News

  • Take a look around the Burchills office

    Wednesday, October 17, 2018

    Join us for a look around the Burchills office!

    Click here to start the tour!

     

    Consulting Engineers & Environmental Scientists Gold Coast Qld

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  • Burchills takes out prestigious award

    Wednesday, July 04, 2018

    The team at Burchills have proudly taken out the Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards for Professions & Business Services. Well done to the entire team!

    Click here to read full article

     

    Consulting Engineers & Environmental Scientists Gold Coast Qld

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  • Burchills LAB Launch

    Thursday, May 05, 2016

    Friday night saw the official launch of the Burchills LAB a new business initiative from Burchills Engineering Solutions to promote innovation and creative concepts.

    The LAB is a vehicle for engaging our clients, industry partners, universities, and community and collaborating in joint problem solving and the co-creation of solutions. The team were extremely pleased with the level of engagement our clients and industry partners showed at the event and feedback from the night has been extremely positive.

    With several of our current and upcoming projects on display the guests were eager to see what the LAB had been working on, from Drones to iPad Apps and design and construction product innovations there was something for everyone.

    The LAB will be hosting regular events. If you would like to join the LAB or take part please contact the LAB team through our Facebook and/or LinkedIn Groups


     

     

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  • High Rise analysis - optimising efficiency

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

    A structural engineer is responsible for making sure a building can withstand a multitude of environmental and use orientated loads ... that's the easy part.

    The Burchills structural team has the ability and tools to conduct rigorous analyses for complex structural systems and use the outputs to provide more economical as well as efficient structural solutions. The team are currently working on a number of high rise projects in South East Queensland.

    The screenshot below shows the digital model for the 47 storey Grand Central project in Southport, ready to have wind tunnel testing loadings applied. The design analysis will be used to ensure serviceability is optimised with the most efficient use of materials.

    Want to know more? Contact Himenshu Praveen on 07 5509 6400.

     

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  • What kind of cities do you want to live in?

    Tuesday, September 22, 2015


    It’s an important question that carries more weight if we think of “what kinds of cities do we want our children to grow up in?”

    More than two thirds of Australia’s population live in our major cities and cities are growing faster than regional centres. We all enjoy the positive aspects of growing cities like improved physical and social infrastructure but we fear the negative aspects. We desperately want to preserve our amenity, lifestyles, and natural environment and rightly so. These factors are important for our cities reputations and brands and whether we think about it or not, they are also important for our personal health and wellbeing.

    How do you achieve growth while maintaining quality of lifestyle? Burchills Engineering Solutions and Atlantis Aurora hosted a seminar on “Vertical Gardens and Green Roofs” in Southport recently to show how this emerging technology can change the face of cities for the better.

    What kind of cities do you want to live in?

    Continue the discussion or find out more via our social media sites LinkedIn and Facebook. We welcome you to comment and post up some examples of vertical gardens and green roofs what you would like to see in your city. For more information contact our Principal Environmental Scientist Caroline Kelly on 07 5509 6400. 
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  • All Saints massive concrete pour - Drone footage

    Thursday, September 03, 2015

    Construction has commenced on turning our structural engineering design for the new PE Centre at All Saints into reality. Condev are building the project and the scale is quite impressive. As this drone footage shows, the slab is some 2,300 square metres in area with 900 cubic metres of concrete - equivalent to 107,000 cartons of beer! Logistics were impressive with 130 concrete trucks arriving on site between 6am to 6pm and two concrete pumping booms sourced from outside the city. 


    To watch the video, click the "Read More" button 
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  • Environmental Offsets Made Easy

    Tuesday, December 02, 2014

    Environmental Offsets are a complex and changing issue for those undertaking development projects

    1      What is an Environmental Offset? 
    Environmental offsets are a tool used to compensate for impacts that cannot be otherwise avoided or mitigated. The basic premise of environmental or biodiversity offsets is to achieve a ‘net gain’, or at a minimum, no net loss of biodiversity on the ground. 

