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Dr Shujia Cheng

PROJECT TYPE: Dental - Residential Conversion   LOCATION: Caulfield South, VIC
SIZE OF PRACTICE: 167m2    COMPLETED: September 2011
SERVICES PROVIDED: Site Assessment   Space Planning   Interior Design   Interior Fitout   

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Dr. Shujia Cheng’s new practice in Caulfield South, Victoria has been designed to give her patients and staff a warm, comfortable and inviting experience.

After 15 years of practicing in premises that were mostly dark and out dated, Shujia was ready to create a working environment that reflected her personality and the level of care she was providing. With decor made up of neutral greys, creams and white, the colour scheme has been kept deliberately light, while accents of soft browns and a mixture of natural textures add a sense of warmth, to create an inviting and comfortable environment.

"After a false start with a local architect, design and construction of the new surgery was awarded to Medifit. I initially spoke to Medifit, but actually decided to go with a local architect who as it turned out, had little dental experience. It became obvious as we proceeded through council approvals that the local architect’s expertise was not to the standard required. For example, the original plans supplied made no allowance for disability access.

I once again contacted Sam Koranis from Medift and explained to him the problems I was having and the current status of the project. Sam advised me in a very professional manner that the drawings did not effectively utilise the true potential of the space. His initial opinion was that this should always have been a 3 chair practice and that it wouldn’t be a problem to accommodate this, keep the council happy and comply with the Building Codes of Australia.

Medifit’s designers were also able to address all disability access requirements. It was now a very easy decision for me to move camps as I probably should have done in the first instance. Once the design process started, Sam’s vision of a 3 chair practice was crystalised.

The level of knowledge that Medifit staff possess from a design and construction perspective was extremely impressive. They understood every aspect of my business, including the equipment, electrical and plumbing requirements, as well as all of the building codes and standards required.

I had researched Medifit when it comes to major renovation works to existing old residential buildings. Previous clients projects in Armadale and Fairfield entailed similar construction work as my property and these clients had nothing but praise for Medifit’s professionalism, quality and service. We then moved into the construction phase where Medifit were required to completely remove one of the boundary walls and restump the entire building due to many years of damage from rising damp and dry rot.

I needed the new practice completed and open for trading in just 12 weeks so my business could continue uninterrupted.

The lease was due to expire on my previous premises and I was worried that I would be unable to provide continued patient care if the new surgery wasn’t ready on time. To compound the difficulty in meeting this deadline, we experienced major storm damage on the beginning of the 11th week of construction, only 10 days prior to the scheduled handover. The site was completely flooded and water rose to above our internal floor level causing approximately $60,000 damage to the completed works. My heart sank and I felt we were not going to be able to open for trade, but Medifit reassured me that they would pull out all stops to ensure we were open on time. They worked over two weekends and late into the night and met their completion date. I was pleasantly surprised that the damage was covered by Medifit’s insurance and didn’t affect my contract price at all.

Medifit’s Victorian project management staff, Michael and Rob were exemplary in their perfomance and kept me in constant communication, as did all the tradespeople on site. I always knew exactly what was happening with the project. This gave me peace of mind that everything was on schedule, even when unexpected challenges arose like the storm damage. The Medifit team took care of everything so I could concentrate on my patients without the added stress of trying to organise the new surgery.

I was delighted when Medifit met the deadline, which would have been tight even under normal circumstances. My decision to turn to Medifit when I did turned out to be a very wise one.

The girls on staff love the new practice, they take real pride in it and that flows on to their interactions with patients. Having two surgeries instead of one has improved the patient flow resulting in better productivity and making it much easier to see emergency patients when necessary. Our patients keep telling us how inviting and comfortable the new practice feels. They were also very pleased to see that we maintained the heritage attributes of the original residential property."