Horizon Habitats
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   Newsletters - February 2016

February Newsletter 2016

Welcome to this edition of What’s on the Horizon.

David Moses Managing Director
Building values

These last few weeks I have been in the US studying, and despite not having much free time, it’s been impossible to avoid the current primaries race in the media. And here’s the thing—it strikes me that honesty is what these candidates should really focus on.

It got me thinking about business and how important honesty is to all stakeholders—not just clients—but staff, subbies, architects, designers and other consultants. Without it, we lack substance and without substance we can’t grow and be resilient.

Honesty in the building industry is not something it's revered for—a bit like politicians and used car salesmen. It's generally known for unscrupulous and on-occasions dishonest behaviour. At times this is unfair. Other times, our industry lets itself down.

At Horizon, we’d rather lose a job being honest than be dishonest in the hope of winning it. We expect all our stakeholders to share this philosophy.

We aim to partner with our clients and colleagues, and to act in their best interests long term, even to the detriment of our bottom line in the short term. This is what makes our business sustainable.

Building maintenance

So you’ve invested money in solar panels for electricity or even hot water. You may even have a Tesla car battery in the garage storing energy from the sun every day. Like any system in your home, solar panels require regular maintenance to keep them in top shape.

Cleaning is a key aspect of solar panel maintenance. Keeping your panels clean, allows them to be as productive as possible. A few times a year, the panels should be inspected for any dirt, road grime, bird dropping's and debris that may collect on them. If you're in a particularly salty or dusty environment you may want to check them more often.

For general cleaning, simply wash the face of the panels with a garden hose either in the early morning or evening. Use soapy water if the dirt won’t budge and rinse clean with water. Avoid spraying cold water onto hot panels in the middle of the day, as you could risk cracking them.

Automated cleaners work in a way similar to sprinklers, like the Heliotex system, which can be programmed to clean the panels as needed – a good choice if they are impossible to reach by ladder. Otherwise, it may be best to leave cleaning to the professionals.

Apart from cleaning, solar panels generally require very little maintenance as there are no moving parts.

Building wisdom

"Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships".
Michael Jordan, Professional Basketball Player.

We know more than most, that teamwork is what drives success; businesses have the potential to succeed or fail based on the people and how they work together. The building industry operates around teamwork; professionals who share the same goals and passions and work together to achieve success.

Building technology

The Porsche Design Tower is a proposed 57 story skyscraper for Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, designed by Porsche Design Studio.

This building will feature a robotic parking system, that will allow its residents to transport and park their cars in their own private garage at their door-step. Check out this video.

Building leaders

Introducing Menashe Goldstein from the Maintenance & Small Works Division Manager, who joined HH in April 2012.

Menashe what do you enjoy most about working at HH?
I get to work on a variety of projects from remedial construction to high-end renovations. I run a multitude of projects, which gives me great exposure and helps me develop new skills. Essentially, performing a dual role of Division Manager and Project Manager, it’s vitally important to have a good team around me. My current team members have a lot of energy and are highly motivated which really energizes me.
Tell us about something special you have achieved at HH, and why it stands out?
I got the Employee of the Year Award in 2013, and immediately it gave me a real sense of achievement.

Which of HH's core values resonate with you the most and why?
Team-work; we all need to be able to rely on each other in order for our company to grow. We all play a part in the success or failure of this company.

HH is a people business; who in particular do you enjoy working with and who's the person you rely on the most and why?
Daniel Moses gave me the opportunity to work at HH and has provided me with a wealth of knowledge about the business and its goals. Tim Egan has helped me develop my construction knowledge, and has taught me a great deal about processes. What does a typical workday involve for you?
A mixture of site inspections of current and new works, managing the logistics of projects; the site team, contractors and suppliers, and the finance of each project, estimating new works and assisting the office team with their projects.

Where's home?  
Bronte, in the Eastern Suburbs near the ocean.

How would you describe yourself?  
“I am Israeli and I can’t keep calm”.

Do you have a favourite movie?  
Pulp Fiction, Black Hawk Down and Brave Heart would definitely be in the mix of my favourite movies.

What are your favourite activities to do outside of work? 
Martial arts, cooking, surfing and archery.
Three famous people you love to invite to a BBQ at your place?
Joe Rogan, Jocko Willink and Eddie Bravo.

What was the best news you ever received?
My sister is giving birth on my birthday this year.

Sum up Horizon Habitats in a word?

Building support

In January, at the end of a MIC Connector training workshop, we took the opportunity to give Mates in Construction our donation of $5,000. The money was raised during our Movember campaign, where over $13,000 was raised for men’s health. Thanks again for everyone who took part in Movember fundraiser and donated money.
Our on-site MIC Connectors are critical in connecting workers, who are struggling with an issue, to help out, while keeping them safe. The key tasks of Connectors are:
  • Being there – Making sure the workers in your location know you are a Connector and know where to find you if they have a problem or spot a mate in trouble.
  • Identifying workers doing it tough - Reminding workers how to identify others who might be in need of help.
  • Listening – Asking questions and listening to the person’s concerns without judging them and clarifying what they have said by reflecting it back. Remember that if you sense it’s about suicide, ask them clearly and directly about suicide.
  • Keeping them safe – Making sure you have the name and contact numbers for ASSIST workers on your site as well as being clear on the location and contact numbers for help including the MIC helpline 1300MIC 111 and the number of your local MIC Field Officer.

Building relationships

Taking the grind out of the daily grind. "As a leading hardware and fastener supplier, Timberfix has enjoyed a great working relationship with the Horizon Habitats guys over a period of years. This partnership has worked extremely well, as both companies have a “foundational principle” of only using the best quality product.

Ordered and delivered on-time on a daily basis, our service lets the Site Foreman and workers on site get on with the project at hand. This produces, in turn a top quality project, where other builders cut price on quality, workmanship, and finish (with a large dose of headaches, heartaches and stress) the daily grind becomes one of dread.

Congratulations to the entire team and the culture you have created at Horizon Habitats, I can only wish I had the resources to be one of your customers!".

Wayne Clark, General Manager, Timberfix

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