Leaders in sustainability
In Australia and many other parts of the world, there is a growing desire to implement environmentally solutions across all sectors. At Formcraft, that desire is one of their core values. With their innovative and increasingly popular construction systems, they are doing their part to make it happen in construction.
“We provide energy-efficient, fast track and cost effect structural wall systems,” says Rob Schock, Executive Manager at the company. “Environmental sustainability has always been at the forefront of what we do.”
Ron and his son Michael founded Formcraft in 2005, with the aim to innovate, develop and supply best of breed construction systems to the Australian market. Over the years, the company has built a strong research and development team and has successfully commercialised proprietary concrete formwork systems.
These systems are capable of creating “super structures,” Rob says – structures that are pre-finished, easy to install, insulated, and economical.
Formcraft also offers a number of complementary construction systems including double-glazed windows and doors, insulated tilt panels, and insulated suspended slab systems. When combined, Formcraft’s systems form a single building element that meets fire, acoustic, thermal and structural code requirements, while also offering a range of finished surfaces.
Stack, brace, pour
Formcraft’s build process is very simple, and comprises of three basic steps – stack, brace and pour. To begin, the modules are easily assembled using the Formcraft connection system. From there, it’s just a matter of stacking the blocks on a pre-poured footing to form the walls.
After that, a lightweight bracing and scaffold system is used to prop the walls and to provide a platform for the pouring of concrete. Finally, concrete is poured in the cavity between the formwork panels with a concrete pump. The panels stay in place, and serve as insulation.
The end result, Rob says, is “a very fast and efficient construction method, with extremely solid structural elements, and quiet, energy-efficient indoor environment.”
Formcraft’s wall systems have a number of significant advantages over their more traditional counterparts, Rob adds. Because their wall are made of reinforced concrete, their insulation ratings are better, they are stronger and more durable, and they are resistant to noise and the elements – all of which are valuable points of difference in both the commercial and residential building sectors.
What you see is what you get
In the residential sector, Formcraft tends to service the “higher-end” of the market, where clients are drawn to the premium quality of their systems. In the commercial market, their customers are more attracted to the cost-saving opportunities their systems represent. No matter who the client is, however, they go out of their way to form strong relationships.
To form those positive relationships Formcraft encourages their salespeople to take potential clients to building sites where they can see how their systems are used and the outcomes of the projects. This hands-on approach allows potential clients to observe the benefits of the company’s technology first-hand.
“Whenever you bring a new construction system into play, it’s important that people can see how it’s used and what the outcomes are,” Rob says. “That way, they can develop confidence that it’s going to work for them.”
At the 2011 HIA GreenSmart Awards, Formcraft’s main ‘FormPro’ system received an award for Product of the Year. That recognition has also helped to convince customers of the wisdom of choosing their product.
“That’s an endorsement of our green construction capabilities,” Rob says of the recognition. “It proves we’ve been accepted in the industry.”
Formcraft’s hands-on philosophy doesn’t end when they’re finished educating clients about their system, however. According to Rob, it continues well into the building process.
“Our team forms personal relationships with our clients, and also with architects and engineers,” he explains. “We have a genuine desire to help find construction solutions that can save our clients time or money.”
As a result of this personalised and client-centric approach, Formcraft has earned the satisfaction and loyalty of many customers. According to Rob, word-of-mouth has become the company’s most effective form of advertising.
Leading by example
Formcraft also forges strong relationships with their internal team, which includes both their direct staff and their dedicated roster of suppliers.
“We lead by example,” Rob says of the company’s corporate culture. “The management and the Directors express passion for what they do, keep the lines of communication open, and display a strong work ethic. So does everyone else.”
The company’s talented team of direct employees includes project managers, administration staff, salespeople, builders and construction managers. In order to ensure all employees are up-to-date on the latest information concerning their industry, the company provides various training programs for staff throughout the year.
That culture extends to the company’s suppliers – many of whom have been working with Formcraft for many years. Rob says they work hard to keep those relationships strong because it is important that they acquire the highest quality components for their products.
Rob says the key to maintaining close relationships with their suppliers is the same key that applies to maintaining all of their relationships.
“Open communication is important, mutual respect is important, and an ethical and transparent approach is important.”
At the forefront
“Our goal is to be a world leader in the development and supply of eco-tech building systems that enhance sustainability in the construction sector,” says Rob, summarizing the company’s long-term vision.
Moving forward, he says they are well on their way to achieving that vision. Since the company’s inception in 2005, they have become one of the leading suppliers of insulated concrete form building systems to Australia. They are looking to expand to a fully-fledged branch office and manufacturing facility on the East Coast, and are also looking to expand their presence internationally. They are already present in Malaysia, and are currently evaluating potential distributors and manufacturers in Southeast and the Middle East.
The company also has several new systems and products being developed within their R&D department. A particularly exciting innovation is an insulated precast construction system called Precast ICF, which they hope to support with a new production facility in the near future. They have also been developing a new integrated wall and window system for the lower-cost project home market.
In general, Rob is very excited about his company’s potential to grow. He says the desire to “go green” is only growing. With their innovative and efficient systems, Formcraft is well positioned to take advantage of that fact.
For more information, please visit their website at: Formcraft
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