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Regional success

JAXON is a leading Western Australian owned and operated building company. Throughout their long history, they have been involved with a long list of highly acclaimed and well received large scale accommodation and commercial projects.

“We deliver solidly built, high quality buildings for thousands of people who live and work in them,” says Mark Kepplinger, General Manager Commercial for the group.

JAXON has a strong design and construct desire and have experienced professionals in place to deliver.

“We’ve been building quality construction in Western Australia for more than 50 years,” he says. “We focus on delivering excellence and true value for our clients.”

“We’ve built a reputation,” he adds. “We’re known for excellence design and construction that’s delivered on time and on budget. We’ve been trusted by government and corporate clients for decades.”

Setting the benchmark

Over the years, JAXON has delivered a long list of successful luxury apartments, ambitious urban renewal projects, and efficient affordable housing ventures. A key example is their work on the South Hedland New Living Program, which is the largest urban renewal project ever undertaken in Western Australia. According to Mark, JAXON’s role in that ongoing project “isn’t just building homes, its building communities.”

“That project sees us complete land subdivisions, housing refurbishments, infrastructure upgrades, and community initiatives,” he says. “To date, we’ve delivered more than 350refurbishments and more than 650residential lots.”

Since 2006, South Hedland New Living has picked up a long list of industry awards. In 2010 and 2011 in particular, JAXON and their partners at the Department of Housing were recognised with UDIA Judges Awards for their excellence and innovation on the project.

JAXON’s work on Rivershoresprojectwhich consists of 58 luxury apartments nestled on the banks of the Swan River in North Fremantle also earned multiple industry awards. In 2012, Rivershores made a “clean sweep” of the Best Apartment awards from the Australian Institute of Building (AIB), Master Builders Association (MBA), and the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

More recently, at the 2013 AIB Professional Excellence in Building Awards, JAXON was recognised as a winner in the category Residential Construction $10 million to $50 million. They were nominated for their work on the BHP Bio Town Accommodation Project 4, and praised for the way they overcame the key issues on site.

According to Darragh Kinnevey, the Project Manager on that job, JAXON highly values that industry recognition.

“It’s niceto receive those awards, because it validates the work that you’re doing,” he says. “It rewards the hard work of your team.”

The BHP Bio Town Accommodation Project 4 involved the design and construction of a contemporary apartment complex that provides two-bedroom homes for BHP Billiton Iron Ore residential employees. The development contains nine three-level apartment blocks containing 45 apartments, a commercial tenancy, and 96 car bays.

According to Darragh, the apartment complex “sets a new benchmark in the quality of accommodation available in Hedland.” In addition, it offers a diversity of housing to ensure appropriate accommodation options are available to employees to suit their individual needs.

The apartments are located across the road from the new Turtle Boardwalk and overlook the mangroves at Pretty Pool, offering residents an “exceptional view and great walking tracks.” The apartments also have private balconies, courtyards, and external communal living areas.

JAXON won that project along with their partners at JCY Architects. According to Darragh, they were the right choice due to a combination of their extensive regional experience and their strong design.

“We’ve been around quite a while, and we’ve been in the Pilbara for over 30 years,” he says. “We have a strong record of delivering projects in remote areas – which is obviously a key qualification for a project like Project 4, which was a $26 million job. Quite a few companies have issues delivering those types of projects, but JAXON has had a lot of success over a sustained period of time.”

During the tender process on Project 4, there was also a lot of interaction between JAXON and BHP, as they negotiated over inclusions and exclusions. According to Darragh, that early collaboration “nurtured a lot of confidence.”

“We had a very good relationship with BHP,” he says. “They were happy with how the project went, and they were also very happy with how we handled things. Particularly after handover – because we have a strong presence in the Pilbara, we’re there all the time and can get any issues resolved straight away.”

All about teamwork

Throughout the construction of BHP Bio Town Project 4, JAXON encountered a number of key issues. For example, the job site was in a remote location, approximately 1800 kilometres from Perth. As a result, there is a shortage of skilled labour. It was also in a region D2 cyclone zone, and experienced two cyclones throughout the duration of the project.

Despite these challenges, JAXON delivered the complete project – including design and documentation – in less than 82 weeks, with construction taking approximately 60 weeks.

Darragh credits that high quality result and smooth delivery to the strong working relationships they fostered with their team. From design through to completion, they dealt very closely with JCY as the lead architects, and Wood & Grieve as the engineers.

They also had close ties to their key subcontractors, many of whom they had worked with on previous jobs. Because of the lack of available labour with experience on large scale residential projects, they had to bring those team members out from Perth, and seamlessly arrange their flights and accommodations. According to Darragh, that process required “a high level” of communication.

“It’s all about teamwork,” he says. “That includes JAXON’s staff – our site managers, site supervisors and administrators – as well as the architects, consultants, and subcontractors. We had a really good team on Project 4, and that’s how we overcame the challenges and delivered a great project.”