Specialising in the construction of large-scale, architecturally-inspired buildings, Haddarco is embracing Leica iCON technology from CR Kennedy to take its unique digital designs, no matter how complex, to the field.
Haddarco has long been known for thinking outside of the box to create beautiful, unique buildings. Delivering complex structures is no simple task but with tools and technology on hand like the Leica iCON, Haddarco is ensuring every project is delivered to the highest standards.
Haddarco has been delivering buildings for a range of sectors including commercial, education, community, medical and aged care since 1965. The company’s director Mohammed Haddara says that due to the increasing complexity of its projects’ architectural and engineering designs in recent years, Haddarco found that it was relying heavily on surveyors to conduct set-out and positioning tasks.
“Surveying can be straightforward if it’s a square or rectangular building, but when the structure is curved or an odd shape, things get more challenging,” says Mohammed. “We had to get surveyors in for various elements of each project, costing us money and time having to wait for them to arrive.”
In 2021, Haddarco delivered a particularly challenging design at the Islamic College of Melbourne (ICOM) in Tarneit, Victoria. The building was curved and although successfully delivered, the company had to spend big bucks on surveyors. When Haddarco won the second stage of the curved ICOM project at the start of 2022, Mohammed turned to CR Kennedy for a solution and discovered the Leica iCON surveying system.
After adopting the system, Mohammed says the company’s project teams saw almost immediate results. Using the technology, Haddarco’s teams are now able to take their own digital designs to the field and have complete control over how and when crucial elements of a project’s design are set-out onsite, irrespective of the complexities.
This proved especially useful in Haddarco’s delivery of the second stage of the ICOM project, which included the set-out of 970 pieces of structural steel, weighing a total of 130 tonnes. On the ground floor, the design required the concrete columns to be located in the right spot to transfer the loads to the first floor. The first floor had 150 steel plates that had to be passed into the slab in the right location so that the columns could be welded to cast in plates.
“These plates only have a 20-millimetre margin, so we had to get them right,” says Mohammed. “The Leica iCON was a big investment but looking back, especially for this project, it was worth every cent.”
“It saved us so much time and was extremely accurate – we input all the drawings into the system; our fabricator then made up his own 3D model, which was checked against the drawings and then confirmed.
“All 150 plates were in AutoCAD form in the model – we then imported this model into the total station, and it gave us every centre of every single plate straightaway.”
Haddarco now uses Leica iCON for set-out across all of its projects. The company’s project teams used to spend days measuring and setting out grid lines, but now, with the Leica iCON, all set-out information is in the total station. This not only eliminates the time required to conduct set-out using traditional methods, but also eliminates the human errors that may occur in calculating grid lines, resulting in less re-work and material waste. In the main, the Leica iCON has given Haddarco increased confidence in delivering architecturally challenging designs, explains Mohammed.
“One of the biggest positives we’ve experienced since adopting the system is in regard to its ability to combine all the drawings – architectural, structural and civil – to check if they align,” he says. “That then allows us to, when we get the instrument out onsite, actually locate every element of each of those drawings, giving us a lot more confidence that everything is working together.”
Before the Leica iCON, Haddarco had to bring in a surveyor, who would only provide grid lines based off architectural drawings. Haddarco’s project teams would then have to head back to the office or manually view structural and civil drawings to ensure everything aligned. With the Leica iCON, the project teams can input all drawings into their total station, allowing them to do ongoing checks and overlays at the press of a finger.
It’s not just the Leica iCON’s features that have Mohammed impressed. He says the support from CR Kennedy has been fantastic. “CR Kennedy brought the system to our site for a demonstration and even allowed us to keep it for a few weeks as a trial,” he says. “We started using it and loved it, so leased the unit for another month and received awesome technical advice along the way either immediately over the phone, or a CR Kennedy technician would come out the next morning and show us how to use it.”
“To be honest, the service was what truly got us over the line to purchase the Leica iCON.”
The hardest part of adopting any technology, he says, is actually getting people to use it to make life easier. “CR Kennedy gave us the unit to trial and showed us how to use it; there was support there before we even purchased the Leica iCON; when we purchased the system, they supported us even more; and then we were completely convinced that investing in the Leica iCON from CR Kennedy was the right move,” explains Mohammed.
The Leica iCON has given Haddarco more control over the whole life cycle of its projects – from initial design to onsite construction, through to completion and proof of construction reports and data – which Mohammed says continues to save the business time, costs, and improve onsite accuracy and efficiency.
The company initially bought the Leica iCON to set-out buildings, but the application has quickly grown in scope. Haddarco’s project teams are utilising it for external elements, landscaping and civil works and continue to use it across all areas of building.
It just goes to show how, along with the comprehensive support provided by CR Kennedy, a large contractor can utilise the Leica iCON to produce great project outcomes.
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