Pro Build’s Greenland Centre could be Sydney’s most recognised construction site

Pro Build Greenland Centre building steel structure looking up from the street with two tower cranes




Pro Build's Greenland Centre building steel structure looking from the street up to wards the sky with two tower cranes
Street view of Pro Build’s Greenland Centre building. Image by Chiagramz

Walking through the heart of Sydney city, there are construction sites everywhere. You have what feels like every second city street having the new 12km light rail being built by Acciona. Then there is all the high-rise construction happening throughout the city and surrounding areas. For perspective, the RBL crane index has listed Sydney as having 334 cranes erected in the second quarter of 2017. Sydney currently has over 50% of Australia’s tower crane population.

Pro Build’s Greenland Centre building

Of all the work that is happening, there is one construction site that stands out, one that everyone recognise. That is Pro Build’s Greenland Centre building. At the moment the original 1960’s building steel structure rises high, which will be incorporated into the new building’s structure.

Pro Build Greenland Centre building steel structure zoomed in with two tower cranes visible
The old steel structure makes an interesting subject to photograph. Image by Colourbydesign

Looking from the street, the skeleton, the remaining steel structure of the old building has a presence of its own. So much so, that photos of the structure have been flooding Instagram. This building can almost be used as a point of reference to anyone visiting the city.

The trouble that Sydney photographers are facing is, who has that one image that sets them apart. That photo that puts them ahead of the pack. There is everything from the street view, to window reflections and far away zoom pictures.

Who has the best photo?

Well, I guess, who has the best image is a question more of personal choice. For the time being, we have a short window of opportunity to try and capture that one special photo.

The rumour on the street is Pro Build has the new concrete structure up to ground level. So if you are looking to get a great photo, you may only have a few months before this unique view disappears.

Night time photo of Pro Build's Greenland Centre building with car lights, lit up site hoarding and the steel structure.
By night the steel structure with the access lighting it all interesting. Image by Thetravellingbuilder

Take a search on Instagram using the hashtag #greenlandcentre, #greenlandcentresyd and #greenlandcentresydney to find a few more images. Also, if you search the hashtag #towercranes, you will find a scattering of some of the images that feature this unique view of the Greenland Centre building. I will let you be the judge to which photo is the standout.

Leave a comment below about any interesting photos you find of this soon to be hidden Sydney gem.

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Clem Carpentry unique approach to challenges

Stairs, Clem Carpentry, design




When I spoke with Marc and Holly from Clem Carpentry, I figured that I would be writing about one of their projects. However, it was their business and how they have tackled some of the challenges that grabbed my attention.

Clem Carpentry’s niche market

Marc, Holly, Clem Carpentry
Marc and Holly from Clem Carpentry

Marc and Holly have found themselves in the niche market of high-end renovations, in their words “elegant restorations and renovations.” A boutique market that in my opinion puts a builders reputation on the line with every project.

I have a special spot in my heart for renovations, particularly with high-end and old buildings. The whole challenge, do you make your work plumb and level? Or do you match the existing building, so it all flows? The kind of work that tests all of us as tradesmen. From what Marc and Holly have shared with me, they are not only up for the challenge; they are excelling.

 

Stairs, Clem Carpentry, design
New stairs designed by Clem Carpentry

They are an impressive team; Marc is the carpenter and builder, and Holly is an interior designer. With their niche, they have the perfect team. They both enjoy working on older homes, which in Queensland Australia we call Queenslander’s.

 

Their well-suited teamwork is evident when a client asked them to replace the front stairs and restore the old homes character. They took what looks like an old 70’s style steel stairs and handrails and have created era perfect timber set.

Their attention to detail is second to none. With Holly providing well-detailed drawings and Marc’s attention to the seemly small details. For example, the priming of the step treads before being installed. And the housing out of the timber stump to allow the stairs to sit hard against the weatherboards at the top of the stairs.

Unique approach to challenges

Clem Carpentry attention to detail
Attention to detail

A challenge that the Clem Carpentry have been confronting is the expectations that reality television shows in Australia have put on the industry. Shows like “The Block” have been making renovating bathrooms, kitchens, etc., look achievable in a single week. And yes, we all know that it can be done, at a high cost and exceptionally long hours. Marc and Holly find that the younger generations have an unrealistic expectation of the cost and the time it takes to renovate.

I find it fascinating that sometimes our biggest hurdles in business are not always our direct competition. And the way in which people and business approach these obstacles is equally fascinating. How Marc and Holly from Clem Carpentry have approached the unrealistic expectations that reality tv has created is unique and well thought out.

To help their clients understand the time things take with a sensible budget, they turned to YouTube. Making short videos of the different projects, they have completed, not only demonstrating their work but also a realistic time frame to complete the work. By using time lapses, they have managed to combat the expectations reality tv has directly installed in different people.

Construction is a unique industry, and again I have been surprised how I thought one thing before meeting Marc and Holly from Clem Carpentry. My thoughts have been turned in a direction I didn’t expect, and I am so glad for the new direction.

Marc and Holly are easy going people following their passions and in the process making other people’s dreams a reality. I’m stoked that I got the opportunity to meet them.

