Pool construction a profi table spin-off
When Lance Jacobs looks back on his 40 years building in and around Hawkes Bay he can see several key reasons why his Waipukurau-based business has been successful.
“It mainly comes down to the fact that I was prepared to take on any project, so we’ve done residential new builds and renovations, commercial and industrial work. I’ve even built a 50-foot wooden launch in my time,” Lance says.
Another reason for the company’s strong trackrecord has been the calibre of qualiﬁed staff Lance has taken on, including Wade Hanson who has been working with Jacobs Construction for some 15 years and Blair Jacobs who has been in the company 12 years.
Naturally there have been changes, positive and less so, that have settled around the building sector.
For Lance, who in his early sixties has no intention of slowing down, the main change has been dealing with the amount of compliance and paper-work which surrounds the industry these days.
“I’ve seen some of my building mates from way back get to the point where they just say they’re not prepared to do all the necessary compliance and health and safety tasks.
“They’ve had years of experience and know how to work safely on a building site and have decided to close down rather than be taken away from building and into an ofﬁce, dealing with all the new regulations.”
In 1999 Lance and his team tendered for and won a design-and-build contract to install a 25 metre pool and a learn to swim pool at Sacred Heart College in Auckland.
Mark Bone, coach of the New Zealand swimming team for a decade and training the Parnell swimming club from Sacred Heart at the time was familiar with Myrtha Pools from his expeience overseas.
Mark asked engineer Tony Loughnan and Lance to consider Myrtha Pools in their bid.
The pools were manufactured by internationally recognised Italian company Myrtha Pools. That project led to Lance being asked by Myrtha Pools to act as New Zealand’s sole distributor of these pools.
“Myrtha pools are recognised world-wide as being an exceptional brand. They are constructed of a stainless steel wall panelling system, overlaid with a PVC coating,” says Lance.
“The prefabricated pool shape is then bolted to its concrete ﬂoor and there’s a lot of specialised welding that goes into joining the panels together. “The beauty of these pools is you can go any size, shape or depth.”
When approached to build a pool Lance goes on site to discuss the type of pool required and to assess suitable designs given the space parameters.
When agreement has been reached on the look of the pool Lance sends this information to Italy where Myrtha Pools’ designers work up a unique plan. The components are then produced and shipped to New Zealand for Jacobs Construction to install.
One key advantage he says is that the leadup time waiting for the pool to arrive isn’t wasted in terms of construction of other buildings because the pool arrives in sections which are then joined together.
Last year Lance attended a marketing meeting in Italy of Myrtha’s distributors worldwide. At this meeting both he and Greg Clark, Australia’s distributor received silver plaques recognising the number of pools they had each built.
This year is proving another busy one as Jacobs Construction takes on a special project in their home town – the seismic upgrading of the old St Mary’s Church on St Mary’s Road.
“One of the sheer walls we will be constructing is positioned right next to the pipe organ. This means the organ had to be dismantled and stored during the duration of the project.
It will be great to see the church, once completed, back to its former glory, with the organ reinstated.”