Simon Gillies, Sales Manager – East for Coates Hire says, “This is probably the highest profile construction project in the Southern Hemisphere.”
The extraordinary scale of the Barangaroo development, which will change the shape of Sydney itself, will result in three new commercial office towers as well as low-rise residential apartment buildings, an international hotel, shops, cafés, restaurants and Headland Park. Once it is completed around 23,000 people will live and/or work in the precinct and 12 million will visit every year.
“As the project grows we grow with it and match our products to its construction cycle,” Gillies says. “We will match our equipment to the trades on the project. We will also continue to offer 24/7 servicing, meaning we have dedicated fitters and electricians who’ve been inducted onto the project who are on call or on the work site, 24 hours every day.”
The most interesting challenge from Lend Lease, the organisation that won the tender to manage the construction project, was for Coates Hire to prove its environmental sustainability nous before even coming on board as a supplier. After the first meeting Lend Lease requested from Coates Hire a full sustainability report.
For many years Lend Lease has shown a powerful interest in sustainability on all of its sites and in the results of its builds. Barangaroo is intended to showcase this innovation - its goal is to operate as a climate-positive community, one of the first of its size in the world and the first in an Australian CBD precinct. But this environmental efficiency will not just happen once the build is complete. Lend Lease intended the sustainability levels to be world class from the moment the project began in 2011.
“To gain preferred supplier status we have to match what Lend Lease is doing in terms of sustainability,” says Grant Voysey, Major Project Manager for Coates Hire and a veteran of projects such as Sydney Olympic Park and Fox Studios. “So we looked at a number of changes to the ways we could work, and we had taken a lot of lessons from the Fox Studios project which was my first large scale site experience.
“Fox highlighted the benefits for the client to have a Coates Hire compound at the work site. In doing so we reduce the need for trucks to bring gear in and out. We eliminate much of that transport. We also manage the equipment on the site, undertaking regular safety checks and repairs, which results in a safer work environment.”
On the sustainability front it has not just been about reducing the need for transport. Changes in Coates Hire equipment and processes have been made across the board to meet strict Lend Lease guidelines. In the project-site accommodation and other temporary structures small innovations such as solar tinting on windows, LED lighting, motion sensors on lighting, inverter air conditioning, half-flush urinals, spring-loaded taps, door closers, plus many more, have been introduced. And while the small changes add up to a big difference, larger changes have been made too.
“We bought a hybrid delivery vehicle,” Gillies says. “It’s a diesel and electric table top truck for when deliveries absolutely have to be made. We had to look far and wide to find that! We also investigated solar power options for energy on the site but that turned out not to be viable.”
Many of these changes, Voysey says, are now being rolled out through other Coates Hire operations as clients begin to take environmental issues more seriously than ever.
The greenest credentials in the world wouldn’t matter at all if Coates Hire wasn’t making life as easy as possible for its client. To achieve this, the business is supplying and servicing an enormous amount of equipment and accommodation for the build, including:
· water pumps
· trowelling machines
· drills (electrical and battery operated)
· access equipment
· shed accommodation for toilets, canteens, showers, etc.
· toilet blocks all over the site
· shoring equipment
· several kilometres of traffic management control equipment
· dust suppression units
· rollers for compacting.
“And that’s just the tip of the iceberg so far,” Voysey says. “As we grow with the project and once there are 2500 tradespeople on the project, it will be incredible.”