How the Builder Works with Client, Architect, Engineer to Save You Money

Consent processRecently, we were asked to take a project over that was ready for building consent application but had been stopped by the client at that stage. The reason being the project was considerably over budget. This was a technically challenging site on the port hills that had a combination of issues including landslide, retaining walls and bearing capacity.

It was quickly evident why the budget had been exceeded. The designer was engaged by the client to produce a nice design. The engineer was engaged by the designer to produce a foundation solution. A builder was to be chosen and engaged by the client based on lowest price tender. In this scenario no one was working for the client or an overall expected outcome. So what went wrong?

  • Having never built before, the client relied on the designer, not knowing some designers don’t work as a team. Some clients adopt the old fashioned approach that the building cost is set by the lowest price tender, and completely miss the value an Architect-Builder-Client team approach can add to the project.
  • The engineer wasn’t aware of the client’s budget nor the true cost of his foundation engineering solution
  • No building contract was awarded

The client was out of pocket tens of thousands of dollars because the ‘Tender Price’ was above budget and the work to date was pretty much redundant.

Guess which industry was blamed for expensive building costs? The Builder.

So how did we help?

We brought the geo-tech and structural engineers together so they could each understand the site specific challenges

We met with the structural engineer and quantity surveyor together to discuss foundation design options vs buildability vs cost. The best value option was discussed with, and accepted by the owner/client

A new preliminary design was penned by the engineer. This way preliminary pricing could be obtained without the client having to pay for full designs that didn’t work.

Preliminary pricing was then undertaken based on the new foundation design of which the client accepted.

Final design and costs saved the client $590,000.00 and reduced the final price from $1,737,000.00 to $1,147,000.00.