Kalmar Construction : Constructing Greatness One Build at a Time 

Jordan LeveyLauren Kania
Jordan Levey - Project Manager Lauren Kania - Junior Editor

As an award-winning New Zealand owned and operated construction company that’s been enhancing the Auckland skyline since 2001, Justin de Beer, Business Development Manager at Kalmar Construction, speaks to us about the company’s success and vision for the future.

CONSTRUCTING GREATNESS ONE BUILD AT A TIME

Kalmar Castle, one of Sweden’s most important fortifications, has been standing tall as a symbol of enduring workmanship for over 800 years. 

Known as ‘the key to the kingdom’ due to its strategic location and magnificent design, the medieval tradespeople were masters of their profession, as is Kalmar Construction (Kalmar), who took both the moniker and inspiration from the legendary castle. 

Founded in 2001 in Auckland, New Zealand, Kalmar boasts over two decades of success when it comes to delivering construction projects of all shapes, sizes, and levels of complexity. 

With the right skills, experience, and most importantly, attitude, the company ensures that the entire construction process is smooth and intuitive for its clients. 

“We like to see ourselves as easy to talk to at any point in time during a project. Approachability and understanding during challenging situations are what set us apart from the rest,” opens Justin de Beer, Business Development Manager at Kalmar. 

“Building these projects can be a complex matter, but we try to offer a complete solution for every product we deliver with our three business units, comprising distinct teams who, combined, provide a total solution to each and every endeavour.” 

With over 150 highly skilled, respected, professional, and experienced staff capable of managing construction projects of substantial size, difficulty, and a diverse nature, Kalmar is a market leader in the design and build model within the construction industry. 

The company’s philosophy for success boils down to one simple phrase – being good people to deal with. Having built strong, enduring relationships with both repeat and new clients, this is testament to the high standards Kalmar sets for itself on a daily basis.

TAKING THE STRESS OUT OF CONSTRUCTION

Having worked for Kalmar for the past five years, de Beer joined the construction industry immediately out of university, having found the freedom, creativity, and hands-on nature of the sector continuously invigorating. 

With the opportunity to travel across the world participating in various projects, de Beer is passionate about all of the prospects construction has to offer to those looking for an ever-evolving and rewarding career. 

“My advice to youngsters is that construction is a very good option as a career path as it allows you a bit of freedom to travel and meet incredible and diverse people,” he explains. 

“I’ve been lucky enough to have an international journey through construction, and have found it fascinating to learn what’s important to people in certain countries regarding the sector and what’s not important to others.” 

The construction industry has been, and continues to be, an exciting place for de Beer and others at Kalmar. However, that does not mean that there are not challenges to overcome. 

For example, in New Zealand, the industry is facing high interest rates and the remnant issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Due to the chaos faced by the entire globe, financial markets have changed drastically, resulting in developers having to be more cautious than they were in the past. 

“From a developer’s perspective, they need to put down larger deposits on projects, as the banks will no longer fund the full amount. Having to put more skin in the game with their own money has caused some businesses to become hesitant,” insights de Beer. 

Despite the resulting slowdown in the market, Kalmar entered one of its busiest ever periods during the COVID-19 pandemic due to construction being classified as an essential service and having many projects already in place prior to the lockdowns. 

“We were quite fortunate that we could continue with our developments in a slightly different manner, and while there is always stress in the industry, there’s also excitement with these new opportunities, and often the two are related,” expands de Beer. 

Moving forward in a post-COVID-19 world, Kalmar continues to provide a friendly and approachable culture that is driven from the top down, further expanding its award-winning Tier 1 construction services.

“Construction is an industry where you have to make decisions on a daily basis, even at a young age. It’s always exciting and, like a Sudoku puzzle, you get to use creativity and innovation”

Justin de Beer, Business Development Manager, Kalmar Construction

ACHIEVING GREATNESS, EVERY STEP OF THE WAY

Taking pride in its diversity and collective skills, the team at Kalmar  has worked hard to win a variety of excellence awards from the Auckland Registered Master Builders, the New Zealand Institute of Building, the New Zealand Property Council, the New Zealand Institute of Architects, and the New Zealand Concrete Society, along with many others. 

In addition to these recognitions, Kalmar has proven to be an industry leader when it comes to gender equality in the workplace, with teamwork being a key driver behind every decision made within the company. 

“We have a very good culture within the business and have become an employer of choice, focused on making people feel a part of the Kalmar family. We always celebrate our staff in both their careers and personal lives, and love to participate in group activities like our recent family picnic at the Auckland Zoo or group fishing trips,” enthuses de Beer. 

This consistent team mindset has yielded some incredible results within the New Zealand construction industry, such as The Foundation Project, a new, multi-storey living complex built and finished to a high specification. 

With the vision of creating a world-class haven for retirement, the first stage of 46 apartments across five levels has been completed despite challenges ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to supply chain issues and subcontractor liquidations. 

This monumental landmark building boasts a façade comprising over 15,000 individual pieces of Jura limestone imported from Germany, interior finishes with hand-stained oak veneer doors, and hundreds of metres of high-quality, hand-painted French wallpaper, intricate coffered ceilings, and over 2,500 downlights. 

The Foundation Project, having been completed in November 2023, has already been entered into the New Zealand Commercial Property Awards and serves to showcase the immense passion, care, and dedication the Kalmar team puts into each and every development.

WHEN ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS

Proud to be a New Zealand owned and operated company, Kalmar is serious about helping its local community. 

Environmental management is a key part of its overall quality management system and ensures a sustainable approach to every decision made by complying with best practices and legal requirements. 

“We take our social responsibility seriously and are proud to officially be a certified carbon-neutral company and work with organisations like Toitū Envirocare, who help us take action toward a better future,” explains de Beer. 

Looking toward a future that is bright for both the environment and those who make up Kalmar, the company is prioritising taking care of its team, building future talent, and working with new and existing customers. 

“One of the things that we’re always excited about is existing clients who talk to us about their next stage of development. We are proud to have many repeat clients, one of which we worked with on multiple projects over the course of 10 years,” comments de Beer. 

Kalmar views these partnerships with its clients as a two-way relationship, ensuring that open and honest discussions are always had and that clients know that they can contact key decision makers at any point in time during a project. 

“At the core of it all, we’re people. We deliver complex products, but behind it all, we are real and dedicated,” concludes de Beer.

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By Jordan Levey Project Manager
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Jordan Levey is a Project Manager specialising in showcasing innovation and corporate success across the ANZ region. Jordan works with c-suite executives, industry titans and sector disruptors to bring you exclusive features.