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BDS Vircon on the world stage in detailing the Wilshire Grand Hotel, LA

AISD Awards

Get your entries in for the Integrated Project Delivery Award

Opportunities Ahead

QLD Steel Detailing opportunities look to be on the rise in the near future

In This Issue

Chairman's Message AISD
AISD Awards for Integrated Project Delivery
Good Opportunities Ahead for Detailers In Queensland
Modular Construction & Prefabrication ANZ 2016
Is software development stagnating?
Update on National Structural Steelwork Compliance Scheme
Unfair Contract Protections For Small Business
Detailing and the Multi-generational Office
Australian Architects Ranking in World's Top 100
Modern Methods of Construction
Member Profile
AISD (NSW) Yearly Fishing Trip 2016
Industry News
Point Cloud Surveying and Steel Detailing
APCC - Australian Procurement Construction and Council
AISD 2015 AGM Summary


Chairman's Message AISD
Chris Velovski, AISD (Nsw) President

Industry Summary: (Where has the time gone???)

It is hard to believe that the first quarter of this year is already gone, and we are starting to prepare ourselves for the last financial quarter and the quarter which we all prepare for our yearly reporting…

As the president of the AISD NSW and the Chairperson of the AISD National group, I tend to travel a bit and make contact with many different companies with the following capacities EPCM, EPC, Constructors, Builders, Fabricators, Engineering, Architects and also many other detailing staff be it Directors, employees and alike. The feeling I am getting from everyone is a sign of positiveness and HOPE, considering how the people in the industry felt 12-24 months ago.

One of the main drivers is in NSW by way of the enormous push with the infrastructure works in our major city of Sydney, I am also hearing similar activity happening in Western Australia and other states and territories like Queensland with the main potential of MINING projects and GAS projects still being pursued.

Responsibility and Delivery going forward:
I have over the past 12-18 months personally noticed that there is are larger demand and request for the detailing houses to be supplying our services with a higher demand to support more of the integration and coordination with the consultants and the other stakeholders to drive the timing of the project down so as to better coordinate our deliverables.

I have also seen the push on deliverables being offered by the vendors; in their presentations where they are trying to target the Contractors/Fabricators/EPC/EPCM and by assuring to them the collaborative approach for these activities and that their software can offer these capabilities in the supply chain. However, what is actually happening is that these demands and requests get pushed towards the detailing houses and in most cases I believe that these services are given away without the thought that these services are more demanding to the detailer and the responsibility is greater with high exposure and RISK.

When Detailers are providing a higher level of services this can only be a good thing; however, when these services are provided without the correct monetary values this can be disheartening; I can only further advise that all detailers need to be aware of the deliverables being demanded and if they (you) are in doubt on these services I would advise you speak to your peers at the AISD and see what is occurring; there are several companies successfully in the market place who are already delivering these services. Majority of the Tier-1 detailing companies are already supporting these services. It is not about lowering your standard of deliverable or giving you IP (Intellectual Property) away, and YES it is your IP and it does belong to you; lets’ be mindful that your information in your model is mostly accurate and most likely more relevant than the structural content that has been delivered in a 3D digital content.

The collaboration should be occurring on a greater scale, where the Engineering Design Houses and the Detailing Houses are starting to form alliances to support these services if they willing to choose to co-exist without dismantling our beloved industry in Australia; many in the engineering community may snort at this comment; however, take a look at what is occurring; there is detailing houses in the market place who are starting to take on engineering design projects and offer the clients better proposal without any problems. I don’t believe this process will happen overnight; however, I see this being a game changer for all in the industry; and if the structural engineering companies think REVIT is going to save them; think again… The level of information being supplied by the engineering team in most cases is no different but this time it is being delivered in 3D digital format; again with no context and still lacking much information and details; they have not eliminated any delays, RFI processors or any clash detection, this is why we get asked to export our models in a format THE BIM/IPD managers are able to coordinate with the other designers and in some cases the detailers are also acting as the BIM/IPD managers. But in saying this and in the consultant’s defence I don’t believe they need to do this nor should they, they are engineers and what they should be doing is the engineering and NOT drafting; these task should be left to our technically advanced industry, which is why I suggested “ALLIANCES”.

On a positive note the industry at present seems very positive and lets’ grab these opportunities by the horns.

There is also a new group being formed in Sydney and it is called SYDBIM, very interesting and anyone who is working in these fields should attend especially if you live in Sydney or other local areas.

Until next time be safe and see you all at the 2016 Steel Detailers gathering in Melbourne when the ASI officially announce this event.

Chris Velovski
Chairman – AISD

AISD Awards for Integrated Project Delivery

One of the founding roles of the AISD was to engage with the building industry and provide a better understanding of steel detailing and its significance in the steel supply chain.

How effectively and efficiently the detailing process occurs depends largely on the quality of the design drawings. Whilst good design needs to be effective and ensure fitness for purpose, it also needs to be communicated clearly through the documentation.

3D Model-based design delivery to detailers is a process that is rapidly becoming the norm in the Australian Steel Construction market.

The AISD has been a vocal supporter for this process for quite some time now, so it’s exciting to witness the growing awareness by both designers & builders of the benefits of early engagement and the value that Australian steel detailers have to offer them.
The detailing industry continues to take a lead role in this paradigm shift, provide an award to recognize the construction teams that are leading the way with 3D Model-based design delivery and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) in particular.

Have you have worked on a project that involved a BIM-based design delivery or model-based collaboration method? Were you engaged by a Builder or design consultant? If it worked well for you and your client, make sure you enter your Queensland project into the ASI Qld Steel Awards by the closing date of Friday 24th June!

This award recognises the whole project delivery team, Builder, Engineer, Architect & Detailer, so it's a great opportunity to build strong relationships with the team players on your successful project.

This is the pinnacle event in the Queensland steel industry calendar and attracts capacity industry attendance for the gala presentation evening. Don’t miss out on having your project and your company shown on the big screen at this prestigious industry event.

Images of all short-listed entries will be displayed at the ASI Queensland Steel Awards dinner to be held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre on Friday 5th of August.

It is free to enter and first prize is a table for ten at the event, valued at over $1,500.00

I urge you to take full advantage of this excellent opportunity to promote your business and your professional services to some of Queensland’s major steel construction industry players. Each sole trader & company member can nominate one project for this category.

