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Coates rolls out national series of Temporary Works Forums

Industry stakeholders and academics gather to discuss best practice and innovations in temporary works engineering


Coates is hosting a series of Temporary Works Forums to discuss the challenges, trends and innovations in temporary works engineering. The forums, which are being held across the country throughout the year, bring together principal and sub-contractors, consulting engineering firms, professional associations and universities.

General Manager of Coates Engineering Solutions, Rafi Tchopourian, says the breakfast forums play a key role in creating stronger connections between industry stakeholders.

“The forums provide opportunities for our customers, industry colleagues and academics to identify the challenges facing the temporary works industry and discuss the best practices and disruptive innovations that will help us tackle them,” Rafi says.

The inaugural Temporary Works Forum was held at Sydney’s UTS Tech Lab in May, followed by events in Cairns and Townsville in June. The next forums will take place in Perth in September and Melbourne in October, with a date to be confirmed for Brisbane.

Speakers at the Sydney forum included Coates CEO Murray Vitlich; Julia Ward, CEO of Ward Civil; Associate Professor Amin Heidarpour, Head of Structural Engineering at Monash University; Associate Professor Ray Kirby, Director of the Tech Lab at UTS; and Coates engineers Yang Liu, Rex Turner and Sudhir Raina.

Here, we share some highlights from the first forum.

Coates to invest $50m in temporary works equipment, expertise and R&D


In his opening address, Coates CEO Murray Vitlich said Coates had been offering temporary works engineering services for more than a decade, yet many customers were not aware of the company’s full capabilities in this area.

“We’ve spent a lot of time listening to what our customers want and need. We know they want more than general rental equipment on site, and that they are looking for partners to assist with planning, technical design, installation and certification of end-to-end equipment solutions,” Murray said.

Coates is responding by investing more than $50 million in temporary works over the next five years. This includes purchasing specialist equipment for shoring, propping and water treatment; recruiting 30 additional engineering specialists; and continuing R&D partnerships with Monash University and UTS.

Disruptive innovations are needed to address climate change


During his presentation on disruptive innovations in temporary structures, Associate Professor Amin Heidarpour from Monash said climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing the construction industry.

“To better deal with vertical construction in our densely populated cities, we need a revolution in our existing temporary structures,” Amin said. Disruptive innovations, such as Quadshore 150, the first product to launch later this year as part of a multi-year, million-dollar R&D partnership between Coates and Monash, are key to addressing this challenge, he told the audience. 

“Lighter and stronger temporary structures mean less transportation is required from yard to site, less energy is consumed and less labour is required. All of this guarantees faster, quicker and greener construction, so it is well-aligned with what our planet needs,” Amin said.

Industry-university partnerships are crucial to new product development


During a panel discussion on innovation, Rex Turner, National Engineering Manager at Coates, and Sudhir Raina, Engineering Product Manager at Coates, highlighted the value of partnering with Monash’s Civil Engineering faculty to develop new lightweight propping and shoring systems.

The pair spoke about Quadshore 150, which they developed in conjunction with the Monash team including PhD student Esmaeil Pournamazian Najafabadi. With a capacity of up to 150 tonnes, Quadshore 150 is the world’s lightest heavy-duty structural support system for temporary works.

“We had previously produced prototypes for a propping system with a capacity of 100 tonnes,” said Rex. “But to bring a higher capacity prop to market, we needed that link with the university to provide and verify the data from the necessary laboratory testing to support the structural application of the high-strength steel design.”

Industry wants more knowledge and support about temporary works 


During the audience Q&A session, one attendee said there needs to be more education around temporary works certification in Australia. “From an industry point of view, knowledge of the certification process is nil,” the attendee said.

Rafi advised stakeholders to contact Coates for advice or to organise an information session for site teams. Following the forum, Temporary Works Engineer Darren Browne explained the types of certification required for temporary works in a blog.

Another attendee asked when consulting engineers should engage Coates for a project. The earlier, the better, according to Darren. 

“Temporary works is often a last minute consideration and we’re rushing to retrofit a solution. Whereas if we’re involved at the early design stage, we have time to develop more efficient solutions,” Darren said. Read more about the support Coates can offer throughout the project lifecycle

To discuss your next temporary works project or for expert advice, contact Coates Engineering Solutions today.


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