SUPERDRAFT: THERE'S NO STOPPING US NOW
Written on the 2 November 2015 by Karen Rickert
TECHNOLOGY merges with design talent at Superdraft, a firm that has built a name for itself as one of the largest residential architecture companies in Australia.
More recently, the Gold Coast business, established by Jake Robinson and Mark Deacon (pictured left and right) in 2011, has been buoyed by the energy of the 'Unstoppables' movement.
Deacon says the firm continues to grow at a rapid pace, with a forecast to more than double its revenue this financial year.
"Since 2011, we've been doubling the amount of projects we've been doing and we're up to 650 projects already this year," he says.
"We expect to end the year close to 1000 projects, which is double from about 446 last year and the year before at about 200.
"Each year we think the growth might plateau, but it just keeps doubling."
Superdraft offers a suite of drafting and engineering services, from home renovations to international investors developing tourism projects.
Robinson decided to utilise his background in structural engineering and civil design when he teamed up with business partner Mark Deacon to drive Superdraft while they both worked from home in the early years.
Robinson now heads up the Perth office, with Deacon managing the Gold Coast headquarters. Superdraft also has locations in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, and a team of more than 70 architects and designers.
The growth has been aided by partnering with investors and making connections during a trip to Antarctica as part of The Unstoppables earlier this year.
The initiative invites entrepreneurs to participate in the expedition, with the aim of fostering collaboration and social change.
The opportunity to be mentored by adventurer and 2015 Gold Coast Citizen of the Year Geoff Wilson and Greencross director John Odlum has been invaluable to Deacon and Robinson.
"After meeting everyone at The Unstoppables, it has sparked something within me to achieve greater," Deacon says.
"We are fortunate enough to have two great business mentors who have been there and done that and prevented us from making a lot mistakes and taught us a lot of lessons along the way."
Deacon has also partnered with Wilson's wife Sarah and cyclist Reid Anderton to launch Charity Build, an organisation that constructs a house for auction with the profits going to worthy causes.
They completed one project in Brisbane to raise money for Eagle Wings and help disadvantaged children in Africa, with another project in Caloundra underway.
Superdraft is set to diversify into modular construction through the use of 3D printing, after several meetings with another Unstoppables contact James Engineering in Brisbane. The business also secured a deal with Mortgage Australia Group to offer clients assistance with finance as a result of the trip.
By staying ahead of technological trends, Superdraft's growth trajectory shows no signs of waning any time soon.
Using gaming software, Deacon and Robinson have launched a virtual reality visualisation platform aimed at the residential market.
"It allows us to create a photo-realistic virtual experience for clients of their proposed property and they can walk through and make design changes in real-time on their phone or using virtual reality headsets," Deacon says.
"We use 3D scanners to scan objects in everyday life, so you can even see what an item from Freedom Furniture would like in the space.
"We've had meetings with Mantra Group and are in the final stages to roll out the technology for its high-rise buildings."