Designed to fuse the old and the new, the redevelopment of Jubilee Place – incorporating the 133 year old heritage listed Jubilee Hotel – was an inspired undertaking of architectural and engineering intricacies. The project design had never been attempted in Australia before. Located 1.5km from Brisbane’s CBD in the vibrant, green and avant-garde precinct of Fortitude Valley, Jubilee Place is set to turn heads and create a renaissance that sets new benchmarks in blending working environments into a lifestyle.
Jubilee Place was one of those generational projects that pushed all businesses associated with its construction into new, challenging and highly progressive modelling. This was especially true for the team at Southern Queensland Steel (SQS).
Tasked with supplying the steel, the team soon understood that they would face one of their biggest challenges to date. This was not the standard transactional supply arrangement. For the project to succeed, Rob Childs and his team would be involved at every touchpoint of the project. Their expertise and experience were under the microscope to deliver highly complex steel materials not available in Australia. The materials needed to be sourced overseas to Australian grade standards and atypical specifications in high volumes under tight deadlines.
Starting from a position of yes!
“Projects like this one test everybody involved to think outside the box. Unlike traditional buildings that draw their strength from the foundations, this building needed to draw its strength from its exoskeleton. Effectively, the building hangs from the top down. We needed to source steel piping that was not standard sizes found in Australia. The complexities of the design and the added complications of the site itself required 900mm diameter and 60mm thick pilings.
The procurement of the piping was a major challenge. These needed to be sourced from mills in Korea and the volumes meant coordinating supply with a number of mills and ensuring the consistency, quality and grades were exact. In projects like this one there is zero margin for error,” says Rob Childs, Sales Manager of Southern Queensland Steel.
The team needed to be across each phase of the construction cycle and their input played a significant role in the design. Ensuring SQS could source the necessary materials to Australian standards meant a great deal of collaboration with the engineers and fabricators. As the steel formed part of the visual aesthetics, the team needed to ensure the processing – which at times required a third party – met exacting standards.
“Our team needed to communicate and coordinate with the fabricators at every touchpoint. Much of the material required secondary levels of processing, which necessitated contracting third party processors. It was the first time we experienced working in a partnership with the engineers and fabricators as part of the project design. We learnt what is required as a high level partner and as a complete supply chain service. Our attitude was to start from a position of YES and trust our expertise to work a plan, ensuring we delivered on our promise. The easy option is to hand responsibility back to the Tier 1 builders and let them find the solution; however, we were fully aware of the complexities and where we could stretch and challenge ourselves to go above and beyond the transactional style of working and become a critical player in the project’s success,” continues Rob.
At the completion, SQS procured, processed and delivered approximately 1500 tonnes of steel, 800 tonnes of pipe and 700 tonnes of structural section over a 15-18 month period. Procurement, processing and distribution expertise is what SQS has built its reputation upon and why the business is so widely trusted throughout the construction industry.
New and sustained business improvement
The Jubilee Place project opened a range of business improvement opportunities now woven into our daily practices.
“The learning from this project has changed the way we approach new projects. We have gained invaluable insights into the challenges many of our clients face. Coming into a project from the beginning and collaborating with the fabricators from inception enables us to streamline our project design from procurement to processing and distribution.
Where once the fabricators advised us of what they wanted within a specific timeframe, we now take a seat at the table in partnership with the fabricator and act as a supply support mechanism. Together we better understand the needs of the project and can expand our capability and offer expertise at the initial design phase. Every job since has seen improved levels of efficiency, quality control and enhanced deliverables,” concludes Rob.
Jubilee Place will set a new standard of working and lifestyle infrastructure. Maintaining the integrity of the heritage listed Jubilee Hotel and infusing a modern construction that will stand the test of time have been an incredible experience. Being a part of this iconic development was a very proud moment for the whole team at SQS and many team members detour past it to show their children and family members. The project has showcased the level of internal capabilities that SQS has at its disposal and to see the entire team step up, upskill where necessary and embrace the learnings has been invaluable.
Contact Southern Steel Group or Southern Queensland Steel and experience the next level of service and capability.