White Associates Quantity Surveyors Historic facade the centerpiece of Christchurch redevelopment

Historic facade the centerpiece of Christchurch redevelopment

In a city that has lost so much building heritage since the earthquakes, an innovative central Christchurch project is refurbishing a historic 120-year-old façade while creating a thoroughly modern and multi-purpose structure behind and around it.

A new three-level building proposed at 199-201 High Street in Christchurch consists of retail and commercial premises on the ground floor and offices on the upper floors. The $6 million project will provide new life in the city, with a cafe and shops at street level, and offices upstairs.

Shaun Stockman, Managing Director of the company behind the redevelopment, Stockman Group – which has previously featured in White Associates newsletters thanks to its excellent work on the nearby Billens Building – says that the existing heritage face at 201 High Street is being strengthened and retained as part of the northern elevation of the new building.

“The double-storey brick facade was built in the Victorian Free Style, with two bays at first-floor level, and arched windows flanked by pilasters adorned with relief work. Work to restore the facade, which is tied to the new structure, has involved renovating the facade’s bricks and stonework, and all leadlight windows repaired.”

White Associates again provided Stockman Group with bank funding representation and an initial due diligence review. Darin Bayer says that a key factor in the project’s success has been early contractor involvement.

“Things that have really made a difference on this project’s potential really have been early contractor engagement and the strong relationship between the borrower and contractor. Superb up-front planning from main contractor Canform Structures Limited, as well as the construction team’s attention to detail and uncompromising pursuit of quality, will lead to an exceptional outcome here, even as some of the challenges have been mighty, with 49-tonne beams cast on site and craned into place.”

“Superb up-front planning from the contractor, as well as their attention to detail and uncompromising pursuit of quality, will lead to an exceptional outcome here.”

Bayer says that the project is pushing along well, with the concrete floor and foundations complete, and ground floor precast panels installed. The project is due for on-target completion in early 2020.

White Associates Quantity Surveyors Creating a major community housing asset at Puhinui Park

Creating a major community housing asset at Puhinui Park

Civil works are nearing completion on an inspirational new community housing project at Puhinui Park, off Barrowcliffe Place and Wiri Station Road in Manukau.

On a previously empty site, the project involves the establishment of a connected neighbourhood, creating a high quality, medium density residential community of some 300 affordable houses and apartments in the heart of Auckland’s south.  The whole development will be known as Kotuitui Place, and is a major step forward in the overall Transform Manukau plan for the wider community in Manukau.

Now one year into development, the project is being developed over five years by the Puhinui Park Limited Partnership (PPLP), whose partners also delivered the hugely successful Waimahia Inlet development.  The whole development has been planned in collaboration with Panuku as the previous land owner and with mana whenua Te Akitai Waihoua, who will build and manage 30% of the site (after the initial civil and earthworks stage by PPLP) through the Kotuitui Limited Partnership.

White Associates is providing bank funding representation to this experienced PPLP development team through the Bank of New Zealand, which comprises charitable entities Housing Foundation, CORT Community Housing, and Te Tumu Kainga (the Maori Trustee).

Darin Bayer says that this development team is a little different to the norm. “This PPLP team has a charitable intent, which means their focus is on delivering quality new homes that are affordable and attainable for working families. They are exclusively committed to supporting first home buyers, so they don’t sell to investors, with an aim that residents will live in a community of families who are committed to staying.

“Puhinui Park will be a real asset to the wider Manukau community, providing a wide range of housing types and tenures for the Housing Foundation programmes and other community housing providers, with a number of homes also available for private sale.”

Many of the dwellings will be three-bedroom terrace houses, but also on offer are some one-and two-bedroom apartments, and four-bedroom terraces. The range of purchase models include rent-to-buy and shared equity to help ensure affordability, with the Crown providing some significant funding also to add to the capital needed to provide this housing assistance.