Here’s your chance to help your industry. Nomination forms will be sent out soon, so please take the time to read and return it with the details and assessment of your preferred job.

Good Opportunities Ahead for Detailers In Queensland

It may not be a boom overall, but the Queensland market offers a number of areas for opportunity for steel detailers as a strengthening economy helps activity along in sectors such as retail and tourism.

If only aggregate numbers were considered, the outlook would indeed not look good. The overall dollar value of work expected in building and infrastructure assets during 2015/16 will be at the lowest level in nine years and would be down more than 20 per cent compared with the peak in 2013/14.

But if you take out the combined effect of the drop in work in mining and resources, however, and a number of underlying growth sectors emerge.

As the weaker dollar helps drive stronger conditions in sectors such as retail and tourism, the pipeline of developments in areas like shopping centres and resorts is growing. Property developers within the state remain optimistic about forward levels of development activity as well as the outlook for capital growth in sectors such as residential, industrial, retail, accommodation and retirement living, according to a recent Property Council of Australia survey.

Helping all this out will be a lift in underlying conditions within the state’s broader economy, which Treasury expects to grow by around four per cent per annum over the next three years.

While the current recovery in some areas of the market does not represent any form of overall boom, opportunities within these sectors do seem to be flowing through into the workforce. In its most recent quarterly report, recruitment outfit Hays said most architectural employers had solid project pipelines and there were significant levels of demand for mid to senior level architectural technicians, especially to help in meeting documentation deadlines.

Areas of opportunity according to forecasters:
Activity in retail and shopping centre developments should remain elevated over the foreseeable future as projects such as the extension of Grand Central Garden Town in Toowoomba, stage 8 of the Westfield Garden City Shopping Centre at Upper Mount Gravatt, stage 3 & 4 of the development at Westfield North Lakes and the town centre at Maroochydore City Centre drive activity forward.

With the dollar value of investment already at its highest level since the global financial crisis, hotels represent a significant area of opportunity. ACIF expects the dollar value of work done to rise almost fourfold over the next seven years as a recovery in tourism and an undersupply of available rooms drives demand for new developments.


Philip Shanks

Main Conference:  30 - 31 March 2016
Post-Conference Site Tour and Workshop:  1 April 2016
Venue:  Radisson Blu Hotel Sydney

On the 30th March I attended a three day seminar in Sydney, on DfMA which stands for Design for Modular Assembly.  The seminar went for three days, with the third day being a site tour and workshop.  We went to Surry Hills, to have a look at a very small site, which was basically a back yard of an 1800s terrace house, 50sqm of land, the back yard being more like their garage at one point in time.  This site was developed by one of the architects who also attended the seminar and it was a flat pack design, steel framed home, comprising of three storeys.  The first storey being the garage and the second and third storeys being for living space.  This was a small total floor space of liveable surface area of about 80sm in a very narrow one way street in Surry Hills.  It was a modern design, with only two storeys completed at the time of the site visit.  The architect gave us a tour around the tiny site and explained how they went about their modular design to deliver the project through council and to build the project for the client.  It was quite interesting; the construction materials were light gauge cold formed steel frames and other light steel joists with flooring and other materials considered to be of high performance. The intention being that everything was what they call a flat pack kind of design, still modular, but not a volumetric module. The frames were designed and manufactured off site, shipped and erected with the consideration of not only the small site, but the narrow one way street where the house was situated.

Days one and two were spent in a hotel conference room, with approximately eighty attendees.  The seminar was sold out and the keynote speaker was a woman by the name of Amy Kulka-Marks, who is the president and owner of XSite Modular in the USA.  There were a number of other speakers who delivered presentations over the course of the three days. 
I was interested in attending this seminar because of Steelcad’s interest in modular design and some of the involvement we have had with it over the years, particularly in the mining industry. We don’t do much of it here in Australia in terms of some of the examples seen in Europe and elsewhere, but certainly, particularly in Western Australia with some of the mining that’s been going on over the past ten years, we certainly have been involved in structures which were very much designed on a DfMA principle.  The idea being that Structures are built in modules fully kitted out with piping, electrical etc and delivered to site as a unit and then erected as a volumetric module; Thus moving away from the traditional stick build design that we see mostly in the construction industry, in commercial and industrial buildings. It is a different approach to construction of building and takes on more of what is traditional seen in industries like Automotive, where businesses build smaller modules which form a ‘kit of part’ for the overall build.

Much of the presentation focused on ‘bathroom pods’. One of the takeaways was a term known as ‘Volumetric Modular’, which essentially means that these bathroom pods are a fully self-contained bathroom fabricated in a manufacturing building, fully kitted out with all of the parts that you would normally see in a bathroom– shower, tiles, toilet, plumbing, wiring etc.; Particularly geared towards high rise development and hotels and making its way into some commercial industrial buildings as well.  There were two speakers at this seminar who were manufacturers of bathroom pods, they explained the reasons behind going modular for these items in particular and some of the reasons being – Manufacturing off site is safe and quality and consistency of the product is improved when manufacturing in a controlled environment. 
It became evident that designing for modular, even when considering some of the small examples like bathrooms, that the concept is scalable as we have seen particularly in the Iron Ore sector.

There are a number of people from New Zealand at the seminar and they certainly gave their experiences to the group of how they’re using modular assembly in their construction in New Zealand. 


  1. DRIVE productivity breakthrough, accelerate project delivery and reduce overall costs by adopting proven techniques used in modern methods of construction and prefabrication.
  2. DISCOVER successful international case studies and projects on modular construction and fabrication built with integrated project delivery utilizing DfMA and BIM.
  3. OVERCOME transportation and logistics challenges associated with modular construction and prefabrication for smooth installation.
  4. ESTABLISH stakeholder engagement plan and build a compelling business case to convince key stakeholders of the need to modularize and prefabricate.
  5. LEVERAGE the use of intelligent building materials to achieve sustainability and breakthrough in construction capability. 

Whilst most of the speakers were talking about small volumetric modular systems, on the second day one of the speakers, from a company called Sarens, based in Yatala in Brisbane, had videos on his presentation about heavy lifting machines used to erect modular structures in particular they were using these machines in Western Australia at the height of the mining boom and he had some videos of interest to most steel detailers.

