How to reduce Building Costs:
The answer is YES, Building Costs can be ‘designed away’ and by that we mean limited or minimized through careful and considered design, but only if you get started on the necessary processes early enough!
And, it’s not just simply design. It’s coordinating and crafting that design to fit with the local market and town plan and all that the town plan demands.
Things like parking, turning circles, recreational space and of course cost efficient structural design and building construction elements are all components of Building Costs. Also, sometimes there are area’s where we know that we may be able to push the envelope a little bit too, which can sometimes be very beneficial and increase your yield, like some extra square metres or even an extra town house like this one in Herston.
Many building designers can come up with a beautiful looking building but often don’t fully understand the other intricate requirements I’ve mentioned.
Of all the projects we manage, not all come to us at the beginning – many come to us after the DA has been issued or at a later stage, sometimes even after the construction has started and it’s those projects that don’t start with us where we see owners encounter the most problems.
Sometimes we can solve those problems, other times not, but solutions almost always lead to delays, expense & frustration that they weren’t recognized earlier.
Building Costs Saved in This Town House Project
Milos Bolic’s project that we completed in June 2019 was a case in point where designs and DA were in place before it landed on our desk. We were not involved in getting the development approval [DA] or design of the 11 townhouses involved or the site layout.
Milos, being a small time investor developer, came to us because this was his first large project and he was not fully confident of his ability to pull it all together.
Understandably, Milos wanted to push ahead with the designs as approved. After all he had invested a lot of energy and money into it at that point.
Initial tenders were all substantially higher than expected by Milos, so much so that it affected his feasibility substantially and also the confidence of his financiers.
Fortunately, in this case, we were able to change things around somewhat, though it did involve further expense for Milos, a significant loss of time and a big leap of faith from him in our ability here at SCM to deliver. After some discussion he gave us the go ahead.
We made a variety of changes achieving savings of approx $250,000, without materially affecting the the marketability of the project but we did have to go back in to Council for a GIA DA, hence losing time and involving expense. Of course it was worth doing – the savings achieved paid for the extra expense many times over as well as our fees – but could have been and should have been done at the beginning.
The Moral: Consult with us at the outset! Most building industry professionals are ‘specialists’, possessing high quality knowledge in their specialty area such as Survey, Town Planning or Design.
Conversely, as Project Managers, our specialty is being a ‘generalist’, possessing a broader spectrum of knowledge across the whole project and the property development process. We are closely involved with your project, and intrinsically intertwined with it’s success, all the way through to completion – we are there with you at the end, unlike the specialist consultants who play a bit part [though an important one] at different stages.
That’s the nature of our role. We are your advocate – we sit on the same side of the table as you, unlike say, the builder or subcontractors.
We frequently demonstrate project savings that substantially exceed our fees – not only saving you, the client money but you also get an armchair ride to boot!