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Built for the future

KAESER Australia is proud to unveil its new 4,500 square metre facility in Dandenong South (VIC), which includes offices, warehouse and workshop. The $15 million facility features various innovations which echo KAESER’s emphasis on sustainability.

The original warehouse and office was constructed in 1989 on Zenith Road, Dandenong South in the industrial outskirts of Melbourne’s south-east. The following year, KAESER Compressors Australia was established and the fledgling subsidiary moved in.

Over time the business grew, but despite modifications and expansion works, eventually it was apparent that an entirely new facility was needed. Utilising the existing site, the challenge was to keep the business running while demolishing and rebuilding the entire premises at double the size.

KAESER Australia managing director, Peter Eckberg, said of the project, “we needed a facility that would not only serve our needs in 5 or 10 years, but in 20 or 30 years’ time. And most importantly of all, we need to always uphold KAESER’s values regarding sustainability.”

Image: KAESER Australia. Managing director, Mr Peter Eckberg, with the EV charging station

This philosophy permeates the company from product design and manufacture at the head office in Coburg, Germany, all the way “downunder” to the Australian subsidiary in Melbourne, Australia.

“KAESER products set new standards when it comes to dependability, efficiency and sustainability. Our product innovations help to reduce resource and energy consumption significantly and to save emissions and operating costs,” Mr Eckberg said.

“They also help our customers to achieve their own sustainable and environmentally responsible goals. Likewise, our building and operation here in Dandenong South is designed to be as resource-friendly as possible and ultimately, move us to carbon-neutral operations.”

After a number of COVID-related setbacks, the first sod was turned on 12 January 2021. Mr Eckberg and Mrs Rada Eckberg, KAESER Australia Company Secretary, spearheaded a multi-stage process that kept the warehouse, workshop, assembly area and office running during the two-year project.

A new warehouse and temporary office space with 98kW of solar panels was built behind the old one. For a time, there was a 1 metre gap between the tilt-slab walls of the old and new buildings, representing the passage of 32 years and a metaphor contrasting the old and new.

Once the new space was operational, the old building was demolished. Over 98% of the materials that made up the old factory were recycled and reused, including all of the concrete and steel. A new workshop and office was built in its place, thus doubling the footprint.

All was finished and the final move-in completed in March 2023. Now the 4,500 sqm building is home to 196kW of solar panels, so far creating a 90% drop in energy reliance on the grid. A large screen in the reception area gives employees and visitors real time data on the solar energy generation, earnings from the grid, as well as the amount of CO² saved.

As part of KAESER’s commitment to ensure minimum possible environmental impact and move towards carbon neutral operation, three electric vehicle charging stations have also recently been installed.

In summing up the monumental project Mr Eckberg said, “it has been two years in the construction phase, and it is an overwhelming feeling of relief and satisfaction to now use this spacious, modern facility. We are pleased to look to the future knowing that while we have increased our physical footprint and given ourselves space to grow, we have also reduced our environmental footprint at the same time.”

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