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Hickory – Integrated High-rise Build Systems: A Case Study

Added on -2019-09-22

This case study discusses Hickory Group's integrated high-rise build systems, an innovative, sustainable, and safe technique for constructing high-rise buildings. It explains how this technique is different from traditional systems and how it has been implemented in the construction of La Trobe Tower. The article also highlights the benefits of HBS, including faster construction, reduced traffic pileups, improved worker safety, and environmental sustainability. The article concludes by stating that Hickory Group will expand its local market share and start exporting this innovation to other countries.
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Modern Construction Project Hickory – Integrated High-rise Build Systems Modern Construction Projects301159Case StudyDate: 24/04/2017
Modern Construction Project Hickory – Integrated High-rise Build Systems IntroductionThe history of Hickory Group goes as far back as 1991 when it was founded by George and Michael Argyrou, 4th generation builders who inherited the family business from their forbearers (Hickory Group n.d., 1). Over the last 26 years, under the stewardship of the two brothers, the company has experienced exponential growth, shedding its family tag and becoming a nationally and internationally recognized name in the construction industry. Hickory’s reputation derives from a potent combination of dynamism and innovation that has enabled it to expand its portfolio to include construction, crane logistics experts, manufacturing, structures, fit out and facades, among other divisions. Its extensive operations demand a dedicated and diverse workforce that currently numbers over 550 workers across various departments. Since it handles different projects with varying requirements, the company ensures it delivers by adopting specific and turnkey approaches to each task. It also collaborates with suppliers, customers and subcontractors to provide the best solutions to each project. The company’s guiding principle is based on what it calls The Hickory Way, an internal business philosophy that is underpinned by the following concepts: sustainability, safety and quality, social responsibility, inclusivity, innovation, empowerment, loyalty, inspiration, transparency and mutual respect (Hickory Group n.d., 1). Using this template as a foundation, the organizationhas graduated from a small, family business to one of the leading construction companies in Australia. Discussion
Modern Construction Project Hickory Building Systems is the template on which Hickory’s integrated high-rise construction method is based. Abbreviated as HBS, it is an advanced structural blueprint that consolidates bathrooms, facades, core, shear walls and other components of a building into the skeleton which is then constructed ex-situ and alongside on-site processes (Hickory Group n.d., 1). So, what makes HBS different from conventional techniques? This next section will explain how and why. One of the major features of HBS that sets it apart from traditional systems is its high level of flexibility. For example, it can be used to construct a wide range of high-rise buildings, including hotels, hospitals, apartments and student accommodation centers. Accordingto Hickory Group (n.d., 1), it also improves the efficiency of on-site and off-site building processes by between 30 and 50% while leveraging safety and quality and reducing energy loss and wastage of materials. In contrast to other mainstream systems that are available in the local market, HBS has no design or height limitations; this is exemplified by the fact that it is recommended in the construction of buildings whose height exceeds 70 stories (Sayigh 2016, 24).Proof that Hickory Building Systems eclipses any other construction technique can be seen in the La Trobe Tower, which is not only the first project in which the company has implemented its integrated high-rise structural methodology but also the country’s tallest building to be constructed using prefabricated techniques (Build Australia 2016, 1). The structure’s first two floors are built using the conventional form and pour approach, while other stories are constructed using HBS’s integrated structural system in which prefabricated units are transported to the site and installed from cranes. How is this unique? Well, according to Baljak (2016, 1) instead of the blanket, one-size-fits all technique favored in conventional modular construction, HBS employs components that are not only scalable but also interchangeable.
Modern Construction Project While these components are similar to those used in traditional projects, the dichotomy lies in their assembly, which is significantly more innovative.Baljak (2016, 1) states that using the company’s renowned building resources that comprise joinery, facades, bathroom pods and formwork, HBS has outstripped conventional structural construction vis-à-vis quality and precision, with structural tolerances reduced to within millimeters. The HBS journey starts at the firm’s offsite premises where single structural units are fashioned from a predesigned concrete base (Baljak 2016, 1). This is followed by turning of the slab and integration of prefabricated wet parts, building facades and steel columns in and on top of the steel skeleton. When the structural units have been interlocked to produce a complete story, it can be topped with additional units as needed. Huang (2016, 29) states that since each HBS component offers immense core strength that dwarfs traditional units, the structure can be built to a high-rise level without creating any structural weaknesses. Visual modeling presents the layout of the concrete floors as a pancake, with floors stacked on top of each other and a system of vertical steel providing augmentation between each floor (Baljak 2016, 1). The reinforced vertical steel network is descended to dovetail with that of the bottom floor, so that when complete the steel cage creates a conventional concrete story and column building, but at a much faster rate and lighter weight, all without sacrificing structural integrity.According to Baljak (2016, 1), when pitted against commercial rivals such as the Unitised Building System, which has been deployed in ventures such as One9 and Little Hero Apartments, HBS triumphs in terms of delivery and application. For example, although the Unitised Building System is ideal for low-rise buildings, it is not directly congruent with high-

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