Almost seven years ago, D Pearce Constructions made its fast-paced transition from a simple Queensland carpentry business to a fully-licensed building company. While they have managed to remain small, their focus is aimed towards higher-end residential projects, teaming up with well-known architects and suppliers. The company’s biggest turnaround has occurred within the last two years, after going through a very slow period at the end of 2014 to this year having our biggest turnover ever. “We used to just do any type of build,” says Director Duayne Pearce. “But, one of the reasons we’ve grown rapidly in the last 12 months is we’ve established our niche and we’re sticking to it. We offer a very good service to architects. Some clients come to us that have already got architectural plans and we work with them, but a lot of our work is incorporated with architects. We specialise in very detailed work.”
With the attention to detail comes the commitment to comfortable and sustainable living; each job exceeds standard energy rating requirements and, along with their architectural partners, D Pearce Constructions ensures the use of cutting-edge materials and technology to achieve the most energy-efficient result. “We use a lot of good cladding products which have got good energy ratings, we insulate all our walls and ceilings, and most of our jobs have solar power and hot water. We actually have a large project we’ve just started – a multimillion dollar home designed by Cunningham Designs which has been four years in the making – and with that one, the owners wanted to go overboard with the energy efficiency of the home.
We actually engaged a company called Property Technologies to do modelling on the project. So, we gave them all the materials that were going into the house, and they put it into a program and actually did a HAP model of the house over a full year, so we could tell how the products we were putting into the house would work before we even started to build. From that we’ve done a lot of work with window companies, insulation companies, and cladding companies, and we’ve been able to source materials to go into the project that are very compatible and there for extremely efficient. Now, before we’ve even started the project, we know that house is going to outperform pretty much most houses around.”
Located in Brookfield, this structurally intricate home has the ability to be maintained predominately through the use of an iPhone or mobile device. There will be a generous amount of ventilation options, with temperature sensors to indicate when air needs to be exchanged between interior and exterior in order to balance the air flow. A clerestory will be strategically placed through the centre of the home to circulate the hot air over and above. “We’ve put a lot of work into that house in the last two years, just to make sure that it’s all going to work,” says Pearce. “The area that the house is getting built in has got a lot of vegetation protection, and it’s quite a unique area. So that project will be quite special, blending in with the environment and being energy-efficient.”
When this highly-anticipated project is finished, Pearce hopes to gain further recognition for the company through multiple industry awards. In the past, D Pearce Constructions has won an Abode National Award for Best Construction on a Difficult Site and, each year, they usually obtain a Master Builders Association Award for Best Individual Home from anywhere between $550,000 to $2 million; however, there is one particular award that Pearce has his sights on. “We’d love to get Home of the Year, but we’ve missed out on that one,” he says. “We’ve done some very special homes in the past few years for clients that are very private people and haven’t been able to enter them. Which means we haven’t really been able to enter of our best work; it’s a bit of a shame, but we still manage to win awards.”
To maintain the level of quality they have become known for, D Pearce Constructions places a great deal of importance on maintaining strong relationships with contractors, suppliers and architects; they are currently working in collaboration with Richard Kirk Archecticts on another very high-end project, which Pearce sees as a “big win” for the reputation of the company, and they have also received several commendations from Reece Plumbing and Bretts Hardware. “If they get people coming into their showrooms that are looking for a builder, they actually refer us, and that’s a big compliment considering they deal with hundreds of builders. So, it’s very important to have good relationships with industry groups and trades. We’ve also got a really good relationship with Industry groups. We get contacted by them every now and then for information, and that feels good.”
While some facets of the industry have seen a decline in business, higher-end building companies have managed to achieve better stability in the fluctuating market; however, there are still two outstanding factors that Pearce perceives as a potential threat for the future. “Land has become so expensive, and a lot of the higher-end work is in the better suburbs,” he says. “So, people are spending huge amounts of money to buy old houses and then demolish them just so they can get in the area. Other than that, I definitely think there’s going to be a massive shortage of trades in the coming years. There seems to be a lot fewer apprentices coming through, especially in the higher-end work, but there seems to be a lot of apprentices working with the project-type builders. Getting trades into the specialty builds, I think, is going to be a hard one. People just don’t have the experience to work on multimillion-dollar homes.”
However, through popular demand, D Pearce Constructions has some very impressive projects coming up over the next 18 months. They have also been working on an information program that may take the form of a crash-course for the public. The aim is to educate on the typical building process from the very beginning choosing land and designers/architects, right through to hand over and warranties, for anyone who would like to know the specifics. “I’m very passionate about the building industry and my goal is for people to have so much enjoyment when building their new homes, that they can’t wait to do it again. – a project that Pearce hopes to be initiated very soon. “I think our goal for the next five years – now that we’ve got our business running really good, our turnover is up, and our profits are up – if we can just continue to implement all the systems we’ve put in place over the last 12 months and keep it consistent. We don’t want to be one of those builders that’s up and down. If we could build our reputation and keep consistency, that would be awesome.”