In House Services:
• Project Management
• Structural Engineering
• Civil Engineering
• Architectural Drafting

Specialist Sub Consultants
• Mechanical and Electrical
• Hydraulic
• Fire and Acoustic
• Traffic
• Building Surveying
• Quantity Surveying

Case Studies


GOS Diary Processing Facility, Allansford Victoria.

Client: Great Ocean Ingredients, (WCBF-Friesland Food Joint Venture)

Whilst at TGM Group, John Horton acted as the principal consultant for the building and civil works for this world class dairy project. John also acted as the lead designer at TGM for the in house, Structural, Civil & Architectural components of the project.

In his role as principal consultant John put together and managed a team of Mechanical, Electrical, Hydraulics, Fire, & Acoustic sub consultants, overseeing all aspects of the projects design & documentation, from conception to completion.

This involved:

  • Receiving and interpreting clients project brief
  • Briefing and engaging team of sub consultants.
  • Conceptual design
  • Planning permit documentation and submission
  • Budget costings
  • Fast track contract procurement methodology
  • Contract documentation.
  • Tender review
  • Fast track multi staged building permit & construction documentation
  • Structural certification.
  • Checking and approval of shop drawing.
  • Resolution of contractor RFI's
  • Construction stage technical Inspections.
  • Example Design Episodes

The first major design issue John faced was locating the facility. This was complicated due to numerous site specific constraint that needed to be taken into account, i.e. unfavourable soil conditions, significant fall across the site, and the proximity to site boundary, existing dam, roads, buildings etc. By optimising the location and level of the plant the design could just accommodate a 6m wide perimeter access road. This provided several major benefits. Great access and serviceability during the construction stage and when in service, as well as significant cost saving by reducing fire rating requirements on the building. The bench level needed to high enough to allow for gravity flow of the yet to be designed effluent and waste water systems, so as to avoid the need for pumps. But kept low enough to avoid the cost and complication of a pilled footing system, or the need for retaining walls structures to prevent the fill from spilling over the boundary or into the dam.

The next major design decision involved the footing system. Due to the significant and varying depths of fill beneath the building envelope (1.0 - 3.5m), the conservative approach would have been to specify a fully piled and suspended footing system. After considering numerous variables, John decided a much better solution was to specify a fully engineered and controlled crushed rock back fill. This approach would allow the client to make use of a local contractor who could provide a suitable high grade locally sourced and cost effective crushed rock backfill. It also enabled the Earth works to be completed well before the building design had even been completed. This proved critical to helping the yet to be appointed head contractor achieve the project deadline. It is also estimated to have saved approx. $500,000 over a piled and suspended footing systems.

By designing a "floating structure" that was strong and flexible enough to accommodate the expected differential settlements, the design also effectively eliminated the risk associated with rupturing underground services where they enter and exit the superstructure.

The above outlined design issues and decision making processes were all made in the critical early stages of the projects evolution. Like the footings themselves they form the foundation for the design and cannot be easily changed once looked in. Johns creative and practical design solution to these early issue and throughout the remained of the design process helped this fast track, World class Dairy project, to be delivered on time and on budget. A great result for all involved.