Satisfaction in a Job Well Done


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-By Tim Hocken

“What attracted me to this business was the satisfaction of being able to build things,” says Mr. Henry Bongers, one of four Directors of BDH Constructions Pty Ltd. These words speak volumes about the philosophy behind his company; BDH builds because it’s what they love to do, and it shows in the results they achieve for their clients. “Committed management is vital,” reads BDH’s website, and the company has this in spades. Its commitment to quality and consistency is evident in every job it does; its directors are invested, not merely financially, but emotionally. Clearly, BDH Constructions represents something just a little bit different in Australia’s construction industry.
Founded in 2002, BDH Constructions Pty Ltd was forged out of two growing branches of a smaller company. As the two branches continued to expand, it became prudent that they come together as BDH, bringing more than 20 years combined experience together under one roof. The present company employs approximately 80 individuals under four Directors, and has grown to be a true leader in the residential and commercial building sectors, servicing Colac, Warrnambool, Geelong, and surrounding districts. Applying its expertise to projects ranging from custom residential builds to commercial and retail operations to municipal offices, services, and administration buildings, BDH is able to utilize its highly trained workforce to operate more than 50 active work sites at any given time, all the while focusing on quality, safety, and timeliness.

Taking a Risk

Far from playing it safe with established designs or pre-fabricated structures, BDH instead chooses to focus its work on one-of-a-kind custom builds. As Mr. Bongers says, “we never build the same thing twice,” and it is these unique projects which help to keep BDH at the top of its game. “Every one of the houses we’ve built has some very unique qualities, and they’ve all been exciting to work on… it’s always a challenge, but it’s also very satisfying and rewarding”.

This satisfaction, for Mr. Bongers, goes far beyond simply delivering a quality product. “One of the greatest satisfactions,” he says, “is in the relationships that you build with people – customers, suppliers, consultants, architects, sub-contractors. When you build someone a house… you’re dealing with people’s emotions. It is one of the most significant investments they’ll ever make, and the satisfaction you get from that is a fantastic feeling. When you can make something happen for people it’s very rewarding”.

Seeing it Through

Describing itself as a “turnkey operation”, BDH takes a start-to-finish approach to its work. The company offers its clients the full range of construction services; advising from the earliest stages, securing permits and consultation, providing full construction processes and professional cleanup, and even following through to landscaping and furnishings if desired by the client. BDH aims to provide unique environments that are also serviceable and liveable, and leaves each site in move-in condition.

Part of what gives BDH Constructions the capacity to operate so comprehensively is its commitment to providing in-house expertise. BDH acts as principal contractor, training apprentices on an annual basis and directly employing its own specialists such as carpenters. Rather than relying on sub-contractors, the company itself can see any project through from beginning to end, “while maintaining staff levels sufficient to take on large tasks”. Combining this technical expertise with true pride in workmanship enables BDH to consistently meet and exceed its clients’ expectations.

It is this focus on the finished product which has truly set BDH apart in its field. While Mr. Bongers recognizes the importance of remaining competitive, he is quick to emphasize that quality, above all else, is what the client will remember. Delivering a quality finished product on time, every time, is one of BDH’s primary goals, and it is this commitment which has kept many clients coming back to the company with repeat business – for renovations, extensions, and upgrades.

The Challenge of Growth

In only eight short years, business at BDH Constructions has quite assuredly boomed. Growing from a staff of about 20 to one of 80, one challenge has been in maintaining the company’s own high standards for quality, safety, and training. With 34 school buildings presently under construction in addition to all its other tasks, the company is in the midst of a growth spurt, enabling it to increase levels of employment even during the global financial crisis. Mr. Bongers stresses the importance of controlling this growth; safety remains of primary importance, and to this end each and every project has a full-time project manager and site supervisor, while the company employs a full-time safety officer to oversee its operations. Training apprentices and supporting employees’ career paths through ongoing education are also among BDH’s top priorities.

This eye toward careful but consistent growth has enabled BDH Constructions to take on a wide variety of projects throughout the region. In addition to its unique offerings in the residential housing market, the company has tackled projects as diverse as health and aged care facilities, retail shops, fire and ambulance stations, schools, and sports stadiums. BDH has also undertaken some truly novel recreational and tourist facilities, such as the Otway Fly project located approximately 40 minutes drive from Colac and 50 minutes from Apollo Bay, in a rainforest adjacent to Triplet Falls. BDH’s work on the project was completed in 2003, and Mr. Bongers has described it as being a “very enjoyable and rewarding project”; working in the rainforest in particular offered the company a truly singular and fun experience. Please see sidebar for additional details on this exciting project.

It is very telling that, while Mr. Bongers clearly takes pride in his work, in some ways he actually laments certain aspects of his directorial role at BDH Constructions Pty Ltd. He misses, for example, getting out on the equipment and getting his hands dirty on a work site. He speaks with true reverence about projects he’s had a hand in, describing fondly the experience of revisiting houses built 20 years ago and seeing them still standing, still iconic, still monuments to the successes of his company and the roots from which it grew.

As BDH Constructions Pty Ltd looks toward the future, it is clear that the company has truly found its niche in Australia’s construction industry. Not merely an expert in inimitable custom homes, BDH’s true expertise lies in its commitment to its clients and its pride in a job well done.

Home Automation

Call it ‘domotics,’ and you are likely to receive a blank stare, but refer to it as ‘smart home’ or ‘home automation,’ and you will get a nod of acknowledgement. For the past few years, consumers have heard the word ‘smart’ attached to countless products and services, from food and drink to snacks like popcorn and mobile phones, which no one seems to refer to as a ‘cellphone’ anymore. Yet what, exactly, constitutes ‘smart’?

June 1, 2020, 6:02 AM AEST