Website: www.clemcarpentry.com.au

Phone: 1300 400 431

Adam Pykett exceptionally well delivered Electric Avenue Jr

Electric Avenue Jr bar




Electric Avenue Jr bar
Electric Avenue Jr bar

If you are familiar with Woolloongabba in Brisbane, particularly the café precinct at the end of Logan Road; you may have come across ‘Electric Avenue Jr.’

Adam Pykett from Adam Pykett Carpentry teamed up with the owners of Canvas from across the road to deliver Electric Avenue Jr.

Adam Pykett and his team specialise in old Queenslander renovations (link to a definition of Queenslander), and it’s clear to see their skill as tradesmen. Especially when you look at the level of detail that has gone into Electric Avenue Jr.

Always something new to look at in Electric Avenue Jr

Adam Pykett's well thought out work
Adam Pykett’s well thought out work.

Electric Avenue Jr is freaking cool. Its pre-prohibition era, with an interesting twist. First, you are greeted by one sophisticated deer head sporting a spectacle, approving of any future antics. Once you get past the deer, you will annoy the people standing behind you. You will lose yourself in the details of the place as you try to work out where to sit. Do you go over to the bistro tables and sit down? Or, do you go to the exceptionally well-stocked bar?

There are things everywhere, not the cluttered hoarding style.  Stuff so well placed, you can’t help but get drawn into their stories. The bar downstairs is impressive, but, and that is a big ‘but,’ it is not the bar that is going to get you excited, there are secrets. And after dark, the secrets come out, and you better be ready. If you think that you have seen it all, think again. Brisbane’s whisky’s bars have something to worry about because Electric Avenue Jr has brought something to the table that I will never be able to put into words.

What I love the most about this place, the work that has gone into it is so good that the work mostly goes unnoticed. And it’s when a trained eye misses half of the detail, that is when a job is exceptional. For example, I was looking around for about 20mins before I notice that all the lights above the bar, they all are hard-wired inside the ceiling space. No dodgy cover plates, no messy holes and patches, just plain simple work that goes unnoticed.

Adam Pykett Carpentry’s team eye for detail

 

Electric Avenue Jr armchairs
The armchairs are custom made in Holland.

Adam Pykett and his team have renovated Electric Avenue Jr so fitting into to the Woolloongabba area with the pre-prohibition era theme.

Writing this article, I am struggling to put into words something that is fitting for what Adam and his team do on a daily basis. I keep getting drawn back to my experience of Electric Avenue Jr. The whisky drinking armchairs and couches show how much care and attention has gone into this place. I mean armchairs, not the horrible metal stalls and chairs that just about every bar in Brisbane have on offer.  I mean, real leather chesterfield style armchairs and couches.

Finding the armchairs is a closely guarded secret, which I have been asked to keep.  You will have to go and explore for yourself.  And for all you out of towners, you will have to trust me this place is worth the visit.

 

Electric Avenue
Electric Avenue Jr

Adam and his team have done a fantastic job turning the old “Crosstown Eating House” into Electric Avenue Jr.  Without a doubt, Electric Avenue Jr will become a new favourite to many.

Website: Adam Pykett Carpentry

Australia failing apprentices – its a problem




Hi, I am Matt, The Travelling Builder.

I had a few comments about the last video where I talked about the breakdown of trades in Australia. The reason for my view that such a breakdown is a bad thing for the industry is as follows. Nowadays tradespeople, more to the point apprentices are now working for companies that specialize only in a particular portion of their trade. What happens, these apprentices come out of their time not knowing or experienced in how to handle all of their trade.

Australia failing apprentices

Australia failing apprentices is a problem; I see this first hand as a site manager. Just imagine on a construction site where you are managing 200-300 people, you have a couple of tradesmen that have just come out of their time that is supposed to be doing a particular task. But they are not able too because they do not have the experience for this work. This lack of expertise makes you ask their company to move them on from the task. All because they are now holding up other contractors from doing their work.

The tradesmen are not at fault, they have never learned this, its a fault of the industry, their employer, people in the past that had taught them what they know now. This lack of overall experience something that we need to deal with as an industry in a whole. I will give you an example, my very first apprentice carpenter that I had employed. I spent six months trying to find a formwork company for him to work with, simply because my business did not do formwork.  I tried to have him work with them for three months; I was willing to pay half his wages for that time. There was no interest; no one cared about trying to help teach an apprentice the full scope of his trade.

Australia’s next big problem

It is a huge deal Australia failing apprentices, give it five years, and I think the cracks in the industry are going to start to show. A massive problem. There are a few different people I have spoken to in the industry, one person in particular who specializes in trade waste (plumbing) who said, that he is getting out of the business simply because it’s too hard.

There are a lot of the older guys who are now starting to get out of the industry. They have had enough. There is too much breakdown of every trade, everyone is out to try and make a few dollars and to do that they have to niche down, they have to specialize. But what is happening to our apprentices? They are now learning only part of their trade.

I don’t think the Australian general public in are ready for the disaster that is about to unfold over the next 20 years. I reckon in five years maybe even just a few years; we are going to see the cracks show. This is something that now has become a systemic problem in our industry. Our building industry is failing, and there aren’t too many people out there doing a lot about it. It is the time that something happens before it’s too late.