There was an opportunity in this presentation for me to raise my hand and share Steelcad’s recent experience in assist our builder in a modular solution for a complex roof we detailed. We were asked by our builder to provide a solution to modularise a series of complex stick built roof structures so they could be built in an area away from the construction works with a view to lift them in as one module. These modules were clad and glazed and eliminate much of the at height risk traditionally associated with stick built structures.

By the second and third day of the seminar, I was certainly starting to look beyond the bathroom pod type of modular that was spoken of mostly. 

There were a couple of other speakers who were from the automotive manufacturing sector and they explained how they adopted some techniques not generally considered in the construction of buildings.

One of the most interesting comments made was the setting of a price for a modular item and then building to meet that target price, apparently this is common in automotive manufacturing and easier to achieve when something is modular. Their manufacturing techniques are geared around achieving this set price and efficiencies built in to deliver an item for a profit – To me, it seemed to encourage creativity and innovation.

There is a video on YouTube which shows a modular building being erected in China in 15 days. It makes use of a fully modularised building using volumetric and cassette type of items. Check this out:

You have to ask; Why aren’t we doing more of this here and making use of the knowledge and expertise in the automotive industry to revolutionise the construction industry and get more steel in mid to high rise development? This sort of construction has steel written all over it, as it would be very difficult to modularise or flat pack concrete construction?

I would recommend this seminar and types like it to any of our AISD members, the professional development alone is worth attending and the speakers are knowledgeable and approachable.

Is software development stagnating?
By Clayton Roxborough (AISD Qld)

Does 3D modelling software continue to live up to the Hype?

I think not….  What do you think?

The more time I spend in this industry, talking with clients and colleagues or attending industry events, the more I think we have become victims of industry ‘Hype’. 

I’m sure my views won’t go down well with certain sectors of our industry….like software re-sellers for example, who show up at industry conferences or events show-casing the latest and greatest ‘thing’, and run around in circles revealing the ‘thing’ to their audiences.

It’s regrettable that many detailing software re-sellers seem to know little about the industry that their software is trying to appeal to.  What the poor detailer ends up with, is a list of speakers talking about the latest ‘thing’, which of course is very interesting, but walking away without any solutions to their own burning issues.

If you are fortunate like I am, to have a strong network of detailing industry peers that utilize a broad variety of software packages and processes, you soon learn to identify the ‘Hype’.  You take a look, as you should, and try to figure out if what the software dealer is selling is actually a solution for you … or a solution for them.

As a business, every year we pay exorbitant sums to our favorite brand of 3D modeling software for annual subscriptions or maintenance for their latest “things”….. why?

To keep up with the Jones’s?

Really? …. sometimes I think the Jones’s must have no idea what they’re doing!

(it’s a metaphor, no offence to anyone actually named Jones)

Every year we sit down and evaluate the latest “thing” only to be disappointed with the newest offering and ponder whether or not it’s worth up-grading our systems. Sure, there are changes and additions that might be beneficial to related industries, but what’s in it for us, the steel detailer … and client?

In the past, I’ve seen great new developments in the software, only to find they are an “add-on” to our package. Great, my subscriptions have funded this development, but now I have to pay again if I am to actually benefit from it.

I don’t know about you, but in our business, we’re still using the same version of detailing software that we did in 2012. As a company director, I think its reasonable then to ask ourselves some serious questions about the software development for which we pay so handsomely.

  • Has development plateaued?
  • Is our major supplier acting on, or even listening to our feedback?
  • And is it worth it?

Reflect on your situation
Think about your own firm for a moment.  Or maybe an organisation you used to work for?

Has your external proprietary software improved much in recent years?

Does it continue to deliver advances or just maintain the advances you recognized years ago?

Has it become faster or easier to use? 

Or have you had to develop internal processes to work around inherent gaps and weaknesses?

Do please post a comment in the feedback section below….

Update on National Structural Steelwork Compliance Scheme

Government and Steelwork Compliance

The South Australian Government has announced that all steelwork procured for public
works will need to be independently tested and certified to Australian standards and has also
committed resources to making that happen.

The implementation will be managed by the State’s Industry Participation Advocate to revise
the State’s procurement policies to specify that steel be sourced from mills with Australasian
Certification Authority for Reinforcing and Structural Steel (ACRS) third party certification
and for steelwork to come from steel fabricators independently certified to the recently
created National Structural Steelwork Compliance Scheme (NSSCS).

National Structural Steelwork Compliance Scheme (NSSCS)
The NSSCS is a quality compliance and certification system for supply, fabrication and
erection of structural steelwork encompassing the relevant design Standards. The new
Australian Standard AS/NZS 5131 - Fabrication and Erection of Structural Steelwork is the
prime reference standard for the NSSCS.
Certification of steel fabricators to comply with the NSSCS is carried out by Steelwork
Compliance Australia (SCA).

Steelwork Compliance Australia (SCA)
SCA is an independent auditing and certification body. Its objective is to provide quality
compliance certification of steelwork fabricators who are assessed as having capability to
achieve compliance to the relevant Australian Standards required to one of four Construction
Categories largely aligned to Building Code of Australia (BCA) building Importance Levels.

The SCA website is located at

The ASI is encouraging other state governments to follow South Australia into requiring all
steelwork for government projects to be sourced from ACRS certified steel mills and
fabricated by SCA certified steel fabricators.

The NSSCS continues to gain support throughout Australia with currently 40 fabricators who
are either SCA certified, in the process of doing so or have shown strong expressions of

Engineers and Steelwork Compliance
AS/NZS 5131 requires engineers to specify a steel fabrication Construction Category in their
project specifications. The Construction Category specifies the correct level of quality and
assurance controls to be in place to ensure the structure meets the engineer’s design
assumptions and the level of risk mitigation under obligations implicit in the Workplace
Health & Safety Act.

The selection of a Construction Category for a steel structure or its components is a riskbased
approach intended to provide consistency with the reliability philosophy and principles
on which the fundamental load assessment (AS/NZS 1170 series) and structural design (AS
4100) are based. The approach ensures fabrication and erection recognise the importance
level of the structure, what maintenance and inspection measures will be in place, the
consequences of failure and the complexity of the tasks.

