The driver’s manual: Toyota’s new Port Melbourne HQ

Jun 21, 2018 | News, Projects


Jun 21, 2018 | News, Projects

How did Buildcorp support Toyota’s new business launch while navigating and minimising disruption to their multi-disciplined organisation?

Toyota’s plans to consolidate its national business operations to its Corporate Headquarters (CHQ) at Port Melbourne was a significant milestone for Australia’s leading automotive company. The transition included transforming its 10,000m2 office to accommodate an additional 200 staff relocating from across Australia.

With Buildcorp confirmed as their preferred Contractor, the opening date of Toyota CHQ was fixed, and a construction program of 46 weeks was set in preparation for the Company’s new business launch. To achieve this, a lengthy scope of works was planned in a building that had to remain operational. It was also essential for staff to feel safe coming to work each day during the construction of their new offices.

After four separable portions of work consisting of 10 stages and 98,000 working hours, Toyota was ready to turn the key on a new era for their business and its people. The decision to cease its manufacturing operations, and become a national sales and distribution company was a huge undertaking, and one that required a considered approach during construction.

The 6 gear shifts towards Practical Completion:

    Laying down the foundations for a trusting relationship commenced on day one and was a contributing factor to the overall success of the project. In respecting Toyota’s people and values, Buildcorp became a teammate the delivery team and client could count on.   “The team took the time to understand Toyota’s way of working and critical success factors for the build project. In doing this, they tailored their communication and approach in a way that ensured we always felt confident and informed on the progress of works.” (Cameron Cormack, General Manager, Corporate Services)  
    By forming partnerships with Montlaur, Hassell, and Wood & Grieve, the entire consultant team operated as ‘one team’. These organisations worked together to align their goals and agree on mutually acceptable terms when making decisions. By instilling an open-door policy and transparent communication, the progress of works was received positively and challenges were overcome quickly.  
    The Buildcorp team consulted the client, collected meaningful data, and embraced the ‘why’ throughout the project. We researched appropriate countermeasures, managed expectations, and ensured systems and communications were in place. This extended to the delay in the mechanical design of the building’s atrium, which due to its location had the potential to delay the handover of workstation areas. Buildcorp was aware of the requirement of this area to remain online and provided a proposal to separate incomplete areas with acoustic hoarding. The solution was communicated early allowing sufficient time for approvals, and resulting in reduced disruption to business.  
    In a bid to understand potential pain points Buildcorp approached the project by walking in the client’s shoes.  As staff began relocating to CHQ, change was a constant factor which required communication of the churn preparation times. The team remained one step ahead and flexible to change to ensure the smooth transition of staff at each stage of the project.    “At the commencement of the program, we faced our first challenge around the delay of works from a previous project outside of Buildcorp’s control. The Buildcorp team quickly responded and provided options to streamline the construction program. We [Toyota] valued the professionalism and focus that was given to achieving an unmovable PC date.” (Cameron Cormack, General Manager, Corporate Services)
    Introducing visual communication methods and reviewing these both in meetings and directly on site sped up the decision-making process and simplified construction methodologies. These methods included business impact plans and completion program signage, hung on meeting room walls.
    Our communication strategy extended to Buildcorp’s systems, including our quality management app Onsite. This system can identify, register and communicate the rectification of design issues, defects and re-work.  At practical completion less than 10 defects were recorded, and in the weeks following results showed it took seven days or less to close out defects.

“All defects were quickly addressed following the handover of each phase, with only a handful of defects remaining at practical completion. This was critically important with our impending business announcement and official opening due to occur in January”. (Cameron Cormack, General Manager, Corporate Services)

Toyota HQ Port Melbourne – atrium

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