The project is progressing well says Bayer, with civils works and infrastructure nearing completion to create the lots for housing construction to begin later this year. Overall, the project is due to be completed towards the end of 2022.

“Key factors behind the success of the project so far has been team continuity”, says Bayer. “The Housing Foundation development management team, with on-site construction works led by Frank Rientjes Project Management, are using HEB Construction straight from the Waimahia project to good effect.

“A key factor behind the success of the project so far has been team continuity. The project is progressing so well because the right team of people has been in place consistently over time.”

“Additionally, we applaud the team’s great planning, with realistic budgets and timeframes, and sufficient allowances for market escalation. The biggest challenge so far has been pushing ahead with work on site hand-in-hand with some design and approval processes still ongoing, but able to accelerate the work programme and delivery timelines while ensuring that the funding is all in place when needed.

“I often say that when you get a great team together – with the collective participation of all parties involved –  the client, its partners and funders, project manager, design consultants, quantity surveyor and the contractor – you’ll have a great job: if you have them in place, the right people generate the right outcome.”

Six key learnings as Ebert tests retentions law

“That didn’t take long!”

Following our article on 30 July on retentions, the very next day the media reported that Ebert Construction had gone into receivership.

Now, it has been reported that the receivers for Ebert are taking legal action to test the law (Construction Contracts Amendment Act 2015) as they attempt recovery for subcontractors. It is understood that receivers PwC have set aside $9.3m for this purpose, although much of the $36.1 million owed to unsecured creditors will go unpaid, according to the first receivers’ report.

The receivers’ first report on the Ebert Construction Limited (in receivership) has identified some interesting points and learnings:

1. The current law as drafted does not provide enough clarity

Firstly, as Ebert is the first significant insolvency requiring application of the new retentions regime, the receivers will request directions from the Court to confirm entitlements, methods for distribution and who funds the cost of these activities.

The potential here is for the court to request the government to redraft the law to clarify further.

The report also states ‘the pathway and funding for addressing these issues with the application of the legislation, we are unable to confirm the timeframe for resolution of this matter. In the interim the funds continue to be set aside.’

2. Time is against the subcontractors

The timeframe to resolve this matter could be a reasonably long duration, which would not be the most favourable result for the subcontractors that have retentions funds withheld, however necessary in the current circumstances.

This situation will provide the test case which we hope will speed up this process in future.

3. Is there a shortfall?

The report further states Ebert had been placing funds in a separate bank account in respect to retentions held on subcontracts signed after 31 March 2017, with an adjustment made on a monthly basis once subcontractor’s claims for the period had been finalised and invoices issued.

A total of $3.68m was withheld, with the last adjustment taking place in June 2018 for applicable retentions held up to the end of May 2018.

At the time of the receivership, invoices for June claims had been processed, but the adjusting transfer had not yet been made. Accordingly the balance of the separate account does not represent all retentions held for subcontracts.

This suggests there may be a shortfall, with the potential value not identified in the report. This will be an area of interest to look out for on any forthcoming reports.

4. Did diversification wound Ebert?

A further point of interest is around the sectors Ebert was operating in. The receivers state: `Ebert had two principal areas of operation, being construction of processing facilities (predominantly in the diary sector) and more general commercial (including multi-unit residential) construction. Based on the information provided to us, it appears that the company had been largely successful with the processing side of the business over many years but had mixed performance in its other commercial and residential projects.’

This seems to concur with industry insight, which has suggested the move by Ebert to more residential high-rise type projects with a higher

risk profile may have contributed to the pathway that has led to receivership.

The ability of contractors to undertake multi-unit residential apartment projects is an area of concern in the industry, as higher density requirements translates to more apartment projects being undertaken.

