A Foundation of Excellence


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-By Aleisha Parr

When Andrew Briggs took ownership last year of Buxton Construction, he planned to refocus the business in a “˜back to basics’ campaign. Mr Briggs had already been working with the Victoria company as General Manager for fifteen years beside Richard Buxton – who founded Buxton Construction in 1968 – and so knew intimately the quality and prestige that he was now representing. As such, his plans did not require for any drastic changes to be made, either in terms of operations or staff, merely to ensure that all clients continued to receive the same or better outcomes on each and every project.

“It was what I call going back to basics,” said Mr Briggs, “and back to basics and the core competency of the business is building . . . The main thing in building is being able to build efficiently, delivering on time with a high level of quality which we’re renowned for.”

It is this commitment to subtle enhancements on already high quality outcomes which sets Buxton Construction apart from its competition in an uncertain marketplace. Explains Mr Briggs, “The state of the industry is at a bit of a cusp. It’s been very quiet over the last two to three months, with some new projects now appearing. And so it’s a little bit unknown with regards to where things are actually going to go . . . everyone is becoming a little concerned about what the future holds for them in regards to future workload.”

At the same time, he expresses his confidence in Buxton Construction’s ability to continue its enduring success due to some internal marketing and a commitment to project selectivity. He says, “Our focus is very much on delivering on quality. We’re not a sausage factory builder, whereas we won’t chase anything and everything we can get our hands on just for the sake of turnover, it’s more being selective in the projects which we work on and in specific fields.”

Those specific fields currently include hospitality and leisure, with recent projects spanning golf clubhouses, sporting complexes, aquatic centres, as well as a selection of health and aged care facilities and some multi-unit apartment complexes.

Offering a full array of construction services, including cost planning, design reviews, value engineering, and buildability assessments all the way through to construction management, design, project management, and full construction services, Buxton Construction is able to satisfy even the most demanding requests in order to maintain enduring client and partner relationships.

In a similar vein, Buxton Construction places a high regard on respect within the company, establishing close bonds with employees and upholding a family culture within the workplace in keeping with what was established by Richard Buxton from the company’s early days. Explains Mr Briggs, “One of the main aspects we’re looking at is promotion from within, so very much trying to focus on maintaining staff and to encourage existing staff in regards to the availability of advancement within the organisation.”

As the strengths within the company continue to grow, so too will the company itself. Already, the Buxton name is synonymous with quality, with prestigious projects to its credit and many more on the horizon.

Most recently, Buxton Construction completed work on the St Kilda Football Club Development, a 3500 square metre single level building in Belvedere Park, Seaford. The $7.4 million project consisted of a community sports hall, gymnasium, recovery pool, ice baths, spas, change and locker rooms, lecture theatre, medical and fitness staff facilities and football department offices. With the site located adjacent to the iconic Melbourne Cricket Grounds, Buxton Construction was right at home in creating for the St Kilda Football Club a compelling facility with an equally high level of quality. The building’s form consisted of a structural steel frame on concrete ground slabs with precast wall panels, aluminium sandwich panels and extensive glazing.

Throughout the project, the St Kilda Football Club was still in operation as the team trained on the premises, presenting a host of challenges aptly met by Buxton Construction.

Similarly, in the company’s work last year at the Kingston Heath Golf Clubhouse, the project was completed in several stages to ensure that members of the club had full use of the facilities throughout the construction period. This particular project, with a budget of $5.58 million, required extensive demolition of existing sections of the original building, along with the construction of new male and female locker rooms, a pro shop, administration facilities, a kitchen and dining room, and refurbishment of the existing dining and bar areas. Constructed of masonry, steel and timbre, the single-storey structure was given a slate roof complimentary to the original building. In compliance with ESD principles, the building stores its own captured rainwater for use within the complex. A new entrance – complete with a porte cochere and an outdoor terrace – were the final design attributes, the quality of which assured the facility a position among the country’s best.

This type of involved process inevitably carries with it unique challenges, as described by Mr Briggs: “The ground conditions certainly presented challenges. As well, once we uncovered the existing structure, working in the existing structure [presents challenges] when you expose elements previously hidden by finishes. There are certainly a number of challenges in dealing with those sorts of conditions and trying to overcome [them].” Additionally, when working on such a prestigious project, it is imperative that all deliverables are achieved at the utmost level of quality while also ensuring a smooth construction process. Mr Briggs explained that communication was key to ensuring that both the client as well as the clients’ own customers felt that they were being appreciated throughout the process.

He concluded, “The main message, which we always try to convey, is that we build our name on our reputation which is about being selective in what we undertake, where we try to service, and to provide service over and beyond what our competitors would provide in delivering quality projects which last the test of time.”

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’?

January 21, 2021, 11:16 PM AEDT