaries regarding their concerns with disruptions.
“To combat this both myself and the Site Manager had regular meetings with them, providing open communication, and keeping them up-to-date with different construction milestones and all potential impacts to them.”
All challenges were able to be overcome and therefore enable construction of the project to be completed three weeks ahead of schedule.
M/Construction have a transparent and flexible process on delivering the best possible outcome to the client, while at the same time maintaining a strong sense of control over a project’s development. This approach provides a number of benefits — shortened program times, improved value and the opportunity for innovation.
Find out more about M/Construction here www.mconstruction.com.au
Scale Developer-Builders still rare in PerthRead more
Building quality has been under the microscope for some time, so why aren’t more developers taking steps to reduce their construction risk via an in-house building team?
It may appear counter-intuitive, but the number of genuine developer-builder companies operating in Perth can be counted on one hand, particularly when it comes to larger-scale developments.
Despite the significant benefits of a developer having an in-house builder, including increased quality-control and reduced risk, few construction or development organisations have been successful in making the developer-builder model work.
Mr Michael Read, Director of M/Construction (part of M/Group), one of only a couple of successful larger-scale developer-builder firms in Perth, said the model is generally considered best practice, but it can prove difficult to create a good partnership.
“Achieving the right fit in terms of staff or partnership can prove difficult in an environment where the cultures tend to be quite different. In Perth, our main players are fairly established and there needs to be a lot of trust between both parties for the model to work effectively,” he said.
“While there is unquestionably merit in having a good appreciation of the development process as well as maintaining complete control of the entire building program and its outcomes, the concept has not been fully embraced by the sector and most developers continue to outsource to third-party builders.”
Unlike most construction-based firms, M/Construction evolved within its parent company, M/Group. The company was initially introduced to improve the building quality and maintenance of M/Group’s apartment and commercial projects, but quickly earned industry credibility to work independently of the group.
M/Construction uses its value-add service model to attract new building contracts and build on its capabilities in the building and maintenance sectors. The company recently took home three awards at the Master Builders Western Australian Awards for Excellence, including Best Multi-Unit Development between $10-$20million for Form Apartments by Match; an award the company has won two-years running.
Although most builders today offer a form of design-construct service, a developer-builder can operate both as a single service or independently, and both disciplines’ credentials are of equal calibre.
“Construction is without question a distinct skillset that requires a lot of experience. This is why some 90% of developer-builder companies derive from building firms initially rather than developers. However, the development expertise should not be overshadowed in the mix,” Mr Read continued.
“Certainly, within our organisation, being involved across the entire design and construction process creates a sense of pride in our staff. It is a different experience than working purely for a construction firm. We get to take ownership of the project from concept to completion.”
Michael Read joined M/Group as a highly qualified and experienced Registered Builder with some 20-years under his belt in top-tier organisations. Rather than a company merger, the M/Construction team was built from within the organisation which helped to circumvent any potential staffing or cultural issues.
Of Western Australia’s top twenty builders, very few are considered to be true developer-builder.
Find out more at www.mconstruction.com.au