Macquarie University in Sydney is one of the state’s largest, host to over 75 buildings within the primary campus. It is so large it has its own postcode. Managing the maintenance of such large-scale facilities requires outsourcing to highly skilled and highly trusted trade contractors. Constellation Services has been the university’s first point of contact for its plumbing service, repairs and maintenance for over 25 years.
Macquarie is recognised within the global rankings of universities around the world. Maintenance of its buildings and grounds is as complex as any working city. Richard Bale heads the maintenance team at Macquarie University and has been working with Constellation Services since he started at the university 19 years ago.
The university has a mass of moving parts and the sheer scale of student and faculty numbers, buildings and grounds has meant that the plumbing infrastructure is constantly under pressure. It is not a straightforward micro city.
High pressure gas mains, coupled with large industrial plant equipment, including air conditioning and heating units, hot and cold water supplies, hydrant and water mains, sewer and underground drainage, are all large-scale infrastructure installations that require experienced and qualified expertise to manage and maintain.
In addition, the university has a high number of laboratory facilities and places continued attention on upgrading and renovating the buildings. Because of this, the university must have access to trusted and highly competent trades people to take on specialised works that are time sensitive and require budgetary regulation. The tradies’ certifications must also be in line with the university’s strict compliance regulations. These regulations cover qualifications, licences and appropriate insurance, membership affiliations and equipment.
The university operates in domestic and international student markets and places an elevated reputation on its facilities with students and staff having access to world leading laboratories, libraries, lecture theatres and amenities. It is the remit of the maintenance division to ensure the safety of the campus and secondly that the amenities are functioning at their optimum level at all times. It is a fast paced environment, and when the facilities are running smoothly and issues remediated quickly and without fuss, university life continues uninterrupted. Contractors of the calibre of Constellation Services are essential.
Richard explains: “Matthew and his team are the preferred suppliers for plumbing maintenance at Macquarie University and have been for the past 25 years. They have never let us down and have the expertise to successfully work on a broad scope of plumbing, mechanical, civil and gas work.
Much of the work involves specialised competencies and equipment such as excavation works, high pressure gas and water mains expertise, hot tapping and large plant air-conditioning and heating experience. Their attention to detail, workmanship and total transparency provide the confidence we need when it comes to plumbing issues, big or small. Constellation Services play an important role in maintaining the status quo.”
As a part of the university’s quality control, any listed trade contractor must update their compliance every year, in line with the university’s mandate. This requires an annual review of licences, trade affiliations, compliance qualifications and project management policy and procedures. It is a critical requirement of the university, even for businesses with the heritage that Constellation Services has earned over two decades.
“Matthew never misses, always keeping his compliance requirements and records up to date and available when required. Again, this makes our lives so much simpler knowing we are working with an organisation that has the expertise and the professionalism necessary for our work,” says Richard.
Reliability, consistency and workmanship are three critical factors for the success of contractor engagement.
“Constellation Services continue to be our contractor of choice for plumbing maintenance. Their open communication and willingness to find client first solutions is a big ticket item and much of our maintenance contracting decisions are based on trust and relationships, which saves us time, money and uncertainty.
Over the years there have been many instances requiring emergency remediation works. Our history and trust in Constellation Services have been essential in resolving these issues quickly without undue interruption. Due to their expertise and efficiency, Constellation Services always complete the required work well above the university’s mandated trade criteria,” says Richard.