    So putting the matter into perspective, when a project proponent wants to develop land – there may be a loss of biodiversity[1] (depending on what was there) which may trigger requirements under the relevant legislation and or planning scheme. Offsets transfer the responsibility of the biodiversity loss to the party causing the loss, by incorporating it into the development conditions of the Project. 

    Offsets were introduced in the 1980s to facilitate development following Australia’s agreement to a number of international treaties addressing the worldwide decline in biodiversity. Offsets are now widely used in all States and Territories, at the Commonwealth, State and Local levels of government. However, before a developer or proponent can utilise offsets on a project, it must be demonstrated to the regulators that the ‘impact’ cannot be avoided or further minimized during the design phase of the Project. 

    2      Why Offset? 

    Australia has seen drastic losses to biodiversity in the last 200 years as a result of land clearing. Queensland’s rate of clearing alone has recently averaged about 100,000 hectares each year and koala habitat in Australia is now less than 10% of what it was 200 years ago. 

    So by halting the decline in biodiversity while allowing development to proceed - Environmental Offsets maintain biodiversity to the benefit of greater society and future generations. 

    3      How do I Offset? 

    The first step in any project is to determine the potential environmental impacts resulting from the proposed development.  During this stage, should there be potential impacts on a Matter of National Environmental Significance (MNES), protected under the provisions of the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), the developer or proponent is legally obliged to refer the project to the Department of Environment (DoE) to determine whether or not the project is deemed a ‘controlled action’ and therefore require assessment under the provisions of the EPBC Act.  This advice should be sought in the first instance, to ensure an efficient and timely ‘referral’ process. Projects that are deemed controlled actions, may have offsets conditioned to mitigate impacts on the affected MNES.

     If offsets have been conditioned by the Commonwealth – offset requirements cannot be duplicated at the State and/or Local levels for the same activity and the same matter (environmental matters are listed in legislation and or regulations by the various administrating authorities) … i.e. no double dipping!! Likewise if the Commonwealth or State assess an activity’s impacts on a matter and determine offsets are not required – offsets cannot be conditioned by any other level of Government for the same matter and activity. 

    At the State level, Offsets may be required when a Matter of State Environmental Significance is impacted by the activities of a project. The Qld Offsets process has recently been overhauled – replacing a complex, multi-policy system with a new framework. The ongoing amendment to other legislation to align with these changes is a work in progress.   

    The new Offset framework introduces “Matters of State Environmental Significance” (MSES) and “Matters of Local Environmental Significance” (MLES). MLES are not yet clearly defined but the Qld Environmental Offsets Act 2014 (EOA) identifies them as a matter that is protected by a Local Government Offset Policy. The Qld Dept. of Environment and Heritage (EHP) have an online mapping portal that allows the proponent to gain an initial understanding of the MSES that may occur on or near a project area. It is recommended however that all mapping be ground-truthed, since based on our experience, it is often inaccurate.  This particularly applies to “MSES – Wildlife Habitat” which was drawn from a number of mapping sources that were not designed for use at the property scale. 

    In terms of delivery – offsets can be provided through a financial settlement or a proponent delivered arrangement usually land-based…. Or a combination of both. 

    The financial settlement option can be a quick and easy way to move to the next stage of development – payment must be made prior to the activity commencing.  A financial settlement calculator is provided online for proponents wishing to calculate the potential cost of their offset project: 

    https://environment.ehp.qld.gov.au/offsets-calculator/ 

    However, in our experience and under the current framework, financial settlement is often not a financially feasible option and can have a significant impact on a projects viability. 

    Which brings us to the second option – a proponent driven offset package. This may take the form of a land based offset or a Direct Benefit Management Plan (DBMP). The land based option involves finding a suitable land parcel that meets all the defined offset criteria for the matter that is being offset. Wallum Froglet and Wallum Froglet Habitat   

    For example, if Wallum froglet habitat is being impacted by a project, then the offset area will need to be Walllum Froglet Habitat -  or an area of land that Wallum Froglet Habitat   could be returned to Walllum Froglet Habitat (meeting certain criteria) after habitat restoration works and an ongoing management regime. 

