• Building Management and Works presents to Australian Institute of Project Management on ‘Working Better Together – Public and Private Sector’

    Speaking to a full house at the recent Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) breakfast at Matilda Bay, Building Management and Works (BMW) General Manager of Infrastructure Delivery, Phil Helberg highlighted the importance of the public and private sectors ‘working together’ effectively to achieve project success.

    Reflecting on his time as an engineer in South Africa and his experience across a diversity of complex projects, Phil offered his own thoughts about how the public and private sectors can work together to successfully deliver projects.

    Using the ‘Dumas House Facade and Podium Restoration Project’ as a case-study, Phil spoke about how this complex and highly visible project presented both a range of challenges for the project team and a series of opportunities to apply flexible and lateral problem solving, by working together with the private sector to resolve issues together.

    Phil discussed BMW’s experience so far. He outlined some of the unique challenges the project presents and examined how they were overcome, using an innovative approach by government.

    Dumas House is a significant, heritage listed State Government building situated on a prominent, elevated site and is clearly visible from many points around the city. It houses most Government Ministers as well as offices of the Department of Finance, the Public Sector Commission the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, and the Department of Regional Development.

    Almost 50 years of exposure to the elements has deteriorated the building's exterior. The building’s facade materials have reached the end of their useful life and need to be repaired or replaced, to ensure that falling debris will no longer pose a risk to the building's occupants and visitors. In addition, the condition of the facade has resulted in early deterioration of the building's structural frame. The ground floor slab waterproof membrane has deteriorated to the point that rain water leaks into the upper basement training rooms and the government media room.

    Notwithstanding the historical value of this project, it is imperative that the project addresses the main issues of repairing and replacing the facade, waterproofing the podium slab and addressing the occupants safety concerns, while maintaining the aesthetic integrity of this important heritage building.

    The specialist nature of this project requires an alternative approach to be taken. One of the issues requiring consideration was to determine the most effective methodology to repair the façade given the requirement for the 14-storey building to remain occupied while works are being completed. Moreover, any new elements used in the restoration require approval from the Heritage Council, and a visual ‘like for like’ requirement is in place for all replacements.

    Phil discussed how taking a different approach to various stages in the procurement and selection processes, and investigative works, produced some fantastic outcomes for both the successful tenderer and BMW. The entire process is project managed by BMW and overseen by a probity advisor.

    Attendees responded favourably to the presentation which was followed by a frank and robust discussion time, with the BMW project team in attendance to answer questions specific to the Dumas House project.

    The process undertaken in regards to Dumas House was praised by attendees and encouraged as a good value for money approach. It was agreed that client approaches with government agencies should be consistent across the board in addition to resolving matters amicably and applying lessons learned.

    Phil wrapped up by reiterating the need for BMW to continue to build our core capacity internally whilst calling on private sector to supplement that. Everyone agreed that a collaborative approach between the public and private sectors is the key to success.

    For more information on the Dumas House project is available here.