Chadstone Shopping Centre is often referred to as Melbourne’s ‘fashion capital’ so expansion to this pre-eminent shopping destination was inevitable. When Probuild last year won the tender to construct the $300 million project they undertook works on the retail centre covering 212,000 square metres. The site also catered to a 10-level 17,000sqm office building where business as usual was the order of the day.
Probuild awarded CDC Plumbing & Drainage the contract for laying new pipe, pump stations and silt pits. The company had an established profile, having worked on more than 50 of Australia’s largest construction projects for clients such as Lend Lease, Leighton Holdings and Westfield. CDC were also selected for their reputation implementing effective safety management systems.
CDC turned to Coates Hire to design a system for shoring 5 metre deep silt pits, liaising with Sales Engineer, Victoria, Joseph Hovanjec.
“One of the biggest concerns when they were looking to open up a large excavation was to create a shoring solution that would work within the confines of such a busy site but also accommodate surcharges around the excavation,” he says. “The challenges with the site itself were compounded by having everybody from formwork contractors, cranes, excavators, plumbers, drainage contractors and structural fabricators all on the project at once.
“CDC had to demonstrate to Probuild what kind of solution they could offer. It wasn’t going to be an off-the-shelf product.”
Hovanjec inspected the site with CDC in order to qualify the client’s requirements and assess the geotechnical reports. Following this, Hovanjec took the brief to Coates Hire’s engineering department.
“They came up with a technical design for a shoring solution that could prove that it could actually do the job of containing all the parameters in the brief,” he says.
When they presented the design to CDC Coates Hire also invited health, safety and environment specialists and union representatives to sit in on the meeting to ensure the proposal ticked all the boxes in terms of on-the-ground viability. The challenge? The Coates Hire solution was based on the relatively unknown product in Australia, the German-developed Slide Rail system.
“It was new to everybody,” Hovanjec says. “We had to explain the history of the product, its origin and history of use in Europe. We demonstrated that Slide Rail can withstand the ground loads based on the Geotechnical report given and we’d be able to provide an approved access and egress system. The benefit is that it allows you to install very large shoring systems, stick by stick, panel by panel, minimising the weight handled by the excavator.”
Access via a safety platform with a fixed ladder and the inclusion of rescue systems were designed to meet the regulations required by the Victorian construction industry union.
At the end of the one-hour presentation “everybody agreed to accept the system”, he says. “The beautiful part is at the end of the day the system took just two days to install.” Using a traditional approach would have required a piling company to work on installing shoring for a week.
Hovanjec says the clients’ response – emails expressing appreciation from both CDC and Probuild – shows the significance of the Coates Hire solution provided.
“Probuild and CDC can go into infrastructure jobs like this with the confidence that they can deliver safe systems that are compliant with all regulations.”