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Steve Martin helps deliver quality apartment projects and minimise future maintenance needs

With the assurance they provide quiet, comfortable, safe and secure living environments as well as fast installation, Hebel internal wall systems are the preferred choice for high rise multi-residential buildings.

Helping to ensure that these systems deliver the exceptional benefits they promise is Quality Inspector, Steve Martin.

Steve is a member of the team at Richard Crookes Constructions Pty Ltd (RCC), which has been building projects for government and private clients in NSW and the ACT for more than four decades.

“Richard Crookes Constructions take a proactive approach to building,” Steve said. “By doing this, we can minimise our future maintenance needs as well as deliver a quality project.”

As part of this proactive approach, Steve visits RCC building sites to check that the various systems, including Hebel intertenancy and service walls, are installed as specified.

“In this way we make doubly sure that Australian Standards are observed and Building Code of Australia requirements are followed,” he said.

Among the recent RCC high rise residential projects where Steve has inspected the installation of Hebel intertenancy walls are:

  • Aqua Apartments building at Bondi Junction. Built by RCC for Qualitas (formerly Leighton Properties) the project comprises 129 units over 20 residential levels, with Hebel intertenancy wall systems on every floor.
  • Lucent at North Sydney. Built by RCC for the Greenland Group, this project also features the high acoustic and fire rating provided by Hebel wall systems throughout the 210 units on its 19 residential floors.
  • Union Apartments development in Terry Street, Balmain. Built by RCC for the Anka Property Group, this three-building complex comprises a total of 201 units whose residents also enjoy the high performance of Hebel intertenancy walls.

The decision to use Hebel internal wall systems in residential buildings such as these not only ensures quietness, comfort, safety and security for the people who live in the apartments but also facilitates the speed with which the development is completed.

Significant time saving

Steve agrees that the use of Hebel wall systems, compared with an all-plasterboard system, can result in significant time-saving on a building project.

“Hebel is certainly a much quicker way to build, which is a big bonus to a developer,” he said.

The speed results from factors including ease of installation and the ability to install the Hebel PowerPanel wall leaf during wet and damp conditions, without the need for windows to go in first. In addition, with a Hebel system there is less material to be lifted into the building by crane, and there is no setting time.

“Once it’s installed, with the joints sealed and the top fire-rated, then you can walk away and know it’s finished,” explained Steve. “There are still the same requirements for services penetration, such as electricity [except fire-rate GPOs which Hebel systems don’t require], plumbing and air-conditioning, but the speed of the build is a definite advantage when Hebel is used. You can achieve a similar fire rating and a similar acoustic rating by using plasterboard methods but it’s a longer and harder process. I would estimate that 80-90% of our residential high rises now use Hebel.”

Benefiting from presentation developed for contractors

As well as ensuring the wall systems are installed according to Hebel’s guidelines, RCC have gone a step further by producing a PowerPoint presentation as additional assistance for the contractors who do the installation work.

This has been prepared by the Quality Assurance team at RCC, with assistance from CSR Hebel, as a visual presentation to complement the informative Hebel installation guide.

“We run the presentation as an open discussion for all the tradespeople involved, such as plumbers and electricians, as well as the installer and our on-site supervisors, so they’re fully aware of how it should be installed,” said Steve. “We’ve found it provides a good visual addition to the information in the guide.”

Through working with Hebel in this proactive way, Richard Crookes Constructions continues to ensure the quality not only of the walls but also of the overall building product that the company delivers.

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