The Stillwell Motor Group has been representing prestige automotive brands like BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo and Volkswagen in Australia for over 70 years and now employs more than 400 people across eight dealerships and automotive aftersales companies Logicar and SMG Parts.
As automotive technology has transformed over time, the family-owned company has also seen dramatic advances in service, warehousing and delivery – advances which are now reflected in a new $6.5 million parts storage and vehicle pre-delivery facility at the Precinct F2 estate near Moorabbin Airport.
Before relocating, Stillwell consulted widely with its employees and then, on the recommendation of developer and long-term Qanstruct customer Goodman, approached Qanstruct to design and construct the project. The result is a state-of-the-art facility completed in June 2018, which takes advantage of the latest tools and technologies to increase efficiency and productivity and embodies Stillwell’s design guidelines for layout, colour scheme, interior design and construction.
The two-storey Head Office sits behind an innovative and impactful curved façade, which created unique challenges when applying the composite wall cladding, windows and West-facing boxed steel punchout. With an open-plan design and outdoor staff areas to foster team culture, it houses conference and meeting rooms, an IT testing room and business support services including accounting, IT, HR and stock control areas.
The adjacent 5,000m2 warehouse stores automotive products and parts and also holds imported cars prior to despatch to SMG dealerships. It has its own office, integrated plantroom, car washing and detailing facilities and a cantilevered canopy covering a 755m2 area outside the loading bays to provide weatherproof loading and unloading. Carbon dioxide sensors and an extraction system were also fitted to offset vehicle and other operational emissions. A pump house and fire sprinkler tank are shared with neighbours on the estate, maximising the efficient use of land within the estate.
To conserve energy and reduce operational costs, Stillwell specified LED lighting with movement sensors throughout, rainwater harvesting for toilet flushing and irrigation, solar hot water systems and time-clock operation of all mechanical systems. Goodman is now working with the company to further improve the building’s environmental performance with solar panels.
Completed in June 2018, Stillwell’s new home provides high visibility exposure to passing motorists on nearby major arterial roads. While convenient, its proximity to the airport did provide logistical challenges, with Obstacle Limitation Surfaces (OLS) restrictions limiting the use of cranes on parts of the site to ensure unimpeded airspace. To overcome this challenge, Qanstruct built from the ‘middle-out’ rather than ‘side-to-side’ as normal, working on the affected areas each morning then switching to other parts of the building during restricted times.