On Friday the 13th September 2013, the winning Queensland electrical and communications contractors were recognised at the prestigious annual electrical industry Excellence Awards – hosted by peak Australian industry body the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA). Former-cricketer Damien Fleming and the Hon. Tim Mander MP were the key note speakers and John Lang was the event’s Master of Ceremonies.
Six companies across nine categories received the top state awards in front of over 600 industry representatives including contractors, educators and government representatives at the showcase event of the electrical and communications industry at the Royal International Convention Centre.
The winning projects in 2013 included the electrical, lighting, voice and data communications installations and energy efficient installations.
Executive Director of NECA Queensland, Mick Logan, said the winning companies were chosen because of their commitment to excellence, significant engineering achievements and most importantly their ability to integrate many different technologies into the one project.
“The electrical and communications contracting firms that have won an award today are simply outstanding for what they have achieved during each project,” Mr Logan said.
“This year NECA received a huge variety of nominations and it is very encouraging to see that Queensland electricians and electrical businesses are leading the country in everything from occupational health and safety through to energy efficiency and the wiring of smart homes.
“The judging panel were privileged to view such high quality projects and as always NECA members have contributed positively to some of the biggest construction jobs in this state including Brisbane City Hall and the Gold Coast University Hospital.”
The winning companies and their projects are listed below:
Commercial - Medium Project
To conserve this iconic building, Brisbane City Hall closed in January 2010 to undertake a $215 million restoration. Rutledge was commissioned to install a new (and upgrade the existing) audio visual, and stage lighting systems. The works included the Council Chambers, Lord Mayor’s Office, meeting and function rooms, Museum of Brisbane, Ithaca Auditorium and the iconic Main Auditorium.
A major challenge was working in an important heritage building - with its marble staircases, vaulted ceilings, chandeliers and tiled floors. In the main auditorium, with its ceiling height of 23 metres, much of the work was completed at great heights.
In all, Rutledge worked almost 9,000 man hours, installing 6 kilometres of cable over the 20 month construction period.
Voice / Data
The new 1.76 billion dollar Gold Coast University Hospital, is a major expansion of public health services on the Gold Coast. Made up of seven main buildings and a total floor space of over 170,000 square metres, Fredon installed the entire communications infrastructure for the new hospital.
Delivering a structure of this scale required a number of detailed planning and design stages.
Fredon developed a highly efficient network design, with the capacity to change and grow to meet the future health service needs of the community.
The largest communications project in QLD, Fredon’s team worked over 147,000 man hours on site, installing three million meters of cable and over 40,000 outlets – all with no lost time injuries.
Commercial - Large Project
Blue Star Pacific
With over 100 design drawings and a highly technical specification comprising some 1000 pages, the Carseldine Government Office project had a tight construction program of just forty weeks. Precision programming and procurement were the key to satisfying the client’s high expectations.
Blue Star Pacific provided a complete electrical installation - consisting of general and UPS power, essential and non-essential power, and lighting control. Other works ranged from alterations to the existing substation, through to main switchboards, security, telecommunications, and audio visual.
The project offered a potential challenge in the highly complex backup generator system. With parallel generators on site, synchronisation of the two generators with the local high voltage grid, required precise integration and control functionality programming.
Energy Efficiency & Environment
The Sir Samuel Griffith Centre in the Griffith University, Brisbane, is intended to be the country’s first zero-emission, self-powering, teaching and research facility.
Solar panels store energy in batteries to provide a consistent power supply, with the excess energy used for the system chillers at night - providing chilled water for the main air conditioning the following day. The excess energy is stored as hydrogen in a metal hydride system. The involvement in this Hydrogen Storage System was the first major renewable energy systems project undertaken by Stowe Australia.
Critical monitoring was required for the overseas technology, ensuring it was delivered on schedule, and that the equipment was modified as required to meet Australian standards.
Workplace Health & Safety
By implementing a proactive risk assessment style approach to all of its operations, the Blue Star group minimises the risk of injury to its employees and ensures that their workplaces remain safe.
Blue Star has a full time Safety Manger, who has the responsibility of managing Blue Star’s safety systems. Given the inherent risks of the construction and electrical industries, Blue Star considers the role of Safety Manager, an integral position in the organisation.
Blue Star acknowledges that safety and risk management is a challenge now and into the future. Through sound policies and procedures, constant consultation with workers, innovation and thinking outside the square, Blue Star is confident it will continue to deliver profitable and most importantly safe workplaces.
Industrial Small Project
The Abbot Point Water Augmentation Project created a self-sufficient water source for use in dust suppression on the stock piles of coal waiting to be loaded onto ships.
Stowe Australia’s scope of works included Reticulation for High Voltage, Low Voltage and Communications; High Voltage cabling and terminations; a new Isolator and Transformer; Internal and External lighting; General Power; Motor power and control; Fibre optic backbone and numerous control system solutions.
Everyone working on site undertook a full day site induction, to ensure a full understanding of the facility’s operation - while defensive driving programs; working at heights; and confined spaces training, were also undertaken as site requirements to complete the scope of works.
Industrial – Large Project
The Chinchilla Operations and Production Support Hub, is the nerve centre of the Queensland Curtis Liquid Natural Gas project’s production and operation activities. Reliable High Voltage power and N+1 redundant UPS, backed up by automatically operated emergency diesel power generation – all installed by Perigon, ensures uninterrupted operations of plant control and monitoring, and critical data flow via the fibre optic pathways.
Part way through the works, the client decided to expand the N+1 System Redundancy from just the Local Data Centre and the ICSS Operations Centre, to the entire project. This upgrade required a second emergency standby generator and a second set of consumer mains, feeding a second 400V Main Switchboard.
Commercial – Small Project
Blue Star Atlantic
The University of Queensland’s Lakes Bus Station Project, transformed the second busiest bus station in the central Brisbane area, from a single platform station to a modern double sided bus station.
Blue Star Atlantic’s works - completed while the station remained operational - included the removal of existing bus station lighting and light poles; new underground conduit and pit reticulation; new switchboards and lighting and power for the station; CCTV cameras, Help Points; and a Public Address system.
A major challenge for Blue Star Atlantic was that the design documentation had been completed four years earlier – requiring open communication between the stakeholders to deal with any changed requirements and to allow for new technologies to be incorporated.
Small Contracting Business
Mobile Test ‘n’ Cal
Mobile Test 'n' Cal, which was established in December 2010, was approached by Boom Sherrin to test its entire fleet of 78 rental Elevated Working Platform Trucks, or ‘Cherry Pickers’ for post-rebuild acceptance. The process was scheduled to take 12 months.
The first challenge was to procure and import the required testing machinery (High Voltage testing apparatus capable of testing at up to 300kV) in a timely manner. Testing as soon as each rebuild was completed was the key to returning the trucks to the rental pool and generating revenue for the client as soon as possible. Mobile Test ‘n’ Cal was also able to assist in rectifying certain problems that were encountered after the rebuild of some trucks.
NECA is the peak industry body representing the interests of the electrical and communications contractors Australia-wide. For further information go to www.neca.asn.au
Mick Logan - Executive Director, NECA QueenslandP: 07 3276 7950
M: 0458 014 267
Ian Richardson – PresidentP: 02 9888 3081