Experience to the fore in hospital project
Canam Commercial has just completed a signiﬁcant project at the Bay of Islands Hospital in Kawakawa. The project for the Northland District Health Board involved the construction of a new accident and emergency facility with x-ray and consultation rooms on the ground ﬂoor and wards on the ﬂoor above.
Canam Commercial general manager Stephen Jones says the successful outcome was the result of a team effort on the part of Canam and the entire project team.
He says Canam Commercial places emphasis on using local resources where possible in order to support the local communities in which it works.
“The majority of subcontractors being used on the project have worked with Canam on other healthcare project and are familiar with working for the Northland District Health Board and the speciﬁc requirements of working for such clients. “Also because they are local they have a vested interest in the project and region,” says Stephen.
He says Canam Commercial’s past history in completing successful projects for local district health boards has also helped ensure the project progressed smoothly.
“Having a lot of experience in medical projects gives us awareness of issues that may crop up allowing us to effectively manage the build for the best outcome,” he explains.
Stephen says the main challenge on such projects is the number and complexity of services involved and a lot of specialised subcontractors are required.
Designed by Chow:Hill Architects, the ﬂoor print of each level is 612 square metres and the new building will tie in with the existing building on the site.
Canam had to plan ahead, cordon off areas and use internal hoardings to ensure minimal disruption to the existing operational building.
“We liaised regularly with the hospital so they knew the project schedule. We tried to plan the schedule around the activities at the hospital. It was all about good communication and us being ﬂexible to the client’s needs,” says Stephen.
Canam has been in the business of construction for 62 years and comprises a number of different divisions: construction, interiors, joinery and commercial.
Stephen says that it is the company’s management structure and the fact that Canam employs a lot of experienced staff that sets it apart: “We have the right people and systems in place to successfully deliver projects. It’s easy for our clients to talk to us and they appreciate that the lines of communication are always wide open.
‘We also insist our project managers keep our clients fully informed and involved in their projects every step of the way. Because we understand the process and the industry well we have the conﬁdence to challenge any aspect of a project in order to improve the solution, sometimes saving our clients money in the process,” he explains.
The company employs over 50 carpenters directly and also has a push on training apprentices and runs a Future Foreman programme.
Currently the company has four site managers and project managers who have worked their way through the apprenticeship and programme.
“We believe apprentices are the future and we’re always looking for new talent.
“We like to show people through this programme how they can progress their careers and that there is no limit to what they can achieve.”
Canam undertakes a variety of projects and has just completed a re-rooﬁng and refurbishment project at Avondale Primary School and a refurbishment and seismic upgrade of Countdown Lynﬁ eld in Auckland.
Stephen says the Countdown project demonstrated Canam’s strong project management skills and the dedication of subcontractors as a lot of the work had to be completed out of hours to ensure the supermarket remained fully operational.
Current projects include remediation projects for Bay Palms and Gladstone apartments, once again demonstrating the company’s project management skills as work has to be completed while tenants are in their homes. Canam is also completing a refurbishment project at the Pepsi Cola/Bluebird facility in South Auckland.
“With the busy market and labour shortage our philosophy at the moment is to ﬁnd projects for people rather than the other way around. Having been around for so long we have seen the cycles come and go so aim to utilize our resources and not take on too much.”
Stephen says that Canam is actively growing its operations north of Auckland and is currently looking for new projects where it can add value.
With funding for a new wellness centre at Bay of Islands Hospital recently conﬁrmed he says this is a project of great interest.
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