Passing the ultimate test
TQM Design & Construct is a multi-award-winning company powered by decades of research, experience, and innovation. Since coming together, they have become major players in the construction market, building multiple high-rise residential developments across Sydney. With each of these developments, the company has achieved a high level of excellence, and they have continuously grown their reputation. They have become increasingly well-recognised as one of the best engineering, design, and construction partners in the residential development industry.
Over the last few years, TQM’s excellence has been consistently recognised with some of Australia’s most prestigious building awards. In 2018, for example, they constructed the mutli-award-winning ’88 Kensington’ – a mixed-use development with 126 luxury residential units, four retail shops, a three-level basement, swimming pool, sauna and fitness centre.
For that industry-leading project, they won the MBA NSW Award for ‘Home Units $500,001 to $700,000,’ as well as the Urban Taskforce Australia award for Medium Rise City Apartments Development. At the UDIA NSW Awards for Excellence, they were also named a finalist in multiple categories, including ‘Excellence in Medium Density Development above 100 dwellings,’ and ‘Excellence in Mixed Use Development,’ in conjunction with Luxcon Group.
The following year, TQM was just as successful. At the 2019 MBA NSW Awards, they won two more prizes for two more projects. They were a winner for ‘Home Units $500,001, to $700,000,’ for an apartment called Hutch & Hutch in Surry Hills, and they won a Merit award in ‘Home Units Up to $400,000,’ for an apartment called ‘Maison 188’ in Maroubra. They were also named a finalist for Builder of the Year.
“That’s a huge acknowledgment,” says Maroun Taouk, Managing Director of the company. “We were very honoured to receive that recognition, especially from the MBA.”
“There are so many awards in this industry, but the MBA awards are actually issued based on quality,” he explains. “They come from real builders who are visiting projects, checking quality, checking construction methods, and making a really informed determination. That means a lot to us.”
“It’s something we can point to,” he adds. “It’s something end users can look at, and it shows if they are buying a unit built by TQM, they are buying a quality product.”
The award-winning ‘Maison’ project is located at 180-188 Maroubra Road, Maroubra. It was valued at $56.3 million, and includes 57 residential apartments, three retail shops, and a three-level basement. It also includes a suspended concrete structure to hold a new electrical substation. MBA judges called it a “very complex construction.” They commended TQM for “facing a difficult excavation,” while still delivering the finish to “a very high standard.”
According to Maroun, the judges were also impressed by the Japanese garden in the building’s courtyard. He says that when you’re there, “you’d never know you’re in the middle of a city.”
The client on that project was Aoyuan International, and the architect was Marchese Partners. Maroun says that TQM formed a close relationship with all parties, and the result is a “beautiful project that will pass the test of time.”
“To us, that’s the ultimate test,” he says. “That’s very important to us. We want every building we do to be a landmark in the future. In 20 years’ time, we want it to still be ahead of its time.”
Maroun is confident that will be the case with Maison. He’s equally confident when it comes to the company’s other 2019 award-winner, Hutch & Hutch,
That project was located at 26-34 Hutchinson Street, Surry Hills. It was valued at $22 million, and included 18 luxury apartments, with one level of underground parking comprising a 14-car valet parking system.
In their comments, the MBA judges once again commended TQM for overcoming a “very difficult excavation” – which was compounded, in this case, by difficult site access in the middle of inner-city Sydney – and still delivering “internal finishes of the highest quality.” They also praised the project’s “host of beautiful features,” such as the off-form concrete ceiling soffits, high ceilings, and the large timber windows, which they said “give amazing internal natural light in the heart of the city.”
The client on Hutch & Hutch was developer Bridgelane Property Group, and the architect was SJB Architects. Again, Maroun says the relationships were exceptional. He says that by working together, they were able to overcome the project’s many constraints and complexities, and they were able to deliver a “really beautiful result.”
“The building itself is just amazing,” he says. “Comparing what it was to what it became, it’s just a total transformation.”
Some of the units on that project sold for record prices for Surry Hills, the majority of them to owner-occupiers.
“The apartment layouts, the quality, the ceiling heights, the high quality features – it won a lot of hearts,” Maroun says.
A simple formula
Maroun established TQM Design & Construct along with his brother and fellow director, Mark Taouk. Both have had lifelong careers in building and construction. Prior to forming TQM Design & Construct, Maroun worked as a structural engineer, splitting his time between large infrastructure and residential projects. On the residential side, they observed a lot of projects that failed to run smoothly.
“What we identified almost every time that happened was that there were a number of consultants involved, and they weren’t in synch,” he explains. “Everyone would do the minimal amount of work they were required to do.”
Maroun and his brother Mark decided there was a better way.
“We decided to start a building company,” he says. “We wanted to create a company that would provide a complete, holistic service to our clients – a company that could take a project from concept all the way through to design, construction, and completion. We wanted to leave no gaps.”
TQM commenced in 1999. In the decades since, the company has grown considerably, in both size and renown. They have also continuously refined their systems and processes, and consistently invested in new technology and innovation. According to Maroun, that commitment to continuous improvement has allowed them to maintain an industry-leading balance between quality and affordability.
“We have a track record of delivering projects on time and on budget, and at a superior quality,” he says. “That’s because we never rest on our laurels. We’re always trying to get better.”
In addition, TQM also makes sure that they only employ people who have the same commitment. When they find people who fit their mould, they keep them by investing in their training and development and promoting from within.
When the company finds subcontractors and suppliers that similarly meet their values, they also aim to make those relationships last. Australian Precast Panel Systems (APPS) is a good example. For over 30 years, they have been designing, manufacturing and constructing precast panels of the highest quality. TQM has come to trust and rely on them, and works with them whenever possible.
In general, maintaining relationships is extremely important to TQM – not just with the people they work with, but the clients they work for. Fortunately, they have also been very successful in that regard. For example, Aoyuan International – who they worked with on Maison – hired them to do another apartment project right after that one, which will be likely be up for more awards later this year. And Hutch & Hutch was already TQM’s fourth contract with Bridgelane Property Group. Maroun hopes to continue earning that kind of loyalty.
“The way we do that,” he says, “is by continuing to deliver projects on time, on budget, and to a high level of quality. That’s the key. It’s a very simple formula.”
For more on TQM Design & Construct, why clients choose them, and their many award-winning projects – and to contact Maroun and his team – visit http://www.tqmdc.com.au/