Total wins prestigious Excellence in Construction Award
7 November 2016

Here at Total, we strive to always create fantastic outcomes for our clients. So when we took out the NSW MBA’s 2016 Excellence in Construction Award for Division 6 – Industrial Buildings up to $7,000,000 last weekend, we were absolutely over the moon to have our work recognised by the State’s most prestigious awards for the commercial building industry.

The project for Wingham Beef Exports, part of the NH Group and a subsidiary of NH Foods Australia, involved the construction of a meat processing facility that included truck access, a turning area, a structural steel superstructure to accommodate a plate freezer room running at minus 400C, a fully automated pallet storage retrieval system housed in a large freezer holding-room at below minus 200C, Australia’s first automated loading dock and sortation facilities, and an administration building.

There were more than 20 transport movements each day, cattle trucks arriving in the early mornings and dispatch trucks leaving from early afternoon. Couple this with more than 300 on-site personnel wanting to access their operating areas, and the project certainly wasn’t without its challenges. According to Tony Tate, Total’s General Manager - F&B, “The meat processing facility operates seven days a week, 24 hrs a day and it was imperative there was no disruption to operations. The continual truck and pedestrian movements also meant we needed to mitigate any safety issues by constructing designated walk areas using water-filled road barriers.”

The new build was designed to fit into Wingham Beef’s existing site space. “The plant was over 14 metres high, so it was a tight working environment. We also needed to hand over several areas to enable overseas suppliers to lift in their equipment. It was critical that the building and services were completed on schedule,” says Tony.

“We had to leave a section of the western wall open to enable the large robotic crane to be installed at a later date. Once installed, it was critical that the facility was then properly sealed and airtight. This posed structural challenges which were overcome by coordination, thoughtful design and a seamless interface between all parties involved.”

Preventing ingress of dust to existing packaging areas was also paramount to maintaining hygiene standards. Therefore, a heightened level of dust control was introduced in all subcontracts.

“Winning this award is incredibly exciting,” says Tony. “It’s a huge pat on the back for the operations people who really delivered in every way. We also want to thank Beca, the consultants who designed the architectural, structural, civil and building services, materials handling, packaging, planning and logistics support, and produced over a hundred drawings. It was the level of detail on the drawings which led to so few variations, and allowed for a seamless handover and successful commissioning of the plant and facility.”

Total also spoke to a delighted Michael Warne, Beca’s Principal – Architecture, who added, “This award is great recognition of a work collaboration success story. We worked closely with Total Construction, and their team was highly responsive; making it possible to deliver a first-class facility for Wingham Beef.”