    The Direct Benefit Management Plan Option differs from traditional land based offsets and is simply a plan of priority actions that will benefit the specific species or ecosystems that are being affected by the project. This may take the form of funding for an indigenous ranger program or a PhD scholarship that addresses some of the treats. 

    So in summary – tips for avoiding a long and complicated assessment process:  

    • Get in early – determine your projects’ environmental impacts and avoid / reduce those impacts where possible 

    • Ground truth – don’t believe the official mapping! 

    • Get in touch with Burchills and Earthtrade to determine the best offset options for your project. The proponent driven options will usually save a lot of money in the long run.

     

    For further information and assistance with your project please contact Caroline Kelly or Alan Key

    Caroline Kelly, Principal Environmental Scientist – Burchills: 07 5509 6479 or caroline.kelly@burchills.com.au 

    Alan Key, Managing Director – EarthTrade: 07 4194 5009 or alan.key@earthtrade.com.au 

    [1] Biodiversity is the full range of plants, animals and micro-organisms, the genes they contain and the ecosystems of which they are part. Biodiversity sustains both our lives and much of our quality of life by providing valuable ecosystem services such as nutrient and water cycling, maintenance of healthy soils, and plant pollination, and as a direct source of raw materials and food.

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  • Creating a Winner - Palm Beach Heights

    Tuesday, December 02, 2014

    "The UDIA judges made special mention of the winning team's ability to tap into the surrounding natural features and local and regional infrastructure while cleverly dealing with a range of complex site constraints."  

    Demonstrating an ability to turn a bold project vision into reality, Palm Beach Heights Estate has been awarded the winner of the small residential category at the prestigious 2014 Urban Development Institute of Australia (Queensland Branch) gala awards. Beacon Builders and Burchills Engineering Solutions jointly submitted the project for the awards and joined other project team members Storey & Castle Planners and B&P Surveys in overseeing the total transformation of the site to create client Beacon Builders’ project vision of “Coastal Living, Urban Vibe”.

    A key factor for success was the project's integration with, and enhancement of, the surrounding neighbourhood which has benefited from the new public open space areas, walkways and bikeways, and neighbourhood connectivity. The steep terrain demanded well thought out engineering solutions involving detailed earthworks modelling and featured retaining walls to create attractive level building sites.

    Director of Beacon Builders, Peter Beaconsfield commented "We are thrilled for Palm Beach Heights to have been recognised by the UDIA as an example of urban development excellence. Out of all of the projects our company has completed to date, this has to be one of the most challenging and the most satisfying".

    Mr Beaconsfield said "the award is just recognition of the attention to detail in the design of all facets of the estate and he is looking forward to working with the consulting team again on the next project".

    For further information:

    - Contact Paul Kelly, Burchills Project Team Leader paul.kelly@burchills.com.au
    - See the full UDIA Awards Palm Beach Heights feature article here
    - Visit the Palm Beach heights website here
    - See all of the 2014 UDIA Award winners here 


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  • Reaching for the stars - the new Burchills

    Thursday, July 03, 2014

    The clients and guests of Burchills Engineering Solutions took to the night sky last Thursday as the company celebrated it’s relaunch of the Burchills brand and 40 years of heritage. Held at Skypoint Q1 “the top of the Gold Coast” guests enjoyed great views, fine food, cold drinks, and great company.

    Managing Director, Steve Coote thanked clients and industry partners for their support noting the significance of the evening’s celebrations “Tonight is a special night for the company as we celebrate the return to local ownership and the Burchills brand, and also the significant 40 year heritage and service history of our team…. There is 267 years of continuous service held by just 10 members of our 30 strong team“.