5. Did Ebert have the right resources and skills in place to build apartments?

Multi-unit residential apartment-type construction includes complexities not always evident in other commercial projects, such as:

  • Normally smaller inner city sites with limited access and complicated traffic management restraints
  • Smaller building footprints resulting in limited work fronts with a more linear workflow
  • Given the increased size of the number apartments per development, an estimating omission or construction defect on one unit can multiply by the quantity of the apartments.
  • High concentration of subcontractors in short periods of time with resourcing and personnel management essential tight timeframes requested to meet sunset date requirements for purchasers.

It is essential that contractors have the requisite resources and skills in place for this type of work, including highly experienced personnel who have previous apartment experience, to navigate through the challenges of this type of work.
There have been many experiences in the market lately where apartment projects have experienced issues as a result of:

  • Inexperienced personnel
  • Subcontractor supply demand pressures leading to delays
  • Construction programmes with unrealistic durations for current market conditions
  • Insufficient site management to ensure works are completed in a timely manner to the level of quality required.
  • Façade complexity and procurement issues
  • Cost escalation associated with the project durations as not all subcontractors can be let at the commencement of the project.

6. Do your contractor due diligence thoroughly

With the construction industry under supply constraints regarding labour, materials and subcontractor availability managing the risks above is increasingly difficult.

Our advice to our valued clients and the market in general is ensure you have completed sufficient due diligence during your contractor selection, including the site personnel who will deliver the works.

Given the projection by MBIE in the latest pipeline report that 60% of residential consents will be multi-level developments by 2023, the construction sector will have to quickly respond to the challenges on how to successfully deliver high rise projects, to avoid further company failures.

White Associates strengthens senior leadership team

Left to right – Brett Zeiler Principal , Justin Maritz Associate Director

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve appointed a new Associate Director and a new Principal as part of two internal promotions.

Justin Maritz will step up from Principal to the role of Associate Director which sees specialist quantity surveyor Brett Zeiler step into the Principal role.

White Associates Director Graham White says the appointments are testament to the calibre of skills and leadership within the company.

“Being able to appoint from within speaks volumes for the first-class team we’ve built at White Associates over the last 13 years.”

“Controlling cost has never been more important than it is today. Justin and Brett are two of the leading cost consultants in the field and what these appointments do is really strengthen the leadership we offer our clients and the wider team at White Associates,”

Justin has more than 19 years’ experience within construction and quantity surveying in South Africa, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. He’s been with White Associates since 2013 and has proven pre-contract and post contract expertise having worked on a plethora of high profile projects across various sectors including correctional facilities, education, industrial, retail and residential developments.

With more than 10 years of experience in construction, cost consultancy and quantity surveying himself, Brett joined White Associates in January last year and has quickly established a stellar reputation for providing expert advice that helps clients to mitigate risk and ensure the success of projects.

“As White Associates continues to grow, being able to call upon Justin and Brett’s wealth of expertise and leadership is going to be a huge asset as we move forward,” explains Graham.

Auckland City Mission Project

PROJECT SPOTLIGHT: Creating a legacy with the Auckland City Mission

With the number of New Zealanders battling with homelessness at an all-time high, the Auckland City Mission is in the process of redeveloping its central city premises to better serve our most vulnerable people.

The Mission is undertaking a landmark project to create what will be an iconic, multi-purpose facility that provides essential wrap-around health services, detox facilities and homeless residential accommodation for 80 people. This supportive housing model aspires to facilitate a successful transition into independent accommodation and supports the City Mission’s vision for sustained social change.

White Associates Director Konrad Trankels says that everyone in the White Associates team admires the approach being taken.

“The Auckland City Mission provides so many critical services to the wider Auckland community,” he says. “With the number of people streaming through the Auckland City Mission’s doors at 140 Hobson Street stretching the charity to its limits, it is really special to be part of what is a once-in-a-lifetime project.”

Auckland City Mission Chief Executive Chris Farrelly says that a great deal of thought, care and consultation is going into creating the new facility.

