Since 1961, Hella Australia has been bringing the German Hella Group’s world-leading lighting technology, electronic components and systems to the automotive industry in this country. Until recently, it designed, manufactured and distributed their products from its home base in Mentone. The recent completion of the company’s new $7 million headquarters on the Goodman business park at Moorabbin Airport, however, signals a new era for Hella in Australia while continuing a long and valued relationship between Qanstruct and the leading Australian developer.
With dynamic market trends and increasing global competition challenging the viability of local manufacturing, Hella has taken the opportunity to restructure its Australian operation and will now focus solely in importing, marketing and distribution of an imported product range, a move that allows Hella to continue to provide its high-quality products at a competitive price.
The 8,000 m2 facility was designed by Qanstruct in close collaboration with the client who, in turn, had consulted widely with its employees. It not only responds to local demands but also meets Hella’s exacting global Corporate Design criteria which call for a ‘clean, uncluttered, minimalist design’ with very specific raw materials and selected finishes.
The double-storey office provides a light-filled, open-plan workspace behind the double-glazed curtain wall building façade. With board and meeting rooms, two server rooms and an outdoor space, it’s designed to promote team bonding and collaboration.
The 6,000 m2 warehouse is designed for optimal operational efficiency, with racking, recessed loading docks and Super Canopies for weather-proof loading and unloading. A product testing room with specially adapted CO2 sensors and a custom-built extraction system, allows the company to conduct local testing of its evolving automotive electronic components on a range of vehicles.
Sustainability was a priority for Hella, both to reduce environmental impact and to offset operational costs. A water harvesting system feeds irrigation systems and toilets, while electric boosted solar hot water and time clock and movement sensor-controlled LED lighting help reduce energy consumption. Plans for the future include a solar system, while sharing a Pumphouse and Fire Sprinkler Tank with the adjacent lot maximises land use on the 15,000m2 site.
Strict Obstacle Limitation Surfaces (OLS), which protect the airspace operations of the nearby airport, created a logistical planning challenge by restricting crane use on the south-west corner of the building to just four hours a day. The solution was to take a ‘middle-out’ approach to construction so teams could work on the limited part of the building each morning and the rest of the project in the afternoons.
This careful planning, combined with an excellent collaborative relationship with Hella, allowed construction to proceed with minimal delays, resulting in a sleek and impressive facility which not only provides an efficient and exciting new base for the future, but an impressive high-visibility marketing presence for the company in its new location.