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Perfect fit of product with project

The work of Sunshine Coast metalworkers Regson Fabrication shows there is unquestionable value in sourcing good-quality product from a reliable local supplier.

The fabricator won the Contractor of the Year award at the 2017 Master Builders Sunshine Coast Housing & Construction Awards for its work on the $1.8bn Sunshine Coast University Hospital in Kawana. The win recognises the hard work and professionalism of the Regson team and underscores the advantages in using Australian steel over imported product and the positive effect of a functioning supply chain.

The contract to design, build, finance and maintain the $1.8 billion hospital, the biggest project ever undertaken on the Sunshine Coast, was awarded to the Lendlease-led Exemplar Health Consortium in 2012. Lendlease awarded Regson Fabrication the contract for the hospital’s multi-deck car park façade package, which included the internal metalwork on the hospital’s Car Park 1 and both the internal and external metalwork on the smaller Car Park 2. In addition, Regson installed the fencing, bollards and services protection, public artworks and other miscellaneous metalwork around the hospital site.

Regson Managing Director Les McMillan was involved in discussions with Lendlease from the outset regarding methods and materials and pushed hard for quality local steel to be used in construction. When he first saw draft drawings for the hospital carparks, he observed that imported angle members had been specified. However, he knew that Austube Mills Rectangular Hollow Structural (RHS) sections could provide a stronger and more durable structural solution. Being lighter, they offered the added benefit of being easier to handle and cheaper to galvanise. McMillan successfully convinced Lendlease to substitute the imported angle members with locally produced members supplied by Austube Mills, part of Liberty OneSteel.

Although the local RHS sections were a more expensive product, they allowed for a more secure connection to other materials, which McMillan says is an essential consideration when fabricating a multi-level carpark. Approximately 140 tonnes of painted RHS was supplied by Austube Mills in Newcastle to Liberty OneSteel Metalcentre Coopers Plains, where it was cut and drilled. The order was notable for its quick turnaround – it took just three days from order placement to deliver material from Newcastle to Brisbane.

All Austube Mills steel products are third-party certified and required to pass exacting quality assurance checks, so Regson knew they would receive what they specified. “It’s important that fabrication projects are already scoped to use first-grade steel products so that our finished products are free from defects and exceed our client’s expectations,” McMillan said.

Sourcing a home-grown product was another motivating factor for McMillan: “Regson Fabrication knows there are tough conditions facing the manufacturing industry so by purchasing Australian-made products, we’re doing our bit to retain jobs and keep the money flowing through our local economy.”

Austube Mills Queensland Sales Manager Adrian Bothams said: “It’s great that Australian companies such as Regson Fabrication appreciate the real value of a local supply chain in delivering quality design and construction outcomes, particularly on such an important project for the community.

“By winning the Contractor of the Year award for its work on the car park façade, Regson has shown that an uncompromising attitude and working together to achieve a common goal can result in recognition for a job well done,” he said.