“It is going to provide high quality spaces within a homely and nurturing environment for generations to come. At the same time, the intelligent and sustainable design we have gone for has a distinctly New Zealand flavour and is going to really complement the CBD surroundings while reflecting the Mission’s values,” he explains.

 

“We have gone to great lengths to create a design which will meet our needs in years to come, recognises our city’s Maori and Pacific peoples, and integrates with our surroundings and local community.”

In conjunction with the project architects Stevens Lawson Architects, the Mission has been working in consultation with Ngāti Whātua to encompass Maori design principles to create a place of belonging and identity. There will be an overarching theme of ‘helping people to find their way home’ which marries with the Mission’s overriding purpose. This will be expressed through the building’s gabled roof which will evoke the image of a large house – a home for Auckland’s homeless people.

Given the Mission’s proximity to the historic St Matthew-In-The-City church and its relationship to the heritage Prince of Wales Hotel building, the facility has been carefully designed to fit its surroundings and support the community. The creation of community spaces, a medical centre, a pharmacy, a café, a group of small retail spaces on Federal Street and a rooftop meeting/conference room have all been designed to integrate with the fabric of the city.

Construction is due to begin in the new year and is being overseen by project management group Xigo. Project completion expected in 2020 – which will also mark the Mission’s 100 year anniversary.

We look forward to bringing you updates on this remarkable development over the next few years.

CDP Project Photo - Ellerslie

A+ mark for Ministry Classroom Delivery Programme Team

After nearly 6 years, our work on the Ministry of Education’s Classroom Delivery Programme is coming to an end.

The programme was designed to address the growing school rolls across the Auckland and Northland regions, and included over 190 school classroom projects and 200 special needs modification projects.

White Associates began working on this programme back in 2011, and we have since acted as an extension of the Ministry, carrying out the internal programme management function. Our role as Programme Director involved managing the processes of design, engagement, budgets, procurement, managing contractors, working collaboratively with project managers, consultants and designers, and reporting back to the Ministry and other stakeholders.

Best value outcome

The comprehensive systems and processes we created have put the Ministry in a position whereby their internal Delivery Managers can now take over and run the projects, as the Classroom Delivery Programme (CDP) has moved into the Ministry of Education’s Capital Works Building Programme. White Associates Director Mark Rothery says he’s thrilled for the Ministry that it’s now in a position to take over.

“It’s testament to the streamlined and linear processes we’ve put in place and the great, collaborative relationship we share with the Ministry. We helped the Ministry set up a panel of preferred consultant suppliers so that will put them in good stead. We could never have got to this position had it not been for the dedication of the 130 separate lead consultants and 31 contractor firms involved in the programme.

 

There were so many people and elements that needed to be brought together in what was often a short space of time during these projects. So, we’re grateful to all of those involved in making this programme a success. The relationships that have come out of the CDP have been a real highlight for us at White Associates.”

Getting results in an ever-evolving landscape

The nature of the programme meant there was a plethora of stakeholders who needed to be consulted and engaged. This included school principals, boards of trustees, community leaders and local Iwi. Each school had its own unique needs, roll growth, budgets and deadlines that had to be considered and managed in order to generate the best outcomes for all of those involved.

All of this stakeholder involvement was managed by us at White Associates and we also had responsibility for:

  • Scoping
  • Creating budgets with peer reviews
  • Funding applications
  • Procurement – engaging designers, consultants, project managers and contractors
  • Ensuring the design team met key deliverables
  • Reviewing the construction processes
  • Monitoring practical completion
  • Defect remediation processes

All of this was taking place at a time of constant change, explains Mark:

“It was never a static process; not only were building costs increasing but the Ministry’s building parameters were also increasing which resulted in design changes. This meant we had to react and adapt quickly to get the best possible results.”

Saving time and money

Despite the fluid environment under which the CDP was operating, Mark explains that White Associates was still able to add real, tangible value for the Ministry.

