May 16, 2020

Australia’s construction industry set for $35bn renovation boom

Australian Construction
Tom Wadlow
2 min
Construction site
Australia looks set to benefit from a surge in renovation projects to the tune of $35bn between now and 2023.

The nation’s construction industry, wor...

Australia looks set to benefit from a surge in renovation projects to the tune of $35bn between now and 2023.

The nation’s construction industry, worth around $173bn a year, will benefit from a boom in regenerative projects over the next five years, according to a new report by Master Builders Australia.

Last year saw the beginning of this growth in alterations and additions (renovations) work for residential builders. Over the course of 2017, these works reached a value of $6.6bn, the highest seen for 10 years.

Matthew Pollock, Maser Builders Australia’s National Manager of Economics, said: “Importantly it has provided a much needed lifeline for small building businesses outside of Melbourne and Sydney who have seen the new housing construction side of their businesses struggle in the last few years.”

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While much of Australia’s new build projects have been centred on Sydney and Melbourne, Master Builders Australia’s research shows a reversal in this trend.

Pollock added: “We expect growth to be strongest in South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland, which is great news for our members in those states who have been doing it tough.”

The study, Building and Construction Industry Forecasts, is available to purchase or free to access for members of Master Builders Australia, the country’s major construction trade association which represents the interests of 32,000 members.

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Jun 24, 2021

Skanska invests $225m in Houston office project

Skanska
offices
Sustainability
Drones
Dominic Ellis
2 min
Skanska plans to build a 28-floor office tower in Houston as its London office receives WELL Platinum sustainability ranking and drone trials are underway

Skanska is investing US$225m in an office development project, 1550 on the Green in Houston, with construction expected to begin in June and scheduled to be completed in 2024.

The construction contract is worth US$125M, which will be included in the Q2 order bookings. International law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has signed a 15-year lease for about 30 percent of the building.

Located at 1550 Lamar Street, adjacent to Discovery Green, in downtown Houston, Skanska plans to develop and build a 28-floor, 34,800 square meter office tower.

1550 on the Green will be the first part of a three-block master plan by Skanska, which will transform the parcels into a distinguished district known as Discovery West and consist of 3.5 acres of mixed-use development full of restaurants, retail and lush green space. The project will target LEED and WiredScore Platinum certifications.

Since 2009, Skanska has invested a total of US$2.8 billion in commercial and multi-family projects, creating more than 1 million square meters of sustainable and community focused developments in select U.S. markets. Skanska USA had sales of SEK66 billion in 2020 with 7,600 employees in its operations.

Skanska’s flagship London office has set the standard in sustainable workspaces by becoming the first in the UK to achieve WELL Platinum under the new v2 pilot scheme.

The accreditation from the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) was awarded through the v2 pilot, the newest version of the WELL Building Standard. It looks at all building features and management processes – from air and water quality to lighting, acoustics, nutrition, thermal comfort and mental wellbeing. It’s widely recognised as the industry yardstick for measuring how workspaces can contribute to the wellbeing of occupants.

The offices – which span three floors of the newly developed 51 Moorgate – contain floor-to-ceiling windows for extensive natural light, dedicated wellbeing and quiet spaces, as well as stringent air and water quality monitoring, among a range of other features that have helped earn the standard.

The company has also been exploring drone flights for use in industrial environments.

Peter Cater, Development Manager, said it was invited to carry out trials because of its use and knowledge of drone capability. "The trials have benefited everyone involved: sees.ai get to test their equipment and remote use of the drones and we get access to accurate, real-time data on our construction activities which benefits us and our customer, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation."

“Projects like this – at the forefront of innovation – go to show what an exciting industry construction is to be involved in. We are always looking for innovative ways of working, ways to be more sustainable so we can find better solutions for our customers. These trials are just one small part of our digital transformation journey.”

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