An incredible Quest for M/Construction
1 December 2020
Amid unforeseen planning approval delays, strict contract brief requirements and the onset of Covid-19, M/Construction has achieved what many would deem impossible.
The company recently completed its second multi-residential Quest Apartment property, to a standard befitting of its high-profile client, Australia’s largest apartment hotel operator, Quest Apartments.
And despite extraordinary circumstances during the construction program, M/Construction successfully shaved some three to four months off a standard construction schedule to deliver the property both on time and to budget.
M/Construction director, Michael Read, believes few construction firms in Western Australia could have navigated the range of challenges faced throughout the construction of Quest Perth Ascot as well as M/Construction. However, he said innovation and ingenuity is what the company does best.
“M/Construction is today recognised for a range of advanced technologies that we have in place to manage on-site systems and processes to the highest degree,” he said.
“These systems do not merely help us manage onsite activity, they also enable us to evolve as construction professionals. We bring valuable intel from one site to the next, which proved particularly critical in the recent Quest development, where we were working to strict deadlines, unplanned factors and with multiple stakeholders.”
Quest Perth Ascot is a nine storey, 112 room apartment hotel that includes a pool, gym and conference room. It is located on a 2,211sq.m site at 266 Great Eastern Highway, near Perth Airport and enroute to the Perth CBD.
“We had an obligation to meet our client’s operational timeframe. Construction delays were not an option, regardless of the unprecedented circumstances we faced,” Michael continued.
“We pulled out all stops to ensure the property did not merely get completed, but was built to the highest standards possible.”
ONE FLOOR EVERY TWO WEEKS
Perhaps the most remarkable accomplishment throughout the construction program was M/Construction’s capacity to execute a new development model and building process that saw one floor completed every two weeks.
This was achieved by the installation of pre-cast concrete walls and a hollow core flooring structure, together with the integration of construction methodologies and customised design features that had been perfected during the Quest Joondalup program.
Concrete floors and toppings were poured and cured over the weekend to create self-supporting formwork that required no props. As a result, the workspace below was obstruction-free and allowed follow-on trades to progress with the installation of framing and services unencumbered.
M/Construction Project Manager and Master Builder’s Award winner, Joshua Stott, said the process required explicit co-ordination with a large team on site at any given time.
“The onsite activity was electric, with some 100 people on site at once. Where there might usually be a time delay between construction works and the installation of frameworks and services, we were able to coordinate and synchronise these to save time and maximise resources, he said.”
“The efficiency of the exercise effectively knocked up to four months off our construction timeline and helped us make up for time losses incurred at the commencement of the project.”
In additional to pre-cast structures, all openings and frames were prefabricated to meet accelerated time measures. This meant extensive scrutiny of products and materials was required prior to the material’s arrival on site.
ACCOMMODATING COVID-19 REQUIREMENTS
In what would already be regarded as an extraordinarily busy building site, M/Construction was required to shift into an even higher gear to accommodate new Covid-19 procedures.
Newly introduced Government regulations activated the introduction of safety management training to the entire workforce, as well as increased cleaning regimes, additional lunchrooms, scheduled break times and the installation of sinks and hand sanitiser.
As the construction site was considered an ‘essential workplace’, workers were able to continue with their tasks, but needed to adapt quickly to new workplace conditions.
“There was definitely a lot of uncertainty to start with, but we all remained conscious of the job at hand and worked effectively to maintain productivity. Ultimately, over time the availability of our workforce increased as a result of Covid-19 and we were able to leverage this through the construction timetable,” Joshua continued.
MANAGING THE IMPACT ON THE SUPPLY CHAIN
As with many projects of this caliber, Quest Apartments had outlined a strict brief of supply items to be used in the construction of the property.
The impact of Covid-19 saw several of these suppliers close production or become unable to deliver product as previously planned. This occasionally involved critical items and indefinite delays, such as the shipping of building’s lifts from international ports.
“When Australia closed down, it was like starting from scratch in terms of identifying which products could arrive, where there might be obstructions and delays, and what concessions we needed to make to ensure the timely delivery of products,” Joshua recalls.
“What could have been disastrous was made less problematic due to established supplier relationships and systems that enabled us to co-ordinate onsite activities to the availability of materials.
“We ran an extraordinary tight ship, but achieved everything in record time.”
BUILDING ON THE QUEST RELATIONSHIP
The success of Quest Joondalup had established a high level of trust between Quest Apartments and M/Construction with the project attracting a great deal of praise in terms of finish and quality, including a finalist nomination in the 2020 World Travel Awards.
The construction of Quest Perth Ascot has since been instrumental in supporting and building on this commercial relationship, and M/Construction believes its position as an extremely reliable resource that offers more than construction services has been secured.
“It is not enough to be a good builder in this highly competitive and regulated environment. The process needs to be efficient, safe and responsive to stakeholders’ needs” Michael said.
“Quest Perth Ascot is certainly an excellent example where all these factors were drawn on, and it is a testament to the great project team we had working on the job. We thoroughly enjoyed working with Quest Apartments and look forward to assisting them on further developments.”
Quest Apartments has over 43,000 operating serviced residence units in key cities around the world with a further 31,000 units under development. The company’s largest shareholder of 80%, Ascott Limited, is the largest serviced residence provider in Australiasia and is targeting to double its global portfolio to 160,000 units over five years.M/Construction is an award-wining building company that provides design, construction and maintenance services for residential, commercial, retail and government building projects. The company has built a reputation for its work across both M/Group projects and independent third-party initiatives, adding value to all projects.
The Quest Perth Ascot main transfer slab was poured in January 2020 and fully completed by August of the same year, equating to an impressive eight-month build.
For more information visit www.mconstruction.com.au.