    Steve also took the opportunity to outline the future plans for Burchills Engineering Solutions “We will be focusing on our strengths in helping to get projects up and running in the property and urban infrastructure markets, leveraging our depth of experience and local knowledge for the benefit of our clients, and mentoring our young talent to be the next generation of “go to” professionals”.

    Rob Molhoek, MP for Southport also spoke congratulating the firm, outlining local infrastructure projects & initiatives, and explaining the improving economic & tourism outlook for the Gold Coast & Queensland. Rob made particular note that employment growth in Queensland was the strongest in Australia and within 12 months Queensland’s GDP growth is expected to reach 6-7%.

    The formalities of the evening culminated in the cutting of the Burchills 40 year cake by Tony Parker, industry icon and 40 year service Burchills team member.

    If you would like to have Burchills Engineering Solutions working with your team, please contact Steve at steve.coote@burchills.com.au.


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  • Fresh start in 2014 for Burchills Engineering Solutions

    Friday, January 10, 2014

    The New Year is shaping up to be a more fruitful one for our clients following Burchills Engineering Solutions' acquisition of VDM Consulting’s Gold Coast Business (ex. Burchill Partners) late last year.

    The recent ownership change presents a number of benefits for clients through a renewed focus on local development and infrastructure projects and our reenergised team of experienced professionals.

    The Burchills Engineering Solutions team wishes all of our clients and industry partners a prosperous New Year and is looking forward to helping you achieve success in 2014.

    Business continuity assured with Burchills Engineering Solutions

    Relationships are important to us and you will continue to be serviced by members of our team with whom you currently conduct business. Our phone numbers haven’t changed but our email addresses have; to email one of our team members simply use the format firstname.lastname@burchills.com.au.

    New Local Management

    Burchills Engineering Solutions is headed up by Steve Coote, a Gold Coast local with significant experience in the Gold Coast, Australian and International consulting engineering sector. Steve brings a fresh approach to a loyal and long serving team of more than 20 professionals and technicians who are looking forward to writing the next chapter for the firm.

    Multi-disciplinary service offering retained

    Services offered “in-house” by Burchills Engineering Solutions include Civil, Structural, Water, Environment, Traffic engineering and sciences in the sectors of Property, Infrastructure, Environment, and Resources. For example, Burchills Engineering Solutions are currently working on Urban Development projects throughout South East Queensland, Infrastructure for mining projects in Northern Territory, Environmental Studies in South West Queensland, and supporting the light rail project right here on the Gold Coast.

    Quality focus from concept to completion

    A recent client survey highlighted that we have an envied reputation for quality through the full project lifecycle of planning studies, design, documentation and construction monitoring that results in reliable and cost effective outcomes that our clients value. As we continue to look for new ways to better deliver our clients’ projects, quality will remain one of our core strengths.

    Bright future built on a rich history

    Burchills Engineering Solutions (ex. Burchill Partners) has a unique heritage and local reputation since forming on the Gold Coast in 1974, having engineered a vast number of iconic regional projects that include the likes of Sovereign Islands, Hope Island Resort, and many of the Gold Coast’s high rise developments. Our team and clients will continue to benefit from the invaluable contributions of our long serving senior industry icons like Tony Parker, Graeme Buntine, and Philip Bell.

    Join us for our launch function

    We will be celebrating this exciting new chapter for Burchills Engineering Solutions with a launch function to be held in April. The function will provide the opportunity to thank our clients and industry partners for their continued support and to outline our plans for the future. Not to be missed! You will be advised of the details of this exciting event closer to the time.

    Message from our new MD ...

    “Welcome to Burchills Engineering Solutions. I am really excited about the prospects for our clients and our team in 2014. It's a privilige to head up such a talented team with more than 250 years of engineering experience and market knowledge that has helped shape the Gold Coast and Queensland over the past four decades. We will build on the successful relationships that have been established with loyal clients and industry partners and welcome new clients to join us. We will not be resting on our laurels, our future success will be measured by how we perform for clients today.

    Should you have any questions about the changes or our future plans please contact myself or any member of our team”.

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