The auditing of fabricators by the SCA to meet the various Construction Categories will
ensure engineers have peace of mind that when a SCA-certified steel fabricator is engaged
for the work, a range of checks and balances are in place around product compliance and
traceability that are transparent, uniform and in time firmly established across the supply

Detailers and Steelwork Compliance
Detailers have an important part to play in ensuring the ‘chain of custody’ for structural
steelwork remains intact under AS/NZS 5131 and the NSSCS. As a partner supporting
engineers in ensuring the design intent is properly documented and conveyed down the
supply chain, detailers should:

  • Be aware that the ‘construction category’ for a particular structure or
    component must be documented.
    In most instances, this should have been
    defined by the engineer in their documentation and needs to be transferred onto the
    documentation prepared by the detailer.

  • Check that the construction documentation provided has suitable wording to
    reference the Standard and the necessary project-specific detail selections.

    The level of detail should be sufficient to allow the detailer to clearly and
    unambiguously assign the correct ‘construction category’ to all detailed steelwork
    using appropriate notes on the drawings and electronic model.

  • Work with the fabricator to ensure the above is actioned. With the use of certified
    fabricators, much of this is already configured.
Guidance on implementation is contained in ASI Tech Note 11 ‘Structural Steelwork
Fabrication and Erection Code of Practice – Implementation Guide for Design Engineers’
available for free download from
For further information visit:

Unfair Contract Protections For Small Business

For many years, there has been a need for changes to contract laws and processes to stop some big businesses from abusing and misusing their power.
Now the Turnbull government, through Minister for Small Business Kelly O’Dwyer, has confirmed it will bring in those changes and achieve significant outcomes for small business owners through hard-fought for reforms.

These changes to contract protections are very necessary.

Up until now the argument from some “not-so-ethical” large businesses is that a business-to-business contract is the same no matter if, for example, it is Rio Tinto versus BHP or Rio Tinto versus a steel detailer. That is of course wrong. The detailer is small business, no millions of dollars waiting to be spent on court cases, no experts advising on everything that is said and done. It is just them and perhaps a small number of paid advisers like an accountant and a lawyer.

As background the federal government’s proposed changes to unfair contract terms have already passed the Senate, with amendments, and needed to return to the House of Representatives.

Congratulations to the government for not blindly rejecting the amendments to its legislation on party grounds. Congratulations to the Greens for moving the important amendments and congratulations to Labor for not hindering the process.

The new laws, the current unfair contract term protections available to individual consumers will extend to cover small business contracts. The new protections will allow the courts to declare that any unfair contract terms are void.

As a result the new protections as currently drafted will be available for businesses with less than 20 employees for transactions under $300,000, or for multi-year contracts totalling less than $1,000,000.

Most Australian Detailing firms will fall under this umbrella of protection.

These changes will prohibit (render void) any clauses in a standard form business-to-business contract that create a major imbalance between big and small businesses, and which cannot be shown to be really needed or commercially relevant.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, State and Territory Australian Consumer Law regulators and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (for contracts relating to financial services and products) will be responsible for enforcing the law.
The ACCC is intending to provide guidance on the new protections once these laws are passed. We understand the ACCC and ASIC will hold a joint webinar about the protections once the laws are enacted.

Detailing and the Multi-generational Office

It’s no secret that people are living and working longer and the days of one or two generations making up a workforce will be a thing of the past.

Very soon, for the first time, we will start seeing workplaces with around four or five generations working side-by-side.

Forbes Magazine defines the five generations that will soon be working together are the traditionalists (born prior to 1946), Baby Boomers (1946-1964), Gen X (1965-1980), Gen Y (now referred to as Millennials) and the iGeneration (born after 1997).

Interestingly, Millennials, Gen Y, Digital Natives – whatever you want to call the generation born between 1980 and 2004 – represent almost a third of the global population today and will comprise of 75 per cent of the global workforce by 2025.

Whether I’m talking with a business owner or colleague, there is always a common theme when it comes to talking about their staff or the people from other businesses that they have to deal with.

The different generations always have something to say about each other – sometimes positive, sometimes ….. not so positive.

Things like ‘these young guys coming out of uni don’t know anything about building,’ or ‘they learn everything from google.’

Same goes with the younger generation, where they will say comments such as ‘they are just old school dinosaurs that don’t know how to use a computer.’

These are generalist comments, but no doubt in future we’re going to have to all work together and learn from each other to create a positive and productive workforce – especially when it comes to generational differences.

This will require a drive within every business to increase levels of collaboration and communication. It will become vital that the entire staff is able to learn from one another and that the diversity of age and experience is positively harnessed.

Here are a few ideas about how a multi-generational drawing office can learn from one another:

The wisdom of maturity
There is little substitute for experience. While the number of years that someone has been performing a role is no guarantee that they are doing it any better, it is fair to suggest that those with more experience will be more competent and comfortable in certain tasks.
Safe Work Australia recently found that workers under 25 had a work related injury rate 18% higher than those of a more mature age, with more experience.
In an industry where the emphasis on returning home safely to your family is the number one priority, younger workers can learn from their more experienced counterparts.
The sombre side of this equation is that those of a more mature age have more often than not seen instances where incidents have occurred, sometimes with devastating implications. We all learn from these experiences and if there is wisdom which can be passed down to the younger generation coming through, then the results can only be positive.

Over the years within the construction industry, you are bound to meet more people and build a network that can be used to benefit your business.
Mature workers can be fantastic in making introductions to the younger members of the team while generating business opportunities and broadening the horizons of the more junior team members through past successes and even failures.
A strong network in the construction sector is important. It is natural that those who have been around for longer may have a broader and more trusted one to call upon.
Managing relationships is going to be a large part of the job in the future.
When you have a good team around you everyone can benefit – knowledge, wisdom, experience comes from all walks of life in construction and the multi-generational workforce is only going to be more productive if it can be embraced.

Not all problems are best solved in the way that the textbook suggests.
Over the years, the older members of the workforce will have learned different ways of handling situations, solving problems and tackling challenges. Engineering and construction is about problem solving and delivering innovative solutions.
Those who have been around for longer will no doubt be able to use their previous experience to draw on different points in their career when they have faced similar issues.
Conversely, it is important that the older generation is open to the myriad of areas in which their younger, less experienced colleagues can add genuine value to the workplace.

In the steel detailing world, the advent of modelling software, 3D printing and new design related technologies are continually evolving and challenging existing ways of working.
Those who have grown up surrounded by this technology and have undertaken training, where they are actively encouraged to disrupt the norm, can add a different dimension to the workplace.

