Forming Flat Bush

This was a circa 130 site project that I took over project and development management in Flat Bush. About half under house construction and the other half under design and civil work.

The original contractor operated a modular/panelisation factory. They went bankrupt and just prior to me joining 5 smaller builders each on their own contract were appointed. Most of the houses under or about to start construction were sold, so the clock was ticking to complete and get titles and ccc.

So every second Tuesday I would rock up to six different bank qs/contractor progress/drawdown meetings. 5 house builders and one civil contractor.

The houses were pretty much identical, but how each builder treated the plans, the contract, variations, the programme, their subbies, me and my assistant was completely different. Massive learning experience on that front- in perfect real world test conditions. There were two other projects I was delivering at the same time, so I had live data points on 7 different house builders and 2 different civil contractors.

This project had significant and complex negotiations to take place on various fronts to reach settlement day and 224c. Council, purchasers, other land owners, watercare- you name it. Through persistence and persistence and persistence and collaboration we got there.

A lesson: You can save tens, hundreds, thousands of thousands, maybe even millions, and a whole heap of heartache if you do this one simple task before you start construction, after you have indicated who you intend to award contract to but before signing. Sit yourself, the architect, the builder and their site QS down and go through the plans like a workshop. If the builder wants anything changed (talking details, not design) get the architect to do it. Clarify all the niggly details and identify mistakes early. Nothing more expensive than blaming the plans once the project is coming out of the ground.

An ancedote: when thrusting under the main road to build the neighbors 800m long sewage pipe through their site (one of those negotiations!) on the first day the drill hit metal, deep below the road. Solid metal. Bang. A previous civil roading contractor had left the/a temporary steel trench protection sheilds underground! Ouch. Our civil contractor was a legend though and he could sort anything out.

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