At the age of 27, Andrew Christou has already built a strong reputation as a construction professional. He joined Brookfield Multiplex, one of Australia's largest construction companies, in 2005 as part of an undergraduate program and is now an Assistant Project Manager, working on the new MSD Building.
"My role on this project has ranged from site manager for the demolition and excavation works, supervisor for the structure works, to overlooking the procurement and lead up to the project handover," says Andrew.
Andrew thought about studying property and construction at university when he was in high school, attracted to the idea that it would lead to a specific vocation. He secured his industry placement with Brookfield Multiplex while still studying for his Bachelor of Property and Construction, and found that this on-the-ground work allowed him to transfer his learnings and skills into practice.
The Brookfield Multiplex team have had a big influence on Andrew's career.
"There is such a wealth of knowledge from industry leaders both within the organisation and externally, such as subcontractors and consultants," says Andrew. "Each person offers different insights and knowledge and observing how people approach a task in differenty ways allows you to form your own style of management."
The highlights of his career to date have been working on complicated projects such as RMIT's Swanston Architecture Building (SAB) and the new ABP building, designed by John Wardle Architects and NADAAA. "There are very few jobs in Melbourne that are so complex in their architectural design as these two projects," notes Andrew. "Finishing the RMIT SAB project 5 months ahead of program with such a great team was a great feeling - gaining practical completion for the project was almost like winning an AFL Grand Final. Given we are also well ahead of schedule on the ABP project, I anticipate having that same feeling again soon."
With the ambitions of becoming a site manager for Brookfield Multiplex, Andrew sees the construction industry in Australia evolving to match innovations occurring overseas.
"I think that offsite procurement will become the done thing for more and more components of buildings," he notes. "I'm sure if the Chinese can build a building in 15 days, some repetitive style buildings, such as apartments, could be built as swiftly in Australia."