Reverse mentoring - The practice of having a younger employee mentor an older peer may not be standard practice in the construction industry, but that is expected to change.
High energy, youthful enthusiasm and a willingness to table innovative ideas are all areas in which the younger worker can add value to a business and push the more experienced worker to think differently.

Mentoring isn’t about a one-off conversation where an employee imparts knowledge and then walks away – it’s an ongoing communication that will help both parties in the long run.
The workforce is becoming increasingly multi-generational and individuals and businesses who embrace this will create a culture, which will attract the best talent and thus increase company performance.

Australian Architects Ranking in World's Top 100
Marc Howe

Woods Bagot has led the charge amongst Australian firms on the latest international rankings of the world’s leading architectural practices.

Australian architects continue to rank prominently amongst the world's leading practitioners of building design, with five local companies making the 2016 list of the world's top 100 architecture firms.

British architectural newspaper Building Design has just released its World Architecture 100 (WA100) list of the leading architecture firms around the globe, based on an international survey of 1,350 members of the industry by UK communications agency Camargue.

A total of five Australian architecture practices feature on the 2016 list, with Woods Bagot at the top once again in sixth place, rising one spot compared to its position in last year's list.
The other Australia practices on the list this year include Cox Architecture, at 44th position compared to 45th last year, Bates Smart at 57th place, Buchan Group, which climbed two spots from 60 in 2015 to 58 this year, and GHD Woodhead, at 99th position.

While Australian architects continue to perform impressively in the international rankings, the number of local practices on the World Architecture 100 fell by one in 2016 compared to six last year. Several prominent firms have slipped off the list, including HBO+EMTB, which placed 43rd last year, Thomson Adsett, at 95th position in 2015, and Hayball, which previously made 99th.

US practice Gensler came in first on the WA100 for 2016, regaining top spot after ceding it to engineering consultancy Aecom last year. According to Building Design Gensler remains the world's largest architecture practice as well as the one with the highest earnings.

Aecom took second place this year after being ousted by Gensler from the top spot, followed by Japan's Nikken Sekkei in third position. The top five were rounded out by US firms Perkins+Will and HDR, in fourth and fifth position respectively.

In addition to placing five firms in the top 100 the Australian market also displays strong growth potential, making the top five this year behind China, the USA, UK and India with a figure of six per cent.

The WA100 Top Five

  1. Gensler (US)
  2. Aecom (US)
  3. Nikken Sekkei (Japan)
  4. Perkins+Will (USA)
  5. HDR (USA)

The Top Five Australian Firms on the WA100

  1. Woods Bagot (6th)
  2. Cox Architecture (44th)
  3. Bates Smart (57th)
  4. Buchan Group (58th)
  5. GHD Woodhead (90th)


Modern Methods of Construction
David Chandler OAM

Speaking at an industry event, Amy Marks offered her insights into the state of modern construction.

Marks made a compelling case for clients to rethink how they buy their construction projects in future.

Marks is the president of US-based XSite construction consulting, but her work now covers many markets. She is an international member of the Singapore Government’s Building Construction Authority (BCA) and advises on how the Singapore industry might implement their Construction Productivity Roadmap. BCA’s vision is to realise a highly integrated and technologically advanced construction sector led by progressive firms and supported by a skilled competent workforce by 2020 through a four-pronged approach which includes:

  • Imposing regulatory requirements and minimum standards to drive widespread adoption of labour-saving technology
  • Enhancing the quality of the construction workforce
  • Offering financial incentives to encourage manpower development, technology adoption and capability building
  • Regulating the demand and supply of low cost, lower skilled foreign workforce through foreign worker levy system

Marks spoke of a new wave of construction productivity and of customers wanting to avoid the waste and excessive cost of construction contracts in the US. The common response then is, “how do I do that?” They get it. Her starting point for projects is what she calls Moment Zero. If clients are not prepared to reset the direction of their projects at this point, they will be destined to what they always have got.

When working with clients, construction consultants should not seek to displace anyone at the table be they designer, contractor or supplier. To continue to sit at the table, however, team members must be able to establish clarity about their value proposition, how that works with integrated procurement and the impact on project cost. It’s all about establishing rule clarity across the entire project team and ensuring a project continuum is maintained. It’s also about applying practical industry knowledge to better ways of organising work and constructing on-site. It’s a global trend.

Marks describes the emergence of new Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) construction contracts which cut through the old project hierarchies and disconnects. These contracts set up a systems approach which analyse how project elements fit into the construction sequence. The key is not trying to do it all in one step.
“Best to start with small buildings blocks and develop from there over time” she said.
This new style of contracting arrangement feeds into what Marks describes as Modern Methods of Construction (MMC). Here, Marks makes an important distinction between the roles of BIM and Designed for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA). BIM can be an off-site enabling tool but designers need to adopt the practice of knowing how they will source what they are drawing and ensure “fit” confidence on-site. DfMA is the key driver of these capabilities.

Using a combination of IPD, DfMA and MMC, the construction procurement and delivery process becomes more efficient and predictable. Marks pointed to Boeing and the design and procurement of the modern jet airliner. It would be inconceivable for a Boeing design engineer to start drawing any part of an airplane without having a clear idea of who the suppliers were and how the parts would come together. Marks stresses that there are no vendor preferences. Suppliers have to demonstrate value-add every time. It’s very dynamic; the process drives innovation and attacks waste.

Of course, MMC feeds into much more of the construction process occurring off-site and the incorporation of intelligent materials, components, sub-assemblies and modules. Marks is aware of the slow rate of development of the off-site industry in Australia. She makes the point that irrespective of how the construction off-site momentum gathers in Australia, the prefabrication hub now forming across Singapore, China and Malaysia is like a small Silicon Valley full of very innovative companies.

Marks also spoke about a challenge common in developed countries - that of ensuring experienced construction workforces could maintain active working lives as they age. In the US, offsite is providing job continuity for older workers and creating new opportunities for women and veterans in a market where skill shortages are growing.

Marks makes no apologies that the residual work on construction sites will become much more assembly orientated, just as it has in every industry that has undergone these changes. She can speak to more rewarding, skilled, safer, higher quality and less exposed construction work on site in the future.

“Stop snapping chalk lines on-site” she said.

In the US, onsite workforces are costing upwards of $75/hr. These are tough jobs and are exposed to project economic cycles.

