Smooth Operators

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-By Robert Hoshowsky

When it comes to successfully operating a family-owned construction company, Anthony Elzain sums up Maxcon Pty Ltd’s greatest strength in a single word: unity.

“There is much more care involved when you are dealing with a family business,” says Anthony. “It’s much more personalised, and caring.” Founded by Anthony along with his siblings David, Edmun, Joanne and Carol eight years ago, Maxcon has a rich history in construction; the siblings’ father worked in the industry for over three decades. As Managing Director for the privately-owned, Melbourne-based business, Anthony believes that the strong family aspect of the business is a point of difference for clients.

With a skilled staff of 50, Maxcon usually takes on projects valued at $15 million to $40 million, primarily in the residential/commercial arena. The same degree of quality and attention to detail can be seen in all its projects, including the company’s latest, 58 Clarke Street, Southbank, which will commence soon after demolition of the existing structure is complete. For the team at Maxcon, Habitat at 58 Clarke Street is one of the company’s most ambitious projects to date. “Normally, we take on projects of about 18 to 20 floors, and this has exceeded all that,” says Anthony of the residential/commercial project. At 34 storeys, the project is one of the company’s largest to date. Budgeted at $36.5 million, it will feature 147 apartments and has been designed by prominent architectural firm, ROTHELOWMAN ( – led by architects Shane Rothe and Kim Lowman – who has designed projects for many of Australia’s premier private and public organisations.

Residents of 58 Clarke Street will be able to enjoy apartment living in a uniquely designed and constructed building that is innovative, practical, and aesthetically spectacular. To be built on a relatively small site, both Maxcon and ROTHELOWMAN are successfully addressing a number of challenges relating to the location, which is in close proximity to an elevated freeway. According to the architect, the structure’s design serves as “a visual representation of sound waves, which forms the basis for a highly patterned and detailed building façade.” By incorporating a number of punched openings within a solid, textured wall, the designers have created a response to the freeway edge condition that is tasteful, aesthetically pleasing, and functional. Unique features, such as 10 sky gardens at regular intervals, will provide residents with spacious outdoor areas, offering spectacular views towards Melbourne East and protection from wind and noise. Below, the street level will feature an expansive residential entry space, retail shop, bike workshop and landscaping, while the roof level will feature landscaping, a cinema, and dining spaces.

Priding itself on its ability to deliver projects on time, on budget, and to specifications, the team at Maxcon has the knowledge and expertise to provide solutions for all clients that are diverse, innovative, and practical. Able to take on jobs that are design and construct, or construct only, the company ensures all projects run as seamlessly as possible, and provides internal project managers and an in-house design facility.

“We see projects all the way through from design to construct to completion,” comments Anthony of the company and its in-house design facility that can liaise with external consultants to ensure a smooth transition. Additionally, Maxcon has five of its own full-time internal project managers to ensure every project is handled properly. “What actually happens is we have a project manager running from the office, and we have a site supervisor on site, and we also have a construction manager that oversees everything,” says Anthony. “That is generally our methodology.”

At Maxcon, the company and its staff realise the need for risk evaluation for any and all construction projects, which is of the utmost importance to the company and clients. By conducting a risk assessment critique, Maxcon is able to address areas of a project to prevent potential problems. The company’s risk assessment extends to a number of areas, including: economic evaluation of current and forecast market conditions global and domestically; finance criteria specific to the project; form of contract and mandate relative thereto; review and assessment of tripartite agreement(s) where acceptable; review and assessment of latent conditions and costing thereof; regulatory presence, jurisdiction and impact, and any and all other matters likely to affect projected outcomes.

As a family owned and operated construction company, Maxcon is dedicated to maintaining strong ethical standards, combined with diligence and a commitment to continual consultation, innovation, skill, reliability and adaptability. For Managing Director Anthony Elzain and his entire crew and contractors, it is vital that the company adheres to the founding principles of industrial relations. Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) on job sites is just one area where Maxcon excels. The company is a firm believer in creating and embracing an open dialogue among all parties involved in construction projects – including the company itself, employees, and union representatives – and extending this awareness and responsibility to all members of the general public. Creating safe and harmonious working conditions on all project sites results in better relationships between the company, employees and contractors, a higher degree of efficiency, sustainable growth, increased job tenure, remunerative employee benefits, and a sound environment for the company and its many clients.

At Maxcon Pty Ltd, the company believes in treating all clients as if they were members of its own family, with decency, ethics, dependability, and above all, respect. The company is able to assist clients will all aspects of design and construction, including approval processes. All clients are informed about the construction progress of their individual project on a weekly basis.

As specialists in Australia’s residential/commercial field, Maxcon has been behind a number of high-quality, unique, and desirable projects. The past few years have seen state of the art work including the 14-storey Cube Service Apartments at 17-19 Exploration Lane in Melbourne, the 39 residential apartment building Nero Apartments at 13-15 Grattan Street in Prahran, and Coromandel Place, a $20.4 million design and construct, 18-storey plus basement 102-apartment structure. On the retail side, Maxcon’s Point Cook Retail – a sleek, single storey $5.9 million construct designed by Bruce Henderson Architects with ample space for 13 tenants – serves as an example of the company’s abilities in the retail sector.

Other projects underway include the $16.8 million Elan Apartments at 640 Elizabeth Street in Melbourne, a 10-storey residential/commercial project design and construct which will feature 50 apartments, and Tranquility Apartments. Set for completion in October of 2012, the $18.65 million, six-storey Tranquility will be located at 392 St. Georges Road in North Fitzroy, and be the home to 64 apartments and a two-level basement.

All of Maxcon’s projects – residential, commercial, and retail – receive the same care and attention to detail from start to finish that comes from working alongside a proud, Australian-owned and operated family business. As Maxcon’s Managing Director Anthony Elzain says, family-run businesses like his offer not only the services needed to get the job done right, but quality control that is second to none.

“We work on a maximum number of five projects at the same time,” says Anthony. “It means more control of our business this way, and that’s where it all comes back to the personalised, caring service that we like to provide.”

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 18, 2021, 8:37 PM AEDT