Leading with Imagination

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In uncertain economic times, residential and commercial design firms must strive to be inventive and creative. From conception to completion, each building must raise the bar to innovate, as well as take on increasingly greater risk. The superior design team at Urban Construct has navigated through a global recession to emerge as a successful company that takes risks and capitalises on opportunities. Additionally, its commitment to gentrification, remediation and genuine concern for the environment is unparalleled.

Based in Adelaide and specialising in residential and commercial development, Urban Construct began in 1998. According to CEO Todd Brown, what continues to set it apart is “while it’s a private company, it operates with all the disciplines of a public company.” Brown speaks highly of a core, multidisciplinary team of 17, which combines the experience of well-seasoned designers with the fresh ideas of new graduates. This number grows into the hundreds when projects advance from concept, to development, to construction, where partnering with other firms is necessary. Urban Construct’s transparent nature, with its dedication to openness and honesty, has engendered a reputation of hardworking people who believe nothing is worth doing unless it is done correctly. This team is committed to making its mark and continuing success in this multi-award winning company.

Recognised very early as a leader in its field, Urban Construct has been the recipient of numerous awards since 2002. Brown, speaking on behalf of Urban Construct’s impressive repertoire, says there is “heart and soul put into these projects…they’re like your children. We’re particularly proud of the ones that have received local and international recognition.” The Urban Construct website is a feast for the eyes and it is clear that all praise and credit is due. At www.urbanconstruct.com.au you can virtually tour residential projects, the world-class commercial office towers available for lease, and internationally recognised commercial projects such as the Adelaide Central Bus Station.

A big success factor for Urban Construct is its risk management. The company has excelled and remained successful after the global recession of the last few years. Urban Construct’s team has a strong ability to read markets and according to its CEO, “the external economic condition we just lived through is testament to our risk mitigation strategies. They are second to none. There is an ability to read markets and read opportunities.” Designing intentionally and with conviction for exceptional buildings, Brown admits one of the most difficult parts of his job is “managing expectations of citizens… and commercial expectations we have to deliver on.”

With its disciplined and focused vision of sustainability, Urban Construct has its feet firmly planted in a decade where “˜green’ living is no longer a suggestion, but essential among home buyers and residents of South Australia. With a sincere interest in creating communities that blend with natural landscapes, the firm has captured the imagination of many. The award winning design team has built an impressive reputation over the last dozen years and looks forward to expanding geographically in the present and into realms of greater innovation in the future.

Altitude at the Precinct

A vision for sustainability and reduced energy consumption is no longer being seen as niche marketing. Urban Construct is setting the bar higher through designing with the environment in mind, using natural resources to reduce reliance on energy. Symbiotic relationships are created through naturally occurring phenomena, and Urban Construct’s buildings work with the environment instead of impeding on it.

The best example is in the residential project Altitude at the Precinct, which uses rainfall and solar power to reduce energy consumption. Captured rainfall is re-circulated through the sanitation system while panels on the roof help subsidise power for all the common areas. It incorporates a pinwheel design that results, as Brown says, “in the maximisation of natural ventilation.” This is an expensive undertaking but well worth the investment. Brown says the project produces a “sensational sustainability outcome” and is indicative of things to come. As a previous industrial site, the project indeed represents the “revitalisation of an entire city block.”

Marina Cove

The Marina Cove project is another key example of Urban Construct’s eye toward the future. The project is the second stage of Newport Quays and will see homes created for over 2500 new residents. It is the largest development of its kind in South Australia project and its end value will be approximately 3 billion dollars. It is demonstrative of Urban Construct’s sensitivity and concern for the world beyond the drafting table. As the birthplace of revered Kaurna elder Lartelare, there was a collaborative effort between the state and local governments and Urban Construct to design with this in mind. Fusing the traditional with the modern is not an easy task but the project has pulled it off masterfully. Urban Construct is currently the sole project manager for this particular site.

Consumers are more fickle than ever when looking for homes. The “˜build-it-and-they-will-come’ atmosphere of the 2000s is gone. Urban Construct takes great care in its vision for creating communities rather than just buildings. The company engages in interaction with residents and takes a real interest in making connections with existing communities when taking on new projects. While redeveloping old industrial sites into new residential areas can be extremely costly, Urban Construct views it as an opportunity. Doing something great for the environment is invaluable to communities. These buildings will stand for decades to come, and their designers at Urban Construct have a passion for leaving a legacy and growing beyond the already successful Southern Australia market.

The future looks even brighter as Urban Construct looks to expand into Queensland markets beyond its Emerald Lakes project, while maintaining a strong foothold on the South Australia market. As commercial design evolves, look for Urban Construct to consistently deliver buildings with exceptionally high standards, revolutionizing the industry in the century to come.

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’?

July 14, 2020, 2:03 PM AEST