“But it’s not the money, it’s the work rules on site that are unsustainable” said Marks.
Off-site, the workforce becomes more multi-skilled, is more productive under better conditions and enjoys higher job continuity prospects. Off-site labour costs are closer to $35/hr, but the trade-offs would seem worthwhile. In the US, unions are taking positive interest in these trends, just as they are taking an interest in their members' interests to help keep jobs stateside. Marks emphasises that all of construction’s stakeholders are in the same productivity boat together.

Member Profile
Glen Baillie, BDS Vircon

So Glen, can we start by getting some back ground on you so our readers know where you're coming from?
Born and raised in Brisbane, Queensland.
44 years old.
Married for 21 years with 3 kids – 2 boys and a girl.
25 years as a steel detailer (Construction Modeller).

What’s your detailing story? Please tell us how you got into detailing, who you've worked for and for how long etc.
Always enjoyed graphics in high school and as a result asked to do work experience at an architect/engineering/drafting firm.
Grade 12 work experience I was placed with Draftmark for a week. This co-in sided with the firm’s current cadet nearing the completion of his cadetship. On completion of the week of work experience Neil Cooke advised that I should contact them at the end of the year with the possibility of starting a cadetship the following year.
On finishing Year 12 I rang Neil and an interview was arranged. The last piece of the puzzle was TE score.
Once I had received my TE score, I advised Neil of the result.
Starting date was set in January 1990 and the rest is history.
Spent the next 10 years with Draftmark/Steeltech. 7 years spent learning and drafting on the board, then the next 3 on AutoCAD with a locally developed add on for Steel Detailing. In the last year at Steeltech I attended the 2 week X-Steel (Tekla) training course and saw where the future was going to lead.
Migrated to BDS in the year 2000 after receiving a call from Doug Siggs. Started working on Australian jobs under the banner X-tech.
X-tech was absorbed back into the main drafting office of BDS after 10 or so years and I’ve been “upstairs” ever since.

What's your current role at BDS?
Senior Modeller/Project Manager/Estimator/Checker

What software package(s) have you used and which of these is your preference?
Drawing Board J
AutoCAD + add on
X-steel/Tekla Structures

Is there anything about the early days in your career that you miss now?
The early days in my career were spent stocking cupboards with all the necessities required to keep a drafting firm functioning. From drafting pen ink to triple carbon transmittal pads to light sensitive paper for the print machine, the cadet was responsible for everything. These days, with the advent of programs like Tekla, the need for these items has waned substantially however the need for document control has exploded. Do I miss the early days – not at all!

Has there been a defining project or period for you professionally?
I don’t think there has been just one project that has been a defining moment or period for me. I came into detailing, the drawing board was the established way things were done but there was already a move underway to AutoCAD and then onto programs like Tekla Structures. Currently we are enjoying a period where by the engineering side of things is being done in a much closer way with the engineering firms. The interaction with the engineer seems to have a more professional – “I appreciate your input – what are your thoughts on how we can achieve this?” feel.

What are the most satisfying aspects of your work?
The satisfaction I get from detailing comes in knowing that a building or machine, be it a shopping centre, casino, high rise, factory, hospital or ship loader, has been able to be erected/built because of my involvement in getting the design onto drawings that allow the steelwork to be fabricated and erected.

How would you compare your experiences as a detailer on US and Australian projects? Is one better than the other and what are the US design drawings are like to work with?
With regard to the differences in working on a US project as opposed to an Australian project, there is very little if any difference in how they need to be approached. US projects are more demanding when meeting the requirements of the client (usually a fabricator) i.e. welding symbols and preps the fabricator has a preference for, including the use of prequalified welds. The necessity for erection aids which again each fabricator has a preference as to the design used for these.
Australian projects seems to cover more items that the US considers to be miscellaneous i.e. handrail and grating. As for US design drawings – because most of what we receive has been designed/drawn down to a budget, there are little, if any differences in design drawings. In both instances the documents we receive today usually lack all the necessary information to complete the detailing which in turn means there is a lot more time spent writing RFI’s chasing down information in today’s environment.

How long have you been a member of the AISD?
I’ve been a member for 8 years.

What was the primary motivation for you to join?
The need to influence the outputs from architectural and engineering firms motivated me to join. As the QISD, at the time, had proposed an awards system, with the backing of the ASI, as a means to improve the quality of design documentation, I thought it would be a good time to become a member and hopefully influence the documentation we were receiving.

Do you think detailers are given the recognition they deserve for all the "non-detailing" work they do?
I believe that the recognition for “non-detailing” elements of our work is changing. Previously I don’t believe there was any thought/recognition given to the capabilities of detailers particularly from a design point of view. However, as stated above, working in a much closer way with engineers has, I believe, made them much more aware of our capabilities. Previously I think that engineers believed that there was a fixed path that the design had to take to get to the detailing phase. 

How do you see the future for our industry or the steel construction industry as a whole?
Currently I believe our industry is becoming more orientated towards a design assist model. We, as detailers, currently have more influence over design and how it’s carried out than ever before. I can see a day where the only drawings produced will be those required by a boilermaker to fabricate the steel.

In your opinion, what are the main challenges facing our industry?
The main challenge facing our industry today is perceived extra expense.
The ability to “add value” to the design and have the client understand that by paying a little more upfront will result in a better outcome overall is something that will always be an issue.

AISD (NSW) Yearly Fishing Trip 2016
Rick Dembiany, Director - DemCox Pty Ltd

On a beautiful Monday morning back on 18th January 2016 it was once again time to forget about work for a day and head out to sea. 11 keen AISD (NSW) members met at Terrigal boat ramp very early in the morning and headed out on board of Central Coast Charters shortly after.

When we arrived at our first reef half an hour into the journey and despite relatively calm seas, some of the chaps got sea sickness had already claimed its first victims. Nonetheless all rods were baited up and in they went.

We didn't have to wait long for the first keepers to show up and for the next few hours managed a good mixed bag of reef fish of Morwong, Snapper, Pigfish, Nanyguy etc.

  • Chris Velovski (centre) with the Champions of our tournament for 2016
  • Tony Velovski with largest catch of our tournament for 2016
  • Rick Dembiany as the Angler of the tournament trophy 2016 (Most Fish Caught)

The trophy for the biggest fish of the day went to Tony Velovski from EDC Consultants for a 54cm Morwong and the trophy for angler of the day for most 'keeper fish' went to Rick Dembiany from DemCox with 14 caught.

