Government, Education, Retail and More

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-By Robert Hoshowsky

Since it was formed in 2005, SMI Group Pty Ltd has endeavoured to provide clients with a fresh approach to service, quality, focus and direction in the construction and property industries. Serving the needs of private companies and government in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and the Southern region of Australia, the SMI Group specialises in the delivery of built environments across the nation, and is able to provide an extensive range of construction services including fitout, refurbishment, construction management, value management and cost planning, green solutions, building, maintenance and fire services, and more.

“At the time SMI Group was created, we saw the need to offer a good, customer-focused building company to the market with our own ideals and drive,” said Adam Kaufhold, the company’s Managing Director. A university graduate with a background in construction management, Mr Kaufhold held other management positions in retail and hospitality prior to forming the privately-owned SMI Group with two other partners. Over the past seven years, the company has maintained its vision of providing a high level of personalised service which meets and often exceeds the needs and expectations of its clients. “We are committed to outstanding client service, technical proficiency in the services we provide, and making a positive contribution to Australia’s construction and property industries,” says Mr Kaufhold.

With a thorough knowledge of building and project delivery along with strong management systems and procedures, the SMI Group is much more than an everyday construction company. Along with providing an ongoing commitment to developing and maintaining client relationships and demonstrating competence, versatility and professionalism through skilled and qualified staff, the SMI Group provides a broad scope of construction contracting and professional management services. These include serving as principal contractor, construction management, turnkey project solutions, program management, value management, building services and maintenance, with all services providing clients with timely, suitable and cost-effective results.

The SMI Group takes on projects to the $10 million range, says Mr Kaufhold. “Our core business is fitout and refurbishment across various sectors, such as government, commercial, retail, health, defence, and hospitality.” A key point of difference for SMI Group is its strong customer focus. With the belief that every project and customer is unique, the company adopts this approach of individuality towards each and every job, no matter the dollar value. With this in mind, the SMI Group’s skilled staff tailor each construction service to precisely fit client needs, creating positive outcomes, and ensuring on time and on budget delivery.

With a committed staff of 45, the team at SMI Group delivers from inception to project completion. All of the company’s engagements with clients and subcontractors are based on Industry Best Practices. “This means all our management systems are accredited,” comments Mr Kaufhold, “our quality, environmental, and Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) are all accredited systems. Industry Best Practices means a sound and robust method of doing business, carrying out processes and procedures, and limiting risk to the client as well.” Along with an Integrated Management System and implementation of OH&S management systems (accredited to AS/NZS ISO 9001:2008 and AS/NZS 4801:2001 respectively), all SMI Group projects are meticulously organised with a strong focus on quality control. The company is also capable of delivering end-to-end sustainable and green solutions, and is committed to providing a safe workplace for employees, clients, and third parties.

“We have three separate divisions at the SMI Group: SMI Project Services, SMI Building Services, and SMI Fire Services,” says Mr Kaufhold. The first division, SMI Project Services, is comprised of fully qualified professional project teams with decades of combined industry experience. Formed in 2006, the company’s Building Services division excels at managing building and maintenance activities within occupied sites across all building and engineering trades, which adds value to client facilities. With a range of multi-skilled 24/7 technicians, experienced tradesmen and managers, SMI Building Services is able to take on a range of maintenance tasks during regular working hours, and handle emergency breakdown maintenance requests as necessary.

SMI Fire Services – which was also created in 2006 – provides maintenance solutions to over 1,000 sites across the ACT and Southern NSW. “We perform fire service installation, such as residential and commercial fire sprinkler and detection systems, and maintenance of those fire systems,” says Mr Kaufhold of the company, which handles automatic fire alarm systems (conventional or addressable), EWS and EWIS systems, and Vesda systems, along with fire doors and frame supply and/or installation, passive fire rating, certification and inspections, portable firefighting equipment, fire hose reels, hydrant systems, special hazard systems, and more.

With an ongoing commitment to excellence in all areas, the SMI Group won a prestigious Master Builders Award in 2010 for its work on the Peoplebank fitout in Canberra (Commercial and Retail Fitout, Refurbishment or Alteration $1 – 3 Million). Handling a range of private and government contracts on a regular basis, the company has an awareness of the importance of creating not only professional quality projects, but work that accurately represents the client’s corporate image. Over the years, SMI has been engaged in all aspects of modern commercial workplaces, and created reception and waiting areas that are open and accessible to staff and visitors alike, along with inspired training and meeting rooms, well-designed open plan office areas, and other maintenance and alterations that clients require post-occupation and for the life of the fitout. Among the company’s corporate clients are well-known entities like Johnson & Johnson, Qantas, FedEx, Hewlett Packard, and Colliers International to name a few.

Excelling in many other sectors, SMI has successfully completed a number of education-based projects – many of them complex refurbishment jobs within the challenging surroundings of occupied schools – incorporating robust OH&S Management Systems to ensure the safety of staff and students alike. Able to deliver complex tasks on time, SMI has improved the educational facilities of the Catholic Education Office, the ACT Government, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, the University of Canberra, Victoria University, and others.

In other sectors – including Health, Technology, Hospitality and Retail – the SMI Group puts to good use its familiarity with the complex logistics that must be successfully addressed, including operational and regulatory requirements, engineering experience, complex installations involving electronic and physical security, data centres, building management systems, laboratory fitout, function and finishes. Many of the company’s longstanding clients – such as the National Health and Medical Research Council, Unisys, CSIRO Laboratories, the Royal Military College Hospital, Hyatt Hotel Group, Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse, and the Queensland Investment Corporation – appreciate SMI’s attention to detail.

In 2011, Mr Kaufhold estimates that about 60 per cent of SMI’s business was in contracts for the Australian Government. “We sit on various government panels, and are pre-qualified with Commonwealth and local government,” he says of the company which has created high-level security builds within government buildings, physical and electronic security, conference rooms, secure rooms, and general office fitout. With considerable experience working within occupied offices and public buildings, SMI’s experienced site teams are able to professionally manage construction activities, and all of the company’s management systems are fully accredited and compliant with Federal and State requirements. Two of the company’s recent projects include a high-profile, detailed build for The Australian Institute of Management which took 12 weeks at a cost of $2.65 million, and an exhibition space for The National Museum of Australia, which took 15 weeks to complete, and cost $2.7 million.

Just as the SMI Group is rooted in a tradition of quality workmanship, the company also has an eye on the future. The firm has undertaken a number of environmentally friendly projects, and employs several Green Star accredited professionals to assist with projects. Additionally, there are plans to expand the range of the SMI Group in the next few years and open offices in Sydney and Queensland in the next two to three years.

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 16, 2020, 11:02 AM AEST