Kane Construction and BFN Developments nail top Master Builder awards two years in a row.

For their execution of the University of Melbourne Arts West Redevelopment, Kane Constructions Pty Ltd received top honours as Master Builder of the Year (Commercial) at the Master Builders Excellence in Construction Awards, held at Crown Palladium on Friday, August 4.

Before a record‐breaking crowd of nearly 700 guests, Kane Constructions accepted the highest accolade for a commercial project, this one an animated and high‐profile renovation of a 1990s institutional building in Parkville.

The building’s previously sober façade has been replaced with a matrix of horizontal fins sculpted to depict silhouettes of notable objects in the university’s cultural collection. The interior offers a vivid and textured series of spaces for study and instruction including a 150‐seat lecture hall. An expansive atrium links with the original building by a 30‐metre vierendeel truss, notable for its strength and decorative quality without diagonal bracing.

“This building has an unexpected degree of personality; its interior spaces have a notable but restrained multi‐ethnic flavour that creates a pleasant educational atmosphere,” says Master Builders CEO Radley de Silva. “The way this project is put together is compelling and invites exploration.

“On Master Builders’ 142nd anniversary, we are very fortunate to have high‐calibre projects such as this one to demonstrate the significance of Victoria’s building and construction industry and contribute to its distinguished heritage.”

Also honoured on the night was Michael Rapinett, named Young Builder of the Year. The 29-year‐old obtained his bachelor degree in Applied Science Project Management (Honours) from RMIT in 2010. He has worked for Porter Davis Homes, Hacer Constructions and FourSQ, and been entrusted with projects valued up to $15M including Highpoint West Shopping Centre, DFO South Wharf, Frankston Bayside Shopping Centre, Altona Gate Shopping Centre, Aldi Springvale and, most recently, Essendon Field.

“Michael’s accomplishments are well‐established, and his deportment as a building professional sets a high standard for the industry,” de Silva says. “Michael represents the important achievements of younger people in our industry’s workforce, and the pool of talent from which future leaders in Victorian building and construction will emerge.”

BFN Developments is another serial winner this year, named Regional Master Builder of the Year (Commercial) two years running, this time for Abbey Gardens Aged Care Facility in Warragul. The scope of works for the construction of a new 123‐bed Aged Care Facility on a green‐filled site included a ground slab, a suspended slab, timber framing and brick veneer, rendered walls, feature stone cladding, timber arbours, a BBQ pavilion, street works, car parks and landscaping.

Master Builders are very pleased to recognise good work for institutional projects of this type. Senior Australians are a rapidly growing population in Victoria and will need significant attention in infrastructure planning. They are too often relegated to the margins of planning attention as clients for quality construction.

Kane Constructions will now go on to compete at the Master Builders Association National Excellence in Building and Construction Awards at the Princess Wharf, Hobart, on Saturday, 25 November.