Containing costs on new build

Coffs Harbour City Council, New South Wales, has adopted a well-established approach to the design and construction of the new Cultural and Civic Space to help cut the potential risk of escalation in costs or completion time.

The schematic design and preparation of a Development Application (DA) for the $76 million project will be carried out together to shorten the project and a building contractor will be appointed early in the process and will be required to commit to an agreed cost.

Council’s General Manager, Steve McGrath, said, “By bringing in a suitably qualified contractor at the earliest possible stage we can get them on board during the design process so that they are across all the construction requirements, they can bring forward early works such as demolition and, ultimately, the whole project will be finished far faster.

“This is important as there is a risk that the costs of construction materials could rise during a lengthy build, which will affect the overall cost.

“Also, by having an agreed maximum price from the start, we get certainty that there will not be any major cost blowout.”

The total cost of the project will be offset by proposed sales of Council assets and available reserve funds resulting in a net cost of $46 million.

The proposed new building will house a Regional Gallery, Central Library, Museum, multipurpose community meeting rooms, co-working space, shop, café, function space, customer service area, Council staff office accommodation and car parking.

Mayor, Denise Knight, said, “Coffs Harbour has been crying out for a cultural and multi-functional facility like this for many, many years, but that doesn’t mean we don’t do it as prudently as possible.
“Doing it quickly doesn’t mean we cut corners, it means we are doing it efficiently.”