All in all, a brilliant day out with over 30 fish kept for a good feed.
Thanks to the skipper for putting us onto the fish and thanks to Chris for organising the trophies (and managing to break one before given out...)

Industry News
Brad Backer, BDS Vircon

In a recent edition of STRUCTURE magazine* there was an interesting article on Electroslag Welding which features the Wilshire Grand Hotel, a project where BDS VirCon (a company member of the AISD) was an integral member of the project team.

Just a few extracts from the article are included below for ease of reading however if you would like to read the full article please refer to the attached link.

Taking ESW-NG to the Field

Rarely was conventional ESW seen at the site of a major structural engineering project. One notable ESW field application occurred during the construction of the New Orleans, Louisiana Mercedes-Benz Superdome, circa 1975. With the immergence of ESW-NG, electroslag welding is now a highly-competitive option for welding thick steel joints in the field.

East Span, San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge Tower

The first ESW-NG field-welding occurred during the construction of the East span of the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge (complete early in 2014), the world’s longest self-anchored suspension (SAS) bridge. The base of its single tower consists of twenty (20), 33-foot (10 m) long ESW-NG welds that join steel plates, up to four inches (100 mm) in thickness. Five uniquely oriented joints required custom welding shoes. Thirty-six-foot (11 m) long guides channeled two 3⁄32-inch (2.4 mm) diameter alloy-cored wires into the molten slag and weld pools as three shoes on each side of the joint were leap-frogged in unison ahead of the pools. The ESW-NG welds were completed in 60 days. Less than 5% of the total length of the welds required repairs. Weld defects were generally due to variations (on the shallow side) in the optimal slag pool depth.

The Wilshire Grand Hotel, Los Angeles, California

The tallest skyscraper in California, The Wilshire Grand Hotel, is under construction in downtown Los Angeles. Its lateral force resisting system consists of a concrete core, buckling-restrained outrigger braces (BRBs), and perimeter belt trusses. ESW-NG welds joined gusset plates for Lower Outrigger BRBs to the structure. These BRB ESW-NG joints are approximately 12 feet high x 2.75 inches thick (3.6 m x 7 cm). ESW-NG welds up to 49 inches (149 cm) long and 5 inches (15 cm) thick also joined the flanges of the chord and diagonal members of the Lower Belt truss to the face of box columns.

ESW-NG was recently used to weld BRB gusset plates to plates embedded in the concrete core of the Wilshire Grand Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

This issue contains an article on the Wilshire Grand and two prior issues (December 2014 and August 2015) of STRUCTURE tracked construction of the Wilshire Grand.

Mock-up of instrumented column flange splice. Traditional horizontal FCAW column splices can be rapidly welded at 45 degrees using ESW-NG.

General Field-welding of Building Structures

ESW-NG is poised for common use in the field-erection phase of steel construction. It is particularly ideal for welding heavy column flange splices of large W-shapes, since joints oriented 45-50 degrees from vertical can be successfully welded with ESW-NG. It takes 30 hours or more to splice a heavy-column using FCAW. In comparison, it takes about 30 minutes or less to weld both flanges of any thickness material using ESW-NG.


Electroslag welding may no longer be considered as simply one option to splice thick plates in a steel fabrication shop. It can economically weld stiffener, continuity, and base plates to the flanges of steel shapes, and attach diaphragms to the inside walls of box columns. Modern technological advances in ESW, embodied in ESW-NG, has also expanded its role to the construction site of a major high-rise building and bridge construction. ESW-NG is proving itself to be the most cost-effective choice at many connections, for the reliable production of thick welds in steel bridges and buildings.?

Author  ⁄ Janice J. Chambers, Ph.D., S.E.

Janice J. Chambers is an associate professor of structural engineering at the University of Utah.
*STRUCTURE magazine is a US magazine exclusively published for practicing structural engineers.

Point Cloud Surveying and Steel Detailing
Philip Shanks

In 2015 I approached Scott Beazley for a chat at QUT over a beer. Scott being a guy pretty well connected in the BIM community, we discussed ways to get a group together to discuss the common links between various disciplines in the AEC space.
We ended up forming a group and naming it:

Those on the group are:

  • Michael Carlotto - Arkhefield
  • Alan Cullen - WSP
  • Philip Shanks - Steelcad Drafting
  • Mark Mayers - Fyfe
  • Scott Beazley - University of Wollongong

We met once a month over 2015 and after a few months in decided to focus on Point cloud surveying and surveying in general and how it affected each of us. It came to a point where we believed that we had enough content to deliver a presentation at BrisBIM in 2016.
That Presentation was delivered on the 20th of April and extracts of my portion are as shown below.

Surveying and Shop Detailing can be broken into three categories:
From site to Office - Preconstruction

  • Gain a visual understanding of the site without ever having been there
  • Point cloud Surveys give a 3D representation of the interface
  • Autodesk Recap and Truview both offer not only a visual experience, but an ability to take measurements
  • From this point educated questions can be asked of the builder for more detailed surveys of walls and other interface areas requiring more detailed information.
  • Previously a 2D DXF survey would have been supplied with a number of site photos. The photos are difficult to obtain an understanding of the site as they are merely still images.
  • Using Truview in particular gives an almost photographic representation of the interface scanned and can assist in understanding more detail regarding masonry substrates – Block work or Precast.

Office to Site - Preconstruction

  • Survey data can be exported from 3D models in XYZ coord’s in order to assist in site setout. Examples of use would be HD bolts, masonry bolt setout and precast panel setout.
  • Survey data from an Integrated Construction Model is as accurate as the build is going to be. Taking survey data from a design model for the purpose of site setout can be fraught with problems as they are generally considered conceptual models only.

Site to Office – During Construction

  • Cross checking cast in items such as HD bolts
  • Why do this? Because Concrete is fluid and steel is ridged – the two don’t mix well and is generally the cause of interface and fitup error.
  • Its an opportunity to repair site errors before they become construction errors

Some observations:

Adding surveying into a construction workflow is an added cost, but its got to be a valued cost?

  • What does it cost to fix construction errors on site?
  • What is a construction delay worth to mitigate?
  • Who pays for construction error costs? At the end of the day the builder does in time and $ cost.
  • Who wants to keep making the same mistakes from one project to another? Surveying can help!
  • Who likes stress? Surveying can remove unnecessary stresses related to poor construction practices.
  • Who likes the idea of making a $ on a project? Crazy thought isn’t it, however if clever and logical construction processes are adopted then this is possible.
  • These are all good reasons to adopt surveying.

