Our meticulous planning and innovative approach enabled us to deliver 14 new schools across 12 sites in a rapid two-year program. Focused on the fastest growing metropolitan and regional communities, we managed the design and construction as part of the Learning Communities Victoria consortium.
Gross Floor Area of all
buildings across 14 schools
Local industry participation
Project workforce peak number
Best Combined School or Special School (Armstrong Creek Education Precinct)
Victorian School Design Awards
Best New Construction/Entire New Education Facility (Mernda Central College)
Learning Environments Australasia Awards
State-of-the-art schools for Victoria’s fastest growing regions
To set a collaborative tone from the beginning, we conducted several workshops with our design team to focus our values, expectations, outputs, and aspirations. We also held interactive workshops with the Victorian Government and their stakeholders each fortnight, keeping them informed every step of the way. A comprehensive review system was created for these sessions that allowed rapid response to our client’s comments.
Future-proofing the designs where possible and practical was also a high priority, to ensure that these state-of-the-art buildings will remain as such for years to come. Under the PPP, the consortium is also maintaining the new schools for 25 years, which will allow the teaching and administration staff to focus on the needs of their students.
The procurement of structural steel was critical to all sites and this presented the greatest delay risk. Our innovative approach involved engaging a specialised drafting consultant who worked with our design consultants to ensure all the shop drawings were completed prior to appointing a subcontractor. As a result, the appointed steel fabricator commenced work immediately saving an estimated eight to ten weeks off the program.
Delivering under pressure
The timeline for delivering these projects left little margin for delays. We developed several strategies to mitigate common hold ups such as covering access to the building sites as part of contingencies for inclement weather. Our robust selection process for subcontractors minimised the risk of unexpected obstacles due to inadequate resources. A daily program review and proactive management approach to addressing pinch points identified and resolved by the site engineers, further bolstered productivity.
The overall strategy for this venture was to deliver the projects in two phases. The first phase, encompassing eight schools, was completed in time for Term 1, 2017; one school was completed in mid-2017 and the remaining five schools delivered in phase two were completed ahead of Term 1, 2018. After the completion of the first phase, we held workshops with the consortium and the State Government to identify what areas could be improved upon, such as enhanced sequencing of trades. This helped streamline delivery for the second phase.
Rethinking the process
These projects required a nuanced approach regarding procurement processes. Construction could commence immediately at some of the sites immediately after the contract was awarded. At this point, design development had not advanced far past the concept stage. Our agile approach enabled us to bring new trades on early and avoid delays further into the program.
With a considerable project scope and works taking place at multiple sites concurrently, our methodology treated each new school as an individual project. This allowed for a streamlined construction and handover, ultimately fast-tracking delivery.