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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  • Changes to Coastal Development in Qld

    Thursday, June 09, 2016

    On the 3rd of February, the Qld Government’s new Coastal Management District (CMD) came into effect. You may be wondering whether this affects your development… To assist our clients, Burchills has compiled the following summary of the changes.


    What is the Coastal Management District?

    The Coastal Management District (CMD) is generally used to define coastal hazard areas that the State considers require special development controls. Coastal hazard areas consist of areas at risk from either:

    • coastal erosion; or
    • permanent inundation from tidal water; or
    • temporary inundation resulting from a defined storm tide event.







    What are the changes?

    The new CMD mapping is similar to the old mapping but has taken into account an updated shoreline position and the projected sea level rise resulting from climate change - 0.8 metres by 2100. As a result, the new CMD mapping includes a number of additional lots where tidal inundation may occur from sea level rise. The main changes on the Gold Coast occur around the Pimpama Jacobs Well area. The new mapping also acknowledges major tidal control structures on existing waterways and ceases at these tidal controls.


    Why the changes?

    The Qld Government have made these changes to ramp up the planning and assessment process with the desired outcome to enhance the resilience of coastal communities. The Government is concerned that unregulated coastal development can lead to costly and sometimes undesirable property protection works that could damage nearby beaches or cause adverse impacts on the local environment.


    What land is affected?

    The location of the new CMD is shown on the Qld Government’s coastal hazard maps page and on the interactive mapping system on the DILGP website. The new mapping is lot-based and used the digital cadastral database as at July 2015. The CMD mapping generally includes lots where permanent inundation by tidal water or increased coastal erosion from sea level rise is expected to occur. However, only lots close to tidal water (creeks, rivers or the open coast) are included.


    What developments are affected?

    As with the old mapping - development that falls within the CMD is subject to assessment against the provisions of the State Development Assessment Provisions Module 10: Coastal Protection. To ensure the proposed development complies with Module 10 - a Coastal Hazard Assessment is required as part of the development application documentation. Types of development that that are subject to assessment include:

    • Operational works, such as tidal works, interfering with quarry material, disposing of dredge spoil, or constructing an artificial waterway, removing or interfering with coastal dunes
    • Material change of use of premises
    • Reconfiguring a lot
    • Buildings seaward of a coastal building line

    Prior to making a development application, landholders and developers should determine whether their land holdings are affected by the new CMD and if so, what impact it will have on future development or re-development of the land.


    Need any assistance...

    Our Environment and Planning team are experienced in the assessment of coastal hazards and can help determine whether your property is affected by these changes and what documentation is required for a development application. Typical documentation that may be required for developments in coastal and flood prone areas include:

    • Coastal Hazard Assessment - an assessment against SDAP Module 10c
    • Flood Emergency Management Plan - Burchills are one of a handful of firms certified to prepare these reports
    • Stormwater Management Plan
    • Hydraulic Impact Assessment
    • Marine Plant / Seagrass Surveys
    • Hydraulic Impact Assessment
    • Ecological Restoration Plan








    If you have any questions or for more information about the CMD and how it might affect you, please contact:

    Caroline Kelly - Principal Environmental Scientist
    Caroline.Kelly@burchills.com.au
    (07) 5509 6479
    Or
    Nathan McDonald - Environmental Planner
    Nathan.McDonald@burchills.com.au
    (07) 5509 6461

    Copyright © 2016 Burchills Engineering Solutions, All rights reserved.
    You are part of the Burchills Engineering Solutions Team!

    Our mailing address is:
    Burchills Engineering Solutions
    Level 8, 42 Marine Parade Australia Fair
    PO Box 3776, Australia Fair
    Southport, QLD 4215
    Australia

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  • Burchills LAB

    Thursday, March 31, 2016

    Introducing Burchills LAB.  Big Question? Let us help you find a Big Solution! 

    The great thing about working with Engineers and Scientists is that they are always looking for problems to solve. The Burchills team are particularly passionate about solving problems because our purpose is to make life simpler and more rewarding for those creating and enjoying our great places of the future.

    However our challenges in the urban and built environment are much bigger than they used to be. Things are getting more complex like mega cities, transport system overload, unaffordable housing, adapting to climate change, environmental degradation, and funding shortfalls. Gone are the days when we could simply follow a tried and proven step process for solving our urban and engineering problems. To solve today’s problems we need to ramp things up!

    Announcing the launch of the new “Burchills LAB”!!

    The Burchills 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. When we collaborate to combine the experience, talent, and skills of our network and leverage our own core problem solving engine, then no challenge or value creation opportunity is beyond us!

    Participating in the LAB is easy, just follow these steps:

    • 1.  Have a look over our infographic below to learn more about the Burchills Lab
    • 2.  Join our Facebook and/or LinkedIn Groups
    • 3.  Contribute your problems and ideas via participating in the group discussions
    • 4.  Come along to our special events or nominate a topic to present
    • 5.  Enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that together we are making life simpler and more rewarding

     


     

     

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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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