Subdivisions are like Icebergs

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Subdivisions and Property Development Projects are like icebergs – by Jacon Parry

You might seriously question that assertion about Subdivisions and I can understand why your brow may be a little furrowed right now but read on and you will see the method in my madness. Most of us would have had little to do with Icebergs since leaving Primary School unless they’ve been on one of those ‘Expedition Cruises’ south of Tasmania and probably most of us would likely associate them with the sinking of the Titanic.

Iceberg 4
You need to know what lies beneath

Only maybe 20 percent of an iceberg is visible above the water. The other 80 percent is hidden beneath the ocean’s surface. It’s a similar thing with Subdivisions; much of what goes to its makeup lies below ground level. In fact with any property development project it’s what lies beneath and its design that can play a crucial role in the project’s cost effectiveness or otherwise – not just what you see on the surface as important as that may be.

If you’re someone looking to design and then build your subdivisions or other project without knowing what lies beneath and how that may affect the design and efficient development of your project, just like with the metaphorical iceberg, then you’re potentially in serious danger. You’re sailing into hazardous waters.

The problem with starting with what’s on the surface:
If you really wanted to, yes, you could start with the visual identity first. In fact, it happens quite often, but this is a dangerous approach. Sometimes it’s done out of ignorance (of the bottom of the iceberg), other times it’s done out of haste or simply out of arrogance (thinking you know everything fully without researching) or simply naivety. Yes good design is important and is something certainly worth paying for. Just don’t make the mistake though that it solely relates to buildings above the surface.

Now, if you thought that by the other 80 % below the surface I was simply referring to services such as sewer and water etc. you’d be wrong. Yes, that’s a part of it, and a very important part at that, but it’s more than that. It’s really about a whole strategy or process. Property development these days is vastly more complicated than it once was and can be like a maze or a game of snakes and ladders through which you need to have the right team to guide you. It’s more than just advice – its guidance all the way through.

A key element of that team is a competent Project Manager. Whilst a good specialist Surveyor, Town Planner or Designer may be a necessary component of the team, your Project Manager is integral to understanding and bringing together the diverse specialities that make the team hum and your project succeed.

You Can’t Afford to Miss the Mark:
From a business stand point, the trouble with just starting on the surface design is that you may miss the mark and if so, it’s going to cost you. It may simply mean that you have to go back to the drawing board or maybe a heck of a lot more. So why risk it

The Solution

As I said earlier, good design is worth paying for and yes, it does cost. Understand though that bad design can and very often does cost a lot more! Further, just as I used the Iceberg as a metaphor to illustrate my point here I also use the term ‘Design’ as a metaphor for an overall strategic team approach to developing your project.

If you would like to be a part of our community  and receive occasional relevant information about subdivisions and developing property AS WELL AS an instant free copy of our guide – “The 7 ‘Must Haves’ to get Subdivision Approval” just complete this form. If you own a property or are contemplating buying one that you want to subdivide grab this guide to get a very clear picture as to whether or not you are likely to qualify for subdivision approval.


cropped-2012-09-20-09.57.50R35-e1451821288596.jpgJacon Parry, Principal, Subdivision & Construction Management

Not only does Jacon bring experience gained over 20 + years to his role as a project manager, he also brings insight gained through successful completion of his own projects, including many subdivisions, something which many project managers are unable to claim. His experience spans the whole property development process from site investigation through design, DA & BA Processes to construction, Compliance, Plan sealing & titling and what’s more he is fully licenced by QBCC.

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