WA’s Boutique Builder

M Construction

M Construction is a division of well-known Perth based property group Match, which rose to prominence as a boutique inner city apartment developer. M Construction was established in 2010 to support a marked increase in demand for “genuine design-construction integration and property customisation,” reports M Construction Director Michael Read.

The company has been living up to expectations ever since, delivering $30 million worth of innovative projects to date via a distinctive ‘boutique’ approach.

M Construction has also managed to step out of the shadow of its prominent parent company. “M Construction has independently built repute through the undertaking of third party construction contracts,” Mr Read points out. Match has simultaneously “evolved into a highly effective, vertically integrated organisation that maximises in-house expertise to effectively identify, procure, construct and market development opportunities.”

The relationship is win-win, for all involved parties. “Today, all companies operating within the Group infrastructure intrinsically provide benefit to each other through input, experience and insights shared between company associates,” Mr Read explains.

M Construction delivers design, construction and management services for residential, commercial, retail and government projects. The company’s primary focus has been on the design and construction of multi-residential apartments over three storeys tall, as well as serviced apartments and fit outs, general commercial works and the construction management of large-scale projects.

Over the last four years, M Construction has proved its mettle to parent company Match after successfully executing a series of minor company projects and earning its credentials as an independent building contractor. As a result, Match recently granted M Construction its first full-scale appointment, which will involve the construction of a $10 million multi-residential development located in Port Coogee, WA.

Another noteworthy current project is the construction of Baileys Serviced Apartments in Perth. “This high profile property is one of only a few in the vicinity that has been proclaimed as a catalyst for redevelopment in this part of the City,” Mr Read reports. The $10 million project involves eight levels, 35 rooms, basement car parking, and a rooftop gymnasium. There have also been a number of special challenges associated with the project; most notably, the city’s major gas supply ran right past the site, requiring the builders to utilise innovative construction techniques to avoid a gas leak. The site was also located on a major intersection. Furthermore, the new apartments cover the entire lot, requiring some creative manoeuvring to make room for all the trades and deliveries.

The team rose to the occasion, however, and used the opportunity to introduce new and innovative techniques to the market. “M Construction overcame challenges to create a showcase building that introduces new building products such as the newly patented AFS TSS Wire panel to the lift core,” Mr Read shares. “It is the first and only site in WA where the material has been used this way.” M Construction has also recently adopted another newly created AFS panel system, known as Thermal Panel, for use in a $4 million warehouse-style structure in Karratha that is currently under construction for the Tambrey Bottleshop. “M Construction continues to explore new materials and innovative techniques,” adds Mr Read.

As M Construction grows, the team is committed to maintaining the original focus that has helped set the company apart. “Having been born from a design-focused boutique developer, M Construction is steered by design detail, quality and project control,” Mr Read explains. “Such strategies have engendered the company’s success and enabled it to stand out in the competitive building environment.”

The company also stands out for its knowledgeable and talented staff. “The company has a comprehensive understanding of design and construct, which gives it the ability to value engineer as a matter of course. It is innovative, creative, and draws from the vast experience of its personnel and building network to provide positive construction outcomes in a timely manner.” And, the team’s understanding goes beyond general design and construct concepts. “We also have an intimate knowledge of the local property development market and a creative mindset in providing and executing commercial design and construction solutions.”

The team also approaches the design and construct process somewhat differently than many competitors. “M Construction specialises in providing genuine design and construct services, whereby the builder gets involved in the early stages of development and works with the developer and architect to provide building solutions and avoid unnecessary cost expenditure,” Mr Read explains. “Where the building industry has conventionally been known as ‘bullish’, the co-operative and collaborative approach we take with our clients is more reflective of our parent organisation, Match, which takes a strong focus on product and design outcomes. We believe this makes us stand out in the industry.”

The approach also wins over clients, which in turn helps produce a more positive outcome. “As a by-product of its commitment to each project, M Construction often forms solid client relationships that allows for a ‘meeting of minds’ and fluid communications, which is critical during the construction,” Mr Read explains. “We are not a traditional, typical commercial builder that hinders the work; we negotiate and become part of the team.”

This approach is in keeping with current industry trends. “This industry is shifting from the traditional building tender process that sees builders as the enemy and appoints contractors on price, to the design-construct model that brings the builder in the early stages of development to work with the design team,” Mr Read shares. “The previous model is archaic and, although it is still used in small to medium projects, there is often a discrepancy between the architect’s plans and the practicalities of making them happen on the ground.”

M Construction’s approach, on the other hand, enables the builder to “work with the complete picture and not compete on costs,” leading to a more successful outcome. “There are unlikely to be cost blowouts which have sadly become synonymous with major construction projects,” Mr Read explains. Honest and accurate communication is key, as disputes between builders and clients often arise from the builder’s failure to communicate exactly what the client should expect. “Whereas we try to make [timelines and costs] crystal clear at the beginning of the project so that everyone is fully aware. And we make adjustments along the way; if we can make a saving it goes back to the client. We are not here to profit gouge in any way. We are here to get repeat business. And that is what we get.”

The team is looking forward to using their skills and expertise to continue growing the company. Over the short term, the business plans to continue to increase its workload with parent company Match, focusing predominantly on mid-size, mixed use multi-residential apartment projects in the $10 million to $15 million range. “Its long-term goal, however, is for M Construction to grow alongside Match in a controlled sustainable manner, while retaining and building a select group of private clientele,” Mr Read reports.

The company will have to contend with increasing competition, however, as companies from the eastern states begin to enter the increasingly lucrative WA marketplace. But the team is not concerned; they know that they possess a distinct advantage over any Johnny-come-lately to the Perth building boom. The fact that M Construction is local and has an extensive understanding of the local landscape “adds a great deal of value to any project,” Mr Read explains. The future therefore, looks bright. “M Construction plans to keep doing what it does best.”

For more information about M Construction, please visit http://mconstruction.com.au/home

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January 17, 2019, 6:28 AM AEDT