Are we doing it?

  • “From site to Office – Preconstruction” – Starting to see more of this, why? Those with the technology have done a good job selling it to builders. The visual assistance is helpful on so many fronts to so many disciplines.
  • “Office to Site – Preconstruction” – Hardly ever as we as Steel Detailers are never asked upfront, why? Perhaps not enough understanding of the benefits to the builder.
  • “Site to Office – During Construction” – Starting to see more of this, why? The cost to survey and pay a Steel Detailer is minimal to have the steel reworked before it gets to site. Any rework on site costs a fortune, everything is done at the highest possible rate due to the rework cost its self plus OH&S costs.


  • Even in 2016 what seems like a no brainer is still a hard sell.
  • Who has the most to gain? Builders do, so how many of them are in this room?? They are underrepresented at events delivered by practitioners developing and using process of which they have the most to gain – go figure!
  • More builders are catching on to technology and benefits to be had
  • Time will heal construction industry failures.

Autodesk Recap Cloud

Photo of the site

Some Detail Inside The Building

Truview map of the same building above, showing the way point markers

An image of one of the way point

This is just an example of the survey information steel Detailers are receiving these days. Highly detailed and photo realistic imagery of an existing site. By looking at these images one can understand what the site looks like without even going to site.

The group plans to release a 'Best Practice' document based on our collaborative works by the time the next BrisBIM comes around in June, so keep an eye out for it.

APCC - Australian Procurement Construction and Council.

An Extract From The APCC Website:

"The Australasian Procurement and Construction Council Inc (APCC) is the peak council whose members are responsible for procurement, construction and asset management policy for Australian State and Territory Governments.  Papua New Guinea is an associate member. The APCC is made up of 11 member agencies.

Over the past 48 years, the APCC has established itself as a leader in government procurement, construction and asset management strategies and practice.  The work of the APCC is committed to procurement innovation, solutions and efficiencies designed to create savings and maximise service delivery to the communities of Australia and Papua New Guinea.

The APCC promotes a cohesive government procurement environment and manages national projects for the Council of Australian Governments.  It harnesses the benefits of nationally consistent approaches for its members."

There are a range of industry documents which can be downloaded for free which are heavy in detail but worth a peruse if you have the time.

I have been particularly interested in - "Building and Construction Procurement Guide: Project Team Integration and Building Information Modelling".

There is a lot of information in this document which can be used by Shop Detailers to understand where they fit in a design team, or collaborative environment.
View documents to download here:

AISD 2015 AGM Summary
Wednesday 25th November 2015

Meeting opened 5.30 pm by Clayton

General Introduction:
The AISD committee have been meeting on a monthly basis.  It was mentioned by Clayton that the current committee of 2015 have decided to make that a Bi Monthly meeting from 2016 onward unless there are any pressing issues needing a meeting sooner. The reason for this is to take some pressure off the committee and the current meeting expectations. A Bi monthly meeting will give time for the committee to pass around ideas and deliver more focus to issues which are to be addressed.
It was also suggested that the committee are wanting to invite members into the meeting, be they company or employee, in order to draw from a wider range of ideas and opinion.
All meetings are structured and driven by an Agenda sent out by the secretary prior to the meetings.

The position of Treasurer has been vacated as Kerry Lindemann has moved overseas for work.
Brad Backer was appointed Treasurer – unopposed
Mark Kelly nominated himself as a committee member.

The committee for 2016 is (elected unopposed):

Brad Backer (Treasurer)
Phil Shanks (Secretary)
Clayton Roxborough (President)
Peter Hempsell
Tim Rachow
Joe Biggs
Mark Kelly
John Gardner of the ASI – honorary member

General meeting opened at 6.00pm
Chaired by Clayton. – A brief summary of 2015

  • Clayton mentioned the recent issue of the eye for Detail magazine and the struggle for obtaining national content for the newsletter, that is contributions from other state AISD members
  • Clayton and John Gardner went to QRC this year to deliver a presentation on IPD
  • There was a mention of the recent media release by the ASI on 7.30 ABC this month – regarding imported steel and substandard manufacturing and its effect on local businesses.
  • Clayton presented at the National Steel convention on early contractor engagement and IPD
    • The AISD steering committee me at the Steel detailer forum at steel convention. John Gardner was involved. There was discussion about making the AISD a national body. AISD QLD delivered all other states a wish list for this nat body for discussion.
    • Mainly Sydney based details went to the Steel Detailers forum.
    • AISD Ambassador cards have been delivered to states
  •  2016 is when the ASI will have the steel awards and there is a need to prepare for the IPD award.

The guest speaker Michal Carlotto of Arkhfield (Architect) was introduced.

Michael delivered an interesting presentation on BIM and early engagement with Steel detailers. He listed a couple of projects where their firm had hired Steel detailers on projects in order to take control of the manufacturing side of design. Working with Shop detailers proved beneficial to the project as they were able to minimise RFIs and speed up the build and save the client money. He tabled reports by Mcgraw Hill and their own reporting as a result of what happened on projects where Steel Detailers were brought into the design earlier.
He also showed and explained the difference, where they wished they had taken more control of the steel detailing in design phase because where steel detailing was at arm’s length, this proved to be where problems occurred.
Areas Michael discussed:

  • Working with Shop detailers – pros and cons
  • Point clouds and how they have used them on projects – they don’t discriminate
  • Architects are generalists – Steel Detailers define accuracy

There are many industry bodies saying the same thing – “Early Engagement of Shop Detailing can be of great benefit to projects.” The AISD committee wanted to get a consultant input on Early Engagement of steel Detailers into the design space, in order to show AISD members other ways in which they can be engaged to work.

The AISD would like to thank Michael for taking the time to speak to us.

Break for Dinner

Open Forum:
After dinner Phil summarised what happened at the last BrisBIM for 2015 – BrisBIMX
There were three presentations at QUT:

  • One on the use of 3D software on the Chandler Velodrome
  • One on the use of Grass hopper and Rino and integration with other softwares
  • One on BIM to FM

All three were interesting presentations, particularly the 1st two. Keep an eye out on the BisBIM website for the content.

Tell us what you think

The AISD needs to know what its members what to hear about.
If you have any feedback, ideas, opinions or future articles, we would love to hear more.


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