Get to know the people behind the business with our 5 Questions With series.
Once a month we sit down with a member of the Tremco Construction Products Australia (CPG) team to share some of their wisdom and expertise with us. This month we talked to Managing Director and our #TeamTremco leader, Kerry Birchall.
1. What is the most memorable experience you have had during your time with Tremco CPG or any of its brands?
There have been a quite a few very memorable experiences during my time with Tremco CPG Australia. I love being part of an organisation that is focused on making the world better for its customers through innovation and invests manufacturing infrastructure into our local economy.
Firstly, the success of enhancing our manufacturing capabilities with the upgrade of our chemical storage facilities as well as the installation of our 3000-litre urethane reactor. This has long-term benefits for our customers as it allows Tremco CPG the ability to develop market-leading high-quality products that exceed the AS standards for our local conditions.
I have been privileged to be able to present numerous awards at our annual conference, recognising our employees who go above and beyond to make our company a special place to work. In particular the #TeamTremco people in manufacturing and operations.
Lastly, seeing the emergence of our Tremco CPG brand which brought together many global leading brands into one organisation has been a highlight. The people in our businesses came together to form one business – "the power of one" which helps us service our customers as a single entity, leveraging all of our resources into a full product offering with solutions for all six sides of the building and beyond.
2. What construction product technology most interests you and why?
There has always been a particular interest in Polyurethane Waterproofing Membranes. This technology if made to a high standard can help provide protection for the building, enhancing the lifecycle whilst also limiting conditions that can cause severe health issues like mould infestations. Polyurethane technology looks simple to manufacture, but it is more complex than it seems. It is notoriously unstable if the raw material formulation and processes are not exactly followed during its production cycle.
3. How long have you worked in the construction or building products industry?
I have had a mixed background in the construction and building industry. I have been with Tremco for 5 years (so far!) and before that I spent 20 years in the construction safety products sector and another 2 years with Cold Rolled Steel. This experience has provided me with a strong knowledge across the wider construction sector.
4. Where do you foresee the growth in the waterproofing industry over the next five years?
The construction industry is progressively moving towards greener building products and I believe that solutions with lower levels of VOC which have less impact on the environment are the future.
Further to this, waterproofing systems that are easier and faster to install regardless of the weather conditions, allowing them to be applied in the rain, cold or heat.
5. What are the biggest hurdles the construction industry is currently facing across Australia?
We have all seen the news with inflation and this is impacting peoples hip pockets. In most industries, people often review costs by the initial price and not by the total cost of installation, coverage and life of the product. They see costs going up because of transport, raw materials and labour costs but they struggle to understand the overall value of new technologies that could help mitigate costs long-term.
A big hurdle in construction, particularly in the waterproofing industry, is compliance. Increasing compliance around making our building practices better that are aligned with the rest of the world will be a big step forward for our industry. The Australian industry can be reluctant to change but it is important to review all the new innovative technologies and techniques being developed around the world that could help the Australian building industry Build Smarter Buildings.
Any final thoughts?
The most important aspect of my role in Tremco CPG Australia is ensuring our employees are engaged in our business, working together as a team and focused on our customers.
We need to ensure our expertise, products and solutions help make the world of construction better.
We are committed to continually evolving our quest to introducing innovation, manufacturing locally, supporting the construction community with local expertise and making our customer’s lives easier.