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How the use of Hebel has helped to empower Ryan Steyn to succeed in the building industry

In the tough world of construction, Ryan Steyn believes in keeping things light.

Early in his career he discovered the advantages of a quality, lightweight masonry product when he began working with building contractors who used Hebel systems.

While learning that he liked the many benefits of Hebel, Ryan found that there were other aspects of the construction industry that didn’t appeal to him.

“I didn’t get paid by some people, and I didn’t like the way other people ran jobs,” he said.

Somewhat disillusioned but far from defeated, in 2007 Ryan launched Empower Construction, a Sydney-based business specialising in installing Hebel products which had inspired him to make his own stand in the building world.

In just 10 years, Empower has built up a strong reputation as specialists in lightweight construction, supplying, installing and advising on cladding. They are key installers for residential and low-rise multi-residential projects, with clients including Metricon, Felton Homes and the Sunland Group to name just a few.

(L) Empower Construction team installing Hebel for Metricon.
(R) A Felton Home built using Hebel installed by Empower Construction.

Homes are finished faster with Hebel

As his business has grown and expanded, Ryan has become more and more convinced of the benefits of Hebel systems compared with more traditional construction methods.

“Hebel also has excellent thermal rating – much better than brick veneer. And then there’s the high fire rating performance, which means we can use Hebel virtually anywhere.”

“Putting up one Hebel PowerPanelXL, which is the product used for residential cladding, is equivalent to laying about 90 bricks,” he explained. “This means the overall construction time is a lot faster. Using Hebel also reduces the labour factor on site. I would estimate that building a house using Hebel takes about one third of the time it would take to build that same house using bricklayers, and requires about a third of the manpower.

“Hebel also has excellent thermal rating – much better than brick veneer. And then there’s the high fire rating performance, which means we can use Hebel virtually anywhere.”

Among the projects where Empower has demonstrated the benefits in time, cost and quality of using the Hebel PowerPanelXL system is the ‘The Parc’, a Sunland Group residential development at Kellyville comprising 300 designer townhomes. The use of Hebel helped to ensure that the homes, the majority of which were sold before construction began, were finished to a high quality and in faster time than would have been achieved by traditional building methods.

Following the success of this project, Sunland also teamed with Empower to install Hebel cladding for the group of about 150 freestanding homes and terraces that comprise the Dahlia Residences at North Kellyville.

Sunland Group’s ‘The Parc’ development at Kellyville built using Hebel installed by Empower Construction.

Keeping pace with building developments

As his business has developed, Ryan has ensured that his own skills and knowledge have kept pace with the industry in which he works.

“I had a background in waterproofing, working on some major Westfield shopping centres, and from that I learned how critical it was to be exact and clinical in the way you finish things,” he said. “I took that pride in my job into working with Hebel in the commercial area, but then I realised I would need specific qualifications to work in the residential building area.”

Once more undaunted, Ryan proceeded to obtain licences in building, carpentry and bricklaying, bolstering his knowledge of various aspects of the industry along the way.

“This has helped me to understand the products I work with, and to be able to explain them to clients,” he said.

The positive approach Ryan brings to his work applies even to any possibility that multi-residential construction may slow down in the future.

“When the market booms, people will take on any contractor, just to get the work done,” he said. “So if the market slows down in the coming years, it could be a good thing because it would mean there is time for quality tradesmen and good workmanship.”

Whatever the state of the market, Ryan believes in providing quality work at all times, a fact recognised by the industry in November 2016 when Empower Construction took out the Business of the Year award in the Trades and Property category at the 2016 Optus My Business Awards.

“Speed is obviously important in our work but, overall, people remember the quality of that work and how we finish the job,” he said.

“Our success and growth in the industry is also due to working with the right staff and suppliers. Being able to work in conjunction with CSR Hebel is one of the reasons we have gone so far.”

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