Vicbeam, located in Bayswater (Vic) has become the preferred supplier for many Victorian and Australia wide Timber Merchants and Wholesalers. We also work closely with architects and engineers.
Where it all started
In 2003 we realised that suppliers were failing their customers, not taking on the harder projects in laminated timber beams – there was a niche ready to be filled.
Andrew Wallace seized the opportunity as he had already been creating glulam works in Australia since the 80s, well ahead of the popularity we now see for the product.
While erecting glulam structures internationally, Andrew created a ‘can do’ attitude and a culture of strong constant innovation. Sons Joshua, Caleb and Tim have joined Andrew to make this a family values business.
Andrew worked on many major projects, including a pivotal one-year project in Hong Kong. The Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club (1991) took over a year at which time Andrew and his family relocated to Hong Kong where his expertise was required for several years.
Working in Hong Kong
Andrew fondly remembers… “ex pats didn’t work on the tools, they usually ran the project, so us working alongside Chinese labour as ‘white ghosts’ was a novelty. When a new contractor came on site their work was consecrated through burning incense, making sure the gods would smile upon the project.
When we arrived on site 20 labourers were needed to move the volumes of timber around, in a confined environment – there was a dire lack of space, nowhere to store the beams, something I’d never seen before. All the local Chinese workers wanted to arm-wrestle us because we were moving such large timber beams, something that they had never seen before.
We constructed a series of 9 roofs with the main one over the swimming pool. The largest span was 50 meters, octagonal with a 10-meter lantern light post on top. We used 1200 mm x 280mm deep beams, some assembled with a crane tower, but they were so heavy we sometimes needed 3 cranes to lift the beams into position.
We were 7 stories up working on bamboo scaffolding, which swayed and so was very nerve wracking. Bamboo became our friend in Hong Kong and we did everything on bamboo.
Although the environment was different, our values are always present; high quality workmanship, treating the team like family, working towards client satisfaction, being accountable for the outcome and continually improving our methods.
Once we completed the Jockey Club roof, we spent 6 months running workshops, educating government departments on the use of engineered timbers, leading to more projects being created in Hong Kong with us as the registered building contractor. We were pioneers in converting the steel and concrete building industry into one that embraced timber, especially the ASD – the Hong Kong Architectural Services Department.”
What’s our guarantee to you?
Whenever we have problems with our product we are well known to get out on site at our expense and fix them. We don’t need to fall back on a standard or a guarantee because we go the extra mile and we reference our values daily.
Being a smaller company, we are nimble, we retain our quality and constantly value add in areas such as:
- Glulam product design and innovation
- In-house fabrication services
- In-house drafting services
- Engineering solutions
- Timber oil coating services
- Timber connection detailing
If you need a specialist, we are here to help you.