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Back to News 20 May 2024

Innovative modular construction company sees its future building at Tonsley

South Australian company Fusco Constructions will create its new headquarters at the Tonsley Innovation District – with an eye both to the future and to the structures already under the iconic sawtooth roof of the Main Assembly Building (MAB).

“When you walk around the MAB, you notice that virtually every business is operating from modular construction offices,” said John Fusco, second generation owner of Fusco Constructions.

"Tonsley is a showcase for modular construction. It has so many benefits – it’s fast, it uses fewer materials, it’s safer to build, you can place it within existing infrastructure – the building industry is still doing many things the same old way, but modular construction is a window to the future."

John Fusco, second generation owner of Fusco Constructions.

Fusco Constructions has morphed from its origins in the 1960s as a plumbing business into a specialist fabrication and construction company, employing 35 people with offices in southern Adelaide and a manufacturing facility at Burton in the city’s north – the latter where the company has honed its skills in modular construction.

It will now consolidate its operations at new headquarters along MAB Circuit at Tonsley, building a new 4000m2 undercover manufacturing facility that will upscale its modular construction capabilities and cater for the large trucks required to transport the end product.

Fusco recently delivered the Pukatja Youth Centre and Community Pool complex on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in north-west South Australia and is currently building three transportable police stations for SAPOL on the Indulkana, Pipalyatjara and Kaltjiti Aboriginal communities also on the APY Lands. The company has also recently been awarded several Department of Education modular projects at the Elliston Area, Edwardstown Primary and Berri Secondary Regional schools.

“We had originally been working with another partner to deliver modular construction projects for government departments and private companies across South Australia and parts of Western Australia but decided to take the plunge and start building the components ourselves,” Mr Fusco said.

“Our difference is that we offer a concrete base which is not common in modular construction. The advantage over the traditional lightweight option is that it’s a more solid structure, there’s no need for stumps or ramps, it’s more fire retardant, it’s more durable – we’re able to deliver a really solid result.

“We can be pouring the footings on site while we’re building the product under cover back at our base, saving time and money and away from the elements. We can deliver them paneliSed or we can deliver volumetrically where we build full sections in our factory and then transport them to site and join them together.

“The old ‘hot box’ transportable is a thing of the past. We’re now able to deliver an architecturally designed, bespoke solution for our clients that is completely fit for purpose, is great to work in and doesn’t look or feel temporary in any way.”

Fusco aims to start work on its new Tonsley headquarters toward the end of this year with an anticipated 18-month completion timeline.

"The exciting thing about moving to Tonsley is that we’re going to be working alongside innovative companies who are already seeing the benefits of modular construction. We believe the learnings we can gain from our neighbours – particularly in terms of the role robotics might play in the future of construction – are going to be really valuable."

John Fusco, second generation owner of Fusco Constructions.

“Being close to the TAFE is also going to be fantastic. We do our own civil and plumbing works, and we have apprentices who go to TAFE, so having that supply of training and job-ready skills on our doorstep will be great for our growth.”

Housing and Urban Development Minister Nick Champion said development of new approaches to South Australia’s built environ was critical to the state’s future.

“Demand for skills and knowledge in the construction industry continues to increase, and we need the sector to continue to develop new approaches to support development across the state,” he said.

“Companies like Fusco Constructions are helping demonstrate that modular construction is an evolving specialty that can deliver real benefits, and I welcome their decision to join the innovation community at the Tonsley Innovation District.”

Renewal SA Executive Director, Property and Major Projects Todd Perry said the Fusco’s arrival at Tonsley would add a new dimension to the District’s innovation profile.

“Fusco’s expertise in specialist manufacturing and fabrication is an important addition to the Tonsley ecosystem,” he said.

“We think they’re going to be a great part of the mix for other businesses who need clever solutions.”


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