Image for Westfield Coomera set to open this year

Processing of beams prior to fabrication has been an important value-add in Liberty OneSteel Metalcentre’s supply of structural steel to the Westfield Coomera project.

Construction of the new Westfield Coomera development on Queensland’s Gold Coast is well underway, with structural steel fabricator Steel Fabrications Australia reporting that the project is past the midway point.

The $470 million centre is situated close to the Pacific Highway and will include 140 specialty stores, including marquee names such as Woolworths, Coles, Target and Event Cinemas. Owner Scentre Group, together with its development partner QIC Global Real Estate (QICGRE), estimates that approximately 7500 jobs will be created as a result of the construction of the centre and through employment in retail on completion.

Westfield Coomera is the first Westfield greenfield
development in more than a decade

The Westfield Coomera centre is the first Westfield ‘greenfield’ development in more than a decade, according to Greg Miles, Scentre Group Chief Operating Officer. “It will form part of the longer-term Coomera Town Centre project that will encompass a wide range of amenities for the local region,” he said.

Steel supply

The Westfield Coomera development is one of three projects Yatala-based Steel Fabrications Australia has been involved in recently that have required orders of approximately 1200 tonnes of steel each. The company has just completed work on the Brisbane International Airport northern expansion and is in the process of wrapping up construction of three large hangars and ancillary buildings as part of the Battlefield Airlifter Project at RAAF Amberley.

Liberty OneSteel Metalcentre supplying
1100 tonnes of structural steel

The company has taken delivery of approximately 1100 tonnes of structural steel from Liberty OneSteel Metalcentre for the Westfield complex, with Steel Fabrications Australia Senior Estimator Peter Moolenschot estimating that a third has been used in the construction of the Events Cinema complex alone.

“We’ve also made good progress with the three large buildings called the Mini Majors that will be used by big retail clients,” Peter says. 

“We’re underway with the skylights in the centre of the carpark, along with the roof to the carpark, which has a gullwing shape and houses all the solar panels.

“The Restaurant Precinct consisting of Restaurants and The Beach House is also progressing on the southern end of the building.”

Mark Cubby of Liberty OneSteel Metalcentre Coopers Plains says a variety of steel materials have made up the order, the bulk of which are length-based, linear elements.

Steel was cut and drilled to
fabricator’s specification prior to delivery

He says processing of steel beams prior to fabrication was an important value-add in Liberty OneSteel Metalcentre’s supply of product to its customer.

“All the different materials we deal in – whether plate, structural or tube – are delivered to us from the mill in stock lengths,” Mark says.

“We have three beam lines that allow us to cut, drill and fully process the beams. And we have a six-axis coping line that does all the cut-outs for the beams. So, we have the capability to drill and cut all the individual components exactly to the customer’s requirements.”

Fabrication challenges

Peter says the Westfield Coomera project has been successful to date and that Steel Fabrications Australia has risen to the challenges associated with numerous work fronts. Because these have needed to be constructed simultaneously, up to 20 riggers have been required to install the steelwork on site at one time. The company has also seamlessly implemented design changes that have come through from tenants at a late stage.

He adds that steel erection subcontractor Wright Way Rigging deserves special credit for having to contend with inclement weather for large periods of the build in the early stages of 2018.    

“This side of Christmas has been pretty wet, so there have been frustrations resulting from that,” Peter says. “But they’ve done an excellent job thusfar.”

As for his company’s dealings with Liberty OneSteel Metalcentre, he says the relationship is a strong one. “We have a dedicated person that looks after our account, so I have to say our interactions with the Liberty OneSteel Metalcentre team are all very positive.”

Construction of the Westfield Coomera project is due to complete late in 2018.

Images courtesy Scentre Group