Carter Grange co-founder Rohan Forrest attributes much of their company’s success to the use of innovative materials such as Hebel in their projects. A Melbourne-based home builder, Carter Grange creates modern and elegant homes that represent the ultimate in quality, on trend designs and affordability.
“We wanted to establish a company that did things differently internally and externally. We wanted our own look, feel and finish. A big part of that was Hebel being standard, whereas most builders offer it as an upgrade to the home. So Hebel was a big part of us being different,” Forrest said.
Hebel, a high performance autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) available in panels or blocks, has allowed Carter Grange to build without traditional masonry products, which have strong limitations to project efficiency and client satisfaction.
“Historically, brickwork finishes have led to various issues on-site. Client expectations are hard to meet when dealing with bricks and bricklaying quality. Brick colour variation, blending of bricks and the colour of the mortar – there are many factors that often end up in dispute that cost a lot of money and time. As well as a loss of confidence in the builder from the client,” Forrest explained.
“Using Hebel is about a quality finish for us as the builder and for our client. We’re not tied up with clients arguing about these types of quality issues. We are discussing important matters to enhance the job moving forward. The job’s not delayed... we don’t have arguments with clients about Hebel,” he added.
Using Hebel also has practical benefits for Carter Grange, especially when working on knock-down rebuild projects on tight sites across Melbourne. According to Forrest, Hebel not only takes up less space on-site but also generates less mess during and after installation. Hebel also saves builders considerable time on their construction schedules.
“Hebel slashes our build time by up to an average of three weeks compared to brick builds, which means significantly less labour time, less mess on-site and cleaner, safer work areas,” he said.
“Scaffolding requirements take up a lot of space on-site… to add all the bricks required, all the sand as well as areas to mix mortar, it's very difficult. We don’t have that space on our sites,” he added.
Having worked with Hebel for over 25 years, Forrest knows that Hebel prevents a number of issues from happening in the build process.
"We are in the business of building people's dreams and it’s a very emotional process. We have a great construction team that do a fantastic job. I generally only need to get involved when things aren’t going right on-site, which is rare because with Hebel we don’t get things going wrong. It's one less headache we need to deal with," he added.
In addition to quicker build time, Hebel ensures a higher quality finish to the project, which is durable and easy to maintain, says Forrest.
"When rendered, Hebel looks like a new home, years down the track. It's easy to maintain and clean. I drive past homes we built many years ago that still look new, that’s a nice feeling,” he concluded.