“We were able to save both time and money for the Ministry through our compressive budgets, planning and processes. We looked at it holistically, not as 400 individual projects. We batched projects together, engaging one set of consultants on multiple projects, which really saved a lot of time and effort.”

White Associates’ long relationship with the Ministry of Education continues and we look forward to seeing the Ministry’s Capital Works building programme’s ongoing success.

White Associates Quantity Surveyors are the vital piece to your puzzle

MARKET UPDATE: Structure it right and you won’t have a problem

The media is awash with stories about apartment developments falling over or asking for more money. We’ve all heard about banks shutting up shop and the desperate need for more houses hampered by the chronic shortage of labour, material delays and their fluctuating prices. Residential developments have been hit the hardest but commercial projects are not immune to these pressures.

The market is not in a competitive state and it’s become a lot harder to secure the main contractor your project needs. There’s now a premium for doing so but it’s about having a pallet for that premium. Your entry price might be higher but your exit price should be better managed. There’s no escaping the fact that building in this market is going to cost you more money and your margins will be affected. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t deliver a successful, financially viable project.

Amidst all of this, our message is a simple one: get your feasibility right and you start to mitigate project risks. With the right structures in place developers can minimise the effects of the current market situation. By carrying out comprehensive due diligence and feasibility processes, engaging a reputable main contractor, with good relationships with sub-contractors, and securing a lump sum price you go a long way to locking in a reliable project delivery. Employing a competent quantity surveyor is crucial part of this process.

It’s clear that we all have to work a lot harder to get projects across the line in this environment and what worked in the past isn’t necessarily going to work today. Staying ahead of market trends has never been more important and at White Associates we’re always trying to do that. We’ve taken a real forward thinking approach in the last couple of years and restructured the way we operate. Looking towards the future we have brought in three company principals to ensure we have a strong succession plan in place. As the industry evolves we’re adapting and growing to strengthen the areas that allow us to add the most value to projects.

White Associates Department of Corrections Project

PROJECT SPOTLIGHT: Department of Corrections locks in White Associates

White Associates are pleased to announce their appointment as the Department of Corrections’ Cost Advisor for their Prison Capacity Programme.

Konrad Trankels says:

“After a thorough tender process we have been engaged as cost consultants on the next Public Private Partnership (PPP) as well as the delivery of a new building, Building C, at Mount Eden Correctional Facility.

We are thrilled with the decision and look forward to working with the Department to meet their objectives, requirements and desired outcomes. Having been involved on both previous Department of Corrections’ PPPs (at Auckland South Corrections Facility and Auckland Prison) we’re well placed to do that.”

New Zealand’s prison population is soaring and in the last two years has increased at a rate considerably higher than what had been forecast. Consequently, there is significant pressure on prisoner accommodation which has required the government to increase its prison funding. Finance Minister Bill English recently said that our climbing prison population is as big a risk to our economy as world interest rates.

Accordingly, the Department of Corrections is investing in a number of medium and long term options to meet capacity and service requirements. Jeremy Lightfoot, Corrections National Commissioner says:

“We’re pleased to have White Associates supporting us throughout this process”

Konrad says:

“We look forward to working with the Department to ensure that services are delivered in an integrated, timely and cost effective manner in accordance with the programme time frames. Our work with the Department has already begun and is expected to continue over the coming years.”

 

White Associates Project: Transocean Business Park

PROJECT SPOTLIGHT: Transocean Business Park, Christchurch

Project confidence and partnership for new Transocean Business Park in Christchurch

The Transocean Business Park in central Sockburn has a mix of office, showroom and warehouse units. Being situated just 7.5km from the Christchurch Airport, and 6km from the city centre, means the location and quality of the park are enviable. Developed for investors, or owner-operators, the park has created new supply for a market that is hungry for new developments.

A trusted partner to drive project confidence 

Transocean was put in touch with White Associates through its bank, ANZ, which required Transocean to retain the services of an independent quantity surveyor to oversee and audit the drawdown of construction funding during the construction phase of the project.

