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Family business stands the test of time

Kim Stewart Dec 12
Family business stands the test of time
Precast concrete wall panels lifted onto site as construction of the Engineering Repairs’ new warehouse and office begins at the Riverside Industrial Park.

There is one photo of the directors from left to right – Hamish McCleod, Lachlan Read, Robert Read, Corey Geddes, Alistair Read. When a family owned business has been in operation for over sixty years you know there is a winning formula at the heart of its success.

For Ashburton construction company Geoff Read Ltd that formula is a strong focus on ‘design and build’. Third generation family member Lachlan Read says the company’s focus enables it to provide bespoke design solutions at cost effective prices, removing effort and stress from its clients’ hands.

Preferring to get involved with the client in the project’s early stages, Geoff Read undertakes pricing and design in parallel, utilising its vast construction experience to ensure a cost effective build.

“The customer doesn’t have to go to an architect, structural engineer or geotechnical engineer and then go through that whole process of having something designed, taken to tender and a contract signed with a builder. We can help them through that whole process from initial concept right through to the very end.”

A civil engineer by profession, Lachlan spent five years working for large piling companies in Australia and the United Kingdom undertaking substantial commercial projects before deciding to return home.

The lure of working in a smaller family owned and operated business with total control over the whole project from design to hand-over along with a collaborative approach with clients was compelling, as was the Mid-Canterbury lifestyle of mountain biking and skiing.

Returning at the end of 2017, Lachlan has responsibility for design and construction management at the firm founded by his grandfather in 1955.

Well known in Mid Canterbury for building dairy sheds and high-quality residential homes, Geoff Read’s diverse range of projects include light commercial buildings from tilt panel buildings, warehouses and offices.

“Our team is made up of carpenters, draftsmen, pricing, ordering and administration personnel, pre-cast panel fabricators and we have our own joinery shop with two to three joiners depending on demand. Because we build residential homes we also supply the joinery. Vertical integration works very well from a pricing and customers perspective. We also have precast panels specialists in our team.”

In October of last year Geoff Read was engaged by another well-known family business, Engineering Repairs Ltd, to design and build its new 1150sqm warehouse and an adjoining office in Riverside Industrial Park.

Family business stands the test of time

Ashburton construction company Geoff Read Ltd was engaged by Engineering Repairs Ltd, to design and build its new 1150sqm warehouse and an adjoining office in Riverside Industrial Park. Hand-over of the design and build project is expected to be around April next year.

“Engineering Repairs do a lot of heavy industrial machining as well as repairs to big trucks, bulldozers, diggers and other heavy machinery. They also make a lot of heavy-duty tilt decks for trucks. They’d out-grown their current building and needed a brand new building specifically designed to make their truck decks.”

The building’s design maximises its footprint on a an ‘L’ shaped site and enables trucks to drive in one end, park in a series of bays for the different stages of fabrication and then move out the back end to a yard.

“We’ve just about finished all the superstructure with the concrete floor slab down, precast wall panels and portals frames installed and most of the roof installed. In the next couple of weeks we will be moving on to fit-out.” Hand-over of the design and build project is expected to be prior to April next year.

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