Transocean Developments Director Jon Howard says:

“The White Associates team and service ensured that ANZ was confident that the project was on track and on budget over the drawdown period.”

And it is not just bank funding, drawdowns and claims valuations that White Associates has facilitated for Transocean.

“White Associates have been the consummate professionals and the team really understands the construction business. Darin and Andrew have been responsive to any issues that have arisen throughout the project, which made them a great partner to have on board”

Darin Bayer, White Associates Director, says the high-quality design of the Transocean property is one of its strengths, as it has fantastic street appeal:

“The property has more sizzle than your standard industrial units, which puts it ahead of other facilities like it; ample parking and the final quality are also great features.”

Competitive pricing characterises Christchurch industrial market

Darin says at present, there is a shortage of larger scale developments commencing in Christchurch, therefore some contractors in the market – especially the mid-tier contractors – will provide reasonably competitive pricing in the near future.

Jon says there’s been a noticeable slowdown in the local industrial market, but that has only created more opportunity and demand for the new development.

“The wider Christchurch market for new industrial office and warehouse products has markedly slowed over the past six months. However, given its excellent location, distinctive design and quality of construction, the demand for both the sale and lease of units in the Transocean development has been strong.”

What’s next for Transocean?

With the project now effectively finished, with some of the units settled and one already occupied, the next step for the Transocean development is the marketing of the final remaining units, and then on to new opportunities.

Jon says Transocean’s next development is a 17,600 m2 greenfield industrial development located in the fast-emerging Belfast area, located to the north of Christchurch.

“We are also investigating opportunities including commercial and residential apartments in central Christchurch, so we’re looking forward to creating new developments in the region in the coming months and years.”

White Associates is looking forward to working on future projects with the Transocean Developments team, and architect David Snell from SHL Architecture. Find out more about the Transocean Business Park here.

Project team:

Darin Bayer and Andrew Newlands led the White Associates team for the Transocean property project. Darin constantly completed site visits, which meant high levels of communication with the client at all times throughout the project.

White Associates services:

White Associates enabled the funding process for the new facility to work smoothly. In addition, we provided assistance in valuing the contractors’ claims on the project.

Second Stage of Alexandra Park Apartments kicks off

This week, the second stage of Alexandra Park’s urban village development will commence, with the Auckland Trotting Club set to turn the first sod on Thursday 28 April, according to The Bob Dey Property Report.

The second stage of the highly-anticipated development, which we have been closely involved with, will see 2500m² of ground-floor retail space created, along with a further 128 apartments. Building B1 will rise nine storeys high, while building B2 will be five storeys high, with a two-level basement carpark underneath.

Sydney-based construction firm Ganellen Construction Ltd will be working on the second stage of the project, with Local Director, Michael Doig, saying Alexandra Park is more in line with the type of largescale residential projects the firm has built its reputation on back in Sydney.

The Auckland Trotting Club made the decision to transform the carpark site at 223 Green Lane West into a mixed-use precinct back in 2014, with the project set to cost a total of $205 million.

Once complete, the Alexandra Park urban village will feature 246 freehold apartments and almost 20 retail spaces that span across three towers.

White Associates is proud to have been involved in this ground-breaking project from its inception in mid-2014, providing a range of cost management and delivery services, such as:

  • Pre and post-contract services
  • Cost managing the design throughout the design phase, ensuring that tenders were received within budget
  • Completing a thorough tender analysis process
  • Currently providing cost management services in the construction phase.

The apartments at the urban village have been hot in demand. CEO of Auckland Trotting Club, Dominique Dowding, says:

“The fact that we’ve had such strong demand from owner-occupiers is reflective of the size, high specification, and location of the Park. We are creating a true urban village. This is a private, gated community, with a central location and picturesque Cornwall Park right across the road.”

For more information about the Alexandra Park Apartments, click here to read our recent case study.